Golden text: James 1:25*
[T]he one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
Train me, God, to walk straight;
then I’ll follow your true path.
Put me together, one heart and mind;
then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear.
From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord;
I’ve never kept secret what you’re up to.
You’ve always been great toward me—what love!
You snatched me from the brink of disaster!
God, these bullies have reared their heads!
A gang of thugs is after me—
and they don’t care a thing about you.
But you, O God, are both tender and kind,
not easily angered, immense in love,
and you never, never quit.
So look me in the eye and show kindness,
give your servant the strength to go on,
save your dear, dear child!
Make a show of how much you love me
so the bullies who hate me will stand there slack-jawed,
As you, God, gently and powerfully
put me back on my feet.
21st Century Science and Health**
God never punishes us for doing right. Love never penalizes us for honest labor or deeds of kindness even if we are exposed to fatigue, cold, heat, and contagion. If we seem to incur a penalty, this is but the false-ego or human mind’s conclusion. Unfair repercussions are not established by wisdom, and our nonconformity to injustice can nullify the penalty. Through this action of thought and its results upon the body, students will prove to themselves by small beginnings the grand verities of divine Science.
If you think weather harms health, your Mind-remedy is safe and sure. If you are a scientist of Spirit, symptoms of sickness are not apt to follow exposure to certain weather. However, if you believe in laws of mortality and their fatal effects when transgressed, you are not fit to conduct your own case and destroy the adverse effects. But, you can pierce the façade of false laws and destroy the fear and conviction of ill-effects. You can gain the spiritual conviction that you have broken no law of mortal health. In Science, this is an established fact which the evidence before the fleshly senses can never overrule.
Sickness, sin, and destruction must at length recoil before the divine rights of intelligence, and then the power of Mind over the entire functions and organs of the human system will be acknowledged. It is proverbial that Mother Teresa, and other philanthropists engaged in humanitarian work, have been able to undergo without weariness and danger, that which ordinary people could not endure. The explanation lies in the support which they derived from the divine law, supreme to the human law. The spiritual demand crushes the material demand and supplies not only energy but also endurance. Spirituality surpasses all other aid and forestalls the penalty which our beliefs would attach to our best deeds. Let us remember that the eternal law of right, though it can never annul the law which makes sin its own executioner, exempts us from all penalties but those due for wrongdoing.
Hard work, deprivations, exposures, and all troublesome conditions, if without sin, can be experienced without suffering. Your true responsibility can be fulfilled without harm to yourself. If you sprain the muscles or wound the flesh, your remedy is at hand. Mind decides whether or not the flesh will be discolored, painful, and inflamed.
You say that you have not slept well or you have no self-discipline. You are a law to yourself. Saying this and believing it, you will suffer in proportion to your certainty and fear. Your sufferings are not the penalty for having broken a biological law, for it is a law of human mind which you have disobeyed. You say or think, because you have eaten salty food that you must be thirsty and you are thirsty accordingly, while the opposite thought would produce the opposite result.
Any information coming from limited resources and claiming to be truth is an illusion of human mind—one of its dreams. We must realize that evidence given by the physical senses is not to be accepted as reality, in cases of sickness, sin, or health.
1-5 [Jesus said,] “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
6 “Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege.
21st Century Science and Health
If selfishness has given way to kindness, we will regard our neighbor unselfishly and pray for our enemies; but this great responsibility is never accomplished simply by asking that it may be done.
Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Spirit. Each day we must express spiritual awareness, and persevere to align our thoughts and actions with the divine character. Then we are made new, until we wake in Love’s likeness. The Science of Christianity is experienced while we mirror the divine nature, but in a wicked world goodness will “be spoken of as evil.”
Audible prayers can never do the works of spiritual understanding. Spiritual understanding regenerates. Awareness, silent heartfelt prayers, and sincere obedience to divine Love clear the road for us to follow Jesus’ example. Wordy prayers, superstition, and dogma, interrupt the communications of Love and disguise religion in human forms. Whatever defaces worship is an obstacle to spiritual progress and keeps us from demonstrating our power over error.
Sorrow for wrongdoing is only one step toward reform, and the easiest step. The next and great step required by wisdom is the test of our sincerity—namely reformation. During the reformation process, we are placed under the stress of circumstances. Temptation will pressure us to repeat the offense. Heartache for backsliding may be felt until we are no longer tempted. This is the way it goes until we learn that there is no discount in the law of justice. We must pay “the last penny.” “The measure you use, it will be measured to you,” and it will run over and “be poured into your lap.”
To the ritualistic and hypocritical church authorities, Jesus said, “The tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.” Jesus’ history made a new calendar which we call the Christian era, but he established no ceremonial worship. He knew that people can be baptized, take sacrament, support the ministry, study Bible lessons, make long prayers, and yet be corrupt and sensual.
1-5 “God’s kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep. 6 “In the middle of the night someone yelled out, ‘He’s here! The bride-groom’s here! Go out and greet him!’ 7-8 “The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, ‘Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.’ 9 “They answered, ‘There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.’ 10 “They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked. 11 “Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, ‘Master, we’re here. Let us in.’ 12 “He answered, ‘Do I know you? I don’t think I know you.’
13 “So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive.
21st Century Science and Health
Oil. Dedication; altruism; gentleness; prayer; heavenly inspiration.
The beliefs of isolatable powers, the fight-and-flight nature, or morphing substances are flimsy propaganda, yet mesmerizing. So we ask, who will deny that these are the errors which Truth must and will annihilate? Scientists of reality must live under the constant pressure of the apostolic command to come out from the indefinite world and be dedicated. We must renounce aggression, oppression, and the pride of power. Christianity, with the crown of Love on her brow, must be our queen of life.
Students of divine Science, who start with its letter and think to succeed without the spirit, will either weaken their faith or get sadly off course. They must not only seek but strive to enter the narrow path of Life, “for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it.” We walk in the direction toward which we look and where our gratification is there will our heart be also. If our hopes and inclinations are spiritual, they come from enlightenment, not from trained thinking, and they produce the fruits of the Spirit.
Every conscientious student and teacher of the Science of Mind-healing knows that human-will is not divine Science. This fact must be recognized and lived to maintain immunity against this infectious human-willfulness. Teachers are morally obligated to open the eyes of students that they may perceive the nature and methods of error of every sort, especially any subtle degree of evil, deceived and deceiving. All mental malpractice surfaces from ignorant or malicious intent. Malpractice is the injurious action of one human mind controlling another from wrong motives, and it is practiced either with a mistaken or a wicked purpose.
Show your student that mental malpractice tends to blast moral sense, health, and the human life. Instruct students on how to bolt the door of their thought against the seeming dark power of mental malpractice—a simple task when the pupil understands that in reality evil has no power. Help to guard against incorrect reasoning which leads to practical error. It is favorable to arrest the wrong thought before it has a chance to manifest itself.
Walking in the light, we are accustomed to the light and require it; we cannot see in darkness. But eyes accustomed to darkness are pained by the light. When you outgrow the old, do not fear putting on the new. Your advancing course may provoke envy, but it will also attract respect. When error confronts you, do not withhold the rebuke or the explanation which destroys error. Never breathe an immoral atmosphere, unless in the attempt to purify it. Modest intellectual discoveries gained with contentment and virtue, are better than the luxury of learning with egotism and vice.
*Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
**Text from 21st Century Science and Health can’t be reproduced in part or as a whole without the written permission of Healing Science Today
 Mother Teresa (1910–1997) Albanian Roman Catholic nun.
 Matt. 5:44
 Rom. 14:16
 Matt. 5:26
 Matt. 7:2; Luke 6:38
 Luke 6:38
 Matt. 21:31
 Matt. 7:13 (NRSV)
 Gal. 5:22