There is a beautiful thread running through Mary Baker Eddy's writings. It is the thread of sharing ideas how to put into practice the laws of Love, how to be most useful to humanity, and how to live a life which is rooted in Good. She writes, for example, in her message for 1900:
"Our Master saith to his followers: "Bring forth things new and old." (...) Usefulness is doing rightly by yourself and others. We lose a percentage due to our activity when doing the work that belongs to another. When a man begins to quarrel with himself he stops quarreling with others." (Message for 1900, p.8)
What a blessing for our world - for this small portion of humanity which is "our world" - when we quarrel with ourselves instead of with others. When we wrestle with our own weaknesses and resistance, instead of blaming others for the fact that things don't go well. Synonyms for "quarrel" are "to cross swords, to disagree, to battle, to draw into a controversy", all words which not only sound spiky and bristled, but allude to those actions towards others which in a way say, that there is no God - no Love, goodness, Life. As if there is a life separate from God, good and as if nothing matters but winning the next competition however insignificant.
Quarreling with ourselves: what do we quarrel with? Reading the fifth chapter of Galatians and observing our world I think it is resistance against spiritual progress and hard work we should and must quarrel with, it is selfishness, self-interest, uncontrollable temper, self-centered ambition, a tendency to complain, envy, jealousy, idleness, and the unwillingness to be spontaneous. In the Bible translation The Message we read in the fifth chapter of Paul's letter to the Galatians about "divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival."
"Depersonalizing everyone into a rival" - how is that working for you? Christianity teaches us unconditional, universal love as the effect of a God, that is Love itself. Knowing about Love and learning to feel the warmth and power of Love in our experience, we can try to focus and magnify good where ever we find it, we can make a commitment to good and not write down, in an email or letter, anything negative, any criticism. We can become better in not giving unsolicited advice and we can eliminate "pity!" from our vocabulary. If we have to mention anything that needs improvement we can become quiet and pray for the right words and talk from a position which knows the ability to achieve all good in each one.
After all: We only quarrel with ourselves and stop quarreling with the world (with other drivers in the road, with neighbors who are different, with family members, who simply "don't get it", with a world that just is beyond rescue), if we truly and unequivocally accept ourselves as we are. This may sound like a paradox, but the position to quarrel with ourselves is a position of power, not of weakness, and the greatest power in the universe is love, unconditional love. Quarreling with ourselves is the willingness to let Love be all and the ego move aside. When we quarrel with ourselves, we are our own best friend, a real friend, who works with us, who helps us to be better. Being your own best friend enables you to overcome a sense of loneliness (just in case) and will give you plenty to do each day. You can remember this rule of everyday happiness and progress, by Mary Baker Eddy: "When a man begins to quarrel with himself he stops quarreling with others."
And later on, in the same message she gives this counsel: "Hold in yourselves the true sense of harmony, and this sense will harmonize, unify, and unself you." (Messsage for 1900, p. 11)
Isn't this something to explore and embrace? You deserve an upgrade, you surely do. You deserve a best friend. You deserve to know who you truly are. You deserve to know divine Love.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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