How I Used Truth - Lesson 4 - Annotation 2
What is a sure sign of a free soul?
2. A sure sign of a free soul is one's knowing the Truth about God, about himself, about others, or about life itself. "If ye abide in my word. . . ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:3l:32).
A free soul is no longer in bondage to limited beliefs. He is willing to grant the same freedom to another that he desires for himself. He allows the other person to find God, to unfold his own spiritual resources in his own way, according to the needs of his own soul. With the dawning of this consciousness, the free soul sees the same God working in his fellow man as is working in him in order to bring each one into the consciousness that "the Father abiding [within me] doeth his works" (John 14:10).
Since we are created in the image and after the likeness of God, spiritual freedom is given to us as our birthright. However, while this freedom is ours in essence, it is like any inherent right -- it is only ours as we fulfill the conditions that enable us to claim it. Inability to grant the same liberty to other unfolding souls -- the "liberty which we have in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 2:4) -- prevents our being free in actuality.
The mental, emotional, and physical freedom we grant to another must be granted without condemnation of mistakes he may be making. He can only experience according to his understanding and use of the principles of life. The Christ pattern in us will have one way of unfolding, while the Christ pattern in another will require a different method, each depending on the individual's stage of soul development. The truly free soul says in effect to his fellow man:
Love and understanding become vital qualities in our freeing of others. Added to these qualities must be the faith that each individual has in his own Lord or law of being. There must be faith in the inherent right of every person to choose the way of soul development that is right for him at any stage of his soul's awareness.
Refusal to grant freedom to others to discover their own inner source of strength might be likened to our desire to keep the acorn on the surface of the ground, for fear that it might get hurt or lost if it should sink down into the wet, dark earth! If the acorn is to develop into a full-grown tree, it must sink to a level sufficiently deep to enable it to push its roots into the earth, from whence it can draw the needed substance, strength, and stability to produce a strong oak tree. So it is with the individual. He must find his own level and must learn to be "rooted and grounded" (Eph. 3:17) in Spirit within. Only in this way can he produce an outer structure (body and affairs) that will bear the spiritual fruit for which he was created.
"As we think of others as God's children, we see them in a new light. We understand how it is that they are trying to unfold and use the faculties and powers God has implanted in them and we have compassion if they seem to fall short at times. We also have power to speak Truth for them, to bless them, and to help them" (How to Let God Help You 19).
Preceding Entry: What fact seems particularly difficult for one person to remember in regard to another?
Following Entry: Are we our "brother's keeper" (Gen. 4:9)? Explain.