As I was reading the Monitor editorial “Patience as a corporate virtue” (CSMonitor.com, June 24, 2015), I began thinking about Christ Jesus’ teaching, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). The “things” Jesus refers to are basic needs such as food and clothing. Yet the Master’s words establish a priority for every aspect of experience. The concept of priorities is also apparent in the editorial. It talks about the desire for quick profits – on the part of corporations and investors – at the expense of wiser, long-term decisionmaking.
The building of wealth quickly, even if unwisely, may sometimes seem a necessity. But Jesus’ words guide thought in a different direction. They reveal the most meaningful kind of priority – one so important to spiritual progress and that also brings to light appropriate answers. His words show that whatever the genuine need may be, it would be a mistake to leave God out of the picture, as though He had no connection to the well-being of His children. He should, in fact, be first in our lives, because He is the only true creator and provider.
I remember a time when income just wasn’t equal to expenses. For a while, the focus of my prayers was on having sufficient funds. Then one day I felt a deep desire to serve God and bless humanity more fully, and that God-centered desire began to overshadow the financial concerns. In a very real sense I had put Him first, and the situation adjusted in a perfect way.
Jesus’ works illustrate what the Bible brings out at the very beginning: that man isn’t really a mortal on his own, separate from his creator; he’s the immortal, spiritual image of God, of Spirit, and the recipient of all the good that God gives.
Conventional thinking insists otherwise. It argues that man exists apart from God in a precarious, competitive, material world. While appearances may concur, humanity is ultimately reliant on something higher for its well-being than a belief in personal know-how and the fluctuating circumstances of material living.
Christian Science, discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy, encourages a growing perception of, and love for, that which is beyond surface appearances: the reality, here and now, of God and His spiritual, perfectly governed creation. It shows that a patient yielding to God’s guidance through prayer, and a progressive giving up of shortsighted, materialistic goals, can help bring to light the good that has a lasting, divine source. Mrs. Eddy writes in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “If our hopes and affections are spiritual, they come from above, not from beneath, and they bear as of old the fruits of the Spirit” (p. 451).
This relates directly to 21st-century living and the demands of the business world. A more Godlike standpoint in any endeavor can lead to better decisions and outcomes, which bless all concerned.