HITHERTO FEW of us have had any idea of the destructive potency of condemnatory words or thoughts. Even among Truth students who know the power of every spoken word -- and because they know it, so much greater is that power -- there is a widespread tendency to condemn the churches and all orthodox Christians, to criticize and speak despairingly of students of different schools (as though there could be only one school of Christ), and even to discuss among themselves the failings of individuals who, in ways differing from their own, are earnestly seeking to find the Christ.
Let us stop and see what we are doing. Why should we condemn the churches? Did not Jesus "continue to teach in the synagogues"? He did not withdraw from the church and speak of it contemptuously. Nay, He remained in it, trying to show people wherein they were making mistakes, trying to lead them up to a higher view of God as their Father, and to stimulate them to live more truly righteous lives. If He found hypocrisy in the churches, He did not content Himself with saying, "I am holier than thou," but He remained with them and taught them a more excellent way: that the inside of the platter must be made clean.
Is the servant greater than his Lord? Shall not we, whom the Father has called into such marvelous light, rather help those sitting in darkness, even in the churches, than utter one word of condemnation against them? A loyal son does not condemn his father and his mother because in their day and generation, with the limitations of their day, they did not grow up to his present standard. We do not condemn the tallow candle or the stage coach because we have grown into a knowledge of electricity and steam power. We only see that out of the old grew the new, and that the old was necessary to the new.
God, in His eternal purposes, is carrying every living person on toward a higher knowledge of the Truth, a more perfect evolvement of Himself through the soul. If some are being pushed on into the light of Truth and consequent liberty more rapidly than others, shall they turn and rend those who are walking more slowly but just as surely toward the perfect light? Nay, nay; but let them, praising God for the marvelous revelation of Himself within their own souls, lift up rather than condemn any who are struggling toward the light. Let them become workers together with God, doers of the law, not judges.
Let no man who has been born into a knowledge of God ever dare again to speak or even think
disparagingly of or to any who seemingly are behind him in spiritual growth, lest by so doing he be found working against God, who is infinite wisdom as well as love.
Jesus said to the disciples, after they had come into the consciousness of their oneness with the Father by receiving "the Holy Spirit," "Whose soever sins ye forgive they are forgiven unto them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." Oh, with what mighty meaning these words are fraught, in this new light that God has given us! See how our speaking, aye, our very thinking, of the sins or mistakes of others tends to fasten those mistakes on them as realities.
Strong, positive thoughts of condemnation to anyone by any person will strike that one and give him the physical sensation of having been hit in the pit of the stomach with a cobblestone. If he does not immediately rouse himself to throw off the feeling -- as he easily can do by looking into his Father's face and saying over and over until it becomes reality to him, "Thou, God, approvest me" -- it will destroy for the time being his consciousness of perfect life, and he will fall into a belief of weakness and bitter discouragement more quickly than from any other cause.
We read that the eyes of our God are too pure
to behold iniquity. An absolutely pure person sees no licentiousness in another. A wholly true person sees no falsity in another. Perfect love responds not to envy, or fear, or jealousy in another. It "thinketh no evil." Jesus said, "The prince of the world cometh: and he hath nothing in me" -- that is, nothing to respond to anything in himself. So, unless there is something within us that responds to sin in others we shall not see it in them. "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." the moment we begin to criticize or condemn another, we prove ourselves guilty of the same fault to which we are giving cognizance.
All condemnation springs from looking at personality. Personality (Latin, persona, a mask) is the outward appearance, not the real self. That anyone utters a word of condemnation of another is the surest proof that he himself is yet living largely in the external of his being, the personality; that he has not yet risen at all beyond the plane of those to whom the pure Nazarene said: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Just in proportion as we return to God, as we withdraw from the external to the within of ourselves, keeping our thoughts centered on Him who is perfect, shall we lose sight of personality, of divisions and differences, and become conscious of our oneness with one
another and our oneness with God, Our Father.
We are one always and forever, whether we realize it or not. Knowing this, do you not see a new meaning in the words, "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged"?
"God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him." Yet when Philip said to Jesus, "Show us the Father," Jesus replied, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Then, if God does not condemn, shall we, dare we, even in the smallest things? To each of us the Master says, "What is that to thee? follow thou me."
Not while we are looking at the imperfect either in ourselves or in our brother, but while we "beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit."
Preceding Entry: How I Used Truth 17-35: 1. Finding The Christ in Ourselves
Following Entry: How I Used Truth 41-46: 3. In His Name