People love to show off their credentials. Often, these are supported by letters. There are letters of recommendation and letters placed after names to indicate education or other achievements. Sadly, this thinking is even prevalent in spiritual circles.
Paul the apostle, who wrote much of the Bible’s New Testament, had a different slant on this situation. Addressing a group of those who he had influenced deeply, Paul said “you yourselves are our letters.”
The accomplishments of a person are best measured by the qualities that are passed on to others by teaching and example. The one who displays love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and the like will leave deposits of those characteristics in the many men and women who are watching closely to see how it’s done.
Evaluating someone’s contribution to humankind, therefore, is as simple as paying attention to the legacy that follows his or her life. The letters that prove credibility are alive.
Many confuse spiritual knowledge with spiritual attainment. Spirituality is not a matter of knowing scriptures and engaging in philosophical discussions, though such things have their value. As this post reminds us, it is more a matter of heart culture and bringing God’s goodness into the world through our words and actions. As Gandhi once said, “Do not then preach the God of history, but show Him as He lives today through you.”