[The above is an abbreviated, postproduction text of the program released for broadcast the week of December 29-January 4, in the radio series, "The Bible Speaks to You." Heard internationally over more than 1,000 stations, the weekly programs are prepared and produced by the Christian Science Committee on Publication, 107 Falmouth Street, Boston, Massachusetts, U. S. A. 02115.]
RADIO PROGRAM NO. 300 - Breaking Barriers of Limitation
Announcer: At a time when there are more opportunities for youth than ever before, many young people still feel limited, left out. They are convinced that few opportunities for employment or education are open to them because of the poor surroundings they grew up in and the poor schools they went to.
Questioner: If I were a dropout without a job or a happy home, perhaps never knowing a father and perhaps being a member of a minority race, I would feel there was no opportunity available for me. What could I do about it?
Speaker: I think we have to begin with the assurance that the barriers of limitation can be broken down. No matter what our background or environment may be, the crack in the wall begins when we discover what we really have to offer. This comes with a change of base in our thinking. Once we have begun to discover what we really have to offer, we will become aware that we can do things that we thought impossible to attempt —such things, perhaps, as looking for a job, raising our scholastic standing to get into a school of our choice, developing a better feeling of communication with our employer or with our parents.
Questioner: What do you mean by what we really have to offer? Do you mean experience in some kind of work or athletics or do you mean, perhaps, scholastic ability?
Speaker: No, I'm speaking of what we really have to offer by way of our infinite worth, ability, capacity, and all the qualities that come to us as man, God's man. We really have to learn what we have to offer as man.
Now, I m not talking about men for the moment. I'm talking about man, and by man I don't mean the limited, mortal man, capable in some ways and handicapped in others. I'm talking about the man whose nature is derived from God and who is endowed with God's gifts.
The Bible brings this out in many ways. For instance (II Cor. 9:8), "God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work." Now, to me the word "abound" hints at the unlimited possibilities of man as an expression of God, divine Mind. It tells us that man is not limited by matter or by the limited thoughts of the human mind. It refers to our real spiritual self—not the selfish, fearful, hungry self, but the self that's found beneath the surface of appearances.
Questioner: But the real man you're discussing seems unrelated to the conditions mentioned earlier, in which an individual is fearful for his future or uncertain about employment.
Speaker: I think they do relate. There's an inspiring statement in the Bible that I would like to mention (II Tim. 1:7): "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." This message gives one more than just hope that he can do better. It offers a practical basis for gaining assurance and confidence, grasping a feeling of integrity, knowing why we have that integrity; and it establishes our self-respect.
Questioner: But what if someone from an underprivileged area feels that he has nothing to offer? He has never done very well in school. He feels down on himself.
Speaker: Simply put, he needs to hold more steadfastly to the larger view of himself as God knows him. He needs to recognize what he is endowed with, what his heritage is. Nobody can be down on himself if he gets some glimpse of what man made in God's image and likeness already includes. He has unfailing guidance, intelligence, resourcefulness, genuine worth, fearlessness. He has a God-given purpose and capacity.
Questioner: But what if, in comparing himself to someone else, an individual feels that he hasn't gotten his full share in life?
Speaker: He needs to understand what God has given man. And it is up to each of us to become aware of man's true being and nature and the nature of God. He needs to learn to see that he has a complete, whole, spiritual identity, and that he's not just simply a bundle of limited material elements. Along with this new understanding he must claim as his own the intelligence and the other needed qualities already his as God's gifts to man.