IN the epistle of James we read, "The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison;" and how often have we found the saying true! A moment after the hasty or ill-considered word has passed our lips, we wish it recalled, but the poison has been sent out into consciousness. A conversation which we had meant to guide in the ways of pleasantness, shepherding a brother in the right way, goes awry in an interval when we are off guard. The belief in evil slips in, and, because we forgot to heed our Leader's admonition to "stand porter at the door of thought" (Science and Health, p. 392), it has been embodied in some unlovely speech, leaving a sense of strain, irritation, or even estrangement.

The lack of Christian alertness ever carries its old penalty of repentance at leisure; for does not sincere self-examination always show that it is not at all what the other said that leaves us troubled in spirit, but always what we ourselves said under the temporary dominion of the intruding, inharmonious belief? We can, however, learn to guard the tongue against inadvertent slips by praying that we may reflect Truth and goodness, for the good sought consciously will, more and more, stand by us when in need. Our Leader tells us that "when we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, He directs our path" (Ibid., p. 254).

October 29, 1910

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