Looking for progress

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 |

What evidence of progress do you look for when you pray to God for help?
Do you first look for physical evidence, like more money in the bank, a stronger knee, a boss who commends your performance?
Or do you look for spiritual evidence, like a humbler disposition, a calmer thought, a confident outlook, inspired points of view, more love and care in your heart?
Earnest sincere prayer leads to change in the human experience, no doubt about it. But it’s a trick of mortal mind to get humans searching for material evidence of God at work before necessary inward reforms have been made.
Our experience follows our thought, so thought needs to change first for the follow-up to conform.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote,

“The purification of sense and self is a proof of progress” (S&H 324:4).

Are you looking for a proof of progress? Then look to see how well you are doing in terms of purifying “sense and self.” 
To cleanse “sense and self” is to purge consciousness of mortal sins, like jealousy, envy, greed, lust, anger, malice, despair and hate. This is done in degrees, but every trial faced is an opportunity to do it a bit better.
For instance, if angry at your boss for passing you up for a promotion, proof of progress on your part is not whether you get a promotion or not, but how fast you release the rage and replace it with love. Real progress is always spiritual. God will promote you in unexpected ways for growing spiritually that more than make up for a lost business promotion—if you rise to the opportunity to love more—purify “sense and self.”
So, when looking for evidence of progress, start with your state of mind. Are truth and love successfully purging sin from your sense of self and replacing it with higher and less selfish states of mind? If so, you are on the route to grand success. And the human will come into line with the divine.

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  1. Shelley in Devon
    November 7, 2012

    Yes, yes, yes. Good point to point out. Thank you.

  2. Tobias A. Weissman
    November 7, 2012

    Great, also in the nick of time. What timing, Evan, God gave you. I have always thought, even up to this day, that signs of success was more money, or better job positions, but never in the way you express it. Sure, prayer in C/S has made me more patient, loving to my family, etc. But I never, until reading your post, added it together.

  3. Alan
    November 7, 2012

    I thought of Joseph when reading your comments. Think how hard it must have been for him to stick with your advice! But he did reap the harvest, literally.

  4. Anonymous
    November 7, 2012

    I have been struggling with a progressive disease. I don’t have time for character reformation! It’s getting worse and fast. Does CS hold no hope for me?

  5. evan
    November 7, 2012

    To above,

    Oh yes, there is always hope and healing to be had! The belief of “progressive disease,” is the belief that evil is real, powerful and able to advance its agenda, disease in this case. And the truth, understood, that God is power, not evil, that health is your reality, not disease, and that Spirit determines your state of health and well being, not evil, counters the lie and dissolves it.

    Jump into Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, with the motive to move all faith into God, good, and out of any sense of “evil in control,” and the tide will turn against the lie and work in favor of you being healthy and strong.

  6. Alma
    November 8, 2012

    Thank you Evan for this point!
    It came at the right moment for me.
    There is only one Mind- after all. This Mind guides each of us – hence this topic that you’ve chosen – for people like me.

  7. Nea
    November 8, 2012

    Evan, so timely as the above commenter mentioned, just special for me…as well! Thank you!


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