No Room for Pretense

Self-justification would make people try to explain why it is right to do something wrong. But wrong is wrong whether an attempt is made to justify it or not. There is no room for pretense in the honest heart. Christ Jesus often dragged pretense into the open and condemned it as hypocrisy. For instance, he said, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer." Matt. 23:14;

Christian Science warns against self-justification in any guise; and it inspires the honesty that admits a fault and then corrects it. Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "A wordy prayer may afford a quiet sense of self-justification, though it makes the sinner a hypocrite. We never need to despair of an honest heart; but there is little hope for those who come only spasmodically face to face with their wickedness and then seek to hide it." Science and Health, p. 8.

Self-justification is more subtle than one might believe. If entertained, it would make one pass lightly over his selfishness, inconsiderateness, ingratitude, and injustice and look always for self-advantage. Today's social problems are largely the result of such errors. But they cannot be corrected by equally wrong standards. Resentment, violence, lawlessness, and resistance to recognizing any good that has taken place in the past have no healing in them. Only Christliness, which includes integrity and unselfed love, actually expressed in practical steps, can resolve the great social issues of today. There is no pretense in these states of mind.

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"The wells of salvation"
March 22, 1969

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