Everyone wants to be happy. Many have searched for happiness through various material means; some have sought it through friends and relatives who are loving and understanding; some have tried to gain through through acquiring an abundance of material things; some have hoped to find it through the consummation of some cherished ambition. For a time one may feel that he has achieved that for which he has yearned. Then he becomes dissatisfied and disappointed, for real happiness is spiritual, and can be gained only through unselfish, tender, loving service to God and man.

To be happy is to express kindness, compassion, joy, humility, kindliness towards others. Happiness is giving, as well as getting. Our beloved Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, counsels us in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 155), "Forget self in laboring for mankind." It may seem paradoxical, but it is nevertheless true, that as we give up an anxious, selfish desire for happiness and seek to bless and help others, we gain a deep spiritual joy that is rooted in divine Love. Spiritual happiness and joy are not fleeting, evanescent, for they are of God. They are enduring, changeless, eternal.

A student of Christian Science was distressed by periods of extreme despondency and discouragement and, realizing that she was being held in bondage to an unreal master, she took steps to gain a clearer sense of spiritual existence. She turned to the First Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," and pondered its meaning, She began to discern that in those moments when she was conscious of God as the only power, the only presence, she saw nothing in regard to which she could be despondent or discouraged. In God's infinite creation, every idea is actively fulfilling Love's divine purpose. The expression of divine Mind can be conscious of nothing that is inharmonious, for in God's kingdom harmony and perfection are immutable. Each time the suggestion of dejection and sadness presented themselves to her, she would ask herself, "Are you keeping the First Commandment?" As the student became willing to obey the Scriptural injunction, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding," the anxious, fearful beliefs of heavy-heartedness and depression were dispelled by Truth, as the sun dissipates the mist. Through her increasing obedience to the First Commandment, her sense of unhappiness and despondency vanished, and she gained a joyous sense of freedom and happiness.

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"Let us lay aside every weight"
March 23, 1940

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