Using Our Latent Abilities

WE all have ''hidden'' abilities we could be putting to use, talents we could be developing and expressing. What can you and I do to bring latent abilities to light? We can gain a deeper understanding of man's true nature as the child of God.

In First John in the Bible is this powerful statement: ''Beloved, now are we the sons of God'' (3:2). You and I are God's very likeness, His spiritual offspring. And since we were formed by God for the purpose of showing forth His nature, we all have an essential role to play in God's plan.

Just how much we mean to our heavenly Father was clear to our Master, Christ Jesus. He said: ''Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. . . . Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows'' (Matt. 10:29, 31).

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Created for the purpose of expressing God, you and I (and everyone else) are not only valuable, we are absolutely indispensable. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ''If God, who is Life, were parted for a moment from His reflection, man, during that moment there would be no divinity reflected. The Ego would be unexpressed, and the Father would be childless,-no Father'' (p. 306).

With God's help, any person can discover what he or she is truly worth. We can wake up to the divine facts that God, divine Mind, is forever expressing Himself in His offspring and that we therefore already include all we possibly could need for our usefulness and satisfaction. Understanding this about ourselves, we'll see more of the God-bestowed abilities that always have belonged to us come to light. And the happy result will be more spontaneity and effectiveness in expressing God.

Yet, the feeling that we have little or nothing to contribute, besides making us quietly miserable, would shut down our expression of God-given talents. Sometimes people let themselves get so impressed with how well others are doing, they don't make any effort to develop and use the talents God has given them.

But no one has to continue believing in and serving this false estimate of himself. The power of Christ, the ever- present, true idea of God, can remove any material, limiting, misery-producing state of thought. No one can do our spiritual awakening and our achieving for us. But neither can any person prevent us from leading more productive lives. Nor can past events. Events gone by, neglected opportunities, insufficient education, mistakes, waste of time, feelings of being too old, are all powerless to keep unfruitful any man or woman who is willing to use unselfishly the talents God imparts.

We can eliminate thoughts of discouragement, frustration, inability-thoughts that would inhibit a natural, legitimate expression of God-and develop our divine potential. In his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul had some practical words on the subject: ''. . . this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus'' (3:13, 14).

By consistently claiming our spiritual individuality as an unlimited idea of God, divine Mind, we find our mental horizons broadening and our capacity increasing to the extent that achievements once considered out of reach become possible. This is in line with God's law of continuously unfolding good. Science and Health points out: ''A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms'' (p. 128).

Our reason for existing is to reflect God, to put to use the spiritual qualities composing our true nature. And since those qualities are spiritual, they are unlimited and constantly available to us. Gaining more of the dynamic knowledge Jesus had of man as the complete, loved, valuable child of God will remove inactivity, mediocrity, frustration, from our lives. It will clear the way for a more effective use of those ''abilities and possibilities'' each of us has as God's reflection.

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