Let's talk about you and me
Let's talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
So, OK. Let's. Only, let's change things up, baby. Let's talk about sin.
Mention sin and some automatically think of sexual immorality or wrong-doing to a neighbor. But, Christian Science broadens the term to include any action or thought that tries to separate one from the divine source of all good, from God.
When it comes to sin, we have to be willing to look at it. Unmask it. Pop it out from under cover and eliminate its toxic and deadly influence on us. Over the centuries, sin has been discussed under seven so-called carnal or deadly categories - anger, lust, gluttony, sloth, envy, greed, and pride. Under these seven categories you can effectually list any negative trait or behavior that is anti-Christ. Christ Jesus’ Lord’s Prayer can provide a helpful springboard for addressing any category of sin. For example:
Hallowed be Thy name takes care of ANGER. It is God’s name and nature that is hallowed, that is honored and worshipped as holy. True worship involves not just appreciating but reflecting that holy nature. There is no reaction in reflection. Reflection is a response or a giving back to the original, but never a reaction to the original or to any other source.
You know what healed Jacob of his anger and fear at Peniel? He saw God face to face – that’s what Peniel means: "God face to face." Reflection. To see God, was to see himself. So what was that angel Jacob wrestled? A correct view of himself as Godlike. When he glimpsed his own real nature, he found no anger there. Hallowed be God’s nature. Hallowed be yours. (Check out another post on healing anger.)
Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven is a great one for SLOTH. God’s kingdom is the atmosphere of ideas in which we work. God’s will is our motivator and goal. Praying to know and yield to the divine will for good and only good eliminates stubbornness and self-will. This shift produces more order at home and at work. It redeems from procrastination, mental dullness, spiritual apathy and laziness. (Could you use some ideas on mastering self-will? Check out this post.)
Give us this day our daily bread can be really helpful in eliminating GLUTTONY. Hoarding and overindulgence in any form is handled when we drop the fear that what we love or what we need may not be here today. But God’s grace is here today. Everyday. It satisfies our needs and desires. He sends us spiritual ideas to feed our famished affections and meet our needs. Taking what he gives, accepting our daily bread, produces balance and satisfaction. No more overeating, overspending, overindulging, overreacting, over-saving, overstocking, and even oversleeping – all gluttonous behaviors. (Looking for that unlimited supply of grace and good? Check out this post.)
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors is helpful against GREED. It is an equation of sorts with the word “AS” as the equal sign. And Love is reflected in love. God forgives and we forgive. God gives, and we give. The divine Principle, or God, of supply includes balance and generosity and abundance for all. (See another post on this one, too.)
Perhaps the issue with lust is not so much that the suggestions come, as it is that we have the power to choose, as Vashti did, to follow the leadings of good – that is, to acknowledge and act on the natural force, the powerful draw, to purity.
God doesn't lead us into temptation. Ever. Lust is not a natural propensity of man. The Lord’s Prayer helps us master and express our natural propensities for purity, moral courage, and goodness. (Yup, I have an interesting post on sex.)
For THINE is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever is a good line for flushing out PRIDE. I have an old cartoon clipping. Two monks are examining a list of the seven deadly sins. One monk said to the other, “After you’ve successfully resisted the other six deadly sins, its really hard not to be proud!”
What is real belongs to God. Acknowledging God’s kingdom, power and glory is an ultimate statement of humility, and humility counteracts pride – an inflated or deflated sense of one’s self. Pride can take the form of superiority or inferiority. We've got to root out both.
God is the kingdom in which you work, the power with which you work, and the glory for which you work – now and forever. That idea can take you far. (And here are a few more thoughts on the kingdom to nourish your prayers.)
During a class to train Christian Science teachers, a student named Mrs. Otis asked Mary Baker Eddy how she was to demonstrate over weak eyes. The response was, "Make yourself better every hour and don’t think of eyes.” (Joshua Bailey notes, Mary Baker Eddy Library)
Make yourself better every hour. Eliminating the influence of sin in our own lives brings the clearest discernment, deepest compassion, and strongest spiritual authority. It makes one an effective healer.