The rapidity of an individual's growth in Christian Science can often be measured by the joyfulness of his adoption of good. To adopt good because he has to, or because he fears detection or punishment of evil, is a vastly different experience than the adoption of good because he loves God, good; because he loves the way of spirituality more than the ways of materiality. The Christian Scientist often tests his adoption of good by the questions: "Am I truly joyful in this choosing of good in place of the enticements of material sense? Do I honestly see that greater and more enduring happiness is mine because of thus siding with good? Do I know, deep within my heart, that I am not giving up anything desirable, but rather gaining greater satisfaction?"

In speaking of the new birth, Mary Baker Eddy says (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 15), "It begins with moments, and goes on with years; moments of surrender to God, of childlike trust and joyful adoption of good; moments of self-abnegation, self-consecration, heaven-born hope, and spiritual love."

Unless there is joyful adoption of good, there is no true adoption. Instead of permanent healing of a false sense of attraction, of a false desire, through the power of an unfolding idea displacing a false belief, there has been only a better belief replacing a worse belief. This is better than no progress at all, but still deeper, more prayerful thought and mental work are needed. "No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly," promised the Psalmist (Ps. 84:11). The more joy we take in some specific aspect of the adoption of good, the more good will appear to us, the more of spiritual good shall we express. Here is the test: If our adoption of good is a joyful one, we are safe. If our adoption of good is with a sense that we are missing something or sacrificing something that other people enjoy, we have missed the point.

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June 19, 1954

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