If God knows our heart, why isn't repentance and a desire to be pure sufficient to make us pure? Because effective repentance means reform—radical, fundamental rethinking that changes sorrow, shame, and suffering into purified lives. God's love for us impels us toward this reformation process.
There was a time when I needed to experience God's love in a big way. I was given a copy of Science and Health in what I call My Year of Drinking Dangerously. I had been a drunk for over twenty years, so you can imagine what that year was like. But what I was really thirsting for was "living water," the truth that Jesus said would make us free. I had searched many systems and philosophies. I had observed many materially abundant lives that were soulfully vacant. Even many who were devoutly religious seemed to settle for woe and accept it as God's will. However, when I started flipping through the pages of Science and Health, just randomly reading, I knew this book contained the truth. When I turned to the Preface and read, "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings," Science and Health, p. vii. that was it—I had to read this book! I saw the old year waning, and I looked ahead to a really new year for me.
I started to read Science and Health on New Year's Day. Within the first week, I was healed of the insomnia that had tormented me since I was a small child, and my reliance on prescription sleeping pills ended. Next, the desire to purchase and use street drugs evaporated. I was also unable to continue my casual and habitual use of shocking profanities. I was experiencing reform.