AT one time or another, many of us have felt dissatisfied with the government of our individual countries. Most of us know that just complaining probably isn't going to lead us or our nations to progress. But perhaps fear or the pressure of day-to-day living has kept us from doing much else to improve things. Or we may have felt it was hopeless even to bother. Yet there is something we can do. Prayer-inspired action really will make a difference.
Christ Jesus' ministry makes this abundantly clear. Throughout his life, he faced members of the religious hierarchy who were self-righteous, and government figures who were corrupt and immoral. Yet, he never let their behavior cause him to lose sight of God's kingdom. Jesus proved that living in accord with the divine government each day is the only way to achieve peace for ourselves and the world at large. Jesus made this point when he said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20, 21).
The practical implications of this concept are enormous. Consider this: If each day every individual made a conscious effort to be loving and patient, no matter how difficult the circumstances, the effect on human life-from traffic jams to schoolroom exams-would be extraordinary. If each of us chose to be honest, to be pure, to resist temptation, the results would be staggering!
While we can't impose this form of self-government on others, we each can start with ourselves and let our example show others how effective such behavior can be. Such spiritual laws as the Ten Commandments, found in Exodus (20:3-17), do much to support our efforts. When our obedience to them is based on genuine love for God and our fellow beings, these laws become a joy to follow. They reveal to us something more about our nature-and that of our fellow humans-than is visible on the surface. We come to know ourselves as truly God's spiritual offspring, forever inseparable from Him.
The recognition that we can never be cut off from God, good, helps us at all times, but perhaps especially when circumstances seem unstable or frightening. This is the moment to recognize that as the ideas of divine Mind, God, we each can know what is right and how to behave justly. And we can have the courage to act accordingly. Mind's omnipresence means that there is never an instant when we can be deprived of divine guidance or intelligence.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, brings this out very effectively in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She urges us, "Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man." She continues in the next paragraph, "Be firm in your understanding that the divine Mind governs, and that in Science man reflects God's government" (p. 393).
We reflect God's government by being pure, loving, truthful, and good. This is the natural outcome of our certainty that we are God's spiritual ideas instead of mortals with antagonistic needs and interests. We need to recognize that there is no "outside" where the divine rule is not present. Under God's government, all dwell in harmony because each is the outcome of the one divine Mind.
Thus, when we face some form of inharmony or trouble, we can recognize the spiritual reality to be the only reality. We do not have to accept cruel or corrupt behavior from others or allow it in ourselves. Nor do we have to wallow in apathy when we see injustice. Rather, we can galvanize our thoughts and actions to be more Godlike-to do good actively, to perceive the presence of God in every part of our daily lives. Such vigorous spirituality will bring new strength and peace to our days, and it will encourage others to do likewise. Such changes in thought will truly bring God's good government to each nation and to the world.