Repeating Wisely

AN effective tool used in teaching is repetition. Children practice repeating math facts aloud; golfers practice their strokes; musicians frequently repeat difficult passages so they can perform without concern for the mechanics involved. Care must be taken, however, that only those things which will aid the individual are included in the material repeated. Consider the implications of inadvertently memorizing (by repetition) incorrect addition or multiplication. We would find it impossible to solve problems successfully if those mistakes were in our calculations.

It follows, then, that repetition of whatever is hurtful in our experience is detrimental to our well-being and should be avoided. Whether in mental conversations with ourselves or in exchanges with others, the repetition of evil doesn't bless!

Obviously, no one is benefited by blindly turning away from what needs healing. Yet it is not ignoring evil to refuse to repeat it. We can take the spiritually enlightened position of siding with God, the infinite All of being, by repeating the message of God's goodness and care. Thought then opens to the healing power of Christ.

The so-called carnal mind would have us repeating ad infinitum every ugly thought it presents -- how severe the pain, how long the duration of a problem, how cruel the actions of a fellow worker. If we don't recognize the ruse, we allow ugly thoughts to govern us, and we suffer the consequences.

In her sermon Christian Healing, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``If you wish to be happy, argue with yourself on the side of happiness; take the side you wish to carry, and be careful not to talk on both sides, or to argue stronger for sorrow than for joy. You are the attorney for the case, and will win or lose according to your plea.''1

Of course, spiritual healing is not simply a matter of mindlessly repeating prayers or special phrases. Far from it. Such healing results from an understanding of the supremacy of the one God and the perfection of man -- of our true selfhood -- as His spiritual likeness. It's important, then, to side with this reality, to ``seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually'';2 to bring our thoughts into harmony with Christ Jesus' teaching ``Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.''3

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy observes, ``Error repeats itself.''4 This repetition is evident in recurring disease symptoms, seasonal problems such as destructive flooding, and other everyday occurrences that are accepted as inevitable. Yet the Science of Christ includes in its teachings the premise that evil is ultimately fraudulent, because God, good, cannot include evil. Therefore humanity can progressively gain dominion over it. There can be a diminishing of evil.

Being obedient to the rules of healing in this Science is not a casual business! We need to be alert to the subtle, serpentine nature of evil. We can defend ourselves by turning often to God and His infinite goodness and power.

There is no substitute for a steady, unwavering allegiance to God and His goodness and for a heart willing to reject the temptation to reiterate error of any kind. Once we identify a falsehood as false, we can resist it and prove its powerlessness to harm us.

We can insist on our rights, as the sons and daughters of God, to a view of reality devoid of evil and its inevitable repetitions. As we contend persistently for the spiritual facts, we see increasing proof of the infinite presence of God.

1Hea., p. 10. 2I Chronicles 16:11. 3John 8:32. 4Science and Health, p. 28.

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