How I Used Truth - Lesson 4 - Annotation 8
Should one who is apparently "going wrong" be specifically treated for his "sins"?
8. One who is apparently "going wrong" should never be specifically treated for his "sins." Rather, he should be lifted up in prayer into the healing light and love of the Christ presence within him. Through prayer, the miracle-working, healing power of the Christ (I AM) is released through that one, and he is quickened, awakened, uplifted, and healed. In this way he is free from the belief in and the habit of sin. To deal with some outer moral lapse specifically is to hold a mental picture of it in one's own mind, and thus unconsciously bind the so-called sinner to his "sins" or mistakes.
In Lesson Three of How I Used Truth, the Annotations deal with what it is that has to be overcome: the negative or limited beliefs that have produced undesirable conditions. Thus in handling the situation of one, who according to our standard, is "going wrong" we use a Truth approach. We seek to understand the frustrations, the fears, the anxieties, the feelings of helplessness that have produced actions of which we disapprove. We do not put our attention on the negative result, or what is often termed the "sin" (falling short) but on the mental cause back of it. With compassion and understanding we see that the person needs to understand himself as a spiritual being, and his relationship to God. This is the only way for him to overcome the negative mental causes.
Our lessons have brought out that in God's universal plan or purpose, sin has no reality. Sin is man's name for the result of failure to live according to divine law. It is not something that can be dealt with of itself. It is like the wrong answer that the student of mathematics gets: he cannot deal with the wrong figures themselves, juggling them around to get the right answer. He has but one recourse -- to go to the principle of mathematics, and apply it in the right way. We waste no time bemoaning the outer result, either for ourselves or for others for whom we would pray. Instead we return to God, the Principle of our life, for the resolving of the problem.
When we turn in consciousness to Jehovah (or the Lord indwelling) help is always given. It does not matter whether it is individual help or help for another one who seems to us to be "going wrong." When we are praying for another, all thought that he is "going wrong" must be dropped. The assurance that God is working in him to bring illumination must be uppermost in our mind. Our prayers, rather than being words of condemnation, must be affirmations of the truth of his being; we should no longer see the so-called "sins" looming greater than the reality of his being.
In Lesson Two, How I Used Truth, we found explanation in the Annotations of the remark made on page 39 of the text: "we prove ourselves guilty of the same fault" (How I Used Truth 39). It is a consciousness lowered from the God-standard that produces actions which society considers wrong, but our condemnation of another for such actions stems from a lowered consciousness also. Thus we are "guilty of the same fault" of acting below the standard of love and understanding. So to specifically treat another for his "sins" could put us in the category of condemning him. We need to look beyond the so-called "sin" to the soul-need of the person. This need is always for some divine quality or idea. An individual may bind himself with frustrations and anxieties, but regardless of his limiting thoughts, our real "treatment" is to know him as the free son of God,
Whatever has come into a person's life has sprung from seed thoughts, good or bad, and we cannot change the "reaping." We can, however, help him through our understanding, our prayers, and our compassion to make his own inner changes. He can be encouraged to change the type of "sowing" he has done in his consciousness, so that a new harvest of good may come forth. The law of "sowing and reaping" (Gal. 6:7) is an individual matter and as the text has pointed out on page 52,
Preceding Entry: To whom should each soul turn for guidance?
Following Entry: What did Jesus mean when He said, "I am the door" (John 10:9) and also "I am the way" (John 14:6)?