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How to Think
ANNIE M. KNOTT, CSD


        Christian Science teaches people in a wonderfully instructive way how to think rightly and to some purpose about themselves and others, indeed about all things. On page 270 of Science and Health we read: “Mortals think wickedly; consequently they are wicked. They think sickly thoughts, and so become sick.” In the prophecy of Jeremiah we read, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil.” The promise which follows this declaration is to the effect that when men come to think as God thinks, He will hearken unto their prayers and be found of those who search for Him with all their hearts.

         Before Mrs. Eddy’s discovery of the Science of being, given to the world in Science and Health and her other writings, little was known of the power of thought upon the human body as well as its influence upon the whole of one’s human experience. People certainly did think sickly thoughts “without let or hindrance,” even with a mistaken sense that the habit was beneficial, just as it was considered proper to think frequently upon death. In view of this it is little wonder that sickness was so prevalent in spite of the measures taken to repress or cure it; indeed all material methods of cure are so closely related to disease that thought cannot very well be lifted above it while these are pursued.

         Christian Science has brought a tremendous change in this respect, and it is one which calls for entire loyalty and obedience to the teachings of Christ Jesus. He commanded his followers to take no thought for the body, as if health were dependent upon food and clothing, but to lift thought to spiritual things, which he named “the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” He also told them to take no thought for their own defense in times of persecution, but to depend entirely upon infinite Love and wisdom to speak through them. This was wonderfully illustrated in Peter’s eloquent defense of himself and John before the Sanhedrin, when they were charged with the offense of healing a lame man without material means but in the name of Christ, and again when Paul pleaded his case before Agrippa. It is surely clear that if these apostles had entertained thoughts of doubt or self-pity they would not have been ready for the influx of divine inspiration which was poured out in their deathless words.

         Paul makes it very clear in his second epistle to the Corinthians that if we would use fearlessly and effectively the weapons provided for our spiritual warfare, so as to cast down “every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,” be it sin or disease, we must bring our every thought into obedience to Christ. Writing to the Hebrews he declares that the word of God is “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart;” in other words, our inmost thoughts must be tested and tried by the word of God.

         The Master once said to some who were mentally criticizing his healing work, “Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?” They should have been filled with gladness and gratitude in witnessing the restoration of a helpless sufferer to health and strength, but their attitude proved true the charge against mortal man given in Isaiah’s prophecy, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” In Christian Science we are taught that this should not be so, indeed that it cannot be so with God’s man, His image and likeness, who reflects all the activities of the divine Mind, and we should begin to trace our likeness to God by examining ofttimes our thoughts to see if they express that purity without which we cannot see God, and that love for God and our neighbor which means the fulfilling of the law.

         On page 545 of Science and Health our revered Leader says that “mortals should so improve material belief by thought tending spiritually upward as to destroy materiality.” The result of this uplifting of thought is at once made manifest in improved conditions, better health, with a steady gain of mental and physical strength, until we at length tread with unwearied steps the path of Life divine, wherein we shall “walk, and not faint.”

 

"How to Think" by Annie M. Knott, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, December 18, 1915
 

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