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Chosen by God: Seeing Others with Respect

Susan Gammage | Sep 30, 2021

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

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Susan Gammage | Sep 30, 2021

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

Some of us know the pain of being on the outside, of not being wanted when they chose up teams, of being spurned by someone we love.

If you’ve been forgotten by someone you thought was a friend, or been held at arm’s length by someone in your family, maybe even your spouse, you can probably relate.

RELATED: What If We All Had a Kind, Loving Father?

What a relief to discover these healing words of Abdu’l-Baha, the son of the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, who tells us we are chosen and wanted by God. The Creator, the Baha’i teachings explain, has a plan for our lives:

From amongst all mankind hath He chosen you, and your eyes have been opened to the light of guidance and your ears attuned to the music of the Company above; and blessed by abounding grace, your hearts and souls have been born into new life.  

For I say unto you that He has chosen you to be His messengers of love throughout the world, to be His bearers of spiritual gifts to man, to be the means of spreading unity and concord on the earth. Thank God with all your hearts that such a privilege has been given unto you. For a life devoted to praise is not too long in which to thank God for such a favour.  

O ye who are set aglow with the fire of God’s Love!  Blessed are ye for having been chosen by God for His love, in this new age, and joy be to you for having been guided to the Great Kingdom! Verily, your Lord hath chosen you to show the path to the Kingdom of God, among the people.  

This promise offers a healing balm to those of us who have been abused, scorned, or mistreated. 

Many of us were told that we were “chosen” for the abuse, or we came to believe that something singled us out for victimhood, so the concept of being “chosen” doesn’t always have positive connotations.  

Then, in school, many of us longed to “fit in,” to be “chosen” for friends, for people to play with at recess, to be picked for sports teams. When we weren’t, we felt worthless and abandoned.

RELATED: What is a Baha’i Marriage?

Then, if our marriages fall apart, we again wonder how the one who “chose” us could so easily toss us aside.

Then, when we become part of the wonderful worldwide Baha’i family, how happy and blissful we are, until we encounter similar treatment from Baha’is. Baha’is aren’t perfect human beings – in fact, no one is. If we look for unconditional love from other people, we will always be let down and disappointed.

How great an honor it is, therefore, to know that we’ve been chosen by God – that He loves us and has plans for us. This realization contributes such an important part to our healing!

I was at the hospital with a neighbor who tried to commit suicide last night. She wanted to end her own life because of the actions of those closest to her. This morning, I longed to know what I could say to her. I wanted to tell her that her primary relationship has to be to “know God and worship Him,” but she’s not a Baha’i, and I doubt she has ears to hear this today.

I really do think that it helps us to know God loves us, and created us and all the world because of His love for us; that He has promised never to abandon us; that He tells us He’s closer than our life vein; that He is our Friend and Best Lover. If we can take this in and truly believe it, we’d be much better prepared to withstand the tests of others.  

Another thing that really helped me was to realize the vastness of the ocean of God’s revelation, and that everyone samples something different from the “banquet table of the Lord.” Yes, I’m working on improving the quality of my relationships and wish everyone else was too; but they might be working on something totally different, which means we’re all on a path together moving towards God.

I was at a swimming pool one time and saw someone I had an instant aversion to, for no apparent reason. My immediate thought was “God loves him, so I can too.” That reality helps me reclaim my nobility and see others with respect.  

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