Spiritual Discernment

Spiritual discernment, one of the essentials in the equipment of a Christian Scientist, is unattainable save as we reflect the Christ-wisdom which reveals the inwardness of motives, aims, desires,—in short, of the entire human character. It was this quality which enabled Jesus, at the age of twelve, to analyze the mental conditions of his time as embodied in the rabbis, whom he easily confounded on their own basis of thought, and the lack of this quality in his disciples and others was often rebuked by our Master in vigorous and uncompromising language. He indicated it to be a requisite of spiritual growth, and that those who did not possess it were sorely limited in their ability to "work as he worked" for themselves or others.

The dawning of spiritual discernment is indicated by a threefold condition of thought; viz., the absence of prejudice, the absence of suspicion, and the presence of love. Black-spectacled prejudice renders it quite impossible correctly to discern anything. Whether it be favorable or unfavorable is immaterial; so long as it remains it is sure to give rise to erroneous conclusions. One would not go into a dungeon to dissect the sunlight, nor stand on a mountain with an umbrella before his face to view the landscape. Prejudice is the outcome of ignorance, malice, or hate, and its indulgence is to be guarded against as an insidious foe of the spiritual life.

The Thrall of Deception
August 25, 1906

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