STRONG, stable, peace-promoting government is one of humanity's steadfast ideals. Two essentials in pursuing this ideal are understanding what constitutes good government and bringing governments more in line with that understanding. But what can the individual at any tiny point on the globe possibly contribute to this monumental task? After all, few are in a position to make sweeping political changes single-handedly. Many have no democratic voice whatsoever in the way their country is run.
One thing you can do that is not so tiny in its scope of influence is to build your understanding of good government on a more spiritually sound basis and prayerfully infuse that improved understanding into every facet of your citizenship.
To the extent that one's concept of government is the product of the human mind, it will be subject to all the emotion-charged elements of that mind. Good government does not derive from the human mind. To be righteous, government must originate from a source more indigenous to good than the variable, often adulterated thoughts of mortals.
Biblical leaders found this source tobe God, the eternally cohesive Mind, or Spirit. From Him comes government that is totally just, benevolent, indestructible. An Old Testament writer declares, ``Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.''1
To be head above all, God must be Lord of all nations, not just a select few, however little their governments currently exhibit His harmonious rule. All people, regardless of nationality, creed, or race, are in truth God's children. Man is the very expression of God, the spiritual likeness of the one creator, governed wisely by Him. And this divine reality can be increasingly brought to light. In every nation individuals can call upon the power of divine Truth through prayer to level ignorance, deception, and corruption. They can turn to God as eternal Life, which preserves life and gives the impulse to work together in unity and to heal prejudice and division. They can turn to infinite Love, which instills the conviction that the oppressed must be liberated and reveals the right way to attain that liberation.
More than money, guns, or pressure is needed to establish permanent political freedom and advance a people's abilityto govern themselves rightly. More is needed than administrative, economic, or agricultural know-how, or even the democratic vote, as vital as these things are. An understanding of God and of man's spiritual identity has to be at the heart of our work. To realize that God is the sole governor of man and that everyone's true selfhood is pure, free, and at peace must inevitably help bring out such redeeming qualities as moral courage, justice, impartiality, compassion, and so forth, which diminish sin, untempered will, and oppression. Here lies the basis for developing strong, benign political entities -- governments that are beneficial to their citizenry and able to coexist in peace and good will.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love.''2 Bringing this understanding of divine government to bear on your participation in civil affairs and on your prayers for the world has the same quiet, sustained impact that leaven has when added to dough. Small though this effort may seem at first, as part of a broader spiritual force involving many it reaches farther and carries more weight than does violent protest, vote manipulation, or militant resistance.
Where human device fails in the pursuit of better government, divine power succeeds. Christ Jesus said, ``The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.''3
1I Chronicles 29:11. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 106. 3Luke 18:27.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Let the people praise thee, O God....thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Psalms 67:3,4