Resolve and Action

Good resolutions are always commendable, but until put into practice they weigh little in the scales of progress. The coming of each new year may suggest the turning over of a new leaf and the firm resolution to do better in the future, but until resolve is expressed in action the new leaf really remains unturned. The student of Christian Science well knows that good resolutions are always in order every day of the year, and that the accepted time to live up to them is now; yet this does not prevent his joining the happy throng of those who hail the advent of each new calendar year as a fitting occasion for a modicum of retrospection and sober resolve to bring out a better and happier future. Indeed, the Christian Scientist should welcome this opportunity to take one step higher in the long ascent of human endeavor, and he does so in a very practical way.

A most searching and eminently pertinent question for us all to ask ourselves at this particular time has already been pointed out by our revered Leader on page 496 of the text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." She says: "Ask yourself: Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good?" Here is a question which may well cause us to halt and to engage in prayerful self-examination. It is a direct and positive appeal to our honesty and sincerity as Christian Scientists. There can be no dodging or faltering. We must face the issue manfully and joyfully, let the answer be what it may, for upon it hinges the future destiny of our sacred cause.

What does it mean to be "living the life that approaches the supreme good"? We shall need to rise above sense-testimony in order to answer this question intelligently, since no outward or visible conduct on our part is of itself a sufficient guaranty of a righteous life; for the veriest hypocrite may assume a form of righteousness and yet in thought deny the most vital essentials of a Christian life. That which defiles and defaces the Christ-image within must be reckoned with, if we would arrive at just and accurate conclusions as to our standard of living. The heart must be right, must be pure, else the outward life is a sham and pretense. The Master said: "Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man." Here, then, is a mirror into which we can all look for the return of a just verdict, be it "guilty" or "not guilty." If evil, murderous, adulterous thoughts are finding expression through us; if we are giving way to outbursts of uncontrollable temper or are at enmity with our fellow man; if contentious and faultfinding, hypercritical and intolerant,—if any of these errors, or others of a host which could be mentioned, are a part of our daily thinking, we must stand self-condemned, and the verdict of "guilty" cannot be made light of if we would lay claim to the Christian title of consistency.

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Beauty and Truth
December 26, 1914

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