Spiritual integrity overcomes temptation
Christian Science teaches that we can resist temptations of all kinds by becoming conscious of what we really are as the sons and daughters of God. The man God created is spiritual, perfect, harmonious, honest, sincere, immortal, inviolable. These qualities, which constitute the very substance of man’s being, cannot limit us. On the contrary, they elevate, strengthen, and support us as we strive to follow the example of Christ Jesus in our daily lives.
God is the only Mind, the source of all the intelligence and motives of man. To be conscious of this is to understand that we have innate spiritual integrity that cannot be corrupted by sensualism, dishonesty, or any other moral weakness. Whatever temptation we seem to be facing, God furnishes us with the inspiration we need to maintain our self-control. We just need to be willing to trust and obey God.
To get a clear view of our true, spiritual selfhood, it’s helpful to consider the question, “What does God see in us?” The Bible says that God is “of purer eyes than to behold evil” (Habakkuk 1:13 ). God sees in us the reflection of His own purity, governed solely by the laws of divine Principle. With our sense of purity and integrity firmly established in our thoughts, our consciousness is filled with spiritual good, and nothing else can enter our thinking.
Divine Mind’s ideas live in harmony with divine Love and with each other. There are no separations or conflicts in the Father’s house (divine consciousness), where we all live, and where all is under His perfect control.
I knew getting involved in a relationship with her would not bless either of us.
I had the opportunity to prove the practicality of these spiritual truths a few years ago when a client of mine, a woman who was going through a divorce, began to show signs of having sensual intentions toward me. I knew getting involved in a relationship with her would be wrong and would not bless either of us. I was committed to obeying the moral and spiritual teachings of Christian Science, including the commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14 ). Even allowing myself to be mentally distracted or mesmerized by her behavior would be a step in the wrong direction. I knew, as our Master, Christ Jesus, declared bluntly, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matthew 15:13 ).
Faced with this situation, I remembered the spiritual facts mentioned above and immediately began to pray for myself, turning to God for guidance. The understanding of man’s true spiritual identity and oneness with God helped me see that my client was struggling with a false concept of her identity and of love. I recalled a helpful statement from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “A spiritual idea has not a single element of error, and this truth removes properly whatever is offensive” (p. 463 ).
I continued praying to see that the true identity of each of us, including the woman’s husband, is spiritual—not a single element of that identity is material or sexual. As God’s beloved ideas, we cannot stray from His government, but must express fidelity, affection, and stability. Therefore, perfection and harmony are at the heart of every relationship.
I continued praying along these lines until I felt at peace. Less than two weeks later, the woman informed me that order had been reestablished in her marriage and that she was going to rejoin her husband. Thinking of a line from the Lord’s Prayer, “Lead us not into temptation” (Matthew 6:13 ), I rejoiced and blessed our Father-Mother God. When our prayers are sincere, they are always exalted.