HAVE you ever noticed a discrepancy between what you were thinking about someone and what you actually were saying to him? Or have you voiced a good intention without really intending to follow through? This condition isn't new. In the Bible, the Psalmist's words indicate that he, too, was aware of this too-frequent disparity between ``words'' and ``meditations.'' He wrote, ``Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.''1
Matching the outside (the words of our mouth) and the inside (the meditations of our heart) may seem difficult to do. We are frequently confronted with conditions that seem to prompt or justify dissembling. Inwardly seething at the boss for having given us an unwanted assignment while outwardly acting as if everything were fine, however, can set the stage for some unlovely consequences. And if we want our children to be honest, while we are behaving as though the only way we can get ahead is to be devious, we are headed for disappointment.
In a sermon titled Christian Healing, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, brings out the spiritual foundation of goodness and reality. She writes: ``There is but one side to good, -- it has no evil side; there is but one side to reality, and that is the good side.
``God is All, and in all: that finishes the question of a good and a bad side to existence.''2
Think what it can mean if we accompany our resolutions to do or be good with the spiritual understanding that good alone is real. Matching thoughts with actions is no longer difficult or impossible when we turn to God for help.
Here's an illustration: When I first met my fianc's family, they were extremely cordial. But after the wedding, things changed drastically. They seemed full of disapproval and unrelenting criticism. And as time went on, the situation only got worse.
Though I managed to maintain an outward composure, inwardly I was in turmoil. My feelings ranged from bewilderment to anger to a complete loss of self-confidence and joy. Then my health failed and our marriage was in serious jeopardy.
I continued to struggle unsuccessfully with the situation until I began to study Christian Science. Then it became clear to me that if there was to be any kind of resolution, it would rest with my matching thought with deed. I couldn't put on a pleasant face and all the while be thinking hatefully. The opening words of the Lord's Prayer, ``our Father,'' were of inestimable value to me. They reminded me that in God's perfect creation we're all the children of the one divine Parent -- God, divine Love. So each one has a right to be recognized as lovely, loving, lovable.
As I began to think of the family this way, respect and regard replaced criticism. The distress I had been feeling was replaced with genuine affection, and I was permanently healed of the physical difficulties that had left me an invalid. And I'm still married to the same man thirty years later!
Matching the ``outside'' with the ``inside'' is part of the task of working out our salvation. Our ability to do this is already a part of our God-given identity. This identity is purely spiritual, flawless, and indestructible. The real man, the likeness of God, is the eternal expression of consistent good. On this basis Christ Jesus was able to heal every form of sickness and sin -- even death. And the truths he proved are here today to enlighten and bless us.
1Psalms 19:14. 2Christian Healing, p. 10.