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WISE ZEAL

From the March 1936 issue of The Christian Science Journal


THERE are definitions of the word ''enthusiasm, " such as, for example, "ecstasy," "emotion," "frenzy," which might make it seem that this word could not be rightly applied to the activities of Christian Scientists. On the other hand, however, enthusiasm is also defined by Webster as "lively manifestation of joy or zeal," which is quite a different thing. And on page 599of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mary Baker Eddy gives the following definition of "zeal": "The reflected animation of Life, Truth, and Love. Blind enthusiasm; mortal will." It is evident that the use of "blind enthusiasm" and "mortal will" in our activities as Christian Scientists would not be desirable. However, it is not only desirable, but necessary that our efforts in behalf of mankind should at all times be characterized by "the reflected animation of Life, Truth, and Love," by joyous spontaneity.

The work of Christian Scientists, individually and collectively, should express eagerness, earnestness, joy, inspiration, happiness, vitality, faith, assurance, confidence, expectancy, devotion, consecration. Where these qualities of thought are being expressed there can be no apathy, indifference, coldness, self-ease, self-satisfaction, self-complacency, or any other form of selfishness. In the atmosphere of spiritually mental activity there is no place or opportunity for inertia, stagnation, or depletion. No such conditions can obtain in an organization whose members are at all times expressing the fullness of joy. Joy and inertia cannot occupy the same place at the same time. Inspiration and stagnation cannot dwell together. Apathy and indifference can find no abiding place in the consciousness where there is right enthusiasm or wise zeal. There is no room for doubt and discouragement aboard a ship manned by faithfulness, courage, consecration, and devotion.

However, we are living in a time when human invention has, through a multiplicity of devices, made unnecessary many kinds of exertion that formerly were regarded as indispensable to existence. The condition that prevails today is sometimes referred to as "effortless living." We should watch well, therefore, that living does not become so effortless that it is shorn of all the eagerness and ardor of consecrated service.

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