Whenever I want to be sure of my information, I feel safer going to "the horse's mouth." That old saying means to go to the original, or authoritative, source.
Today's society considers itself to be civilized. Credit for its advancements is not given often enough to the one book that has been influencing human thought for thousands of years -- the Bible. There is scarcely a subject or a condition that is not touched on in the Bible. I recall having heard as a teenager that when faced with a difficult decision, I could always find an answer in the Bible. I was not a Bible student, not even a willing churchgoer. Religion wasn't cool. But a day came when I was forced to make an important decision. In desperation, I picked up a Bible and resolved to follow honestly whatever directive I found. I opened it at random. To my astonishment, the very problem I faced was set forth, as well as the steps necessary to solve it.
If people were asked to name the ten most influential men and women in history, Jesus would stand near the top of many lists. By the time he was twelve, he had decided to be about his "Father's business" (see Luke 2:49). He showed this was of inestimable practical value. He faced down political, social, economic, and physical challenges. He knew the Hebrew Scriptures, and always went to their teaching. And he was obedient to their laws. Today's troubles are, fundamentally, the same ones Jesus faced.
One common problem today is a feeling of isolation. We wonder where help and hope are to be found. Jesus might have felt this when he was without food or water, alone in a wilderness (see Matthew 4:1-11). The way Jesus responded is preserved in this account of an intimate conversation he had. The Bible sets it out in the form of a dialogue with the devil, or evil thoughts. The devil's temptations began with: "If thou be the Son of God, . . ." And Jesus' answers began with: "It is written . . . ," referring to the law of God as recorded in Hebrew Scripture. Jesus relied solely on the law of God, the keystone of which is the First Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3). As Jesus countered each disturbing evil thought with something he had learned of God, he was free. In the end, Matthew says, "The devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him."
Only scientific facts could account for the marvelous things Jesus did. His life proved that there is a Science that we can practice through spiritual understanding. He showed this to be the only way to have truly better lives. The Science of Christ, as set forth in the writings of the woman who discovered it, Mary Baker Eddy, is based on the understanding of God as the Principle of being. It is practical. It reforms lives and heals physical illness.
Life may lead us to believe there must always be both good times and bad times. But Christian Science makes plain that God created only good, and that good alone is real. It's easy to blame our problems on conditions beyond our control. But while conditions may be beyond our control, our reaction to them is always in our control. What happens to us is the result of what we think -- especially of what we hold to be true. Jesus made it clear that the goodness of God is primary and final, and that our need is to know and follow God.
Maybe we like to think of ourselves as intelligent, independent thinkers. But we rarely realize how the current of contemporary thought influences our actions and conclusions. When human reason fails, a departure from customary conclusions may be a new and healthy approach. We may finally turn to God for direction. If we are sincere, we'll be directed to take the right action.
Miscellaneous Writings, written by Mrs. Eddy, says on page 62: "Holding the right idea of man in my mind, I can improve my own, and other people's individuality, health, and morals . . . ." The "right idea" of God is found in the Bible. Christian Science has led literally thousands of people to understand and love the Bible. You might say it goes straight to the horse's mouth!
*You can find in-depth articles on Christian Science in a monthly magazine, The Christian Science Journal.