Right Thinking Imperative

If a carpenter were to work eight hours on a house, then spend several hours in tearing it down, and repeat that performance daily, unquestionably it would take him a long while to complete the structure. Perhaps the Christian Scientist spends several hours a day in building—in faithful study and prayer—but follows it with several hours of tearing down, by entertaining fear, doubt, ingratitude, or resentment, then wonders why his progress is slow. Being a Christian Scientist consists largely in controlling our thinking; and this provides us with steady employment, for our thinking goes on continuously. To advance steadily in our march Spiritward, we must not only study earnestly and pray fervently, we must keep a sentinel ever on guard against enemy thoughts that creep in during darkness of inattention, and a monitor ever ready to guide good thoughts into the citadel of consciousness. The pioneer of scientific right thinking in this age, Mary Baker Eddy, tells us in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 252), "Right thoughts are reality and power; wrong thoughts are unreality and powerless."

Right thinking in Christian Science is reflecting the one Mind or intelligence, and consists in loving God and man, in knowing the truth which makes us free, in being pure in heart so that we can "see God," good, and ourselves and our brothers as sinless and whole. We must know God's perfect creation so thoroughly that we can instantly detect the counterfeit, reject its demands, and rigidly exclude it from our thoughts.

Our Master gave us the key to right thinking in two commandments, To love God and to love our neighbor. Keeping these, one could not break the older commandments. He also pointed out that the gist of carnality consisted in looking on a forbidden object with evil desire. Jesus belittled the meticulous care of the Pharisees, who held to outward forms, saying, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, ... these are the things which defile a man." Bible reading and churchgoing alone will not carry us into the kingdom of harmony, happiness, for the kingdom of heaven is within us, in the heart that is pure and animated by unselfish motives. In an era of spectacular material achievement, a spirituality-minded woman, poor in things but rich in thoughts, saw that more important than all this pageantry and commotion, were purity, gentleness, love. She tells us in "No and Yes" (p. 12), "The essence of this Science is right thinking and right acting."

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Our Office as Spiritual Thinkers
June 6, 1936

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