Motivation .. The love of God or Need of humanity?

Sep 2017
303
Earth
#1
Should my motivation to teach come from the love of God or the needs of humanity?

My motivation seems to Be springing from my love of God and his perfection rather then the needs of humanity and that’s because I believe God will guide whoever searches for him ‘Those who strive for us we shall surely guide them to our ways’ this makes me feel there is not a major need for me to be rushing around trying to guide people but I feel that most Bahá’í always talk about the urgent needs of humanity but my motivations can’t come when I feel there is contradictions in my heart. I still feel like teaching purely out of my love for his cause even if nobody wants to listen that’s fine
 
Jul 2017
229
Kettering, Ohio USA
#2
Wholly for the sake of God he should proclaim His Message, and with that same spirit accept whatever response his words may evoke in his hearer.
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 339)
 
Jun 2014
1,008
Wisconsin
#3
Should my motivation to teach come from the love of God or the needs of humanity?

My motivation seems to Be springing from my love of God and his perfection rather then the needs of humanity and that’s because I believe God will guide whoever searches for him ‘Those who strive for us we shall surely guide them to our ways’ this makes me feel there is not a major need for me to be rushing around trying to guide people but I feel that most Bahá’í always talk about the urgent needs of humanity but my motivations can’t come when I feel there is contradictions in my heart. I still feel like teaching purely out of my love for his cause even if nobody wants to listen that’s fine
I likewise don't feel the need to rush around at all.

I mean we know that souls continue spiritual development after death. We know souls are eternal.

So what's the rush to guide people??
 
Jul 2017
287
Olympia, WA, USA
#4
Should my motivation to teach come from the love of God or the needs of humanity?

My motivation seems to Be springing from my love of God and his perfection rather then the needs of humanity and that’s because I believe God will guide whoever searches for him ‘Those who strive for us we shall surely guide them to our ways’ this makes me feel there is not a major need for me to be rushing around trying to guide people but I feel that most Bahá’í always talk about the urgent needs of humanity but my motivations can’t come when I feel there is contradictions in my heart. I still feel like teaching purely out of my love for his cause even if nobody wants to listen that’s fine
I do not think it is an either/or. I think that motivation to teach could come from both. The world needs this message urgently, but only if you love God will that message reach the hearer.

“My object is none other than the betterment of the world and the tranquillity of its peoples. The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established. This unity can never be achieved so long as the counsels which the Pen of the Most High hath revealed are suffered to pass unheeded.”

I think it is very easy for us to pick certain passages in the Writings and think we know what they mean. That is why we need to read other passages, in order to verify that what we think is correct.

‘Those who strive for us we shall surely guide them to our ways’ needs to be considered in light of the following passage.

“What “oppression” is greater than that which hath been recounted? What “oppression” is more grievous than that a soul seeking the truth, and wishing to attain unto the knowledge of God, should know not where to go for it and from whom to seek it? For opinions have sorely differed, and the ways unto the attainment of God have multiplied. This “oppression” is the essential feature of every Revelation. Unless it cometh to pass, the Sun of Truth will not be made manifest. For the break of the morn of divine guidance must needs follow the darkness of the night of error. For this reason, in all chronicles and traditions reference hath been made unto these things, namely that iniquity shall cover the surface of the earth and darkness shall envelop mankind. As the traditions referred to are well known, and as the purpose of this servant is to be brief, He will refrain from quoting the text of these traditions.”

I know there are many people seeking the truth about God, but they are confused because “the ways unto the attainment of God have multiplied”just as Baha’u’llah said in this passage. So it is not as if they are just going to go on the internet and find the Baha’i Faith without any guidance from Baha’is.

Moreover, in the United States I can hardly believe how many people tell me they never heard of the Baha’i Faith and of those who have heard if it many think it is a sect of Islam or even a cult! The Christians and other defamers have done a good job of trying to misrepresent the Baha’i Faith on the internet. I know all of this because I have spent all my free time during the last six years posting to people on forums.

You said: “I still feel like teaching purely out of my love for his cause even if nobody wants to listen that’s fine.” That is the right attitude, according to what Baha’u’llah wrote.

“It behoveth him to fix his gaze upon the fundamentals of His Faith, and to labor diligently for its propagation. Wholly for the sake of God he should proclaim His Message, and with that same spirit accept whatever response his words may evoke in his hearer. He who shall accept and believe, shall receive his reward; and he who shall turn away, shall receive none other than his own punishment.”
 
Likes: Traveller
Jul 2017
287
Olympia, WA, USA
#5
I likewise don't feel the need to rush around at all.

I mean we know that souls continue spiritual development after death. We know souls are eternal.

So what's the rush to guide people??
I am pretty confused by what you said. I mean if it does not even matter if people recognize Baha’u’llah before they die, why did Baha’u’llah write this?

“The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Day Spring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof, hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 330-331

“Thou hast gained admittance into the Paradise of God’s Remembrance, through thy recognition of Him Who is the Embodiment of that Remembrance amongst men.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 303

And, regarding eternal life, Baha’u’llah said the same thing Jesus said in His Day. If it did not matter if they came to believe in Jesus or Baha’u’llah in this mortal life, why did they say what is below?

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

“The Book of God is wide open, and His Word is summoning mankind unto Him. No more than a mere handful, however, hath been found willing to cleave to His Cause, or to become the instruments for its promotion. These few have been endued with the Divine Elixir that can, alone, transmute into purest gold the dross of the world, and have been empowered to administer the infallible remedy for all the ills that afflict the children of men. No man can obtain everlasting life, unless he embraceth the truth of this inestimable, this wondrous, and sublime Revelation.”

“Incline your ears to the sweet melody of this Prisoner. Arise, and lift up your voices, that haply they that are fast asleep may be awakened. Say: O ye who are as dead! The Hand of Divine bounty proffereth unto you the Water of Life. Hasten and drink your fill. Whoso hath been re-born in this Day, shall never die; whoso remaineth dead, shall never live.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 213

And now we have what Shoghi Effendi said. Notice he said it is possible, but it is a sign of the loving mercy of the Almighty. In other words, these souls will be dependent upon the mercy of God and the prayers of others, but there is no guarantee they will get either one.

"Concerning your question whether a soul can receive knowledge of the Truth in the world beyond. Such a knowledge is surely possible, and is but a sign of the loving mercy of the Almighty. We can, through our prayers, help every soul to gradually attain this high station, even if it has failed to reach it in this world. The progress of the soul does not come to an end with death. It rather starts along a new line. Bahá'u'lláh teaches that great and far-reaching possibilities await the soul in the other world. Spiritual progress in that realm is infinite, and no man, while on this earth, can visualize its full power and extent."
(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, May 22, 1935)

"With reference to Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet in which He says that all the relatives of believers will reach the Kingdom in the other world: By this is meant only a partial attainment. They can, however, progress indefinitely, as spiritual progress in the other world is limitless, and is not confined to those who have attained unto the knowledge and recognition of the Cause while still in this world."
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, April 30, 1940)

It’s too bad we do not know more about the afterlife and the eternal destiny of believers other than Baha’is, as well as the eternal destiny of nonbelievers. There must have been a reason why Baha’u’llah did not reveal more about this. What we do have is rather vague:

“Death proffereth unto every confident believer the cup that is life indeed. It bestoweth joy, and is the bearer of gladness. It conferreth the gift of everlasting life.

As to those that have tasted of the fruit of man’s earthly existence, which is the recognition of the one true God, exalted be His glory, their life hereafter is such as We are unable to describe. The knowledge thereof is with God, alone, the Lord of all worlds.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 345-346

So does that mean it does not matter if someone is a Christian or a Muslim, as long as they are a confident believer?Then we have the following passage... Who are the followers of the one true God, anyone who believes in an Abrahamic religion? What happened to Atheists?

“It is clear and evident that all men shall, after their physical death, estimate the worth of their deeds, and realize all that their hands have wrought. I swear by the Day Star that shineth above the horizon of Divine power! They that are the followers of the one true God shall,the moment they depart out of this life, experience such joy and gladness as would be impossible to describe, while they that live in error shall be seized with such fear and trembling, and shall be filled with such consternation, as nothing can exceed. Well is it with him that hath quaffed the choice and incorruptible wine of faith through the gracious favor and the manifold bounties of Him Who is the Lord of all Faiths…”

There are other quotes that say that if we do not develop spiritually in this world we will be handicapped in the next world, because we will not have the free will in the in order to acquire what we can acquire here. This sounds pretty serious to me, but we cannot assume that just not believing in Baha’u’llah will mean souls will be handicapped.

All that said and quoted, the rush to teach the Cause may or may not be because of the destiny of people in the afterlife. It might be because we need more people to become Baha’is in order to build the Kingdom of God on earth, sooner than later. It might also be because of the afterlife, given what Baha’u’llah wrote: “No man can obtain everlasting life, unless he embraceth the truth of this inestimable, this wondrous, and sublime Revelation.”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 183

I can only speak for myself, why I think it is important to proclaim and teach the Cause, more important than anything else I will ever do in this life. Below are my four favorite passages, there are many more:

“Say: Teach ye the Cause of God, O people of Bahá, for God hath prescribed unto every one the duty of proclaiming His Message, and regardeth it as the most meritorious of all deeds. Such a deed is acceptable only when he that teacheth the Cause is already a firm believer in God, the Supreme Protector, the Gracious, the Almighty. He hath, moreover, ordained that His Cause be taught through the power of men’s utterance, and not through resort to violence. Thus hath His ordinance been sent down from the Kingdom of Him Who is the Most Exalted, the All-Wise. Beware lest ye contend with any one, nay, strive to make him aware of the truth with kindly manner and most convincing exhortation. If your hearer respond, he will have responded to his own behoof, and if not, turn ye away from him, and set your faces towards God’s sacred Court, the seat of resplendent holiness.”

“The Pen of the Most High hath decreed and imposed upon every one the obligation to teach this Cause…. God will, no doubt, inspire whosoever detacheth himself from all else but Him, and will cause the pure waters of wisdom and utterance to gush out and flow copiously from his heart. Verily, thy Lord, the All-Merciful, is powerful to do as He willeth, and ordaineth whatsoever He pleaseth.

Wert thou to consider this world, and realize how fleeting are the things that pertain unto it, thou wouldst choose to tread no path except the path of service to the Cause of thy Lord. None would have the power to deter thee from celebrating His praise, though all men should arise to oppose thee.
Go thou straight on and persevere in His service. Say: O people! The Day, promised unto you in all the Scriptures, is now come. Fear ye God, and withhold not yourselves from recognizing the One Who is the Object of your creation. Hasten ye unto Him. Better is this for you than the world and all that is therein. Would that ye could perceive it!”
“O ye beloved of God! Repose not yourselves on your couches, nay bestir yourselves as soon as ye recognize your Lord, the Creator, and hear of the things which have befallen Him, and hasten to His assistance. Unloose your tongues, and proclaim unceasingly His Cause. This shall be better for you than all the treasures of the past and of the future, if ye be of them that comprehend this truth.”

“Gird up the loins of thine endeavor, that haply thou mayest guide thy neighbor to the law of God, the Most Merciful. Such an act, verily, excelleth all other acts in the sight of God, the All-Possessing, the Most High. Such must be thy steadfastness in the Cause of God, that no earthly thing whatsoever will have the power to deter thee from thy duty. Though the powers of earth be leagued against thee, though all men dispute with thee, thou must remain unshaken.

Be unrestrained as the wind, while carrying the Message of Him Who hath caused the Dawn of Divine Guidance to break. Consider, how the wind, faithful to that which God hath ordained, bloweth upon all the regions of the earth, be they inhabited or desolate. Neither the sight of desolation, nor the evidences of prosperity, can either pain or please it. It bloweth in every direction, as bidden by its Creator. So should be every one that claimeth to be a lover of the one true God. It behoveth him to fix his gaze upon the fundamentals of His Faith, and to labor diligently for its propagation. Wholly for the sake of God he should proclaim His Message, and with that same spirit accept whatever response his words may evoke in his hearer. He who shall accept and believe, shall receive his reward; and he who shall turn away, shall receive none other than his own punishment.”
 
Last edited:
Sep 2017
303
Earth
#6
Concerning your question whether a soul can receive knowledge of the Truth in the world beyond. Such a knowledge is surely possible, and it is a sign of the loving mercy of the Almighty. We can, through our prayers, help every soul to gradually attain this high station, even if it has failed to reach it in this world. The progress of the soul does not come to an end with death. It rather starts along a new line. Bahá’u’lláh teaches that great and far-reaching possibilities await the soul in the other world. Spiritual progress in that realm is infinite, and no man, while on earth, can visualize its full power and extent.

It is possible for a soul, not only to recognize the Truth in the next world, but also to make up for "lost opportunities". Shoghi Effendi in the following letters written on his behalf to individual believers states:

No man can "obtain everlasting life" in the full sense of the term, except through acknowledging the Manifestation of God, in this age, Bahá’u’lláh. If he doesn't do it in this world he will have a chance to progress in the next one. (19 March 1946)

Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty.
 
Jul 2017
287
Olympia, WA, USA
#7
Concerning your question whether a soul can receive knowledge of the Truth in the world beyond. Such a knowledge is surely possible, and it is a sign of the loving mercy of the Almighty. We can, through our prayers, help every soul to gradually attain this high station, even if it has failed to reach it in this world. The progress of the soul does not come to an end with death. It rather starts along a new line. Bahá’u’lláh teaches that great and far-reaching possibilities await the soul in the other world. Spiritual progress in that realm is infinite, and no man, while on earth, can visualize its full power and extent.

It is possible for a soul, not only to recognize the Truth in the next world, but also to make up for "lost opportunities". Shoghi Effendi in the following letters written on his behalf to individual believers states:

No man can "obtain everlasting life" in the full sense of the term, except through acknowledging the Manifestation of God, in this age, Bahá’u’lláh. If he doesn't do it in this world he will have a chance to progress in the next one. (19 March 1946)

Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty.
If I do not buy a house now when mortgage rates are still low, I might not have another chance, because mortgage rates are going up. There is a chance that mortgage rates will come down again, but how much of a chance is there?

Free will won’t get anyone anything in the afterlife, IF what Abdu’l-Baha said about free will is actually true. That means everyone will have to depend upon (a) the mercy of God and (b) the prayers of others to make progress in the next world.

"To 'get to heaven' as you say is dependent on two things--faith in the Manifestation of God in His Day, in other words in this age in Bahá'u'lláh; and good deeds, in other words living to the best of our ability a noble life and doing unto others as we would be done by. But we must always remember that our existence and everything we have or ever will have is dependent upon the mercy of God and His bounty, and therefore He can accept into His heaven, which is really nearness to Him, even the lowliest if He pleases. We always have the hope of receiving His mercy if we reach out for it." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, January 12, 1957)

IMHO, if one has faith in God and frees themselves from worldly desires then they would have a better chance of making spiritual progress in the afterlife, and possibly recognizing Baha’u’llah, if they had not done so in this world.

But here is the thing... It is not as if a person who did not believe in God or want to be close to God is going to suddenly change after they die. If they were attached to the world and self that is not going to suddenly change, because that is what their soul has become.

“Thou hast asked Me concerning the nature of the soul. Know, verily, that the soul is a sign of God, a heavenly gem whose reality the most learned of men hath failed to grasp, and whose mystery no mind, however acute, can ever hope to unravel. It is the first among all created things to declare the excellence of its Creator, the first to recognize His glory, to cleave to His truth, and to bow down in adoration before Him. If it be faithful to God, it will reflect His light, and will, eventually, return unto Him. If it fail, however, in its allegiance to its Creator, it will become a victim to self and passion, and will, in the end, sink in their depths...” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 158-159

Those people who became a victim to self and passion won’t even want to be in heaven because it is foreign to them and uncomfortable. I always believed this but I further confirmed some of this by reading the book entitled Heaven and Hell. I do not care that it is not a Baha’i book. It so closely mirrors what Baha’u’llah wrote that I am lending it credence although I have some issues with it; the main issue stems from the fact that it was written in 1758, before the Revelation of Baha’u’llah, so there are things the author could not have known.

40: O MY SERVANT! Free thyself from the fetters of this world, and loose thy soul from the prison of self. Seize thy chance, for it will come to thee no more. The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 36

It is not as if we can live for the world and self and then after we die God will have mercy and change our soul into what we should have made it by virtue of our own free will choices and the life we lived. The purpose of this life is not to have fun and live for self. Baha’u’llah could not have been more clear about that. All the Prophets taught this so people really have no excuse. We reap what we sow. Those who did not know about Baha’u’llah but led a good life can probably come to know about Him after they die because they will be receptive to Truth.

There are many people who were told about Baha’u’llah over and over and over again, yet rejected Him, made fun of Him even said horrible things about Him... I don’t see why a just God should give them a second chance. On the other hand, I am not God, so God will do whatever He considers just. Only God can know the heart of any person, so I am only seeing what I see on the surface. I hope these people who knew about Baha’u’llah yet rejected Him will realize they were wrong after they die. I want nothing but the best for every soul. That is the main reason I talk to everyone I can. Everyone deserves a chance, but what they believe has to be their own choice, and all choices have consequences. There are rewards and punishments both in this world and the next.

“O My servant, who hast sought the good-pleasure of God and clung to His love on the Day when all except a few who were endued with insight have broken away from Him! May God, through His grace, recompense thee with a generous, an incorruptible and everlasting reward, inasmuch as thou hast sought Him on the Day when eyes were blinded.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 36

“We, verily, have decreed in Our Book a goodly and bountiful reward to whosoever will turn away from wickedness and lead a chaste and godly life. He, in truth, is the Great Giver, the All-Bountiful.”

“It behoveth him to fix his gaze upon the fundamentals of His Faith, and to labor diligently for its propagation. Wholly for the sake of God he should proclaim His Message, and with that same spirit accept whatever response his words may evoke in his hearer. He who shall accept and believe, shall receive his reward; and he who shall turn away, shall receive none other than his own punishment.”
 
Likes: Yousefy2
Sep 2017
303
Earth
#8
I agree with everything you say. I guess I believe everyone should attain paradise because sin is ignorance and lack of knowledge, and knowledge of my own ignorance is a bounty from God and not from our own doing
 
Jul 2017
287
Olympia, WA, USA
#9
I agree with everything you say. I guess I believe everyone should attain paradise because sin is ignorance and lack of knowledge, and knowledge of my own ignorance is a bounty from God and not from our own doing
God gave us all free will, but unfortunately some people are willfully ignorant, so they might remain ignorant in the afterlife, unless they reach out to God and God has mercy upon them.

You must have fulfilled some of the essential conditions delineated in the Tablet of the True Seeker. Two conditions i see in you right off the bat are sincerity and humility. Some of this is your own doing, but the fact that you are always giving credit to God just shows your humility.

“These are among the attributes of the exalted, and constitute the hall-mark of the spiritually-minded. They have already been mentioned in connection with the requirements of the wayfarers that tread the path of Positive Knowledge. When the detached wayfarer and sincere seeker hath fulfilled these essential conditions, then and only then can he be called a true seeker. Whensoever he hath fulfilled the conditions implied in the verse: “Whoso maketh efforts for Us,” he shall enjoy the blessings conferred by the words: “In Our Ways shall We assuredly guide him.””
 

Similar threads