As the truth is unfolded to the loyal Christian Scientist, and he thereby grows in spiritual understanding, he becomes increasingly conscious of his responsibility. He asks himself what this new life means to him and what it stands for to his neighbor; he welcomes the thought that he has come to recognize his power and his influence. He may be only a unit, but he is a unit with capacities and opportunities that are at his disposal to be used in the most sacred way for helping the fulfilment of the divinest of all prayers: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." He remembers what Jesus said to the few who were just beginning to be awakened to the truth: "Ye are the light of the world;" and he ponders long and prayerfully on the beautiful admonition that followed: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." He reads that gentle counsel or command, impossible to the material thought, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," and there opens up to him a vision— a very real one—of what he may become; nay, rather, of what he already is in his spiritual selfhood. Then the desire wells up in his heart to be valiant and heroic, to be clad in the armor of purified thought and consecrated purpose, to be a Sir Galahad going forth in quest of the holy thing that stands for righteousness and truth. He learns that the Christ-ideal is godlikeness; and no man has entered upon the path of love and wisdom who has not mentally pictured the goal which the whole-hearted Christian hungers and thirsts to reach. It spurs him to noble and unselfish deeds, yet clothes him in the grace of humility. It instils in him the love of obedience and inspires him to be faithful. It serves to sanctify every word and act. It brightens the home and the office and the workshop. It is the life that Jesus the Christ would have every man live.
The writers of the New Testament, imbued by the spirit that animated the Master, had much to say as to the manner in which his followers should be thus loyal to all that he taught. There is one word which has now become archaic in the sense in which they used it, but which has a meaning for us all, even though we take some liberty in interpreting it. This word occurs about twenty times, and is perhaps most familiar in that advice given by Paul to the Philippians: "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel," for, he says in another verse, "our conversation is in heaven." The word "conversation" is dropped from all the translations except the King James Version.
The obvious meaning as the word is used in the Scriptures is not the modern one; it refers to conduct, manner of life or behavior. Thus, when Paul reminds the Galatians that they had heard of "my conversation in time past . . . how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God," he was referring to what he did in his prechristian career; it was his experience then—the knowledge that his mental blindness, his pride and prejudice, his very vehemence, were all of the carnal mind—which caused him to plead everywhere that the old man should be put off, and that the new man should be put on; that they might be regenerated by Life, Love, and Truth. We may learn something from the word "conversation," however, when understood to refer to speech as well as conduct. These are correlated: the one is indicative of the other.