Watching Point 34
From 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
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34 — WATCH that you be consistent in your handling of error, not overlooking an error in yourself, or claiming immunity from it, while you continue to hold it as real in another. In the habit of criticism, it is well to remember that that which does the criticizing is no more real or part of man than what is criticized.
When someone in a family is ill, he suffers with “feelsickness” in contrast to the others, who suffer with “seesickness.” When error appears real to you, even though it may be manifested by another, it becomes part of your problem, which is to unsee and to make nothing of error, whenever and wherever it presents itself.
One burned-out bulb in a string of Christmas tree lights that are connected in series, will cause them all to go out. As God’s children we are all banded together in the bonds of love. To see one of God’s little ones as a burnedout bulb, or as cut off from God, and hence under the control of error, shuts off your current, and robs you of your spiritual light. This attitude constitutes malpractice on your brother. It does not help him, and harms you.
In Matthew 5:23 we read, “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; . . . first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”
In an early issue of the Christian Science Sentinel there is a story of a Civil War veteran, who had a running sore resulting from his experience in the war, that did not yield to treatment by one of Mrs. Eddy’s students. One version of the incident is that this student consulted her Leader as to her failure, and was told to ask the man if he hated anyone. He replied that he was grateful to be able to state that he hated no one; that all sense of enmity resulting from the war had been healed in his thought. Mrs. Eddy then directed her student to ask if anyone hated him. His answer was that he was sad to have to report that he still had enemies who hated him. Then Mrs. Eddy sent the message, “Tell the man that he is still believing in hate and that there had been a war.” He had burned-out bulbs in his circuit. He remembered that his brother had ought against him. But through Mrs. Eddy’s detection of the error, it was corrected and the running sore was healed.
Once a rift appeared between a husband and wife. The latter was a student of Science, and she did her best to see her husband as God’s perfect child. The rift remained in spite of her good work. A verse came into her hands from a friend written by the author of these Watching Points:
I see myself as God’s own child,
As perfect in His sight
I see my brother-man as well,
A perfect child of light.
Then to complete my prayer,
I see him seeing me aright—
I see him seeing me seeing him
As perfect in Love’s sight.
Through this verse her eyes were opened to the fact that she was trying to see her husband perfect, while she was continuing to see him seeing her in a humanly mortal way. She was bringing her gift to the altar, thinking that her thought was right before God, while she was holding her husband as having ought against her. She then sought to see him seeing her as perfect, and harmony was restored between them.