`Thine is the kingdom'

THINE -- doesn't that word have a comforting sound when it refers to Deity, as in the Lord's Prayer: ``For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever''?1 Mine, on the other hand, often seems to carry the opposite spirit and can imply greed, jealousy, ego, or conflict. I once had to learn to be careful what I labeled as ``mine.''

My boss had hired someone who was given a few of ``my'' duties. I could have let go of these tasks graciously. But I didn't. After a couple of weeks of strain, I finally began to pray.

The feeling that my work territory was being invaded soon gave way to the prayerful acknowledgment of Christ Jesus' words ``Thine is the kingdom.'' I saw that by labeling the work as ``my kingdom,'' I was denying God's supreme jurisdiction over all aspects of my life. It didn't take me long in my prayers to see the folly of that! Once I began to accept God's ultimate government over all -- and to act in accord with this spiritual fact -- the strain disappeared. I felt I was coming home! New responsibilities opened up that led to undreamed-of opportunities.

Kingdom of God may seem like an old-fashioned term, but it has a timeless relevance. It refers to God's government of His creation, always in the right way. The Ruler of this kingdom is divine Spirit. And what God, Spirit, creates in His own likeness must be, and is, spiritual. The harmony of God's spiritual creation sometimes seems far from the daily strife and division we hear about in the news. Notwithstanding, God's spiritual realm is one continuous whole; it's not divisible or limited in any way. It's equally available to all.

Jesus' healing works show that it's possible -- in fact, essential -- for us to begin establishing God's kingdom on earth. We do this each time we express God's love by patience or forgiveness. Integrity is seen more on earth as we're honest and law-abiding.

Some wonderful assurances about ourselves and our work can come when we let the truth behind the statement ``Thine is the kingdom'' guide our actions. One such assurance has to do with our true worth. In God's kingdom, man's worth is natural to him because it flows from his divine source. It's not something man can lose and must then earn again. It's his already by reason of who he is as God's likeness. As we learn to take the knowledge of our spiritual worth with us to work, we'll find it can remove any personal drive for selfish ambition that we might feel.

Striving sincerely to understand through prayer that ``Thine is the kingdom'' can do more for us on our job than anything else. It's really a matter of our learning more of God and how He works. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, gives this spiritual interpretation of the close of the Lord's Prayer:

``For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the

glory, forever.

For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over

all, and All.''2

At first it may seem somewhat remote to acknowledge God's presence with us on the job. But the rewards are great, as I learned. When I was willing to give ``the kingdom'' back to God -- or, rather, to see that the jurisdiction had always been His -- I gained an enlarged sense of my work and of my worth, and this has made all the difference. 1Matthew 6:13. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 17.

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