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Addiction has no hold on you

From the January 8, 1996 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


A FRIEND of mine was once struggling with depression, a troubled marriage, and addiction to alcohol and pills. One day when we were talking, she stated that no one really loved her nor did she expect that anyone ever would. My response was that I couldn't believe this about her. I explained that I was studying a religion called Christian Science, founded by a woman named Mary Baker Eddy. By reading Mrs. Eddy's book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, I was learning to understand man in a new light. I noted that in this book Mrs. Eddy explains the Bible's message that God is Love and that His love for man is permanent, unchanging, and ever present. All of us can expect to feel God's love each and every day, when we willingly open our hearts to Him.

A few weeks later, my friend decided to commit suicide. Going to her garage, she turned on the car engine and waited, fully expecting to die. But she was discovered by her husband and was rushed to the hospital. The next day I went to visit her and asked what had happened. She said that just before she lost consciousness the thought came to her that God really did love her. Feeling this love, she had reached down and turned off the engine. This was the last thing she remembered before waking up in the hospital. Grateful to be alive, she announced her willingness to enter a rehabilitation program and her desire to learn more about God, divine Love.

There are many people in the world who have surrendered to habit-forming drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and alcohol, hoping to be rewarded with a "high" that might satisfy both their body and soul. But drugs and alcohol never provide a permanent or real sense of inner peace.

Just before she lost consciousness the thought came to her that God really did love her.

By the same token, if drugs and alcohol fill a large portion of an individual's life, when they are removed, there seems to be a void to fill. Humanly we think of adding social or work activities, but they rarely can satisfy the longing deep in our hearts. What can fill that void is prayer—praying to God for His angel thoughts. Mrs. Eddy describes angels in Science and Health as "God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality" (p. 581).

Rather than turn to drugs as a stimulus for creative thought or to arouse us from sadness or boredom, we can reinforce ourselves with God's thoughts. These pure, spiritual intuitions provide comfort and strength, along with practical and immediate answers. They can bring us a breadth of insight wider and more powerful than any drug.

Angel messages inspire us, too. They can inspire us to do the good and natural will of God, which produces happy and satisfying lives. One definition of to inspire is "to inhale." We can inhale goodness, purity, and immortality, which free us from the burden of material dependency. Through this commitment to a spiritual basis for our lives, we turn from seeing ourselves as a material being, controlled by unknown powers. Instead, we understand that we are the man God created. In the Biblical account of creation we find that God created man spiritual, in His likeness, and this likeness was very good (see Gen. 1:26, 31). If we desire to be free from addiction, we need steadfastly to accept our good and pure heritage as God's beloved offspring, including perfect health, happiness, and peace. In turn, we must also stop believing that God has condemned or sentenced His own creation to addiction, pain, suffering, and emptiness.

God deeply loves each and every one of us. He is a merciful, loving Father-Mother, and man is the very expression of His love. God, Love, has never created an addicted mortal, and since He is the only creator, the belief that we can be controlled by material substances must be a lie. This being the case, we can put our full trust in Him to free us from unjust sentences, as did many of the men and women of the Bible, including those who were healed by the Master, Christ Jesus. Paul spoke of this faith when he quoted these words from the book of Psalms: "My flesh shall rest in hope: because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance" (Acts 2:26–28).

Addiction and all of its corruptive side effects—hopelessness, selfishness, dishonesty, and decay—can be washed away. When we turn from the pleasures of sin and accept our spiritual identity, we are purified. That there is actually nothing to recover from is proved when we realize that we have never been anything but the perfect image of God, Love.

In turning away from an addiction and toward God's love, it is important to understand that addiction's seeming hold on us can be broken because it has no power. God is omnipotent, and there is no other power. He governs man, and His government is supreme. Man as God's perfect idea reflects this power, and this spiritual fact will set us free from the false hold of addiction, sin, and disease.

Addiction is a societal disease and a seductive sin. It contributes to the death of feelings of usefulness, and sometimes even of the physical body. But the attraction of addiction cannot endure when it comes face to face with the power of God's love. Mrs. Eddy explains this in a passage from Science and Health: "The power of Christian Science and divine Love is omnipotent. It is indeed adequate to unclasp the hold and to destroy disease, sin, and death" (p. 412).

God is constantly feeding man with His own pure love, and this love satisfies our every thirst, our every craving. His love fills us full and leaves no room for unhappiness, boredom, dissatisfaction. God's love is 100 percent pure and satisfying. It never varies in its quality, and its effect is always good. God's love is not a quick fix. It is an everlasting love that is ever present and fills our life with purpose.  Each day we can pray for His guidance and trustingly place our every care and activity under His direction. When we do, we feel His love in practical ways such as experiencing satisfying relationships, feeling useful and productive in our jobs, and finding opportunities to help our neighbors.

So why wait? His love is free and available to you right now.


JEREMIAH

I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord.

Jeremiah 30:17

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