Because that which we call God cannot be seen with the eye or touched with the hand, and is in no way materially cognizable, mankind as a rule have come to think of Him as altogether without the range of earthly experience. For this reason He does not seem to them to be as real and appreciable as their fellow men with whom they associate; while so-called material law, acknowledged to be the cause of human discord and decay, seems, even to the average Christian, to be more potent and operative than the law of omnipotent Spirit. Because of this inability to relate God to their daily life, men fail to grasp the reality of their own relation to Him, and its responsibility, as clearly as they do, for instance, the relation existing between employer and employee. Hence the idea of honesty with respect to one's obligations to God is seldom held with the significance of the word as used in general conversation, and one frequently finds men who are scrupulously exact in their business dealings, who would scorn the suggestion of dishonesty in a financial sense, careless or indifferent in the matter of being equally exact and honest in meeting their obligations to the recognized divine source of their being.

This may be seen, for example, in the comparatively light value usually placed upon the time set aside for devotional purposes, or for spiritual study and refreshment. Without compunction or protest we allow the call of ease or pleasure, business or society, to rob us in this respect, not realizing that such an attitude on our part is in the nature of robbing God, who is rightfully entitled to all the time necessary for mankind to become acquainted with Him. If we acknowledge the claims of God, we should at least be as honest in the endeavor to meet them as we are to meet the lesser claims growing out of our present environment; yet how often do we prefer to forfeit the desired pleasure or the material gain, rather than lose the opportunity to learn a little more of the divine reality of being? If we could, for a moment, think of God in the light of a personal employer, and that we are in His service as one man may be obligated to another, we would see the dishonesty of using His time for selfish or unprofitable purposes. Considering God's demands to be as binding as those of an earthly master, how can we presume to excuse our remissness on the ground that our worldly interests do not leave us sufficient time to attend to His requirements?

Shall we say, then, that God's demands are less binding upon us because He is divine Principle instead of a finite person? Is He less real, less important, less actually present because we do not hear a voice or see an outlined form? Because God is divine good, Spirit rather than a material presence; because He is infinite Mind instead of a limited sense of being expressed by matter; because He is the source of all real life and intelligence, of all that is worthy and eternal, is He to be less esteemed than the personality of a frail, sinning mortal, less to be relied upon than the deductions and opinions of human belief? Are the incidents of the passing human dream of chief importance, that we should ever allow them to overshadow our interest in the real and eternal? Are material things preeminent in our affections that we should ever place them before the spiritual, while the latter is made to wait upon our time or convenience? Here, as in other things, honesty means consistency, conformity to an accepted standard; it is the essential of truthfulness. It should be obvious that one cannot be honest in his Christian profession, any more than he can be honest in his business profession, without absolute sincerity, and religion must be established upon this basis to benefit fully the individual and the community.

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November 30, 1912

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