The spiritual path out of poverty
A Christian Science perspective: A spiritual response to the Monitor Weekly’s cover story tracking the status of world poverty.
“Nearly 1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty during the last two decades,” according to Steven Radelet, author of the book “The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World,” which is profiled in this week’s cover story.
As he details the steady decline of poverty around the globe, Mr. Radelet describes a powerful confluence of thought and action that, to me, reaches beyond human effort. Underlying what Radelet calls this “time of great progress,” I believe, is a quiet, often unseen elevation of thought to a more spiritual platform – the kind of progress that has Spirit, God, as its source.
The Monitor’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, explains that relying on the infinite God as our true source gives us what we most need: “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 307).
For many, the path to secure, lasting prosperity has started with a stronger trust in God. I find a sound basis for that trust in the teachings of Christian Science, which emphasize our unbroken oneness with God, our creator.
As a Christian Scientist, I’ve found that when I’ve looked to God for spiritual ideas during times of debt, hardship, and shortage, my family’s needs have been supplied. Consecrated prayer that seeks to understand our spiritual nature and the substance of all things has revealed “daily supplies” in my experience. They have come to us in the form of ideas and inspiration that have opened up opportunities for us in unplanned ways – bringing food to our table and keeping a roof over our heads.
True riches, true substance, are in fact divine; they’re wholly spiritual. Getting at the root of lack, then, involves taking a spiritual stance – one that is based on the reality and laws of God, who is Spirit; it is to understand that since God is our Father-Mother, wholly good, we have access to the fullness of spiritual good.
Jesus said about having all we need, “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). Jesus proved it to be true throughout his career, and it can be proved today.
Understanding our God-given selfhood as spiritual and Godlike, we can begin to confidently claim our true intelligence, talents, and ability – and help others do so as well. Each of us has the opportunity to rise mentally above the poverty of a merely material view of existence. We can become aware of our true spiritual nature, live it, and recognize and experience that true abundance originates in and flows from God, the supplier of all we truly we need.