Charles Spurgeon : Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a “knowing fool”. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.
In our worldly work we always want to appear our best, when it comes to spiritual work, we cannot hide who we are from the Divine within us. Our progress is an open book. The grace we receive in our spiritual progress is based on our sincere efforts. One way for us to improve spiritually is to take an honest look and see the areas that need improvement. If we looked at only our successes, we would get complacent. Then, we would never change. But by making an effort to improve, over time, we would ultimately reach a stage in which we have zero shortcomings.
By reading the writings of the saints and observing their lives we can learn a lot. We can apply their teachings to overcome our shortcomings, instead of living in a fool’s paradise. The writings of the saints are rich in positive advice on how to overcome failures. Each day as we examine our failures, we can apply their advice to make the following day more successful. Thus, we can avoid the pitfalls.
If we are allergic to a particular food and we kept eating the same, we would have a reaction. Would it be wise for a person to continue eating something he is allergic to ? Similarly, if our actions each day result in failings in a particular category of virtue that is keeping us from spiritual growth, would we not want to avoid that behaviour so we can overcome that problem ? Analysing our shortcomings helps us identify the “allergens” in our spiritual life so we can avoid and overcome them.
We are not applying for a job with the Divine and writing spiritual resumes that show us in a good light. We cannot hide our failings from the One who is Omniscient. The beauty of the Divine is the law of compassion and grace. When we are seen making an honest effort to weed out our failings, to honestly assess these shortcomings ourselves, even if we have difficulty, our sincerity is noticed. The Divine will respond with compassion and grace. By our effort and the grace of the Divine, we will achieve spiritual improvement faster, reaching our goal of union with the Creator, We will see rapid spiritual progress in our lives.
——– Sant Rajinder Singh.