One of the hardest lessons for mortals to learn is the one which deals with human relationships. Mankind are so entangled and bound about with human ties (and sometimes it would seem hopelessly so) that there is often a sense of bewilderment and restriction where all should be freedom and independence. Lives which should be lived side by side, each in its individual place and with individual work to do, are frequently crossed one by another. Not content to work out our own salvation, we strive to work out another's for him, to the confusion and unhappiness of both. Here, as in many other instances, Christian Science points the way to freedom and adjustment, because it is founded upon the words and example of Jesus the Wayshower. To quote from page 114 of the Christian Science text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, "It shows the scientific relation of man to God, disentangles the interlaced ambiguities of being, and sets free the imprisoned thought."

The "scientific relation of man to God" is the relation which was made so plain in the words of Jesus when he said, "Call no man your father upon the earth : for one is your Father, which is in heaven;" and again, "Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? . . . whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." To do this will, and so be brother and sister to him who never failed in his allegiance to our heavenly Father, means much. It means self-forgetfulness, constant striving to know God's will and readiness to do it, the denial of any other will or mind, and joyous readiness to drop and cast aside as worthless all things that do not tend to strengthen one's ability to understand and serve the one Father of us all. The wise man says, "Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer." Those who are eager to render the best possible service for God and humanity count everything as dross that detracts from or weakens the efficiency of that service, and gladly let it go that the silver may shine forth in its unalloyed purity.

It is evident that to Christ Jesus the only actual kinship was with God, to know Him as All-in-all, as Father-Mother, friend, companion, and thus corelated with Him, to reflect and express His attributes. When each individual seeks for a realization of what man really is, and what his parentage, and endeavors to seek this first, he awakens to a glorious sense of freedom, of having a breathing space all his own, of being subject to but one Mind, one will, and that one good. Then he will be so busy about his "Father's business" (his own by right of inheritance) that he will find little time to plan the way for another, and will come to realize that all others must sooner or later recognize the one relationship too, and be left as free to do so as he himself would be. If another seems to be traveling by a circuitous route and we feel that we could show him one that is more direct, the effort brings only entanglement again. We cannot make laws for another, we cannot plan or coerce; the responsibility is not ours. How needlessly we load ourselves with cares which we were never meant to carry, sometimes to the neglect of vital and important work which we need to do for ourselves, and which the Father has over and over again bidden us do, but which, in our zeal to have somebody else do the right thing at the right time and in the right way, we have blindly neglected.

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"Oil out of the flinty rock"
December 18, 1915

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