God’s goodness negates corruption

A Christian Science perspective: Ideas on healing corruption through prayer.

Corruption is a worldwide problem, and it’s not just in government that we find it. Health, relationships, morals, public safety, financial stability – every day the news seems to bring us stories of corruption in a multitude of human arenas.

I have faced corruption in several forms throughout my own life. At one point, I worked in a city and a profession where it was widely accepted that to be successful, one had to mislead the public. I assumed it was necessary to participate in this deception in order to make a living. But the corruption took its toll. I eventually witnessed the deterioration of my career and my marriage fell apart.

I was tempted to blame a lot of people, including myself, for what had transpired. What brought me up short was something the Apostle Paul wrote: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” And he added an important piece of advice: “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry” (I Corinthians 10:13, 14).

My solace from the personal and professional despair I found myself in had a lot to do with the fact that I was beginning to understand something I needed to see: the role that idolatry had been playing in my life. The teachings of the Bible and of Christian Science made it clear to me that depending on a government, employer, or client – and letting that dependence govern my actions – was to worship an idol. Paul urged us to flee from idolatry and instead rely on God – the one incorruptible good – to meet our daily needs.

As Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of The Christian Science Monitor, noted, "St. Paul beautifully enunciates this fundamental fact of Deity as the 'Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.' This scientific statement of the origin, nature, and government of all things coincides with the First Commandment of the Decalogue, and leaves no opportunity for idolatry or aught besides God, good" (Message to The Mother Church for 1900," p.4).

Christ Jesus taught reliance on the one God. Through his healings he demonstrated that the real nature of each of us is spiritual, the perfect image of the perfect God, already reflecting what is needed for a life of joy, harmony, and completeness. When I prayed from this basis, I saw that corruption was not only wrong – needing to be corrected – I also saw that it wasn't a part of who I or anyone else really was. This fact, realized through prayer, was immensely helpful in understanding my right to rise above corruption.

God, the divine Truth and Love, was what I needed to worship. He meets our needs for harmony, justice, love, and everything else that we require for happiness, and He does so in tangible, specific ways. In my own situation, rather than dwelling on the sense of loss, I looked to infinite Love for a higher and more permanent sense of career and love. It took some time to make the needed progress, but I prayed to see my career as the practice and communication of the spiritual understanding of God, and to see marriage as the expression of the incorruptible qualities of divine Love in human experience. Praying this way led me to a beautiful new family and pursuing a new and satisfying career in another city.

This was proof to me that God is our only source of life, love, health, and right activity – and also the source of true government. Understanding this, even just a little, we are spiritually prepared to demonstrate this perfection in our experience through more honesty, and to apply the understanding we’re gaining by praying for governments worldwide. It’s possible to live in confidence of God’s help in meeting our daily needs, even when everything around us seems to malfunction. This is because we are now and forever truly governed by God, the divine, all-powerful, and purely good Spirit. Recognizing this fact through conscientious prayer helps us to negate the seeming power of corruption – in our own and others’ experience.

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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.”

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