The collapse of Lehman Brothers, a major investment bank, has had a global financial impact, since many of the company's employees work outside the United States. In London, for example, there are 4,000 employees. And other aspects of the financial crisis in the US are also affecting the global village. What happens in one place can often touch the other side of the globe, sometimes very directly, and these events impel many of us to pray.
Times of economic hardship often require us to find proof of a higher view of income and security. And we can find a safe place of stability when we turn to the divine law of Love, which is constant, safe, and reliable. Jesus taught about this law in many different ways during his ministry, especially through parables.
His parable about "talents" that a nobleman gave to his servants while he went away on a journey is a lesson in economics (see Matt. 25:14-29). In his absence, two of his servants increased the money they were given, and they were rewarded. But the third servant just buried the one talent because he wanted to keep it safe. This man was reprimanded for doing nothing with his talent.
The "talent" of Jesus' time was a monetary unit of high value. But the parable has also become known as providing a lesson in using, instead of hiding, one's gifts or talents. It teaches us that we are expected to profit, prosper, and benefit from our resources and to put them to practical use. This parable is a promise that everyone is given talents, and we are to use them to do good. These gifts will also bring us income as we wisely invest our spiritual resources.
Everyone who has lost his or her job because of global economic conditions can resort to the higher economics of God, which reveal that we have spiritual capacities, gifts, and talents. These are qualities of God that we express, such as freedom, confidence, intelligence, and joy. These always have worth and value, and are always in demand. In the parable, it took courage for the one who was given the most to invest his talents. He traded his five talents wisely and doubled them by not being afraid, unlike the one who was too scared to use his one talent and buried it. When we fail to use our God-given talents – when we bury them – we are wasting our substance and supply.
The Apostle Paul wrote, "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19). The universe around us is spiritual and is filled with the omnipresence of God's goodness – with infinite abundance. No struggling economy can keep us outside God's spiritual universe. It is ours as the loved children of a loving Father-Mother God. This supply can never be limited to a particular place. It has infinite outlets and resources.
We can each be provided with everything we need because our supply of spiritual qualities has its source in divine intelligence, which is infinite and always available to us. And when we turn to this intelligence, we have access to an abundance of good ideas, including what's just right for our situation. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper, wrote: "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," p. 307).
In the divine economy there is no lost opportunity or employment. Trusting ourselves to God's infinite Love and His reliable law of good, we will find our way through these times toward better and wider expressions of employment, supply, and income.