Weekly Drinking Parties

A common thought at my school is that in order to have fun you should partake in weekly drinking parties. This thought has always perplexed me, because I look at all of the fun things my friends and I do without using alcohol. I often wonder why people feel that way. Why do people think that alcohol provides such a fun time? Why do people get such a thrill out of regaling others on Monday about the party over the weekend where so-and-so was so drunk? Are those who don’t drink missing out on something good?

It doesn’t look that way to me. Joy is a quality of God, and I have seen that people who drink at these parties are trying to find joy in material things. But drinking alcohol is not imperative in order to be happy. In fact, instead of providing joy, drinking takes it away by removing clarity of thought. It clouds and hampers judgment and wisdom. Realizing this has inspired me to reach out and love these individuals who seem to be dependent on that kind of weekend partying. I know they are all inherently good individuals, children of God.

At one party I went to, some of the people started playing all sorts of drinking games. I was able to feel clear and be at peace. No one pressured me to drink, but soon I felt strongly that I needed to leave. I left and felt, again, a sense of tremendous calm and peace. I knew that God was my guide, and that I didn’t have to feel sorry for myself or dumb because I didn’t want to drink.

A couple of days later, a friend who had been at the same party told me how much she respected and admired my actions. She said she had been drinking because she felt she had to. I am so grateful that God looks out for our every action and protects us from feeling insecure or self-conscious if we don’t follow the crowd.
Anjuli Graunke
Brookfield, Wisconsin

Here’s help.
God’s success story
By Kathleen J. Wiegand

Is addiction to alcohol (or drugs), at best, something to be put on the back burner in hopes that it won’t boil over in your life? No. Such addiction need not be a part of anyone’s life.

Every problem has a solution in God.

A skeptic might respond, "But I drink—or I smoke or I take drugs—and as many times as I’ve tried to quit, I’ve never succeeded."

For many years I struggled with a severe drinking problem—the accumulation of years of social drinking that finally became uncontrollable. I had often tried to stop, with no success. Then Christian Science found me. I experienced many physical healings, yet the drinking persisted. As my understanding of my relation to God blossomed, I came to hate the drinking habit more and more, and longed for healing.

One day after struggling not to give in to having a drink, I turned to God for help as never before. Feeling that the urge to drink was winning, I poured myself a glass of wine. On sipping it I found I couldn’t swallow, because the wine tasted awful. I poured it out and made another type of drink but couldn’t swallow it either. This went on three more times. I then realized that I had been healed. From that day on I never had another drink, experienced no withdrawal from the alcohol, and have never spent a moment missing it. Since then my life has been overflowing with a rich sense of worth, self-respect, and genuine satisfaction.

"That’s fine for you," you may be thinking, "but how does that help me?" In looking back on this experience, I realize that I was gradually gaining a different concept of myself. The old view was that I was weak and had probably inherited a propensity for alcoholism, which would make it almost impossible for me to break the habit. But through my study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health, I was coming to understand that I actually live in God’s universe, where there are no addicts, no hereditary traits, no destructive cycles. I was pure and good. The same change of perspective can take place in you.

The first step toward overcoming my addiction was the genuine desire to stop. Although at the time I didn’t know how to do that, and maybe you don’t know how either, the desire itself got me started in the right direction. It signaled the beginning of repentance, or changed thinking, and involved an honest look within myself. This awakening to my need for change was really a recognition of, or response to, the Christ—the true idea of God. This idea that comes from God is communicating to each of us our true nature as children of God. Christ tells us—reminds us, actually—that we’re not addicts or hopeless losers. The Apostle John speaks of the Christ as "the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (John 1:9). Mary Baker Eddy defines Christ as "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (p. 583).

How could a propensity to addiction be part of God’s child? God has created you and me out of His own goodness, strength, satisfaction, and intelligence. Furthermore, God is Spirit, so as His children, each of us is actually spiritual. What power could alcohol, for example, have over a spiritual idea? It can no more overpower integrity, justice, uprightness, wisdom, and mercy—to name just a few aspects of one’s nature as Spirit’s expression—than it can overpower God. After all, what’s true about God’s nature is also true about us, because in truth we are His expression, His image and likeness.

Once I really faced the need for a change, I knew that in order to be free from this addiction I had to take a stand. In other words, what’s then necessary is a genuine effort at reform. For me, it was as though I had been seeing myself in a distorted carnival mirror. The need now was to turn away from that image and to see myself as normal. This step required moral courage, but my desire for healing was genuine, and God supported the effort. Once again, Christ came to my aid, in the very way the author of Science and Health describes here: "The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship" (p. 316). The more I turned from a distorted sense of myself as a mortal sinner—once I had decided that the drinking had to stop—the better I could see that alcohol held no real attraction for me, and had no power to make me keep drinking. This proved a strong foundation on which to stand.

Healing comes with yielding to God’s will and accepting all the good He intends for His children. God never sends suffering. Rather, the suffering—whether from addiction or any other trouble—comes from clinging to the desire to act contrary to the will of God, good. Reading the Bible, communing with God, and living to the best of one’s ability a Christlike life—such activities bless a sincere desire to reform.

What happens next is best of all: the belief that one is addicted disappears, and no interest remains in pursuing a route like that again. Spiritual healing is not a process of placing a choke collar on the addiction in order to control it. No, this kind of healing reveals a whole new person—the true you—for whom addiction never existed. Such regeneration is real healing.

You can win against the lie that says you’re stuck and can’t get out. I know from experience. Freedom from addiction is right at hand if you will turn to God with an earnest desire to learn of your inseparability from Him. He has not abandoned you—He never will. You are God’s success story.

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