When Others Believe Differently

God can be experienced but cannot be conveyed in words. How do you explain Being and Oneness and Wholeness to the ego-identified who think that they are defined by what they do, that fragmentation is reality and who are so used to lack that they cannot distinguish it from wholeness? You cannot. The most you can do is help others to become motivated to open to experiencing God directly themselves.

Sometimes students want to know how to support others who have a different theology, especially those close to them. The important thing to understand is there is no right or wrong theology or belief system. The only value any belief system has – even A Course in Miracles -- is related to the degree to which it helps one feel willing to open directly to God. The question to ask yourself is, what part of their belief system can you share with them or reinforce in them to help them remember God is love? For example, many Christians believe they can be directly guided by the Holy Spirit and you can remind them of that. Don’t worry about the other particulars that differ from what you believe. Seek the love in their belief system and emphasize that.

Some people feel a need to make you believe as they do because their own belief is weak. They are looking for reinforcement and hoping that if they can convince you they will become convinced themselves. You don’t have to pretend to agree when you do not. You can tell them you are happy they have found the way to lasting peace and happiness and reassure them that you are comfortable with your relationship with God. They may want to argue, at which point you can tell them you have absolute faith in God to not lead you astray. This reminds them where to put their faith – not in themselves or in you, but in God.

If you feel compelled to argue back, however, it is because your own belief is shaky. If you argue you will reinforce fear in both of you. Instead, thank them for their concern, which you know is genuine, and later look into your own mind to find your source of fear.

The need to be “right” is always the ego’s need because, being wholly dependent on your belief in it, it is inherently insecure. When others need to be right they are coming from ego, which is the same as saying they are calling for love. When you resist them – when you need to be right yourself – you reinforce ego in both of you. Remember, the Holy Spirit does not think in terms of right/wrong or good/bad, but rather: “What part of this is helpful?”


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Comments

Anonymous said…
As a Christian in the religious sense of the word for so many years, I was taught about the "omnipresence" of God, but obviously not enough. Just that one belief challenges religious Christianity greatly!

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