Doing, Not Trying to Do
by Martha A. Holton
Nowhere in the Bible are we told to try to do something. We are told to rejoice, not to try to rejoice; to sing, not to try to sing; to run and not be weary; to listen; to love our enemies; to preach the gospel and heal the sick — but no mention is made of trying. To perform the work is our business — without discouragement, self-pity, or asking why. To solve our problems, not simply to try to solve them, is being obedient to the divine command, “Work out your own salvation.” God created all. Noah went into the ark, David slew the Philistine, and Jesus raised the dead, through doing — not through trying to do.
It is the doing that counts at all times and in all cases. Talking about doing, and wishing for the results of doing without zealous striving, is idle folly. It is the argument of the serpent of defeat, and should be quickly recognized as the subtle effort of evil to obstruct, delay, and limit growth. We often hear such remarks as, “I tried to deny the error, but the pain was so severe I couldn’t help believing it was real.” That work was defeated before it was begun! To deny a false belief with the expectancy of deliverance and the understanding of its nothingness, is doing, — not trying to do.
No wise parent ever admonished his son to try to tell the truth or to try to stop stealing. The boy was told to tell the truth and to take only that which belonged to him. Trying was not the demand. It was resisting temptation and doing that which was right that saved the boy. To say that one would try to walk ten miles would be to start with uncertainty, doubt, and fear that the destination might not be reached; but to start out with the intention of walking ten miles would be to go expectantly forward, surmounting every obstacle, and knowing that each mile gained brought the destination nearer.
In the writings and life of Mary Baker Eddy, we find no note of uncertainty or feeble trying. She says, “When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea.” (S&H) This means that we have to cling, and to cling steadfastly — not just try to cling. Obedience to the rule requires continuous watchfulness and the persistent putting out of false beliefs and the pouring in of Truth.
Mrs. Eddy’s words, “Stick to the truth of being in contradistinction to the error that life, substance, or intelligence can be in matter” (S&H) are a direct command to hold unswervingly to the truth, not simply to try to do so with whimpering and self-pity, and wondering why so much resistance to error is necessary. To stick, yes! To hold on with joyous tenacity, confidence, and understanding that Truth is inevitably the victor, regardless of seeming conditions, is the way out of all difficulty!