On my desk is an annual report of a business firm, listing assets and liabilities. People also have assets and liabilities. The liabilities may be uncontrollable anger or oversensitivity, a tendency to find fault with others or to condemn oneself harshly. Prejudice and fear are liabilities, too. And assets? Perhaps honesty, patience, generosity, tenderness.
How can we increase our assets and decrease our liabilities?
The answer may begin with defining what man really is. Mary Baker Eddy n1 defines him as "the compound idea of infinite Spirit; the spiritual image and likeness of God; the full representation of Mind." n2 What wealth this definition opens! Man is spiritual, not material; perfect, not imperfect; the expression of divine Life, not fallibly mortal. Each individual has, in truth, unlimited resources on which to draw; each has assets that can never be depleted -- and no liabilities. The Bible tells us, "God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy." n3 And we can add to these many other spiritual qualities, such as strengh, vigor, integrity, inspiration, and love -- qualities eminently employable, enriching, and satisfying. And they belong to our true, immortal nature.
Increasing our assets is a matter of increasing our understanding of their spiritual derivation -- claiming the good that already belongs to us a God's reflection. Good qualities increase with use. The more on practices patience, for example, the more patience one has. The more one expresses joy, the happier one feels.
Decreasing our liabilities is a matter of subtraction -- taking away any indentificaton with them; denying them place in our thought or experience, for the real man cannot be subject or exposed to anything undesirable. His heritage lies in spiritual infinitude.
Christ Jesus had a wealth of spiritual understanding, which gave him unsurpassed ability to do good. Through the exercise of divinely based health, life, love, he overcame the liabilities of sickness, death, hate that others had accepted for themselves. Every human frailty that confronted him was mastered by the overwhelming balance of power on the side of God's inifinite goodness and allness. The job each of us has today is summed up by Mrs. Eddy in this statement about herself: "I will love, if another hates. I will gain a balance on the side of good, my true being. This alone gives me the forces of God wherewith to overcome all error. On this rests the implicit faith engendered by Christian Science, which appeals intelligently to the facts of man's spirituality, individuality, to disdain the fears and destroy the discords of this material personality." n4
We can all gain a balance on the side of out true being as the reflection of God, good, and glimpse our real worth as His sons and daughters. In our real indentity we do not have a single liability. What better report can we receive or give -- annually, daily, hourly -- than the heavenly assurance that we are God's children. How much we are worth!
n1 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 591
n3 Ecclesiastes 2:26
n4 Miscellaneous Writings,m pp. 104-105.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land . . . . And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross , and take away all thy tin. Isaiah 1:18, 19 , 25