WE want to make wise use of what we earn. Yet the financial landscape has many potential pitfalls, and it is difficult to know how to avoid them all. There are some clear points in Christ Jesus' teachings that are applicable to how we approach financial matters. While Jesus taught that those who trusted in riches would not be spiritually prepared to partake of God's kingdom, he also commended the wise use of resources, adequate preparation and foresight, and intelligent action. He said, ``If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?''1
As we practice such Christian qualities as wisdom, patience, justice, brotherly love, and economy, we will understand better how God, the divine Mind, provides for our needs and so be fitted to receive the true spiritual riches. While Jesus proved that God lovingly provides for the human need, he never indicated that this is the ultimate purpose of Christianity. The Christian purpose is to turn people away from faith in matter and love of worldliness to faith in and love of God, Spirit. It's to awake humanity to glimpse, and progressively prove, the true nature of man as God's spiritual likeness, inseparable from His resources.
I have tried to approach financial matters wisely. Still, I have made mistakes and had losses. But I have learned some important lessons, even spiritual lessons, from my mistakes.
For example, several months ago I received some money in partial payment for a business I sold about two years ago. I wanted to invest the money wisely so it could serve as a support to my new work. I decided on one investment. But later I began to recognize that this particular investment took too much of my thought away from my work. Also I found I was uncomfortable with a few of its stocks. So I sold it at a loss.
As a result I prayed more deeply about the whole matter and began to get a new perspective on supply. God is the source of all good. God, good, is infinite, omnipresent, unlimited. He isn't here today and gone tomorrow. So good doesn't come and go but must always remain at hand for us to discover.
When Jesus taught about using wisdom in dealing with the world, he certainly stressed the value of the wisdom and not of the material things. As I thought about this, I began to see that what truly supported me was not a bank account or clever investments but the invariable, spiritual good that God imparts. And I have been able to see the practical results of this truth in my life.
A statement from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy2 helped me to understand the inexhaustible nature of good: ``Christian Science presents unfoldment, not accretion; it manifests no material growth from molecule to mind, but an impartation of the divine Mind to man and the universe.''3
We have no need to fear for the future if we invest our full trust in God. The ideas that divine Mind imparts enrich our experience by destroying our faith in matter and showing us how to master sin.
Spiritual good is always practical; it meets our needs. The Psalmist said, ``I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.''4
As we grow in our trust in God, we will lose our fear of disaster and any selfish desire for great material wealth. And we will be prepared to receive the true riches of Spirit.
1Luke 16:11. 2The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 3Science and Health, p. 68. 4Psalms 37:25. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life. Proverbs 22:4