"By the word of their testimony"

STUDENTS of the Bible may be prone to wonder at the apparent ingratitude of the nine lepers who did not return thanks for their healing. "Would not I have hastened back to Christ Jesus to thank him and to praise God?" we ask. Yes, we think we should, and, yet, do we not sometimes manifest ingratitude?

What are some of the manifold excuses that would prevent us from expressing gratitude for the help we receive through Christian Science? The excuses may include procrastination, apathy, inability to perceive present good, pride, fear of criticism, timidity, all of which come under the category of personal sense. Personal sense would keep us silent during our testimony meetings. Personal sense says, "I am nervous," "I am afraid of criticism." Personal sense assumes a fresh phase of seeming formidability at every turn.

But what is this boasting personal sense? Is it a reality to be catered to or feared? No! Every one of its claims can be refuted and its arguments confounded with the truth revealed in Christian Science. How shall we proceed to do this? An honest recognition of God's goodness and loving-kindness is the first requisite towards conquering fear; it empowers one to meet and overcome the error that is claiming to prevent the expression of gratitude. Timidity about speaking before others is perhaps the commonest argument personal sense has to offer; but let it be asked, Would one receive boundless benefit from a human friend and remain silent? The truly grateful heart overflows and speaks freely of blessings. Pure, unselfed gratitude knows no fear.

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Packing Our Knapsacks
September 28, 1940

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