"To depart from evil is understanding"

It may be truly said that the great desire of every sincere student of Christian Science is for increased understanding of God and His law. In answer to the question, "How can I progress most rapidly in the understanding of Christian Science?" Mrs. Eddy has replied, "Study thoroughly the letter and imbibe the spirit" (Science and Health, p. 495). In this connection it is helpful to study in her writings the many references to spiritual food and to the digestion and assimilation of this food. In speaking of the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," her instructions are: "Study it, ponder it. It will be indeed sweet at its first taste, when it heals you; but murmur not over Truth, if you find its digestion bitter" (Science and Health, p. 559). Indigestion, nonassimilation and malnutrition may seem quite as common in the mental as in the so-called physical realm. Are we able to recognize the symptoms and apply the remedy? Probably every student of Christian Science has at some time been beset with the thought that he ought to study all the time in order to progress. We have all heard the familiar remark, "I just have to spend every spare minute with my books these days." Yet the student should not lean in thought upon mere reading, rather than upon the demonstration of the truth set forth in our Leader's writings.

Too little digestion and assimilation of the truth may seem to cause a stoppage of action and of unfoldment of understanding. We know it is necessary for us daily to seek our spiritual food, and there are crises in every one's human experience which require much consecrated study. Every paragraph carefully studied and then applied will enlarge our understanding of God as nothing else can, and will thereby open up the meaning of other paragraphs which we now seem unable to grasp. Experience teaches that as we go about our daily tasks. no matter how material they may seem to be, the spiritual ideas previously gained through study will come back to our thought with new meaning and illumined in their application. We need to think over what we have been reading, as certainly as we need to study. Indeed, reading is not always study, but to read, mark, and inwardly digest is to study. The preparation for every emergency must come, not solely through study, but through learning to distinguish between the right thought and the wrong, to choose the good and reject the evil. We need never fear that we shall be left in any situation without a thought of Truth to guide us, for these thoughts from God are the proof of His presence, and since God, infinite Mind, is everywhere present there can be no place where God's thoughts are lacking.

Spiritual Life
November 19, 1921

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