By Keith Wommack — In a recent column, I wrote about my escape from shoulder pain by the use of prayerful treatments. What I didn’t detail was the mental course correction that took place because of the treatment.
The day before the pain began, my wife and I were playing with Kirby, a small kitten we’d rescued off the street. During our playtime, the kitten bit my finger. I yelled, “Ouch!” And while I was staring at a spot on my finger, my wife looked at me, shook her head, and said, “For someone who heals others’ problems by affirming they are safe in God’s care, you’re sure making a big deal out of a little pain.”
My wife wasn’t being mean. She was trying to get me to employ the spiritual understanding to free myself that I utilize in helping others. Yet, instead of accepting her words as intuitive and constructive, I smugly thought, “Well, if that’s what she thinks, I just won’t tell her the next time I feel pain.”
The next morning, I awoke with the shoulder pain. The pain was so extreme I couldn’t hide it. With my head hung low, I had to tell my wife that I needed help. And because of an inability to move my arm, she assisted me in putting on my shirt and jacket and performing other daily activities.
This was when I phoned a friend, a fellow Christian Science practitioner, and asked for prayerful help.
Anger, pride, envy, dishonesty, selfishness — all sin — has unpleasant consequences. The entire body can be affected by thought. How we feel is connected and subject to how we think.
Brazen sins that society considers most offensive obviously need correction, but even minor ethical and moral weaknesses that receive mere shoulder shrugs can be equally harmful to health and should be dealt with, never ignored.
Not all sickness or injury can be chalked up to sin. And mentally digging for hidden sin may actually be counter-productive, a wild goose chase. All the same, while praying, if a correction is needed, sin will often stand out like a discordant note that breaks the harmony of what was, up until then, a perfectly played song.
So, in my case, where did I begin?
Conventional thought about a supreme Spirit suggests that God creates or allows evil and suffering, but I am finding that Spirit is the power that erases evil and ends suffering.
With the help of the practitioner’s treatment, I recognized what the trouble really was and that it was not a part of how Spirit had made me to be, and I knew I could live my life without it.
In other words, first, I affirmed that I was the spiritual child of God, created to express divine harmony and goodness. Second, I recognized the weakness or sin of pride I’d accepted as a part of myself. Then, I rejoiced that I had the opportunity and God-given ability to use the truth of the first to reject the falsity of the second.
And that’s what happened. Once the pride was erased, the pain began to fade and soon completely disappeared.
Both sins and mistakes cause trouble. But the two are dissimilar: A mistake is an unintentional action caused by ignorance, whereas sin is more than a mistake. It is a conscious course of wrongdoing. Mistakes can be corrected by knowledge. However, sin is erased by a change in or yielding one’s willful course.
Which leads to the question: What makes us do wrong when we want to do right?
The Apostle Paul may have answered this question best: “There is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. …Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ…”
Paul’s reply shows health to have more of a spiritual or theological answer than a physiological one. And in order to learn how the man Jesus healed, I’m finding it important to gain in my understanding of the divinity and potency of Christ.
The following description has been helpful: “Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures)
Jesus’ receptivity and obedience to God’s message earned him the title of Jesus Christ.
People of all faith traditions are finding that this powerful, divine message helps them make needed small and big course corrections. Christ has provided them a new kind of life, a new set of values, where selfishness and want give way to spiritual joy, dignity, and mental authority. Christ frees them to glorify or express Spirit more passionately and consistently.
Again, to overcome a mistake, knowledge is needed. As well, to stop sin’s impact on health, sin must stop.
Overcoming sin can involve a prolonged struggle. Yet, affirming harmony and goodness, while recognizing and rejecting the sins we might be accepting as a part of our identity, allow us to escape sin’s painful consequences.
– Keith Wommack is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher, Syndicated Columnist, husband, and step-dad. He has been described as a spiritual spur (since every horse needs a little nudge now and then). Keith’s columns originate at: KeithWommack.com