Our Present Sense of Good

         Sometimes we are led to believe that because our place in the affairs of life does not seem to measure up to our understanding of Christian Science, we must, therefore, give it up and look for something else which more nearly embodies our ideals. The belief seems to be that somewhere in this material world we can find the perfect thing which we so earnestly long for. Perfection, however, is spiritual and belongs to the realm of divine Mind. It is attainable through spiritual growth and our capacity to understand God and discern Him as ever present. It is our first duty to recognize the good in our present environment, and earnestly to apply our understanding of the Principle of good to the eradication of those aspects in our position which do not reflect good. We are not justified in leaving a position, because we encounter personalities whom we do not like, or because some sense of wrong or injustice may appear to exist. Instead of hasty action at such times, let us stop and examine them in the light of Truth, remembering that, as Mrs. Eddy says in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 288), "wisdom in human action begins with what is nearest right under the circumstances, and thence achieves the absolute."

         The difficulties in our problem may be hard to endure; but let us remember that by scientific consideration of them we may win understanding, experience, faith, hope, reward. The question is often asked, "How can I gain an understanding of Principle?" and one answer is, "Apply what you already understand of it to the difficult phases of the present situation." To run away from trials is to fail to gain the lesson and growth that is there for us if we stand and master the seeming difficulties. If we do not meet these problems as they arise, it may be necessary for us to return to them at some later time. Again, if we leave the present task to commence at some other point, how do we know that we shall not presently run into the same difficulties? Is there not something that needs correcting in our own thought, which is always encountering difficult personalities or unbearable situations?

         The writer recalls a man who had acquired a considerable understanding of Christian Science in a comparatively brief space of time. His business presented a big problem, for he felt it was inconsistent with the teachings of Christian Science. He was radical enough to want to give it up at once, although he had nothing else in prospect. In talking the matter over with a more experienced Christian Scientist, he learned that there was some sense of good even in his present business, and until such time as he should hear the voice of Truth leading him elsewhere he could best improve the time by making that business better. He adopted this course, improving himself and his business through the application of Christian Science, and ultimately he was shown the way to better things. In thus preserving his present sense of good and improving it, he was able to advance in demonstration still further.

         The application of the rules of Christian Science will improve any situation. By patient effort in this direction we may find that what once seemed an impossible situation has changed to a very harmonious and agreeable one. It is a question of addition and subtraction, of adding truth and subtracting error from our concept of a person or a thing to find ultimately the expression of Truth and Love. In order to prove anything we must endure the contact and complete the test. Before passing judgment on an individual or a situation, let us be sure that our proving and testing has been scientifically done. Again, it may be that we ourselves are being proved, and if found worthy we may "go up higher."

         When Jacob was a refugee he found himself in a desert place at nightfall. He felt the loneliness of an outcast. Jacob, however, had character and considerable understanding, for he "took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows." In other words, he was able to rest on the hard things in his problem. In so doing he saw a vision of angels and a ladder, "and the top of it reached to heaven." And then he received the promise of God, "The land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it." He also heard the voice of God saying, "Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places." Christian Scientists would do well to profit by the experience of Jacob in this respect, and have a sense of repose, not fear or discouragement, over the difficulties in their problems. If they have the character and graciousness to deal thus with their problems, progress and success await their efforts; and the vision of Jacob and God's promises to him will then be theirs, for "God is no respecter of persons."


"Our Present Sense of Good" by Louis J. duBois
Christian Science Sentinel, March 11, 1922

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