"Know thyself"

On page 571 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy says, "Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil;" and on page 454 she declares, "Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action." How are we to know ourselves except through self-examination, or the searching of our thoughts to ascertain the motive for our every word and action? Very often when we apply this test, a great deal of error is uncovered, and we are forced to admit that we have not yet reached those loving qualities of thought which make us willing to give up all for Christ.

Do we earnestly seek Truth for its own sake, or because we want more ease and comfort in matter? Does love for God and man impel our every thought and act; or is self-love governing our thinking? Are we willing to serve humbly, that we may glorify our Father which is in heaven; or do we desire for ourselves the glory and praise which belong to God? Have we been willing to wait patiently on God to direct our paths; or have we blindly followed human will?

The writer has found in her own experience that a series of questions along the lines indicated above is very helpful in assisting her to know herself; and she has been able to trace back to one and the same cause the majority of wrong motives, namely, to self-love. This work of introspection need not be an unhappy experience; for it should be done with no thought of self-condemnation, but as the result of a great desire to eliminate all that is unlike good from our thinking. Jesus said, "Cast out first the beam out of thine own eye." If we are really sincere in our desire for right motives, no doubt many times we shall cry unto God, as did David, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

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November 3, 1923

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