Freely Give

On no occasion has the loyal, active Christian Scientist better opportunity to reveal the dominant thought of Christianity— selfless love—than at the Wednesday evening meetings. At those meetings weary searchers for spiritual food come with the hope of receiving some fragments from the Master's table. Whether the visitor be prompted by what is called curiosity, or by some higher motive, he is a guest and is to be so treated. It is for him that the feast is spread, not primarily for ourselves; we are the dispensers of our Lord's viands. In ministering to our guests' needs we have each an individual duty to perform, and to perform it adequately we must be as alert, prompt, and efficient as possible.

Whether there be many or few guests, it is a helpful thought to bear in mind that there is one person present whom it is our special duty and privilege to serve, and that so far as duty is concerned the other guests do not count. If our duty lie in the public expression of the truth, in the usual way, it is also helpful to bear in mind that the individual whom we are to reach may be in the remotest part of the room, and that we must speak as clearly, slowly, distinctly, and forcefully as if only he and the speaker were present and yet occupied the same positions. Those accustomed to speaking in small churches or halls will find this attitude very helpful when they have opportunity to speak in the large churches, where the mere size of the place might suggest difficulty in making themselves heard and thus deter them from speaking.

In addressing one's self to this visitor, it is also helpful to him as well as to the speaker to be direct, simple, concise, and above all to use language that can be understood—his language. One would think it folly to talk English to a Frenchman rather than his own tongue. How much worse, then, to use a word familiar in sound to him but with a totally different meaning from the significance he attaches to it. Is he not likely to accuse the speaker of perverting language? He does not associate the same meaning as do Christian Scientists with "mortal mind," "false belief," "demonstration," or even "claim." Therefore, to be effective the speaker must needs talk to him on his level.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Love's Gifts
October 7, 1905

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.