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.

An Antidote For Envy

envy. An antidote for envyThe New Message from God is certainly not the first spiritual movement to recognize that there are attitudes which enable damaging actions. The Old Testament book of Proverbs considered “a proud look,” “a heart that devises wicked plans” and “a person sowing discord among brothers” to be precursors, as it were, of hurtful errors. Pope Gregory in 590 declared that lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, wrath, envy and pride were seven deadly sins, attitudes which, left uncorrected, would result in lying, thievery, adultery and murder.

An antidote for envy

I consider it important for any spiritual teaching to have an answer for the enabling attitudes, the precursors of errors. I am pleased to report that the New Message from God has an antidote for envy, one of the deadly sins. This antidote appears in Step 244 of Steps to Knowledge “I am honored when others are strong.” I consider the word “strong” to mean “successful in a good endeavor.”

Whenever I have accomplished anything, there was at least one person, possibly many people, involved in the accomplishment. So one doesn’t have to be a great scholar of spirituality to recognize that there are others who are honored when I am strong. But where is the “others” line to be drawn? At the people who directly contributed? The people who prayed for me? The people who gave their good wishes and encouragement? I consider Step 244 to draw the “others” line to include everyone. I consider Step 244 to mean “I am honored when anyone else is strong.”

I am fully aware that there are people reading this and wondering, “Why should I be honored when someone else, someone to whom I made no contribution, is strong?” The answer is that your life is more than your individual life. When someone is strong, when anyone is strong, it means that giving took place. It means that a group effort succeeded. It means that human identification with individuality was weakened. It means that identification with relationships and participation was strengthened. We’re all in this together. Therefore be honored when someone is strong. Be honored when anyone is strong. Receive an antidote for envy

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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.