Mental Freedom

IN today's world there are the obvious battles of races fighting races, nations fighting nations, and religions fighting religions. There is also, however, the more subtle battle of mental domination versus mental freedom. Mental manipulation, mesmerism, personality worship, thought control--whatever name is used, these all work against our recognition of man's God-given freedom. But they can all be rebuked and destroyed through the power of prayer.

I once had a friend who was strongly influenced by a group considered a cult. My friend was a good person and never did any actual wrong. But after getting to know some members of this cult, he began to feel pulled to do things that were immoral and illegal. The thoughts filling his mind were frightening to him. He felt out of control and unable to govern his own thinking. Then one night, through many tears, he spoke of these thoughts to a relative. His relative was a Christian Scientist who assured him of the ever-presence of God, good, and of the ability of God's love to wipe out all mental manipulation or personal domination.

Through prayer my friend was helped to find a deeper understanding of what it means to follow Christ, and have the Mind of Christ; and in this way he was able to gain control of his thinking once again. He began to see that the false suggestions could be annihilated by prayerfully turning away from a material personality to God, good, and by following the example of Christ Jesus found in the Scriptures. He learned what it means to be a disciple of Christ and how to throw off the influence of erroneous th oughts. Each day my friend rejected the immoral and illegal suggestions that bombarded his consciousness. Gradually he felt more certain that God's ever-presence was governing him. He also prayed to see that everyone--including his friends who were members of the cult--was under the influence of God, good.

As a result of his prayer and dedication, the aggressive suggestions faded away. He no longer feared that another individual could control him mentally or physically. Following and heeding Christ brought him mental and physical freedom, because the power of Christ is never subject to materiality. My friend never did fall into such bondage, darkness, and fear again.

If we feel we have similar mental chains on us for any reason, we can prayerfully turn to God and learn of man's God-given spiritual control and strength. Choosing to rely upon God, good, rather than on a material personality that can err, we are able to rise above false attraction and mesmerism to obey only Spirit, God. Leaning on God, we find strength. Listening to God, we find unerring direction and guidance. Following God, we find freedom. We learn, listen, and follow by conscientiously praying until

our experience conforms to man's God-given dominion.

Often when people think of Christ Jesus they think of his healing works. It is his works that confirm him to be the Way-shower for all mankind. His uplifted view of God's child, man, brought freedom from oppression. Learning more of the Christ-power that he exemplified benefits each one who chooses to follow his example. This kind of following has eternal rewards. Following Christ Jesus', our Master's, teachings, we are unerringly led toward a clearer, deeper spir-itual understanding of man's unity with God. This discipleship blesses because it is based upon God, good, not on a limited, false, material personality.

Jesus taught, the Bible tells us in Matthew's Gospel, ``Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." To be ``fishers of men" is to seek to benefit mankind through following Christ and from yielding to the spiritual understanding that gives God control over all one's thoughts and actions. It is to choose to learn more of God and of man, His image and likeness, and to devote our lives to good. This choice can be made no matter what situation we're in--it is the choice to express our God-given dominion a nd control. It is to choose the spiritual freedom that brings mental and physical freedom to our lives and leads others to follow Christ.

Man is subject only to God, good, never to evil. Through prayer, we can indeed learn to be ``fishers of men"--manifesting spiritual dominion, choosing to obey God.

To ensure that students of Christian Science would not be misled into following her as human personality, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science and the Leader of the Church she founded, urged in her Message to The Mother Church for 1902: ``I again repeat, Follow your Leader, only so far as she follows Christ." The fundamental demand is that we follow Christ and the example of Jesus.

Mental manipulation, the aggressive mental suggestions that bombard us--mesmerism, thought control, and personality worship--can be disarmed and proved powerless when individuals turn to God to learn more of His goodness and to yield to the power of Christ, Truth. It's natural to choose to serve God, and thus to be in control of our thought and actions. Each one of us can turn away from the chains of mental manipulation through prayer and find man's God-given dominion within consciousness.

BIBLE VERSE Walk in he Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh....If we live in he Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16,25

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