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'I can, because I must.'

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

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That remark was made by someone who had decided to stop smoking. She told a friend that she was going to smoke that evening, and then no more. Her friend replied, "That's fine, but you can't do it just like that."

That's when the woman declared, "I can, because I must." She'd just been appointed head teacher of a large school for girls that had a reputation for severe lack of discipline and poor academic achievement. Recognizing this as a challenge, she maintained, "If I'm going to be able to discipline those girls, I must first discipline myself." By her decision, she was endeavoring to lift her thoughts to a higher level where she would no longer feel any desire to smoke, and could make better choices.

She actually did stop smoking that evening, no doubt gaining strength from her newfound freedom. She felt impelled to bring order and strength to that school, and sometime later her aim was achieved. Things completely changed, and the school became known both for its very good standard of behavior and for its academic achievement. As a result, the teacher was awarded a high national honor – an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) – in recognition of her service to education.

Having a clear motive often inspires achieving results. Maybe this is especially so when the aim is unselfish and blesses others.

A desire to pursue a certain course of action that is obviously good has its source in God. So it carries within itself its own means of fulfilment because it is empowered by divinity. This also ensures that God's will, not human will, is the power that is governing.

St. Paul makes this point in a letter he wrote to the early Christian church in Philippi, where he speaks of "being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it" (Phil. 1:6).


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