Human Tendency Redeemed

Students of human nature speedily discover that the conduct of most people is far more frequently determined by a habit or tendency than by a sense of duty or of right. This fact is easily explained. Tendencies call for no effort of assertion or investigation, but only for listless consent to their rule. They control without issuing commands, without compelling thought, or in any way disturbing our peace, and the stupor of indifference is the secret of their sovereignty. The rule of moral tendency is always the rule of torpidity, of a false sense of ease, and its victim is described in the Scripture as "dead in trespasses and in sins." Let a man be spiritually awakened, however, let him begin to inquire as to whether he is thus subject to inertia, and he is quite sure to be visited by that spirit of wholesome skepticism and analysis which opens the door to a new life. He will have entered the path that leads to the true self-government, namely, responsiveness to Truth.

Obeisance to custom and the dominion of habit always conduces to superficiality, to that substitution of formalism for faith which has proved the bane of Christian history. True progressive living, on the other hand, is not a drift but a climb, it always speaks for devotion to the ideal, for freedom, alterness, and spontaneity. It is always acquiring a broader horizon and a clearer vision, because it is growing, and growth means ascension as well as enlargement. Tendency may thus be redeemed, so that the bias and momentum of habit is no longer a hindrance but a help, and right choice and right doing become natural and instinctive; then the man "not only will be saved, but is saved" (Science and Health, p. 328).

Among the Churches
October 11, 1913

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