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Goodness, friends, and appreciation

"You're a good person," the man said at the end of our conversation. I had had some suggestions regarding his business and hadn't hesitated to voice them. But my friend didn't judge me overcritical or intrusive; my motives to help were seen and valued.

I hung up the phone with a feeling of buoyancy I'd not had for weeks. Mary Baker Eddy's n1 words, ". . . conscious worth satisfies the hungry heart, and nothing else can," n2 really described it!

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n1 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

n2 Message to The Mother Church for 1902,m p. 17.

A vocal concert at the high school was next on the evening's agenda. I hadn't wanted to go. But still buoyant with the feeling of goodness, I found I was glad to be there! The songs were wot my preferences, but I felt a warm, outreaching embrace of love -- of joining with the students in theirm preferences. Less than polished parts of the performance didn't sound inept but spoke of youth's increasing capability. The youngsters' voices sounded not immature but innocent. And the harmony -- of music, thought, atmosphere -- almost brought tears to my eyes.

What a joyous experience! Can you see the direct connection between my being appreciated by my friend and my appreciating the efforts of others?

I cherish these little experiences. They remind me to see the good in others and to speak up in appreciation of it. There's something more I've learned too: to recognize always that goodness is entirely from God and is the expression of God's being. Spiritual good is everywhere present, dynamically impelling constructive action. All of us in our true being are actually God's man -- His very reflection.

Christ Jesus, whose life epitomized goodness and love for his fellowman, acknowledged that God is the only source of good. He prefaced his answer to a young man's question with, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." n3

n3 Matthew 19:17.

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My friend on the phone, in witnessing goodness in my motivation, had attested to the influence of God's goodness in the activities of each of us. He had seen beyond distress to God's impelling of man. His simple statement, that I was a "good person," had caused me to drop in some measure my anxieties and to identify with the right-now relevance of God's ideal creation, an ideal that is the truth of me (and everyone) today. The basis of being good is the fact that man reflects God's goodness, God's love, God's understanding. Understanding and love are not expressed through personal possession of these qualities but through divine impulsion of them -- through ideas presenting themselves to consciousness, causing loving and wise motives and actions.

"God fashions all things, after His own likeness," writes Mrs. Eddy. "Life is reflected in existence, Truth in truthfulness, God in goodness, which impart their own peace and permanence. Love, redolent with unselfishness, bathes all in beauty and light." n4 Seeing the good in each other, and appreciating it, have a beautiful, spiritual basis. There's nothing "unrealistic" in recognizing the good as legitimate and the bad as illegitimate. We can each bear witness with scientific insight to goodness -- always -- and thus help each other disperse gloomy clouds of faults and worries. Goodness itself never runs out, never gets smothered, for it is the expressing of omnipotence, of omnipresence, of God. We have a right to it every minute!

n4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 516.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly. $ %Proverbs 18:24

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