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Is it greed or need?

Sometimes greed is the heart of a problem. Get rid of it, we say, and all will be well. But couldn't greed sometimes hint at need,m perhaps an unsatisfied yearning for the lasting consolation and safety to be found only with god?

In seeking comfort and relief from today's stresses and fears, we often find ourselves turning to material possessions and immoral affections. But such remedies generally prove temporary, bringing further frustration.

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"More love is the great need of mankind," n1 writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Mankind looks for this love in material ways, and, not finding it, becomes anxious and desperate. But it is possible to turn to god and begin to enjoy right now the fullness of divine Love , even present and infinite. Christian Science shows that the real man is the spiritual reflection of god, the conscious idea of the divine Mind. Limited, discordant matter is not man's true identity. In reality man receives and reflects God's boundless goodness, and as we understand this, live with it, become, as best we can, its very representative, it transforms our lives with fulfillment and joy. Mrs. Eddy continues the quotation above: "A pure affection , concentric, forgetting self, forgiving wrongs and forestalling them, should swell the lyre of human love."

n1 Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 107

The Bible states that God is Love itself. Infinite Love pours out upon all, needing no special object or person to draw its loving. Divine grace, perceived , eliminates greed; for divine Love supplies all good to its loved ones. Created in and by Love, man suffers no lack.

As a stamp collector, I sometimes used to feel a compulsion to buy a rare stamp well beyond my budget. The result was always discomfort. The enjoyment of stamp design and history had become lost in illusive possessing. Prayer -- seeing myself as a fully endowed spiritual being, created to express eternal satisfaction -- revealed that greed was actually a hypnotic suggestion. I found I didn't have to give in to unreasonable "wants" just because they were there. I was freed from this mistaken viewpoint and was able to pursue my hobby in a more meaningful way.

It is possible -- in fact, essential -- for each of us to become so acquainted with man's spiritual status and relation to God that our awareness of His will increases continually.

One of the Christ Jesus' Beatitudes assures us, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." n2 Hungering after spiritual perfection, we can persistently reject the betraying demands of material appetite, turn to God's eternal providing, and joyfully claim our immortal identity. When we look to matter for satisfaction, we eventually find disillusionment; but disillusionment is firmly banished when we realize man's perfect sonship with God. Christ Jesus healed the sick and fed thousands at once, proving that the reflection of divine intelligence and love regenerates and revitalizes human life. n2

n2 Matthew 5:6

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Today Christian Science helps us to see our natural state as God's likeness: whole, healthy, and provided for. As the Psalmist says, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." n3 This awakening shows how the consciousness of divine Love marvelously and practically changes our lives for the better, as nothing else can. n3

n3 Psalms 17:15.

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