Uncovering Error

From the Christian Science Journal, April 1916, by

In Science and Health (p. 453) we find this comprehensive statement: “You uncover sin, not in order to injure, but in order to bless the corporeal man; and a right motive has its reward.” The one all-important point to consider in connection with this statement is whether one’s motive is really right or whether some element of selfishness is involved. If self is playing any part in it, then one may rest assured that his motive is not right. How shall he know whether selfishness is controlling? Usually by the manner in which he goes to work to uncover what he sees as error. An overzealous determination to personalize some phase of error is a pretty sure sign of selfishness. Talking freely with others about the conduct of another before going to that one and making known the grievance, is another proof of error in premise.

The Christ-method of dealing with such matters is the only method to be pursued by one who professes love for his fellow man. This method is definitely outlined in the Bible, and strict compliance with its conditions is enjoined in the rules and by-laws of The Mother Church (see Art. XI, Sect. 2). It is to go first to one’s brother and “tell him his fault between thee and him alone.” The effort to interest others in some evil report before taking this first step, so necessary to effect a reconciliation with the brother, is further proof of insincerity on the part of the one desiring to uncover error.

Strange as it may seem to those unacquainted with the secret machinations of mortal mind or animal magnetism, much of the error supposed to exist with individuals is found to be only the figment of hypnotic suggestion. Ears attuned to the reception of silent or audible intimations of evil are sure to find what they are listening for. The moment such suggestions are admitted into consciousness they are accepted as facts and not as illusions. Asleep to what is really taking place, the individual soon finds himself believing that to be true which has not the least claim to existence. The only uncovering necessary in a case of this kind is for the one mesmerically influenced to arouse himself to what has taken place in his own household of thought. When the awakening comes he will find himself wiser, stronger, and less liable to listen again to silent or audible lies about any one, not even about himself.

The approach of disease or trouble of any kind is always on the mental plane, and when so recognized in Christian Science it can be successfully resisted. The moment it is admitted as a fact it seems to one’s false sense of self to be a part of one’s self, and then it “sticketh closer than a brother,” unless it is routed as that which is separate and apart from God and God’s man. Where did the suggestion “I am sick” come from? Not from God or from the real man. Has it any intelligence? None whatsoever. Has God endowed it with power, law, or dominion over man? Emphatically no. Can God’s man think any such thought? He cannot. Who or what is thinking such a thought? Deluded human sense. Scientifically speaking, it is not a thought at all, but only a belief, an illusion. Man could no more accept such a suggestion as true than he could think that a straight line is crooked. The same line of reasoning applies as well to the suggestion of sin in any form, and when dealt with for what it really is, an illusion and not a God-ordained fact on a plane of equality with good, sin also can be overcome.

The scientific uncovering of error points to its destruction. It is always uncovered as nothing, not as something. To make something of error never uncovers it. Here the individual must pause to see how much or how little of Christian Science he has made his own. If he be critical, ungrateful or faultfinding, suspicious or egotistical in his mental attitude toward others, he is hardly in a position to uncover another’s error for him. The needful uncovering is in his own individual consciousness. It requires a deep sense of love, and of genuine, childlike humility, to get at the root of any error with one’s self or with others. As our Leader tells us on page 571 of Science and Health, “It requires the spirit of our blessed Master to tell a man his faults, and so risk human displeasure for the sake of doing right and benefiting our race.” If there be the least inclination to get even with some one, to avenge an imaginary wrong, to humiliate or embarrass another because of some trivial act of indiscretion or mis judgment, then let one not make haste to explain away error for some one else. Without the unction of unselfed love one would meet with ignominious failure in any human attempt to reverse the position of the beam and the mote.

It is well to remember the possibility of being so overloaded with the letter of Christian Science as to prevent the demonstration of its spirit. In this unfortunate mental state one is very prone to disclaim “the inoculation of evil human thoughts” (Science and Health, p. 449), and this our Leader cautions us to understand and guard against. To assert that one has not been thus influenced, and to prove it in consistent Christian conduct, are two different things. The very first impulse of unselfed love would send one to his brother with the same promptitude of kindly feeling and Christian solicitude which would prompt him to jump into the water to save a friend who was drowning. True, it is well to know how to swim before attempting such a task, and it is even more important to know how to master some human traits of one’s own before attempting to uncover the same traits in others.

To know the nothingness of error is not to ignore it, but to heal it. How would one undertake to uncover error for a friend who is under the influence of liquor? Would eloquent preaching or arguing accomplish the work? Would this friend be in a mental state to listen to the most loving counsel or reasoning from any source? Certainly not. Then how reach his thought? Only by healing him of the drunken dream in which a false sense has engulfed him. Reporting his case to the authorities and making public mention of it in the press would not help matters. To personalize the error in any way would not solve the problem for him. Only that compassionate love which heals sin and disease by recognizing their unreality, and proving it to human sense, can ever uncover error of any kind. Whether manifested as physical or as mental drunkenness, the remedy is the same.

True uncovering is the exercise of that love which “thinketh no evil;” which “suffereth long, and is kind;” which “doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked.” Such uncovering impersonalizes error, however vicious or obnoxious it may have been, and is sure to call forth just acknowledgment of every wrong committed. Then will follow that genuine repentance which is always accompanied by a feeling of love and compassion. Human hate can play no part in the final disposition of error’s false claims.

There are some people who are apparently obsessed with a mania for uncovering error. They talk much about it, but they never tell you specifically what the error is, though asserting that it must be “uncovered”! Do such persons stop to ask themselves whether they really desire to have it uncovered as nothing and thereby destroyed, or do they wish to have it exposed and let it become generally known that some one is “in error” and that it will be “uncovered” according to their estimate of its enormity? Many a closet skeleton is brought to life in just this manner, when one’s time could and should be more profitably occupied in prayerfully studying the sacred Word of God in an honest effort to bring his own thought into accord with the spirit of Truth and Love.

The scientific Christian Science practitioner will not rest in the belief that his patient is in error. He knows that this belief will never healthe patient. If the practitioner is working from the standpoint that Truth uncovers all error, the healing will take place. Let us all adopt this attitude, and every human problem will be worked out in God’s own way. By so doing we shall respond to the divine mandate, “Let there be light,” and the temptation to look for error in others will be quenched in an unselfish desire and effort to be absolutely right ourselves. If we could but think and act always from the standpoint of right as voiced by Sheridan, there would never be any doubt as to our motives and methods.

He said,—
Believe not each accusing tongue
As most weak persons do;
But still believe that story wrong
Which ought not to be true.

The close student of Christian Science has awakened to the fact that many a human attempt to uncover what some one thinks is error in something the activities of Christian Science, and when seen and treated as such it will be rendered inoperative and therefore powerless. The temptation to venture upon forbidden territory where even angels would fear to tread, in an overzealous attempt to mete out what one might mistakenly consider to be human justice, would never be yielded to if the divine law of adjustment had not been overlooked.

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