Peace, Not Stress
IT wouldn't be hard to find something to worry about if that was what we wanted to do. And yet we probably don't know anyone who wants to worry. The question is how not to worry in the face of some quite troubling concerns. Christ Jesus calmed the fears of others. His peace grew out of an understanding of God as infinite good and of man as God's perfect, spiritual likeness. He discerned the true nature of reality, transcending a merely surface view of things, and this enabled him to remain calm, despite immense challenges.
Jesus advised his followers not to fear a lack of daily provision. He taught: ``Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?...for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.''1
We may feel hopelessly far from the pure goodness and clear spiritual understanding of Jesus, but his message was that we can follow him. We are helped to see the basis of Christly calm in the Bible statement ``To be spiritually minded is life and peace.''2
Being spiritually minded involves purifying our thoughts and lives so that we become more conscious of Spirit, God, and His harmonious, spiritual creation. This isn't simply theory but a practical, Biblically based way of life that confers genuine peace.
To be more spiritually minded is certainly not a matter of ignoring evil or legitimate issues. Rather, it's a matter of perceiving the deeper, spiritual reality that exists even where trying circumstances would deny the allness of God. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, states, ``The calm and exalted thought or spiritual apprehension is at peace.''3
We need to listen in prayer for the truth about reality. We may not have evidence of spiritual harmony through the physical senses, but our innate spiritual sense perceives God's good presence and man's safety in His care.
We cultivate spiritual sense through prayer and purification of thought, through a rejection of sensualism and selfish, worldly motives. With a clear, calm recognition of the presence of good, which spiritual sense imparts, we find fear and doubt diminishing. We come to realize that evil has no reality in the infinite goodness of God. And we not only overcome fear, but our thought is opened to seeing God's resolution of the difficulties associated with fear. In a word, we experience healing.
God has given us the ability to be spiritually minded and to find the peace of mind that brings healing. Man is not in reality a struggling mortal with a limited, personal mind but the likeness of Spirit. Therefore in our true nature we embody spiritual-mindedness. The Bible reassures us, ``God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.''4
As we recognize that freedom from anxiety and from the troubles that cause it comes through Spirit and spirituality, we won't try in vain to find peace through acquiring certain possessions or trying to manipulate circumstances. We will find, however, that spiritual-mindedness demands not only prayer but a consistent effort to put off any elements of sin that would make us feel separate from God's love and thus steal away our peace. Although our worries may seem to derive from circumstances outside our control, we can find peace and gain dominion over circumstances through faithfulness to divine law.
The peace of God, divine Mind, is ours as we come to understand and feel the omnipotence of God, which precludes fear.
1Matthew 6:31-33. 2Romans 8:6. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 506. 4II Timothy 1:7.