I had not seen my friend in many years. We talked of our experiences. As we parted, I became uncomfortable, realizing that she seemed very envious of the adventures I had had. Returning home, I was troubled about this. My first reaction was, ''Well, it's her problem if she wants to believe she's lacking something in her life.''
I suddenly realized how self-righteous this sounded, and I knew it was wrong for me to just accept this negative concept of my friend. There was a better, a deeply Christian, answer to this problem, one that involved a change of perspective.
I was believing I had enjoyed some pretty wonderful experiences and that she had suffered some pretty dull ones. I was believing I had something she lacked. Closer examination of this belief showed me that it was rooted in falsity, in a contradiction of divine law. Although our experiences may have differed, still we were offspring of the same creator. In truth, we both belonged to God, were both perfectly cared for by Him.
God gives all His children wonderful gifts, and not one of His offspring can lack any type of good. ''Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning,'' n1 the Scriptures assure us. I realized that God's blessings are available to everyone, though they assume different forms to meet individual needs. Believing that I had good and another lacked good was to believe that some of God's children are haves and others have-nots.
n1 James 1:17.
Certainly it does appear that there are haves and have-nots. But this isn't the truth of being; it's not in accord with the spiritual facts of creation. In divine reality, all good is from God and is always available to all. Man, as God's very likeness, is the spiritual reflection of the one perfect creator, the recipient of His infinite good. This truth, as we realize it, brings to light His provision, which is ever available to meet our needs appropriately.
The shadow of gloom lifted as my thought was brightened by a joyful perception of how blessed all God's children are.
Later, when I visited my friend again, all appearance of envy had disappeared. A different atmosphere prevailed during our visit, one of mutual sharing and joy. As we parted, I realized I had seen clear evidence of God's gifts present in my friend's life where before I had seen lack.
The truth of God's goodness available to everyone expanded to correct other false views I had unwittingly accepted. I asked myself about my view of mankind in general. Was I believing some people had good potential and others did not? Was I seeing my country as having abundant provision and other countries as having insufficient supply? Each of these misconceptions stems from the false notion that good is limited and that man is a mortal, material being who can expect only so much of this good to enter his limited lifetime. But we can change our perspective and view man as the child of God, as His expression of the limitless qualities of health, intelligence, purity, and so on. This view heals.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ''It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.'' n2
n2 Science and Health, m p. 494.
Gratitude for the good we already have opens the door of thought to perceive the continuous outpouring of God's blessings. Our need is to turn to God, divine Love, accept His care, and be obedient to His guidance. Bearing witness to His unlimited gifts, we will gain clearer views of His ideal, spiritual universe. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. Psalms 84:11,12