Our True Worth

Christ Jesus' parable of the prodigal son, told in the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel of Luke, has many lessons. Perhaps the most poignant one is that which taught the younger son his true worth, or substance. The prodigal evidently had to experience the fleeting nature of material pleasures and learn that what he thought would be freedom actually was license and its unrewarding degradations. His resultant suffering awakened him. And he caught a glimpse of reality when, in humility, he returned home content in the thought of being merely one of his father's hired servants.

The material senses constantly dangle before one's thought the desirability of such achievements as wealth and fame, whose concomitants today are prestige or status. The prodigals down through the ages have learned that happiness thus pursued is always, like the proverbial carrot held in front of the donkey, just out of reach. Mrs. Eddy states: "The beliefs we commonly entertain about happiness and life afford no scatheless and permanent evidence of either. Security for the claims of harmonious and eternal being is found only in divine Science." Science and Health, p. 232;

After chasing some will-o'-the-wisp desire or running the gamut of an unhappy experience, one yearns for a sense of stability and well-being. Like the prodigal, he needs to examine his thinking and realize that a sincere desire to gain an unselfish purpose in life is basic to happiness.

March 16, 1968

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