Breaking free from a restrictive life

Today’s global community has never gone through times like these. We do our best to comply with restrictions intended to benefit the common good, but as they continue, so does our longing for a freer life. We keep hoping the pattern of confined personal living will end.

The longing for unconstrained activity is nothing new. Humanity has always been drawn to freedom, and people have always been faced with making choices: to accept restrictive living, or to overcome it—which begins with a shift away from restrictive thinking, but also recognizes that this does not give us license to do whatever we want.

An advocate for freedom from thousands of years ago told the Galatians about a choice they could make: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” The Apostle Paul went on to say, “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Galatians 5:1, 18, New King James Version).

It may be a while before we’re no longer entangled with social restrictions, but we don’t have to wait to experience greater freedom, mentally and physically, when we choose to be inspired, nurtured, and led by Spirit, God.

Nothing overcomes the limits of material living as effectively as growing in our spiritual understanding and expressing that in more loving lives. The human condition is transformed as we advance spiritually.

For concrete examples, look at Christ Jesus’ ministry. He knew well the life-changing freedom that people can experience through an understanding that all of us are truly created in God’s image and likeness, wholly spiritual and good. Those who believed they were in bondage to illness, disability, or character flaws found, through their encounter with the Christ, Truth, as manifested by Jesus, that there was actually no legitimate authority for such enslavement.

What if we’d like to be led by Spirit and experience more freedom, but don’t know where to begin when it comes to spiritually challenging the constraints we face?

One step we can take is to have a daily goal, such as regular study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. These books lead us away from the limitations of believing that life is grounded in matter. The content of The Christian Science Journal, the Sentinel, and The Herald of Christian Science is also extremely valuable in leading us to a fuller understanding of our life in Spirit. These magazines—focused on the metaphysics of Christian Science—not only inform and inspire us in this way, but even heal us. 

We don’t have to wait to experience greater freedom, mentally and physically, when we choose to be inspired, nurtured, and led by Spirit, God.

I have recently been feeling especially indebted to The Christian Science Monitor for aiding us in disentangling from the bondage of a restrictive outlook. The Monitor reports on the constructive actions and charitable motives that are expanding freedom, comforting those in distress, fighting tyranny, and building peace. 

Day after day these publications help readers respond to the struggles and conflicts that grip people’s lives by lifting their vision beyond these challenges to a higher view of humanity. This includes featuring accounts of individuals who are overcoming restrictive thinking and making a difference in people’s lives, right where the material world, with its inherent limitations, would convince us that we’re hopelessly boxed in. Reading these publications regularly and carefully impels us to get clearer on the spiritual basis underpinning the goodness expressed by humanity. They nudge us to broaden our perspective of and love for our fellow men and women across the globe, perhaps more than we had recognized was needed—or than we felt equipped to do.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science and founder of all of these periodicals, was deeply committed to helping humanity break away from restrictive thinking and find the joy of living life from a spiritual standpoint. Christian Science, firmly rooted in the teachings of Jesus, offers this much-needed spiritual perspective. This Science inspires the recognition of God as infinite good, and each of us as the expression of the boundless and powerful goodness that emanates from God.

As to the work that any seeker must do in order to gain this vision and understanding, Science and Health says: “If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, he will be in earnest from the start, and gain a little each day in the right direction, till at last he finishes his course with joy” (p. 21).

That’s sound instruction for spiritual advancement, for shedding limits, for greater freedom, and for making every single day count along the way.

Russ Gerber, Guest Editorial Writer

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February 1, 2021

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