Are we making gods and devils out of people places and things?
I had this inspiration today as I thought about how many times I hear people say that they "don’t want to say anything because they might step on someone’s toes." I connected it to my reflections on what divine Love is and how to attain it, the Love that heals, in opposed to our limited, human understanding of love.
If we are afraid to say something to a person because we’re afraid of stepping on their toes, then we might be making a god out of them. If we’re afraid because they might get angry or take a retaliation, then we’re making a devil out of them. Neither of these is a Christian outlook. Both views can hurt ourselves as much as they will hurt others as we’re breaking the first commandment and having “other gods,” being in awe of them or fearing them, when what we really need to do is just to love them. Jesus healed because he was sure of his mission and he loved the people completely, so he was able to tell them the truth without regard for his own life. The truth that he told was to cause them to realize that they were really God’s children, but they had to behave like it. They had to change their minds about who they thought that they and others were, and to open their eyes to who we all really are, as described in the first chapter of Genesis, the image and likeness of God— before the mist went up from the ground, mixed with dust and covered us up, believing the serpent’s version of creation.
Jesus came here as The Light. This light, if followed will lead us out of that mist, wash off the dust, and free us to continue on experience perfect existence, which is heaven. We all have to come to the realization that this divine love is not something that is mysterious, far away, non-understandable, or reserved for a few. Why would God have children that couldn’t understand Him? He wouldn’t. We are all capable, every single one of us. So, it seems that one of the first places to start is to make an effort to not be offended by anything that anyone has done or not done, because it’s not true about them, according to God, and it’s also not true about us, that we could be hurt by or annoyed by someone else. God didn’t give them the power to do that and if we’re admitting Him as having the only power, then any other seeming powers can’t be real, and would amount to “other gods.”
The big argument against this point of view, is “What about all of the evil that’s going on in the world and no one can do anything about it? Where does it come from and how do we get rid of it? It’s very real to all who are suffering on account of it. This is true. Life on earth does seem to be a very big mystery. We don’t have direct answers from Jesus about this. He didn’t say, as far as we know. All we have to go on is what he told us to do as the most important things: to love God with all of our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves, treating them the way that we would want to be treated (The Golden Rule) and to love our enemy and do good to them. He gave other specific directions, too, in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, so evidently he knew that if we all did our best to abide by these concepts that it would do away with all of our problems. They all have to do with changing our mind and looking at things in a better way, repenting. (the meaning of repent- to re-think) He thought that everyone could do it, as he told us to do it, but that we had to become like a little child to achieve it. (get into the Kingdom of Heaven) So, it might be a little bit hard, but not like walking across the desert with high-heels and no water or hat, more like a mental struggle.
He told us to do it because he had the spiritual ability to look right through the mortal mask and costume that we wear on earth and see our perfect selves as God made us. So he wasn’t asking us to work up to perfection, just to open our eyes to see that we already are perfect. Well, that shouldn’t seem overly demanding, but actually a happy realization.
So, what does perfect mean? It’s not the type of perfect that we think of when we say that someone is a perfectionist…that type gets annoyed when things don’t appear perfect in their experience or that of others. No, that’s the human concept that we need to repent of. To be perfect in a spiritual sense would include things like a perfect sense of humor, compassion, expression, affection, order, time, conversation, and we could go on forever with these ideas. Isn’t this how we’d all like to be treated and treat others? It’s what the Golden Rule is about.
We, too, need to learn to trust our highest sense of things and say what comes to us as needing to be said. When we do this, we are truly loving another, which is the divine type of love, and we can trust that it will supply the needed thought and action to make us both free, because as long as we’re holding on to the fear of offending we are not healing. That must be what the Bible means when it says that “perfect love casts out fear”.
Then, what does it mean to love God with all of our hearts? God and good are the same thing. So, we don’t need to try and love some far away unknowable. If we love good, love to express it, see it in others and around the world, hope that good prevails, then we are loving God.
Divine love is a principle, meaning that it gives without partiality It gives like the sun shines, as the Bible says, on the just and the unjust, so it’s fairly easy to benefit from it. If we have a lot of wet clothes, waiting to be dried on the line, but only having so much space on the line at a time, we just have to work at getting everything dried. If we go off and do something else, instead of bringing each load in as soon as it’s dry and taking another out to put on the line, then we’re going to have wet clothes piled up and they’ll begin to mildew, which means that they have to be washed all over again; so it’s best, for our own sakes, to stay with it and pay attention.
We’re all individuals and we don’t need to be afraid that our unique expression is going to be misunderstood, as long as we’re presenting it according to our highest understanding, sincerely, and without emotion. We know from history that all thinkers, prophets, and reformers have been misunderstood and worse—and they weren’t afraid, well they probably were but they didn’t let the fear stop them from explaining that the world was not flat or the earth was not the center of the universe or solar system. We have it easy today; we don’t have to face a fraction of what those who went before us faced. Surely we can face another’s displeasure at a few truthful words kindly placed on a situation. How would the race ever evolve if the truth were never told out of fear for someone’s toes? We’re not a generation of marshmallows! People can’t get offended because the wind blows their hair, and if they do, well, it’s because they are expecting to be treated as gods—and we can’t do that to each other. When others threaten us, to deprive us of our peace, joy, comfort, and other happiness, if we cower we are allowing them to play the role of devil—and we can’t do that to them either.
Surely, we all need to hear the truth, kindly told, to make progress; otherwise we might go around and around for a long time.The Bible tells us to do these things below: Some people resist because they don’t want to be pointing a finger at others, but….We need to consider what the Bible tell us to do:
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith
1. to criticize or correct, esp. gently.
2. to express strong disapproval of; censure.
3. Obs. to disprove or refute.
1. To criticize or reprove sharply; reprimand. See Synonyms at admonish.
1. To address an earnest or urgent request to; implore:
strongly encourage or urge (someone) to do something.
So, what is the difference between pointing a finger, criticizing, nagging, and lecturing, and the above directions from the Bible?
Remember, that there are groups of people who have done, and are still doing everything possible to keep the word of God, as given in the Bible, from the masses, right from the very beginning. That was the reason for killing the prophets, crucifying Jesus and killing his disciples and apostles; the reason for persecuting Tyndale, Huss, Wycliffe, and Luther, all forerunners of King James and his version of the Bible. The powers did not want the people thinking and reasoning for themselves. Today, pop-psychology has taken the power place.
This is what comes to me: Pop psychology says we shouldn't point a finger, indeed, that we shouldn't even say the word “should” as it’s too demanding; teenagers say that they don’t want to be lectured; men say that they don’t want to be nagged, so no one says anything because they don’t want to be a drag or a nag, and what has happened to families in our country and the world? We blame the government, big business, and so forth for our problems, but the problem is that people in those venues and others, have this problem of being afraid. Most people have a mortgage, children in college, hospital bills, and on and on, and they don’t want to lose their jobs, so they say nothing about things and allow the gods and devils to push them around. But we all do this on every level.
My mother told me that we can say whatever needs to said if we say it nicely. If everyone did this, all at the same time, and listened with an open mind to others, would we all have perfect existence right here on earth, right now, as Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and within.