Tag Archives: service

Using Our Talents in Service to Others

“How can one’s talent cause another to be less talented? How can one’s service deprive anyone else of the right to serve? No two are alike. Only in God are all the same.” (ACOL, C:29.23)

We are not to be jealous of another’s talents nor service. In God our talents and our service are equal with our brothers and sisters, but not in time—only in God’s eternity. Here some temporarily seem to have more, and some less; this is not an actual fact, because there are always compensations in other talents and in other service. But we cannot see the whole picture, and so we think we see inequity.

If another brother or sister seems more talented, know that this does in no way influence our talent. Or less talented. The cornucopia of gifts from God is always full.

Likewise, our service. We can do more at one time, but later on we will do less. And the difference is inconsequential in eternity.

Let God direct the use of our talents, and let Him direct the choice of our service. We can live well only when we are uniquely ourselves. And when we know that our differences are not important.

Jealousy has no basis outside the judgment of the ego. And we are fast leaving the ego behind. Our evaluations won’t work, won’t get us where we want to go. Only in tolerance of others and in appreciation for their talents and service can we come to embody our own talents and service. This is because we are all One, in God, and in our sharing of each other’s gifts, we walk a pathway that is strewn with flowers. These flowers are our talents and our service, and only in true guidance from the inner Christ Self do these talents and service blossom into magnificent gifts to return to our Creator and our brothers and sisters.

All of us WILL find our way home again. And we will make contributions that are universal in scope when we realize that in every one is the One who embodies the All.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would pray that my talents and my service dovetail today. I would do for others what I would wish done for myself. Giving and receiving are one in truth.

Be with me as I seek to walk through this day creditably. May the blessings that you rain down upon me help me to make a contribution that will be helpful.

Amen.

Finding the Relationship that Heals

“Use, in any form, leads to bondage, and so to perceive a world based on use is to see a world where freedom is impossible.” (ACOL, C:9.43)

When we use another for our own ends, we do ourselves and them a great disservice. We, this passage would tell us, are in bondage as well as they. And freedom is impossible.

We need to be of service to each other, of course, but this is different from “using” another. We have often, in egoic terms, looked out on our world and tried to imagine what we might gain from another. Our special relationships are virtually always based on this fallacious way of thinking.

In special relationships, we look around for people who have exceptional traits, traits that will complement our own. Often these traits are superficial attractions, often physical appearance. As the special relationship proceeds, we are caught in more and more ways by our ego. We seek to have what our special other has, to consume rather than to give. And this never works very well.

The fact that special relationships are meant for “use” rather than “service” is often not noticed by the individuals involved. But we notice the great drama that occurs in the context of these relationships, the highs and the lows. The highs entrap us, so that we don’t want to let go, and, importantly, we often do not want either to transform the relationship into something better. That something better is a holy relationship with service at is center. Service to the other, which also gives to ourselves, for giving and receiving, as I have noted, is described in A Course of Love as being equal.

We want to fall into expressions of love, and this in itself will transform the special in our relationships into holy. This is not simply saying “I love you” at the right times. This is a fundamental change of outlook. A choice of the selfless in which the Self is truly found. And the Self is the Christ in us.

So don’t look for the ways that we can use each other. This will never work well, and it won’t work at all for very long. The way to a lasting and transformed relationship is to love without any thought of what we can get in return. And this takes “use” out of the equation.

Ask today, in prayer, what we might do to transform all of our special relationships into holy ones. That is the aim for all, ALL, of our relationships.

And it will be no surprise that we are healed.

Wonders Felt by the Heart

“Child of God, you need no imaginary friend when you have beside you he who is your friend always and would show you that you have no needs at all. What you truly are cannot be used, not even by God. See you not that it is only in illusion that you can use others who are like yourself?” (ACOL, C:9.31)

Jesus is here talking about himself, not as an imaginary friend but as a real entity taking us by the hand and leading us to ultimate salvation. He has often in A Course of Love indicated that he is with us, guiding us. He apparently clones himself, outside time and space, to be anywhere that he wishes, with anyone, simultaneously.

We will have to believe even in the face of our disbelief. We will have to realize that there are wonders possible in this universe that we cannot comprehend. Jesus’s omnipresence is one such mystery. But if his assurances give us comfort, should we not make the tiny effort to understand and to believe?

We are encouraged in ACOL not to use others, but to serve them. Our service to others is the important point. Never do we get anything lasting out of trying to “use up” the value of another, to our own benefit. This is an egoic urge, a very selfish one, and one of which we need to be forewarned. In this world, previously, we have often “used” others to our own benefit. We have offered conditional love, predicated on getting something from another. And then, when we get the something that we want, we think we love in return.

Such is not love, but use. We have diminished the worth of our exalted brothers and sisters by turning them into agents of our need. But we learn that we have no needs, that our needs have all been met and are being met. So why do we continue to seek to use others? And why do they comply?

It is a matter of wanting love. We learn in ACOL that giving and receiving are one, and in learning this, we are sure that service is our best response to others. When we serve them, we set ourselves up to receive the best that they can offer. But we have not “used” them to gain. It is an even exchange.

We don’t use Jesus when we accept his free offer of help, of guidance in this world, of him being with us in this world. He offers to serve us, and we accept, knowing that in turn we will serve others. And the mission that Jesus is upon becomes clear to us in this equal exchange.

We love and are loved in return, but not in a conditional sense. The love is freely offered, and then given in return, and we are free of egoic using of another free individual. Our minds and hearts are in the right place, finally.

No Longer Use People / Serve Them

“The inanimate as well as the animate is called upon, depended upon for service.  All use Farmhouses in a Wheat Field van goghis 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.”

Reflections:

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?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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.

Amen.