Moved by love, not fear

"Be careful but don't be cautious," our friend called out. We maneuvered the difficult terrain carefully—not tensely—and safely. But those words kept forming questions: How can we always move with carefulness, not inhibited by caution nor goaded by fearful desire? And an allied query, What role does desire, certainly a motivating force, legitimately have?

Both words, "desire" and "caution," are found in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy under the metaphysical interpretation of the term "fear" (referring, obviously, to negative uses of that word in the Bible, not to true reverence for God). The Glossary definition reads: "Fear. Heat; inflammation; anxiety; ignorance; error; desire; caution." Science and Health, p. 586. All these are elements of thought and feeling that we want to be rid of. In the light of Christian Science, we recognize each to be a counterfeit of legitimate elements of Christly consciousness. Fearful caution would counterfeit carefulness, and feverish desire would attempt to replace the wonderful desire for spiritual good that is an essential element of prayer. But, as the writer of I John assures us: "God is love," and "There is no fear in love."I John 4: 16, 18.

August 9, 1982

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