Honesty in government
``FRANKLY, I don't believe either one of them.'' Those are the disillusioned words of a recent voter regarding the two candidates who ran for office in his district. Charges of dishonesty among political figures have left many people disturbed. Can we go further than being disturbed? We certainly can. People have seen prayer work in their lives to bring harmony to harsh situations, to bring healing of disease and regeneration from sin. If individuals can be benefited by prayer, why not government? Where do true power and government lie?
It would appear that people wield power, that people govern. And yet isn't there a divine power that can be seen as governing all, including those in political office? The Bible is emphatic in its teaching that God is all-powerful and omnipresent. That means that Truth, a term for God clearly implied in the Bible, is what actually has power and presence. But we need to realize this clearly in prayer--let our prayers be imbued with this understanding.
Christ Jesus proved the governing power of Truth throughout his ca reer. Remember the account of the woman caught committing adultery?1 The scribes and Pharisees who brought her to Jesus weren't necessarily interested in justice or fairness. Knowing of his teachings of compassion, they wanted him to tell them whether the woman should be stoned to death--the punishment the law required. John tells us plainly of their motive: ``This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him.''
But Jesus was not intimidated. As they continued to pressure him for an answer, he told them, ``He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.'' The result? God's presence, the presence of Truth, was so apparent and powerful that it destroyed the power of any evil motives. The men had no choice but to be honest with themselves and with those around them. They left one by one, convicted by their own consciences. And the woman left with the admonition from Jesus to go and sin no more.
It's helpful in prayer to see that God's creation, including man, is not separate from Truth. Just as there is no darkness in light, there is no dishonesty in Truth and no dishonesty in the man of Truth's creating. Obviously, mortals are sometimes dishonest. But God's man isn't a wrongdoing mortal; this isn't anyone's actual nature. So we're not being naive when we realize in the depths of prayer that all those in government are, in divine reality, the children of God, governed by God, by Truth.
It's easy sometimes to be cynical about those who serve us in public office. Although cynicism may seem warranted in particular instances, and we certainly need to keep our eyes open to what's happening in government at every level, we can do much in support of government, in the most profound way, as we stick with the clear understanding that those in office are truly under God's jurisdiction.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Honesty is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help.''2 Important issues face public officials, and we certainly wouldn't want them to forfeit divine help in their work. Let's love them enough to pray for government, realizing that man is not deceived by evil. Man's unity with God includes the knowledge of what is good, what is right. God, good, is the only power there is. This power does not corrupt, and man is truly free from corruption.
It's said that those who govern in a democracy do so with the consent of the governed. Righteousness, fairness, unselfishness, honesty, virtue--these are the things we want to be governed by. Let's give our consent only to these qualities. Not just in the voting booth or in our correspondence with our representatives, but in our hearts and minds. Consenting only to the spiritual reality of man as made in the image of Truth will do much for our own lives and for our government.
1See John 8:1-11. 2Science and Health, p. 453. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Lo this only have I found, that God hath made man upright. Ecclesiastes 7:29