Jesus said, “Agree with thine adversary quickly” Matthew 5:25
Let’s open with prayer: Dear God, 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. Surround us with Your love as we forgive – as we release. Amen
In our Bible study, we have been concentrating on “us and them. “ We would hope as Christians that we would see everybody as us. And wouldn’t that be wonderful if all of us would be part of “us.” It would be wonderful if all of us were easy to be with and loving toward each other. But it’s just not that way. We have people and all of our lives who can be pretty difficult to get along with. Even though they may be in a higher spiritual friendship circle, they are not people with whom we feel comfortable. So what are we going to do about these particular people? We know we can’t change them. Many have probably tried; we know that we can’t ignore them; and we certainly don’t want to just move away. Since we can’t change them, we know that we have the power to change our own outlook, our own feelings, attitudes, approaches – in other words we have to decide what to do with ourselves. That’s the only thing we have power over – our own reactions. And sometimes we actually think and believe that it is impossible to get along with this person.
Let’s think about this story I’m going to tell 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.”
Do you remember Reginald Denny? He was the truck driver who was beaten, pulled out of his truck and beaten during those Los Angeles riots. During the trial of the man who beat him, we saw on the news an amazing event occur. Denny was in the courtroom, television cameras recording. Denny could have reacted with hate as were his attackers acting, but he spoke of the way a true Christian would speak while he was on the stand. After he stepped down there was a short break. Denny walked down and extended his hand to the mother of one of the men who had beaten him, Georgianna William.. He simply went over to her and said, “May I shake your hand?”
As Mrs. Williams reached out to him, instead of shaking her hand he hugged her. Tears started forming in her eyes and dropping on her cheek and without even realizing what she was saying, she said “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.
Now that is true Christian. And if we can remember, Jesus said basically the same thing. He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. We, as people who are living the example of Jesus Christ, are compelled should always express love rather than hate. How in the world do we do this? Well let’s start thinking about people in our own circle, our family. Surely, there are some disagreeable people in your family. You can’t change them, no matter how hard you try. But you can change yourself – your own attitude.
So when you change yourself, your attitudes, your mind frame, use and change your reaction to that person; you stop giving that person your power, you take back your power. When you do so you have once again your power to love. You always have the power to love; you never have to use hate with hate. The whole teaching of Jesus is love, we can be representatives of that love. You can always go the Jesus Christ way. The bottom line of His teachings was always love.
Have any of you ever been to Japan? Let me tell you something they teach the children over there. They teach them what is called “pillow education.” Here’s what it looks like and I’m going to quote it. ” 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 taught us that the perfect answer to almost everything in our lives is based on forgiveness. It is important to rise above personal feelings, our human mind and our contentions and keep our minds focused on forgiveness; we all have the power to do this. Yes, believe it or not, we all have that wonderful spirit of God that can manifest in and through us.
Leviticus 19:18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
Let’s look at and say this powerful prayer together.
“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.”
Did you notice that in this above forgiveness prayer nobody was mentioned except God and you. It never asked God to forgive another or to ask God to help you forgive someone who has, you think, wronged you. You never see in this prayer anywhere asking God to help you forgive another, no matter how mean, nasty, unpleasant that person may be. The prayer literally says I give my mind to you fill me with the mind and heart of Christ. Help me realize and hold fast the divine thoughts of Christ. Help me to see anew by bringing Your thought, Your 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.”
We like to blame our problems on things that go on outside of our control, We love to play the blame game.
Remember “Dear Abby?” Her column is still in thousands of newspapers around the country, The nine problems Dear Abby heard and still 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 above nine things have to do with people outside of us But truth be told—t he 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 the specialness of that?
“Angels fly because they take themselves so lightly.” is a famous Scottish saying. Everything we hold on to – anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, etc. weighs us down. If we spend that time forgiving and “releasing” it would be time well spent. Why hold on to it. Let it go!
Ask the Holy Spirit to fill your heart. You are filled with the Holy Spirit, when you have the WHOLE Spirit of God in your mind and in your heart and in your soul 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 have looked at things with human eyes, you now look from a Divine standpoint.
Now, you have a new power. You have not changed the other person; YOU have been changed. When you say, “I forgive you,” you talk more about yourself and what is going on inside of you, than what is going on outside of you. You have become a little lighter. Then by releasing it totally, you become even lighter.
When we hold on to “it,” and think and talk about it, we are still harboring the experience, the hurtfulness, the bitterness/anger. That affects us spiritually, physically, emotionally, dragging us down with heaviness. It hurts us, not the other person.
Companions on our pathway, our journey — we have many. In having many of these people in our lives, we have many that are wondrous and many that are not so wondrous.
We ask, “Why are the disagreeable there? Why are they in my life?”
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 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.
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Let us love one another. This soul growth experience is your purpose.
I urge you to do that.
God bless you!