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POVERTY AND RICHES

From the April 1915 issue of The Christian Science Journal


PERHAPS no one group of persons has oftener been assailed by hatred and envy than the class which is accounted rich in a material sense. Not long ago, two friends were talking on this subject, and one said, "I have not been able yet to make my financial demonstration." A moment later she added resentfully: "I cannot make it seem right that some people have to work out of poverty and others do not. Every one is subject to disease, but I cannot see the justice of some being poor and others being rich."

The other replied: "Then you fail to see that the rich man, as a rich man, has just as big a problem to work out as you have. In fact, his problem from the personal standpoint is even more complex than yours. You have simply to see clearly that divine Love meets your needs; while he has first to realize that all his material possessions are nothing, before he can begin, even in a small degree, to look to Mind as the source of his supply. Besides this, his wealth involves, in most cases, the necessity to provide employment for many others, and this with all its varied demands is no light thing. These two problems are in another sense analogous to the claims of sickness and sin. A sinner seems to be getting pleasure from his sin, while every one realizes that a sick person is only sensing misery. In a certain sense, all a sick person has to do is to turn to Truth and realize that health is an ever-present possession of all; on the other hand, a sinner must get rid of his belief in the pleasure of sin, before he is ready to be healed of sin."

Afterward, in thinking over the subject, the writer was led to make a more thorough study than ever before of two Bible passages which deal directly with the rich man's problem. The first of these is in the tenth chapter of Mark. Much has been written of the rich young man who in the midst of material possessions yearned unconsciously for the imperishable good, even eternal life. Students of this Scriptural passage will note that the first demand our Master made was that the young man should take steps to get rid of his material sense of possession.

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