Effective denial

Facing up to our faults is a necessary step in proving that the man of God's creating is truly sinless.

When I was a young boy, I fell in love with a toy airplane belonging to my next-door neighbor. And I pocketed it. I told myself that he had many toys and that I loved this airplane so much more than he did that my action was justified. When my mother asked me about it, I lied. I even refused to admit to myself that I had broken the commandment "Thou shalt not steal" (Ex. 20:15). Eventually, my conscience (fighting an uphill battle all the way) got the better of me, and I returned the airplane.

This tendency to justify or cover up our sins is an adult tendency, too. It takes such forms as excuses, rationalizations, omissions, and little white lies. But the teachings of our master, Christ Jesus, declare such weakness to be contrary to divine law. A failure to be honest with ourselves prevents the self-knowledge so essential to spiritual progress.

Is this a serious problem? Jesus thought so. He condemned it wherever he saw it. "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" he asked (Matt. 7:3). And Mrs. Eddy observes pungently in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, "All that error asks is to be let alone; even as in Jesus' time the unclean spirits cried out, 'Let us alone; what have we to do with thee?'" (p. 211).

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Fruitage from focus on Science and Health
January 31, 1994

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