Is Sickness Inevitable?

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Not long ago my local newspaper had a whole section discussing how to survive the cold and flu season. Often the conclusion is that sickness is inevitable. But this doesn't have to be. How do I know? Because I have been able to prove it on more than one occasion, through an understanding I've gained in studying the law of God, Christian Science.

Before I found out about Christian Science, colds and flu seemed like an unavoidable part of life, particularly during the winter. But gradually, as I have studied the Bible, and Christ Jesus' teachings in particular, I've come to see that God doesn't send sickness.

Jesus, whose whole life was devoted to God, spent a good part of his ministry healing the sick. He said that God was the power behind his works. He declared at one point, "He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him" (John 8:29). If Jesus healed sickness through God's power, it doesn't make sense that disease would come through the will of this same God.

God is all-powerful, and we can turn to Him for help whenever we feel ill. The truth of God is a healing influence that frees us from the thought that sickness is necessary or inevitable. In fact, since God, who is good, never made something opposite to Himself in quality, it follows that disease is unreal to Him. Where, then, does disease come from? Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote a book that answers this and many other questions: Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. The book contains this idea: "Disease arises, like other mental conditions, from association. Since it is a law of mortal mind that certain diseases should be regarded as contagious, this law obtains credit through association,-calling up the fear that creates the image of disease and its consequent manifestation in the body" (p. 154).

Mortal mind involves the belief in an intelligence opposed to God-the belief that we are mortal beings, subject to harm, suffering, evil. This line of thought concludes that interactions with other people expose us to the transmission of evil in the form of germs.

As I've learned, the understanding that we are each God's offspring antidotes this. Once we accept the conclusion that disease is no part of us because we are perfect, made in the likeness of God, the way we think about ourselves changes. Good becomes real, and evil, its opposite, is seen to be unreal. The disturbing mental conditions that apply if we're thinking of ourselves in material terms-conditions such as anger, frustration, weariness, anxiety, fear, and vulnerability-don't have anything to do with spiritual living. Neither does sickness, which is actually a manifestation of thought.

By rejecting evils such as sickness and sin, and by embracing spiritual truth, we bring our thoughts and behavior more into line with goodness. With the realization that sickness doesn't have anything to do with God or His child, it becomes clearer that more than a mental gulf exists between good and evil. Being conscious of the total nothingness of evil, and of the fact that we are made in the image of God, enables us to conquer sickness.

I remember one late night when I was working at home, preparing for a presentation the next day. During that day a number of co-workers had been in my office, and all of them had had bad colds. My roommate was also sick. As I worked on this project, I began to feel ill with the same symptoms I had seen in others. Then suddenly, I recalled the facts we've been discussing here and realized I did not need to come down with anything (nor did anyone else). I affirmed that I was God's creation, His own spiritual child, and that sickness simply has no place in His perfection. In minutes, the whole condition was gone from me.

Wherever you might be living in the world, whether or not people are calling this the "cold and flu season," you can prove your exemption from sickness by turning to God. He made each of us whole, perfect. Understanding this as the reality can help you, just as it helped me, to overcome disease and be well.

You can find in-depth articles about Christian Science in a monthly magazine, The Christian Science Journal.

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