Help for the chronically poor
It seems that in every society there are poor, homeless people. And this has been true for a long time. The Bible refers many times to the poor and needy. And Christ Jesus once remarked, ''Ye have the poor always with you.'' n1
n1 Matthew 26:11.
It has been said that ''few, save the poor, feel for the poor.'' Yet compassionate people have always tried to help the poor, and governments may be working at it more earnestly today than ever before. Surely there is a solution. The human condition should and can more nearly express the spiritual condition of God's man, abundantly supplied by Him. As Paul put it, ''My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.'' n2
n2 Philippians 4:19.
Jesus revealed that God is infinite good. ''There is none good but one, that is, God,'' n3 he said. God's goodness is everywhere and is infinite in variety and abundance. Lack, then, is not a God-created reality. It's as absent in His universe as darkness is in the presence of light.
n3 Matthew 19:17.
But how does God's infinite good reach man? Actually, it's eternally expressed by man. ''I and my Father are one,'' n4 Christ Jesus declared in one of his most profound yet least understood statements. He revealed that man's true being is the likeness of God, His perfect and full expression, His inseparable reflectIon. God and man are not one and the same, but man is forever at one with God.
n4 John 10:30.
Thus, all that God is, man reflects. All of God's qualities - such as love, intelligence, purpose, purity - as well as His unlimited provision, are present and are reflected by man. In absolute truth, then, there is no such thing as a poor child of God, either temporarily or chronically.
Yet how can these spiritual ideas solve the problem of chronic poverty? By transforming human thought. Christian healing is based on spiritual understanding, which transforms human consciousness through the power of the eternal Christ, Truth, and thereby improves human life.
These spiritual facts may seem as hard for some to grasp as picking up droplets of mercury. Yet each of us is blessed with innate spiritual sense, with an ability to discern the truth of God and man that Christ Jesus so utterly understood and so instantly and widely demonstrated. His feeding of the multitudes was not an inexplicable miracle or a temporary suspension of law, but a demonstration of divine Love's ever-present law of infinite provision for its creation - a law that shimmers with light and hope for each of us today.
But in order to experience this touch of heaven, this operation of unfailing divine law, we need childlike humility that enables us to admit the truth of spiritual truth. Speaking of little children, Jesus said, ''Of such is the kingdom of God.'' n5
n5 Mark 10:14.
Without question, generous human charity is needed. The Bible says, ''Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.'' n6 But isn't a deeper charity even more needed? A ''spiritual charity''? Such charity means sharing out of a heart overflowing with love our deep, cultivated, spiritual conviction that man is the abundantly supplied spiritual offspring of God. As we learn more about this basic truth, we may find that chronic poverty stems less from environmental, ethnic, or educational problems - although it's vital that these too be corrected through prayer - than from a general lack of understanding of man's spiritual completeness as God's child. This is a lack all of us suffer in one degree or another; it's a cruel imposition of what Paul called ''the carnal mind.''
n6 Deuteronomy 15:11.
Through God's tender love we all can resist the arguments of the carnal mind, yield to Christ, Truth, and so help solve the problem of poverty. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ''The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother's need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another's good.'' n7
n7 Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures, p. 518.
There is a spiritual solution to poverty, and through God's great love, we can begin to implement it. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Ye shall eat your bread to the full. Leviticus 26:5