People's reasons for drinking alcoholic beverages are often complex. For some , it's the desire to appear sophisticated. For me, drinking was a way to escape the hassles of a tension-filled job.
Just a few drinks so I can relax, I'd tell myself; thenm I'll deal with these problems. But as I staggered out of bed the next morning, the problems were still unsolved -- and were augmented by the hangover I had added to the collection.
Leaning on the bottle for support and inspiration doesn't really get one very far. There is a better way. Sincere turning to the Christ for help is the sure road to health, self-control, and satisfaction.
Christ Jesus, who so fully exemplified the Christ, God's healing, regenerating power, told the people: ''Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.'' n1
n1 Matthew 11:28-30
To lean on the eternal Christ is more than to change from one support to another, however. When we turn fully to Christ we are turning away from a mental picture of ourselves as finite mortals put under pressure by other mortals or by situations beyond our control. Through Christ, we replace this false view with the truth that our real nature as God's man is spiritual, pure, and good. We give up the yoke of materiality with its burden of addiction and sin and accept the easy yoke and light burden of Christ. The reason the latter are easier to bear is because they require us to acknowledge our total dependency on our divine source and to express what we really are, thus freeing us from tendencies to falsely identify with materiality. Their discipline enables us to prove that we are in truth the sons of God.
How do we get there from here? The first step is to want to do right. Christ inspires us to resist temptation, and we can turn to Christ to strengthen and sustain us.
Such efforts at reform are not a resort to sheer human will-power. Under the despotism of will, one is still seeing himself as a mortal who is somehow relying on personal forcefulness and rigidity to overcome this habit. Instead, one must begin to surrender fully to the divine will and truly strive to be obedient to God's government. Sometimes just stopping and asking oneself if a contemplated act is Godlike is enough to short-circuit temptation. As we increasingly express the meekness of Christ and strive to do God's will, we begin to find the rest Jesus promised us. This peace helps to quiet the voices of fear, pressure, frustration, that tempt one to drink.
We may also need to make amends for our past behavior and to prove our freedom from drinking over the long run. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, puts it: ''Sorrow for wrong-doing is but one step towards reform and the very easiest step. The next and great step required by wisdom is the test of our sincerity, -- namely, reformation.'' n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scroptures, p. 5.
Daily prayer and firm reliance on God and His Christ will do much toward enabling us to achieve this goal. If we're tempted again, or even succumb to temptation, it is important that we not be filled with feelings of self-condemnation. This would only focus our attention on the error instead of on God and our inseparable relationship with Him. If we have acknowledged the mistake, we can go on from there, claiming our true birthright as God's offspring, forever free from sin. As we develop a stronger desire for the spiritual dominion and mental clarity that come with reliance on God and that set us free from mortal pressures and fears, we find these lapses occurring less frequently until they finally fade out entirely.
Complete freedom from this addiction may come at once - or it may take some doing. In either case, as we make sincere efforts to prove our God-given freedom , we can remember that we're not left alone. Even now, the Christ is with us, guiding us along the upward road. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee. Proverbs 2:11