How I Used Truth - Lesson 4 - Annotation 4
What does it mean to proselyte? Why should one not be anxious about the welfare of another's soul?
4. To proselyte means, according to Webster's dictionary, "to convert to some religion, opinion, system, or the like." In modern usage it carries more the meaning of attempting to convert or change another against his will (and not always with success). As used in this lesson of the text it carries the thought of an attempt by one who has discovered Truth for himself to force it upon others. If we have found a way to step out of bondage into freedom in mind, body, and affairs, it seems only natural to want to proclaim that this is the way others must go. However, there is no Biblical evidence of Jesus forcing His message upon anyone. When John the Baptist sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus if He were the Messiah, Jesus said to them:
"Go and tell John the things which ye hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up and the poor have good tidings preached to them" (Matt. 11:4, 5).
If our particular way of "finding the Christ in ourselves" has brought definite results in our life, then these results can stand as evidence of the effectiveness of this way of spiritual unfoldment for us. However, it does not necessarily follow that our path will be the right path for another individual.
"But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to the weak" (I Cor. 8:9).
Each person's development, or releasing of his spiritual powers, is an individual matter. No two species of plants develop in exactly the same way. As no two persons are exactly alike in consciousness, or in their human experience, so their spiritual expansion will not necessarily follow the same method.
Once we have started on the pathway of Truth, a vital point we must learn is that it is not our responsibility to interfere with the specific process of soul unfoldment in another. Our responsibility is to allow ourselves to be guided by God to render whatever service is needed as another person seeks to bring forth the divine pattern in his mind, body, and affairs. All the qualities or ideas of God, Divine Mind, are included in this pattern. At a certain time in his experience, one person may be developing faith, or zeal. His dear one or his neighbor may be unfolding love, or understanding. Each one will have his own individual way of soul growth. Only the indwelling Lord or I AM can know the plan of unfoldment for each soul. Our Scripture says,
"Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him" (Matt. 6:8). For harmony in our human relationships, it is essential that we know that God is working through each person to provide for his soul needs as well as his physical needs. These needs are provided for according to the level of every man's understanding, acceptance and use of the laws of life.
We will not be anxious about the welfare of another's soul if we realize that he has within him the Comforter or the Spirit of Truth, which Jesus said would "guide you into all the truth" (John 16:13). Very often an anxious person will say that his reluctance to allow those near and dear to him to follow their own way of unfolding spiritually stems from his love for them. However, the denial of freedom to grow spiritually is not the expression of love in its truest sense. Thus we need, as the text points out on page 52,
It does indeed take "this larger love" to erase anxiety and impatience regarding our dear ones. The love that sees beyond outer, limited appearances in a loved one's life is the love referred to in I John 4:l8 -- "Perfect love casteth out fear." Our anxiety or worry about another's development is an indication that we have not completely accepted the fundamental truth that
Preceding Entry: Are we our "brother's keeper" (Gen. 4:9)? Explain.
Following Entry: What causes a person to seek that which is higher than he is now experiencing?