How I Used Truth - Lesson 7 - Annotation 4
How would you help a dear one who appears to be "going wrong" (text, page 75) and expresses unkindness?
4. We help one who appears to be "going wrong" by following the instruction of Jesus Christ to love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matt. 22:39). The first commandment of love that Jesus gave is to love the Lord thy God." When we follow this command we are truly in a position to "love [our] neighbor." Recognition of our relationship to God reveals the relationship of our dear one to the same loving God. Our first reaction, then, must be to place him lovingly in the hands of the Father. After doing this we are open to the guidance God gives us as to what we are to do in the outer to help him.
On page 75 of the text (How I Used Truth 75) Doctor Cady, in referring to a situation such as is under consideration here, says, "it is the absence of love, that is all." This does not mean necessarily that we have ourselves been unloving with the dear one. It does mean, however, that the one who seems to be "going wrong" feels unloved and frustrated; he actually believes in an "absence of love" in spite of the fact that those near him may love him very much. He will continue to feel unloved until he can respond to love from within himself. When one seeking to offer help to another can reach the point of placing that one lovingly in the hands of the Father, this attitude will allow him to be at peace within himself. He will be better able to pray for illumination or spiritual awakening, healing, guidance, harmony, prosperity, or whatever the need may be, for the one he desires to help. When the person praying feels peaceful himself, with no condemnation, the person needing help may feel this peace and begin to open his own soul to God.
Any expression of unkindness is evidence of unrest in a person's own consciousness. There is a lashing-out at what might appear to him to be restraint, or even condemnation. Not having "found" the Christ or God Presence within himself, he may seek for fulfillment in ways that are not in accord with his true nature. His own inner guilt feelings produce the frustration that causes his words and actions to be hurtful to himself and to others. Because the Christ self is always seeking expression through each of us, we can never know fulfillment or inner peace until we are living in accord with the laws of God. One in bondage to a false habit is dissipating his energies in wrong ways. Because this is contrary to his true nature, his attitude toward life and other persons is warped and may result in expressions of unkindness to those closest to him.
A parent, friend, or counselor must first understand the soul need of the one he would help. That one's real need is for spiritual help, which in turn will indicate what outer help is required. The soul needs of people are varied. People need love. They need faith in God, in others, and especially in themselves. A person who is dominating and seeking for the attention of others needs to feel accepted and approved. A person who cannot make decisions has a great need for wisdom and good judgment. Many people need a feeling of security. It is only through making conscious contact with God through prayer that we acquire the insight and understanding to do our part in meeting the needs of another. We need to pour out love to him. We need to show faith in his inner spiritual resources. We need to quicken good judgment in ourselves to be able to do the right thing at the right time.
"Not provoked, taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things" (I Cor. 13:5-7).
Preceding Entry: Explain the meaning of the words temporal and eternal.
Following Entry: How would you "heal" the suffering of poverty?