"I couldn't possibly live without one of those" was one woman's comment. She was referring to a small gadget that sells for little more than a dollar. Of the possessions we enjoy and are glad to have, we will probably be quick to admit that the majority are not actually essential. In fact, most of them we have already proved we can live very well without. But there are things we can't do without -- spiritual things. These are possessions to treasure with far greater care than any material objects.
These truly valuable assets are qualities of thought derived from God, divine Mind. They include peace, vitality, joy, integrity, and intelligence.
The Bible frequently brings out the lesson that it is not physical assets that are truly significant. The Preacher describes how he gathered great-possessions -- silver and gold, treasures of all kinds, houses, gardens, vineyards, and plenty of servants. Then he says, "I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit." n1 And the wise writer of Proverbs recommended, "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." n2
n1 Ecclesiastes 2:11.
n2 Proverbs 4:7.
Adopting this advice and working out its application to our own lives, we may recognize that people can live comfortably without elaborate houses and furnishings, for example, but not without freedom and love for others; without books and pictures, but not without ideas and the capacity to appreciate and develop them; without a luxurious car or a microwave oven, but not without the spiritual energy and motivation to be active, and the strength and loving desire to engage in purposeful activity for the benefit of others.
We have biblical authority, also, for knowing that we will never have to do without those things we really can't do without. They are not limited but overflowing, not given discriminately but impartially to all creation. They have their source in God, Spirit, and are, therefore, always available to us in abundance. Referring to the necessities of existence, Christ Jesus said: "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." n3
n3 Matthew 6:32, 33.
The Master demonstrated during his solitary forty days in the wilderness that we are not dependent on material things -- not even material food. He proved that he was amply supplied with the nourishing inspiration of God's Word, the safety of God's eternal care, and the victory that comes from acknowledging the all-power of God. He emerged triumphant from the trial, with spiritual dominion that enabled him to heal countless invalids and to inspire many of those healed to follow the truth he taught.
Christian Science brings the Master's teaching to the remembrance of humanity today, emphasizing the importance and superiority of spiritual power and substance over material energy and objects. It itemizes the things we truly need -- in fact, the things we can't do without. Mary Baker Eddy n4 writes, "What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds." n5
n4 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n5 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 4.