``THE enslavement of man is not legitimate,''1 writes the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. And she also says succinctly, ``God made man free.''2 These statements brought great comfort to me when I was severely addicted to drugs and suffered an eating disorder. Through a correct understanding of God and of man's relationship to Him, I have gained tremendous freedom. As a result of this experience I am confident that no one need be held captive. Healing is possible. No one has to feel that he or she is too frightened or too sinful or too victimized to be able to experience God's healing power. Because each one of us is, in truth, inseparable from God, we can come to prove His care, regardless of the severity of things at the moment.
For many years the eating disorder caused me to vomit several times a day. A few years after this began, I found myself addicted to drugs while under psychiatric care. When I reached a point of utter discouragement, I was invited to a Christian Science lecture. The lecturer discussed the concept of freedom. For the first time in years I felt something penetrate my fear and the addiction. I later called a Christian Science practitioner for help through prayer.
In the first chapter of Genesis we read, ``God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.''3 And a passage from Psalms, referring to God, tells us, ``It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves.''4
The practitioner and I reasoned together that to be the image of God is to be made of all Godlike qualities. God is pure and perfect. And the Bible teaches that God is Spirit. If, then, man is God's image, the true selfhood of each of us must be pure and spiritual, uninfluenced by drugs, food, or phobias. As the likeness of God, of the one perfect Mind, each of us possesses clarity and completeness. This is the spiritual reality, which can be brought to light through prayer. Man in God's image can't have a depressed or dependent mind separate from the divine Mind. Since God did not create imperfections, the man of His creating cannot express them.
This may seem far-fetched to one who would describe himself as addicted or suffering from some other malady. Yet we can't find healing or reach the understanding of who we really are by identifying ourselves at the outset with imperfection, by judging ourselves solely according to the moment's appearances. To demonstrate the truth of God and man, at least to some degree, we need to begin with the spiritual record of creation. Mrs. Eddy says: ``The foundation of mortal discord is a false sense of man's origin. To begin rightly is to end rightly.''5 As we follow the example of Christ Jesus and express our native Godlike qualities, humbly asking God to show us our real selfhood, we gain strength and dominion. Understanding God's control, we increasingly forsake the control of matter. We express freedom, not addiction. Having seen such a clear proof of this, I know freedom awaits those who strive to prove it through prayer and Christly living.
When I believed that I had to have drugs to think, and tried to stop the addiction through human will, I became unbearably afraid, confused, angry, sensitive to noise, and very depressed. At one point I felt I could not breathe. When I turned to God to understand His all-power and to learn more of my true identity as His child, I was completely freed from the use of drugs without treacherous effects of withdrawal.
My captivity was in my belief that drugs had power over me. If there really was a law of drug addiction, forcing me to go through a series of withdrawal symptoms, I couldn't have stopped the pattern. But there was no such law. Through Christian Science I proved God's law was powerful in annulling the so-called material law.
Eventually I gained complete freedom from the eating disorder also. I found that my commitment to spiritual growth broke the enslavement to materiality.
Coming through this experience was not easy, but with persistent effort I was able to let go of false dependencies. This was and is joyous work. God loves us so dearly that He gives us all the understanding we need in order to rely solely upon Him. The reward is great. The reward is freedom.
1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 228. 2Ibid., p. 227. 3Genesis 1:27. 4Psalms 100:3. 5Science and Health, p. 262. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. II Corinthians 3:17