The Joy of Uttering Truth

There is an old Greek saying, "Let not your tongue outrun your thought." What a wealth of wisdom lies hidden in these words! In this connection a line from one of Voltaire's plays is apropos: "You possess ... the art of holding your tongue! Ah, you have all the talents for pleasing!"

What prophet or philosopher down the years has not descanted on this theme? The Jewish and Christian Scriptures abound with exhortations to guard one's speech, but possibly the most persuasive homily on the subject is the third chapter of the General Epistle of James. This chapter, in which the apostle tenderly pleads with his brethren to tame unruly tongues, should be read by every Christian.

In the second verse James sets forth the high goal for him who seeks to demonstrate the perfection of God's man. He writes, "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." Let no student of Christian Science be deceived by the belief that he can with healing effect declare the perfection of God and man, if he is not first learning to bridle his own erroneous thought and speech. After all, is not wrong thinking the sinner? Is the tongue able to gossip, to retail biting criticism, without the carnal mind's instigation?

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"What manner of love"
May 31, 1947

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