Do You Know What's Good for You?
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Most of us probably want more good things in life - more health, happiness, peace.Skip to next paragraph
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Maybe you feel that God can give you good, but wonder why you don't have more of it. Well, I've found it helpful to take a different approach. Instead of asking "Why doesn't God send me more good?" I ask "How can I more fully acknowledge what God gives me?"
When good things seem absent or limited, this involves the belief that there is a time when or a place where God, who is good, is limited. Yet God is actually infinite. Doesn't it follow, then, that good must be infinite, that is, everpresent and unlimited? A verse in the Bible says, "The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord" (Ps. 33:5).
So what about crime, sickness, poverty, depression? As much as they seem to be awful realities opposed to good, they are actually the effect of believing that there can be an opposite of infinite God.
To help ourselves and others, we must become more conscious of God's presence. That's how evil will be defeated. Feeling gratitude for the good you already see is always a step toward welcoming more good into the day. The Christian Science textbook states: "We plead for unmerited pardon and for a liberal outpouring of benefactions. Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 3).
The fact is, God is always sustaining us, inasmuch as we have an inseparable, spiritual relation to Him - one that never changes. By welcoming thoughts from God about His all-presence, power, and goodness, it is possible to relinquish any fear that evil can threaten us. This is an important aspect of prayer.
Recently, my wife and I bought our first car. Neither of us was particularly comfortable with the salesman. We had prayed for God's direction while we worked with him. But the morning after the purchase, I still felt I needed to pray. I kept thinking he'd wanted to cheat us.
I was grateful to understand the spiritual fact that God's goodness is always present. And I remembered that God had directed our actions. Then, as I listened for inspiration, it was as if I heard a voice say, "Accept that I would never let anything but good happen to you." I suddenly realized that while I'd been claiming that God governed my wife and me, I was also believing that there were some times and circumstances when evil governed. By fully accepting the idea that God is governing all His children always, my view of the situation - and of the salesman - changed. I felt certain that through our prayers we were being guided, and that if something still needed to be corrected, it would be as we continued to listen to God.
That afternoon I spoke with a salesman at another dealership. He gave our car a careful study and remarked what a good deal we'd received.
This was a confirmation of what my prayer had revealed that morning. I saw I had resisted the idea that God could fill every part of my life with good. My fear had been the result of not believing this. While it might seem that getting sick or making a bad deal is part of being human, or even that we deserve such evils, we have every right to accept the spiritual fact that God made us to deserve and have only good. We are fully entitled to experience joy, health, and security.
Our prayer to see God's unlimited good will bring what is needed. As I found, it certainly brings peace. It also brings physical healing, the destruction of greed, the end of addiction. All evil is based on fear that we can have only a limited amount of good. But Christ Jesus told his followers for all time, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32). With this understanding, you can begin to accept, and consequently see in your life, the abundant good that surrounds you now.