Will Power

The true idea of will is defined in the Glossary of the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy (p. 597), in part as, "The might and wisdom of God." This must be then the only will power there really is. Mortal mind, however, believes in and values a counterfeit will power. Students of Christian Science, when first beginning to realize how much alteration is needed in their character, how many bad habits have to be broken down, how much self-indulgence and apathy must be overcome, and finding that this reformation is not accomplished without a struggle, sometimes express fear lest they should be using will power. The study of Science and Health has taught them that "Human will-power is not Science" (p. 144) and that "Human will is an animal propensity, not a faculty of Soul. Hence it cannot govern man aright" (p. 490). Consequently they fear any use of the human will, and are inclined to think it safest not to make much effort, but to wait in hope that with more study of Christian Science the instantaneous healing of faults, such as they sometimes hear and read of, may come to them. But this cannot be the right way of facing the difficulty.

In our present experience healing is not always instantaneous. More often great patience and perseverance are necessary in overcoming the error that has enslaved us in the past. The striving against evil certainly implies use of will, but there need be no fear of using it if we remember Mrs. Eddy's warning on page 206 of Science and Health, "The power of the human will should be exercised only in subordination to Truth." If our motive in striving to overcome any form of error is the desire to be obedient to the voice of Truth, then we may be sure that the power we use in fighting error is not erring human will power but is the right idea of will, the "might and wisdom of God." The time will come, as we gain more spiritual understanding, when obedience to Truth will no longer seem to us to be a struggle against our human desires, but it will be, on the contrary, the fulfillment of our hearts' strongest desire.

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August 13, 1921

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