Obedience and Exactness

In Paul's epistle to the Romans we read, "By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." This refers primarily to the obedience to divine law manifested in all the earthly experience of Christ Jesus. Obedience is defined as "submission to rightful restraint or control," which is good so far as it goes, but a higher sense of obedience sees beyond the present hour, and gladly does that which makes for the universal good. It must have been in this sense that the psalmist said, "I delight to do thy will, O my God." It goes without saying that blind obedience to a self-constituted authority can only lead to revolt in the end, hence the necessity for a clear recognition of the law of right-doing, which to the Christian Scientist expresses the divine Principle of man and the universe.

In the article called "Obedience," which begins on page 116 of "Miscellaneous Writings," Mrs. Eddy says, "Obedience is the offspring of Love; and Love is the Principle of unity, the basis of all right thinking and acting; it fulfils the law." The entire article should often be studied by Christian Scientists, especially in view of this statement: "If in one instance obedience be lacking, you lose the scientific rule and its reward: namely, to be made 'ruler over many things.' " As it was our Master who declared that the faithful and obedient worker should be made "ruler over many things," we cannot afford to disregard his teachings on this essential point. Here it may be remarked that the one who readily obeys every right requirement develops both symmetry and strength of character, and that one must learn to rule himself before he can become a ruler of conditions on a wider sphere of action. The feats of the athlete illustrate in a remarkable way the results of obedience to certain rules. Although these are mainly limited to the physical plane, they point to what might be accomplished by at least equal devotion to a high ideal.

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Among the Churches
January 29, 1916
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