Insecurity: impossible in God's kingdom

At an informal reception before the staged reading of a new play, someone offered me some wine. Since I am a Christian Scientist and do not drink alcoholic beverages, I declined the offer. The atmosphere was friendly and hospitable as well as purposeful, and my stand on the use of alcohol was not made an issue.

Most Christian Scientists in similar social situations would not be tempted to join in the use of alcoholic beverages, but as I thought about the experience, I realized how important it was to keep a spiritual perspective in such situations. Christ Jesus admonishes us in the Sermon on the Mount, "Judge not, that ye be not judged." Matt. 7:1. A nonjudgmental attitude does not mean acceptance of or participation in activities we oppose, just to enter into the "spirit" of things. In its deepest sense it means identifying ourselves and others with the real man, who abides in the true Spirit—God—and expressing God's qualities wherever we are. This Spirit is the source of all the good one looks for in a social occasion: congeniality, joy, satisfaction. When we realize that man is God's reflection, we see that we bring these qualities to the occasion because we are expressing our true identity, which is spiritual, and we are seeing others in this way as well. Approaching people from this standpoint of truly loving the good in all will keep us from being a killjoy. It also means that we will have something real and lasting to contribute.

In Christian Science, Spirit is recognized as All. There is no matter. There is no power in material means such as alcohol or drugs to provide an occasion with true spirit. This would be turning to materiality for what only God can give. The sensations associated with such indulgences are fleeting, whereas the joy of Spirit is eternal. Even the congeniality may be momentary, aided by a dulling of fear or of the critical faculties; but the spirit of Love that we embrace in thought grows with time, a faithful affection that can be felt by those exposed to it. In expressing divine Love, we have a solid standpoint on which to be at ease with ourselves and others.

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February 10, 1986

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