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[Receive and Put to Good Use Every Good Gift (of Mind) from above!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:
August 21, 2016
By Christie Hanzlik, C.S., Boulder, Colorado / 720.331.9356

Each of us will find our own inspiration from this week’s lesson on Mind. One way to understand it is that each section shows different ways that Divine Mind, or God, gives us the gift of wisdom. (Note that words related to “gift” are in bold.) As the Golden Text makes plain, “. . . the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” This gift of wisdom does not come in the limited form of an IQ score. It includes “all things.” It includes a variety of qualities of thought, which continue to expand and meet every need. [See CC comment in W’s P.S.1.]

According to the Science of the Christ—the Science of how Christ Jesus did what he did—man does not have free will. This means that man—men and women generally—don’t actually have the ability to think thoughts separate from Divine Mind. Mind is our only source of thought and action. We cannot choose to be separate from God, separate from Mind, or separate from God’s will. The phrase we find in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done,” is not a choice for us to make, it affirms what is absolutely and already true. Here is an article that delves deeper into this idea that man does not have free will: You can also find the article in the March 1998 issue of The Christian Science Journal. It’s called “Does God give us free will?” and is by Barbara Vining, CSB.

Jesus said, “I can of mine own self do nothing,” which includes thinking. We too can do nothing, not even thinking, on our own. God/Mind is our only source of thought and action. We could restate this idea as, “I can of mine own self do or think nothing.” (Skip ahead to Section 4 to see how these ideas about Mind are an effective prayer about politics, ISIS, the weather, and other world events.)

While some people may feel that not having free will and not being able to think separately from Divine Mind is a limitation, seeing infinite Mind as our source of ideas actually gives us unlimited freedom. Divine Mind is all-powerful and all-knowing. So, in proportion as we acknowledge our inseparability from infinite Mind, our capabilities expand. In other words, we are capable of infinitely more and more as we learn that our source for wisdom, power, understanding, and so forth, come from Mind, not from a limited bit of stuff in the skull.

While limited, human thought is bound to a specific place at a specific time, knowing that we are part of infinite, omniscient Mind gives us the greatest gift.

The last line of the Responsive Reading provides a summary of idea that Mind is the source of all action and thought: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” [RR]

Let’s now look how each section of this week’s lesson offers examples of God/Mind’s gifts of wisdom, and tells us more about the quality of these gifts.

Section 1: List of Gifts

The first section offers an overview of the qualities of Mind. Note the first citation, “The wisdom [good gift] that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” [B1 and PS1 from CC]

That’s a great list of the gifts that Mind gives us:
• pure,
• peaceable
• gentle

• easy to be entreated (compassionate)

• produces a harvest of good fruits (useful)

• free of partiality (prejudice)

• free of hypocrisy

In a related passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy reminds us that not only are these good gifts from above wonderful, but also they are the only true gifts. She writes, “No wisdom is wise but His
wisdom; no truth is true, no love is lovely, no life is Life but the divine; no good is, but the good God bestows.” [S2] This means that if an idea doesn’t come from Mind, it has no true source and is vapid and false.

This is a great way to pray about our freedom from sin (sin is the belief of a separation from God/Mind). With the list of Mind’s gifts in this section, we see that everything that Mind gives is pure, peaceable, gentle, etc., and that man cannot be lured into following a false path, or a path separate from God/Mind. We cannot be distracted by false gifts that suggest pleasure but never satisfy us. There is no path away from God/Mind. There is no separation. “No wisdom is wise but His wisdom” means nothing except Mind can draw our attention.

Section 2: With God we can know the unknowable.

The second section explains that tuning into Divine Mind enables us to have the gift of knowing the unknowable and seeing beyond the “fables of mortal mind.” [S8] The first citation in Section 2 comes from the book of Daniel (a prophet). The citation is about God being a light that illuminates the dark, the unknown, so that all is known. It reads, “[Mind] reveals the deep and secret things: he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.” [B4]

The remainder of the section explains that wisdom is worth more than material riches. As it says in Ecclesiastes, being a king and having all the riches in the world may seem at first glance to be strength, but without wisdom a kingdom collapses. In contrast, having a meek sense of wisdom, turning to all-knowing Mind in all things, hold us up and makes us strong. In Ecclesiastes, we read, “Wisdom [the gift] is full of strength and “is better than the weapons of war.” [B6]

What a wonderful reminder that we have all that we need! We can use the ideas in this section to affirm that we have abundance, riches, power, grace, and that these God-given, Mind-given, gifts are strongest and most rewarding. In fact, these are our only true gifts, as we saw in the first section.

Section 3: Mind gives the gift of prophecy, wisdom and mercy.

The third section illustrates Divine Mind’s gift of prophecy in a Bible story about Elisha. The story emphasizes prophesy, fetterless Mind, unity, spiritual power, and mercy. Elisha uses spiritual prophecy to help his king capture his enemies and then convinces the king not to exact revenge, but rather to be compassionate with his enemies. The story demonstrates that 1) wisdom is better than weapons of war, and 2) wisdom is gentle. [B6, B8]

The story about Elisha’s “spiritual power” shows that God/Mind “will supply the wisdom and occasion for a victory over evil.” (S14) That God’s strength helped Elisha lead the king to show mercy with his enemies demonstrates that, “the cement of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity.” [S14]

Section 4: Mind gives the gift of power, and of love, and of a sound mind

Section 4 announces, “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” [B9] This idea is reiterated in the next citation, which explains, “Christ gives the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” [B10] Christ is our awareness of God, or our awareness of Divine Mind. So, being aware of our connection to Divine Mind gives us the “light of knowledge” and the ability to see God’s glory all around us.

Christ Jesus demonstrates these ideas when he heals the child who appears mentally deranged. [B11 and Cobbey Crisler PS on this healing] In other words, “Jesus demonstrated the power of Christian Science to heal mortal minds and bodies.” He showed how “mental might” offsets “human misconceptions” and an understanding of “perfect God and perfect man,” leads to the “harmony of the divine Mind. [S16, S19, S21]

Christ Jesus beheld (saw) the boy as governed only by Divine Mind, while everyone else had been seeing the boy as separate from Mind, as deranged. Jesus’ pure vision and spiritual power (“having that Mind”) brought the boy into the awareness of Mind, into his right mind, and thus he felt his inseparability from Divine Mind.

This truth has obvious implications when we’re praying about individuals, but it also has great value for praying about groups of individuals. “Groupthink” is the notion that a set of ideas—often negative—can control a group of people and cause the individuals within that group to act in an unloving way. One way we see this in the world today is the way that political parties seem to cause people to act in vitriolic ways as they become impassioned when they succumb to the groupthink of the masses. Loving individuals seem to become embroiled in arguments with their families over political issues. How do we wake up from this and continue to see these individuals in a loving and compassionate way? Well, instead of seeing an individual as governed by their political views, which can be a form of groupthink, we can see them as governed by Divine Mind, as having that harmony of thought that is right and normal. Prayerfully making the separation between the individual and the false groupthink is the highest form of love—seeing them as governed only by Divine Mind. And that is true for us too.

This prayer also enables us to address global issues such as the threat of ISIS. It is not possible to love ISIS. ISIS is negative groupthink. It seems to have grabbed a hold of a group of people to make them think and act it horrendous ways. But we can make the separation between ISIS and the individuals. We can refuse to see that these individuals can have a mind separate from Mind. We can be alert to the temptation to see them as controlled by a power apart from Mind. Divine Mind alone governs man. We cannot love ISIS, but in a Christ-like way, we can love the individuals that seem mesmerized by its power and see them as free to have that mind which was also in Christ Jesus. And we can pray to know that we cannot be mesmerized into believing that there is a power besides Divine Mind that governs man.

As we are able to see those who seem to be controlled by groupthink as individuals governed by Divine Mind, we are, of course, liberating ourselves also. We are freeing ourselves from the awful threat of being mesmerized by false power. There is no power apart from God/Mind. We cannot be mesmerized into being deranged like the boy that Jesus healed. We are free to “have that Mind which was also in Christ Jesus” and we are free to see all mankind as free from false forces.

Interestingly, this line of reasoning also applies to weather. Reports of inclement and inconvenient weather seem to capture people’s attention—everyone seems to like to talk about the weather. Sometimes images of storms seem to captivate and mesmerize and create a kind of hysteria. This is but another form of groupthink that seems to falsely govern the otherwise harmonious individual. We can make the separation, and affirm prayerfully that Divine Mind alone governs man. Thus, the same spiritual principle/law that Christ Jesus used to heal the deranged boy becomes an effective prayer against the seeming mass-hysteria that seems to come about during weather events. Try applying this prayer as you hear about the weather, and be alert to the seemingly mesmeric influence of weather reports by knowing that you only “have that Mind that was in Christ Jesus.” This is the same Mind that governed Christ Jesus as he saw the calmness at sea—“peace be still”—when everyone seemed mesmerized by the wind and the waves.

Section 5: Mind frees us from sin (separation).

The fifth section assures us that God/Mind frees us from temptation and cleanses us from the feelings of sin. Sin is the feeling of separation from good, the feeling of separation from God/Principle/Love.

This section makes clear that the Lord knows and directs our thoughts. We do not have the free will to move away from good, but are comforted by Love’s tender mercies to draw near to God. The gift here is that we are given freedom from sin, separation.

God/Mind “understands our thoughts afar off,” and helps us “blot out our transgressions.” (B12, B13) This section encourages us to accept the gift of Mind, which purifies us, and helps us to see our inseparability from Divine Love.

“Have mercy on me, O Lord
Because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion.
Blot out the stain of my sin.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
Teaching me wisdom even there.” (B13, NLT)

As we yield to the absolute fact that there is one Mind, we are free from the belief in a suppositional power opposed to Mind, and thus are free from the fear of sin. “To fear sin,” Mary Baker Eddy explains, “is to misunderstand the power of Love and the divine Science of being in man’s relation to God, — to doubt His government and distrust His omnipotent care.” [S23]

In Truth, there is no free will or ability for our thoughts to stray from God/Mind. In Mary Baker Eddy’s words, “There can be but one Mind, because there is but one God; and if mortals claimed no other Mind and accepted no other, sin (separation from God/Mind) would be unknown.” [S24] We can pray to understand this truth not just for ourselves, but for all mankind.

Section 6: Praise for the gifts of the Lord, the gifts from Mind.

The citations in Section 6 celebrate the gifts of Divine Mind. Check out these affirmative statements from the Bible:

· “The Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh wisdom and understanding.” [B17]
· “How precious are they thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!… [B18]
· “we have the mind of Christ” [B19]
· God also helps us spread the knowledge about Christ everywhere, and this knowledge is like the smell of perfume. [B20, CEV]

And, in Science and Health, we read parallel statements attesting to the fact that we cannot have a mind separate from Mind, that there is only one Source for our thoughts. Here are related ideas from Science and Health:

· Mind is the grand creator, [gift giver] and there can be no power except that which is derived from Mind. [S26]
· Divine Mind is the only cause or Principle of existence. [S27]
· Having no other gods, turning to no other but the one perfect Mind to guide him, man is the likeness of God, pure and eternal, having that Mind which was also in Christ. [S28]

The fact that we cannot stray from Mind, and do not have free will is an amazing gift. That we have “that Mind which was also in Christ” gives us wisdom and mercy, grants us the gift of prophecy, ensures that we have a “sound mind,” and frees us from the suffering of sin.

We can strive to accept Mind’s government and accept the great gifts of spiritual power, wisdom, mercy, soundness, and sinlessness. We can “let that Mind be in us which was also in Christ Jesus.” As we do this, we are proving that Divine Mind alone governs man. Inevitably we have no choice but to discover, “The divine understanding reigns, is all, and there is no other consciousness.” [S30] We can be truly grateful for this wonderful gift. As we read in the Responsive Reading, the gifts of Mind are not variable and have no shadow of turning—we never need to doubt them! We can remember, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Amen!

[Warren’s P.S.1 from Cobbey Crisler’s commentary on wisdom as defined in the Responsive Reading, Job 28:12 and James, and in citation B1 (James 3:17):
“Job 28:12 shows what we’re after, “Where’s wisdom going to be found? Where’s the place of understanding?”…

In Job 28:23 part of the answer, “God understandeth the way, and he knows the place.” But what does that do for us? That’s only part of the answer.
In Job 28:28 is the second part, “Unto man he says, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;” and the other side of the coin is “to depart from evil [that’s] understanding.” …

This is the Bible’s definition of wisdom in its utter simplicity. It is so simple, everybody. Wisdom is to know the difference between right and wrong and to live that way. … Here is the essence of wisdom. Do you remember the author of Hebrews [1:9] in looking for an adequate description of Jesus reaching back into the Book of Psalms and says that the thing which distinguished him above all others was that “he loved righteousness and hated iniquity” and that’s what lifted him above. He said in John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up [above the earth], will draw all [men] unto me.”
We must deal with the plus and minus in thought. We cannot ignore one of them any more than we can have the Ten Commandments without the Beatitudes, or vice versa.” …

… "We already know that James read Job because we read the verse (James 5:11) that mentions Job in it…
James 1:6 tells us how we should pray. You'll find when prayer is not prayer… "Let him ask in faith nothing wavering." Wavering suggests this to-and-fro state of mind… James 1:8 "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways."…
James 3:17 (B1) "But the wisdom that is from above" all stems from the commitment to oneness."

The Case of Job by B. Cobbey Crisler, page 17, 18, 66, 67. You can buy your own transcripts of 28 of Cobbey’s talks at this website, It’s maintained by his widow, Janet Crisler, who can be reached by email at]

[Warren’s P.S.2 from a Cobbey Crisler’s commentary on the same case of epilepsy that’s healed in citation B11, Matthew 17:14-21 (as described originally by Mark with Jesus first addressing the parent’s thought in Mark 9: 17-29):
“We have healings throughout Mark which require your study. We have an epileptic child healed in the next few verses, 17 through 29.
Verse 21. Jesus recognizes that the first patient is the father and his thinking. [“And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of o child.”… ]
Verse 23. He turns and deals with the father, his parental thought. [“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe: help thou mine unbelief.”]
Verse 25-27. Jesus then deals with the young man.
Verse 29 says, “This kind of healing.” Because the disciples had failed, this healing required two things, “prayer and fasting.” You can say this in another way using two other words: “No” and “Yes” [as Mary Baker Eddy titled one of her works on scientific, mental healing.] Fasting is what we say “no” to and prayer is what we’re affirming. Once again, we see that we are given the rules of healing.”
What Mark Recorded by B. Cobbey Crisler, page 59. You can buy your own transcripts of 28 of Cobbey’s talks at this website, It’s maintained by his widow, Janet Crisler, who can be reached by email at]

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