“Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need”
(Mary Baker Eddy)
If you’ve been a Christian Scientist, or even have the slightest familiarity with it, you’re probably familiar with this phrase. It’s a phrase that at one time brought great comfort to me and many other former Christian Scientists back when we still marinated in the Christian Science Krazy Sauce.
As with so many other sayings and aspects of Christian Science, what seems on the surface to be comforting, even positive in its affirmation, is damaging when you dig a little bit deeper. Such is the case with this statement. It is illustrative of a dismissive sense of denial that contributes to a sense of nihilism with Christian Scientists, and those effects stick with many of us long after we’ve left Christian Science. This outlook can ultimately impede one’s decision-making abilities, cause a deep sense of insecurity, and hinder a person’s career and educational goals.
I’ve seen many in the ex-Christian Scientist on-line groups talk about their feelings of inadequacy in life, mainly in their careers. Some talk about not feeling like they’re good enough for a job or promotion, others find it difficult to bring projects to completion, or declare something to be complete. Many find it difficult to make decisions, and often second-guess themselves. I’ve even written a post recently about my own feelings of inadequacy in the workplace in my own life.
This idea of Divine Love, or whatever you want to call it, magically providing everything you need is psychologically damaging. When ‘Divine Love’ fails, it’s not ‘Divine Love’ that gets the blame, it’s you. Divine Love, after all, never fails. If you sit on your ass and do nothing, you are going to fail; but if you take this statement literally, that’s what you’re supposed to do, isn’t it? God does it for you, right? Well, no, the Christian Scientist will argue that it’s God acting through you, but that’s not what Eddy says here, and I have heard countless testimonies of people who virtually claimed that dollar bills almost fell out of the sky at the right moment when they just prayed about it. Never mind that someone who owed them money just coincidentally mailed them a cheque that day or some other more mundane (but closer to the truth) explanation. No, it was all God and magical thinking.
There is no cosmic sky-god that’s going to rain down blessings on you just because you pray to it. It can’t print money. Only the central bank can do that. You’ll get out of life what you put into it. Nothing more, nothing less. If you need money, you need to earn it, win the lottery, or something else. God isn’t going to rain it down on you out of thin air just because you pray about it.