How I Used Truth - Lesson 4 - Annotation 3
Are we our "brother's keeper" (Gen. 4:9)? Explain.
3. No, we are not our "brother's keeper" in the sense that we are to protect him from the experiences of life that his soul needs to grow into spiritual maturity. His own indwelling Lord is the one to perform this work. We are not his "keeper" in that we are to hold a mental picture of him as limited, weak, unable to succeed without being told by us everything he should do. When we hold such thoughts we are actually encouraging him in his weakness. We make it more difficult for him to overcome and conquer through his conscious acceptance of the power of his own I AM or Lord.
However, we are our "brother's keeper" in the sense that we are to watch our own thoughts, and in our own mind "keep" the true picture of our fellow man as a son of God. We "keep" alert to God's guidance for the ways in which we may be helpful to him when he indicates that he needs our help in his spiritual growing.
"Every man, by his example and word, is his brother's keeper. Jesus said, 'Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.' This does not nullify the innate freedom of your brother, but rather strengthens your ability to co-operate with the good and make it manifest in your life" (Mysteries of Genesis 61).
The wise teacher presents principles with instructions for their right use, then leaves the student free to apply those principles. Such a teacher stands ready to give whatever help is required. However, he does not do for the student what he knows the student can do for himself through application of his own inner resources. We are not our "brother's keeper" in the sense that we refuse to allow him to go forward into life by his own innate power. We are our "brother's keeper" in that faith and understanding can supply him with inspiration and encouragement. Our own alertness to God's guidance can lead us to give whatever physical help is warranted.
We show ourselves truly our "brother's keeper" when we fulfill the command of Jesus to "love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matt. 22:39). This is the "larger love" (text, page 52) to which our lesson refers it is the love that recognizes our "neighbor" as a spiritual being; it recognizes his Christ or I AM self; it is the love that sees him as an illumined child of God, even as realization of these deep truths has come for ourselves individually.
"The best way to help your brother is to pray for him to be spiritually illumined. Then if he has come to a place in his soul development where he is ready to accept Truth, he will have the understanding and desire to seek the indwelling Christ.
"It is never wise to try to force Truth upon anyone. Place your brother 'lovingly in the hands of the Father,' and know that his own indwelling Lord will take care of him until he is open and receptive to ideas of Truth" (Myrtle Fillmore's Healing Letters: page 94).
Preceding Entry: What is a sure sign of a free soul?
Following Entry: What does it mean to proselyte? Why should one not be anxious about the welfare of another's soul?