No scars

Many people who have suffered from sexual abuse in their early years have found it sometimes challenging to develop healthy relationships. Guilt and hidden fears seem to hinder their expression of normal affection and their ability to trust members of the opposite sex. For those striving to put these dark dreams behind them and to be rid of their aftereffects, the message of Christ, Truth, revealing man's purity and likeness to God, is a great boon.

Man is not a magnet for evil. The guilt-inducing belief that children bring illicit actions upon themselves is itself an unjust and wicked belief. To be free of this, it is important to awake to the fact—and to accept the fact—of one's innocency as God's likeness. Job hit the nail on the head. He declared, "I hold unflinching to my innocence; not for one hour need I reproach myself" (Job 27:6, James Moffatt translation). The King James Version reads, "My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live." Christian Science teaches that the true selfhood of each one of us is Godlike and unflawed, and that God maintains the purity and goodness of His creation.

But if one feels defiled, unworthy, guilty—whether this is rational or not—how does one recover a sense of innocence? How does one develop trust? How does one learn to express affection without fear? We are given a clue in the life of Christ Jesus. As his ministry was to begin, he sought out John the Baptist, who was preaching by the river Jordan. When Jesus was baptized, God's acknowledgment of him as His Son was heard: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matt. 3:17). Similarly, the baptism of Spirit aids us in recognizing our own God-determined identity. The cleansing power of Spirit, God, washes us free from every false sense of being and from everything that would defile our nature as God's child, Love's image and likeness.

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In next week's SENTINEL
October 2, 1995

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