Preaching and Practice

How often does a young student of Christian Science, with the impetuous enthusiasm of a beginner, rebel against the counsel of an older and wiser student, not to talk unnecessarily about this wonderful truth, but to try to live it instead! The inclination to talk about Christian Science seems irresistible to some. The illumination it has brought seems so wonderful and is so beautiful, that surely the sooner every one knows about it, the better, they think. Why not talk about it? It is so reasonable to those who have caught a glimpse of the truth is reveals, that it seems as though every one must wish the same light and accept its guidance. This, however, is to reckon without the material thought of the world, the "carnal mind," which, the Bible tells us, "is enmity against God;" and experience teaches us that this so-called mind has to be reckoned with as it presents its claim of enmity.

One young student who disregarded the advice to let her life, rather than her tongue, talk, soon found herself surrounded by such criticism and enmity that she longed to get away entirely from her environment; and because this was not practicable, she went through a severe struggle, which, had she been wiser, might have been avoided. She found that those to whom she had talked were not slow to point to certain plainly apparent faults in her character, and to imply that she had better practice before preaching to others.

Slowly this student came to see that, although she herself had had sufficient proof of the healing power of the truth, as revealed in Christian Science, to make her accept its teaching with gladness; and although in her heart she knew that with the help of this truth she was surely, if slowly, overcoming many of the faults referred to, still, others did not know of the inward struggles and victories, whereas the failures were very easy to be seen. When an old enemy in the form of a violent temper would gain the ascendancy, she did not relish their retort that Christian Science did not seem to have done her much good. In humility she had to acknowledge that the better course would have been quietly to live the truth until these errors had been overcome. The physical healing she was seeking also seemed to be coming but slowly at this time; and other physical discords were manifested. These were overcome with the help of a friend, who again pointed out the need for applying the truth in daily living, instead of spending time vainly talking about it. Needless to say, progress was made more rapidly after this; and although one with whom she lived met her assertion that she did not wish to talk about it with the reply that she should not be ashamed of her religion, she knew it was not shame but divine wisdom that was guiding her, for she had learned her lesson and refused to be drawn into argument, saying she had tried talking and found that living was the better way.

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White-winged Messengers
September 22, 1923

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