The question is often asked, "What are the qualifications for a practitioner of Christian Science?" and in trying to answer this question it may be well to define the term Christian Science. No one can do this as clearly as has Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science and its pioneer practitioner.
In "Rudimental Divine Science," in answer to the question "How would you define Christian Science?" she says, "As the law of God, the law of good, interpreting and demonstrating the divine Principle and rule of universal harmony." In Science and Health she writes: "The term Science, properly understood, refers only to the laws of God and to His government of the universe, inclusive of man." "The term Christian Science relates especially to Science as applied to humanity" (pp. 128, 127). Again, in "Retrospection and Introspection," we read: "I named it Christian, because it is compassionate, helpful, and spiritual" (p. 25). From all this it will be seen that the requirements for practising this Science are not superficial. They must reach to the depths of one's nature and exact the final destruction of all that is not Christian, not based on divine Principle.
The first necessity is honesty, absolute integrity of thought. A certain frankness in surface relations with others is considered honesty by many. Such persons may not consciously cheat, lie, nor steal, yet they constantly deceive themselves regarding their motives and desires. Selfishness largely actuates their acts of supposed kindness and charity. This being the case, there is need for each one to obey the terse injunction of the old Greek, "Know thyself!" There are two ways in which one must know himself. He must be able to recognize his faults, weaknesses, and sins. He must also comprehend in some degree the actuality of his true being as the perfect expression of divine Mind, God's own image and likeness. This knowledge of himself enables one to overcome human weaknesses and manifest in their stead the qualities of God.