It’s often tempting when we’re trying to solve a problem in our lives—whether it’s physical, emotional, financial, or whatever—to start looking around for what we might have done wrong, or what might be wrong in our thinking. In other words, something that needs changing. And there’s nothing wrong with changing wrong thinking. We need to do that in order to grow.
But the problem is that it’s very easy to get lost in a maze—a downward spiraling one at that—of searching for one wrong thought after another, particularly if we’re looking at things from a limited, human perspective rather than how God sees us. And that maze can end up being amazingly hypnotic—to the extent that it can be difficult to see our way out.
I’ve often found Jesus’ parable of the woman who lost one of her ten coins, and then lit a candle and swept her house diligently until she found it (Luke 15:8,9), to be a very useful one. There’s nothing in that parable that would indicate that the woman spent time being distracted or fascinated by the dust—or more likely, dirt—on her floor. She kept a light shining as she searched for her treasure until she found it.
And this is where Jesus’ command to “…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” comes in. It’s explicit that we must be first looking for the kingdom of God—the kingdom which the Master also told us is within us. By doing so, we’re keeping our focus where it needs to be. We’re not getting lost in the captivation of wrong thinking. We’re not giving in to seeing our lives as a series of time-related events—some good, some bad—proceeding from point A to point B.
Instead, we’re starting at the foundation of all healing in Christian Science as Mary Baker Eddy states in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 259):
The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, — perfect God and perfect man, — as the basis of thought and demonstration.
Many years ago, when relatively new to the study of Christian Science, I called a Christian Science practitioner for help with some physical ailment I was dealing with. For twenty years previously, I had been deeply following a Western/Eastern philosophy which stressed the need of continuously examining one’s thought—but all from a negative basis of expecting to find wrong. When I told this man that I had scoured my thinking for what could have been causing the problem—all to no avail—he said to me “Ken, don’t look for the devil within. Look for the Christ within.”
I have to tell you this was a revolutionary concept that I had never considered before. It turned the entire earlier process upside down. I did what he recommended and found that by looking for the Christ, I was immediately healed of the problem by getting a truer sense of who I was as God’s beloved child, while at the same time also seeing very clearly what needed to change in my thinking—simply by virtue of it being so unlike the qualities of the Christ.
In his letter to the Philippians (Ch. 3), Paul wrote:
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
And there it is. God shall reveal anything to us that needs correction. But it comes about naturally by keeping our thought on that prize—the Christ–and seeking the kingdom of God first. The kingdom that is freedom!