Values that count

An article by George Gallup, Jr. that appeared in the July issue of Reader's Digest last year revealed some interesting findings about people in the United States. It showed that they are more solid than they are given credit for and that religious faith and spiritual values are becoming more and more important to a majority of people.

Can it be that in the United States, and other countries as well, people are looking more deeply into what life is all about, that they are seeking a spiritual sense of existence? Are they finding material pursuits and aims disappointing or illusive? Perhaps the disillusionment fostered by materialistic thinking is impelling a more spiritual approach, a more substantive life style. ''The objects we pursue and the spirit we manifest reveal our standpoint, and show what we are winning,'' n1 writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

n1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 239

We never lose anything worthwhile when we drop a worldly, fleshly sense of existence for a spiritual view. When we put first things first in our hearts, the rewards are great, and they are permanent. Through loyalty to the one God and purification of our thoughts and motives we find health and genuine, enduring fulfillment and purpose - outward signs of our spiritual growth. Christ Jesus said, ''Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.'' n2

n2 Matthew 6:33

A good way to check our values is to ask ourselves what we call success. Are we influenced by worldly yardsticks like money, prestige, popularity? Or do we treasure a growing spiritual understanding of God, seeking to learn more about our relationship to our Father-Mother and feeling a peaceful joy because of the spiritual good we do? Jesus taught, ''Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.''n3

n3 Matthew 6:21

Sometimes a watershed experience brings our lives into sharp focus and helps us take stock of our life purpose and motives. We see where we are heading and find what is really important. Such was the case with me following a serious automobile accident.

During the long, dark hours of the night, I saw how very insignificant all material values were in this time of crisis. No amount of money could alleviate the pain I was suffering. Fame and worldly acclaim would not be a ticket to healing. Popularity could never heal my back and help me get up and walk again.

All I could count on, and all that was divinely true, was my spiritual existence. What really mattered in my extremity was how much I understood God and my indestructible relationship to Him. Here I had a value that carried weight; something that could not be destroyed by adversity. Herein lay true substance. Through the spiritual prayer of affirming and realizing my true identity as the offspring of God, I experienced a quick, permanent healing.

The Bible assures us, ''Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.'' n4 What a springboard for finding God's nearness and power! Our growing spiritualization of thought can see right through the false pretensions of matter-based living. It enables us to feel the joy and permanency of spiritual existence. We never lose with spiritual values, values that count!

n4 James 4:8

DAILY BIBLE VERSE Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. Matthew 6:19, 20

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