Christian Science and the Individual

It is entirely true that man is the idea of Truth and never apart from Truth. For human beings, though, the truth of being must be assimilated. It must be taken piece by piece, digested in the understanding and confirmed in healing practice. And each one of us has his own adventure and experience in doing so. It's a mistake to relate one's spiritual progress to another's. Or to imagine that Christian Science should at once have equal meaning for every individual.

Our own enthusiasm for Christian Science may tempt us sometimes to hurry others into its study before they are spiritually—or humanly—set to do so. The best way to encourage others to take up this teaching is to consciously and animatedly identify ourselves as Life's reflection—to really be the spiritual emanation of Life, to be the real man. By contrast, undiscriminating enthusiasm for the conversion of others—unselective missionary work—may in fact evidence insensitiveness and mortal will. These two approaches—the first spiritual and effective, the second personal and not effective— are indicated in Mary Baker Eddy's definition of "zeal" in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "Zeal. The reflected animation of Life, Truth, and Love. Blind enthusiasm; mortal will." Science and Health, p. 599;

It often happens that parents hope their children will follow pretty closely in their footsteps. They may wish their son, for instance, to be an electrician or a lawyer like his father. In these times of great social and economic change and of multiplying choices for the new generation, the chances of children following their parents in this way have probably lessened. This can be disappointing, although the younger generation may view today's condition as offering a rainbowed future—a wider opportunity to mine the gold of their own individual talents.

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Speeding the Course of Justice
October 16, 1976

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