Overcoming a Bad Habit

It is hoped that the following statement of an intimate individual experience may bring help to those who need it. A beginner in Christian Science who was a user of tobacco, was present when another student asked a practitioner to give him one good reason for discontinuing the use of the weed. Naturally he listened very attentively to the answer, but when it was given and he had pondered it, it did not seem to his critical sense—in which at that time he still took a puerile pride—to be sufficient to change his opinion in the matter. Consequently, as he believed he found a great deal of harmless pleasure in indulging the habit, he continued to do so until he found a sufficient reason for abstinence. What appeared to him to be more important and more pressing problems, seemed to crowd upon him and to call urgently for solution, and so he went on for many months, still continuing apparently to find pleasure in this material indulgence.

Meantime the student sought and was permitted to obtain membership in a small congregation of Christian Scientists who had been striving for some years to build a suitable and commodious church edifice. Very properly he subscribed to the building fund of his church with earnest and assured faith that divine Love would enable him to meet this subscription to a worthy cause. But there ensued a long period of business depression and of seeming lack, and he was unable to meet his subscription or to pay any part of it. This state of apparent inaction continued for almost a year, and not even a single dollar had been spared toward the defraying of his just obligation. Many times during this period of stringency the student tried to face the situation manfully, so he believed, but was unable to solve the problem. The saving grace of patience, and an abiding faith that the solution of the problem would be revealed to him by divine Love, were his only guiding stars, while he was "like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."

Finally, in the Lesson-Sermon for the week there appeared this passage from Matthew's gospel: "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity." During that week the beautiful scientific truth of this statement was demonstrated. One night the student awakened from sleep in the middle of the darkest hours, and one of the angels of the Son of man (see Science and Health, p. 299) appeared to him. His attention was lovingly directed by Truth to the real reason why his subscription had not been fully paid, and he was no longer permitted to evade the facing of the truth.

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November 11, 1916

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