Our Individual Responsibility

From the Christian Science Journal, April 1915, by

One of the most encouraging lessons Christian Science teaches, is that each individual is responsible for his own thinking. His destiny is not determined by fatalistic chance, it is controlled by spiritual law.

Redemption from evil is humanity’s great need. The superstitious beliefs in fatalism, luck, and eternal damnation, are eliminated from our lives when we realize that as we conform our thinking to spiritual truth, we are given divine power to control our lives harmoniously.

People feel instinctively that health, happiness, and prosperity are normal, and are searching for them. However, this search has been made largely in the realm of matter, with the result that human life has been unstable.

Good is spiritual. God gives us His spiritual ideas. When rightly utilized, they are manifested in human well-being.

In Bible times, when men obeyed God, they experienced abundant good. Today, as then, people are seeking blessing in the divine, where kindness, love, and good are supreme. They, too, are reaping the reward of righteousness. Sickness is giving way to health, mourning to joy, and discord to harmony.

Man lives in God, and is controlled by God’s law. Our responsibility is to submit to this law. This means the surrender of the human will to the divine will. Through this, the human mind is spiritualized and Love’s blessings are brought into human experience.

Jesus’ mission was to show humanity how to free itself from the tyranny of lawless self-will with its self-imposed afflictions. His every thought and deed conformed to divine order. He proved that man, created in the image and likeness of God, is subject only to God’s will.

The law which destroys affliction is God’s law. This law annihilates faith in matter and its tormenting indulgences. It establishes righteousness, and fills one’s consciousness with spiritual ideas of exalted healing power.

The human mind is always at the standpoint of acceptancy. It is either taking in good thoughts, from immortal Mind, or debasing suggestions from evil. Our social, financial, physical, and mental circumstances, show what is being admitted. Clogging material beliefs, if entertained, act as a barrier to the unfoldment of Truth in one’s consciousness. Every wrong thought entertained deprives one of the expression of a right idea. Therefore, “Ofttimes examine yourselves, and see if there be found anywhere a deterrent of Truth and Love, and ‘hold fast that which is good.’” (My.)

Persistent mental self-examination to establish in thought the good and true is of great importance. When the cleansing light of divine Science is focused on our innermost thoughts, evil beliefs, which rob us of tranquillity and happiness, will vanish from their hiding places like dew in the sunshine. One of the most formidable foes to be erased, is opinionatedness which causes much suffering. By using our God-given power and rejecting baneful and stagnating suggestions, we prove our heritage as children of God. The Revelator promises, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.” The consciousness of spiritual good, which constitutes our oneness with God, brings salvation.

Now is the time to surrender self-will and ignorant human outlining, with their resulting aggravation and disappointment. Now is the time to become teachable as a little child, willing humbly and meekly to learn all things rightly, and yield to Love’s correction. This enables us to enjoy the rich blessings that result from obeying God.

What marvelous encouragement Mrs. Eddy gives us, when she writes: “Know, then, that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly, and that nothing can dispossess you of this heritage and trespass on Love. If you maintain this position, who or what can cause you to sin or suffer?”

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