CHRIST Jesus said that ``it is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.''1 I've often seen this statement as pointing to the need to correct a trouble by changing more than surface behavior. When we interpret the term flesh to signify immoral thoughts and materialistic living, and spirit as the essence of spiritual goodness coming from God, we are led to recognize the need for changes that are Godinspired, deep and substantial changesof thought and attitude. A purification of thought is what is required. And this serves to improve every aspect of our lives. The launching pad for successful change around us is change within us. Through honest self-assessment we may find that we need to correct some selfish motives and unchristian feelings. For instance, most of us can recall damaged relationships that did not improve until we learned to forgive and love the other individual. Then there are those larger instances when much effort and money have been expended to improve a business or social condition and the end result has been failure because greed and dishonesty were driving the effort.
I have found that I have accomplished the most good by relying on God to guide me. His guidance has often made obvious to me the need for purer motives and a more unselfish love. I have learned that equally important to one's professional abilities is a heart filled with Christian motives and affections, imbued with the spirit of Christ.
Christ is the divine influence in human affairs, and its power overcomes what often appears as insurmountable obstacles. To the infinite God, who is omnipotent Spirit, no condition is too difficult to resolve. As the Bible says of God, ``He is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.''2
God is the one infinite Mind that governs man and the universe with divine laws of good. The will of God is blessing for His beloved children. The divine Mind is never overwhelmed by impossible odds. In fact, the infinitude of Mind precludes the possibility of inharmony.
This may sound unrealistic, impractical in the face of daily challenges. But this absolute spiritual reality can be proved, even if in small ways, right where we are. By our yielding to the divine Mind through prayer, our efforts are rightly directed and motivated. Then what may have seemed an insurmountable obstacle gives way to the perfect will of God.
As we prayerfully yield to the one Mind and its Christ, our motives and attitudes are purified so that our actions truly bless others. We are then imbued with the ``spirit that quickeneth.'' This spirit is the touch of God. It annihilates personal will and pride, while also imparting spiritual dominion.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, redirects unsuccessful efforts when she says, ``What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.''3
To the degree we are striving to know and do the will of the all-intelligent Mind, divine Love, our motives will be pure. We are acting from a Love-impelled basis, which brings with it God's blessings. The answers to the troubles facing us -- large or small -- will become more apparent to us when our thought is governed by the spirit of Christ. In fact, those answers are always readily available -- always knocking at the door of human consciousness. We hear them by yielding to the purity and intelligence of the divine Mind.
Prayer that takes to heart ``Thy will be done'' helps us to realize that in reality every aspect of our being is dependent upon God. In truth, God is our only Soul and Mind. He is our very Life, and He is Spirit, as the Bible teaches. Therefore our true identity is spiritual -- divine Spirit's own likeness. It is divine Love's expression, overflowing with spiritual grace. Man's God-reflected identity is eternally perfect and changeless. The more we give ourselves to this truth of being, the more our character and experience will change to reflect the spiritual fact.
Successful change in our affairs is tied to moral and spiritual changes within us. So let's get to work on our first priority -- to be changed by Christ!
1John 6:63. 2Job 23:13. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 4.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5