"Let us lay aside every weight"

[Written Especially for Young People]

Those who participate in athletic events, particularly in running races, are careful to discard every unnecessary piece of clothing, so that nothing may impede their freedom of action. Paul, who was familiar with the games so popular in Greece during his time, frequently drew similes from them. In emphasizing the necessity of freeing oneself from sinful habits in order to progress spiritually, he said, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us."

It is the normal and natural ambition of everyone to make creditable progress in his work; therefore, a careful study of this verse is helpful. The weights to which Paul refers are, of course, sinful habits. Not always is it easy for one who is away from home for the first time to resist temptations to indulge in liquor and tobacco and other questionable practices. However, those who have had the privilege of attending the Christian Science Sunday School for any considerable period have something with which to meet and overcome these impediments to progress.

Mary Baker Eddy writes in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 406): "The depraved appetite for alcoholic drinks, tobacco, tea, coffee, opium, is destroyed only by Mind's mastery of the body. This normal control is gained through divine strength and understanding;" and in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 289) she writes, "Strong drink is unquestionably an evil, and evil cannot be used temperately: its slightest use is abuse; hence the only temperance is total abstinence." Several other references could be cited to show our Leader's radical stand on the subject both of liquor and of tobacco.

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March 23, 1940

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