Overcoming Poverty

Can the problem of poverty in the world be solved entirely through the enactment of civil laws? In the Preface to "Miscellaneous Writings," Mrs. Eddy quotes this apothegm of a Talmudical philosopher (p ix): "The noblest charity is to prevent a man from accepting charity; and the best alms are to show and to enable a man to dispense with alms."

To get at the root of the world's problem of lack, one should see that the real need is to overcome spiritual poverty, and the teachings of Christian Science surely provide the means. Mankind's need is to understand the true nature of God; to understand that He is man's Father-Mother, wholly good; and to understand that as God's offspring—His reflection—man has access to all good. Turning to the Bible, we read in the first chapter of Genesis, "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

When one discerns man's spiritual origin and character, one-begins to look to God for good, to act like His beloved son, and to expect and accept nothing but good as his inheritance. This does not imply that the individual has no responsibility and can sit back and fold his hands and wait for material supplies to appear. But as one understands his real selfhood to be spiritual and Godlike, he begins to claim his God-given ability to think and act rightly, to use his talents, and even to enter into fields of labor which in turn will give him his needed supplies.

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Sowing and Reaping
February 27, 1965

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