The ‘stimulus package’ that lasts
When efforts to pay the bills come up short, where can we turn? Following Jesus’ instruction to seek the kingdom of God first and foremost is a solid starting point, as a man found when experiencing deep financial trouble.
During the course of the pandemic, governments around the world have passed various stimulus measures in an effort to help ease financial burdens on their citizens, including those who are temporarily out of work. But as well-intentioned and helpful as such stimulus packages might be, they are not intended as a permanent answer to income or supply problems.
For most of us, the traditional way of thinking about our supply of good relates to having a job to get enough money to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. But what about when our income comes up short? I’ve found that the Bible-based teachings of Christian Science reveal a better, more certain way of discovering where true good comes from – supply that is never interrupted and never runs out.
Christ Jesus was well aware of the issue of supply and how much it weighed on people’s minds. In his Sermon on the Mount, he said: “Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:32, 33).
It seems clear that Jesus wasn’t directing his followers to look to material things as the fundamental source of what they needed. He was redirecting their thoughts to focus on the spiritual – on God as the source of all we need. Spiritual substance and supply are “treasures in heaven,” which can’t be corrupted or stolen (Matthew 6:20). Jesus invites us to seek this higher understanding of true substance – and as we do, we find that our everyday needs are more readily met, too.
Years ago I found myself in deep financial trouble. I thought I had done everything right, yet there was simply no income coming in from my work. I was ready to give up, feeling God had abandoned me. I felt completely alone.
But a voice inside urged me to think more deeply about my goals. I thought if I did the work I’d get the money to pay the bills. But it then occurred to me to consider what it was that enabled me to do the work I was engaged in (and, for that matter, any type of honest work). I came to realize that the work was about expressing goodness, love, integrity, thoughtfulness, fairness, and intelligence. And the source of these qualities wasn’t me, but God, divine Principle, Love.
Through prayer I came to realize that these God-given qualities actually constituted my true supply, and we all have the ability to feel and express them in abundance. This changed the way I thought about what was motivating me. It wasn’t about simply getting money, it was about giving what was already present within me – these attributes, or treasures of the kingdom of God. And with this change of thought, my situation turned around, too; the money started coming in to pay my expenses.
So what does it mean to seek the kingdom of God first? For me, at least part of it is recognizing the qualities of God that have always existed within us because we reflect God. We don’t need to acquire or accumulate them. They’re already there, always have been, because God has ever been reflecting them in us, His spiritual image. We just need to know where to look, and to strive to cultivate those qualities in our lives.
The founder of this news organization, Mary Baker Eddy, once wrote: “God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for to-morrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment. What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love! More we cannot ask: more we do not want: more we cannot have. This sweet assurance is the ‘Peace, be still’ to all human fears, to suffering of every sort” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 307).
These spiritual ideas, these spiritual qualities and attributes, are forever reflected in us and available for us to express for the benefit of everyone around us. This constitutes an unrestricted, unlimited supply that will never run out and that meets our daily needs.