A Christian Science perspective: The nature of goodness and our relation to good. 

How many of us seem to pass the hours dreaming of better times or wishing somehow our lives were different?

How much more profitable, however, to consider not the “what if?” but the “what is” of one’s experience. Instead of hoping or wishing for something better to take place, why not acknowledge and appreciate the good that is already ours?

The real, spiritual identity of each of us is the child of God, with a “goodly heritage” (Psalms 16:6). We are cared for and nourished by infinite, divine Love, the source of all good. God is All, and He alone governs our experience. We can never be separated from Him or from His goodness and love.

Qualities such as beauty, joy, strength, vitality, intelligence, and wisdom are integral parts of our being. According to the teachings of Christian Science, they are qualities that can never be lost or destroyed. They are spiritual, emanating from God. Since, in reality, each of us is God’s idea or reflection, we forever manifest these and other attributes of His infinite being. Consequently, from the human standpoint, too, we can lack nothing vital to our individual growth, progress, development, or success.

God is the only creative power, the only presence. Love alone is in complete control of man and the universe. In reality, nothing evil or false can touch or be part of man’s being.

All this of course means that nobody, in truth, is better off or less well supplied than another. With God caring for each of His ideas abundantly, no one ever needs to be jealous of another’s happiness or success. One doesn’t have to steal in an attempt to obtain good. Because God’s goodness is freely available to all, man’s resources are unlimited.

An individual has only to turn away from a belief in lack, limitation, or deprivation and recognize God’s ever-presence and infinite love to receive His blessing. The inspiration one receives through spiritually uplifting thought will meet every need.

One never has to put up with or accept anything less than good in his experience. If one honestly wants a better life, there is a way to have it, through prayer. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: “Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds” ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 1).

As we pray for greater spiritual understanding, and live according to our highest understanding of spiritual good and spiritual existence, we will come to see that God has indeed already given man everything he will ever need. To the degree that we actively claim the good that is ours now and always, our lives are transformed. We begin to recognize and appreciate God’s goodness everywhere, and we learn that it can never vanish or be depleted, for it is infinite. We eventually come to see that “the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” (Psalms 33:54).

Christ Jesus, wherever he went, overcame fear, doubt, and false beliefs. He acknowledged God alone as the source of all good and well-being and trusted Him to meet each need.

Each of us can learn from the Way-shower’s example. In the Christian Science textbook Mrs. Eddy writes, “It is not well to imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number or for a limited period of time, since to all mankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good” (Science and Health, p. 494).

Reprinted from the Oct. 14, 1975, issue of The Christian Science Monitor.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.