Learning to Obey

THE story of Naaman's healing from leprosy, in the fifth chapter of II Kings, contains a familiar but valuable lesson, in that it shows how necessary simple obedience is. When Elisha, the man of God, told Naaman to go and wash in the river Jordan seven times, and that thereby he would be cleansed, Naaman was angry and went away in a rage. Why should he do such a simple thing, after coming such a long way to be healed? Were there not rivers near his home just as good as Jordan? or why did not Elisha ask him to do some great thing; or why did not this man of God recognize his importance and position and do something worth while for him, after his coming so far? Finally, when Naaman overcame his pride and stubbornness, his arguing and outlining as to just how the healing work should be done, and did as he was told,—in other words, when he learned obedience,—then "his flesh. came again like unto the flesh of a little child. and he was clean."

To-day, so-called mortal mind is always arguing that some other way is just as good; that some literature other than the authorized Christian Science literature makes the subject of Christian Science clearer, and is more simple; that some particularly rhythmic verse or prayer, or formula even, if repeated daily, will get results much more quickly than Christianly scientific thinking; and that these same formulas are valuable to pass on to those just beginning to study Christian Science! Why is it apparently so much easier to disobey than simply to obey?

In her Message to The Mother Church for 1900 (p. 8) Mrs. Eddy says, "Learn to obey; but learn first what obedience is;" and on page 116 of "Miscellaneous Writings" the following statement as to obedience occurs: "Never absent from your post, never off guard, never ill-humored, never unready to work for God,—is obedience." Let the business man or woman, the housewife, the teacher,—in fact any and all,—endeavor to "learn to obey" by honestly, earnestly striving to be obedient to those four simple rules given in that quotation.

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February 2, 1924

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