Tomorrow the topic of trade and unemployment will be discussed as part of the Monitor'sm ''Great Decisions '83'' series. This is a complicated issue, involving protectionist trade barriers, import quotas, international politics, business and labor.
One word that seems to keep coming up with this issue is ''protect.'' But protect what? Jobs. The very jobs that so many millions upon millions of honest workers and voters all over the world depend on for tangibles such as bread and shelter, as well as intangibles such as dignity and self-respect. It would appear that negotiators have an awesome responsibility to protect the stability of world economic order. And they may feel even more poignantly the need to help protect the security of millions of workers.
But do security and dignity and supply really have their roots in jobs and money?
Economic and trade data tell us yes. But the Holy Bible has very important data that give a different picture.
The Bible's teachings point clearly and gently to the truth that God is our provider, and that our perception of this fact, even more than a job itself, is what needs to be carefully protected.
The Bible offers us reassuring statements such as these: ''My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus'' n1 and, ''I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.'' n2
n2 Psalms 91:2.
Some sincere thinkers may feel these statements are wishful platitudes. Actually, they are glimpses into God's tender but all-powerful law of infinite abundance. They hint at the basic spiritual truth that God is all good and man is His perfect spiritual image, the expression of His goodness. Security, dignity, abundance, derive from God; and as God's image man includes these qualities. In a very fundamental sense, then, the necessities of life are not material and scarce but spiritual and right at hand.
To the degree that anyone on earth accepts his true nature as God's expression, he is freed from such negative elements as fear, pride, and self-will, which lead to lack and despair. He expresses more of the divine nature and is more receptive to God's constant direction and provision. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes, ''God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies.'' n3
n3 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 307.
The Bible also includes accounts of lives transformed by prayer to God. Some may say these are miracles, events that momentarily set aside the natural order. Actually, they are proofs that a humble understanding of the law of divine Love sets aside mortal beliefs that would restrict. We read in one account how the prophet Elisha proved God's constant, unlimited provision when a destitute widow came to him for help. She had to pay off creditors who were about to claim her sons for slavery, but all she had was a pot of oil. Elisha told her to borrow as many vessels as possible and to fill them with the oil. She was able to fill every vessel as the oil increased to meet her need. This enabled her to pay her debt and to live with her sons on the remainder. n4 Along this same line, many of us may recall that Christ Jesus fed thousands with just a few loaves of bread and a few fish. n5
n4 See II Kings 4:1-7.
n5 See Matthew 14:15-21 and Matthew 15:32-38.
Today, to a modest degree, Biblical assurances are being proved and healings are being repeated through Christian Science. In my own life there was a time when my debts seemed overwhelming. I prayed earnestly to God and gained a better understanding of man as His loved child. The very next day my needs were cared for in a totally unexpected way.
Without a doubt, one of the greatest needs is to protect our understanding of the pure and tender truth of being. We all need to know that man is the perfect child of God, supplied with all good - good that has its source in Him and never in matter. As we accept this truth, whether we are private citizens, politicians , or trade negotiators, we will be taking an important step toward our own salvation and will be led to take the wisest action for the benefit of all mankind. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord is my sheperd; I shall not want. Psalms 23:1