The Most Troublesome Patient

Among the first things the earnest beginner learns in Christian Science is that he starts out at once with an unexpected patient on his hands, and one of the most troublesome he will ever have to deal with. None can come to him in the future who will demand more of his attention, none who will be more difficult to manage, none who will be more insistent, more unreasonable, or more selfish. This patient, of course, is he himself; and discovery of this fact will be no less interesting than disturbing.

One new in Science, who for the first time awakens to the realization that healing, like charity, begins at home, is likely to be not only surprised, but amazed, at the number and variety of the claims which this first and troublesome patient makes upon his sympathy, his prejudices, and his affections. Here is presented to him an exposition of self which he never thought existed, or could exist, in such close proximity and intimacy.

He would not believe it possible had he not made the discovery himself! It seems to him utterly incredible that he could have been for so long a time on close terms with one so steeped in self-will, self-righteousness, self-conceit, self-satisfaction, and at the same time so deeply immersed in self-exculpation and self-apology. Why, this patient, as he appears to the awakened consciousness of the young Scientist, seems to have been literally engrossed and wrapped in self-contemplation! His whole aim apparently is to attract attention to himself, to enlist interest in himself, to induce sympathy toward himself. One moment he is bent upon self-admiration, the next upon self-condemnation. Now he is obsessed with the thought of self-dependence; again he is in the depths of self-debasement. He confesses, he denies, he is frank, he is secretive, he is abashed, he is bold. He makes a parade of self-pride, or he is crushed beneath self-humiliation.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

November 26, 1927

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.