“For Satan Finds Some Mischief Still for Idle Hands to do”
From “Christian Science, It’s ‘Clear, Correct Teaching,’ and Complete Writings” by Herbert W. Eustace
“For Satan Finds Some Mischief Still for Idle Hands to do.” — Watts
No statement could be truer than that the devil, malicious mental malpractice, always finds work for idle hands — idle minds — to do.
The Christian Scientist must think seriously about this question. If he is not constantly active on the side of Truth he can rest assured that malicious mental malpractice is right at his door.
That is the danger of an attitude of thought like, “Let God do it.” It is a waiting attitude; an endeavor to make one’s thought a blank, and Jesus warned of the danger of this, for he said, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none, then he saith, I will return unto my house from whence I came out; And when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”
Why is it worse? Because the poor victim thought he had thoroughly cleaned his house, and lo and behold, Satan is again dwelling therein. Such disappointment cannot come to you if thoroughly cleaning your “house,” means replacing every erroneous sense with the true sense, so completely filling it that Satan — evil suggestion, — can find no sanctuary there. Mrs. Eddy declares in Miscellany, “There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort.” Christian Scientists must never be careless about replacing the wrong sense that is cast out, with the right sense, so that evil will find no door unbarred, and no vacant room to occupy. They must not take the attitude of crying, “Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” Peace can be won and maintained only when we have fought the Holy War and have put up such a fight that evil is cast out forever — seen in its true sense. Who does not yearn for peace? But today it is the coward, under evil’s direction who calls for peace. The battle for Truth has not yet been won. Only malicious mental malpractice would say it has, in order to encourage you to stop the warfare. Never forget that the sword cannot be put up until it has first been drawn.
Christian Scientists are soldiers of the cross, and they must fight until victory is theirs. Evil is ever urging us to cease fighting and “let God do it.” God cannot do more than He has already done. He has done all. It is the work of the Christian Scientist to prove that, — to show that forth.
If evil can persuade you, the Christian Scientist, to relax, it will have accomplished its purpose. It will then, — after all your years of work and faithfulness, when you think that you are at the point of enjoying the reward of your labors with your “house” nicely cleaned, — enter in and rob you of the fruits of your effort. It does this because you have listened to the voice of the charmer, admonishing you not to be so vigorous in your denunciation of malicious animal magnetism, because God is Love, and Love does everything and cares for everyone. True enough, but has not God always been Love, and has He not always taken the same tender care of all His creation? How can He be “about to do” something that He has not already done? Then it is our work to begin vigorously to prove that God is Love, and that He is proving His care by making His children active and alert. We have work to do ourselves; we cannot expect God to do our work. He cannot hear that kind of prayer. He hears only the prayer of being active about His business. As Mrs. Eddy says, in Miscellaneous Writings, “Be active, and, however slow, thy success is sure; toil is triumph.”
If you succeed in making your mind a blank, thinking that by thus doing you can place yourself in a listening attitude to hear God’s voice, you have let the bars down and opened your house for the devil’s entrance. That idle, listless mood is exactly the opportunity evil desires, and Satan will quickly find something to fill idle minds.
Keep active and no matter how slow your progress may seem to be, success in the end is assured. Guard against a negative watch that would lull you to sleep, that would make you believe a listless peace is a lasting peace. Today the only peace is the sword of Truth. …