WE are told in the Bible that "the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever." There are a promise and a prospect in this verse which certainly merit careful consideration. To give this consideration, both the nature and the requirement of righteousness need to be understood, the one to be sought out and the other fulfilled. True righteousness goes far beyond the human sense of being upright or just. In a higher and more spiritual significance the word implies the regular practice of right thinking and acting. In the ultimate it means abiding by and reflecting divine Principle, or living in accord with the highest concept of God, good, forever. Mary Baker Eddy says in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (pp. 273, 274), "The divine Science of Life alone gives the true sense of life and of righteousness, and demonstrates the Principle of life eternal; even the Life that is Soul apart from the so-called life of matter or the material senses."
At the outset it is evident that this demonstration of right thinking and acting must be individual and continuous. Obviously it cannot be accomplished for us by anyone else. It should be equally clear that there can be nothing intermittent about the expression of man's nature as the reflection of God, for He is Himself unchanging and eternal. Logically regarded, neither changes in worldly conditions nor the mere passage of time can alter or remit the necessity for righteousness. Such a spiritual attitude cannot be dropped and adopted again when it seems convenient. We cannot even swerve a little to the right or left as a matter of policy, if we wish to obtain the blessings foretold by the prophet. Nor should we hesitate to put into practice what we have already learned of the requirements of righteousness.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told his disciples (Matt. 5:6), "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Happily for us our Leader has given us all that we can ever need in the way of instruction in the paths of righteousness. Every one of her inspired writings contains the same consistent and logical teachings with this end in view. It now remains for us to foster each righteous desire, to assert our freedom to practice righteousness, and then to strengthen our ability with constant exercise and singleness of purpose. Truth will unfold in our consciousness just as fast as we are prepared to receive it.