An Antidote For Discouragement

Sopranos At Dinner. An antidote for discouragementI believe the ancient Israelite psalmist Asaph did the world a great favor by confessing his unhappiness and bewilderment with the prosperity of the wicked in his day. It wasn’t merely that he envied their prosperity, but something much worse. He was discouraged from being good and doing good by the success of the arrogant. He was troubled that God would permit such a discouragement to take place. In Psalm 73, Asaph wrote:

Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.
If I had spoken out like that,
I would have betrayed your children.
When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply. (Psalm 73:13-16, New International Version)

An antidote for discouragement

When I read about the seven deadly sins, I discovered that there were two varieties of the sin of sloth. One variety of sloth is the laziness or indolence commonly associated with sloth. Another variety is the sloth of discouragement, the unwillingness to do good because of the belief that justice cannot or will not triumph.

I am pleased to share an antidote for discouragement from the New Message from God. This antidote is found in Step 245 of Steps to Knowledge. Step 245 teaches “When others fail, I am reminded of the need for Knowledge.”

I consider the word “fail” in this context to mean “fail to do the right thing, fail to demonstrate good character, fail to act consistently with one’s true self.” In this context, Knowledge is used to signify the great mystery of a person’s life, the greater aspect of mind that we have brought with us from our Ancient Home.

The very first sentence of the step seems to say to me “and by ‘the need for Knowledge,’ we mean ‘your need for Knowledge.'” As I pondered this step further, the step seemed to say to me “and by ‘your need for Knowledge,’ we mean ‘your need to practice, your need to follow the practices (stillness, inner listening, mental investigation, etc.) of Steps to Knowledge.'” It is as if this step is discouraging from looking at those who fail and saying “There for the grace of God go I.” It is as if this step is encouraging me to look at those who fail and say “There for the lack of my practice go I.” An antidote for discouragement over those who fail is to be found in the practice studio, in making the effort to become a better person.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

I Will Not Be Afraid Of My Will

The Sermon on the Mount by Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1598. I will not be afraid of my own will.In the final portion of what is now known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:21-27), Jesus says something that I didn’t expect him to say. I have read and heard this passage many times, but I’ve never heard a preacher or a commentator fully address my disquietude on the subject.

I will not be afraid of my will

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23, New International Version)

The last sentence is the one that gets me. I expected Jesus to say “Then I will tell them plainly, ‘You didn’t do the will of my Father. Away from me, you evildoers!'” But instead he says “I never knew you,” as if that was the most terrible indictment he could bring against a human being.

Perhaps when the audience heard the phrase “does the will of my Father,” they imagined the miraculous demonstrations Jesus mentioned in the following sentence. Perhaps Jesus felt a need to disabuse his audience of those imaginings. I don’t claim to be a Bible scholar. I don’t believe you need to be a Bible scholar to see that one of the points of this passage is that Jesus teaches it is the will of his Father to be known by Jesus.

I am sharing this because something in Step 43 “My will is to know God” of Steps to Knowledge said something along these lines, even more succinctly:

“Your will is to know God. Do not be afraid of your will. You are created by God. God’s will is to know you. Your will is to know God. There is no other will. All motivations other than this are born merely of confusion and fear. To know God gives God power and gives you power as well.”

I cry out with the psalmist David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” (Psalm 139:23, New International Version). I cry out with Jesus “Not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36, New International Version). I cry out “I will to will your will, O God.” I will not be afraid of my will.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.