How I Used Truth - Lesson 2 - Annotation 3
What does it mean "to live more righteous lives" (text, page 36)? What is the "righteous judgment" to which Jesus refers (John 7:24)?
3. To "live more righteous lives" as referred to in the text (How I Used Truth 36) is to live the life of mastery — the Christ life — as brought out in the Annotations for Lesson One of Lessons in Truth. To live a more righteous life means to be so conscious of God's Presence within — guiding, healing, prospering, sustaining, uplifting, freeing, and fulfilling us — that we manifest "holiness" or wholeness in mind, body, and affairs. It means the "right use" of our inner spiritual resources so that life becomes a glorious adventure.
As the word righteous is used in our Scripture it is practically synonymous with the word holy, meaning that which is upright, just, Godlike. Judgment, one of the qualities (ideas) that make up our divine inheritance, is that faculty of mind by which we are able to discern, discriminate, and evaluate properly. By using the judgment faculty we are determining the value of that which we are examining. Judgment enables us to select (choose) that which is of value for the purpose intended. Jesus made the statement,
According to the definitions given above, "righteous judgment" would be the right use of the judgment faculty, that is, judging according to the God standard. When we seek God's guidance in the use of any faculty, we may be sure that it will be expressed and used righteously, for our understanding of it will be based on Truth. To judge by the appearance of another's acts is to fail to take into consideration his intent or motive. Many an act that would be condemned by others can be traced to some soul fear, some frustration, some misunderstanding. This does not mean that we condone an act that is not up to the God standard, but it does mean that our compassion helps us to understand and judge only "righteous judgment."
The text states on page 39: "A wholly true person sees no falsity in another" (How I Used Truth 39). By this we know that one whose heart is turned toward God, seeking to live a righteous life, sees the Christ in others. He sees each person as a growing, unfolding soul, ever learning through life's experiences. He knows that the one who is bound by his belief in sin must find freedom, but that we do not help a person find such freedom by condemning him. If, on the other hand, a person has not found his own freedom from some shortcoming he may become so aware of another's sin that he feels justified in censuring him. He is then judging from the appearance and not from righteous judgment.
As an example, those who have worked untiringly for improvements in the social order have not been blind to the erroneous results that men have brought upon themselves. They know that the mental law of cause and effect has produced in the lives of people many unhappy situations, when the mental causes have not been good. Yet those who have worked in the cause of progress have not wasted time condemning or judging harshly. Instead they have seen those who were enmeshed in unhappy circumstances as children of God, entitled to an inheritance of happiness and well being. Such persons, prompted from within to help their fellowmen, have sought to alleviate the outer conditions that have been contributory to unhappy situations. Throughout history, and especially in this age, we find individuals who have given unstintingly of themselves to bring education where opportunities for learning have been lacking; working for improvement in prison conditions and subsequent rehabilitation; changing slum conditions; making strides in the field of medicine. It has, however, been more than just relief from unbearable outer conditions that such persons have sought for. These "seekers of the light" have worked for the enlightenment that would prevent such conditions being repeated. They have judged "righteous judgment" for they have seen the divine right of every human being to a life of fulfillment. They have dedicated themselves to the aim of helping others to experience such fulfillment.
Preceding Entry: What is the meaning of the word criticize as used in this lesson? How is "condemnation" related to it?
Following Entry: Why should there be no condemnation of any person?