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FOOTSTEPS TO PERFECTION

From the May 1952 issue of The Christian Science Journal


Perfection emanates from God, the infinite source of all good. God's clear directions for achieving perfection were recorded quite early in human history. "Walk before me," He commanded Abram, "and be thou perfect" (Gen. 17:1). Or, according to "A New Translation of the Bible" by James Moffatt, "Live ever mindful of my presence, and so be blameless." The command seems to indicate, to one student of Christian Science at least, that Abram was to live day by day so continually conscious of God's presence that this consciousness should lead to the demonstration of man's inherent perfection. In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ Jesus commanded (Matt. 5:48), "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." In this connection Mary Baker Eddy writes (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 253, 254), "The divine demand, 'Be ye therefore perfect,' is scientific, and the human footsteps leading to perfection are indispensable." Anything classified by Mrs. Eddy as indispensable must surely have our prayerful attention. Where, then, do the human footsteps begin?

The desire to take human footsteps toward perfection is born in the experience of some individuals during what Charles Kingsley once referred to as "divine discontent." This frequently builds up into a sharp sense of dissatisfaction with the kind of life one is living, until ultimately he feels compelled to face the issue fairly and squarely. In so doing he begins the quest not only for a better life, but for perfection itself. And what an all-absorbing, fascinating, spiritualizing quest it can be, fraught as it is with good for all mankind as well as for the one who embarks upon it!

During his first hour's study of Science and Health the writer came face to face with that challenging question which will be found on page 496, "Ask yourself: Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good?" He felt compelled to admit that his life did not even begin to approach that high goal; but immediately there came to his thought a way in which a start might be made: he could abandon the use of tobacco and alcohol. And within the next day or two he did. Thus, released from the bonds that had held him enchained for many years, the writer found a new, joyous sense of freedom. A completely fresh interest entered his life as he embarked upon that quest which must be undertaken, sooner or later, by every one of us in the passage from material sense to the purity and perfection of Soul.

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