Some potent preaching from Akrura das’ Bhaktivedanta Leadership Newsletter:
A devotee’s conclusion is that no one is directly responsible for being a benefactor or mischief-monger without the sanction of the Lord; therefore he does not consider anyone to be directly responsible for such action. But in both the cases he takes it for granted that either benefit or loss is God-sent, and thus it is His grace. In case of benefit, no one will deny that it is God-sent, but in case of loss or reverses one becomes doubtful about how the Lord could be so unkind to His devotee as to put him in great difficulty. Jesus Christ was seemingly put into such great difficulty, being crucified by the ignorant, but he was never angry at the mischief-mongers.
That is the way of accepting a thing, either favorable or unfavorable. Thus for a devotee the identifier is equally a sinner, like the mischief-monger. By God’s grace, the devotee tolerates all reverses.
SB 1.17.22 P
A devotee thinks that due to his past deeds, he deserves more suffering, as a reaction, than he is getting. So internally he doesn’t blame anyone but takes full responsibility for whatever happens to him. Externally, he might try to protect or defend himself, as far as possible, in order to be able to go on with his service. But he always tries to see his experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant, through the eyes of the scriptures. This brings him inner peace and a clear vision of reality. Easily said than done? Right. Too high? Right. Well, we have to start somewhere, someday. What about today?
Its this kind of internal preaching that eventually culminates in stable and spiritually healthy long term preaching. We can’t fool people for long before our materially conditioned character becomes apparent in our manipulative dealings. If we have worked to cultivate genuine saintly qualities as epitomised above, then people can quickly recognise that and the trust needed to take the plunge into the unknown dimension of unalloyed servitorship can develop. … just some thoughts that I hope I can apply myself ….