At a very early age I acquired the tobacco habit

At a very early age I acquired the tobacco habit. I observed that men smoked; and my immature thought arrived at the conclusion that genuine manhood could not be attained without doing likewise. Therefore at the age of about ten I undertook to become a smoker. It proved a painful process. Physical sickness followed regularly, with each attempt to use the noxious weed; but nothing halted my youthful folly. The habit was beginning to weave its web around me. I thought I was coming into a new-found pleasure; and while the pathway at first was rough, I now found it satisfying, and proceeded to indulge my newly acquired appetite in defiance of stern parental objections. Several years of more or less regular smoking followed, during which the statements was frequently made that it could be stopped at any time. But it was not. As I reached the age of young manhood it began to dawn upon me that the appetite which had been cultivated at such painful cost had apparently made itself a very necessary part of my existence.

With more mature years came the realization that the habit was in no way a necessity to manhood; and gradually there grew up the desire to be rid of it. That it was filthy there could be no doubt. It was a frequent source of discomfort and annoyance to others, and it required the outlay of money that could ill be spared. The demand of the appetite seemed very insistent. I was forced to admit, first to myself and then to others, that I was unable to resist the demand of the appetite for tobacco. This admission was a blow to self-respect and an acknowledgment of defeat.

The attempt was made to meet the physical demands with will-power; every effort to resist the appetite was, however, defeated, and it renewed its hold with increasing tenacity. The desire to abandon the habit was repeatedly overcome by the desire to continue the enjoyment that was derived from it. This error of false thinking was all that needed to be healed, and the effort to defy the demands of appetite went on until the study of Christian Science was taken up. Then it began to be seen that the appetite was entirely false, and had no semblance of reality. Being false and unreal, it could confer no genuine pleasure; therefore no sacrifice would be necessary in giving it up. There was nothing about it to be sacrificed except the erroneous belief that an appetite, developed only after much revulsion and many painful experiences, could be a means of pleasure. This change of thinking, brought about by the study of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, began at once to destroy the appetite, as we read on page 404, "by exhibiting to the wrong-doer the suffering which his submission to such habits brings, and by convincing him that there is no real pleasure in false appetite." The first noticeable result was that a favorite brand of cigars did not satisfy. That the false appetite was being destroyed was not then appreciated; but I was, without being conscious of it, following the admonition of Paul, who wrote to the Galatians, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Christian Science was teaching me how to "walk in the Spirit;" and the demands of the flesh were already becoming less insistent. On page 398 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy tells us, "Appetite and disease reside in mortal mind, not in matter;" and as I learned this great truth and accepted it, my freedom from the tobacco habit was complete. On a never-to-be-forgotten day the false appetite disappeared, never to return. Reviewing this experience, it is seen to have been wholly mental. First, the misguided ambition to indulge in the habit; then, the false concept of pleasure in it, followed by slavery to the unreal appetite; and finally, liberty through the revelation of Truth.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Testimony of Healing
My deep-felt gratitude for all the blessings which my...
May 17, 1924

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.