Closing the gap

Is there a gap between our desire for a healthy, happy life and our desire to know and serve God? If we were to evaluate our pursuit of normal human affairs in relation to our commitment to God, would there be a gap—and if so, how big?

In the Manual of The Mother Church Mrs. Eddy included this By-Law: "It shall be the duty of every member of this Church to defend himself daily against aggressive mental suggestion, and not be made to forget nor to neglect his duty to God, to his Leader, and to mankind. By his works he shall be judged,—and justified or condemned." Man., Art. VIII, Sect. 6. Is it enough to read these words? Can we suppose that by this act we are obeying them? Hardly. One might say that a whole way of life is wrapped up in this single paragraph.

To start with, are we quite sure we understand what aggressive mental suggestion is? The three temptations that came to Jesus at the beginning of his ministry provide a strong clue. Error would have us believe that life is dependent on matter, that mortals can direct God's activity, and that the material world can give satisfaction. Christ Jesus knew better.

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You don't need to suffer
January 23, 1984

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