WATCHING versus WATCHING OUT
From Miscellany by Mary Baker Eddy
Comment on an editorial which appeared in the Christian Science Sentinel, September 23, 1905
Our Lord and Master left to us the following sayings as living lights in our darkness: “What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch” (Mark 13:37); and, “If the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.” (Luke 12:39).
Here we ask: Are Christ’s teachings the true authority for Christian Science? They are. Does the textbook of Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” read on page 252, “A knowledge of error and of its operations must precede that understanding of Truth which destroys error, until the entire mortal, material error finally disappears, and the eternal verity, man created by and of Spirit, is understood and recognized as the true likeness of his Maker”? It does. If so-called watching produces fear or exhaustion and no good results, does that watch accord with Jesus’ saying? It does not. Can watching as Christ demands harm you? It cannot. Then should not “watching out” mean, watching against a negative watch, alias, no watch, and gaining the spirit of true watching, even the spirit of our Master’s command? It must mean that.
Is there not something to watch in yourself, in your daily life, since “by their fruits ye shall know them,” which prevents an effective watch? Otherwise, wherefore the Lord’s Prayer, “Deliver us from evil”? And if this something, when challenged by Truth, frightens you, should you not put that out instead of putting out your watch? I surely should. Then are you not made better by watching? I am. Which should we prefer, ease or dis-ease in sin? Is not discomfort from sin better adapted to deliver mortals from the effects of belief in sin than ease in sin? and can you demonstrate over the effects of other people’s sins by indifference thereto? I cannot.
The Scriptures say, “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14), thus taking the name of God in vain. Ignorance of self is the most stubborn belief to overcome, for apathy, dishonesty, sin, follow in its train. One should watch to know what his errors are; and if this watching destroys his peace in error, should one watch against such a result? He should not. Our Master said, “He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me . . . and he that loseth his life [his false sense of life] for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10: 38, 39.)