'Healing Under the Law and the Gospel'
(Page 2 of 7)
As a teen-ager I wanted to show the world I was very mature. That I had a mind of my own, and that I did everything the grown-ups did. Oh, it was so sophisticated to display a knowledge of cigarette brands and bottles of wine. As in the movies! But the alluring posture didn't last long. It soon became a regular habit, then a seeming necessity, and during my early 20s, an aggressive vice.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
From a superficial point of view it seemed I was just following a personal inclination to smoke and drink. ''What's wrong with that?'' I would say defensively. ''Many people do it.'' Now I can see that behind that habit was the world's general opinion that man lives only to satisfy the appetites of the flesh.
Then, in the early '60s, I was introduced to Christian Science, or the Science of Christ, discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy. After a few months of study I was healed of both habits.
The battle wasn't just an effort to become clean-cut. It was a challenge to the worldwide belief that man is a mortal with a private materialistic mind instead of the reflection of God, divine Mind. Being influenced by worldly trends was robbing me of my freedom. ''What's freedom?'' I would ask myself. I was gathering from my study of this Science that to be free is to be governed by the law of divine Love and not by any sensual urge.
Some of you may wonder how a healing of this nature takes place. It takes place as we open our thought to the fact that we are not, in reality, governed by impulses beyond our control. Man is not a hedonistic mortal whose only motivation for living is to satisfy carnal impulses. He is the immortal expression of God, Spirit, and our acknowledgment of this higher concept of man always leads to healing. 'No condemnation . . .'
Healing through spiritual means is the result of the law of God in operation, the law of divine Love, a law that supersedes any enslaving philosophy or human condemnation. We can all say with the Apostle Paul: ''There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death'' (Rom. 8:1, 2). This clear sense of spiritual dominion frees us from any imposition of physical sense. This is the regeneration that Christian Science teaches and practices.
There's nothing more satisfying than finding one's freedom. We can certainly say that God created man innocent and free, in His image, spiritual, not material, as the first chapter of Genesis indicates.
''Innocent: free from guilt or sin'' is a definition we find in Webster. This defines our real, spiritual identity.
Human beings acquire vices or bad habits because of different, unfortunate circumstances. But no matter how deeply entrenched we may seem to be in a pernicious habit, we can find freedom. As we accept our spiritual innocence and strive to live according to it, we won't be prisoners of unrestrained impulses anymore.
Freedom - be it physical or moral - comes when we realize that nobody needs to be attached to appetites and passions. Freedom comes when we feed a desire to obey the moral and spiritual law - that law given by Moses and demonstrated by Jesus in healing the sick and regenerating the sinner. This law is summarized in the first commandment, ''Thou shalt have no other gods before me'' (Ex. 20:3).
The so-called pleasures of the flesh would venerate matter and deny that man is the child of divine Spirit. Any form of idolatry brings suffering, because it breaks the first commandment.