Many are endeavoring to free themselves from bad habits through good resolutions. Looking into the past, one may see how he sold his birthright of freedom and dominion for the worthless pottage of social custom. Looking into the future, he may see the pressing need for a program of reform and personal betterment. Suddenly and urgently comes the resolve to break the chains of habit, to swear off smoking and drinking and sundry idle pursuits and to adopt more sober, active, and industrious ones.

Yet experience proves that the so-called good resolution is often soon broken, while the need for reform grows more marked and the individual may at length yield to discouragement and dismay. To all, Christian Science comes with its message that anyone earnestly desiring to better his course may do so. Even the most stubborn and ingrained errors are subject to the healing power of Christ, Truth. Through the writings of Mary Baker Eddy all may learn how a desire for good may be fulfilled.

The Apostle James said, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts" (James 4:3). While this pointed observation may seem farfetched in the case of one who feels that he is honestly desiring to free himself from sin, a little self-questioning may show that the good resolution that came to nought revolved around the idea of getting the most out of life, rather than putting the most into it. Health may have been sought as the means to more pleasurable living, freedom from bondage as the key to self-advancement and to the respect of others. To this extent the underlying motive was selfish, although every honest desire for good indicates a God-sent spiritual impetus.

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December 27, 1947

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