Longing versus Understanding

"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding." These words from Proverbs may come as a shock to the person taught to believe that happiness is gained only through material accumulations, pleasures, or power. God came to Solomon in a vision and said, "Ask what I shall give thee." Unlike the answer many might be tempted to give, if thus questioned, Solomon replied, "Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart." Reading further, we find it pleased God that he had desired understanding, and not wealth, long life, or vengeance upon his enemies. Solomon realized something of what Christian Science teaches to-day,—that the one who has spiritual understanding need not long for riches and power, because whatever is essential to harmonious being must inevitably unfold as the understanding of God and the real man is gained.

One of the first things which spiritual understanding reveals is the unreality of matter. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 505) Mrs. Eddy makes the following pointed statement: "Understanding is the line of demarcation between the real and unreal." Notwithstanding this truth, throughout human history mankind has been made restless by a host of unsatisfied longings. Many people do not know why or for what they are longing. Not often do we find one who longs for understanding above all else; yet the teachings of the Bible and of Christian Science explain clearly that right understanding will satisfy every longing and fill every need. A vivid picture of disconsolate longings is portrayed in the life of Job, who, after running the gamut of woes and tribulations, awakened to the understanding of God's omnipotence, and epitomized his awakening in the clarion declaration that has resounded through the ages: "I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth."

When one desires to bring out a Christian Science demonstration, his longings are of little worth without some understanding that man, made in God's image, is the real, while so-called mortal man is merely a counterfeit. If a bank cashier were informed that counterfeit notes were being circulated, and that he must be on the alert to see that none were accepted by him as real currency, he would not commence to study different spurious bills in order to recognize them. His first move would be to make sure that he understood the appearance of the genuine; then no counterfeit could deceive him.

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Dream Shadows
September 15, 1923

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