What is the common line to be crossed between hope and the achievement of some goal? Very often there is a need to give consent. Notice, I didn't write "get the consent of others". The front line in the battle for progress is always within the precincts of our own inspired thought. "The devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible," says Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. (Mary Baker Eddy, p.199)
To consent is to permit, approve, agree, comply or yield. Forward movement on a project, a relationship, a career move, or any other subject, often involves a bit of all five...
1. To Permit -
By allowing yourself to find a reason for your hope, you open the door to the divine influence, and the unrestricted power of good to move you forward. Human approval can't do for you what aligning your motives and actions with divine Good can do. The power of God, universal Good, is always on the side of spiritual good. To divine Good, there is no opposition. "Is there no divine permission to conquer discord of every kind with harmony, with Truth and Love?" (ibid.p. 394)
2. To Approve -
Do you tend to look to those around you for approval before gaining the confidence to advance with a good idea? Look higher. All true good - from a thought to a thing - reflects the attributes of divine Good in qualities. Examine your project to seek out the reflected qualities of God. Keep the divine Source of all true good in view. As we read in Paul's letter to Timothy: "Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved, a workman who has no cause to be ashamed ..." (II Timothy 2:15) I love the words of this hymn: "His goodness stands approved, Unchanged from day to day: I drop my burden at His feet, And bear a song away." (Christian Science Hymnal, 124)
3.To Agree -
Agreement isn't about conforming to a limited human perspective. Agree to the highest and broadest expectation of good. Agree to express wisdom, intelligence, courage, tact, confidence, patience and unwavering persistence. These are divine attributes that everyone reflects as spiritual qualities. Notice them in yourself. Agree that you possess them. Agree that you can express them. Agree. "The admission to one's self that man is God's own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea." (Science and Health, 90:24)
4. To Comply -
Spiritual compliance doesn't involve subverting will or crushing your desires, but rather molding personal will and all desire to the divine. "Desire is prayer," we read in Science and Health, "and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds." (p. 1) In his letter to the Romans, Paul puts it this way, "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." A paraphrase of Paul's words in The Message (Eugene Peterson) is also helpful: "Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you." (Romans 12:2)
5. To Yield -
One of my favorite thoughts on yielding is found in Genesis where God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so." (Genesis 1:11). I often think of the 'herb yielding seed" as the "herb-yielding seed" and the "tree yielding fruit" as the "tree-yielding fruit." In other words - to yield, is to consent to the infinite fruit contained in every seed. I once heard, "Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in the seed." Every seed, every inspired good thought is fueled with divine potential. There are no limits to what you are and to what you can do. Yield to your full potential. Accept the potential AND the fruit of your good ideas. You are a tree-bearing fruit!
This post originally appeared on this blog on October 24, 2011. This slightly edited repost includes new links.
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I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no