Keeping a balanced budget
Making both ends meet can sometimes present formidable challenges. But do we have to be victims of economic conditions? The Bible clearly indicates that there is a way - a deeply Christian way - to gain dominion over economic influences. St. Paul, collecting a fund to meet a pressing need among the Jerusalem Christians, wrote to their fellow Christians at Corinth: ''I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality.'' n1
n1 II Corinthians 8:13,14.
Here is a concept of economy that goes beyond mere communal sharing. It points to a divine law that transcends economic laws, a law that is purely spiritual and all-powerful because it stems from the allness of God, divine Spirit, or Love. This law of Love cares for every human need. It cuts right across restrictive economic laws and conditions.
This divine law declares the spiritual reality of man as God's image. In the light of this reality we begin to see that supply and demand are actually beneficent laws of love, and material limitations begin to fall away.
Some years ago, when my wife and I found our rent soaring, we decided to buy a small block of land on which to build our own home. However, our financial resources had been stretched by the recent purchase of a new car, and it seemed that our proposed real estate deal would have to be cancelled.
So we prayerfully looked at the situation from the spiritual viewpoint. We realized that, as Paul reminds us, God's all-embracing love certainly did not require us to be burdened, and we knew we could rely completely on divine law. We affirmed that because man reflects God's unlimited abundance of good, our need would be met in the right way. We also gained much comfort from this statement by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science: ''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.'' n2
n2 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 307.
Shortly before settlement deadline we received a substantial legacy, which almost exactly covered the cost of the land. The land, in turn, was accepted as security for a bank loan to build the house. And a few months later, in a most unexpected way, my income more than doubled, allowing us to pay off the bank loan sooner than had been anticipated.
Keeping a balanced budget is really a question of understanding the source of our provision. Christ Jesus proved this source to be limitless Spirit when he fed several thousand people with a few loaves and fishes. He supplied their practical wants, showing divine Love's ever-present provision for the human need. The Master instructed his disciples to give what they had. And he enabled them to see that what they had was abundant, not meager. The divine law behind this fact is still with us today.
To believe that we lack access to spiritual abundance that meets our practical needs is to deny man's completeness as Love's reflection. Jesus treated penury not as a fact of being, but as part of the carnal mind's false belief that man is mortal, physical, beset with limitation.
The truth of our spiritual identity as Love's likeness annuls the false material concept of man as subject to stringent economic laws, and gives us increasing dominion over them. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22