The Use or Misuse of Time

The Scriptural statement that man must work out his own salvation invests time with vital interest and value for him who would achieve that salvation, for his ultimate triumph over evil will be hastened or deferred according to the right or wrong use he makes of his time. A period is usually reached in mortal's experience, unless foreseen and forestalled, when the remembrance of unused opportunities, neglected privileges, and wasted hours, calls up the "unavailing tear" and keen remorse. To drift idly with the current of events, absorbed with the passing pleasures and vanities of sensuous world and careless of the pleadings for recognition of man's spiritual being, is to enter the torture-chamber of memory when the flame of corporeal joys has burned itself out.

If mortals but heard the Christ patiently knocking at the door of consciousness; if they but realized the utter emptiness of the whole dreary dream of matter, they would have no time for that which but prolongs the illusion and the pain of mortality. If this material sense of life constituted man's real being, we might well yield our time and thought to it, but Christianity teaches that not materiality but spirituality represents the truth and permanence of being. Those who have truly discerned this fact, those who have learned well their first lessons in Christian Science and have awakened to the delusion of the so-called material senses, should have no time except in which to follow Christ. To be Christ-like in every moment and in every place is the only road by which we may reach Jesus' dominion over the flesh.

Do we sufficiently consider that we must give account of the use of our time as well as of our abilities, that we are simply stewards of the days and years? All things belong to God, and what man has of Him, whether of time or talent, is of good only. What moral right have we to use or misuse even a moment for wrong? To bring out in our experience God's true ideal, the real man, requires that each moment be lived truly; not wantonly nor idly, but in the constant recognition of and obedience to the rightful rule of good in man. To give our time for purposes of evil,—evil thinking, evil speaking, evil doing,—is suicidal to every hope of salvation.

May 28, 1904

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