Watching Point 117
From 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
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117 — WATCH lest you permit error to make your thought stiff and rigid, when it must learn to be plastic and flexible under the Father’s hand, so that all that is human may yield to the divine.
After clay hardens, the potter can no longer mold it. When water freezes, it can be struck with a hammer. If it should melt just before the blow fell, however, the hammer would have nothing to strike. The conclusion is that when you permit thought to become fixed and rigid, your state of mind not only prevents God from guiding you, but gives error something in your thought which it can hammer.
Therefore, the very attitude of mind that yields to the Father at every point and declares, “Not my will, but Thine be done,‛ is a protection against the hammering of error. Mrs. Eddy knew how to bend to the blast, or melt before error’s onslaught, since, in order to be guided by God, she had to be flexible. In stating how she was able to endure, she once said, “When the footsteps upon me, I bend as does the grass, and when it is lifted, I come up as naturally.’’ This very ability to melt or bend under the blows of error, was the result of her humble desire and effort to be guided by the Father in all she thought, said and did.
Jesus admonishes us to turn the other cheek. In other words, when error strikes at you, do not stiffen and resist, but bend to it, as the Master did at the crucifixion, when he implied that they could do with his flesh as they saw fit, but he would watch that they did not rob him of God, nor of the loving humble thought through which God guided him.
Our effort should be to resist error in cause rather than in effect. When we resist error in effect, we do it through fear, and the result is a stiffening because the evil seems real. When we resist error in cause, we resist the temptation to believe in its reality.
If you were on a boat and you saw it about to crash into an iceberg, you would stiffen against that which seemed very real and solid. But if you discovered suddenly that the iceberg was merely a fog bank, you would relax and pass through it unharmed. The right resistance in this case would not be against the iceberg, but against the temptation to believe it to be an iceberg.