Spiritual Discernment

No student of Christian Science would deny that in order to attain the best results in healing, the clearest spiritual discernment is needed. Christ Jesus was preparing his disciples for the healing ministry in which he himself was engaged, and in studying the gospels we find that he very often rebuked the spiritual dullness manifested by the religionists of his time, and indeed by the disciples themselves. When the Pharisees asked the Master to "shew them a sign from heaven," he refused to come down to their plane of thought and said, "O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" They were too blind to see that his healing works were most truly signs from heaven.

In commenting upon the lack of spiritual discernment Mrs. Eddy says on page 85 of Science and Health: "It is recorded that Jesus, as he once journeyed with his students, 'knew their thoughts,'—read them scientifically. In like manner he discerned disease and healed the sick." It is, however, perfectly clear that no amount of prying into materiality or error will bring the results which accompany spiritual understanding or discernment. This may be illustrated even on the human plane when we deal with thought rather than with material things. A banker once said to a friend, that in listening to some explanations of Christian Science he had come to understand certain experiences which he had many years ago when he was a young bank clerk. He said that at that time a good many counterfeit bills were in circulation and he greatly feared that because of his inexperience he might accept them for the genuine, but in speaking to the president of the bank this gentleman told him that if he would study the genuine bills a good deal, find out all about them, there would be no danger of his being deceived by a counterfeit, that a single glance would show him the difference between that and the spurious and the genuine bill.

In the same way, one who is engaged in the work of healing learns through his understanding of divine Principle to detect quickly the error which must be destroyed in order that real healing may be experienced, and Mrs. Eddy makes this very plain throughout her entire teachings. She explains to students of her writings that both fear and sin must be uncovered and destroyed by the truth, and the practitioner who discerns any phase of error—insincerity, dishonesty, or impurity—in the thought of the patient, must first of all turn the light of Truth into the depths of his own thought and cast out whatever may remain therein of these errors. He will then be ready to face lovingly and effectively the task set before him of healing perfectly the human consciousness which has come to him for the aid that divine Science alone can give.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Special Announcement
March 15, 1919

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.