PEOPLE often think of support for their governments as political. In my country, such support can be informed and lively and critical at the same time. We're free to show our support through telephone calls and letter writing and even financial contributions. There's nothing wrong with any of this!
But I've found that the best support we can give the Congress and our President--perhaps especially when we don't agree with what they're doing--is an uplifted, praiseworthy view of man as created by God.
The Founder of the Christian Science Church, Mary Baker Eddy, spent her childhood in a family where political views were held, discussed, shared. But when she discovered Christian Science, she gained the conviction that only this newfound understanding of spiritual man could help in the long term.
In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she says, for example, ``A feasible as well as rational means of improvement at present is the elevation of society in general and the achievement of a nobler race for legislation,--a race having higher aims and motives'' (p. 63).
Doesn't ``a nobler race'' call for growth in our concept of man as God-governed rather than for a proliferation of laws, no matter how fairly and objectively the laws are framed? A more accurate view of what man really is will make it easier for governments to pass the equitable laws necessary to govern wisely and justly.
The Bible tells us that man is made in God's image. Because God is infinite Spirit--and not a human-like deity--He is always present, and present in every place. That is, He is omnipresent. And since He is the one God, He is the source of all real action, all intelligence, all wisdom. God makes man, and it is only logical that the Maker of man is able to govern every detail of man's existence.
As the Old Testament book of Isaiah tells us, ``The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us'' (33:22). In the United States the government is divided into three branches--the judicial, the lawmaking, and the executive. I find it helpful to think of these in terms of Isaiah's description of God as judge, lawgiver, and king. Isaiah names the one God as fulfilling these functions for His offspring, man. So, I reason that governments here on earth govern best when they reflect the spirituality inherent in God's government of man.
Man is the focus of God's work--the crowning glory. Christ Jesus said, ``The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath'' (Mark 2:27). Couldn't we paraphrase Jesus' statement to remind ourselves that human government exists for man's sake and not man for government's sake?
Of course doing this does demand unselfed effort in practice. The focus of our effort is well-placed, however, when it rests on understanding more of the man God makes. God is the infinite Spirit who creates. So the individuality and identity that define each of us as man in God's image are spiritual. When we understand ourselves and others as God's very image, we have noble, strong ideas bursting out from within us--and these take shape in good, constructive lives.
This spiritual view of man doesn't mean we see everything in unrealistic, rosy terms. It does mean that we work to appreciate the good actions that do appear, while showing patience with, and helping to correct, what is less than noble. If we base our attitude on the truth of God's creation of man, we'll find ourselves much freer of condemnation and criticism. And this will be evident in our family and work experience as well as our thoughts about those in government.
So, I can prayerfully support the President and the Congress--and you can support your own government--regardless of our politics, regardless of our opinions, regardless of our interests. The best kind of support really comes through an uplifted view of who man is as God's image. This makes us all winners!