I am impressed to know that so many of us are present and active in study groups. And many who believe the truth of this revelation have formed true family associations that are actively engaged in various projects of learning and disseminating the teachings. It’s just wonderful to see all this happening.
Many of us embrace the challenge of serving our Father and others by becoming workers for the kingdom of God. Those who love The Urantia Book revelation approach this purpose with great enthusiasm and true devotion.
When we act enthusiastically to attract more souls to the kingdom of God, there are many different approaches. But no matter which approach we use, we certainly want everyone to feel the same attraction to the revelation as we do.
However, I have observed that some of us are convinced that “converting” our fellows in favor of this revelation is a great grace and a precious service to others and to the Father. We often deliver impassioned speeches or go out of our way to build up arguments to demonstrate why others must change and how, upon discovering The Urantia Book, each of us must behave in the future. At times, some of us are astonished when faced with confronting situations caused by students of The Urantia Book that, according to our understanding, should not have occurred or are not acceptable. In some situations, our over-zealousness towards non-students of the teachings may cause the encounter to become argumentative when trying to convince that person to change.
My messengers must not strive with men, but be gentle toward all. [Paper 140:6:9, page 1577.3]
Always respect the personality of man. Never should a righteous cause be promoted by force; spiritual victories can be won only by spiritual power. … Overpowering arguments and mental superiority are not to be employed to coerce men and women into the kingdom. [Paper 159:3.2, page 1765.4]
Of course, in this approach, we always have the best of intentions. In fact, we dedicate great effort and have an unprecedented enthusiasm and desire for the grace of revelation to transform everyone around us. We hope that those who seek God, especially those who know the revelation, will wholeheartedly dedicate their lives to our Father. Of course, such a transformation would be very good if it didn’t imply abandoning our experiences of growth and improvement.
When our approach is over-demanding, self-righteous, or judgmental, we interrupt our loving service by showing a lack of compassion, empathy, and mercy, not only with our brothers and sisters but also with ourselves. It undermines the potential of others as well as their capacity for spiritual growth and success. As a consequence, others may struggle to understand our purpose and to question not only our “support” and “friendship,” but also the teachings of the book. Rather than attracting others to the revelation, we push them away.
We can always serve God and our fellows with enthusiasm and dedication. But our chances of success are greatly improved whenever our approach is one of love, friendship, and tolerance. As Jesus said:
In my Father’s kingdom there shall be neither Jew nor gentile, only those who seek perfection through service, for I declare that he who would be great in my Father’s kingdom must first become server of all. If you are willing to serve your fellows, you shall sit down with me in my kingdom, even as, by serving in the similitude of the creature, I shall presently sit down with my Father in his kingdom. [Paper 137:8.11, page 1536.8]
Let’s keep working with devotion and enthusiasm. Let’s be patient, tolerant and affectionate.