Honesty and God’s impartial goodness – what’s the connection?

In the wake of the recently uncovered college admissions scheme in the United States, today’s contributor explores the value and spiritual power of honesty.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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Some promises are only tricks. When the world holds out the promise that, for instance, dishonesty will provide great goodness or benefits, it can be tempting to fall for it. The college admissions scheme that recently came to light, in which parents and coaches at several elite American universities conspired to have students admitted under illicit circumstances, is just one example of this.

But dishonesty is a fraud. It may promise to bring joy, yet all too often it brings only sadness and self-loathing, whether we’re caught or not. When tempted by dishonesty, I’ve found that utterly rejecting the temptation is a good practice! This is a good first step to getting in touch with what truly will benefit us and others, which I’ve seen time and time again is actually a spiritual perspective on things, a better understanding of the nature of God as Love and Truth.

A friend, when applying for a position that seemed like her dream job, was tempted to enhance the education and experience listed on her résumé. But she knew that whether or not she ever worked for this company, she wanted to do everything on a long-term, solid foundation of good ethics. To be dishonest is against our true nature as the children of God, the spiritual expressions of His truth. It’s natural to love to be honest, and all the power of God is behind our expression of this quality.

And this divine power is entirely good; God doesn’t put some of us at a disadvantage. Devoted to helping humanity understand the universal goodness and power of God, whom the Bible calls Love, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science and instituted the Monitor, looked to Jesus’ example. She saw that in all Jesus did, he was turning mightily to divine Love, palpably aware of the fact that he existed constantly in God’s great and affluent love (see John 15:10).

This affluent love of God remains today (and always) for our great benefit too. In her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mrs. Eddy observes, “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals” (p. 13).

One reason for this is that divine Love is absolutely infinite. An infinite God means infinite goodness for all of us. We don’t need to be deceptive to get it. This goodness is spiritual, and God gifts it to us by expressing it in us constantly. In the Bible, it says that God will “pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).

What is a good way to connect with divine Love’s abundance? One leading way is through honesty. Expressing selfless honesty brings to our thoughts and lives evidence of the truly infinite power of God. It’s not about God rewarding us because we were honest. Rather, letting Truth lead us clarifies our thoughts, enabling us to see that we already are perpetually at one with God’s limitless goodness!

My friend ended up submitting an honest résumé and felt certain this was the right choice regardless of what the outcome was. She ended up with the job, which she continues to enjoy and succeed in.

Anytime is a good time to choose to express honesty. Just as light shines immediately on the face of someone who turns toward the sun, the strength in God-inspired honesty can be felt immediately by anyone who practices it. More than ever, the world needs every bit of this. “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,” says the Bible (Psalms 25:21). So beautifully, each instance of honesty that is humbly and joyfully expressed magnifies God’s truth, which purifies and blesses all.

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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.