Resisting Temptation Scientifically

Many who are the victims of vice are longing to be rid of the grievous burden. And many who are indulging in what are generally regarded as less harmful sins are equally desirous of permanent freedom. What would not the enfeebled sensualist give to experience the liberty of purity? What would not the alcohol addict give to have the shackles of this enemy to his moral and spiritual freedom stricken from him? The tobacco user, also, what relief he would experience were this oftentimes stubborn habit broken for him!

Can indulgence in material sensuousness be scientifically resisted? It can. The writer knew a man who, some years ago, was healed of a serious physical condition through study of the Christian Science textbook. The one healed rejoiced in his healing; and his gratitude was proportionally great. But something remained unhealed: he still was an inveterate user of tobacco. The smoking habit seemed to hang round his neck like a millstone; and the millstone became heavier when, through further study of Science and Health, he became aware of Mrs. Eddy's thought on the use of intoxicating drinks and tobacco, namely, that it was "not in harmony with Christian Science" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 454).

One day a Christian Science Sentinel came to this man, and as was his wont he eagerly turned to a perusal of its pages, for its articles and testimonies had often helped him with his problems. He began to read an article which, he soon felt, dealt with a case similar to his own. It told of one, a smoker of tobacco like himself, who had gone to a Christian Science practitioner for treatment in order to get rid of the habit. The practitioner asked him if he had resisted the temptation—the evil—in accordance with the Bible injunction: "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). His reply was to the effect that he had, but that the will power he had used had not produced the desired effect. Then the practitioner remarked that he could not have resisted the evil scientifically, at the same time quoting Mrs. Eddy's words (Science and Health, p. 218), "Resist the temptation to believe in matter as intelligent, as having sensation or power." The one who had gone to the practitioner for help instantly saw what was meant; saw that so-called matter (tobacco in this instance) had neither intelligence to suggest anything real to him, sensation to impart anything real to him, nor power to enslave him in any way. And with the seeing he was instantaneously healed of the desire ever to smoke again. As the man whom the writer knew followed the reasoning in the article, he had an exactly similar experience. His gladness was unbounded for his freedom from the smoking habit, and for the certainty that he had grasped the scientific method of resisting material sensuousness by understanding that matter, so called, is devoid of intelligence, sensation, or power.

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A Good Doorkeeper
October 3, 1936

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