Wages in a bag with holes?

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

Often, it seems, there's never quite enough. Money comes in, but more money is owed. Income stays flat, while prices go up. Or income rises, but expenses rise higher. As a biblical prophet lamented, "He that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes" (Hag. 1:6).

This was the scenario for the first 20 years of one family's experience. The couple worked hard to make ends meet. They were not extravagant spenders. But debts piled up, and no matter how much they earned, it was never quite enough. Sound familiar?

There is a way out of this model, as that family finally found out.

The first step is to look at the assumptions that underlie the never-enough model: that the source of one's supply is limited, equated with a paycheck, for example; that good is quantifiable, and its supply and demand can be out of balance; that unstable economic forces call the shots in one's life.

These assumptions are flawed because they fail to take into account the higher, spiritual laws that actually govern the universe. Assumptions based on a limited, material sense of things – and the troubling financial situations they engender – might be labeled "the world according to the material senses." But we don't have to live out that thought-model. Instead, through our God-given spiritual sense, we can look beyond that view to the world as God sees it.

Seeking in prayer an understanding of God's law of love – and leaning on it – we'll find our lives coming under its jurisdiction. We'll experience more of God's goodness, which Christ Jesus assured us is always right "at hand." In other words, this ever-operating, higher law will become visible in our lives, including practical solutions to our financial needs.

So what is this Christly view of life? Primarily, it honors God, Spirit, as the source and substance of all good. It recognizes good as unlimited because it comes from boundless Love, from limitless Spirit. It sees this good as available to all in equal measure because it comes from our impartial Father-Mother. And it acknowledges the demand for and supply of good as always in perfect balance because they are governed by perfect Principle (another name for God).

The mother of the family referred to earlier learned something of this when she was praying about the financial pressures her family continued to feel. In prayer, she thought about the time when Jesus counseled his disciples to "cast the net on the right side of the ship." The disciples had been laboring all night and had caught no fish, but as soon as they followed Jesus' direction, their net was so full they needed help dragging it to shore (see John 21:3-6).

Pondering what Jesus might have meant by casting the net on the right side, this woman saw those words in a new light. She saw that she needed to cast her net on the side of God, Spirit, as All-in-all. She needed to stop looking to limited resources and material constraints as defining or having any control over her family's good. What was more, she saw the fallacy of trying to use prayer to get more money or any material good. Instead, she determined to honor God by recognizing Spirit alone as the source and substance of all the good she and her family could possibly need or want.

This radically different perspective brought a radical change in the family's financial position. Within a short time, the woman's husband was offered a wonderful new job. All the family's needs were met abundantly, and that has continued in the almost 10 years since. The job offer wasn't the source of supply, but was tangible evidence of God's provision of spiritual good – just as the net full of fish was in the case of the disciples.

The first sentence in Mary Baker Eddy's book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" assures us, "To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings." Leaning steadily on Spirit's infinite allness to sustain everything good in our lives brings sure, abundant blessings.

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