Thursday, November 15, 2007

the Greatest of these is LOVE!

I have found it difficult lately to set my heart to writing. My heart has been aching as I look around me. The things I have seen have elicited so much emotion, but so few words. God has told us that if we forget all else, to remember one word.....Love. God is love. Love God. Love thy neighbor. Love your enemy. God so Loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.... and I see Love all around me. But I see so much hate. I hear negative comments...criticisms...gossip. I see senseless violence. I hear God crying out - I gave this to you. You choose what to do with it. Do something!

I don't think we realize how much power we have. I don't think we realize the strength behind a word or a look. When we were children, we were told that we could do anything - we could change the world. And we believed it. Somewhere along the way, we lost faith in our own power to change things. But the catch is that we continued unconsciously to influence things around us. We thought we couldn't impact our environment....yet we continued to impact our environment. We thought that we couldn't change other people's views and perceptions.....yet we continued to change their views and perceptions, and sometimes tainted our own beliefs along the way.

We have power! And we are not harnessing it. We are not utilizing our power to accomplish a purpose. What would happen if we would actively channel our power of influence toward a purpose? What are we capable of? Can we zap away someones negative attitude with our positive one? Maybe not. Maybe so. But we can plant a seed of hope. Can we show love instead of hate? Compassion instead of anger?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said "Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being." Do we really have the power to help a person attain their potential? Do we have the influence? Anne Frank said "How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world! How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution toward introducing justice straightaway... And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness! "

We have the power to teach people about love. God would not have commanded us to show love above all else if it was not possible. Christ said "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matt 18:3 (KJV) Christ used the illustration of being like children. Do you think that could be because children still have limitless faith? Children still think they can change the world. Why don't we? Have we tried?

We can complain about the world around us. "What is the world coming to?" "These kids today..." But as long as we continue to be 'armchair activists' we are exhibiting the most fearful sort of influence - the influence of indifference. And those children that look to us for guidance, learn something. They learn that a person is doesn't have the power to change the world. And they are wrong!

something to think about.......................

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Audrey Hepburn

If thou be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be thy servants for ever. 2 Chron 10:7 (KJV)

I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions. This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream -- a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man's skin determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1 (KJV)

The unique personality which is the real life in me, I can not gain unless I search for the real life, the spiritual quality, in others. I am myself spiritually dead unless I reach out to the fine quality dormant in others. For it is only with the god enthroned in the innermost shrine of the other, that the god hidden in me, will consent to appear.
"An Ethical Philosophy of Life" Felix Adler

I have expressed my strong interest in the mass of the people; and this is founded, not on their usefulness to the community, so much as on what they are in themselves.... Indeed every man (sic), in every condition, is great. It is only our own diseased sight which makes him little. A man is great as a man, be he where or what he may. The grandeur of his nature turns to insignificance all outward distinctions. William Ellery Channing

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Romans 12:9-10 (KJV)

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people Franklin D. Roosevelt

Kindness is the highest form of intelligence. Negativity is poison and in all things we reap what we sow. when you are negative without tempering such actions or attitudes with kindness, you create an environment ripe for the breeding of resentment and animosity, hurt feelings are the natural outcome. The intelligence comes in when you realize that a kind word or action results in reciprocation, it opens the door to love and contentment. Negativity and criticism may help to develop a thicker skin, but pressed too hard, the skin become stone, and have you ever tried to squeeze blood from a stone *unknown

The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook. Prov 18:4 (KJV)

The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Prov 18:8 (KJV)

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. Prov 31:26 (KJV)

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration; I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35 (KJV)

I think that this is the first time I am meeting most of you. But to me, whether it is an old friend or new friend, there’s not much difference anyway, because I always believe we are the same; we are all human beings. Of course, there may be differences in our cultural background or way of life, there may be differences in our faith, or we may be of a different color, but we are human beings, consisting of the human body and the human mind. Our physical structure is the same, and our mind and our emotional nature are also the same. Whenever I meet people, I always have the feeling that I am encountering another human being, just like myself. I find it is much easier to communicate with others on that level. If we emphasize specific characteristics, like I am Tibetan or I am Buddhist, then there are differences. But those things are secondary. If we can leave the differences aside, I think we can easily communicate, exchange ideas, and share experiences. Dalai Lama

And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. 34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. Lev 19:33-34 (KJV)

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalms 19:14 (KJV) AMEN.


Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

Well, no comment can trump or touch that post. Loads of wisdom there to think about. Love the selection of quotes....

Wendy said...

Wow - a lot to think about - especially in light of my mood the past two days! Maybe I need to take some of your words to heart and just change my attitude to one of LOVE no matter how crummy my day is! Hmmm...

Well, I'll start with this - I LOVE YOU, NAT! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks again, Natalie! Your words are always very encouraging. I couldn't agree more!It all stems from LOVE. Mainly because God is Love and it certainly all stems from Him!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!