“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness . . . ” Q&A #9

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled.

Question: How should we react to the lack of righteousness in others, especially when they treat people badly?

Answer: Believing that we are good, while others are bad, or thinking that we are better than others, is called self-righteousness. It is tempting to feel self-righteous and angry when we watch
others behave badly, but this is a negative quality that must be held in check. Why? Because self-righteous thinking indicates that we believe that we are the originators of good. This is not true. God alone is the source of all true righteousness. Man is His reflection always, in spite of what the personal senses tell us. If we can remember this, we will not be so quick to judge
others who seem to fall short.

Therefore, if we become aware of a situation in which an individual, a group, or a nation is in need of help in correcting unfair, cruel, or unjust actions, we should react with calm wisdom, rather than with self-righteous rage. On the other hand, becoming indifferent to the injustices of society — maybe because we are too comfortable or busy in our private lives — would be unchristian. We must want to help. Mary Baker Eddy writes:

“The “vox populi,” through the providence of God, promotes and impels all true reform; and, at the best time, will redress wrongs and rectify injustice.” (Mis. 80)

And, “A higher and more practical Christianity, demonstrating justice and meeting the needs of
mortals . . . stands at the door of this age, knocking for admission. (S&H 224)

Practice: Today, pray about an unjust or unlawful situation that is in the news.

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Two: The Beatitudes”
Copyright 2002)

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Hunger #9

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