Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Question: What is “temperance”?
Answer: In the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, you will often see the word temperance linked with meekness. To be temperate is to be mild or moderate in one’s thoughts, actions, speech, or
appetites. A temperate person would not go to extremes in what they do, say, eat, or drink.
For instance, having a slice of cake for dessert might be temperate. But, eating the whole cake all by yourself would be extreme, and not at all temperate!
The Bible tells us: “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.” (I Cor. 9)
Temperance is a virtue that every Christian Scientist is urged to practice:
“Christian Science teaches: Owe no man; be temperate; abstain from alcohol and tobacco.”
“Be temperate in thought, word, and deed. Meekness and temperance are the jewels of Love, set in wisdom. Restrain untempered zeal. ‘Learn to labor and to wait.’ Of old the children of Israel were saved by patient waiting.” (Ret. 79)
“A man who likes to do wrong — finding pleasure in it and refraining from it only through fear of
consequences — is neither a temperate man nor a reliable religionist.” (S&H 322)
Practice: Do your parents ever tell you to “control your temper”? They are reminding you that it is wiser to be gentle and mild in what you do and say. Today, observe your speech and actions.
Do you need to be more temperate?
* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Two: The Beatitudes”
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