Economy minus the booms and busts
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
In my graduate work in international economics, I am constantly reminded as to why the study of economics is called the "dismal science."
The principle of economics is scarcity - a basic assumption that supply and demand are ever falling in and out of equilibrium; that there is not enough good to go around. As I examine the various methods and theories of approaching global economic problems, I find myself thinking more and more about the practicality of understanding the spiritual truth of God's economy.
If God is considered as universal and infinite Principle, then the economy of God - the order of divine Principle - would express perfect balance each and every moment. It's helpful to think of this economy as not based on scarcity of labor, money, or education, but rather on the perfect fulfillment of all needs. There is never a time when the economy of God is in disequilibrium or needs some kind of disturbing correction. Disruptive cycles don't exist there.
In the Bible, the Apostle Paul described something of his vision of this economy: "For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality" (II Cor. 8:13, 14)
Also in the Bible, we read that in God "we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28). God, who is Spirit, is our Father-Mother. And God created us to be like Him/Her - spiritual. Therefore, our welfare really rests in the economy of God, not in the economy of human perceptions and theories.
Last year my husband and I prayed with these ideas and saw a significant example of the perfect equilibrium of God's economy. We had recently moved to a different state. When we went to register our car, we were told that the registration fee was five percent of the car's value - a hefty sum, since we had recently bought it. At the same time, we discovered that we owed the same amount in federal taxes. We only had enough money to pay one of these bills.
Both of us love the Bible and remembered the story in the book of Matthew of how Jesus paid a tax with a coin that had come out of a fish's mouth (see Matt. 17:24-27). We prayed to God, not to ask Him for the money to pay for both expenses but to know that each of His children has all that is ever needed, from Him, right now. Our prayer was affirming what we knew to be the reliable truth about God and our relationship with Him.
We also gave gratitude for the spiritual fact that we each live according to the operation of God's perfect economy. What God made can never be bounded by a human limitation called scarcity or deficit or debt. With this prayer, we felt calm and were no longer worried.
A few days later, my boss came to me and told me that since I was covered under my university's health plan, he wanted to pay me the amount of money I should have had included in my pay for the firm's health insurance program. He handed me a check for just more than the amount needed to pay for our taxes or the registration fee.
God's economy does not discriminate between haves and have-nots, or on the basis of race, or religion, or nationality. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Monitor, made the observation that "in the scientific relation of God to man, we find that whatever blesses one blesses all, as Jesus showed with the loaves and fishes, - Spirit, not matter, being the source of supply" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 206).
As I study about trade deficits and business cycles, I'm grateful for every example of how a consideration of God's economy reveals proof that God cares for each of us. I cherish the fact that the goodness we have from God is universal and eternal. It is practical as well as comforting to know that God's economy is always in a state of balance and sufficiency.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society