Individual Experience

Paul's exhortation, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure," calls for individual effort and overcoming. In obeying this call, the experience of each student of Christian Science is his own. It differs from that of every other, in that each individual is distinct from every other. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 588) Mrs. Eddy refers to "man and woman unchanged forever in their individual characters; and in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 236) she points out that a certain reference in Science and Health "will greatly aid the students in their individual experiences." Thus a special value attaches to each student's testimonial. It is unique; but it can also reach and help one's neighbor through its general likeness to his own experience.

Can any student of Christian Science, then, consent to withhold his individual testimony to the healing and saving power of his acquaintance with God, however limited that may be, when he realizes that there can be no other testimony just like it? There may be some spiritual truth revealed in one's experience through which another may hear God speaking to him at just the point where he needs a helping hand. Thus are we stewards of God's Word. One of the most convincing proofs of the universal truth of Christian Science is the satisfying results that follow obedience to its teachings along any line of human experience.

For many years a student of Christian Science had suffered from timidity and fear of failure in her special line of work. Much time and effort had been spent in acquiring concentration and adequate memory, and in fixing attention upon the pattern of beauty and artistic perfection. But the sense of self and fear of failure always seemed to be uppermost. One day, after a searching analysis of self, there came to her a wonderful inspiration in the words, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." "Now," then, meant every moment of preparation as much as the moment of realization. "Now" meant that there was really no difference between them. The sense of time was wiped out. Little by little, as she followed up this inspired thought in all her work, the mental tension that had held her in bondage for so long finally vanished entirely. She has for many years done public work of various kinds without any mental tension, and with only the conscious effort required for the worthy performance of any task.

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Bearing Witness
May 2, 1931

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