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Spiritual Short

Why converse with the serpent?

From the June 2021 issue of The Christian Science Journal

In a recent Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson, the familiar story of Eve listening to the suggestion of the serpent hit me like a bolt of lightning. In Genesis 3, the serpent subtly draws Eve into a dialogue that results in both Eve and Adam eating fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil—fruit that the Lord God had said would make them mortal (see verses 1–6). What struck me was that I didn’t know a woman alive who would have a conversation with a snake. Most of us would flee immediately. Obviously, the serpent represents evil or error, which is always untrue. But if I wouldn’t talk to a snake, why would I listen to error? Since realizing this, I have had many opportunities to prove it.

For example, I sent a special item by priority mail to a friend of mine. Even though she lives only an hour away, in tracking the package the next morning, I found it was estimated to be delivered in three more days.

Suddenly, I was “seeing red.” But I quickly realized this was just “the serpent” tempting me to believe a lie—that there’s a power or mind opposed to God. I saw there was absolutely no reason for me to feel angry. I remembered an article describing how if Love is at the helm of thought, nothing but love can impress us (see Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 113). My peace returned, and about five minutes later my friend called to say she had received the package.

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