How I Used Truth - Lesson 2 - Annotation 8

How I Used Truth - Lesson 2 - Annotation 8

In the light of Jesus' teachings, how can we handle the attitude of mind that condemns another?

8. In our desire to handle an attitude of condemnation of another we start with the realization of Jesus' teaching of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. To reach this understanding much prayer work (including denial and affirmation) is necessary to awaken the love and compassion that can erase a condemnatory habit of mind.

Where there is love for another, our compassion sees beyond the outer act, recognizing only the soul need. We have the example of Jesus, as well as His teaching, for on the cross He said,

"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

We need to reach the level of loving understanding where we can say of another's wrong acts, without any sense of condemnation, "He does not know what he is doing." Then we are able to handle any attitude of adverse criticism in the Jesus Christ way.

On page 39 of the text it is mentioned that by condemnation or adverse criticism we "prove ourselves guilty of the same fault" (How I Used Truth 39). Some have interpreted this to mean that by our condemnation we are guilty of an experience similar to that which we condemn in another. However, the fault we condemn in another is primarily one of a lowered consciousness which led to some wrong act. By our very attitude of condemnation we indicate that we too have lowered our consciousness from the God standard. Our attitude is thus not one of love or understanding. In this sense we are "guilty of the same fault."

"A man may be just in all his dealings, yet if he condemns others for their injustice, that thought action will bring him into unjust conditions; so it is not safe to judge except in the Absolute" (Charles Fillmore Christian Healing 122).

One may not be an alcoholic, yet in condemning another who has fallen into the habit of alcoholism he is "working against God"; he is himself failing to fulfill God's law of love. One may not be a thief, yet condemnation of one who is guilty of stealing is evidence of lack of understanding. The condemner has not considered that the thief does not yet know that because his good is already established for him in God, he does not need to take the possessions of others. But the one who condemns has fallen short of God's law of understanding.

Recognition of error is not necessarily condemnation. The gospel records of the ministry of Jesus indicate that He recognized illnesses, injustices, and wrongdoing, but He did not condemn nor participate in condemnation of these conditions. Rather He understood the spiritual possibilities for healing and right conduct that were inherent in the ill and the unfortunate, and called these possibilities into expression. His works were accomplished not through criticism and condemnation but through understanding and faith. There is a vast difference between recognizing a mistake in order to correct it, and pointing a finger at the accused without offering a solution. In His teachings and His own life, Jesus offered the solution for mistakes. He pointed men to God through prayer so that they might get the guidance necessary to assure right conduct.

Parents and guardians must recognize what needs correcting in children. When this is done in a spirit of love and understanding rather than condemnation, it becomes part of each child's "growing up" process. Condemnation of a child's wrong acts can, on the other hand, actually cause those acts to be temporarily fastened to him so that fears, frustrations, and resentments become ingrained in his conscious" ness. It was said of Jesus at the age of twelve,

"And the child grew, and waxed strong, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him" (Luke 2:40).

Not only children but all of us walking life's pathway need to be "filled with wisdom" so that the "grace of God" is upon us also. When we release ourselves or others release us from condemnation, we are able to stand forth as the free, radiant sons of God that we truly are!

Preceding Entry: What causes a condemnatory attitude of mind?
Following Entry: How are we one with God and with each other?