The spirit that God has given us

I SAT in the university hall, with several hundred other students, waiting for the examination to begin. There was a general air of excitement and apprehension. On the signal from the supervisor I turned over the question paper. As I read, my heart began to sink. This was my final examination in my major subject, and my career, my whole life from this point on, seemed to depend on a high mark in this test.

Yet, despite preparation as faithful as I could give commensurate with other obligations, I felt that I could tackle with confidence only about half the requisite number of questions.

In despair I turned away from the paper and glanced around the hall. Some people had already begun to write. Others seemed to share my fear. I mentally reached out to God for help, and a message came clearly in words from Second Timothy: ``God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.''1

The word in that verse that stood out to me was us, and I was strongly aware that the message applied to everyone in the hall. God had given all of us there not a spirit of fear and doubt but the realization that we had, from Him, the power to deal with the situation. Why? Because He loved us and had bestowed on each of us ``a sound mind.''

With this realization I turned back more confidently to the paper. I saw a question that I could answer fairly easily and began with that. Gradually things I had learned or read came back to me, and other ideas poured in. I finished the paper happily, and subsequently received a high grade.

The lesson of that experience has remained with me. In whatever situation we may find ourselves, however difficult or dangerous, God's gift to everyone concerned--of power and love and a sound mind--is present. What we need to do, we can do. This is because the true selfhood of each one of us is not merely the loved of God but the expression of God. Our power is a reflection of His power. Our real and only consciousness is a reflection of the divine Mind.

Christ Jesus said, ``It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.''2 The flesh has no actual intelligence or capacity to act for good or ill. God is omnipotent, infinite good. Only what is the expression of infinite good, of the one divine Mind, can think, act, and have effect.

In our daily lives it may seem that evil has very definite intelligence and unquestionable effect. We confront challenges ranging from friction in personal relations to the threat of nuclear war, from minor lack to the starvation of millions. But none of these has the imprimatur of God upon it. In the face of none of them are we impotent, because God has given us the spirit of power and love and a sound mind--a consciousness that reflects the Mind which is God Himself.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, sums this up in two sentences from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established.''3

1II Timothy 1:7. 2John 6:63. 3Science and Health, p. 467. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Fther loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth. John 5:19,20

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