THE GREAT GOSPEL OF JOHN
VOLUME 4

Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

Jesus near Caesarea Philippi (cont.)

- Chapter 81 -
On right giving that is pleasing in the sight of God.


1
(The Lord:) "This is in connection with the clear concept of what is mine and what is yours, Moses says: 'You should not steal!' and again: 'You should not desire what belongs to your neighbour, except such, which is fully justified!'
 
2
You can in all honesty buy something from your neighbour and own it before all people as justified; but to take something from someone against his will, is a sin against the order which God gave to the people through Moses, because such action apparently goes against every form of neighbourly love. Since what must be in a justifiable manner disagreeable to you, if someone else did or does it to you, you should also do not do to your neighbour!
 
3
Theft originates mostly from self-love, because forthcoming from that are sluggishness, the inclination to a good life and inactivity. From this a certain despondence arises, which is surrounded by a haughty shyness, resulting to avoid a somewhat tiresome request, but rather opt to secretly steal or just take something. In theft therefore are resting a lot of shortcomings, among which the too strongly grown self-love is the most apparent reason of all. With a properly alive neighbourly love this soul evil can be combatted best at all times.
 
4
Now you think explicable in your brain: 'Neighbourly could easily be exercised, if one only has the means for it! But among one-hundred people there are scarcely ten who are in a position, that they could exercise this marvellous virtue; the ninety are mostly those, to whom this virtue is extended by the ten wealthy. If therefore exercising neighbourly love is the only way by which the vice of theft can be combatted effectively, then the ninety poor will find it difficult to protect them against it; since they do not have the means to effectively exercise this virtue.'
 
5
According to your mind you have thought quite right, and no one can argue against it with the world mind. But in the mind of the heart you read a completely different language, which says: Not only by gifts the works of neighbourly love are conducted, but much more by all kind of good deeds and honest and reasonable services, where of course the good will must not be absent.
 
6
Because the good will is the soul and the life of a good deed; without it even the best deed would have no value before the judging chair of God. But if you have the living good will without any means, to help your neighbour either way when you find him in distress, and you feel sorry in your heart because you can't do it, then your good will counts with God a lot more than the deed of somebody else, who first had to be enticed by what ever means.
 
7
And if a wealthy person has put a completely impoverished society on its feet again, because the society, once wealthy again, give him the tenth and show him some sort of submissiveness, his entire good work does not count anything before God at all; because he already has taken his reward. What he has done, any usury miser would have done for the sake of the profit.
 
8
From this you can see, that before God and to the advantage of the own inner, spiritual life, every person, either rich or poor, can exercise neighbourly love; it depends only on a truly living good will, whereby everyone with all devotion does with pleasure, what he is able to do.
 
9
Of course, the good will alone would be also of no use, if you possess the one or other wealth and there would be no shortage of a good will either, but you still have some considerations, partly for yourself, partly for your children, partly on behalf of your relatives and partly for some other reasons, and you give to him who stands destitute before you, either only a little or even absolutely nothing, because you can't always know, whether the person looking for assistance is either a lazy scoundrel, who is not worthy to be assisted. Thereby one would only support the laziness of a scoundrel and thereby withhold the support from someone more worthy! Comes along a more worthy, one caries the same doubts; since one cannot be sure with all certainty, that he is in fact worthy!
 
10
Yes, friend, even with the best will, he who starts having doubts when doing good, whether he should do a little good or not, his good will still has a long way to go before having the right life; therefore neither the good will nor the good works does count anything special before God. Where there is ability, the will and the works must be equal, otherwise the one takes away from the other the value and life worthiness before God.
 
11
What you do or give, do and give with a lot of joy; since a friendly giver and doer has a double worthiness before God and is also double closer to spiritual perfection!
 
12
Since the friendly givers heart resembles a fruit, which becomes easily and early ripe, because it is full of the right warmth, which is of the highest necessity to ripen the fruit, since in warmth the corresponding element of life, namely love, prevails.
 
13
Therefore the givers and doers happiness and friendliness is this fullness of the right inner, spiritual life-warmth, which cannot be recommended strongly enough, whereby the soul for the full reception of the spirit in her entire being, becomes more than twice as fast ripe and must be so, because this very warmth is a transition of the everlasting spirit into his soul, which, through such transition resembles her spirit more and more.
 
14
An otherwise very keen giver and benefactor is even more further away from the purpose of the true inner, spiritual life's perfection, the more acidly and unfriendly he is when giving or doing; since the unfriendly and acidly behaviour when giving still contains something material worldly in it and is therefore from the pure heavenly element a lot further away than the joyful and friendly.
 
15
Therefore, when giving or doing, you should not add serious and often bitter admonitions; since these often produce a significant sadness in the poor brother, and he starts to develop a strong desire in his heart, not to receive anything from the benefactor who admonishes him with a serious look. The benefactor, however, becomes by these untimely admonitions not seldom a little proud, and the receiver feels himself thrown too deeply underneath the feet of the benefactor and starts to seriously feel his distress in relation of the wealth of the benefactor, and then it happens, that the taking becomes by a distance more difficult than the giving.
 
16
Who is wealthy and has a good will, gives easily; but the poor taker is already afraid of the friendly giver, if he sees himself forced by his poverty, to burden the even so friendly benefactor. But how heavy must feel his heart, if the benefactor walks towards him with a grim face, and provides him, besides the relief, with several wise lectures, which in future will become for the receiver too much of an obstacle, to come to the admonishing lecturer's door again in an emergency, because at his second visit he is expecting even more wiser, longer and as such more urgent preachings, which according to his understanding says as much as: 'Do not come soon or even all together back again!', although the giver never ever has thought about it.
 
17
This, very much, provides the friendly giver with such a great advantage above the grim admonishing lecturer, because he comforts and elevates the heart of the taker and puts it in a thankful mood. It also fills the taker with a loving and prosperous trust towards God and other people, and his otherwise so heavy yoke becomes a more lighter burden, which he then carries with more patience and devotion than he carried it before.
 
18
A joyful and friendly benefactor is to a poor and needy brother just that, what to skipper on a stormy sea is a safe and friendly harbour. But a grim benefactor in distress resembles a sea bay less exposed to a storm, which in fact safes the skipper from completely being shipwrecked, but still keeps him in fear, about a terrible and perishable spring tide entering the bay after the storm, as it happens from time to time, which could bring him a bigger damage as the storm of the high seas before.
 
19
Now you know completely how, according to the measure of God, the true and the spiritual perfection of an easy and earliest implementation of neighbourly love must look like; do accordingly, and you will easily and soonest reach the only true purpose of life!"