Overcoming Evil Suggestions

[Written Especially for Young People]

A Problem commonly presented to the young Christian Scientist leaving his home for the first time to attend college, or for other reasons, is that of having to make his own decisions, to choose between right and wrong. Until then his parents may have helped him in his choice of friends, and thus he has been protected from harmful contacts. Drinking and smoking and other evil ways of living have thus far been discarded as not to be indulged in.

But when this young person finds himself away from home, thrown among persons representing many types of mortal mind, he may find seemingly logical arguments presented in support of these very evils from which his parents have all along protected him. Perhaps he is even tempted to feel inferior because he does not fall in with these so-called broad-minded ways. In fact, the arguments of mortal mind seem so real that, if accepted, they are apt to cause confusion in the thoughts of the young Christian Scientist. Being confronted with this subtle form of error, manifested by many of those with whom he is thrown, he may begin to wonder if his parents are not too strict. Perhaps, the error whispers, he has seen only one side of life, and in order that he may be well balanced and broad-minded he should not shut out these so-called broadening actions from his experience. Then, too, what real harm can there be in occasional drinking and smoking, so long as he thinks he will never acquire the habit?

Such was the mental state of a certain Christian Scientist who had been brought up by very strict New England parents. She had always heard the evils of drinking and smoking severely condemned. During her childhood and until the age limit of twenty years had been reached she had attended the Christian Science Sunday School. Both her parents were active church members in the Christian Science organization, and they furnished a very good example of Christian Science lived and demonstrated in all daily problems. Still, the counterarguments came to her consciousness and clamored for logical answers. Her association with the Christian Science Society at the university through her four years of college experience truly was a steadying influence, and innumerable times served as a haven during storms.

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August 19, 1933

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