From the Scriptures as well as from all our human experiences we learn that the mastery of anything which to material sense seems difficult is the surest way to reach perfect joy. Throughout the New Testament the idea of overcoming is practically synonymous with that of mastering difficulties of any sort, and experience proves that this is true in all we attempt; for it matters little whether or not mortals recognize this great truth, the demands of Principle and the result of obedience thereto are unvarying. Knowing this the great Teacher might well say, "Every one that is perfect shall be as his master."

To the student of Christian Science it is of the utmost importance in all our activities to gain the right viewpoint, and thus it is well to remember our Leader's statement in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 427), "The belief that existence is contingent on matter must be met and mastered by Science, before Life can be understood and harmony obtained." The difficulties which are apparent to material sense in all our endeavor are the result of belief in matter and in material resistance to the divine demand for perfection. If we take by way of illustration the efforts of great artists, there is the belief that it is nearly impossible for them to express the splendid ideals which inspire all their efforts, because, for instance, of the solidity of a block of marble in the work of the sculptor, and also the belief that his own mentality is confined within the limits of a material body so that, as Paul once said, he cannot do the things that he would.

It cannot, however, be denied that in all these lines, even of which we are accustomed to think and speak as human effort, the joy which follows, which indeed accompanies, all brave and faithful effort, is the true reward of the work; and it matters not how lowly that work may seem to mortal sense, the worker cannot be deprived of his joy if he is seeking mastery aright and proving step by step that the real master is divine Mind. At this point it is well to ponder Paul's words to the Corinthians, his conclusion being reached from watching those engaged in the Roman games. He says, "Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things." To this he adds, "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection." This mastery of the body means much more than it could ever have done to Roman soldiers or athletes, because the aim of the Christian Scientist is much higher than that of anyone who works from a material basis. In his efforts toward the mastery of the body he begins with thought, and often finds to his sad surprise that he has on his hands something which closely resembles a large family of uncontrolled children.

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The New World of Individual Freedom
April 5, 1919

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