Still the best policy

AT times, perhaps most of us have been tempted to do something not strictly honest. Some people seem to think that if the dishonesty concerns only a minor matter, it isn't harmful. But in the long run it doesn't pay, because we are breaking God's laws, and God alone is the source of genuine well-being. He is our creator, our provider, our very Life. When a young man asked Christ Jesus what he should do to obtain eternal life, two of the commandments Jesus cited were ``Do not steal'' and ``Defraud not.'' 1 When we are defrauding our fellowman we're really defrauding ourselves. And we are virtually admitting that God is unable or unwilling to supply our needs. Years ago, our daughter, when nearly twelve and a half, was eager to visit a relative in a distant state. My income then just about covered our expenses. She was quite small for her age, and we were going to send her by train at half fare. Even then we had only enough money to get her there, but we hoped to raise the balance required. Usually my wife was meticulously honest, but I had no doubt said I couldn't afford the full fare. While visiting a friend, we told her of our daughter's desire to take the trip, and it came out that we planned to send her at half fare. Our friend pointed out that this wasn't honest. When I stressed that our daughter was small for her age, she said, ``It's not her size that counts; the rule is that anyone over twelve must pay full fare.'' She emphasized the importance of being honest with God and with our selves. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``Honesty is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help.'' 2 We soon realized that our friend was right. But the human mind thinks in terms of limitation, so I soon faced the thought ``If I can't afford even half fare, how can I possibly afford full fare?'' Still, we kept praying with the understanding that if it was right for her to take the trip, the means would be provided. Shortly, in an unexpected way, someone who loved our daughter offered to lend us enough money for her to pay full fare. So she enjoyed a happy visit, and before long we were able to repay the loan. Lack of funds has probably troubled most of us at some point. But we do not have to struggle with it alone. The Bible tells us that God is Love, our Father and Mother who cares for us in every situation. In Jesus' parable of the prodigal son, the father tells the resentful older brother, ``Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.'' 3 God is with each of us, and we're inseparable from His provision, even if appearances would persuade us otherwise. In truth, there can be no separation between God and man, creator and creation. If we are unemployed, we can be greatly benefited if we first pray--realize in communion with God that He cares about us, and seek to know Him better. If we are willing to pray earnestly and humbly, He will direct our steps wisely. Often those seeking God's guidance have been led to make beneficial moves that had not previously occurred to them. When Jesus told the multitude, ``Seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you,'' 4 he was well aware of our human needs. All of Jesus' deeds proved the practicality of his words. When there were only five loaves and two fish to feed more than five thousand people in the wilderness, Jesus looked to God as the source of limitless good, and all were fed. We may not now equal Jesus' works, but we can prove God's love for us in more modest ways. Man is forever inseparable from God and His love, and we can feel and experience this love as we pray to Him in expectancy and sincerity. We do not have to steal from others. Whatever the need may be, our prayers, our thinking, and our living, should express honesty toward God and our fellowman. Honesty is the only sound foundation upon which to build happiness and success. 1 Mark 10:19. 2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 453. 3 Luke 15:31. 4 Luke 12:31.

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