You may have heard about sports celebrities, top business people, politicians, and other famous people who have been being less than honest. It can really be disappointing to hear that people you thought of as great and successful have abused women, done drugs, driven while drunk, or committed other crimes. It could be tempting to think "That's everybody."
Well, it's not true. Shocking news always grabs the headlines. But there are plenty of good people who are following the rules.
Basically, the moral laws of today come from the laws of the Bible. What's right hasn't changed much in three or four thousand years. The Ten Commandments are right at the top of the chart (see Ex. 20:3-17). And Christ Jesus gave good advice that has stuck: "Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about" (Matt. 7:12, Contemporary English Version). Today we commonly refer to this as the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
We all have to decide for ourselves what our goals in life are, and you may be thinking about this yourself right now. Having a goal is important at any age. If you are going to hurry up and get somewhere, you sure want to know where it is that you are going, don't you?
Most people want to have good things. It's common knowledge that big names in sports and movies and business make big bucks. And it is also true that when these prominent people make mistakes, their mistakes are paraded all over TV and the papers.
But does making money just naturally go hand in hand with big mistakes? No, even though it can sometimes look that way.
Millions of people follow what Jesus taught. He never asked anyone to do without good things. But he didn't recommend having the goal of getting tons of money, fame, or fortune either. He actually told his students not to seek these. He said: "Don't keep worrying about having something to eat or drink. Only people who don't know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father knows what you need. But put God's work first, and these things will be yours as well. My little group of disciples, don't be afraid! Your Father wants to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:29-32, Contemporary English Version).
Clearly, Jesus told people to make it their first goal to learn about God and follow Him. To see that God has made us in His own perfect likeness. Jesus showed that if we always remembered that, we would make good decisions, decisions that would help and reward us, but never hurt us or anyone else.
Maybe you've heard of the Declaration of Independence. Maybe you know it was Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, who wrote that important document. He is also supposed to have given the good advice to a young friend to put honor and integrity first: "Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains, rather than do an immoral act."
The person who follows that advice has found true independence.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science in 1866, wrote six Tenets, or rules, for Christian Scientists to follow. They can help anyone act wisely. The sixth tenet says, "And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 497).
Even if famous people don't always seem to be very good at setting examples, we can remember that we make plenty of mistakes, too. And it's always best to start with yourself. If your goals are right, then your words, decisions, and actions will probably be right.
Learning about God, and listening to what He guides you to do, is a great first priority. If you adopt this practice as your own, you can't help but be someone people will look up to! You will have taken some good advice, and you'll be your own good role model.
You can visit the home page of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, at www.tfccs.com.