Fulfillment versus sensuality

To be fulfilled, to feel whole and complete - this is a natural desire. And it's our right. Feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction are fraudulent, because they deny God's care for man. They suggest that our happiness is dependent on circumstances rather than on Deity. They argue that there's an essential element missing in our lives which God hasn't provided or won't provide.

What's the remedy? Among the many claims of materialistic thinking - or the carnal mind, as St. Paul terms it - is that fulfillment is found in sensual pleasures; that illicit sex or pornography or mere gratification of the senses in some other form can add to us what we lack.

This may seem legitimate to an earthly, physical view of life, a view that labels man a primate, merely a higher form of animal with certain animal needs. According to this view, each of us is the product of matter, the dependent, so to speak, of matter, and the ultimate victim of matter. Such thinking would have us pin our hopes on the unintelligent, on the changeable and fleeting. It would have us search for joy in empty materiality.

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But fulfillment can't possibly be found in the bottomless pit of sensuality. To believe that it can is to ignore God and degrade man. It's to mistake the true source and nature of good.

If we believe in our hearts that God is good and that all things are possible to Him, as the Bible teaches, then we have to admit that the genuine answer to dissatisfaction is found in Him - in Spirit, not in matter.

Moreover, if we believe that God is good, that He is an intelligent and loving creator, we can also admit that His creation is good and is eternally provided for. Our all-wise creator couldn't and wouldn't create incomplete or frustrated offspring. Appearances suggest that He did - or else that He is powerless to prevent suffering. But the truth of God's creation transcends appearances, as Christ Jesus so forcefully illustrated.

Jesus confronted the appearance of sickness, deformity, sin, and overruled these with the higher law of God. He so understood God's power and goodness, and man's God-given rights, that he could instantly heal sufferers.

The truth Jesus practiced is eternal. So it's available to us, right now. Each of us, following the Master's example, can prove God's harmonizing power and find genuine fulfillment. Our ability to apply the law of God may at present be modest, but we all can turn to our creator for help and experience healing.

Ultimately, we mustm look to God and come to know ourselves as the spiritual image of His pure, complete nature. There's no other route to true, lasting fulfillment. Sensuality, dead-end materiality, can't truly satisfy us. ''Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life,'' n1 Jesus taught. This way is spiritual, not carnal.

n1 Matthew 7:14.

What, then, is the saving truth that enables us to find fulfillment right where we are? It's the truth that we already - and forever - are God's satisfied offspring, complete in every detail of our being. Despite what we may feel, or how dreadful circumstances may seem, the spiritual fact - the only fact - is ''Now are we the sons of God.'' n2 Nowm God loves us and is providing us with exactly what we need. And what He provides is good, pure, liberating. Nowm, as God's offspring, we include the fulfillment, joy, beauty, and provision inherent in the divine nature. Man is complete. ''I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it.'' n3

n2 I John 3:2.

n3 Ecclesiastes 3:14.

As we come to trust this truth, to feel it in prayer and in a humble yielding to the divine will, our real needs will be cared for - in tangible, appropriate ways.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, summarizes the point so well when she writes: ''As mortals gain more correct views of God and man, multitudinous objects of creation, which before were invisible, will become visible. When we realize that Life is Spirit, never in nor of matter, this understanding will expand into self-completeness, finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness.'' n4

n4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 264.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. John 6:63

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