Guest post by Kathy Sublette, C.S.
Sometimes when we’re praying for a healing, we can’t seem to make progress. It feels as if we’re just stuck forever on a plateau of struggle and frustration, but all the while, we are praying very diligently. Many times in this situation, it’s the exercise of moral courage that is exactly what is needed.
If accused of a crime we didn’t commit, our innocence isn’t enough to absolve us. If we don’t show up in court or hire an attorney to represent us, prove our innocence, and refute the false charges, by default we would lose the case and a judgment would be entered against us. “The wisdom of a serpent is to hide itself. The wisdom of God, as revealed in Christian Science, brings the serpent out of its hole, handles it, and takes away its sting” (Miscellaneous Writings 210:11-14).
The most loving thing we could ever do for ourselves—and the world—is to contribute to the extermination of error (the serpent) whenever we encounter it in our experience. There is never any way to escape working out our salvation—we all must come to understand ourselves as God knows us. So why would we want to delay understanding the true nature of our loving Father-Mother, our all-wise Counselor, our Shepherd and Guardian, and our status as His/Her beloved child? Mary Baker Eddy astutely explains that if one boasts, “’I am of God, therefore good,’ yet persists in evil, he has denied the power of Truth, and must suffer for this error until he learns that all power is good because it is of God, and so destroys his self-deceived sense of power in evil” (Ibid. 184:19-23).
We also must be wise to detect and rise above the guilt-imposing human argument that is epitomized in Delilah’s enticement to Samson (in Judges 16:15) when she’s trying to get him to tell her the (so-called) source of his strength: “How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me?” This is how the carnal mind, or human manipulation (again, the serpent), works—it first gets us to accept its own paradigm of falsehood, then dictates the parameters of so-called good and bad using our own moral sense of right against us. The answer to not being deluded is to carefully examine and question the underlying premise of the suggestions that come to us to trick us into believing that there is another power than the one God, Almighty good.
Our confidence in exercising moral courage stems from the fact that Christian Science is the explanation of reality; we have all the power of the universe behind us. Actually, it is the power of the universe that is impelling us to handle/destroy evil from the start. “Spirit imparts the understanding that uplifts consciousness and leads into all truth” (Science and Health 505: 16-17). God, Principle, is actively enforcing His infinite law of justice and mercy, and when we are receptive to this fact, we exercise moral courage in our experience.
One of Mary Baker Eddy’s students, Sue Harper Mims, relates that during one of the classes Mrs. Eddy was teaching, she explained the best way to do instantaneous healing work: “It is to love! . . . Do not know anything but Love. Be all love. There is nothing else” (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy Expanded Version Volume 1 pg. 297). The account continues that a class member posed the question, “’But, Mother, are we not to discriminate between good and evil?’, to which Mrs. Eddy responded: ‘Ah, now you have asked me what is to me the hardest thing in Christian Science! Yes, you must see and denounce evil. The Bible tells us that Jesus was God’s chosen because he loved righteousness, but the Bible does not stop there. It says, ‘and hated iniquity’!’” Here is the two-edged sword of Christian Science. The Old Testament also articulates this in Psalm 119: “I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (line 128).
Moral courage is the necessary step out of the mortal dream to radical reliance on Spirit and complete healing. We should be grateful for the opportunities that force us to exercise moral courage because they’re prompting us to wake up to the only reality—God’s good, complete, and perfect creation. “No risk is so stupendous as to neglect opportunities which God giveth, and not to forewarn and forearm our fellow-mortals against the evil which, if seen, can be destroyed” (Miscellaneous Writings 213: 10-13).