Following the Example of Jesus: Spiritual Social Action

Published on: September 1, 2013

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As leaders in the Unity movement, we embrace all great spiritual teachings and look to the teachings of Jesus as our “Way Shower.” Jesus demonstrated a consciousness unlike the prevailing mindset of his day. As one examines his life, the question emerges as to whether he was more spiritual teacher or social activist. Jesus’ message was one of a new reality of oneness between God and humanity, both personally and socially. He was not just a teacher of this new relationship; he directly addressed the social, religious and political powers of the day that said that God or the law was outside of us. Jesus’ teachings again and again pointed to the fact that the kingdom of God is within and that we indeed are one with God.

Let’s look at three ways Jesus’ teachings instruct us to engage in spiritual social action through the lessons of oneness, service and love.

In Unity, we believe in the Oneness of humanity and with God. Jesus taught that “just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40) Doing spiritual social action from the perspective of oneness brings a new message to our communities and will draw to us those who resonate with that message.

During the Last Supper, in the upper room (highest place of consciousness), Jesus engaged in washing the feet of his disciples. He did this as an act of selfless service and humility and told the disciples, “For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15) Following this example, we engage in spiritual social action as an act of service and devotion to God.

Lastly, we are called upon to engage in spiritual social action demonstrating the highest realms of spiritual consciousness. In 1 John 3, John admonishes, “Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” (1 John 3:18) This is fully in line with our fifth Unity principle, “It is not enough to know a spiritual truth, one must demonstrate that Truth in one’s life.”

In Jesus, we see a prophet whose actions may be interpreted to be social activism in the highest “Christ consciousness.”  Jesus challenged the status quo as a social activist and spiritual teacher. There is no better way to demonstrate the truth of the Unity teachings but to be in the world but not of the world, engaged in loving service to the greater good from the consciousness of oneness, service and love. This is our calling as leaders of a spiritual revolution with a New Thought about what is possible for humanity.

Jackie Woodside

Jackie Woodside is a certified professional coach who frequently speaks and offers training inside the Unity movement. She brings expertise in helping individuals and organizations apply spiritual principles to develop mastery on the spiritual and physical planes.

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