Reading Our Literature

In his second epistle to Timothy, Paul says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Upon being told to go to a reading room to read some of the Christian Science literature, the writer, in his early experience, was filled with a sense of doubt as to what good that would do, since he had always been in the habit of using some remedy in the event of sickness. He did not at that time understand the limitless power of a right idea to overcome sickness and sin; but from an earnest study of the literature he found himself being raised up gradually from "the valley of the shadow of death," as it were, from that which physicians and material medicine had failed to cure. Then he saw the immense value to a sick person of the authorized literature of Christian Science.

As he progressed in the study of this wondrous truth, he found that the mere reading of the words, without getting the essence contained therein, was shallow emptiness, doing "no more for mortals than can moonbeams to melt a river of ice," as our Leader says on page 241 of Science and Health. Above all he found that the thing of vital consideration was to perceive and to comprehend the spiritual ideas which are portrayed on each page of our literature, for by them we are healed. Does not obedience to Paul's admonition to Timothy, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God," consist in perceiving, comprehending, and utilizing these spiritual ideas, which are found in the Bible, in all of our Leader's writings, and also in our periodicals? When one gains the perception of these right ideas, he is indeed "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed," for he is "rightly dividing the word of truth." By accepting and making these ideas a part of his consciousness, he is being transformed by the renewing of the mind; spiritual ideas are taking the place of false material beliefs and making for him all things new.

After one has put his hand to the plow of right purpose he is not left unmolested when he endeavors to study our literature, for he begins to find that the mortal or carnal mind, which is "enmity against God," raises no little stir in its attempts to keep him from even reading the inspired Word. This seeming resistance to the truth does not obtain in God, and therefore it cannot hinder man, as His reflection, from getting all that God has prepared for him. One of the many baseless arguments of mortal mind is the suggestion that one has not enough time to read all that he would like; but the progressive Christian Scientist is not ignorant of its devices. He can discern the subtle influences that tend to hinder him from getting what "God hath prepared for them that love him;" he also knows that each article has a definite message. He knows that should he cease partaking of this spiritual food he would be deprived of the spiritual nutriment so necessary to his progressive unfoldment. He indeed has no time for nonessentials or anything that concerns evil, but he has abundant time, and in reality has all eternity, to seek and find that which is beautiful, good, and true.

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Man's Unity with God
October 26, 1918

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