Matthew 5:25, Jesus said, “Agree with thine adversary quickly.”
Have you had or do you have a friend that is often difficult? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of our friends were easy to be with and loving? Alas, it is not always that way. We all know people in our lives that are pretty irritable. What can we do with those people? We know that we can’t change them; the power lays in what we decide to do with ourselves. That is really the only thing we have power over – how we react. You might say to yourself: “It is impossible to get along with these people.”
I would like to share a story with you.” Dolphins and killer whales are natural enemies. They will avoid each other, but when they come in contact with each other, they will fight. They have a natural hate for each other. Yet, when the killer whale is giving birth, that hate is set aside. Dolphins, in an instant, realize there is a need, and they become midwives to the killer whale.
They form a circle around the killer whale during the birth process. The dolphins come together underneath the killer whale and lift her to the surface to breathe, when labor is so intense that she does not have the strength to lift herself. They keep sharks away that have been drawn to the scent of blood; and they lead the newborn whale to the surface for the first breath of life, and back to the mother for nourishment. When they see the killer whale in need, everything changes and love becomes the answer. They come together — in a gift of friendship.”
About a decade ago, we saw something on the national news that was one of the most incredible human interest stories in recent times. “ Reginald Denny, the truck driver who was beaten during the Los Angeles riots, was in the courtroom. The television cameras were on. This would be the type of thing where this Los Angeles truck driver could have answered hate with hate, but he answered in the Christ way. After he was on the stand, there was a break in the testimony. Denny went down and extended his hand to Georgianna Williams, the mother of one of the men who had beaten him. He said, “May I shake your hand?”
As Georgianna Williams reached out, something overcame him, and he hugged her. Tears formed in her eyes and she said, (almost automatically, not realizing what she was saying), “I love you.”
Then he went over to the mother of Henry Watson and threw his arms around her in a bear hug. They said Reginald Denny was a remarkable man. He healed more than just those mothers in that courtroom. He showed us how to live.”
Jesus did the same thing. He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” We, as people who are living the Jesus Christ example, have to give love in place of hate. And we ask ourselves and others, “How do I do this?”
You start in your own world – in your family situation with the disagreeable people you know. You cannot change these people. Many of you have tried for a lifetime, but you can’t do it. However, you can change yourself.
Therefore, when you change yourself and change your mind, that person becomes different to you. You change your reaction, and therefore, you stop giving the other person all your power. You take back the power. You always have the power to love. You never have to answer hate with hate. You can always go the Jesus Christ way. The bottom line of His teachings was always love.
Matthew 18:21-22 Version (NIV) 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times”
In Japan, they teach the children “pillow education.” Here is how the plan works. “ When one of the children has a problem with another child, the little child sits on one corner of the pillow and places his hands on the other side. Then he says, “I am all right and my friend is all wrong.” Then the instructor says to move to the other side of the pillow. The child’s little body then sits on the second corner of the pillow, places his hands on the other side and says, “My friend is all right; I am all wrong.” Next, he moves to the third corner of the pillow and says, “Both friend and I are wrong, and both of us are right.” Finally, he sits on the last corner of the pillow, lies across the pillow, puts his arms around it and says, “I am partly right and my friend is partly right.”
Jesus knows that the answer to everything as we walk down our pathway of life is forgiveness. We have to rise above all that we hold in our mind and begin to learn how to forgive. We all have the power to go to God; and we all have the power to allow that wonderful God Spirit to manifest in and through us.
Listen to this short prayer.
“Dear God, here is my mind. I spread it out before Thee. Forgive Thou its foolishness and ignorance with Thy right wisdom.
Here is my life. I offer it to Thee. Forgive Thou its contrariness to Thee.
Here is my heart. It is Thine only. Forgive Thou its restlessness and dissatisfaction; forgive its discouragements; forgive its resentments; forgive its loves, its hates, its hopes, its fears.
Here is my body. I cast it down before Thee. Forgive Thou its imperfections with Thy perfection.
Forgive me all together with Thyself.
Give for myself, Thyself.” Amen.
One thing that is interesting in this forgiveness piece is that it didn’t mention anybody else. It didn’t say, “Oh, please help me forgive Harry. Harry has just made my life miserable. Please help me forgive Helen. Helen has just been nasty in my life lately.”
It said, “Here is my mind. I give it to You. Fill me with the love of Christ. I have some problems and some perceptions in this mind. Help me to see anew by bringing Your thought, Divine thought, into my human thought. Here’s my life. I’ve used a lot of my life and expended a lot of energy in ways I shouldn’t have. I ask You to work through me, so You can use my life in a higher way. Here’s my heart.
Forgive me for my restlessness, dissatisfactions and discouragements.”
In other words, this prayer is working on US not others.
Confucius said this: “When you see a good man, think of emulating him. When you see a bad man, examine your own heart.”
Martin Luther, the great religious teacher, once said, “I am more afraid of my own heart than of the Pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great Pope Self.”
As human beings, we tend to think our problems are all outside of us. We think that our problems lie in our terrible spouse, our terrible mother-in-law, or our terrible boss, etc.
The nine problems Dear Abby hears the most deal with failures of other people.
#1. My wife doesn’t understand me.
#2. My husband never gives me any money.
#3. My parents don’t trust me.
#4. My grandchildren never come to visit me.
#5. We never hear from our married kids unless they want something.
#6. My girlfriend wants me to get married and I’m not ready.
#7. My neighbor keeps dropping in uninvited.
#8. How does a nice woman meet a nice man?
#9. How does a nice man meet a nice woman?
Seven of the nine things have to do with people outside of us. We have even less power over our own kids and spouse than we think we do.. The only person in the world you have power over IS YOU.
There was a great elderly priest. When he first entered the priesthood, he dreamed he could change the world. After he was in the priesthood for about ten years he said, “Well, I realize I can’t change many people. If I could just change 100 people I would be satisfied and know that my life was not in vain.” At the end of his career he said, “Oh dear Lord, I realize now that the person I have to change is myself. If I could just change myself, then I would be satisfied and it would not all be in vain.”
Here are the six most important words in the world:
I admit I made a mistake.
The five most important words:
You did a good job!..
The four most important words:.
What is your opinion?
The three most important words:.
I forgive you.
The two most important words:
The one most important word in the world is We, and the least important word is I.
Do you see how special that thought is?
There’s an old Scottish saying: “Angels fly because they take themselves so lightly.” A great deal of our time should be spent in releasing through forgiveness. In fact, I prefer to say it that way. “I am releasing this ……. from my heart and my mind. Ask the Lord to help you release those things that are bothering you and holding you back.
Ask for an infilling of the Holy Spirit. You are filled with the Holy Spirit, when you have the WHOLE Spirit of God in your mind, in your heart – in a very practical way. What does that do for you? It takes away the health-robbing hate and fills you with bliss and love. Where before you looked at things with human eyes, you now look from a Divine standpoint. Take a deep breath and think about that for a moment.
You have a new power.
You have not changed the other person; YOU have been changed. When you say, “I forgive ;” when you release that from your self.
We meet many people, companions if you will, on our pathway, our journey, during our life. And many are wondrous relationships and many are not. Companions on the pathway — we have many. In having many of these people in our lives, we have an opportunity to learn fellowship, honor, pure love.
We ask, “Why are there such disagreeable people in my life? Why are they here?”
These people are in our lives so we can learn to love. That’s what we are here to do. We are here to learn to love each other; not to hate, not to come from a lower human mind with its prejudices, but to come from a higher, glorious Mind containing God’s love. We can do that. I invite you to do that.
I urge you to do that.
Let us love one another. This soul growth experience is your purpose and mine.
God bless you!
Please join me in prayer:
This moment is one of the greatest moments of our lives. Truly, the high point of any life is prayer. It is a time when we rise above human mind and all of its problem thoughts, and turn to God, and all His solutions.
Heavenly and Loving Father, we know we are Your children and You love us. We know that You sustain and support us through Your loving Presence. We know that nothing can keep Your good from us and no one can keep our happiness from us.
We realize in this moment in time that our happiness is from You and we accept it.
We ask that You impart to us Your perfect love and let it dawn over our entire life, as the morning awakens our earth.
Lord, we ask for a healing of our mind, heart, and soul. Help us, Lord, to see in each person as You see them. Help us to see them through Your eyes.
And Lord, we agree with our adversaries. With Your help, we withdraw emotional and physical support from any dispute that is taking place in our human minds. We refuse to think in terms of adversaries. We know that the love of God is always in charge and only good prevails. We are agreeing with our adversaries.
May the unifying power of Your Divine love be expressed through us, harmonizing and blessing all those around us.
Who is our adversary? We can honestly answer, “No one.”
In and through the power of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we pray, giving thanks