True Contentment and True Discontent

All the world is trying to decide what true contentment is and when discontent is a virtue. Men have generally been convinced that satisfaction can never be attained without contentment; but they have no sooner gained what they believe to be such content than they wonder whether or not they have a right to rest satisfied,—whether they should not be discontented,—when something more may still be won. They have been tormented with an inability to draw for themselves the exact line of demarcation between right and wrong on this subject, a subject which they agree has much to do with determining human happiness and conduct. Men long ago concluded they should be content only with good, and discontented with evil. The question, however, still remained: Where is the dividing line between good and evil, between right and wrong?

When Christian Science was given to the world with its great revelation that all reality is Spirit and spiritual, it lifted the veil of ambiguity in regard to both content and discontent; for it showed plainly that as long as existence is considered from a material standpoint, there can be no invariable standard by which to judge anything. As long as one thinks from the basis of matter, he finds himself constantly lured on to a yet greater desire for matter. Men have often called such discontent a virtue because they have imagined that what they have denominated as higher goals of material, personal achievement were worthy and their efforts to reach them laudable. But what of contentment under such circumstances? Has not every so-called summit which has been attained through selfish material desire but shown some supposedly more impossible pinnacle of matter for which one must continue to struggle? And always matter! Matter! And yet more matter!

But what said Paul? "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content;" while the writer of Hebrews declared in similar strain, "Be content with such things as ye have." The way to obey these injunctions perfectly can only be found as one follows the teaching of Christian Science. This Science starts out by proclaiming the truth that only through understanding Spirit and spirituality can the division line between right and wrong be clearly defined and a correct attitude towards both content and discontent be secured. It is through awakening to the all-satisfying nature of Spirit and its realities that one begins to recognize how comparatively valueless are the possessions of matter. Then the true contentment which inevitably accompanies every gain of spirituality embraces with its calm and peace and harmony one's present sense of surroundings and affairs, and the disquietude of discontent begins to disappear from his consciousness.

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Admission to The Mother Church
September 25, 1926

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