Clearing the "in" box
Office workers tend to look on their "in" box as a perpetual challenge. The container is usually in a position on the desk where it can'b be overlooked, and it has an apparently inexhaustible capacity for accepting responsibility on one's behalf. It demands attention throughout the working day -- especially at the end of the afternoon. One feels, often with good reason, that if the box is not cleared of papers before one goes home, the next morning may start badly, with a pile of leftover problems that is liable to grow.
But it's not only the "in" box of one's office desk that should have constant attention. The "in" box of one's mentality also needs regular cleaning, especially at the end of each day, so that no negative thoughts accumulate overnight to increase the next day's burdens.
The Apostle Paul admonishes Christians, "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath." n1 In the same chapter he advises clearing out other unhealthy traits -- greed, lust, dishonesty, bitterness, and malice, to name a few. Then this dedicated follower of Christ Jesus writes in the spirit of the Master, whose gospel he closely followed: "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." n2
n1 Ephesians 4:26;
n2 v. 32;
It makes good sense to keep thought clear of negative feelings toward others, and of aggressive, sinful traits. Mary Baker Eddy, who was a deep student of the Bible, Discerned in its teachings that these traits are unhealthy. They not only make relationships with our neighbors discordant, they are the very roots of bodily disease. She writes in the Christian Science textbook, "Hatred, envy, dishonesty, fear, and so forth make a man sick, and neither material medicine nor Mind can help him permanently, even in body, unless it makes him better mentally, and so delivers him from his destroyers." n3
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m pp. 404-405;
How vitally important it is, then, to deal quickly with all the disease-making tendencies that may find their way into thought during the day -- and certainly to clear one's thought before leaving the office in the evening. Not only will one's home and family be happier, but the body will be healthier.
How can we do this clearing out? When anger, hatred, resentment, and the like have been aroused, it is not always easy to overcome them -- especially when they may seem in some cases justified by the misdeeds of others.
Paul pointed the way when he referred to the Christ, for it is through the understanding of spiritual being as taught by Christ Jesus that we can be free from the influence of ungodlike characteristics. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," n4 Jesus had said in his Sermon on the Mount. And this, Christian Science shows, is a statement of divine reality. God, the one perfect creator of all, is manifested in His perfect expression, man.
n4 Matthew 5:48.
Each individual, in reality, reflects the ideal nature of divinity. Each one actually manifests love, truth, life, and intelligence. These good qualities are inherent in man and are never separated from our true, spiritual being. In fact, God is the very Mind of man. The consciousness that is cluttered with sin and disease is not man's true Mind. Knowing this, we are able to confront evil characteristics and recognize them as impostors. We can demand that the real nature of man appear and that corrupt, presumptuous propensities claiming to have control over mortals disappear.
And they willm disappear in proportion as we have faith in the Christly understanding of God as the only power and Mind, and in the idea of man as His offspring.
If clearing out accumulated errors demands effort -- perhaps even more self-discipline than clearing our office desk of papers before leaving for home -- it is well worthwhile. It is our right to be free from discord of every kind , and in truth, as children of God, we arem free. We can enjoy this freedom continuously if we will give daily attention to the "in" box of our consciousness and keep it pure and perfect.