Honesty

To be absolutely honest requires a discriminating sense of what honesty means, and this can be worked out only by taking the first steps correctly and tilling the ground of material belief until every weed of dishonesty has been uprooted. We cannot reach this ideal sense of honesty without faithfully taking every step, any more than a child can solve astronomical problems without knowing how to add, subtract, and multiply. It is usually very easy to see dishonesty in others, and that particular phase of it which would rob us, is especially likely to seem appalling; but it is quite another thing to discover that slight deviation from moral rectitude in ourselves which might make us loath to pay a debt that could not be collected by law. We might even trick a custom-house officer and regard it with suave complacency, unless we were in danger of losing caste by being discovered.

Sometimes through self-justification we are wholly blinded to our own entertainment of a dishonest thought or purpose. Mortal mind may have hundreds of little subterfuges by which to cheat itself, and unless we have learned to watch our motives constantly, correct our false steps, and unravel our snarls, we are not likely to make progress as Christian Scientists. It sometimes requires sacrifice, when we have been all our lives contributing to our love of ease and material comforts, really to let go of what seems to us our "substance," for the mere sake of honesty; but only in this way do we take a long leap ahead in the direction of self-mastery and loyalty to Truth.

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October 10, 1914
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