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Staying employed

Material existence presents us with a picture of conflict and competition in which unemployment seems a normal feature. The very concept of competition implies that someone is always going to be left out. Most of the time, we are prone to accept this philosophically as an unfortunate but unavoidable aspect of life. We protect ourselves as best we can by making our skills more competitive, saving money, and joining unions. But if, after all this, we find ourselves unemployed, we are forced to look more deeply into what unemployment is saying directly to us.

Isn't it saying that our identity has been diminished - that what we have learned to be and do has lost value; that there is no longer a place for us to occupy; and that without a place there can be no remuneration? Can we afford to believe this? If we look only at the material picture, which tells us that this is the way things are, what else is there to believe? But there's a better picture to look at - a spiritual one. Looking at it and learning to comprehend its message can change the material picture for the better.

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Unpleasant and shocking as it is, unemployment can be a blessing in disguise. It can awaken us and impel us to look away from competitive materialism to our only genuine source of security - God. ''All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,'' n1 says Paul.

n1 Romans 8:28.

The true picture of God's universe is portrayed in the first chapter of Genesis. It's a complete and perfectly good creation in which God is the only power, everything is in place, and man, His image and likeness, has dominion. But the man to whom God gave dominion is not a mortal, competing for inadequate resources.

God is Spirit, as Christ Jesus declared, so man's actual being is spiritual, individually complete. The spiritual qualities of God reflected by man, His image, can never be devalued or displaced, because there is no power within God's infinite goodness able to undo what He has done. He is omnipotent, all power; and His qualities reflected by man give man dominion.

When Christ Jesus healed the blind, lame, and diseased, the material picture of existence represented these conditions as facts of life, and they were ignorantly accepted as such. But the material, mortal picture is always false, and Jesus taught us to see through it to the ever-present and true spiritual picture. ''Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals,'' writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. ''In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.'' n2

n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 476-477.

The eternal, healing Christ, which Jesus exemplified, reveals the true, spiritual reality. This true view, sought, held up, and glorified in human consciousness, lived as closely as possible in human lives, progressively destroys the errors of limitation presented by the false, material picture.

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What is the truth about employment? God is cause, and man is effect, manifestation. The work assigned to man is to manifest God's qualities, to express them actively. Such activity is heaven because it's absolutely harmonious. Activity, provision, satisfaction, unity, love, intelligence, order, are, in a sense, one, and can never be separated from man, since man is God's reflection.

Our work on earth is to do His will as it is already being done in the ever-present heaven we're learning to see. Whatever our occupation - even the occupation of seeking human employment - our dominion comes into view as we follow the Master's words and example and manifest without fear of ridicule the qualities we know derive from God: joy, intelligence, integrity, love, mercy, diligence, promptness, self-sacrifice. If everything else we do is subordinated to this effort to reflect God, we'll never lack employment, resources, or a fulfilling sense of identity. We'll find that we've become ''the called according to his purpose,'' and our higher experience of good will prove it. DAILY BIBLE VERSE What doth the Lord they God require of thee, but to fear the Lord they God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul. Deuteronomy 10:12

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