Growth and Reassurance

The human mind wants to be better, and tries to be improved by meditating on failures and by making good resolves. But true humility is not self-depreciation, nor does self-condemnation necessarily involve progress. Furthermore, fine resolves may be only as a glittering mirage or a vanishing dream. The fact is, that betterment and progress depend upon growth which is normal, not upon either condemnation or justification of one's self, which may produce false humility or else Pharisaism. In either extreme God is lost. One man is too bad, he says, for God to save, too sick for God to heal; another man is too satisfied with self to feel any need of God. In neither case may proper growth go on, for in metaphysics growth is just enjoyment of the presence of God, and in consequence a naturally increasing expression of goodness and joy and true life.

Let us count the gains of each solar year. Its cycle of sowing, reaping, seedtime and harvest, affords illustration of spiritual husbandry. The man whose fertile land brought him abundance, so that he felt he could rest in material ease and had "much goods laid up for many years," in that sinking down into materiality was shown to be losing his life by the very condition he thought to be the gaining of life. In other words, what mortal sense holds to as the support of life is the limitation of real life. The invalid, guarded from inclemency of weather, provided with every delicacy of food, absorbing the time and service of many attendants, is really slipping away from the glory and freedom of useful life. Therefore our Leader says (Science and Health, p. 376): "The pallid invalid, whom you declare to be wasting away with consumption of the blood, should be told that blood never gave life and can never take it away,—that Life is Spirit, and that there is more life and immortality in one good motive and act than in all the blood, which ever flowed through mortal veins and simulated a corporeal sense of life."

The Pharisee of old, whose servants would blow a trumpet to announce his almsgiving, whose prayer in public was self-glorification, who in fact thought himself to be acting so righteously that he could despise others, was actually so limited in love and humanity as to be the simulacrum of a man. The follwing definition of the word Pharisee is found in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 592): "Corporeal and sensuous belief; self-righteousness; vanity; hypocrisy." The test of a true man is ability to recognize manhood wherever it is demonstrated. The boast regarding Jesus, "Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?" was really a severe judgment on the speakers. We hear of one of the Pharisees who did come to Jesus; but he came by night, limited by his fear of criticism.

"Labour not for the meat which perisheth"
April 26, 1919

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