The Importance of Knowing How

The ideal life of freedom, purity, and peace to which man may and should attain, is very clearly set forth in the teaching of Christ Jesus, and has always been entertained as a theory by professed Christians. More than this, very many sincere men and women have honestly desired to realize this ideal and have made intermittent efforts to do so; but finding only repeated failure and defeat in their attempts, some have practically given up the struggle and accepted what seems to be an inevitable material order. They no longer entertain expectation of a radical improvement in their habits of thought and living, until it is effected some unknown way by death. The end to be reached has been seen very clearly, but the nature of the problem and the successive steps to be taken in its solution have not been understood.

A great body of Christian ministers of high character and capabilities are bringing to their congregations a splendid delineation of what a Christian man ought by all means to be. They speak with such learning and logic, such force and finish that their hearers are not only pleased and impressed, they are strongly impelled to strive for the ideal presented, and many of them set about it in all good faith. When, however, they come to meet the trials of human experience, they speedily find that they do not know what to do. It is much easier to theorize than to practise, and since a demonstration of truth has not been demanded outside of Christian Science, the academic and purely theoretical nature of much pulpit reference to the Christ teaching, and the consequent lack of knowledge upon the part of the people is readily explained.

The Discipline of Christian Science
December 9, 1905

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