Translating words into action

Flora Teckie

Flora Teckie

Published Mar 18, 2024


Flora Teckie

There is a widespread view that daily practical life and spirituality are separate issues.

This raises the question: what is the meaning of having faith if it is not consciously manifested in our daily action and in our relationship with others?

Moral and spiritual behaviours should be practiced at home and at work, as much as in a place of worship.

Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, states: “It is incumbent upon every man of insight and understanding to strive to translate that which hath been written into reality and action”.

All our actions are expressions of our capacity to choose and make decisions. It is through the

moral exercise of our free will that we advance spiritually. We have the choice between justice and injustice, and the power both to do good and bad.

One of the main reasons for the current state of the world, the prevailing social conflicts and crises, is because humanity has turned away from moral and spiritual principles given to us through religion.

Moral maturity comes from spiritual awareness, and the moral code that has the power to transform our actions originates from the guidance given to us by our Creator.

Our hearts are like a mirror, capable of reflecting spiritual qualities such as honesty, love, caring, compassion, trustworthiness, justice, and generosity.

The same way that a mirror needs to be cleansed from dust before it can reflect the rays of the sun, the mirror of our heart needs to be cleansed from ego, from harmful desires and passions, such as envy, hatred, and

malice, that hinder our spiritual growth and development.

We all would like to live in a better world. How can we play a role in achieving this?

Bahá’u’lláh states that, the “betterment of the world can be accomplished through pure and

goodly deeds, through commendable and seemly conduct”. He places the emphasis on purity of intention and sincerity when one performs good deeds. That is when greatest results are achieved.

“One can hardly imagine what a great influence genuine love, truthfulness and purity of motives exert on the souls of men. But these traits cannot be acquired by any believer unless he makes a daily effort to gain them ...” confirm the Bahá’í Writings.

One can define a moral person as a social actor, who, having effected change in herself or himself, feels the responsibility to also contribute towards the transformation of the social order. Such responsibility, however, must be towards humanity and not only towards one’s own race, ethnic group, or religious group. Sectarianism and prejudice lead to dependence on restrictive moral views and contribution to various antisocial attitudes undermining one’s own, and also other’s social and spiritual well-being.

Bahá’u’lláh says: “Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self” and that “the purpose for which mortal men have, from utter nothingness, stepped into the realm of being, is that they may work for the betterment of the world and live together in concord and harmony”.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the development of our spiritual qualities.

Among them are prayer, reflection, a willingness to learn, and daily effort. Serving humanity is another factor that contributes greatly to our spiritual growth and development.

Bahá’u’lláh asserts: “That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race. … Blessed and happy is he that ariseth to promote the best interests of the peoples and kindreds of the earth”.

Pretoria News