How Are We Thinking?
A STORY I heard tells of a man in the United States during the depression years who did very well selling doughnuts by the roadside. He put his son through college hoping that the son would help to expand the business. The result, however, wasn't quite what the man had expected. On the completion of his studies, the son briefed his father about the depressed economy. After he listened intently to what the son told him--to the man's dismay--sales plummeted. He wisely detected the cause, however, and dismissed the discouragement and fear that had come with all he had heard about the Depression. Once his natural confidence in good returned, his business prospered again.
``As he thinketh in his heart, so is he,'' says Proverbs (23:7). Doesn't this tell us that our thinking forms our experience? This would be an intolerable burden if we had to depend on our own personal ability to think good thoughts. But good isn't a product of our efforts; it comes from our creator, God. Turning our thought to God fills our thinking with good. Wrong thinking has no place in our thoughts, and is destroyed by the reality of God-given good.
When we wake to the truth of Spirit, God, and His spiritual creation, our experience directly conforms to our improved thought. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, explains this in her Miscellaneous Writings. She writes, ``Holding the right idea of man in my mind, I can improve my own, and other people's individuality, health, and morals; whereas, the opposite image of man, a sinner, kept constantly in mind, can no more improve health or morals, than holding in thought the form of a boa-constrictor can aid an artist in painting a landscape'' (p. 62).
Salespersons are always advised to have enthusiasm and confidence, as these qualities achieve sales. While this is good advice, as far as it goes, we need to dig deeper into an understanding of the spiritual qualities that have their source in God, divine Mind, who is the supplier of all right ideas. If we always bring good thoughts--godlike thoughts --to our work, business naturally becomes a blessing to all.
God, who is maneveryonetrue Mind, does not play favorites with His creation. If thoughts are good, their source is God. If not, they are illusions belonging to no one. Business recession, for example, is the result of recess of business confidence. But it is not an inevitable cycle. Our thought patterns mold the economy, as it is the mirror of our thinking, and we can discipline ourselves through regular prayer to ensure that all our thoughts have their source in divine Mind. Christ Jesus understood right thinking to be the core of one's living. He said, Luke's Gospel tells us, ``Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom'' (6:38). Isn't this the way to revitalize a sluggish economy?
I had an experience while working as a salesman of outdoor furniture that showed me how effective turning our thoughts to God in prayer is in improving our experience. One day I was assigned to work inside the shop. Business was very quiet that day and I was tempted to be depressed. At midday I decided to go out and telephone a fellow Christian Scientist to pray for me. My friend agreed to pray and quoted a verse from Zechariah: ``Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts'' (4:6) This was referring to the Christ, which Jesus lived triumphantly, and he assured us that we could follow his footsteps. I began to see that the world can experience greater economic progress as the true concept of the Christ is more fully accepted in business. God-impelled thinking results in honest deals and service that benefit both buyer and seller. Not long after I returned to the shop, a good prospect walked straight to me. I showed her around, and we were able to supply what she needed.
Right thinking is a standard requirement for everyone who would demonstrate the healing message of Christian Science. It is not mere positive thinking, but is spiritual thinking entirely based on the Bible. As we order our thinking, we order our living. As we think in our hearts, so will our life be.