"That a man hath"

"If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not." Although this statement of Paul's seems to have special reference to the giving of alms, it surely has also a wonderful significance in relation to those other graces of which he also speaks with special commendation: "faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and ... all diligence, and ... love."

As the young student progresses in his study of Christian Science, and learns to discern more clearly than ever before between right and wrong, he sometimes finds himself becoming correspondingly critical in his judgment of some of his fellow men for not measuring up to their new-found standard of right. He has learned so far to feel repelled by evil, but he has not seen, perhaps, that in order to destroy its seeming power in human consciousness he must in his daily thinking give preponderance to good. Even the older student may find himself criticizing a fellow worker, one who may be healing, cheering, and comforting the heavy-laden, and yet in whose character there still obtain some old faults laid upon him by the false beliefs of heredity, education, nationality.

In this connection there came suddenly to a student the words of Paul, "It is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not." The words seemed to stand out with a new and deeper meaning, and to illumine the quality of charity with that vision which must have come to Paul when he also wrote: "Charity ... rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.... Charity never faileth.... For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." While we are measuring and analyzing the good and the bad in our fellow men, what God knows of us and of them is good only, and this spiritual good He accepts for His service. This is the positive and real—"that a man hath." Evil, which Christian Science teaches is "the absence of good" (Retrospection and Introspection, p. 60), is therefore a negation, and surely, scientifically speaking, "that he hath not."

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

August 1, 1931

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.