Good From God
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Do you know where good comes from? Do you think it's a personal possession that some people have and some others lack to a great degree? If we think good is personal, we will feel sometimes included in, sometimes left out of, good.
The truth is that good is universal, ever present, and unlimited. Does that sound too good to be true? Not when you look to God, rather than to people and circumstances, as the source of good. When we do this, we find that instead of losing touch with good, we become even more aware of it as already present, all around us. God is good itself. God is infinite. And we live in God.
Finding good - finding God - is accomplished mentally, not physically. It's done by watching our thoughts. Any thought that is not good is not from God; it is a mental suggestion rather than a divine reality.
Here is an example of what this means. One day I was talking with a friend. She mentioned another very close friend of hers. And I began feeling a little uncomfortable. I realized I was sort of envious. I examined these thoughts. Why would I not want that good friendship for my friend? Did I want to be the only one she cared about? Of course not! I saw that thought as entirely foreign to my true inclination and to my love for God and for her. I desired only the greatest happiness for my friend.
I considered Jesus Christ's words "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him" (Matt. 5:25). This reminded me that not letting evil thoughts slip by undetected prevents having to deal with their effects later. This Bible verse came to my rescue and illuminated my thinking: "Of his fulness have all we received" (John 1:16). I saw that each of us has received abundant good. How could we envy another's good fortune when we each have good in its fullness? I was sure I would feel no more jealousy.
But some weeks later I needed another reminder. Here I would like to explain that I have enjoyed hybridizing roses as a hobby. As a novice, I had hybridized one particular rose that seemed outstanding. It was bright red. The reverse sides of the petals were bright gold. It was large, fragrant, and high-centered (a hybridizer's dream)! And it seemed healthy. I sent pictures to another hybridizer, who advised me not to divulge the parentage as I had with him.
Toward the end of the season, the foliage showed some small signs of mildew. Being an idealist, I threw out my rose, something I then realized had been a mistake. I attributed it to inexperience and rashness. One day I was reading about a new rose from that hybridizer - and it sounded unusually similar to mine! I thought it could very well have been the same cross. Then I noticed I was feeling that I didn't really want to hear about good reviews of his rose.
There it was again! That intruder called envy. I detected it right away. Why would I not want his flower to be successful and enjoyed by everyone?
Once more, my thinking was uplifted, this time by words from a selection in the "Christian Science Hymnal" (No. 180) that says, "Here we rest content:/ Good from God is sent/ Where seeds of Love are sown." Now the message really began to sink in that God is the source of all good; we can "rest content" in knowing that His good blesses each and every one of us. The hymn continues, "Who as himself his neighbor loves,/ By constant purpose proves/ His neighbor's good his own." That man's good was actually my good, too.
I've been continuing to learn about good from God since those experiences.
Would you envy your neighbor for having and using the multiplication table? Or one of your friends for enjoying the weather? Well, God's good is even more accessible to us all - spiritual and abundant. This isn't always evident at first. But good is expressed, God is expressed, through beautiful qualities in us and in others. Such qualities as tenderness, joy, lovingkindness, helpfulness, integrity, courage.
Each of us has the power to be and do and have good in our lives. God gives us the ability to discern good spiritually. And seeing this good expressed by others is never an occasion for jealousy, because from it we learn more about the good we, too, can express.