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Our spiritual defense against the flu

A Christian Science perspective.

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, has continued to cause illness in the United States and other countries during the summer months. In June, the World Health Organization declared the flu to be a pandemic, and since then there have been suggestions that this fall will bring a more serious and possibly deadly outbreak.

Rather than give in to fear or adopt a fatalistic approach, we can take effective spiritual steps today to defend against the spread of disease. The Bible makes clear that God found all that He created to be "very good" (Gen. 1:31). Goodness does not include evil, because they are opposites. Jesus understood that God is all good and has all power, and through this spiritual understanding, he was able to heal people's troubles, including disease. These healing works proved disease to be powerless. Following Jesus' example, we can insist on our own and everyone's exemption from what might seem like the necessity to get sick.

When an illness is widely discussed in the media, this tends to create an atmosphere of fear that includes the expectation of more sickness. I've found that this promise from the book of Isaiah in the Bible relieves my fear of illness and increases my conviction that only good has power: "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (41:10).

To be free from fear involves changing how we view ourselves. By understanding that we are actually spiritual, the children of an entirely good God, we can resist disease and the fear of its inevitability, knowing that He couldn't possibly impart evil to His loved offspring.

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