"What I need is a good spending spree to pick up my sprits." Ever said that to yourself? Some people get so engrossed in spending for recreation or relief that they live far beyond their means, buying on impulse and hoping the contents of their shopping bags will keep them happy. To some, it's almost as though the universe were a glorified shopping mall and humankind insatiable shoppers, looking for satisfaction in the ever-elusive good deal.
What a perversion of man's true nature, expressing dominion and completeness as pictured in Genesis 1. Here, man isn't a bottomless pit to be filled. He's image, likeness, of the well-satisfied creator. This view of creation must have been behind Christ Jesus' words, "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on." n1
Certainly Jesus' own life was not-tied up in consuming. Instead he was committed to bearing witness to and expressing the divine nature. He showed us quite vividly what it means to be the image of God. His was a consistently outgoing life, not a compulsively inward-turning scramble for material pleasure and possessions. Only a deeply satisfying sense of God as creator, provider, and guide could have caused Jesus to say of his own challenging life and work, "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." n2
That satisfaction is what we,are really, though vainly, seeking on those shopping sprees. And we can have it--but in another way. Jesus recommended his life style and its rewards to his followers. When he commanded his disciples to go out to teach others, he also reminded them of the rich source of divine energy always available to those who discern and live in accord with their actual, Christlike nature. He said, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." n3
To boost our spirits, to feel the comfort that lasts, we must follow Jesus' command. Showing forth the Chirst-spirit-in mercy, unselfish care, obedience, purity, and fidelity to Truth even under wordly pressure--uplifts us. We begin to see that we are the very expression of God, impelled to bear witness, not compelled to waste or hoard. The Chirstspirit entertained in thought and life actually excludes from our lives the tendency toward compulsiveness or impulsiveness, because the Christ, bringing the truth of God and man, purifies and transforms those who respond to its holy influence.
The transfoming spirit of the Christ is a Science--Christian Science, discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy though revelation and deep Bible study. Central to her discovery was the recognition that the picture of man's wholeness in the first chapter of Genesis is a primal, spiritual fact that can be proved today.
Anyone struggling to be free of the lure of compulsive buying can find a satistying alternative in an observation Mrs. Eddy makes about the nature of God's creation. Her statement can be found in the chapter "Genesis" in Science and Health with key to the Scriptures.m "The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother's need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another's good." n4
Our true, spiritual nature urges us toward tris generosity that fills the heart, not the closet, to overflowing. This unselfish imaging of God's completeness satisfies us naturally. We are not empty mortals. And we can confront the siren calls of materiality with an exploration and expression of our nature as the image of Spirit.
n1 Matthew 6:25. n2 11:30. n3 10:8. n4 Science and Health,m p. 518. Labour not for the meal which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life.