Work out your Own Salvation
From the Christian Science Sentinel, OCTOBER 4, 1900, by H.
A Certain rich man had a large, beautiful estate, covering many acres of ground. It was laid out with nice walks, and planted with choice flowers and fine shrubs; not a weed was to be seen; all was as perfect as money and labor could make it. The house was built of best material and furnished throughout with costly and tasteful fittings. He was called away on business. He discharged all his servants, locked up his house, closed the grounds against all intrusion, and departed. He was gone several years; when he returned he found his once beautiful place overgrown with weeds and wild brush. The flowers and shrubs seemingly choked out by them, the house was decayed and the furnishings mouldy and rotten. He viewed the ruins thoughtfully and then said, “This house and grounds are mine, but this condition of things is not mine and does not belong to me, and I deny their right to be here;” but would this denial remove them? No. Would the fact that they did not belong there remove them? No. Would the people of the town or city come forward and offer to remove them? No. He must hire labor and, at his own expense, remove and refit if he wanted his property to resume its former perfect condition.
During centuries of material thought our lives have become filled with material ideas which do not belong to our perfect condition. We must not only deny, but we must root out the material thoughts and replace them with the spiritual thought, and this will take weeks, months, and years of hard, watchful work. Destroying an error is not the work of a moment. You may push it out of sight but it re-appears; you pluck off the blossoms, but it blooms again; you break off the whole weed, but leave the roots and they grow another weed; you pull up the root, but it has many roots, and enough are left to start another plant, and so you must keep faithfully and prayerfully at work until every root is destroyed, and even then you must watch and pray lest you again enter into temptation.