Elemental Thought

There are perhaps few who observe carefully their own thinking processes in order to see whether these are governed by divine Principle, yet there is nothing else which is of such importance to us in all we attempt. The psalmist tells us of a self-satisfied mortal who says, "I shall never be in adversity," yet he is plotting to bring his fellow men to grief, and vainly believing that he can do this and prosper. Of such a one we are told that "God is not in all his thoughts." From this we naturally conclude that the one mentioned must have been a very wicked man, but this does not after all concern us. What does concern us is how much God, good, is in our thoughts, to what extent these are controlled by Truth and Love, in short by all that expresses the divine nature. Mrs. Eddy tells us that man as God's likeness "has not a single quality underived from Deity;" and again she says, "A spiritual idea has not a single element of error" (Science and Health, pp. 475, 463). Here then is the true standard by which all our thought should be tested, for unquestionably our thought is what shapes our words and deeds and measures our success or failure in life.

It is hardly necessary to say that there can be no failure in the divine activity, and we cannot too often remind ourselves of this fact. If we cherish anxiety, hatred, impurity, or even doubt in our thought, we are harboring elements which inevitably lead to failure, and excuses will not help us. One may say that he cannot help entertaining fear of a good many things, but in the twenty-first chapter of Revelation we find "the fearful" at the head of a long list of evil-doers who "have their part" in the cleansing fire provided by Truth and Love. A careful study of this passage shows what mental elements we have to get rid of; but this is not all: we need to become better acquainted with God in order to reflect the qualities and elements of the one perfect Mind. If we seem to fail in the working out of any of our problems, we surely need to know better the Mind that knows all things, so that we may think and act intelligently and unselfishly on all occasions. Readiness to see and overcome our own faults will aid us in demonstrating the scientific rule that we cannot suffer for the sins of others.

Among the Churches
August 14, 1915

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