Watching Point 49
From 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
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49 — WATCH lest, when you see members of your branch church or The Mother Church apparently manifesting little spirituality as a whole, you become disgusted, disturbed or critical, and then turn around and hate yourself for it. You should realize that that in you that is doing the criticizing is no more real or part of you, than that which is being criticized in the church members is real, or part of them.
There will always be a great temptation to lose one’s spiritual poise of thought, because of the errors apparent in our organization; but this is part of its God-given purpose, namely, to teach one how to maintain his scientific thought under the pressure of mortal suggestion.
When you become a member of a branch church, you become subject to the argument that there is a dearth of spiritual understanding in the church; but as a member you are called upon to handle this suggestion for the church. You must know that the Spirit of God is always present, since, if you rise above sense testimony, you will find the Spirit of God everywhere. Only by making this effort can you fulfill your obligation to God and to your brother-man.
If you permit the apparent failure of individuals in the church to live up to your sense of right, and an apparent lack of appreciation and recognition for your faithful service, to darken and depress your thought, that proves that you have permitted yourself to be handled by animal magnetism.
If you were working scientifically for the atmosphere of a service on a Sunday morning, and suddenly you happened to glance out of the window and saw a man brutally kick a child, and it upset you so that you felt your anger rising toward the man, would it not be correct to diagnose the whole episode as an effort of error to stop your good work for the service? Would you not find yourself tempted to withdraw your spiritual support where it was needed and should be given? You would detect the whole action as a trick of error. It is a similar trick, when error tries to upset you with evidence of a lack of Christian Science among your fellow-churchmen, so that you cease your right efforts in support of the organization. When the trick is detected and exposed, its subtlety loses all power.