THE word economy means different things to different people. To one it might just mean being frugal enough to make his salary last until the next payday. Often it implies stretching shortages to make the known resources go a little farther and accomplish a little more. The concept of divine economy has quite a different meaning. In this economy there are no gluts or shortages, just the continuous, perfect coordination of supply and demand. In the spiritual reality of creator and creation, God maintains the constant well-being of His offspring, man. But can we really expect to seethis ideal condition mirrored in human experience?
Yes, if we begin to understand that even the smallest expression of good is God-derived. So it's something to be valued and shared, not squandered or taken for granted. Bearing witness to the divine economy in our lives doesn't just mean getting something we want. To value and prove God's provision include using every opportunity to invest more of the spiritual qualities God expresses in man -- such as intelligence, love, and perception -- in everything we have to do.
These qualities aren't just personal characteristics parceled out in random packages at the time of mortal birth. They are always available to everyone, because they are innate in man, who is the image of God, as the Bible describes him. Our tasks may not seem important in themselves at the time we're engaged in them, but the qualities they call forth from us come back to bless us again and again.
Christ Jesus gave interesting examples of utilizing to the full God's provision for us, both collectively and individually. And he stressed the importance of not wasting anything God has given us. When he fed the multitude in the desert with a few loaves and fishes, he cautioned his disciples, ``Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.''1
In his parable of the talents2 Jesus told of three servants who were given different sums by their master before he went on a journey. Two of them put their shares to good use, but the third buried his in the ground and so wasted his opportunity. Sometimes we do this, too, when we distrust God's wisdom and graciousness and shrink from the challenges that come to us.
I learned once how unexpectedly God's provision can come. I had an opportunity to take an overseas trip that was important for my work but that had quite heavy financial implications. When I returned I was tempted to feel depleted. Then I found among the messages on my desk a name and telephone number I didn't recognize. When I asked my husband about it he said: ``Oh, it's a solicitor who keeps calling you. He wouldn't tell me what it was about.''
When I got in touch with this man he told me that he had a legacy for me; it more than covered all the expenses of my trip. This arose out of something I had done years earlier, although the person concerned would have loved, right then, to help me in this way. She would also have relished the perfect timing, which could hardly have been planned humanly. We experience such evidence of the divine economy more as we trust God more and refuse to waste any opportunity to serve Him.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes: ``God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment. What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love! More we cannot ask: more we do not want: more we cannot have.''3
Everyone can claim this inheritance and begin to understand how best to use all the opportunities it offers to demonstrate the divine economy in human experience.
1John 6:12. 2See Matthew 25:14-29. 3Miscellaneous Writings, p. 307.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blesing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.