The Practitioner Corner: Yes to God, No to Error 

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By Anna Lisa Kronman, CS

I was serving as the practitioner during a session of A/U Ranches Youth Camp this past summer and wanted to give the budding students of Christian Science something they could easily remember and apply before they began their three-day trips. It came in the form of this instruction Jesus gave his followers: “… let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”  (Matt. 5:37)


Anna Lisa Kronman speaking to Sky Valley youth campers


We saw that when something comes up, it’s an opportunity right away to agree with what God is saying. Say “yes” to God and His present goodness and power, His loving government, His step-by-step guidance. Say “no” to error – whatever might come flooding or creeping in, trying to convince us that we are somehow outside of God’s care, that we feel hurt or sick or alone or sad or afraid. We get to reject these, and we may as well be bold about it.

We saw that idea amplified even more in Mary Baker Eddy’s words: “Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 393). 

These powerful sentences are like lifelines when we need them, or a flashlight in the dark. We decided to figure out more closely what they meant.

  • rise: move forward, get a higher view
  • strength of Spirit: God’s strength, not our own
  • resist: say no to; don’t permit or allow
  • unlike good: bad, what says we are hurt or sore or afraid, or separated from God
  • man: every one of us!
  • capable: able to do this
  • nothing: no thing, power, or presence
  • vitiate: good vocab word! Means to mess up, destroy or make defective; “to spoil the purity or effectiveness of something else by allowing entrance of a fault or defect.”
  • ability, power: capacity to do something
  • divinely bestowed: God-given

I shared with the campers an experience of a young Sunday School student at the beach with his family. When he found himself caught in a riptide, unable to get to the surface, he remembered God was with him and loved him. He then heard just the right idea to get out of the swirling water safely and found his family.

Then I shared an experience of my own when I lost control of my bike and got pretty scraped up. I got to say “yes” to what God knew about me, and “no” to what presently seemed painful and scary. I had a quick healing.

What a joy to hear later, when everyone was back from their adventures, that a couple of campers remembered those ideas when a tough time arose, and regained their peace. Yes to God, no to error! Simple, practical, accessible for us all.

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