Changing Times, Changeless Truth
IT was refreshing to hear the main character in a recent movie tell an attractive single woman, "I'm married". And even more refreshing to see that he was faithful to his spouse.Much of what we see these days in the movies and media would have us conclude there's no particular standard of morality. The suggestion is that our moral conduct has little relevance to the other departments of our life or to society's well-being. Certainly we've all had to grapple with moral questions. There are times when even the best people may be tempted in a direction they intuitively know is wrong. And the decisions they make at such moments do make a difference--in their own lives and in the climate of society. There are many voices today arguing that things formerl considered wrong aren't really immoral at all and that times have changed. We are, of course, living in different times. But time doesn't change the fact that an individual's state of thought affects his life very directly. It doesn't change the fact that such things as dishonesty, betrayal, duplicity, tend to separate us from feeling God's care, from the shelter of divine law. Matthew's Gospel records Christ Jesus' words "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction. This teaching isn't bothersome or outdated. It saves. Throughout the Gospels we find the Way-shower speaking to us with simplicity and divine authority. "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God, he said elsewhere in Matthew. Purity discerns God, experiences His care. Everyone in his or her actual being is at this moment God's pure, spiritual image. And not one of the creator's offspring can be separated from His love. Yet thinking and acting contrary to who we really are can leave us vulnerable to the pain that material life would inflict. This isn't to suggest that God sends us suffering but rather that a state of thought preoccupied with sensuality, dishonesty, or other questionable tendencies inevitably punishes itself. Eventually we're all compelled to turn t o a sincere worship of God, Spirit. That's where our well-being really lies. The most important question to consider isn't "What does society view as morally permissible? Rather, it's "What's most in accord with God's will and therefore most beneficial to myself and society? Aren't we in accord with the divine will as we strive to live in harmony with God's law and with our own true nature, which is pure? Clearly, it's sometimes an uphill struggle to do this. The currents of worldly thinking resist our spiritual efforts, arguing that they're irrelevant, unrealistic, and ultim ately futile. But the very opposite is the case, as we can learn not only from the pages of the Bible but from people's lives today. To the degree that we live in accord with changeless Spirit, the divine Principle of the universe, we'll not only be contributing to our own well-being; we'll be supporting the world's progress. This can't deprive us of the appropriate fulfillment of our needs. It can only enrich our lives. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, observes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "Moral conditions will be found always harmonious and health-giving. Regardless of how things appear or how we may feel at the moment, this is changeless truth, far beyond the short-sightedness of current fashion. It's based on the unshakable spiritual fact that God alone is the source of our well-being. Nothing is more beneficial than working to prove this fact.