Just Compensation

         The explicit instructions which Christ Jesus gave to the seventy disciples, about to depart upon their mission of proclaiming and proving the healing power of the Christ, furnished the details of their conduct. They were to go without purse or scrip, and with bare feet; they were to salute no one on the way, perhaps because the Eastern salutations were complicated and tedious; and, rather than to go from house to house, they were to abide in the house where was found one who loved peace, eating and drinking, making there their headquarters — for "the labourer is worthy of his hire."

         Apparently it was the Master's belief that in the house where thought was receptive to the healing truth the disciples' ministry to the inmates would be adequate compensation for their housing and food; also, apparently, Jesus believed that remuneration should be paid by those who were benefited by the ministries of these students of his teachings. In this way Jesus set forth the obligation on the part of one thus profited to return some equivalent for the service rendered, while indicating that those engaged in demonstrating the power of the Christ, healing and regenerating the sick and sinning, were justified in looking for their subsistence to those whom they had helped. This is a justifiable basis of compensation of Christian Science practitioners for their healing works, as established by Mrs. Eddy.

         There is, moreover, a metaphysical aspect to the problem of compensation which should not be overlooked, either by practitioner or by patient. One who turns to spiritual means for healing does so with the expectation of receiving direct and definite benefits; he desires to get something. It is well recognized that the thought is most receptive of the healing truth which is also giving out, reflecting love, gratitude, joy, patience, humility, and obedience. One so actuated will find ample means for remunerating those who have been the channels for the divine message.

         In "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 300) Mrs. Eddy states the case concisely and with directness: "Christian Science demonstrates that the patient who pays whatever he is able to pay for being healed, is more apt to recover than he who withholds a slight equivalent for health." And she adds this important statement: "Healing morally and physically are one." Our Leader saw a close relation between one's moral and physical healing. How could it be otherwise, since the patient's physical condition is the outward expression of his mental state, of the thoughts he holds, consciously or unconsciously? The mentality that would withhold just compensation for the service of Christian ministry could scarcely reflect the spiritual quality receptive to the Christ-message in so great degree as one who constantly expressed gratitude and thanksgiving. The lines of a well-known hymn are pertinent:

"Ceasing to give, we cease to have,
Such is the law of love."

         The belief of lack is directly traceable to erroneous thinking. The thought which would withhold is often the one which experiences a sense of lack, because it has no adequate concept of substance. The sense of lack and the mistaken mental quality called miserliness are the types which dislike to render adequate compensation for spiritual help — the one from failure to understand the omnipresence of good, the other from failure to understand true substance, that it is infinite, and hence beyond possibility of exhaustion. In the gaining of the true sense of health, correction of these erroneous views is imperative.

         It should not be overlooked, however, that in the healing practice an obligation rests on the practitioner no less than upon the patient. It should never be lost sight of that Christian Science practice is a Christian ministry rather than a profession. Those holding themselves as ready to aid mankind spiritually are in duty bound to seek such realization of spiritual truth as will bring to the patient the most definite assurance of God's presence and man's perfection. This is true ministry, to which the earning of compensation is altogether secondary. But true service is worthy of just remuneration.

         Our Leader makes it very clear that Christian Scientists, being first of all humanitarians, should never fail to put the joy of service above the hope of material reward. Particularly does she admonish the practitioner in cases of protracted service reasonably to reduce the charges, especially in cases where healing is not effected. Her words in the Manual of The Mother Church (pp. 46, 47) are specific: "A Christian Scientist is a humanitarian; he is benevolent, forgiving, long-suffering, and seeks to overcome evil with good." Thus does our Leader establish for all time the standard of conduct in the practice of healing. The relation between practitioner and patient when established upon a scientific basis, is mutually beneficial, since both are channels for the expression of the divine Love which heals and regenerates mankind.


"Just Compensation" by Albert F. Gilmore, CSB
Christian Science Sentinel, June 5, 1926

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