REBUKING ERROR

It is said that Goethe once remarked that it was easier to rebuke error than to speak truth, and so we often find the young student of Christian Science, in his first enthusiastic attempts to promote the welfare of his fellows, offering unsolicited counsel or even rebukes with a mistaken sense of doing good. After many tests, much stumbling, and further striving, he learns that although this new-found truth requires absolute perfection of every man, its present comprehension and application are still relative, and out of his own oft-repeated mistakes, his seeming defeats and humiliation, there comes to him a larger sympathy and a greater compassion for those whose faults are still apparent. He no longer places the emphasis on the rebuking of the error, but in meekness and humility consecrates himself to living the truth instead.

As we study the life of Christ Jesus and the method he pursued in his rebuking of sin, we cannot fail to be impressed with the love and compassion he reflected to the individual, though he made no compromise with the error. Either he voiced the truth so that in itself it uncovered to the sinner's consciousness a sense of wrong-doing, or he quietly asked the question which led the offender of his own accord to condemn the offense, and through the spirit of truth which accompanied the question, to awaken to an honest self-analysis and desire for reform. Only as each individual consciousness voluntarily reaches out and receives the illumination of truth, does it separate right from wrong. When the Christian Scientist can thus quickly perceive the thought of another and at the same time reflect enough of truth to meet the need of that one, he will simultaneously uncover and destroy error, and the healing will be instantaneous.

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THE CONSTRUCTIVE MIND
June 11, 1910
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