Love, or Fear?

At the Wednesday testimony meetings and the annual Thanksgiving Day services in Christian Science churches those who have been healed by the understanding of God's law, as revealed by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, spontaneously express their gratitude. Many stand waiting their turn to speak. Why are they eager to speak at one time, when especially reminded of gratitude and reluctant at another? The answer must be fear, fear risen above on one occasion and submitted to when special stimulus is absent.

Oftentimes we hear it said, "I should love to give my testimony but I am afraid to speak in public." Afraid of what? A dictionary defines "fear" in part as "painful emotion caused by impending danger." That the "emotion" of fear is "painful" is admitted by all who experience it; but what is the "impending danger"? Christian Scientists know there can be no danger for them in publicly praising their Father for His goodness, for He is with those who praise Him. Analyzing this dread in the light of Christian Science reveals that there can be no danger threatened in the destruction of fear itself, the fear that is at the bottom of all troubles—sin, sickness, and death. This evil—fear—would in all ways hold men in thralldom, for it knows that every time Truth and Love are voiced some part of its false claim to power is destroyed.

On page 197 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy writes, "We should master fear, instead of cultivating it;" and in "Christian Science versus Pantheism" (p. 6) she says, "Let us continue to denounce evil as the illusive claim that God is not supreme, and continue to fight it until it disappears,—but not as one that beateth the mist, but lifteth his head above it and putteth his foot upon a lie." Submitting to any error because of the painful emotion of fear is certainly cultivating it, for succumbing to it increases its false influence. Merely waiting to speak until the fear is mastered is surely "beating the mist," for it is undoubtedly acknowledging that there is a power opposing omnipotence and causing the withholding of the gratitude so surely His due.

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Students, Attention!
August 31, 1935
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