The talents to employ

A Christian Science perspective: A prayerful response to unemployment.

Today’s cover story highlights how people who have been unemployed for a long time are making their collective comeback. Certainly this is welcome news. But is there anything that you and I can do to forward this positive progress? Christian Science has shown me that God, our creator, employs each of us productively and successfully as His image and likeness, and our prayers for humanity can help bring that to light.

Specifically, I’ve found that true success – whether in our careers, home life, academics, or elsewhere – is best achieved when it’s built on a spiritual platform. This standpoint moves success above and beyond merely human achievements or economic factors, because a spiritual foundation is unlimited, and it is available to everyone. Since we actually are the men and women of God’s creating, then the most rewarding career path is found in the daily acknowledgement of our present spiritual value and worth as Life’s or God’s reflection.

To me, the baseline for consistent, secure employment is laid as we actively express God’s infinite abilities and spiritual talents in everything we do. As the US economy rebounds from pessimism, lack, and limitation, our prayers for the job market can be energized by the words of Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy, from a sermon in 1906 dedicating the extension of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston: “Christian Science comes to reveal man as God’s image, His idea, coexistent with Him – God giving all and man having all that God gives” (“The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany,” p. 5).

Embracing this idea of man having all that God gives opens up everyone’s infinite potential and unlimited opportunities for success. Christian Science lifts the burden of thinking we’re just trying to carve out our niche in what, to many, may still seem to be the cold, hard granite of the labor market. Each day, we can affirm that we are, in fact, fully employed by God in His service to express our God-given qualities of divine Life. And this active spiritual employment will manifest itself in useful channels with full compensation.

There’s a connection between this spiritualized outlook and Christ Jesus’ parable in the Bible of the talents (see Matthew 25:14-29). Briefly, the Master describes a householder giving a different amount of talents to three members of his household; however, while the talent was a monetary unit of Jesus’ time, it actually represented a spiritual aptitude in his story.

Jesus’ parable brings home some pertinent, permanent lessons for us today. For example:

  • We are lifted out of drudgery or feeling un- or under-employed as we shape our careers from the standpoint of using the capacities and qualities that God expresses in each of us for the greater good.
  • These talents – such as intelligence, unselfishness and foresight – are spiritual in both their nature and expression. They are innate to our spiritual selfhood and individuality.
  • Specifically, it’s not what our individual abilities are that matters; it’s that we understand their source to be God, and that we put them into practice. We’re not identical in talent to others; but we can be equal in our sincere effort to live what God expresses in us.

To me, Jesus’ parable implies that whatever talents we have, when we employ them in the service of God, Spirit, we’re not living for material goals; we’re not buffeted by good or bad luck, competition and conflict, nor are we held hostage by temporary economic factors. Rather, we’re rising to the realization that each of us fills the unique role God has given us through His flawless direction. And that means God is, in fact, our employer. Every day we’re utilizing our God-given talents under His direction and care – qualities such as wisdom, integrity and creativity.

The world needs these permanent, spiritual qualities in the economy of everyday living. There’s not only a strong demand for them, but there are God-given opportunities for us, as the expression of God, to put our individual talents to work right now.

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