WE live in an age that sells sensualism as readily as toothpaste -- and suffers greatly from the consequences. But no one has to resign himself or herself to sensualism or to fear that its hold is unbreakable. I write this having just read about a young man who came close to destroying himself in an all out effort to live ``the good life.'' To me, three startling things surfaced out of the more obvious events of his immorality. They are the most convincing reasons I've found for making the effort to help ourselves and others refuse to have anything to do with sin in any form.
First, at the point this young man came to the conclusion that he had had enough, you sensed that he was facing a terrifying feeling of being separated from God and His goodness, from Love itself. Second, you could see how stunned he was to discover that ``the good life'' was actually destroying him. But perhaps the saddest thing of all is to see how sin eventually made him feel unworthy and useless.
It's worth taking a good hard look at these consequences -- really for the whole world's sake, as confused and frustrated as it is over the ``moral winter'' of our times. First, take a minute to read about the prodigal son -- the young man we've been talking about.1
Have you ever noticed what this story defines as the intent of sin? If you've ever needed to talk about moral issues with a young person, a friend, a spouse, (or a parent for that matter), have you ever clearly said that the intent of sin is sorrow and death -- the death of love; the death of all that is satisfying and meaningful; the death of dignity, integrity, self-esteem; the death of life itself?
That's usually difficult for someone contemplating or involved with immorality to comprehend, because sin always sells itself (and can only sell itself) by claiming to be satisfying and fulfilling. It sells itself on the premise that we're inescapably dependent on matter and material conditions for love, happiness, and fulfillment.
The fact is, each of us possesses a spiritual nature that, once discovered, fills our life with a richness no material circumstance can match. We're free to discover our spiritual individuality at any time. It's who we really are, because God created man as the pure, satisfied reflection of His nature. And we all will eventually know ourselves this way. As Paul said, ``Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.''2
But sin promises all good only if we will agree to deny our spiritual nature and God's allness and goodness. Those are always its terms -- forget God, indulge in materiality. The result is always destructive.
One who agrees to sin's terms never comprehends what he's actually agreeing to, or he would never agree. True happiness and satisfaction don't need to be compromised or postponed for some far-off heaven. They are what God freely gives us now. They are what God alone can give. And to find these things in God, to find our life in God, results in an unspeakable freedom and peace!
Any compromise with immorality is really unthinkable. It's not a questionof what's good or bad but a simple fact of what life is and isn't! Life isn't the mixed up material version of things it seems to be. Christ Jesus has given us the model of what life is and was always meant to be. This model is neither illusory nor for a select few. Any sincere seeker can at least begin to follow the teachings of the Master and, step by step, come to see the totally spiritual nature of true life -- its purity and indestructibility -- as the outcome of God.
Christian Science brings compassion, authority, decisiveness, and healing to the issue of sin. For instance, the Christian Science textbook by Mary Baker Eddy3 states, ``To hold yourself superior to sin, because God made you superior to it and governs man, is true wisdom.''4
You can claim that wisdom for yourself today. Sensualism has no power to overpower you! Its lure loses all its supposed appeal as you learn of God's love and the satisfaction that He alone can provide.
1See Luke 15:11-24. 2I Corinthians 13:12. 3The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 4Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 231. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16