Chapter 19: Live For Others
This chapter treats acts of charity, loving-kindness, and righteousness which are the outward manifestations of an interior faith. The spiritual life which begins with faith and devotion to Ultimate Reality finds its completion in deeds of compassion, loving-kindness, service, and witness which manifest the Heart of Ultimate Reality in the world: "We love, because He first loved us" (1 John 4.19). Indeed, religion has been convincing to many because it has produced people of love who could surpass the standards of worldly affections.
Living for others is ultimately not a burden or a sacrifice. For those who have reached the goal of life, who have become one with Ultimate Reality, the motivation to give, serve, and love others flows spontaneously from their inmost being. They wish to give and serve for the sake of the other, without seeking any benefit for themselves. Their love is full of forgiveness and tolerance for those who do them wrong, whether from ignorance or from malice. They never find satisfaction in exacting revenge on their enemies, but only in bringing them to salvation. This is the ideal manifested by men and women of True Love, pp. 236-41. But living for others is also an ethic and a discipline which must be cultivated and practiced, for the human heart is often selfish and mean, when compared with the lofty standard of divine love.
Here we gather texts on the various ways in which scripture instructs people of faith to treat others and to properly love them. These include: (1) an attitude of loving-kindness and compassion; (2) selfless service for the sake of others; (3) sacrificial and suffering love; (4) the principle of giving and receiving, that is, of giving first without the purpose of receiving a return; (5) charity to the poor and hospitality to strangers; (6) forgiveness of those who do us wrong and tolerance of others' failings; (7) cautions against judging others, for who is without fault?; (8) loving your enemy and requiting evil with good; (9) turning the other cheek; (10) good works; (11) honest labor and good industry which benefits the community as well as oneself; (12) honesty and truthfulness; and (13) witnessing to the Truth in order to share with others the blessings of salvation.
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