"Be ye therefore perfect"

TO the neophyte in Christian Science, it is naturally difficult to accept the verity of its insistent declaration that all that is real is perfect and eternal. But this is not surprising when one recognizes that the entire trend of his training and education, having been attained through the acceptance of sense testimony, supports his belief in the reality of an imperfect and wholly transitory existence. From the time of his earliest recollections, life has seemed to be made up of a succession of countless experiences emphasizing humanity's imperfections. Scarcely anything that he observes from day to day seems to offer the slightest justification in concluding that the attainment of perfection can rightly be regarded as a present possibility. But, on the contrary, the imperfections and frailties of the human race beset him on every hand. Whither, in these circumstances, is he to look for a perfect state except, perchance, through a vague belief that it may await him beyond the grave?

It is little wonder, therefore, when he is confronted with the teachings of Christian Science, declaring uncompromisingly that the entire universe, including man, is spiritual and not material, here and now perfect, that the beginner should find himself somewhat perplexed and confused. Is he truly prepared to relinquish his preconceptions concerning a so-called material existence with its imperfections and limitations? Realizing that these beliefs and the attending suggestions of imperfection have brought much pain and sorrow, he finds himself quite ready to turn his serious attention to a contemplation of Christian Science in the hope that it may point the way of deliverance to him. He asks himself if, after all, as Mrs. Eddy teaches, so-called material existence, subject to change and dissolution, is but the misconception of that which is actual and real. Can it be true that the belief of life in matter is, in truth, no part of God's plan, and that man, the infinite reflection or idea in divine Mind, has always been perfect and will so continue throughout eternity, as Christian Science insists? The answer brings hope and confidence, for it declares in the words of John, "Now are we the sons of God." This being so, evil and every form of human imperfection are no part of the divine inheritance. There can be no other. The consciousness of this truth destroys his doubts and fears, while the floodgates of joy and encouragement open wide before him.

Now Christ Jesus commanded his followers to be perfect. This injunction was certainly not intended merely for those who were within the range of his voice. It was addressed to all his followers, both at that particular time and for all time to come. For he declared, on another occasion, that heaven and earth would pass away but that his words would not pass away. Can any one doubt that Jesus of Nazareth knew, beyond question, that his command to be perfect could be obeyed? An admission of anything less than this would convert his immortal words into a mere mockery. Obviously, the Master did not demand perfection of his disciples without a full knowledge that perfection was attainable, practically and demonstrably. Every instance of healing, then and now, must, of necessity, elevate thought, in a degree, out of the ignorant beliefs of imperfection into a definite knowledge of the perfection of man, abiding forever in the infinitude of perfect Mind.

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Faith versus Sight
May 28, 1921

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