If we do the will of God, eternal life is ours—no mere continuity of existence, for that in itself is worthless as hell, but a being that is one with the essential Life, and so within his reach to fill with the abundant and endless out-goings of his love. Our souls shall be vessels ever growing, filled with more and more life proceeding from the Father and the Son. What abundance of life he came that we might have, we can never know until we have it. But to be for one moment aware of such pure simple love towards but one of my fellows as I trust I shall one day have towards each, must of itself bring a sense of life such as the utmost effort of my imagination can but feebly shadow now. There would be, even in that one love, an expansion of life inexpressible. For we are made for love, not for self. Our neighbor is our refuge; self is our demon-foe. Every man is the image of God to every man, and in proportion as we love him, we shall know that sacred fact.
If there are readers to whom my words seem but foolish excitement, it can be nothing to them to be told that I seem to myself to speak only the words of truth and soberness. Such as they have not yet begun to live. Little can they, with minds full of petty cares, or still more petty ambitions, understand the groaning and travailing of the creation. It may be that they are honestly desirous of saving their own wretched souls, but as yet can they know but little of their need of him who is the first and the last and the living one.
by Diane Adams
Materialism drives our culture. When someone asks you what you are, he’s not asking about your soul, whether it's bitter, joyful, hopeful, or fearful. He does not want to know, often cannot even comprehend, that what you are could be more than a social position, more even than the actions you perform in life, even the good ones. He asks to find out your career, your position in the status of the pack, so he can mark you as above or below himself in the race to define ourselves by what things we can possess.
The brutal judgement of a materialist culture creates a desperate scramble among its inmates. One must be ‘successful’, must have things to show for what she has accomplished. Everything is viewed from the outside in, defining a person according to matter, not spirit. Anxiety, fear, self-loathing, jealousy, and depression are the result of such thinking,
Living successfully, from a spiritual perspective, requires a different measurement. It is not what we do, what we say, what we have, or even what we believe. The measurement, which I believe is God’s measurement, is what are we becoming, inside?
Love is not something you can conjure up simply because you know you should. Love flows out of how we understand God, who we believe he is. In the materialist’s world, the physical is everything. How a person behaves, what he looks like, how he speaks, who he knows and mainly, at the root of all that, how much money he has determine his value. From the materialist perspective, love is engendered by either envy or self-satisfaction at the expense of another. Elevating the spiritual, the intangibles of life such as peace, beauty, kindness and love weakens the flesh. From the spiritual mind comes the ability to truly love another person. From the heart of materialism, comes judgement, anger, argument and self-measurement. Man looks on the outside, God sees the heart. To love his way, we must see his way.
To define people spiritually instead of in material terms, to see that we are all, like the grass and the birds and every other living creature, in the process of becoming, creates a way to see outside the cultural clutter and instinct, into the Kingdom of God. We are all becoming like him, albeit some more slowly than others.
Raise the spiritual in your own life and you will love others naturally, without a battle--not with a grimacing effort of reluctant repulsion under the saddle of religion, or the soulless envy created by the new age of materialism, but through the lens that looks inside, at what a person is becoming--a vision that sees what we all are going to be, in the spiritual realm. We cannot help but love when we see this way, when we know every soul is being brought to fullness, brought to choose life and joy and love forever. This is God’s lens.