'Earning' a living

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

When I was unemployed, I felt a great pressure to provide for my family and to be financially responsible for myself – not to be a burden on anyone. Yet, I couldn't find a job. I applied for many positions, ones I was well qualified for, but nothing came of my efforts.

Finally I turned more seriously to the Bible and to the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science. I'd been accustomed to finding answers in these books. One of Jesus' statements from the Bible that struck me was: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

This was a very important statement to me, since I seemed to have very little abundance, either in terms of financial supply or of opportunities to gain it. Yet, I knew from my previous practice of Christian Science that what was needed was a deeper understanding of the reality God creates, which, like Himself, I knew to be good. And goodness does not include the lack I was seeing in my experience.

I began to think more about the "life" Jesus referred to. Mrs. Eddy termed "Life" as one of several synonyms she had for God. So, I reasoned, since I am God's child, I must be included in the Life that is God. Studying this synonym brought new views of what that means.

First, I looked at other evidences of God as Life around me. I noticed that the characteristics of nature included vitality and beauty. There appeared strength and majesty, fullness and vigor. These characteristics, I realized, also belonged to me and were individually expressed as my nature.

I continued with this list of the characteristics of divine Life, and wound up with quite a lengthy one. Included were things like intelligence, persistence, joy, generosity, and enthusiasm. Soon, I'd lost sight of myself as depleted and frustrated. Adopting these characteristics as part of my own nature made me feel energized and optimistic about what God had in store for me.

Prior to this time, I had freelanced for a company that periodically had assigned me individual projects. There had been a downturn in the economy, and the prospects for more work from this company were slim. But my study had armed me with the conviction that, since I reflected the characteristics of divine Life, I couldn't be deprived of a place to express them.

What I'd realized is that my efforts were not about "earning" a living. We never have to earn a right to express who we are – God's beloved children, inseparable from Him. So, as that "image and likeness," I knew I was able to express the characteristics of life. I didn't have to earn anything; I only had to express more of my true nature.

Soon, though I hadn't been asked to think about new projects, I was full of fresh ideas for this company's product line. I set up a meeting with the project manager and made my proposals. They were accepted with great gratitude.

Though I hadn't been aware of it, the company had wanted to expand certain areas of the business, but hadn't had any useful ideas to go forward with. I went on to provide these products for the next several years, benefiting myself, the company, and its customers.

Truly, when we put our hand in God's, He always leads us to just the right ideas to supply our needs. In my case, the need wasn't to earn anything I didn't already possess; I needed to realize my genuine nature more fully.

The labourer
is worthy of his hire.
Luke 10:7

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