I was contacted by a reader who’s experiencing financial problems. The reader asked me for my take on God’s role in our financial prosperity. Does God want us to prosper financially? And if so, the reader asked, why hadn’t God helped her in this area?
Financial difficulty, and financial lack in particular, is an extremely common situation. I’ve said before that the three most common life problems are — not necessarily in this order — lack of money, poor health, and unhappy relationships (including loneliness). So the reader isn’t at all alone in her dilemma.
But that insight, in itself, likely won’t do her much good. Let’s go further then and talk about God’s will for our financial circumstances.
The first thing to establish is that God never wants hardship for us and will never withhold assistance from us. Some religious and / or spiritual outlooks teach that God will punish or withhold from those whom God finds unworthy.
I consider this perspective to be complete nonsense.
Vindictiveness is the way of the ego and this is why humans demonstrate it. God is not of the ego and, in fact, God is the antithesis of the ego because God is love. God is light years beyond ego behavior. Consider the most spiritually developed being you can think of, consider what their behavior is like, and know that God is far beyond even them.
This insight simply does not leave room for ego behavior on God’s part.
So if God is not punishing us, or holding out on us, what’s the deal? Why doesn’t God freely give us material wealth, perfect health, and perfect relationships? Here’s my take: God has already given you every good thing there could possibly be because God created you of God, and so you have all of God’s characteristics.
Your problem is not that you do not have; your problem is that you do not experience. What is it that you don’t experience? Peace and well-being. Peace and well-being is, in fact, what you are looking for.
I know that you call your problem lack of money, or poor health, or loneliness, or whatever else, but peel back the layers and ask yourself what it would mean. What would it mean to you if you had more money, or better health, or relationship? How would this make you feel?
It would bring you a sense of peace and well-being; it would mean the end to your emotional suffering. This is really what you want — the money or health or relationship is just a symbol, or a stand-in. And these symbols, even if they did come to you, would provide you temporary relief at best because external life circumstances inevitably change.
These symbols are, really, a poor substitute for what you’re actually looking for.
No matter what your problem appears to be it is actually an internal problem; and your solution is an internal solution. If you are waiting for God to show up in the world and give you some material thing you may be waiting for a long time indeed. According to certain life teachings, A Course In Miracles for instance, God doesn’t even know about this world of ours because the world is actually an illusion while God is the reality; and illusion and reality do not coexist.
You can put the issue of the world’s reality aside however and still the remedy is the same — go in. That’s where the source is. The reader who contacted me said she’d be working in the world for years, she’s done the right things, but she ultimately couldn’t make it all come together and was now wondering where God was.
If she was looking in the world for evidence of God she was looking in the wrong place, and was also placing the cart before the horse. God is within you and once you connect with God, where God actually is, then the external world will take on a different form. The external world is only a reflection of your inner being.
As within so without.
There isn’t one right way to go within and connect with God but God is there, always, and if you don’t experience this connection it is because your connection is blocked. By what? By mental activity, which is essentially the same as ego activity.
With that in mind, here’s a quite effective way to unblock your internal connection to God. Make it a practice to observe your thinking and your emotions especially when you are feeling badly. Don’t embrace your thinking or emotions as truth, don’t deny them as false, don’t try to push them away, don’t try to understand them, do not act upon them: simply watch (observe) them.
When you observe your thinking and emotions in this way they will ultimately dissipate, and you will feel your connection to God because this connection has now become unblocked. If you want to take this practice even further, after impartially observing your negative thinking and emotions mentally hand over this thinking and emotion to a Higher Source. This is a form of forgiveness, as advocated by A Course In Miracles.
When you go within in this way, or some other way, you will typically experience a sense of peace very quickly. Stay with it over time and you will get to peace more and more, and your external world will start to change. DO NOT let the external world be your focus, however, because the unstable nature of the external world will cause you stress and suffering. Put the horse before the cart: let your focus be your internal state.
If this sounds like an invitation to do nothing within the world it isn’t; act in the world as you feel you should or must but let your internal being be your priority.
Read my ebook Handbook For A Better Life to learn more about changing the life experience from the inside out. Learn more about watching your thinking and emotion Here. Learn more about A Course In Miracles Here.