By their fruits you shall know them
“The lamp of the body is the eye; if, therefore, your eye is generous, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is selfish, the whole body will be filled with darkness. If the very light which is in you is turned to darkness, how great is that darkness!”
Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and be led to glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
While light dispels darkness, it can also be so “blinding” as to confuse and frustrate. We are admonished to let our light so shine that our fellows will be guided into new and godly paths of enhanced living. Our light should so shine as not to attract attention to self. Even one’s vocation can be utilized as an effective “reflector” for the dissemination of this light of life.
Strong characters are not derived from not doing wrong but rather from actually doing right. Unselfishness is the badge of human greatness. The highest levels of self-realization are attained by worship and service. The happy and effective person is motivated, not by fear of wrongdoing, but by love of right doing.
“By their fruits you shall know them.” Personality is basically changeless; that which changes — grows — is the moral character. The major error of modern religions is negativism. The tree which bears no fruit is “hewn down and cast into the fire.” Moral worth cannot be derived from mere repression — obeying the injunction “Thou shalt not.” Fear and shame are unworthy motivations for religious living. Religion is valid only when it reveals the fatherhood of God and enhances the brotherhood of men.
An effective philosophy of living is formed by a combination of cosmic insight and the total of one’s emotional reactions to the social and economic environment. Remember: While inherited urges cannot be fundamentally modified, emotional responses to such urges can be changed; therefore the moral nature can be modified, character can be improved. In the strong character emotional responses are integrated and coordinated, and thus is produced a unified personality. Deficient unification weakens the moral nature and engenders unhappiness.
Without a worthy goal, life becomes aimless and unprofitable, and much unhappiness results. Jesus’ discourse at the ordination of the twelve constitutes a master philosophy of life. Jesus exhorted his followers to exercise experiential faith. He admonished them not to depend on mere intellectual assent, credulity, and established authority.
Education should be a technique of learning (discovering) the better methods of gratifying our natural and inherited urges, and happiness is the resulting total of these enhanced techniques of emotional satisfactions. Happiness is little dependent on environment, though pleasing surroundings may greatly contribute thereto.
Every mortal really craves to be a complete person, to be perfect even as the Father in heaven is perfect, and such attainment is possible because in the last analysis the “universe is truly fatherly.”
Excerpt made possible by Urantia Book