Purified Thought

One does not pursue the study of Christian Science long before he perceives that many of the thoughts which he had harbored, considered worthy and right, are unworthy and wrong. What is to be done about it? Sometimes there is even a lack of willingness to change the wrong thinking until it brings suffering, escape from which is much desired, and we are finally ready to go to work, deep down in that consciousness which no one but self ever really knows, and patiently labor hour by hour that every plant which our heavenly Father hath not planted may "be rooted up." One of the most troublesome, dangerous, and prolific of these "plants" is resentment. To resent an injury or injustice has ever been considered perfectly justifiable, and ofttimes even praiseworthy, by mankind in general. "An eye for an eye" has called forth no objection from mortal mind. Now comes Christian Science, the gospel of peace and good will, knocking at the door of our thought, and reiterating the words of our dear Master. "Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." This is not a new saying to us, but it seems to bear a new meaning, and instead of passing it by as impracticable if not impossible, it sinks deeper and deeper into our thought, until we find ourselves earnestly striving to bring our actions into accord with it. Our loved Leader, Mrs. Eddy, has said, "The Christian Scientist cherishes no resentment; he knows that that would harm him more than all the malice of his foes" (Message to The Mother Church, 1902, p. 32). The conviction grows that the successful accomplishment of this step—the uprooting of this one weed—is but a small part of what must be done to work out our salvation.

The word salvation, viewed in the light of Christian Science, loses its mistiness, and as defined in Science and Health, p. 593, becomes a clear and definite end toward which to work. In pondering the questions how we can cease to resent a seeming injury, how forgive an injustice, how understand and demonstrate love, one finds food for much thought. For a perfect example we have but to look to the life of our dear Lord and Master, note the sweet gentleness, the love that restored the ear of the high priest's servant severed by Peter's resentful thought, and hear the meek yet forceful words, "Suffer ye thus far."

Does it perhaps seem that the Master's mission was so great, and so much more important than ours, that he could rise to the accomplishment of his great task while we cannot? What was that mission? Was it not to prove to sin-ensnared and suffering humanity the omnipotence of God, good? Is not this also the mission of every Christian Scientist? and is not the omnipotence of good proved every time an evil is destroyed, be it sin or sickness? "Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple." This statement is surely clear, and it places no limitation on the distance we are to follow, hence we know that we are to "come after" him all the way. To do this we need to watch and pray that we may accomplish our task so that there be found no unworthy thought in our consciousness which would prevent us from bringing forth the fruits of Love. We cannot justly claim to be Christian Scientists unless we overcome every thought which is unlike God and thus be fitted to heal the sick and the sinful.

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Freedom through Growth
June 2, 1906

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