“’You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’”Jesus in Matthew 5:43-48
“Instead of thinking of the people whom you have believed to be evil and an undesirable influence, think of the goodness of God in the life of His children. Think of God as everywhere present light, love, peace, power, and life. Think of all men, women, and children as abiding in God’s Presence and expressing God’s qualities.”Myrtle Fillmore, Co-Founder of the Unity Movement
Let’s face it. Some people are bullies! They threaten, invade, and divide. They see enemies where there are none. They bring disrespect and a hostile energy and a heaviness. They make life uncomfortable and restrictive for everyone. The root cause of bullying is fear. We see this in the national and local news, and sadly sometimes in our own homes or communities. We may misunderstand and misuse spiritual principle to stick our heads in the sand, thinking it’s “not spiritual” to acknowledge it. And so, to the detriment of everyone, we tolerate bullying behavior. That’s not helpful. It allows the harmful conduct to go on. The spiritual well-being of ourselves, our communities, our country, and our world call us instead to engage sacredness. We are drawn to take our stand in love.
Love is an immensely strong spiritual power. It isn’t an emotion. It isn’t necessary to feel affection for someone in order to stand in love toward them. Love is the healing power. It melts fear because love is the reality that all people are one with God. When you know that it is in God that you live, move, and have your being, there is nothing to fear. Spirit, that is abundance, well-being, and joy, is right there with and within you. All of us are learning this truth for ourselves. One of the greatest boosts to our own spiritual education is doing what Myrtle Fillmore and Jesus recommend in the quotations above. As we practice seeing God’s Presence in others, we increase our capacity to feel God’s Presence in ourselves.
When we encounter persons either on the national stage or in our personal lives whose behavior indicates they don’t seem to have a clue that they are expressions of God, love them, love them, love them. That means first getting out of the way of adverse circumstances – God never intends for any of God’s children to serve as garbage cans for others’ irresponsible actions. Getting out of the way emotionally, spiritually, and if necessary physically, is actually the power of love in action. Take care of yourself – that’s the number one way we stand in love toward others. Then let the love in you see the love at the core of that person. Know that God is within them. Pray for their good. Think of God’s qualities of love, light, peace abiding in them. Don’t try to fix them or specify how “they need to change.” Take care of yourself, bless them, and let go and let God. You will be amazed at how the power of love lifts you. And you will know that whatever it looks like to you, God’s amazing power of Love is indeed at work in that person’s life. It is your willingness to take your stand in love that has been the catalyst. Love is power! Let it expand your wholeness as we celebrate love on this Third Sunday of Advent.
In the Love and Light of the Christ,