"Your life is an occasion. Rise to it!" - Mr. Magorium

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Last Shall Be First

I've talked a lot about Jesus' two Great Commandments; to love God with all your heart, soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. Ironically the Bible tells us that we have to do the second one first.

John tells us (I John 4):
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
And Jesus himself says in Matt. 5:
23 ... if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee;
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
These quotations are from the King James Version.

So who is my brother? This is another one of those questions like “Who is my neighbor”. We ask it in an attempt to excuse ourselves for not doing what we should do. If God is our spiritual Father and Mother, then every one is our brother or sister.

Healing is Christian Science isn't about fixing a material body. It's about seeing yourself as the perfect child of God, not subject to any suggestion or illusion of evil, disease, or death. As I said to a friend recently:
It's not about working up to perfection, but working out from it. It's not about becoming something, but seeing clearly what you are.
But in order to succeed in seeing ourselves as we truly are, we need to work to see everyone else that way too. Just this morning I caught myself looking at a guy and thinking “yuppie”. Another young man I labeled in my thinking as “not very bright”. And one dear lady I'm ashamed to say that I silently thought of as “unattractive”.

None of these judgmental thoughts are the truth about these individuals. And none of those thoughts came to me from God; so they weren't really my thinking. They were the whisperings of the supposed mortal consciousness, referred to by Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures as “mortal mind”. She further explains that mortal mind is the source of all illusion, and is itself an illusion. “Nothing claiming to be something”.

When I began my healing work in Christan Science I knew that I needed to forgive people that I felt had wronged me. And I worked at doing this. But it didn't occur to me that I needed handle first impressions.

We're told that first impressions are lasting, and so we should always dress nicely, pay attention to our grooming, and behave as graciously as we can. Then when we meet new people we will always to create a good first impression. But to grow spiritually we need to handle our own first impressions of others. Even if others aren't paying attention to their appearance or behavior, we need to listen to what God is telling us about that person, not what our eyes and ears are saying.

1 comment:

  1. Ironically I find myself living out what I have thought of other people as though there is a lesson that I am what I think of others and become their reflection or somehow their mirror. I so want the company of beautiful people so I can easily (lazily ;) have beautiful thoughts. It's so much about conditioning as to how we perceive others. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were brought up to see each person’s unique beauty and the divinity within. I’m really enjoying your blog Randall thank you for writing powerful thought provoking pieces so devotedly.