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The best advice

SOMETIMES when decisions must be made we don't always see a clear-cut direction. Should I take this job? Which school should I choose? Is this the right marriage partner? Some questions in our lives can be easily answered with human expertise, but there are likely to be as many different opinions as there are individuals asked! Human advice is generally based on the moment's appearances. We tend to judge by what the eye sees, what the ear hears, and so forth. Yet the physical senses are not entirely reliable, as experience shows us.

So what can we trust when we need direction? A verse from the Bible puts it plainly: ``It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.''1 But, you may say, I can't see God or hear Him. How can I know when He's giving me direction?

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First, it's important to determine just what we think about God. If we think of Him as a larger-than-life material power, manlike in His perceptions, we could easily miss His messages. But as we can learn from the Bible, God is infinite Spirit, the exhaustless source of wisdom and intelligence--the one Mind. When we're listening in prayer for the Word, not just words--when we're listening for divine Mind's pure thoughts--material sense has less of an influence on us. Because divine Mind is the source of all true intelligence, we can turn to God and trust the answers we get. Because He is all-powerful, His Word is heard above the clamor of earthly static.

Since God is not material, we cannot expect to ``see'' or ``hear'' Him with the material eyes or ears. But we can surely feel impelled, motivated to a certain action or position, when we drop anxious human planning and allow spiritual intuition to guide us.

Since opinions vary with the viewpoint of the individual expressing them, others' opinions won't necessarily be indicators of what is right for us, however well meant. Mary Baker Eddy2 writes: ``The one Mind, God, contains no mortal opinions. All that is real is included in this immortal Mind.''3 And she also says, ``Reality is spiritual, harmonious, immutable, immortal, divine, eternal.''4

It could be said that God has established all the answers, because He is always caring for us, always maintaining the perfection and well-being of man in His likeness. Coming to feel this truth in prayer, we see more clearly the best path to take. Rather than look to a limited mortal source for our answers--a source that could be wrong--we can go straight to the highest, the heavenly, viewpoint and find unerring direction.

I once had to make a very difficult decision, one that would deeply affect my family's unity and well-being. The responsibility was excruciating, until I realized that human reasoning or advice couldn't give me a guarantee of what was right. I knew that help was available through the services of a Christian Science practitioner (an individual who devotes his life to healing through prayer), and so I got in touch with one. The practitioner gave me no human advice, made no suggestions as to my decision. Together we turned away from the material picture of threatened disruption to gain more of the heavenly view of God's perfect government of His creation.

As a result of this joint effort, the situation was resolved that day, and our family is continuing to grow closer and to be blessed by that decision.

These lines from a hymn have been a support in many instances when it was clear that human opinions were less than reliable to resolve a problem: Trust all to God, the Father, Confide thou in none other,

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He is thy sole defense; He cares for thee past measure, Seek Him who has thy treasure,

Thy helper is omnipotence.5

God's omnipotent good is always right, and it is ours for the asking.

1Psalms 118:8. 2The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 399. 4Ibid., p. 335. 5Christian Science Hymnal, No. 361. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21

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