Words versus Ideas

Spiritual ideas, derived from the eternal Mind, are potent to heal all our diseases. Through the discovery of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy lifted religion out of the region of dogma, and placed it forever in the domain of ideas—ideas vibrant with truth. Realizing the danger in a religion which is made up of mere words, she warned her students against the use of formulas in their practice of Christianity.

A Christian Scientist was confronted one day with a rather serious problem. He declared over and over again that God, good, was all-powerful and ever present, and that evil, therefore, was powerless and nowhere; but harmony did not seem to be forthcoming. Then he ceased his reiteration of words and asked himself the simple questions: Do you really believe that God is all-powerful and ever present? Do you truly believe that evil has no power anywhere, at any time? He was greatly surprised, after making an honest examination of his thinking, to see how far he was from realizing these great truths. Instead of allowing himself to become discouraged, however, he honestly acknowledged the fact that a thorough mental house-cleaning was needed. He determined not to answer these questions until the replies came from true conviction. Instead, he asked himself again and again: Do you really believe God is so everywhere present that sickness, sin, and lack are nowhere present with anyone at any time? He looked out of his office window over a troubled world, and sighed, It's difficult. The material senses argued that evil was everywhere present and very powerful. It was easy enough to yield assent to the truth in words, but to do so with one's soul and heart and mind was quite different. He discovered that it took "radical reliance on Truth" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mrs. Eddy, p. 167) to be a real Christian Scientist. He saw that he could not in the slightest degree use material sense testimony to determine the correct answers, and so he turned through spiritual sense to God. He asked the above searching question many times without answering outright. Each time he sought to turn from a material mirage to spiritual reality. Each time it was easier. He began to understand how Jesus could say, "Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?" Finally, the testimony of the spiritual senses was so overwhelming and predominant in his thinking that he could answer with a feeling of positiveness, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." And to his great joy he found a wonderful sense of harmony reigning where discord had seemed to be. He had lifted his treatment out of formula into the realm of pure and perfect ideas, and this process healed him.

"And he put them all out"
February 13, 1932

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