Our right to self-government
Where does just, effective, righteous government really begin? In the capital cities of the world? In the deepest sense, good government can be thought of as starting with the dedicated, persistent efforts of individual citizens to discipline their thoughts and actions; to spiritualize and God-center their outlook on life.
The Apostle Paul emphasizes the need of our undertaking a kind of spiritual warfare, "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Or as The New English Biblem puts it, "We compel every human thought to surrender in obedience to Christ." n1 Fulfilling this Christian demand in ever-increasing degree opens the door to the exercise of one of our most cherished rights -- the God-given right of self-government.
n1 II Cor. 10:5.
According to the Scriptures, God is infinite Love -- all the Love there is or ever will be. This Love is both the sole creator and the preserver of the universe, the inexhaustible source of all blessings. Man is the expressed idea of this Love, totally spiritual in his character and substance. What Love is, man reflects. Accepting these divine facts, letting them govern our concepts, motives, experiences, leads to an increasing sense of self-government, of dominion over pain and injustice.
God is eternal, irresistible Life, having in itself everything that is essential to being, such as vitality, energy, spontaneity, joy. Man is permanently inseparable from these qualities; they constitute his actual identity. With this in mind, we can progressively prove our immunity from the suggestion that we, or anyone, can be governed by untoward circumstances -- can be downtrodden or forgotten.
God is the only Mind, the source of all perception, intelligence, wisdom. As we realize this truth and let it have authority in our lives, fear is turned into hope, frustration into positive action. In the realization that God is Mind, there is no room for unbridled human will, selfishness, jealousy, greed. No matter what the circumstances, man perpetually reflects God's supreme and wholly good government over what He has made. Knowing this is at the heart of true self-government.
Joseph in the Old Testament experienced a long list of adversities, including betrayal by relatives and unjust imprisonment. But he didn't let those trials blot out his awareness of God's control. Clearly he had learned to reject resentment and hopelessness and to express Love.
The humble, patient, forgiving, inspired consciousness of Joseph made him receptive to the right ideas that not only met his own needs but led to his appointment as second-in-command in Egypt. It also brought about the practical solution to a wide-scale famine. n2
n2 See Genesis 37-47.
Can't we learn something from this? Good comes to us directly from divine Mind and cannot be obstructed when we humbly yield to God's government. This may require a mighty, penetrating change in our way of looking at things. But it's well worth the effort and can have far-reaching results.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, says with finality, "Reflecting God's government, man is self-governed." n3 Isn't this a thoughtful restatement of a basic teaching of primitive Christianity? Some of the people at the time of Christ Jesus looked to him as the means of restoring the monarchy of King David and thus alleviating the oppression and suffering of the local Jews. Others saw him as a threat to Roman rule in Palestine. But Jesus' objective was much more meaningful. "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation," he taught. "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." n4
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 125.
n4 Luke 17:20, 21.
This is an infinite, unfailing law of spiritual being; one that applies to chiefs of state as well as to the everyday citizen. No matter what our background, we all have the right to express self-government. God has given to every individual the ability to reflect Him -- to actually experience the authority and care of Love, the vitality and energy of Life, the direction and guidance of Mind.
Being aware of this, we'll increasingly prove our dominion over misgovernment. DAILY BIBLE VERSE He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. I John 2:17