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How do I become Baha’i?
Service

How Do We Benefit Spiritually From Service?

Keng-Liang Huang | Jun 9, 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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Keng-Liang Huang | Jun 9, 2021

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

We can seek guidance from prayer and meditation, but even when we get inspiration, we can’t be guided if we don’t take action. 

Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, wrote: 

"... It is not sufficient to pray diligently for guidance, but this prayer must be followed by meditation as to the best methods of action and then action itself. Even if the action should not immediately produce results, or perhaps not be entirely correct, that does not make so much difference, because prayers can only be answered through action and if someone's action is wrong, God can use that method of showing the pathway which is right."

RELATED: Does God Listen to Our Prayers?

We can’t receive confirmation about our decisions until we act. Taking action is not just to carry out the guidance as we understand it; it’s also a way to adjust our mindset to turn towards the will of God. The Baha’i writings explain why this alignment process is important, saying: 

"That which is truly spiritual must light the path to God, and must result in deeds. We cannot believe the call to be spiritual when there is no result. Spirit is reality, and when the spirit in each of us seeks to join itself with the Great Reality, it must in turn give life."

Spiritualization means following divine guidance to enter that spiritual reality. How can we speed up the learning process? 

Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, wrote: “When a true seeker determineth to take the step of search in the path leading unto the knowledge of the Ancient of Days, he must, before all else, cleanse his heart, … He must so cleanse his heart that no remnant of either love or hate may linger therein, lest that love blindly incline him to error, or that hate repel him away from the truth.”

When we serve those around us, God guides us to see the signs of His work and identify what we need to detach from. This is why we often experience many tests and difficulties when we want to serve. We often can’t control the conditions in which we are called to serve. 

RELATED: Harnessing the Power of Youth to Help Homeless Students

I once helped an injured friend through a long process of recovery. They had many practical needs, which I was ready for — but they also struggled with anger and family disputes, which made the process much more difficult. 

I learned that I was the most helpful when I served with selfless love, learning from my actions to see what benefitted my friend the most. In this process, I gained deeper insight into my mind and heart, and also understood the divine teachings more deeply than before. 

Although we may face situations we don’t like in service, we cannot let that deter us. God provides opportunities based on our capacity. 

Serving others is truly the blessing of God. We translate our beliefs into action, see more of God’s signs, understand more of truths about the world around us, and we live more spiritually. 

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