Ideas on Income
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Would you ever consider that our thoughts determine our income? I've seen evidence of this in my life. At one time my outgo was exceeding my income. I felt that my real need was to increase my understanding of what the real source of supply is. If we think our prosperity depends on how many dollars are in the bank or in a paycheck; or if we're worried about tomorrow; or if we think that because of spending too much on genuine needs today there won't be enough tomorrow, then we haven't yet glimpsed that God is the giver of all good.
The woman who founded this newspaper came to the point where she would say this: "Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love [God] is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Miscellaneous Writings," Pg. 307). From my study of Christian Science and my prayers, I gleaned the conviction that income is not money. Money is only a medium of exchange. Money enables us to express gratitude for goods or services rendered. But the real income consists of ideas from God that we utilize, express, and live.
God is good. He is not limited. So good is infinite. What the father of the prodigal son in the biblical parable said to his elder son, God says to each of us: "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine" (Luke 15:31).
Think of it! God doesn't give a piddling amount, or a grudging handout, but all!
How do we make this fact practical? Jesus Christ, who came to change the thinking of the world, said, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 10:7). Not far off, not unobtainable in this life, but "at hand"! Don't think for one moment that there is lack in the kingdom of heaven, or that God gives to one and not to another. God's largess is available to all. Divine Love loves impartially. It can do no less. We reflect and feel that love of God as we love others.
We often speak of "making a living," but we don't actually make our supply. We can't even pray it into being. Why? Because it is always ours, ready and waiting to bless. It is inherent in our very existence as a reflection of God, sustained by God. Income consists of spiritual ideas - and they are without limit.
Jesus proved that knowing supply is from God gives the power to feed a multitude - with plenty left over (see Matt. 14:15-21).
The abundance of material possessions is not true wealth. In and of themselves, material things do not satisfy. Their promise is always in the future. "If I had a new car, or a bigger house, then I would be happy." Maybe at first. But then another want appears, with the same empty promise. True wealth is spiritual; it lies in the understanding of God. Yet there is a correlation between spiritual understanding and the financial security we rightfully deserve.
You may very well be thinking, "That's all well and good, but what I need is money to pay my bills!" What I've found, though, is that when I focus my thought on the problem, I'm not open to receive the ideas that meet my need. "What hast thou in the house?" - a question the prophet Elisha asked a long time ago (II Kings 4:2) - is still relevant. What talents do you have, what services can you render, that may open up new ideas and opportunities? Not what you can get, but what you can give, is often the answer.
The infinitude of God, of good itself, is the standpoint from which to conclude what is true - that is, what is of God and what is not. Lack of sufficient funds is not good; therefore it can only be a false belief about God's nature. God is all-presence, all-power, all goodness. Trusting this with all our heart brings evidence of good into our lives.
Jesus once told his disciple Peter to find the tax money they owed in an unexpected place - a fish's mouth. As for me, as I gained the understanding of true supply as God's love made evident, and as my trust in the unlimited nature of Love's largess increased, so did my ability to meet my obligations. Instead of worrying, I'd laugh and say, "There will be another little fish along in a moment." And there would be.
You can visit the home page of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, at www.tfccs.com.