In the Rule for Motives and Acts, Mrs. Eddy gave us the basis for unity within the Church. I am so grateful for it.
At our membership meeting earlier this week, several members walked out before the end of the meeting, during the “Comments for the good of the Cause.” The suggestion came that they were acting with a blatant lack of grace toward the membership as a whole, as well as a lack of support for Church. The meeting had been without controversy and was not overly long. It felt like we were being deserted.
I labeled it as the carnal mind at work. But that didn’t help me to really cleanse my thought of condemnation and self-righteousness. Other members expressed censure about the early departures, and that didn’t help.
The spirit of mutual support is so needed in our movement, especially at this time. I really longed to see the situation in a more helpful and spiritually scientific way. But it felt like trying to get gum off both hands at the same time.
Then just this morning before arising, I reached out to God.
Guess what?! I was reminded of “A Rule for Motives and Acts” (Man 40:4).
Mrs. Eddy didn’t leave room for disobedience. We are governed by divine Love, and the list of “sweet amenities” is complete – rebuking sin, (not persons), true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness. And it says nothing about a situation when the Rule could be set aside. Well, the power of that Rule brought me victory and peace.
Later today another of Mrs. Eddy’s statements caught my attention. It is in the paragraph with the marginal heading “Image of the beast.” “The way to escape the misery of sin is to cease sinning. There is no other way” (S&H 327:12-13).
I saw that statement in a whole new way. If I wanted to stop my misery of being bothered by others’ actions – “their” sin, I needed to stop the sin of seeing them as sinners – “my” sin. The statement told me that to label sin as my sin or their sin is not only inaccurate, it is irrelevant. That made me laugh. The whole thing was a hoax.
This week’s lesson says it. “Thus man was no longer regarded as a miserable sinner, but as the blessed child of God” (S&H 573:17-18).