A Christian Science perspective.
Many governments the world over are dealing with varied and sometimes seemingly insurmountable challenges. These governments need our prayers.
As I’ve thought and prayed about the idea of government, it occurs to me that our concept of God plays a part. Viewing God as expressing mortal qualities of anger and revenge dooms us to unstable governments. If we see God this way, can we expect to see anything better from individuals who govern nations?
On the other hand, if we understand God as supreme and infinite good, capable of imparting only good to His creation, we can expect good government. Even if our current government isn’t living up to its highest potential, starting our prayers from the basis that God is good certainly remains a good place to start.
So what is our authority for understanding this? For me, the first chapter of Genesis is a sturdy foundation. Several verses proclaim that God saw everything He created and that it was “very good.” For God’s creation to be good, He must be good. Though there are places in the Bible that portray God as angry, unforgiving, and vengeful, biblical writers increasingly attained more elevated concepts of Him. The New Testament records Jesus as establishing God’s goodness in his parables. And by his understanding of this, he healed those in need. When someone called Jesus “Good Master,” he responded, “Why do you call me good?... No one is good – except God alone” (Mark 10:18, New International Version).
So with biblical authority we can affirm God as supreme good, and find a sure foundation for seeing all humanity as inherently good. If we really knew that God made everyone involved in government to be good, there would be no place for corruption or abuse of power. But it does take persistent and consistent prayer to maintain an elevated view of humanity and government. It requires keeping one’s thought aligned with good moment by moment. Even when day-to-day activities or national and global events challenge this stand, we can remain firm in prayer and experience progress. As we meet each concern by returning to God’s goodness, we will be breaking down mortal resistance to good.
One’s starting point makes a difference. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, stated: “We cannot fathom the nature and quality of God’s creation by diving into the shallows of mortal belief. We must reverse our feeble flutterings – our efforts to find life and truth in matter – and rise above the testimony of the material senses, above the mortal to the immortal idea of God. These clearer, higher views inspire the Godlike man to reach the absolute centre and circumference of his being” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 262).
Praying with a deeper understanding of God’s goodness will help contribute to more just and effective government for everyone. And through our prayers we can learn more every day.
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