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Mental Obedience

March 2, 2012

Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5-7), “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Jesus was making it pretty clear that you must control the thought behind the act, not just the act itself. That requires us to be pretty scrupulous about our thinking if we are to be obedient to that directive.

Mary Baker Eddy offers a way to do just that.  She says,”Stand porter at the door of thought.  Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously.”  (See Science and Health p.392)  Her statement, taken together with Jesus’ shows that you can prevent from occurring – even in thought – that which you would never allow to happen in your body.

What if this consciousness watching were applied to each of the commandments?  We would never even imagine harming our neighbor let alone indulge in wishful thinking about something that belonged to him or her.  We wouldn’t allow ourselves to even consider stretching the truth, let alone concocting an outright lie.  Our mental relationships with our parents would be respectful and joyous.  And at no time would we devote more thought to anything else than we do to God.

How do you suppose that kind of care would play out in our lives?  It’s worth giving it a try.

Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link.  If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.

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