Giving Up and Going Up

The trend of the human mind for centuries has been to associate goodness with asceticism, and it is not surprising, therefore, to hear the beginner in Christian Science express a vague fear that if he continues his study to the point where he finally becomes what he terms "good," he will have to give up much of that cheerful exuberance of spirits which he has somehow grown to think is incompatible with the religious temperament.

No one, however, knows better than does the Christian Scientist that holiness is not synonymous with gloom or depression. Mrs. Eddy says, "I agree with Rev. Dr. Talmage, that 'there are wit, humor, and enduring vivacity among God's people'" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 117). The joyless saint is a paradox. As a matter of fact, the better one grows, the happier he grows, for he is becoming more conscious of his oneness with God, the source of all good. So to those who seem to be entertaining a frightened sense that Christian Science is going to rob them of something in spite of themselves, let the comforting assurance be given that it never compels anybody to give up anything. It only shows us something so much better that we gladly let go of the old to find the new, just as a child will drop a worn-out toy to reach out with eager fingers for something more beautiful.

Christian Science never leaves the heart empty and unsatisfied. It never tears something rudely away and gives nothing in its place. The very fact that something is gone from human experience which was once deemed essential to happiness, is in itself proof that something else, and something better, has already come. God's ways are as gentle as the processes whereby a field of stiff little wheat-stalks is transformed into a sea of rippling gold. God's ways involve progress, unfoldment, accretion, not loss and deprivation. Nothing is lost when spring merges sweetly into summer,—hope is only exchanged for fruition, promise for fulfilment.

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November 13, 1915

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