Inspiring Motives

In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy gives encouragement to all mankind in saying (p. 326): "The purpose and motive to live aright can be gained now. This point won, you have started as you should. You have begun at the numeration-table of Christian Science, and nothing but wrong intention can hinder your advancement." Occasionally during the centuries there have appeared those whose motives were so pure, so selfless, that their lives became epoch-making. In their day and generation because they were not understood they were persecuted, and sometimes they won a martyr's crown. The service of such exalted lives is to uplift the ideals of humanity. When the history of those who were the best of men is introduced into human thought, the leaven of their example makes many men desire to be at least good. Christianity has been engaged in its battle with evil for ages, but as time moves on its strength increases, due to the swelling number of those becoming amenable to the influence of right motives. The old world is passing away far faster than the unthoughtful may believe, and all things are becoming new in a way incomprehensible to some of the worldly wise. Peter spoke of the dissolving of the elements at "the coming of the day of God." But with assurance he said, "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."

The motives usually furnished to children or explained to them as desirable draw their phrasing from memories of the older people connected with the struggle for existence; hence the commendation of thrift, of saving, of looking out for number one, and the warning against easy benevolence, too much charity, as well as extravagance and wastefulness. These admonitions connect themselves with love of life, but our Master said that a man had actually to hate his own life,—in other words, he had to esteem his personal sense of comfort in life as ever so much less important than his discipleship. When only the truly right motives prevail, those who feel them have no great cognizance of the flesh and its desires and fears. In their life activity they become inspired and inspiring because of their recognition of Principle, and their reward comes to them from God first, not from men primarily; though the old proverb may have to be changed through the prophet receiving honor from his own country and love from his own brethren.

August 2, 1919

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