Are you fully employed?

Can we expect to have full employment all the time even when so many other people are out of work? And what does full employment really mean? Viewed from one standpoint, we might say full employment means having a permanent, well-paying job commensurate with our qualifications. But from a spiritual standpoint, we get a higher view of employment. We see that, in a very meaningful sense, man's real employer is God, and that we're fully employed when serving Him. And opportunities for serving God are never scarce.

Whatever our occupation happens to be, we need to think first and foremost of our individual service to God. How do we serve Him? By expressing to the fullest the qualities derived from Him - integrity, intelligence, love, consistency. It's our true nature, as God's image, to express the divine nature. And this is not impractical, because these qualities are valued, indeed sought after, by employers.

A young man proved something of this when he found himself without work during a time of recession. At first he prayed for God to do something for him, expecting, as he put it, to have a good position simply handed to him. But this was really expecting God to serve him instead of the other way around. He began to see that he must do something for God.

He was a Christian Scientist and had learned to think of man as the son of God, His spiritual likeness. He asked himself what the son of God should be like , and how he should behave. This gave him a new standpoint to work from, and he prayed to be more useful to God. He had always enjoyed sharing hospitality, so he made himself available to catering companies to serve at private parties.

As a result, he flowered as a person, and his monetary needs were met as well. A major healing of wounded pride occurred too. For this university graduate, private service had seemed quite undignified. But thinking about Christ Jesus washing his disciples' feet, he realized that he was expressing God's love in the work he was doing.

Then he found that his co-workers and employees respected him. Clients engaged his services repeatedly. It's interesting to note what changed. He admitted that he had come away from childhood expecting life to be handed to him on that silver tray. Now he understood that he must do his part in serving God before he could hope to be fully employed.

In Jesus' parable of the talents, n1 a man, traveling to another country, entrusted his property to his servants. ''And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one.'' When the man returned, he found that the first two servants had doubled their talents, but the third had buried his in the ground and so had accomplished nothing.

n1 See Matthew 25:14-29.

In order to be fully employed, then, we need to use what we have; we need to express God's nature. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ''To do good to all because we love all, and to use in God's service the one talent that we all have, is our only means of adding to that talent and the best way to silence a deep discontent with our shortcomings.'' n2 We can be sure that as we do this sincerely we will find ourselves both fully and profitably employed.

n2 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 195.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself . . . The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law . . . If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:14, 22, 23, 25

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