Christ Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate in the judgment hall. Pilate said, ''Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?'' Jesus' response refuted Pilate's boast: ''Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.'' n1 The master Christian refused to accept any power apart from God. He identified God as his Father and proved this fact throughout his life.
n1 John 19:10, 11.
Jesus' life illustrates the results of relying on spiritual might. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes of the Master, ''The 'man of sorrows' best understood the nothingness of material life and intelligence and the mighty actuality of all-inclusive God, good.'' n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to Scriptures, p. 52
Turning to God, to the one all-inclusive, ever-present Mind, we can find the direction we need. When tempted to believe that another person holds control over our career, we can pray, affirming God's presence and might to be the only authority in our lives. And His power is supreme. We can also begin to see that others are controlled by the one Mind, Love, and refuse to accept any other control.
The writer of I John assures us, ''There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.'' n3 Each of us can claim God's loving control of his life. When we identify evil as a person or a thing, we're attributing power to some force other than God. The need is to separate evil from our concept of an individual. Then we clear the field for God's presence to be felt and understood. Impersonalizing evil allows us to discern the truth of man as the likeness of God. This was Jesus' approach, and we can make it ours.
n3 I John 4:18.
Several years ago I was faced with a very difficult situation at work. Despite what seemed to me to be an exceptional performance, it became evident that my employer wanted to force me out of my job. The pressure at the office made my life miserable, and the more I tried to resolve the problem through good human efforts, the worse it became. I asked a Christian Science practitioner to pray for me. We reviewed Jesus' approach to challenges. I began to realize that my problem was not a personal attack but rather a temptation to believe that God was not in control of my life.
What I needed was a better grasp of my divine purpose. Could it be affected by any power other than God? Was I willing to see that divine Mind alone governed my destiny, and that I could trust His direction and care in each step I took? Was I willing to see my employer as a child of divine Love, incapable of manipulative or wicked motives? Did I see that my employer did not have any power to injure me?
I considered these questions and then began to identify my employer, co-workers, staff, and myself as spiritual beings, made in God's image. I stopped worshiping the false god of personal power and learned to affirm man's spiritual nature, regardless of the evidence before me.
The resolution did not come quickly. For several months I worked each day to see myself and those around me as spiritually motivated. I turned to God more consistently to meet the various challenges as they arose. I found peace and comfort in loving more in the face of opposition. The turning point came with a realization that I was not responsible for the spiritual progress of those around me and did not have to determine how my prayer would be answered. When I realized that God cared for the needs of each of my fellow employees, the change was immediate. A new position opened up in the same organization. My career took a new direction, and I had fresh opportunities to expand and develop my talents.
Regardless of appearances, none of us is ever outside God's care. Divine Love's provision for each of us is wholly good, and we have immediate access to His loving guidance. As we learn to turn to Him more, even for routine matters, we will be able to say with St. Paul that ''all things work together for good to them that love God.'' n4
n4 Romans 8:28.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart . . . Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:3, 5, 6