Q: If we were all created equal, why are some people better than others in terms of spiritual growth? Why are some people “good” and some people “evil?
A: “You ask a very good question.
I know what you mean about some people appearing to be “better” than others in terms of spirituality and goodness. I think all of us recognize those differences. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if we all could (or would) be good?
Here is a great quote from Jesus on this subject:
133:0.3 One day while resting at lunch, about halfway to Tarentum, Ganid asked Jesus a direct question as to what he thought of India’s caste system. Said Jesus: “Though human beings differ in many ways, the one from another, before God and in the spiritual world all mortals stand on an equal footing. There are only two groups of mortals in the eyes of God: those who desire to do his will and those who do not. As the universe looks upon an inhabited world, it likewise discerns two great classes: those who know God and those who do not. Those who cannot know God are reckoned among the animals of any given realm. Mankind can appropriately be divided into many classes in accordance with differing qualifications, as they may be viewed physically, mentally, socially, vocationally, or morally, but as these different classes of mortals appear before the judgment bar of God, they stand on an equal footing; God is truly no respecter of persons. Although you cannot escape the recognition of differential human abilities and endowments in matters intellectual, social, and moral, you should make no such distinctions in the spiritual brotherhood of men when assembled for worship in the presence of God.”
So, while we are all created equal in a spiritual sense, we have to recognize that we have “differing qualifications, as they may be viewed physically, mentally, socially, vocationally, or morally…” and “differential human abilities and endowments in matters intellectual, social, and moral…” Unfortunately, we are not all created equal as regards these things.
It is these qualifications, abilities and endowments that influence to some degree, whether we’ll turn out good or not-so-good. It is our response—not only to the presence of God within our hearts and minds—but to the changing circumstances of our lives—that determines our path. If we face those changing circumstances with God, it makes a very big difference towards the good.
Have you seen these sections?
Reading these sections, and really, all of the Papers in that part of the book having to do with religion, we discover what spiritual growth requires—mainly a desire for God and a connection with him. That connection is always available through the ministry of the Thought Adjuster.
Spiritual growth doesn’t just happen—while the potential for it may be equally given, the human response to that potential varies. And, as we read in these sections, the development “depends, first, on the maintenance of a living spiritual connection with true spiritual forces and, second, on the continuous bearing of spiritual fruit.”
“Maintenance” implies a regular attention to the thing being developed, and then a continuous demonstration of the goodness which comes from it is required.
Some people make it look easy, but spiritual growth takes decisions toward its achievement—there are “those who desire to do his will and those who do not.” And maybe it’s easier for some because they have had the background for it and they take it as something necessary because their faith was ignited early-on. Some people have to struggle for it…maybe because they had to overcome a background that was not so favorable. Regardless, both of these groups have had to “maintain” their spiritual growth—and the result is a person who seems “good.”
Spiritual growth always entails some inner tribulation, and not all are willing to make the adjustments that are needed. To grow spiritually requires consistent decisions towards the good, the true, the beautiful.
Some people never reach the point where they seek God, or choose not to know him—in fact, some people live on a purely physical and material level and sometimes the things that they do are evil because they are far removed from seeking the will of God—through their own choices. Their goals remain earthly; the farther we get from the spiritual world, the slower and less sure becomes our growth, and the greater possibility of choosing evil. But that can always be turned around through a renewal of spirit—a spiritual conversion. And again, this is evidence of our quality before God—goodness is always available to anyone who sincerely seeks.
I hope that this reply is helpful. Thank you so much for writing to us, and please feel free to write back any time!.