Keeping Our Demonstrations Modest

         In "Miscellaneous Writings" (pp. 171, 172) Mrs. Eddy, commenting upon the few who "at present know aught of the Science of mental healing," and on the many who "are obtruding upon the public attention their ignorance or false knowledge in the name of Science," goes on to declare that "it behooves all clad in the shining mail to keep bright their invincible armor; to keep their demonstrations modest, and their claims and lives steadfast in Truth." Surely no counsel could be of greater value to Christian Scientists than this, and it may be well to consider something of what our Leader's words imply.

         Most of us have often contemplated the question of our armor and of the way to keep it shining and bright. We have realized, at least to some extent, the necessity of frequently examining and testing it in all its parts. We have felt the wisdom of continually girding our loins with truth; of keeping our breastplate of righteousness all untarnished from self-righteousness, self-consciousness, self-exaltation, or self-condemnation. We have watched that our feet be shod with the gospel of peace, so that we may be swift to carry its glad tidings all unhindered by the obstructions of impatience, instability, and sluggishness. We have watched that our shield of faith be kept so glistering that every dart of error should glance aside all powerless to harm; and that our sword of the Spirit be held so firmly, so undauntedly, so deftly, that no belief of matter could be allowed to escape until its nothingness had been pierced and proved to be illusion.

         As Christian Scientists we have also prayed long and earnestly that our lives may always be kept "steadfast in Truth." But what of keeping our "demonstrations modest"? Here is something about which we may not always have been so alert, something to which we may not have given the time and attention that are needed if we are to gain an understanding of how to obey it in such fashion that we shall reap the rich reward which always follows compliance with the demands our Leader makes upon us.

         To keep our demonstrations modest! What a variety of aspects this proposition immediately presents! How it turns our thought inward, that we may discover just what our attitude has been towards our own work in Christian Science! How it makes us wonder in what guise this work and its results have been presented to others — whether we have kept our demonstrations so free from personal sense that they could go forth with blessing, or on the contrary have so befogged them with the mists of selfishness that they have fallen short of real good.

         To keep our demonstrations modest! How in line with this demand appear the words of Jesus, "Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth," then "thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly." Thus and thus only shall we be able to obey Jesus' command, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven;" for it is only as we do our work in so unselfed a manner that the Christ alone is lifted up that our demonstrations shall be modest enough to glorify God in their performance. Even when Moses had been with God on mount Horeb had he been thinking of his own appearance, or of his own efforts in connection with the obtaining of the Ten Commandments, his face would not have been so illumined that the children of Israel could scarcely look upon it.

         But more than this! Are we always letting our loving Father-Mother God prepare us wisely and perfectly for the work we are to do each day, each hour? Are we perpetually watching for the guidance of divine Mind? Are we ready and willing to perform "as to the Lord" each humblest task we may be given? Are we continually divesting ourselves of pride and vainglory, of personal ambition and self-seeking, that we may be instantly alert to every least opportunity to serve, whether or not it be known of men?

         To keep our demonstrations modest! What humility, what might, what gentleness, what strength, what patience, what activity does this require! When we shall have learned all the wonderful lessons which this demand of our Leader makes upon us, we shall be kept from attempting, as did Peter, to walk on the water before we are sufficiently humble to do it successfully. Neither shall we descant so loudly on what we should be accomplishing. Instead, we shall recognize that whatever we claim or declare we must of necessity prove; and so we shall be wise enough to wait on God until He points the way under every circumstance. Listening for His voice, and yielding instant obedience thereto, will result in such perfect modesty of demonstration that perfect results shall attend our every effort. Then God will be glorified, and we shall be satisfied!


"Keeping Our Demonstrations Modest" by Ella W. Hoag, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, May 22, 1926

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