“The inanimate as well as the animate is called upon, depended upon for service. All use is replaced with service, and appreciation replaces the callousness with which use once occurred. (A Course of Love, 20.38)”
Affirmation: “I will not use another person today.”
1 – Use
We are led to understand in A Course of Love that much of our time on earth has been a reaching out to others to “use” them in some way. We have known that we need others, but rather than love those others with a wholehearted embrace, we have chosen to “love” those who can do something for us, who can answer some need within ourselves. This is to use the other person.
2 – Self-Interest
What a sad way to live! And, most importantly, it won’t work, even if our egoic notions are telling us that it will. Other people, whether religious or not, know when our interest in them is tainted by self-interest, and other people naturally recoil from this. Only in special relationships, in which it seems that each person has something that he/she can gain from the other, is there even the illusion of a mutual exchange. And the special relationship does not stay special. Frequently, if it doesn’t evolve into a holy relationship, the special relationship deteriorates into hate. Our needs fail to be met by the other, and we hold that against him/her.
3 – Service
We do not need to use others. We need to be of service to them. And the best things that we do will justify us in our own eyes. We will feel guilt no longer. We will experience the love that we are meant to experience, for we are giving, not “using” another. When we give, we also receive, for both are equal in God’s sight. Only when we give and receive in equal parts do we share the holiness that is ours by birthright (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).
4 – Appreciation
When we are of service, we naturally appreciate the one whom we are serving. We do not treat him or her with contempt or callousness any longer. Our way has brightened, and we are once again on the way back to God. What better way than to walk with Jesus along a brighter path?
May I serve others today, in the best connotations of what Jesus meant. May I not let self-interest cause me to “use” anybody for any reason whatsoever. May I not stoop to that level.
Help me to ask You how I might best be of service to others. Let me not see the need for service where it would be unwelcome. Help me to withdraw if another does not want me near. Help me to follow Your guidance in such matters.
Be with me as I seek to expand my service over the coming days and weeks. I would do more for You, but only the more that You ask.