HAVE you ever felt the need of strong guidance in a particular situation? I know I have. Of course, if you're anything like me, you usually know automatically how to think about some detail in your own life -- no help needed, thank you! But when I really stop to consider how to do my best thinking, I always find the very wisest guidance in the New Testament message known as the gospel. Perhaps a simple but memorable (to me) example from my own experience will help illustrate.
Not long ago I found myself very preoccupied with consideration of financial security for my family and myself. It was that nagging thought ``Things are OK now, but what about later?''
But then something Christ Jesus said removed this fear and helped me think in a new way about security. ``A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth,'' Jesus said, and then he gave us the parable of the rich man who felt he had to pull down his barns and build larger ones. He summarized by saying we need to be ``rich toward God.''1
This parable helped me see that while it is certainly normal to use our best judgment in financial affairs, our true security is in who we really are as God's child and in what we are doing rather than in how much we have accumulated. To me, treasuring our relationship to God as His pure spiritual offspring, expressing the divine nature in all we do, is being ``rich toward God.''
Of course, I still need to work at deepening my understanding of this gospel truth. But it is fair to say that it has become the basis for my thinking about security.
How is it that a man who lived so long ago and whose public ministry lasted only three years could leave us with a gospel that applies to every possible circumstance? If Jesus had been just a gifted human being who spoke about God, it would be unlikely that this legacy would do what it does.
But he was infinitely more than that. He was the Way-shower, even the Messiah, that one perfect example of man's spiritual sonship with God. Mary Baker Eddy2 says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Jesus was the highest human concept of the perfect man. He was inseparable from Christ, the Messiah, -- the divine idea of God outside the flesh.''3
Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science grew out of her conviction that the gospel message Christ Jesus left us was founded on divine law, on the eternal spiritual reality of God and man, which is provable in human experience through the healing of sickness and sin, as Jesus illustrated. The Bible teaches that God is perfect and God is good. Therefore man expresses that perfection and goodness. And this basic gospel truth, proved by Jesus, is changeless. So, though human circumstances vary greatly from one individual to the next, as well as from one century to the next, still there is always healing guidance in the gospel.
Of course, for you and me to really live by this guidance, we need to apply ourselves wholeheartedly to all that Jesus said and did. This includes growing in our knowledge of the gospel and deepening our love for what it says. Mrs. Eddy writes, ``To my sense the Sermon on the Mount, read each Sunday without comment and obeyed throughout the week, would be enough for Christian practice.''4
As we love this message and live by it in the small, everyday things, we'll find it to be a reliable guide, hour by hour, moment by moment.
1Luke 12:15, 21. 2The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 3Science and Health, p. 482. 4Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p. 11. Healing through prayer is explored in more detail in a weekly magazine, the Christian Science Sentinel.