Spiritually Minded

Peace is the reward which crowns the effort of those who seek to be spiritually minded, but this peace has no stagnation in it, for it is the evidence of the perfect harmony of Life and its immortal activities.

When warfare has continued to the exhaustion of one of the combatants, and an agreement ends the contest, we call it peace; but, mentally considered, the humiliation of one contestant, and the exultation of the other, indicate no rest of mind, no peace. The resentment which flamed out in carnage and destruction, still burns like the sullen fire in the charcoal-burner's pit. From father to son is passed the legacy of animosity, until it is made to appear that patriotism must be nourished by the vivid and continuous recital of wrongs endured by ancestors. Since the man who would know true life must rid himself of bitterness and resentment, why should he enlarge the task by adding to his own problem the sense of wrongs nursed in the far past by those no longer actors in this drama of existence? Indeed he may also question the advantage of inoculating himself with the virus of strife and contention as found among his contemporaries. The question at issue in a contest is so often unimportant. If it were important, if it concerned the majesty of righteousness or the omnipotence of Truth, then a decision would be easy for the righteous man, whereby his own mind could find rest in adherence to what is true and right. But where a dispute begins with conflicting opinions, and enraged feelings perpetuate the strife and the contention leads to further divisions, it is impossible to find peace on either side. Why? Because each party, desiring support as against the other, is looking for adherents, for persons whose feelings can be worked upon and inflamed into antagonism against those whom they must consider adversaries.

A peacemaker is not wanted in such a case, for he would show the foolishness of the contest, and lead the contestants to Principle, God; and if they followed his leading they would have to relinquish their pride, vainglory, and boasting, as well as bitterness and ill-will, on the way Godward. There is always a way, however, for learning the unwisdom of contention. Two farmers disputed once about the price of a calf, and so sharply that they went to law. Two dollars constituted the basis of this quarrel, which involved other people, who of course took sides. Good friends were estranged, work was neglected, passions were roused, and cruel words spoken, all in a dispute about a matter involving a mere trifle. It cost the losers of the lawsuit twelve hundred dollars in expenses, not to mention time lost, money lost, temper lost, joy lost in the silly strife. What veritably good advice was given by Jesus, "If any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also." The coat, or cloke, is unimportant compared with harmony. Any jurist will concede that the man is wise who will suffer occasional wrong rather than engage in conflict and tedious litigation, for the enduring prosperity of such a man is sure to amend the temporary loss.

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Christian Science
June 30, 1906

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