In a world that is full of anger and frustration, it’s easy to allow our resentments to simmer. Nonetheless, Jesus reminds us that we are called to be peacemakers.
We are asked to love all neighbors, irrespective of their race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, height, weight, physical or mental ability, and marital status.
Making peace begins within:
Until we have taken the sty from our own eye, we cannot say that we will make peace for others in our neighborhood or community.
So, consider for a moment: what triggers you?
What makes you angry when you read the news? Who do you feel threatened by? Which neighbors are you struggling to love?
The TRUTH will set us free:
What resentment or anger am I feeling today towards another that I have not forgiven and dealt with?
This is our starting point! Feeling angry or fearful does not feel spiritual. You may be tempted to ignore it. Perhaps you tell yourself “I shouldn’t feel this way” – but failing to deal with the truth of your emotions leads to living a lie. ]When we ignore what we are truly experiencing and fail to do the inner work, there will be no fruit.
When we feel anger – or a certain person or situation triggers us – we have an opportunity to do the inner work of forgiveness and letting go. The first step in healing is to acknowledge the truth of what we feel. Then, we can ask for forgiveness.
We are promised that all this will be taken from us and we will be renewed! But in order for healing to take place, we have to be willing to let it go.
Loving God in order to love another
If we say that we love God, and we fail to love our neighbor, we lie to ourselves!
Loving God is seeing everyone else around us through the eyes of God. Because when we love God with heart and soul and mind – our heart connects to another through God’s heart. When we love Gop with all our minds – our mind thinks about others as God does. When we love with all our soul – we see their soul as God does.
If you have time, sit down and journal these questions and answers for yourself.
- What situations in the news recently have triggered anger, resentment, fear, or frustration in me?
- What is the emotion that I am truly feeling?
- Does this emotion or feeling remind me of any person or situation in my past?
- Is there something or someone in my past that I have not yet forgiven, that I need to release and let go so that the truth can set me free at this moment?
- Now that I have forgiven this person – how do I feel about the current situation and news?
- Have I forgiven myself for holding onto these emotions all this time?
- Is there someone I need to ask forgiveness from?
- Are there any other emotions that I need to acknowledge and release?
- How can I express love and compassion this week?
Matthew 22:36-40 King James Version (KJV)
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.