Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Knowing What Is Ours

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Knowing What Is Ours

Article excerpt

ENVY over a neighbor's prosperity or a colleague's advancement can lead to bitterness. Even nations can go to war over jealousy-- triggered, perhaps, by the richness of another country's mineral resources or the fertility of the land. Indulging envy--at the personal or national level--can lead to hardships for more people than just ourselves. But its most destructive effect may be that it keeps us from seeing the good God is giving us because we're so busy looking at someone else's life instead of our own. Such feelings deprive us of the joy, love, peace, and satisfaction that are actually available to all of us through our relationship to God. The bleak view of life that envy brings--the one that says everyone else has more than we do--is based on the belief that we are merely material beings in stiff competition with those around us. The struggle for jobs, money, homes, or other resources can seem desperate or even futile. As James, a follower of Christ Jesus, explains in the Bible, "Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work" (3:16). Jealousy confuses us because it keeps us from knowing how much God loves us. Instead of understanding that we are God's spiritual ideas, fully endowed with whatever good we need for abundant living, we mistakenly believe that we need to take from others in order to find happiness. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, tells us that turning to God for our joy is a more permanent answer. She writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul" (p. 60). How do we look for happiness in God, Soul, instead of in comparing ourselves to our neighbors? …
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