Extracting foot from mouth

We've probably all done it at one time or another - said the wrong thing at the wrong time. Or maybe what we said was misunderstood or given more weight than intended. And then there were the times we meant exactly what we said, but later regretted the comment. Whatever the case, we're always faced with the problem of how best to get our foot out of our mouth.

If you're like me, you've tried different methods: attempted to explain away what was said; perhaps made an effort to recast it in a new light; maybe just dropped the whole issue, hoping it would evaporate. But if the consequences were serious enough, I've prayed. There is value in turning to God for comfort - even for compassion and forgiveness. When we humbly look to Him for a solution, it's not unusual for the situation to ease.

But there is even more we can do if we're pursuing a really complete answer. Helpful as it may be to ask God to straighten things out, it is even better to see how He has already helped - and start taking advantage of that aid. An important beginning comes in catching a clearer glimpse of God as infinite intelligence, the source of all wisdom. The Bible makes this point clear: ''O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller?''n1

n1 Romans 11:33-34.

The term ''Mind'' is a name for Deity that reveals the very essence of one all-knowing God. Mary Baker Eddy n2 offers this insightful comment: ''Omnipotent and infinite Mind made all and includes all. This Mind does not make mistakes and subsequently correct them." n3

n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 206.

We may feel that's just fine for God but what about us? The Bible helps us see that man's real nature is infinitely more than a fallen, sinning mortal. According to Genesis 1, man is actually the image, even the likeness, of God. Now think for a moment what is implied by the concept that man is the image, the expression, of divine Mind, which never mistakes. Here is a profound truth of Christian metaphysics. Just to say it means little. But if we let such a spiritual fact truly dawn on our consciousness, let it overturn mortal fears and uncertainties, Christian healing takes place. The Christ, God's message of perfection, has touched our thought.

When Christ Jesus healed, mistakes were completely reversed. Mistakes of sickness gave way to facts of health. Sin caved in to righteousness. Death was replaced by life.

What if we've been indiscreet, or downright mean? The whole chain of circumstances can go through a kind of reversal. When we are humble enough to honestly admit and understand Mind's perfection - and man's reflection of this never mistaking Mind - changes do take place. What may have seemed embarrassing, or even devastating, can be overturned, and even a blessing can result.

Obviously, we can't predetermine just how events may evolve. But it is true that as we yield to spirituality, to the perfection of Mind and its idea, man, a healing adjustment comes to our lives. And when genuine healing takes place, we are stronger than before. We've put off some of the old man and taken on some of the new referred to by Paul. The practical results - for instance, in one of those foot-in-mouth situations - may be that we are spiritually wiser, more discerning and disciplined. And those who were the object of our remarks are released from indignation or hurt.

Anytime we break through into a better understanding of God and man's relationship to Him, uncomfortable positions we are caught in begin to straighten out. The reason is that from the standpoint of perfect Mind, man has never fallen. And through a growing love of God we begin to demonstrate that fact. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Keep back thy servant. . . from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalms 19:13, 14

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