Looking for security? Hereís how to find it
Paul K. Wavro, C.S.B., of
Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts
Real security is much more than
owning a comfortable home and receiving a monthly social security check, a
Christian Science lecturer told an audience in
Lasting security, said Paul K. Wavro, C.S.B., of
spoke at a lecture at
John Hancock Hall. The lecture was sponsored by The Mother Church, The First
Church of Christ, Scientist, in
Individual expression of such God-given qualities as intelligence, order, and love constitute lasting security, the lecturer explained. In order to express these qualities, or ideas, he said, one must see them as originating in God. And it is necessary, he added, to turn away from the material evidences of fear and other uncertainties toward the ever-presence of divine Love, or God.
Turning to God for security, Mr. Wavro stated, is not automatic. "We've something to do," he said.
He told of a sign he had seen in
Commenting on this message, he said:
"We can't sit in the nest of material comfort - or discomfort, for that matter. We have to get out of the nest and do some scratching for good. We're surrounded by God's goodness, but we have to claim it - make it our own."
Christ Jesus' method of eliminating fear and lack, Mr. Wavro said, showed men how "living and expressing God's ideas bring security."
The lecturer referred to Jesus' feeding of the 5,000 as an example of divine security made practical in human life.
Mr. Wavro then spoke of the meaning of this incident: "Here's a lesson for us. We can't let our prayers be conditioned by what appears. If we do, then we'll never start to pray - to look for the spiritual facts in any situation."
A partial text of the lecture follows:
We are surrounded by Godís goodness
What does security mean to you? Is it social security? Live long enough to get a monthly check after a certain age? Is it medicare? That's security to some people.
There are many concepts of security. Owning a car or a comfortable home may be security to some. A bank account is security to others. In general we relate security to systems - to things - to people.
Yet experience tells us that systems are as changeable as human thinking. Physical objects decay or disintegrate. Sometimes people fail us. Then just how secure are we when we accept ordinary human standards of security?
We really don't have a right sense of security until we perceive that security is in ideas - spiritual ideas - not in systems, things, or people: spiritual ideas that come to us as we better understand our relationship to God. That's what I'm going to talk about today - how this can be done.
Lasting security comes by understanding our true nature as the expression of God - God's image and likeness the Bible calls it. Real security comes through this understanding of our right relationship to God and through expressing God in daily living.
It's not automatic. We've something
to do. It reminds me of a thought I saw on a church bulletin board in
There's a way to do this. Let's compare it to a research worker. He's not thinking in terms of the unattainable - the impossible. He has an open mind. He's convinced there's a better way than appears. Actually he isn't making something new; he's just finding or utilizing what's already there. Like the researcher we need an open mind. This is the doorway to the unfoldment of spiritual ideas that bring a true sense of security to our daily experience. A security that's not dependent upon persons, systems, or things.
Manís true nature expresses God
So let's start our search for this spiritual security. We'll be getting out of the nest of materiality and scratching for the good that God provides for us. To reach our goal we'll research three points:
1. † How understanding man's true nature is important for security.
2. † How understanding the true nature of substance is important for security.
3. † How we can apply our understanding of true substance and man's true nature to attain true security in daily living.
Just what is man's true nature? Actually, to know man we have to first know God - the creator of man. So for a moment let's briefly consider what Christian Science teaches us about God. In the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, gives several definitions of God. These complement each other. One reads: "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love" (p. 465).
Then man, as God's image and likeness, must express these divine qualities and ideas - the divine nature of God. He must express the intelligence of divine Mind, the substance of Spirit, the beauty of Soul, the order or the integrity of divine Principle, and the love of divine Love. This is the true nature of man.
Claiming this as our true nature brings us much good. How? Well, expressing real intelligence, divine Mind, eliminates mistakes from our experience. Bringing the expression of divine Principle into daily activity frees us from disorder and lawlessness. Expressing a sense of impartial divine Love gets us away from the limitations of personal sense. Understanding Spirit as our true nature would reveal true substance in ideas - ideas of God. To express Soul, to be like Soul, God, means being pure in thought and deed. Surely an experience that is intelligently directed, orderly, loving, substantial and pure is a good experience, a secure one.
Awareness of Love removes fear
But it's not enough merely to claim this divine nature; we must be sure that we're expressing it in daily living. We do this as we turn away from material beliefs - beliefs of fear, doubt, uncertainty, ignorance, which would have an adverse effect on our experience.
For instance, when we're confronted with suggestions of fear and doubt, let's turn to the Love that is God. You just can't be fearful and doubting when you're conscious of the ever-presence of divine Love. Instead of letting uncertainty and ignorance take over, let's realize that we're the likeness of all-knowing Mind, the source of all right answers. In other words, let's realize the more we express the divine qualities - man's true nature, the less we'll be influenced by material beliefs.
This is the way we establish a sound basis for individual security. Actually we'll be letting go of material beliefs - the mistaken beliefs that would tempt us to believe we're a material mortal instead of the spiritual expression of God.
We'll be finding what's been there all the time - the good God has put out for us. I said we had to claim good. It's claiming and living this true nature as God's image and likeness that brings blessings.
How do we know that God's blessings are right at hand? Well, when we're confronted with suggestions of fear, doubt, uncertainty, ignorance and lack, we can ask ourselves, "What is God knowing in this situation?" God knows only that which is loving, confident, assured, and abundant - divine ideas. Then accepting these divine ideas as our thinking about the situation, we'll be replacing material thoughts with spiritual ideas. This gives us a secure sense and shows us that God's blessings are at hand, available to anyone who opens thought to them.
There's a story in the Bible that
illustrates this fact. It's about Moses delivering the children of
Moses found right answers through prayer
Moses felt he lacked ability and
wisdom to lead his people to freedom. God told him, "Now therefore go, and
I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt
say" (Exodus ).
Moses found security and led the Israelites out of
All this showed God's blessings right at hand. Actually it was spiritual ideas of supply †enlightening human consciousness. To the Israelites these appeared as movement of the sea, as water, as quails, and manna. No matter what the need, God meets it at the point of that need.
God supplies the human need, but we have something to do. We can't find much that will bless by complacently staying with fearful, limited restrictive thinking. God has infinite ideas - all of them good and right ideas. But it's our work to reach out after them - to express them in daily living by thinking and acting in accordance with love, understanding, helpfulness, kindness, and consideration. This is making divine ideas our own. You just can't say, "God takes care of it."
Actually God does take care of it
by supplying us with right ideas. That's what He did for Moses and the children
I'm reminded of the experience of a friend. To qualify for a new position he had to write a paper. He did the best he knew how and submitted it for approval. Back came the word that it wasn't acceptable. He was given a deadline to meet, two days in fact - this to redraft something that had taken him three weeks to do. He sat in his hotel looking out the window and asking God for the right answer. He became conscious of a very heavy snowfall outside. The thought came that while countless snowflakes were falling, there were even more right ideas of God at hand. He had to open his consciousness and claim his true nature as the expression of divine Mind, infinite intelligence. Almost at once the ideas started to flow. He completed the necessary assignment in a satisfactory manner.
To know what's right is only the first step. Then we have to claim and live what's right. Living and doing right we'll find God's blessings and security at hand.
Christ Jesus showed us how living and expressing God's ideas bring security. He was surrounded by poverty, lack, fear, and limitation. Yet he had what he needed and had it abundantly. Jesus was always secure.
He was secure because he didn't
see himself as a victim of circumstance. He said: "The
Physical limitations proved false
Like Jesus, we must claim our divine right to individualize God's ideas and the divine power inherent in these ideas. This spiritual identification will enable us to exercise dominion over wrong or ignorant thinking. It will free us from the consequences of such thinking.
If we believe that circumstances are beyond our control - that what others do or don't do can limit us - then we're not seeing God's kingdom within us. That's why we feel insecure. We're being tempted to believe that God doesn't control and govern all. We're yielding to suggestions that another power called matter, outside of thought, is in control.
Jesus refuted such suggestions. His physical body never imposed limitations on him. He proved that man has dominion over physical conditions.
What power gave Jesus this mastery, this security? It was the Christ. Science and Health says of this power: "Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness" (p. 332). Christ revealed to Jesus that God is Spirit and that man, God's likeness, is spiritual. Christ showed Jesus man's true nature. Christ is showing us our true nature. Accepting man's true nature as spiritual, thinking it, living it, we're free and secure, with boundless substance and opportunity.
The Christ shows us our true spiritual nature. This spiritual nature is never limited by personal concepts of good, nor by what's outside of us - by persons, things, or circumstances. Such spiritually enlightened thought doesn't look to matter for security but to the ideas of God that are ever-present. These ideas reveal our true spiritual nature. Expressing and living these spiritual ideas makes us secure. That's why it's so important to understand man's true spiritual nature.
The next step in our research is to find the true nature of substance. Unless security is based upon that which is lasting, it just isn't a right sense of security. We know that persons, things, systems don't bring us lasting security - nothing material is lasting. Then let's seek that which is lasting, a substance that can't be lost.
Substance appears as we look to Spirit
Christian Science teaches us that substance isn't things. Things like houses, automobiles, tools, and machines of all kinds. These may serve us for a time but being material they wear out, they decay, they have to be replaced periodically. Then what is substance?
In Christian Science we learn true substance is found in spiritual ideas, ideas of God -ideas of intelligence, helpfulness, kindness, honesty and integrity. It's expressing these ideas that brings us what we need. How? Well, every employer wants workers who express these ideas. Everyone wants friends who express them. The more ideas of God we express the more useful and helpful we are. Since God's ideas are ever-present, unlimited, and indestructible, they're always available. You can express them as often as you want. So you see we have an inexhaustible supply right at hand.
How long do we have to wait for substance? Since substance is in ideas and ideas are mental, there's no time involved in their appearing. They're here, instantly available to us. It's like pressing the light switch. Pressing the switch connects the bulb with the source. Instantly the bulb glows in full brilliance.
So we see substance comes into experience as we look away from things, away from matter. Substance appears as we look to God, Spirit - as we look for spiritual ideas and express them in daily experience. So the more spiritual our thinking the more lasting our sense of substance. Only in spiritual ideas, unlimited ideas, do we find true substance. Mrs. Eddy says, "We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things" (Science and Health p. 129).
Let's be clear that things can be useful - things like money, property, and securities. They're useful when used wisely. Unless used wisely, money doesn't bless us. Unless properly maintained, property isn't useful. Securities bring happiness only when used to meet our needs and the needs of others. So the mere possession of such things doesn't guarantee a secure sense. It's the right use of things that counts.
Wealth, which is only a human sense of substance, doesn't always bless. It's our responsibility to use this wealth wisely. Luke's Gospel tells us of a man who accumulated so much wealth that he decided to tear down his barns and build larger ones. He said, ". . . Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry" (Luke ).
Godís riches available to all
Now that's typical human reasoning. Get enough wealth, then sit back and enjoy life. But is man ever satisfied with what he has? Does wealth in itself assure us of health, happiness, and peace? Look around you. We see many with material abundance, but they aren't always happy, healthy, or serene. That's because security isn't in matter. Security comes from expressing ideas, God's ideas, in thought and action. It's this richness of spiritualized thinking and acting that makes us really secure.
Luke's account continues, "But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke -21). This man's material substance didn't bring him much good. His problem was that he saw substance as things instead of ideas, and things could be taken away from him. He lacked a right concept of substance so he wasn't very secure. He really wasn't rich toward God.
How can we be rich toward God? Well, when we express and live ideas of love, helpfulness, wisdom, goodness, and purity, God's ideas, we're rich toward God. These ideas are what bring us a true and right sense of substance as we express them in daily experience. This is claiming and accepting God's riches that are right at hand, available to all of us.
Substance being ideas and mental, substance is never dependent upon time or age. Time and age try to limit us. At one time we're told that we're too young to have much good. Later comes the argument, "You're over the hill" - too old to have good.
Time and age aren't divine ideas; they're restrictive material beliefs that try to limit our good to just a few years.
So right now let's get rid of all false mortal beliefs. Let's get out of the nest of materialism. Let's claim the spiritual ideas that are truly substantial. The ideas that ensure we'll have lasting security.
Mary Baker Eddy's life shows what can be done by getting out of the nest and accepting God's goodness. She proved that material beliefs of age and substance couldn't limit her. At middle age, Mrs. Eddy was in desperate straits - in poor health and dependent upon others for her needs. But an experience occurred that changed all this.
She had a severe accident. As she turned to her Bible for help, she gained a spiritual illumination that transformed her thinking. She glimpsed the secure and substantial nature of man's true being, and she was healed.
Later, as Mrs. Eddy's understanding of this revelation matured, she perceived that all men are entitled to a full measure of security and substance - the goodness of God. This is our heritage as sons of God. Spiritually understanding our true nature brings us untold good. Mrs. Eddy reminds us of this when she writes, "The human mind, imbued with this spiritual understanding, becomes more elastic, is capable of greater endurance, escapes somewhat from itself, and requires less repose. A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man" (Science and Health, p. 128).
Mrs. Eddy proved this - proved that one could have substance and security at any time or age. The major portion of her work as Founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, was accomplished after she was 60. When in her 88th year, she established The Christian Science Monitor. Advancing years were fruitful years in her experience. She didn't just sit idly by. She proved that God's goodness was right at hand meeting her every need. Time and age had nothing to do with it.
But Mrs. Eddy didn't hoard her sense of substance. She gave it to the world through her writings and the Church she founded.
Mrs. Eddy proved that substance and security come by understanding God to be man's only source. She reminds us, "Impossibilities never occur" (Science and Health, p. 245). So it's a present possibility for you and me to have this same substance and security. The infinite divine ideas that are all around. As we accept them as our own thinking, we'll find the substance and security that come from God.
Spiritual ideas meet human needs
To this point we've seen that man is God's image and likeness; that our true work is expressing God's qualities. This gives us security. Next we've seen that it isn't things but spiritual ideas that are truly substantial. As we express spiritual ideas our human needs are met.
Then true security comes to us as we look away from the physical and turn toward the spiritual. It's the ability to look through what appears humanly and perceive the divine facts.
Jesus' feeding of the multitude illustrates this point. More than 5,000 people were present. At mealtime there were only five loaves and two fishes on hand. The disciples accepted this as factual. They told Jesus it would be impossible to feed so many with so little. They saw things humanly. Jesus looked for the spiritual facts. The Bible tells us, ". . . he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragment's that remained twelve baskets full" (Matthew -20).
Instead of accepting lack, Jesus claimed the completeness of divine creation - the fact that nothing is lacking in God's perfect creation.
Here's a lesson for us. We can't let our prayers be conditioned by what appears. If we do, then we'll never start to pray - to look for the spiritual facts in any situation. Christian Science teaches us to pray in spite of what's presented by the physical senses. It teaches us a way of scientific prayer - or Christian Science treatment as it is sometimes called.
What is this scientific prayer or treatment? Well, there's no mystery about it. It's a prayer where we look for spiritual facts. We're listening to God instead of blindly accepting the evidence of the physical senses. Actually it's eliminating false concepts based on the evidence of the material senses and accepting true spiritual facts, just as Jesus did when he fed the multitude. It's a mental and spiritual activity that solves human problems. It brings correction or healing to human experience.
Donít believe everything you see
Actually every day we're rejecting evidence of the physical senses in one way or another. We certainly don't believe everything we see. Sky and earth meet on the horizon. We see it, but who believes it? The road ahead narrows to a point. We see it, but don't believe it. They're optical illusions we've learned to reject.
Illusions of a more important nature try to fool us in daily experience. Unless we learn to recognize them for what they are, false, we can be quite insecure. It was the disciples' failure to recognize lack as a false claim that fooled them. Jesus saw it for what it was, a lie about God and His creation, and rejected it. He rejected the illusion that man is a physical mortal sustained by material food. He acknowledged the fact that man is the spiritual expression of divine Life, sustained by spiritual ideas. This scientific prayer freed the multitude from insecurity. In just the same way it can free us from dependence upon materiality of any kind.
God always has more than enough to meet our need. Through scientific prayer we're able to get out of the nest of limited material thinking and claim spiritual substance - to claim divine ideas as our consciousness.
Yes, we have to claim God's ideas as our thinking about any situation, Then God's law, the kingdom of heaven within us, takes control of the situation, supplies our need, and reveals man as always secure.
Let me give you an example of this. A young businessman found himself suffering from a condition of extreme nervousness. At least that's the way it appeared. Actually he was suffering from the illusion that he had to outguess competitors, take away their business, be under the constant pressure of meeting quotas in a highly competitive business. Finally his acceptance of the physical sense testimony got him down. He had to stay home part of each day.
He knew enough about Christian Science to know that he needed spiritual enlightenment. To get this he spent part of each day studying Science and Health and the Bible. He began to glimpse his true heritage as a son of God: that as God's child he was entitled to all good. Furthermore this was true for all men. So he didn't have to take from anyone else. He just had to claim his share. Scientific prayer was lifting him out of the nest of limited mortal beliefs.
Prayer is doorway to security
Each day at work he put into practice what was revealed in his study at home. It was dawning on him that his real business was expressing God. It wasn't getting something from someone else but giving - giving ideas of love, kindness, consideration, helpfulness, honesty, and integrity. He found that expressing divine ideas brought increased business. Also he found himself improving physically.
He was seeing the results of eliminating mortal beliefs and living and thinking in accord with spiritual facts. He was so engrossed in the work of expressing God that he forgot about competitors and pressures. Then one day in checking a report he found that while he was working out this physical problem his business had almost doubled. Good had been there but he had had to claim it.
Through understanding scientific prayer we find the good God has for us. We find and experience blessings and healings - true security - when we seek spiritual facts and live them in daily experience. This security results from opening consciousness to divine ideas, then putting them to practical usage in daily experience.
We all can claim our full measure of good as individual expressions of God. Actually, praying is living. Turning away from false material beliefs and expressing spiritual ideas of God is true prayer. This is how to apply our spiritual research. It's the doorway to true security.
Now we've discussed how spiritual ideas can bring us true security and that we have something to do. You remember the church bulletin statement I started with - "God feeds
the birds, but He doesn't throw it into their nests." So first, we have to get out of the nest of self-complacency and claim our true spiritual nature as individual expressions of God. Second, we have to understand the true nature of substance as Spirit. To see that what appears as good in our experience is simply the outward expression of living and expressing God's spiritual ideas. Finally, to be truly secure, we have to apply what we've learned of our true nature and of substance to our daily activity.
We have a decision to make. Are we going to seek security through finite, limited, material concepts? Or are we going to seek security through claiming our divine heritage as the sons and daughters of God? Are you going to be content to stay with material thinking and take what comes? Or, are you going to get out from material limitation and scratch for the unlimited good that God has for all?
Only as we daily strive to express divine ideas - ideas of God - in all that we do, say, or think, will we find true security right at hand. This security won't depend upon others or things. It'll be directly dependent upon the divine source of all true being, God, and upon our understanding of man's true nature as His beloved child. Then we'll be really secure.
© 1967 Paul K. Wavro
All rights reserved
[Published in The Christian Science Monitor, October 16, 1968.]