Right Reliance

With all of their egotism and vaunting, materially-minded mortals have never claimed anything approaching self-existence. Even according to human belief they are dependent upon something other than themselves for their health, happiness, and existence. Due to false education most men throughout human history have turned to and trusted in matter because they have believed that it holds and determines the issues of health and sickness, pleasure and pain, life and death. But, according to the Bible, there have been many through succeeding generations who have seen the error and futility of material dependence and have at least glimpsed the fact that right reliance calls for faith in and understanding of God, Spirit. Among the inspiring and instructive examples of these found in the Old Testament are Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and the prophets.

Christ Jesus knew better than all others that God, Spirit, is the great I AM, the only self-existent Life, Truth, Love, the sole cause and creator of all reality. The Master also knew the impotence, falsity, and utter unreliability of matter and material means and methods. So, in calling men to turn to God and trust in Spirit, he said: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." In recounting the healing by Christ Jesus, at the pool of Bethesda, of one who had had an infirmity thirty-eight years, John mentions that there was present "a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered." Apparently all with the one exception were so intent in looking to the supposedly curative water of the pool that they were not receptive to the healing message and power of the Christ. All these might have been healed as was the impotent one had they been willing to serve God and trust Him instead of the mammon of superstition and material belief.

In this connection this correlative statement by Mrs. Eddy in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 167) is arresting and helpful: "Only through radical reliance on Truth can scientific healing power be realized." Receptivity to spiritual ideas and consistent trust in God are essential to Christian healing today, as they were in Jesus' time. Knowing that Spirit and matter "are contrary the one to the other," clear-thinking Christian Scientists do not attempt to mix material means with spiritual. A young student of Christian Science, who had been healed after doctors had despaired of helping him, was tempted to believe in a painful condition from which he had suffered previously. He had destroyed all his medicines except one he had employed for this trouble. Although he wished to help himself with Christian Science, his belief that this medicine had been efficacious finally led him to apply it. But relief was not received as before; in fact the condition was aggravated. This led him to see that it had not been the medicine which had relieved him previously, but faith in it had seemed to give it power. Then he turned whole-heartedly to God and was freed quickly.

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Among the Churches
January 20, 1934

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