A good many persons fail to distinguish between economy and parsimony, the former being admittedly a virtue which stands for the prudent and orderly management of a household or state, the regulation of expenditure in such a way as to avoid loss or waste. It has been observed that in the upbuilding of a nation economy has been much in evidence, along with other virtues, such as self-denial, temperance, moderation, etc., while the decadence of a state has been marked by self-indulgence, luxuriousness, and excess. It should however be noted that economy and extravagance both represent mental states; that a very poor person may be wasteful and a very rich person economical, and that each is in great measure due to early training or the lack of it. It is true that Christian Scientists have a broader and more spiritual sense of economy as they advance in understanding, but from the very start they should keep in mind their Leader's words in the Manual of The Mother Church (Art. XXIV, Sect. 5): "God requires wisdom, economy, and brotherly love to characterize all the proceedings of the members of The Mother Church." This evidently means that economy shall not be divorced from wisdom or brotherly love, else it were not true economy.

In Proverbs we read, "He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich." In many passages, however, both in the Old and New Testament, the diligence inculcated and commended is that which seeks after truth and holds it as the only real treasure. The Scriptures also show that the true understanding of God, infinite Mind, illumines human consciousness and destroys the improvident tendencies which lead to poverty. Thus we read that "the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags." On the other hand we read that the men who loved God and kept His law reflected the bounty of infinite Mind, as in the case of Abraham and that of Job, especially after Job gained a truer concept of God, which brought him healing and then the multiplication of all his possessions.

It is not always seen that economy is not confined to the use of money but includes the right use of one's time and energies, also of one's thinking powers. Respecting this our revered Leader says, in an article entitled "Improve Your Time," that "success in life depends upon persistent effort, upon the improvement of moments more than upon any other one thing" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 230). The whole of this article should often be read and pondered by Christian Scientists, for in its clear analysis of the question discussed it shows unmistakably the secret of failure or success in human experience. Even on what is called the material plane, quality means much more than quantity in most cases. A great deal of work badly done is of no value, and this is at least equally true in the mental realm. If we were always reflecting the one perfect Mind, there could be no wasted moments and no slipshod work. In the Bible we read that "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years," and we should all be striving to reach the mental condition in which thought starts with the perfect idea and brings it quickly into manifestation, whatever be the human need to which we devote our energies.

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April 20, 1912

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