Grace overcomes self-will

Why doing it God's way is always more satisfying and peace-giving than having it our way.

Domination, manipulation, temper flashes, revenge—the stuff of which everyday discords are made—all derive from some measure of self-will. How should we deal with them?

The simple answer, of course, is with patience, forgiveness, and possibly calm correction, but these responses are easier to list than to make in sincerity. And to be successful and lasting, they must be not humanly compelled but prayerfully inspired. Prayer is the truly effective answer, revealing God's grace, ever present and ever active. Prayer enables us to recognize and realize this grace, and to let it transform our thinking and living so that we can deal with self-will as well as with the discords that self-will perpetrates. We do this not to fulfill a personal sense of graciousness but to glorify God, to witness to Him worthily. Grace is not just a human virtue but a spiritual quality—and one we more fully imbibe through understanding God and our real being as God's immortal creation.

Grace is often thought of as a special favor bestowed by God, but there is a deeper understanding of this quality that is brought out in a message Mrs. Eddy once delivered to her Church. Writing of the healing works of Christian Science, she says, "All this is accomplished by the grace of God,—the effect of God understood." Christian Science versus Pantheism, p. 10.

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Second Thought
October 2, 1989

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