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HONESTY

From the April 24, 1909 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


We are all familiar with Pope's saying, "An honest man's the noblest work of God," and there are few who would not endorse the sentiment which it expresses. The pity is that so many believe honesty to be of doubtful value, so far as practical results are concerned. They fail to see that it stands for power, in that it represents justice, which is an attribute and quality of God; hence the one who stands alone with God is ever in the majority, and he may well sing with the psalmist, "Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear."

In Science and Health we read: "The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable. Evil is not power." We also read: "Honesty is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help" (pp. 192, 453). Christian Science presents the concept of a God who is absolutely just and who is also all-powerful,—not a God who makes us suffer for the sins of others, or who is powerless to deliver us from any and every phase of evil: therefore, having "an honest God," there can be no excuse for a dishonest man. In our Leader's "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 112) she, however, tells us that we must know "how to be just." This of course means that we must also know how to be honest, as honesty is the actual working out of our spiritual concept of divine justice. So far from being excused from the performance of our ordinary duties and obligations by the coming of the truth into our consciousness, much more is demanded of us, for the great Teacher said, "Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required."

The quickening which truth brings should arouse us to meet all our obligations promptly, both for our own sakes and also because Love impels us to lighten the burdens of others in every possible way. The Mosaic law, "The wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning," may be otherwise rendered, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." If we fail to come up to the ordinary standards of honesty, we are apt to have a condemning thought from the one who is made to suffer from our delinquency, and possibly the condemnation of others as well, so that honesty is really "the best policy." If we are prompt and just in meeting our obligations, whether we are employers or employed, we are helping the whole world, for dishonesty is obstructive to progress, consequently unhealthful and unprogressive in every sense of the word.

Christian Science gives the highest and broadest sense of honesty. It insists upon the recognition of absolute right at all times and demands obedience to divine Principle to the full extent of our understanding. We should gladly acknowledge our obligations to Truth, and to the Cause of Truth, not alone in words but also in deeds, and if we do this we shall not be backward in meeting our obligations to those who serve us in any capacity, indeed we should never incur an obligation which we are unable to meet. We are never hurt by the splendid discipline of self-denial, which invariably brings expansion on the spiritual side of our nature and prepares us for having all things "added" unto us without depriving others of their dues.

It was the Master who said that the "word" must be sown in the soil of "an honest and good heart," and in the early church they chose "seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost," to advance the cause of Christ. Should we not, then, take Paul's advice, and "think on these things"?

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