Ability versus Distrust

So long as we believe that some one else can do things a little better than we can, we shall not be able to get very far along the road to perfection in any line of work. We all have aspirations to do that which is worth while and to do it well; but many of us listen to the low depressing prelude, "This is not for you." The moment we yield to this personal sense, we have allowed discouragement, self-pity, or resignation to evil to enter our consciousness; in other words, we have accepted the thought of inability or distrust of God, which is the greatest barrier to human progress.

Now on page 233 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes, "Progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil." And again on page 260 we read: "Science reveals the possibility of achieving all good, and sets mortals at work to discover what God has already done; but distrust of one's ability to gain the goodness desired and to bring out better and higher results, often hampers the trial of one's wings and ensures failure at the outset." We must awaken to the fact that because some one else has attained desired results, this very fact is proof positive that we also can attain, because God is "no respecter of persons."

It is plain that to arrive at any desired result necessitates at least one very important step, namely, that of beginning. We must learn to walk before we can run; we must learn to climb before we can reach the heights, and this we can accomplish only through persistent effort. We cannot afford to trust our welfare entirely to others; we must work out our own salvation, remembering that God works with us. It is also well to remember that we are all confronted with much the same obstacles on the upward road, but that though each day presents its duties, we have the right to know that we also have the ability to perform these duties. This sense of individual ability is brought out in the following lines of Henry van Dyke:—

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Straight Lines and Plumb Lines
January 27, 1917
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