Morality, purity, and health

THE Bible is full of promises of God's protection--protection from danger, protection even from disease. A familiar Bible promise is in the ninety-first Psalm: ``He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.... Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.''1

Christian Science teaches the comforting fact that we can indeed find refuge in God, Spirit, from disease, including ``plagues'' that are considered contagious. The power of infinite Spirit destroys and prevents disease; and God's power is available to all. The means to this divine protection is prayer--not prayer that is merely words, but prayer that embodies a spiritual and moral hunger for regeneration that literally saps the will to do wrong. This kind of deep, abiding transformation in our lives opens us to the harmony that is inherent in God and in man as His spiritual image.

Finding refuge in God involves understanding, at least in some degree, the sinless being that comes from God. Spirit, God, cannot contain evil--and as we realize this we begin to search out and destroy any vestige of evil that we may now be accepting in our lives. Evil, including disease, is unknown in the infinitude of Spirit. All is good, including man, God's likeness. Disease, therefore, is not part of God or His creation.

We all would admit that God is pure. So doesn't it naturally follow that His likeness, man, must be pure? Harmony and purity can't be separated--they're partners from the beginning, eternally established by God as the unchanging condition of all that really exists. Therefore our refuge in God--our divine protection from disease--must be found not only in a spiritual perception of God but in knowing and living the purity that is inherent in our true individuality.

When we talk about purity we also have to talk about sexual morality. Morality isn't just an arbitrary opinion of how one should act. It's a divine requirement, essential to understanding man's purity and essential to living that purity. Morality subordinates the lower tendencies of human thought to the higher qualities that are God-derived. It engen ders qualities such as fidelity, honesty, and trustworthiness, which support our spiritual progress. On the other hand, sexual relations outside the marriage covenant tend to foster selfishness, self-centeredness, and sensualism, which choke spiritual progress because they blind us to God and to the reality of who we are.

The effects of sexual immorality are always injurious, no matter how much we think we gain from it. Christ Jesus' teachings point to the need to rein in immoral thoughts as well as actions. They also point to the effect of thought on the body. Jesus said: ``The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.''2

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, reiterates this important point. She writes: ``A sick body is evolved from sick thoughts.... Sensualism evolves bad physical and moral conditions.'' And then she points to the remedy: ``Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.''3

If we are bogged down in immoral sexual practices and are experiencing their harmful effects on our health, we do have access to healing. We can start living morally and praying to understand the spiritual goodness that constitutes our true identity. Our real selfhood is enduring, good, and true; it's the only individuality we've ever had, and God preserves it eternally. In truth, therefore, we are safe even now.

Our sincere efforts will be rewarded. Through our prayer, spiritual understanding, and regeneration, we will find the health that eternally belongs to each of God's children.

1Psalms 91:1, 9, 10. 2Matthew 6:22, 23. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 260-261. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Wash we from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Psalms 51:2

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