A billboard near a United States military post says in bold letters: ''Be all you can be. Re-up.'' It's an invitation to develop one's full potential by reenlisting in the service. Of course, the message is directed to military people in the area, but we might also see it as tailor-made for the Christian.
Developing potential in any area of life, from the military to musicianship, homemaking to hewing out nations, must involve true Christianity if we're really going to be all we can be. History offers many examples of those who rose to great wealth, fame, and power but didn't enjoy genuine happiness or satisfaction , because they were ignorant of, or ignored, the requirements of Christianity; the need for humanity and, of primary importance, for spirituality.
Christ Jesus, whose humanity sprang from deep spirituality, gave his followers the blueprint for being all they could be in his remarkable Sermon on the Mount. He spoke of the need for meekness, mercifulness, purity, peacemaking; he established the practical law of love in the Golden Rule; he taught the unselfishness of true prayer. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, 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.'' n1
n1 Message to The Mother Church for 190l, p.11
Daily practice of the pattern in the Sermon on the Mount leads naturally in the right direction - away from stress, failure, and unrecognized talent, and toward the perfect ability of each of us as the spiritual image and likeness of God. Note that Jesus expected no less than perfection, for he said, ''Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.'' n2 Perfection is attainable through spiritual growth, through prayer and the daily practice of Christian precepts.
n2 Matthew 5:48
Actually, perfection is the present fact of our being, the spiritual reality established by God, who created man in His likeness. But we need to prove this step by step, and Jesus has shown us the way.
Willingness to grow into spiritual perfection through Christianity does not diminish success but shows us what success really is, placing it on an unshakable, spiritual foundation. Such growth reveals the inseparability of honesty and prosperity; of wisdom and attainment; of good will and power. It lifts relationships to purity. To everyday routine this spiritual growth imparts the sparkle of spiritual joy. To mankind's fragile sense of well-being it provides the firm understanding of man's God-given right to be well. Through walls of limitation it opens doors of Christly freedom.
The world urgently needs the Christian's efforts to be all he can be; to help bring about the time when all nations will beat swords of anger into plowshares of peace, spears of fear into powerful pruning hooks of purity. n3 Humanity needs the dedicated Christian who will not assume that good is limited but will continually acknowledge the infinite goodness of God, available to His beloved children in infinite measure.
n3 See Isaiah 2:14
In the Christian Science textbook Mrs. Eddy states, ''The Christian Scientist has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death; and he will overcome them by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good.'' n4
n4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 450
Enlistment in such an endeavor is not a one-time event. It is the moment-by-moment rededication of ourselves to the complete standard of Christianity. In the words of Jeremiah, ''Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.'' n5
n5 Jeremiah 50:5
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. . . Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. . . Blessed ar the pure in the heart: for they shall see God. . . Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle. and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:5. 7,8, 14-16