The approaching presidential primaries will present Americans with a fairly wide selection of candidates. Balancing contenders' experience and positions on the issues, as well as discerning their individual characters, is essential. Prayer for divine guidance in making our selections can help immeasurably.
One important way we can judge candidates is on the basis of whether or not their capacities and policies will lead to moral and capable government. Ideally, we should be seeking individuals whose lives and political stands best express Godlike qualities, such as integrity, purity, intelligence, and justice.
The book of Isaiah eloquently describes the leadership of the Christ: "The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord.' n1 These are certainly useful qualities for any leader, particularly in making decisions that can interweave efficiently into a worldwide net of political and social needs.
n1 Isaiah 11:2, 3;
We can discern these qualities not only by noting what the candidates say and do, but also by praying for these qualities for ourselves. This prayer includes the recognition that because God, divine Spirit, is the source of all good, and man is inseparable from this source, we include the capacity for fully expressing these and other Godlike characteristics.
As we become more conscious of this ability and express more "wisdom and understanding," we will become alert to these qualities in others. This is perfectly natural. For example, individuals who ski a lot soon become adept at picking out the really good skiers on a mountain. The same is true for those who enjoy and are disciplined about expressing Principle, God, in every aspect of their lives. They, too, become expert at spotting the genuine article.
Christ Jesus reminded his listeners many times of the need for this discernment. For instance, in speaking of religious leaders of that time he said, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." n2 The scribes and Pharisees didn't have a monopoly on saying and then doing not. The well-developed art of political speechwriting makes our capacity for spiritual discernment extremely important.
n2 Matthew 23:2, 3;
In the end, we may feel that we've voted for the best candidate but may be quick to admit that he's less than perfect. Here man's indestructible unity with God comes to our rescue. Because man reflects God, infinite Mind, and Mind is the only intelligence of the universe, we -- and our leaders -- have in our real being total access to all wisdom, no matter how simple or complex the decision facing us.
Through full reliance on God as the sole control we can find proof of this both in our daily lives and in our government. This Mind cannot be manipulated by special interests, plays to no select audiences, is not obsessed with getting elected. Instead, it impartially cherishes all of its ideas, loving and upholding each one. Mary Baker Eddy n3 writes in the Christian Science textbook , "Infinite Mind creates and governs all, from the mental molecule to infinity." n3
n3 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 507.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me , and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. Jeremiah 29:11, 12