The word "discipline," derived from the Latin word disciplina, meaning learning, should be regarded rather as the friend than the enemy of mankind. Of Christ Jesus, the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews declared, "though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered."

He who learns his lesson aright does not need to be taught it again. One of the first lessons to be learned is that suffering of itself is of no value and will cease in proportion as men recognize that it has no place in the divine curriculum. Its value is solely to teach men the lessons which, without it, they seem unwilling or unable to learn. To give suffering dignity or importance, to glorify, condemn, or condone it, is to retard the sole lesson it has to teach, namely, that it is produced by error, not by Truth. All that ever suffers is a false sense of self. Divine Love, obeyed and understood, assures deliverance. Jesus met and overcame every phase of suffering for himself and frequently for others, because he knew it was not in accordance with the divine purpose. His was a life of continuous discipline, whereby mortality was put off and divine communion revealed. Everything he did or said, therefore, has its priceless lesson for us. By it we see that suffering is caused by ignorance of true being, which alone separates men from good. "The school whose schoolmaster is not Christ, gets things wrong, and is ignorant thereof," writes Mary Baker Eddy on page 365 of "Miscellaneous Writings."

In time all who repudiate true self-discipline find themselves at the mercy of forces neither benevolent nor intelligent, which catch the ignorant, the self-indulgent, the reckless unawares. as men learn to obey the divine will, to wait upon it in wisdom, in humility, in confidence, they find that their schoolmaster is indeed Christ; that shackles of sickness and sadness, of limitation and resentment, are then begun to be put off. They learn the nature of God; they enter into the presence of Love, of divine unfoldment, of joyous overcoming.

Gaining the Conviction That Heals
August 16, 1941

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