Individual Responsibility

Many men either consider that they are weighed down with responsibility for themselves and others, or else they imagine they can shift all obligations on to their fellow-men and thereby free themselves from all responsibility. This is because they have not understood their relation to God or to each other, but have fancied they have an existence apart from Him. They have therefore largely left God out of their calculations and have believed they could assume the responsibility of working out their problems independently of Him. Starting with this mistaken premise it has been a natural conclusion that they had the right to become responsible for the problems of their neighbors. These pernicious beliefs of false responsibility have hindered spiritual progress and have been the cause of many a heartache, of many a disappointment.

Now Christian Science reveals the great facts that God includes all true responsibility and that men reflect this responsibility individually. Mrs. Eddy states this clearly in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 295), where she says: "God creates and governs the universe, including man. The universe is filled with spiritual ideas, which He evolves, and they are obedient to the Mind that makes them." Here is deliverance from all false responsibility for ourselves or others! Here is the truth which places squarely before all men the glorious fact that God alone knows enough to govern His creation! This does not in any way free men from obedience to law, but brings them into right submission to it.

Our beloved Master, Christ Jesus,—our Exemplar and our Way-shower,—did all his work from the standpoint of God's all-embracing control. Because he understood that his individual responsibility consisted in proving himself the image and likeness of God, he relied absolutely upon and lived in perfect obedience to divine Mind. Since he knew that God demanded this same allegiance from all men, he never attempted to take God's place, and therefore was never found making himself responsible for others. Jesus did not assume control of his mother, his brethern, his disciples. He did not run after the nine lepers to see why they did not come back to glorify God; nor did he pursue the rich young man in the mistaken endeavor to prevail upon him to become his disciple.

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September 13, 1924

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