In this day, to serve the Cause of God is to engender love and fellowship amongst His friends. Let us associate with one another with the utmost selflessness and evanescence, with radiance of spirit, with meekness, humility, and faithfulness. Let us strive to spread the divine fragrances, for the receptiveness of the people in these days is exceedingly great. Should there be a lapse, it would be due to our failings, the cause of which is a lack of unity and concord.
The purpose of the appearance of the holy Manifestations hath ever been the establishment of fellowship and love in the world of humanity. The friends should therefore lay down their lives in this arena that they may exhilarate the people of the world with the wine of love for one another and may gladden the hearts of the whole human race. The more they strive for harmony, the greater their progress; the more they exert effort to achieve unity, the more they will witness the tokens of divine assistance.… Root out the sources of dissension and raise up the foundations of harmony. Cling tenaciously to the hem of the love of God and cleanse your hearts of any trace of estrangement or conflict. Thus may the light of divine bestowal shine resplendent, and ye become the recipients of the effulgent glory of the Sun of Truth. Let each one of you become the servant of the other; let each sacrifice himself for the sake of the other.
In order to achieve this cordial unity one of the first essentials insisted on by Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá is that we resist the natural tendency to let our attention dwell on the faults and failings of others rather than on our own. Each of us is responsible for one life only, and that is our own. Each of us is immeasurably far from being “perfect as our heavenly father is perfect” and the task of perfecting our own life and character is one that requires all our attention, our will-power and energy. If we allow our attention and energy to be taken up in efforts to keep others right and remedy their faults, we are wasting precious time. We are like ploughmen each of whom has his team to manage and his plough to direct, and in order to keep his furrow straight he must keep his eye on his goal and concentrate on his own task. If he looks to this side and that to see how Tom and Harry are getting on and to criticize their ploughing, then his own furrow will assuredly become crooked.
On no subject are the Bahá’í teachings more emphatic than on the necessity to abstain from faultfinding and backbiting while being ever eager to discover and root out our own faults and overcome our own failings.
If we profess loyalty to Bahá’u’lláh, to our Beloved Master and our dear Guardian, then we must show our love by obedience to these explicit teachings. Deeds not words are what they demand, and no amount of fervour in the use of expressions of loyalty and adulation will compensate for failure to live in the spirit of the teachings.
Indeed the believers have not yet fully learned to draw on each other’s love for strength and consolation in time of need. The Cause of God is endowed with tremendous powers, and the reason the believers do not gain more from it is because they have not learned to fully draw on these mighty forces of love and strength and harmony generated by the Faith.
These, indeed, are the days when heroism is needed on the part of the believers. Self-sacrifice, courage, indomitable hope and confidence are the characteristics they should show forth, because these very attributes cannot but fix the attention of the public and lead them to enquire what, in a world so hopelessly chaotic and bewildered, leads these people to be so assured, so confident, so full of devotion? Increasingly, as time goes by, the characteristics of the Bahá’ís will be that which captures the attention of their fellow-citizens. They must show their aloofness from the hatreds and recriminations which are tearing at the heart of humanity, and demonstrate by deed and word their profound belief in the future peaceful unification of the entire human race.
Regarding the matter of ... and the inharmony that seems to exist among certain of the friends ... when Bahá’ís permit the dark forces of the world to enter into their own relationships within the Faith they gravely jeopardize its progress;... All should be ready and willing to set aside every personal sense of grievance—justified or unjustified—for the good of the Cause, because the people will never embrace it until they see in its community life mirrored what is so conspicuously lacking in the world: love and unity.