Our Daily Encounters

So often in our experience, particularly in our daily work, we meet those who seem to exert an influence on our lives, testing our dispositions, character, and ability to get along amiably with our fellow men. It is a time when tendencies heretofore unrecognized seem to manifest themselves, and which require what understanding of Christian Science we have to meet and master them. Thoughts of criticism, hatred, limitation, dissatisfaction, discouragement, cry out that they belong to us, although we have been innocent of the possession until some experience reveals their efforts to gain admittance as our consciousness.

Thoughts of criticism and hatred are sometimes born of a sense of jealousy. In our desire to be well thought of or liked by those whose opinions we value, or on the other hand, because of our belief of indifference toward us by those whom we have come to esteem, we magnify every act or word as being intentionally directed against us, and this seems to breed a sense of discord, which widens the breach until the very condition which our busy imaginations have concocted attains so-called reality. What is the solution? How shall we go about to restore that sense of harmony which we crave and which is the birthright of every one? Assuredly, there is but one way, and that is to solve the problem through the understanding of the Science of being. There is no other way; no one but God to whom we can turn, but oh! how glad we are that we can go to Him, who is our "very present help in trouble." This start in the right direction brings into operation the infinite application of Principle. Having knowingly acknowledged that God is Spirit, it follows that we must recognize that man, His image and likeness, must be spiritual, possessing and reflecting all the qualities and attributes of God. What becomes of the striving to be thought somewhat better than our fellows? If we admit that, as Mrs. Eddy says, "Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals" (Science and Health, p. 13), must we not also admit that each one of Love's countless ideas expresses just as much or as many of the Godlike qualities as another? If we see dishonesty or deceit or playing for favor expressed by those with whom we come in contact, is that our excuse for being merely humanly critical? Can we help any by this attitude? We have simply got to keep our hands off and let Truth uncover and destroy the error in its own way, or we are apt to become the victim of the thoughts we entertain and be judged accordingly. Every one usually knows his own faults without having us point the finger at him. Losing the sense of human criticism, we find that hatred usually goes with it, and this gives us a sense of freedom which savors of that "peace of God, which passeth all understanding."

We are apt to clothe those whom we esteem and admire with an unusual amount of intelligence and wisdom, and then proceed to measure our worth according to what we think is their estimate of us. Do we know enough to merit their recognition, or when in their company do we feel that we can talk to them as equals? The answer is often "No," and of course, naturally, this brings with it the thought of limitation, either because we have not had sufficient schooling or because our environment in earlier years has not been such as to have fitted us, in our opinion, for association with those who, we think, may be a little above us socially. We then look about to see how we can improve ourselves to gain their approbation, perhaps along paths foreign to our inclinations, temporarily forgetting, perhaps, that in our study of Christian Science we are getting an education in all the sciences, and the only education that really counts; for, said Jesus, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." We may think that our lack of education or our physique, or what not, may stand in the way of our progress, but when we know that God is infinite Mind, and that man reflects intelligence in abundance, which is true wealth; that man is not physical, but is the spiritual idea of Mind, we stand ready for the work which God has planned for us, knowing that there is no obstruction created by any other so-called mind which can block the expression of God's unerring law.

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December 25, 1920

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