The Hippocratic oath taken by doctors avows to ‘first do no harm’. And many of them go way beyond that – taking great lengths to pursue ways for their patients to experience better health. But Canadian doctors are in a quandary. Recently, opioid prescriptions for chronic pain have led to unintended consequences – a national epidemic due to the addictive nature of prescription painkillers.
Scientists have long struggled to make sense of the human tendency toward addiction with the latest research seeking a source in genetics. Throughout the course of human history, addiction – in any form – is a false attraction to something that clouds the moral bedrock underlying life.
Yet, since the early 20th century, a number of programs have developed around the idea of helping dependent individuals gain a greater sense of inner self-worth. These programs encourage their members to reshape their thinking in order to discover – or rediscover – that moral bedrock, i.e. their relationship to the Divine, God. And, these programs have shown some success in helping addicts turn the tide on their struggle.
Here’s the story of one individual who found a way to spiritually transform her thinking and be free of her addiction.
Migraines can be debilitating, and Marta tells of finding herself addicted to painkillers to find relief. She loathed herself for being helpless to end the addiction, but didn’t know how. Then she started to read a book titled Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. As she read, the concepts in the book brought her a feeling of closeness to God. Marta felt her life transforming – regaining her self-esteem and inner dignity. She knew that through being governed by God, she could be free from her addiction; and that was the end of her migraines and any medication.
The author of the book cited above, Mary Baker Eddy, was no stranger to chronic pain and suffering. A semi-invalid half her life, she tried many of the cures of her day – even the “Graham” system – a diet that left her in an even worse state. However, it was her inner spiritual journey that really answered her quest for better health.
The catalyst for this journey was a near-fatal fall from which she quickly recovered after pondering a biblical account of one of Jesus’ healings. This experience inspired her to study the Bible deeply for the next three years – the words and works of Jesus were her teachers. The more she understood God’s goodness and His love for her – His child – the better health she experienced.
Eddy shared what she understood about Christian healing with others, helping them to find health and wholeness. She considered the practice of healing central to today’s Christian ministry – not something miraculous from a time gone past. Her journey resulted in a worldwide healing movement and the establishment of the Christian Science church, a publishing company, as well as an international newspaper – the Christian Science Monitor.
“It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony,” writes Eddy in her seminal work Science and Health (pg. 390). This non-medical, spiritual approach of prayer-based healing continues to this day as a theology that so deepens our understanding of God’s goodness, and ourselves as his “image” (Gen. 1:26) that health, including freedom from drug-induced addictions, is a natural outcome.
The truth of our heritage as God’s beloved creation enables us to claim freedom from anything that would try to hold us captive. Especially when solutions to the problem are not forthcoming! The promise Jesus gave us: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (NLT John 8:32), is ours to discover and experience as much today as it was in his time.
You can read this article in several Metroland Media outlets such as Niagara This Week.