I REMEMBER when my son, then a toddler, would build elaborate structures. Those structures were a treasure to him, and he'd guard them vigilantly. All of us have a treasure that we should defend just as vigorously. It's not a retirement account or a house or a valuable piece of art. It's our thinking--perhaps the most precious treasure we have, regardless of our material state of affairs.
It is really thought that determines what's in our hearts. It is thought that leads us forward or holds us back. Good thoughts always precede good actions; good actions do not follow poor thinking. The quality of our thinking really determines our character. Is there any doubt about our thinking being the most valuable treasure that we have?
What is it that would spoil our thinking? Isn't it evil--the opposite of God? There is a wonderful Bible story which shows that the power of God casts out evil thinking so that our "treasure--the good, pure, purposeful thinking that genuinely belongs to us--is restored. This story tells of Jesus' encounter with a man living in Gadara. Mark's Gospel says of the man, "Always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. When this man confronted Jesus, t he Master said, "Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And the man was healed. His treasure of undisturbed thinking was restored.
Within the teachings of Christian Science, we can find clear explanations of how Christ Jesus lifted the level of thought of those he healed and how we can see our own thought similarly spiritualized. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, says of Jesus in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "The divine nature was best expressed in Christ Jesus, who threw upon mortals the truer reflection of God and lifted their lives higher than their poor thought-models would allow ,--thoughts which presented man as fallen, sick, sinning, and dying.
Man is the expression of the good that is God. Man's true consciousness is spiritual. It doesn't originate in man, but in God. These God-given thoughts have no element of sin or selfishness or self-hate in them. That's why they are our treasure. Recognizing that our real treasure is our thinking is the first step. Defending it is another matter. That is done through loving discipline, study, and prayer. It can be hard work, but it's full of reward.
We invite thoughts into our consciousness just as we admit visitors into our home. In defense of our home, we don't accept rowdy guests. And we can refuse entry to thoughts destructive to ourselves or others. They are not from God, so they have no right to enter. When we're honestly working to fill our thinking with Godlikeness, an evil thought is not unnoticeable. It stands out, and at once the power of the Godlike ideas we are cherishing goes to work to reject what is not good.
The real value in our thinking lies in the treasure that we are to God. What He knows of us is our treasure. It's like discovering --sometimes with surprise--that someone you love and admire feels that you are the most wonderful, lovable person they know. That's what God's thoughts convey to us about ourselves.
When we respond (and we must respond!) to the treasure of His love, we admit only what promotes love and what furthers our own spiritual growth. This is guarding the treasure of our own thought.