Healthy Habits of a Life of Faith
Week 5: October 8
living a lifestyle of service
Last week we explored life of purpose given to us by God. This week, we will look at living a lifestyle of service. The most valuable lessons in life and the most important growth in character and heart take place when we place the needs of others before our own.
People of mature character put the needs of others above their self-interest and open their hearts to the giving and receiving of love. Such training of humility and service provides a foundation for a mature character. The challenges of cultivating our heart and character are life-long. The more we grow in heart and character the better able we are to form harmonious relationships and contribute to a culture of peace.
This growth process begins in the family. Caring experiences at home promote a well-balanced character and enable us to relate well with many kinds of people. An old man on the street can be respected as our grandfather. A woman our age can be treated as our sister. Little children playing in the schoolyard can be regarded as our children, or our younger siblings. There is a natural human longing for caring relationships and caring communities.
The heart and motivation with which we serve is what gives value to our actions. True Parents taught that when you give and love unconditionally, the love is returned to you. It’s a Universal Principle. The more you give, the more you receive eventually. However, the receiving part is not the main point of serving. People are moved and attracted by an unconditional giving and loving attitude which resembles God’s heart and love.
ON THIS WEEK'S CALL/MEET UP:
- What’s a recent experience where you gave and grew from it?
- Do you feel like it is important to take care of yourself when striving to live for the sake of others?
- Is it harder for you to receive or give love? Why?
“The essence of love is to cast aside any thought of having others live for one’s self; it is to live for the sake of others and give for the whole. Love gives, but then forgets even the fact that it has given and continues to give without ceasing. This is a love that gives in joy.” - page 212 in Peace Loving Global Citizen
“Up to this point we have been talking about living for the sake of others, but not anymore. From now on, we need to talk about living for the sake of others and the self at the same time. Who are others? "Others" includes "me." We say we have to live for the sake of the Cain world, but that is not exactly so. We must bring them to us because those others and I are actually one body. This is no longer the time for teaching the principle of living for the sake of others; rather, we should teach living for the sake of "others and me." We have to bring our partners to the point that they become one with us, and in so doing, we make something greater -- "us." Then we can go to the kingdom of heaven together” - CSG, Book 4
“Consciously or unconsciously, every one of us does render some service or other. If we cultivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger, and will make, not only our own happiness, but that of the world at large.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
This week, we invite you to a service challenge! For at least three days, begin each morning with an act of service. ie. Make a cup of tea for someone, do the leftover dishes, listen with empathy to someone that’s challenging to love, give your parent a back rub, etc. Good luck!
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