A Christian Science perspective.

While authorities who track labor statistics state that nearly 10 percent of qualified workers are unemployed, others say the number may be much higher. They point out that many longtime unemployed have given up searching for work, so their names don’t appear on unemployment lists. Whether it’s 1 out of every 10 people, or more, the high number of those needing to find work is unacceptable.

When a wage earner in a family is unemployed, many suffer. Not only are individuals and families deprived of necessities, federal and local unemployment funds are drained. The overall economy is depressed, and a general feeling of retrogression replaces a healthy sense of progress.

Under such unfortunate circumstances, help can be found by turning to God for spiritual solutions. God, or good, is the Creator of all, and no one is ever separated from this all-powerful and all-loving Creator.

Even at times that seem hopeless, it’s important to reject the thought that anyone can be separated from his or her divine source. The Bible says, “The Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Josh. 1:9).

Since this is an established spiritual fact, it follows that God cares for us and that our lives are meant to express the nature of the God who made us in His “image” and “likeness” (see Gen. 1:26). Without a Creator there could be no creation, and without this evidence of God’s self-expression, there would be no record of creation and a Creator.

This spiritual viewpoint changes how one thinks about employment. Usually, an individual thinks about being the “doer” – going out, getting a job, and doing it. But from a spiritual standpoint, God is the doer, and we are His reflection, or expression. While neither God nor creation exists without the other, each has a different role. God is the Creator; we are the creation. A spiritual way of looking at employment is to recognize that our reason for existing is to give active expression to God’s qualities. Without our nature as God’s image and likeness, would there be evidence of God’s existence?

An inspired and all-inclusive explanation of man as God’s creation is given in the Christian Science textbook. It speaks of man as spiritual, and as “the compound idea of God, including all right ideas” (Mary Baker Eddy, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 475). This assurance that each of us, both male and female, includes “all right ideas” necessarily includes the “right ideas” for expressing them, which can be evidenced as employment. This employment cannot be withheld from anyone, because it is already an established aspect of our nature. Nor can anyone rightly refuse it or feel inadequate to do it. This inspired definition states that each of us, as God’s child, “reflects spiritually all that belongs to [our] Maker.”

As God is All, His creation reflects all. This wonderful sense of allness leaves nothing that is good out of our experience. Whether or not someone has a specific employer, the spiritual fact is that every moment, he or she is employed in expressing God’s qualities. We can take this reasoning further and recognize that this employment is also recompensed. There is always fruitage from our labors, and since we are always employed, we can always “gather” that fruit.

By our recognizing that our real employment, regardless of what the work includes, is to express spiritual qualities, it becomes easier to find satisfaction in each day’s activity. “The fruit of the Spirit,” which Mrs. Eddy, echoing the Bible, identified as “ ‘love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,’ ” is the fruition of all right activity, and to experience these qualities in our lives is also satisfying payment for the effort (Science and Health, p. 106).

As we employ these spiritual qualities in the work that we are doing today, we will find that our attitude toward employment is uplifted to a more spiritual outlook, and our labor blesses an ever-widening circle. This truly is being employed in a job you can’t be fired from or quit, but only progressively fulfill.

To employ is “to put to useful service.” At any moment we can employ our thinking and our actions in useful ways. Because the real spiritual identity of each one of us is forever employed, we can at any moment find the reward of rightful employment. Now and forever are we reflecting right activity. This is our employment, and its rewards are without measure.

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