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Thinking it through: we can win out over drug abuse with God’s help

From the Christian Science Sentinel - October 1, 2013

Originally published in a 1991 special edition Christian Science Sentinel “We can win out over drug abuse with God’s help”

The image of war has been used to rally support against drug abuse. But the image of a popular uprising against a tyrant may be more to the point. With the supposed absolute power of a dictator, drug abuse and drug trafficking enforce their own ruthless rules.

The oppressor here is not simply the power of illegal drugs over those who use, sell, or produce them. The tyrant is the fundamental enslavement to the false promises of materialism, the false highs and lows of a life defined exclusively by physicality—by physical environment, scarce resources, and scarce opportunity.

When we look at the lives and communities where drugs are being successfully driven out, many of the resistance fighters are relying on power that is not physical. The mothers and grandmothers who stand up to dealers and crack houses, the teens who serve as counselors to their peers, the parents who band together on behalf of schools, build on a deeper strength. Some of these individuals will say outright that their strength to rise up is from God. But even when individuals may not make that claim for their struggle, we can still discern a divine impetus behind a fight for genuine freedom. That divine impetus is what gives the capacity to accomplish the seemingly impossible.

The Bible promises that God "will overturn, overturn, overturn, it..., until he come whose right it is." This divine overturning comes as we turn to God, learning new lessons about the omnipotence of good. It brings the liberation of humanity from all allegiance other than to God, divine good. It shows us our true nature as God's expression. In one sense, this spiritual identity is he "whose right it is." One might say that all have the right to be what God has made them, as His likeness.

In Christ Jesus' life we see better than anywhere else this spiritual nature and its activity and power. We see it overthrowing materiality's pretension to hold absolute control. Through his demonstration of God's power, Jesus freed individuals from the tyrannies of a sense of life that is chemically originated, chemically based, and chemically vulnerable. The effect was the beginning of a great moral and spiritual uprising. A violently insane man is restored not only to health but also to his family. A woman whose endless search for satisfaction has led to a series of relationships learns something of the satisfying love of Spirit.

This divine power also enabled Jesus to walk fearlessly through a crowd bent on killing him and ultimately to be victorious in the face of a conspiracy to destroy him and his work. What was happening here might be called the revolution of Love and Truth, the divine activity that by its very omnipotence overthrows whatever would oppose God's power and goodness.

What is unique about this revolution is that it isn't against any person. It's on behalf of all—not just those whose communities have been paralyzed by drugs but those who have come to believe they find power or freedom in the illegal drug trade and its path of violence. This pernicious enslavement cries out for healing. The uprising that divine Love spurs in the individual heart can overthrow even this magnetic hold. Each individual has the right to dignity, to a more spiritual sense of purpose and identity. And toward that direction, divine Truth impels progress.

In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, discusses among other things the spiritual overturning that brings freedom. Of the promise of complete liberty from materiality, she writes: "Whatever enslaves man is opposed to the divine government. Truth makes man free."

Every effort to resist materialism with the power of Truth, every effort to stand for the rights of man as God's spiritual creation, under Love's control, partakes of divine authority. And it liberates.

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