The Ninth Commandment

Apparently mortals have always been willing unjustly to criticize one another. The fact that the ninth commandment reads, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour," indicates that in Moses' time, and before, the inclination was prevalent. His God-inspired "Thou shalt not" recognizes that such thinking must stop before men can fully realize the oneness of God.

Why is it that Mr. A. is willing to take into his thought and pass on to Mr. B. a questionable tale about his competitor, Mr. C.? And why is it that Mrs. X. is willing to sit and discuss (or hold a lingering telephone conversation) with Mrs. Y. that voices gossipy tidbits about Mrs. Z., her past, present, and future? And why is it that even students of Christian Science—sometimes even practitioners—to whom the Ten Commandments are the law of life, have been known to tell half-truths, or three-quarter lies, about each other? Why, just why, do mortals do such things?

Simply because they still believe so intensely in a wrong concept of creation. They believe that a material cause, mortal mind, has evolved a material universe wherein are many materially thinking mortals, some of whom they like, and some of whom they rather dislike, and some of whom, though they be their fellow workers in the Father's vineyard, they are willing to pick upon and attempt to undermine. They believe it affords them a form of selfish satisfaction to listen to, and repeat to others, questionable criticism of their fellows, sometimes hoping to lift themselves up by pushing others down. This habit of criticism sometimes becomes so ingrained in a mortal's thinking that the whole world seems to him awry, and his life is largely filled with complaining, criticizing, and condemning others.

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November 4, 1944

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