The Life of Religion Is to Do Good

Participate in the life of love.

Love consists in willing what one has to be another's, and in feeling the other's delight as delight within oneself. That is what it is to love. (Divine Love and Wisdom 47)

The Lord created each of us to experience the joy of a heavenly life, on earth and to eternity. We can participate in His divine intention by striving for our well-being and the well-being of others.

Every one of us contributes to the Lord’s Kingdom in our own way. People do this in countless different ways, each a unique expression of heavenly life. Amidst this diversity, though, universal principles apply to anyone's life. Let's focus on three key principles: shunning evil in ourselves, serving others with love, and expressing gratitude to the Lord.

The first principle, shunning evil within ourselves, is crucial. We cannot serve, love, or express gratitude in an evil state, so the subsequent principles depend on this one. When evil is in the way, the Lord’s goodness and truth cannot flow through. When we work with the Lord to put aside those evils, we become vessels through which He can flow into the world. We take part in a grand collaboration in which the Divine guides our actions to make the world a better place. While perfection is reserved for the Lord alone, when we make a conscious effort to put away evil in our lives, we take a transformative step towards cultivating love for others.

We can express love for others by being useful. Usefulness goes beyond traditional acts of charity, like serving in soup kitchens, although these are commendable. Our daily work – our jobs, duties, and pursuits – provides countless opportunities to love the people we come in contact with.

For example, a bus driver can change the tone of someone's commute with a smile or kind word; she can honestly handle fares and even save lives by observing the rules of the road. She shares the Lord's love wherever she goes and whatever she does. In a thriving society, everyone can make a difference, no matter the role. As long as we're shunning evils and making an effort to be useful to others, we are loving our neighbors. Joining a community of other people committed to worshiping the Lord and pursuing these goals can strengthen us in our purpose.

Finally, let's talk about gratitude. Embedded in the practices of shunning evil, serving others, and living in community is a beautiful secret: the Lord enriches such a life with joy. There is profound satisfaction in a life of use, and there is delight in sharing blessings from the Lord with those around us.

The Lord desires our happiness, urging us to experience the joy His love can bring. We can express gratitude to Him by allowing ourselves to bask in this joy, offering sincere praise and thanks to the source of love – our heavenly Father, the Lord God Jesus Christ.

"The Lord gives those who are performing useful functions a love for being useful, and also a reward for being useful, which is inner bliss; and this inner bliss is eternal happiness." (True Christianity 736)

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Daily Inspiration

"The angels themselves confess that they have no power but act only at the Lord's behest."

Secrets of Heaven 50