Stability in changing economic times

A Christian Science perspective: A spiritual response to the Monitor's cover story 'So how’s the middle class, really?'

As the article “So how’s the middle class, really?” by Mark Trumbull, points out, working families around the world are confronted with the challenges of a shrinking middle class; yet many are optimistic that their children will have a better life. Is this outlook simply wishful thinking? Or can we identify a solid spiritual platform for experiencing financial stability and progress?

While one may argue the benefits of certain political proposals to save the economy from a further slide, many of these approaches respond to the needs of one sector of the population while leaving others out. Real solutions do exist, however. Spiritually understanding God to be unlimited good, and man collectively and individually to be fully sourced and amply supplied as God’s perfect reflection, or expression, can open the way to answers that are just and beneficial to all.

The Bible tells of the prophet Elijah, who discerned that a drought would soon place his country in difficulty. He alerted the king to the possibility of danger, yet Elijah wasn’t swamped in fears and doubts about his security. Rather, he set out to prove that no evil – not the threat of famine or economic downturn – could prevent him from fulfilling his mission. He was guided by God to a widow, and he asked her to perform the unselfish service of sharing with him her and her son’s last meal. But through his trust in God it wasn’t their last meal; all three were sustained “for many days” (see I Kings 17).

Central to the spiritual message of the Bible is that we are each equipped by God with the ability to discern the good at hand and to fulfill our individual mission. As a young adult just out of school, my job prospects were limited to working for minimum wage and barely making ends meet. One Sunday in church as I prayed, I came to a clearer understanding of my true worth. I understood that my intelligence was sourced in God, who is Mind, not in my academic degree; that my value was infinite because God, being Love, created me to reflect His love in unlimited ways; that opportunities to bless were as ample as rays of sunlight because God is Life, and He creates each one for a holy purpose. I didn’t know what my path would be, but I was sure that God, who is Spirit, had prepared a place for me to shine.

At this point in the service, the collection plate came around. I dug into my wallet and pulled out a bill that constituted a major portion of all the money I had. I let it go with the prayer, “Well, God, I give my all in service to you.” This was a new and inspired thought to me: that I could give my thoughts, my desires, my hopes – my all – to God, and let Him take the lead in my life. More than making a financial gift to a church, I realized I had an abundance of good to express in the world. I felt so connected to God, the giver of all life and good. It was a watershed moment, and I suddenly felt no fear for my future.

That Sunday service marked a new beginning, followed by daily, sometimes hourly, evidences of God’s goodness and care. I prayed for more insight into the reality of God and my relation to Him. These prayers led to inspired ideas and revealed the human footsteps that allowed me to serve others more broadly and to experience a fruitful financial life, which blessed my family also.

Christian Science Discoverer Mary Baker Eddy – the founder of this newspaper – once wrote, “Who lives in good, lives also in God, – lives in all Life, through all space. His is an individual kingdom, his diadem a crown of crowns.... Reflect this Life, and with it cometh the full power of being. ‘They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house’ ” (“Pulpit and Press,” p. 4).

God is inexhaustible Love. A good and fulfilling life flows abundantly from illimitable Love. It is Love’s holy purpose to supply each of us, His children, with wisdom, worth, and opportunities to bless. As we see and acknowledge this fact, fear of the future loses its hold. Reflecting divine Life in all we do, we each find our niche, fulfill our spiritual purpose, and are “abundantly satisfied” with the “fatness” that comes with fulfilling the opportunities that God gives us.

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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.

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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.

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