"In the paths of righteousness"

"He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." Thus sang David centuries ago; and this sweet assurance has been ringing out for all mankind ever since. What multitudes of men and women, weary and worn with the apparent struggle against sin and suffering in themselves and others, have turned to these words to gain new hope and courage to go forward! In the longing to know the way to peace and harmony, to health and holiness, who has not found the assertion, "He leadeth me," of inestimable comfort? And the truth it declares is unlimited in its redemptive work in human experience. Through time and through eternity divine Love's guiding will ever be present; it must, therefore, be ever available in its perfect activity.

Now since this all-sufficient, divine guidance is always at hand, why is it that men have so frequently sought it, apparently, in vain? What is the reason they so often fail to realize how to understand and follow it? "He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness." Ah! There is one difficulty! "In the paths of righteousness," — and human belief is not looking in that direction! Men often call on God for guidance; they often pray earnestly to be shown the right; and then they wonder why they still fail to see clearly, and still stumble on in darkness and doubt. Christian Science not only explains the reason for this apparent failure but is itself the way out of it.

Christian Science shows plainly and insists strongly on the fact that the only paths God knows are "the paths of righteousness," and therefore He can only guide therein; so, how futile to seek His guidance anywhere else! It uncovers the mistake which men have made in expecting that God would lead them in the way they wished humanly to go. Always when they fail to see His leading, they may know it is because their way has not yet become His way. They have not yet desired purely enough to walk "in the paths of righteousness." As Christian Scientists we often believe we desire to follow His guidance fully, and it appears sometimes quite difficult to convince ourselves that one great reason we do not see clearly is that we have not yet allowed the light of Truth to shine sufficiently on our way to indicate how wide and far we are straying; we are not yet ready to say, Thy will, not mine; we have not yet learned there is no satisfaction outside of His paths. We still seem sometimes to believe that the human way is better, pleasanter than the divine. Whenever we do not discern the right way quickly, we may know that we have still to wait patiently on Truth in order that it may uncover the personal preference, personal purpose, personal desire which must be relinquished before the path of righteousness can be plainly seen.

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May 5, 1923

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