Forever complete and useful

Sometimes it can seem that our ability to productively and meaningfully contribute to society is at the mercy of factors beyond our control. But the realization that we all have a God-given purpose and identity opens the door to fresh opportunities and capabilities.

Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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Advancing technology continues to open up new ways of increasing efficiency and productivity and expanding humanity’s ability to accomplish things not possible before. But at every stage of such progress, concerns arise about the workers whose jobs are being lost to technology, such as robots that are able to do those jobs.

Progress that helps humanity accomplish more good will continue and is to be welcomed. But it’s also important for us to give compassionate thought to those whose lives seem to be negatively impacted by this progress.

In my prayers about this, it has struck me how important it is for each of us to realize our inseparability from God, and to realize that this is true for everyone. God, who is supreme good – the loving Father and Mother of us all – is the eternal provider of all that is necessary for our well-being. Because each one of us is a child of God, forever embraced in His love, it’s not really possible for anyone to become a castoff, no longer useful or needed, having no fulfilling activity.

Those spiritual facts may not be so evident when our circumstances seem otherwise. It can appear that we are vulnerable mortals separated from God by our very nature. But Christ Jesus came to show the fallacy of this materialistic sense of man’s nature and being. He taught and proved that all men and women are truly one with God. He emphasized God’s ability and willingness to provide all good for His children.

For instance, in a passage in the Holy Bible, after telling his disciples that God provides for our every need, Jesus says, “Seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:31, 32).

Among those things that we all need are a useful purpose, fulfilling activity, and comfortable supply. All of these are found in God, infinite good. The first chapter in the Bible makes the emphatic declaration that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27). To be the image of God is to express God, to actively express the intelligence and abilities of divine Mind, the unchanging vitality and ongoing purpose of divine Life, the active goodness of divine Love. Being God’s expression, man and woman are wholly spiritual and complete, eternally blessed with the fullness of God’s goodness.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Monitor, writes: “Man reflects infinity, and this reflection is the true idea of God.

“God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 258).

There are no dead ends in this spiritual truth, which applies to you and me and everyone. A growing understanding of our true spiritual nature brings greater evidence of it in our experience. It opens up abilities and opportunities we may not have seen before. But even more, it brings the peace of knowing that nothing can separate us from God, who forever upholds the completeness and usefulness of our God-given identity.

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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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