Take Off What You Don't Need

Taking a spiritual look at events and issues of special interest to young people.

When I was growing up, there was a game young people played; I don't recall its name, but it went something like this: A person was directed to get under a blanket and then told to take off whatever wasn't needed. At first he or she would start throwing articles of clothing out from under the blanket. Then the person would begin to hesitate. The group would find this hilarious.

Eventually the person would realize that what wasn't needed was the blanket, and would throw it off, or come out from underneath it.

Life is sometimes like that game. A person may be under a blanket of a different kind -- one of fear, hate, envy, poverty, illness, or any other problem that interferes with happiness. People may resort to many methods for help, without realizing that complete escape requires a recognition of something essential about the problem itself. In real life situations, the blanket is actually the mistaken assumption that we are not made by God and loved by Him completely.

You can gain a better understanding that you are the beloved child of God by studying the Bible, and especially the life of Christ Jesus. His understanding of how God made us led him to help and heal people. Jesus directed his followers to do as he did. Matthew quotes him as saying, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils" (10:8). He said also, according to St. Mark, "These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils" (16:17). Those who "believe" are not limited to the people of his day; they include everyone who understands what he taught.

In 1866 a woman, Mary Baker Eddy, discovered that underlying what Jesus taught is a Science that restores and heals. She found that by understanding this Science she could lift the blankets of trouble and sadness from people's lives, and that she could show others how to do this. She told of this in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. What she discovered she called Christian Science.

If you are full of "unbelief" about the power of God to heal you, but still want to understand, you might take a hint from athletes who observe and follow the practices of other successful athletes in their chosen field. In the same way, you can understand God better if you observe and follow Jesus' adherence to the Ten Commandments, which he summed up as loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself, and to the Beatitudes, which aid in doing this (see Exodus 20:3-17 and Matthew 5:3-12).

I have found help in this way by studying the Science of Christianity, which has shown me that I have from God a right to freedom from discord of any kind. This is a scientific approach to knowing God. It is based on knowing the truth.

Science and Health says, "Eternal Truth is changing the universe. As mortals drop off their mental swaddling-clothes, thought expands into expression. 'Let there be light,' is the perpetual demand of Truth and Love, changing chaos into order and discord into the music of the spheres" (p. 255). In Bible times a Hebrew infant was wrapped and tightly bound in bands of cloth, swaddling clothes, that restricted movement. Although they may have provided a degree of comfort, there came a time to take them off.

It is time to take off any blanket of fear, any "swaddling clothes" of sickness or trouble, that may be binding and restricting you. It is your God-given right to do this. God is good. He created you to have only good, and because of this you can accept the truth and be free.

This I say therefore,

and testify in the Lord . . .

that ye put off concerning

the former conversation

the old man . . . and be renewed

in the spirit of your mind.

Ephesians 4:17, 22, 23

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