Grace

From the Christian Science Sentinel, August 30, 1919, by


One of the qualities of God mentioned in the spiritual interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer, found on page 17 of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” is grace. “Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections.” This beautiful thought is expressed again in these words from one of our hymns (Hymnal, p. 160):β€”

Gracious spirit, dwell with me;

I myself would gracious be.

Sometimes through a mistaken attitude of thought in our relations with other human beings, we have leaned so far in the opposite direction from grace that we have manifested qualities entirely apart from divine Love, which is always gracious. In the thought of the man Jesus, whose Godlikeness attracted the multitudes wherever he went, there could have been no coldness, discourtesy, or indifference. People must unconsciously have been influenced by the unselfish interest and boundless love that he radiated constantly. The same thing must have been true of Mrs. Eddy, who was so pure that she was entrusted with the revelation of Truth to this age. Contemplating the Godlike qualities of those whom we have learned to love because of their goodness, will help us to grow in grace.

On page 258 of Science and Health we are positively told that “we know no more of man as the true divine image and likeness, than we know of God.” The same truth is stated in another way by John: “He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” To appreciate and love spiritual qualities wherever they are expressed in man and the universe is truly to love God. To recognize as real only those qualities that identify the One altogether lovely, is to see man in God’s image and likeness, and thus to see the nothingness of evil, which results in the destruction of evil, by whatever name it may be called. The understanding that separates the expression of God’s qualities from material sense, prevents false pride, egotism, or self-righteousness. The greater the heights we attain, the more humble we should become, knowing that God is the cause and creator of every idea; that when the reflection of God is loved, it is really God manifest that is loved, though the unbelieving world would make gods of mortal men.

In an endeavor to express impartial love to mankind and to possess this Godlike quality, grace, we must guard very carefully against wrong motives. If we are doing charitable deeds and making graceful speeches with a desire to be loved by the populace, disappointment will be the outcome. Love, though ever gracious, is firm, sincere, and just, even to the point of rejecting every error wherever it is encountered. When action has love back of it, it can but promote good.

Divine grace is attractiveness, charm. We are taught in Science and Health (p. 102), “There is but one real attraction, that of Spirit.” Most Christian Scientists have learned this lesson,β€”at least in part. They know that to be drawn away from spiritual living by the lure of any materiality that claims to attract, will bring suffering sufficient to make them willing to give up the counterfeit pleasures and return to the quest of spiritual joy. This does not mean that we shall be called upon to give up anything that is really desirable, for “no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” As we understandingly exclude selfish and sensual thoughts, which breed fear, jealousy, envy, malice, and lust, we learn to extend loving thoughts to all mankind. This is the charm, the grace, which will bless all men by its expression.




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