THE RIGHT ANSWER

Students of Christian Science are often asked to explain its teachings as found in the Bible and Science and Health, or to give a reason for the apparent failure of some one to demonstrate these teachings, a task which calls for great patience as well as a clear understanding of the subject involved. It should not be forgotten that on the part of the questioner there are often deep-seated prejudices and solidified beliefs which practically amount to convictions, and yet the spirit of inquiry points to a channel by which the truth may enter the human consciousness with its healing and inspiring influence. The inquiry may be crudely shaped, it may even be offensive to the Christian Scientist, but the fact remains that an opportunity is offered to tell what Truth can do,—in brief, to be an ambassador for Christ, and we may be sure that if we do our part God will not fail to do His, nor can the word He gives ever return void, it must accomplish that whereto divine Love sends it.

It sometimes happens that the student forgets what the office of ambassador stands for, and so he may express some shallow personal opinion charged with petulance or impatience, when the command is to honor God,—"not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words." The wise man says, "A word spoken in due season, how good is it!" And again, "Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." Sometimes a rebuke to error may be greatly needed, but it is well to be sure that we are speaking "in due season," when the one addressed is ready to be benefited, not merely hurt by sharp words. Paul exhorted the Colossians to pray that God would open "a door of utterance;" then he commends wisdom toward "them that are without," and adds, "Let your speech be alway with grace, ... that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Our revered Leader counsels charity, and the privilege of maintaining silence "whenever it can substitute censure" (No and Yes, p. 8). The instructions to her followers, given at the beginning of the chapter "Christian Science Practice," should often be pondered by the workers in our ranks. Here she urges upon them the deepest Christian courtesy and tender human sympathy. She says, "The poor suffering heart needs its rightful nutriment, such as peace, patience in tribulation, and a priceless sense of the dear Father's loving-kindness" (Science and Health, p. 365).

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AMONG THE CHURCHES
June 8, 1912
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