Self-evaluations are helpful. What comes instinctual(do i add ly or not?) to me?
Do i have an instinct for war?
Do i have an instinct for peace?
“All the obscenities of war, brought home to us nowadays by audio-visual equipment, do not seem able to halt the advance of the huge war machine set up and maintained over many centuries. Present generations have the almost impossible, Biblical task of ‘beating their swords into ploughshares’ and making the transition from an instinct for war—developed since time immemorial—to a feeling for peace. To achieve this would be the best and most noble act that the ‘global village’ could accomplish, and the best legacy to our descendants.” – Federico Mayor, director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
“part of [this verse] which is inscribed on the wall at the UN plaza. Isaiah writes: “He will certainly render judgment among the nations and set matters straight respecting many peoples. And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.”—Isaiah 2:4.”
A (movie) song from my childhood…reminded of and sang when away with family …(BTW: music helped us cope/heal in hospice..caring for my cousin.)
We are all products of childhood programming (musically or otherwise). In my POV, on-going compassion education is essential to refine our love. What i mean is…a lot of us may have been raised to be nice to or to love our family only, or our close family friends only, or our particular ethnicity only, or our country only. Or to only be nice or show love to those who are capable of being nice or loving us back. It comes easy to be nice to those who are nice to us. Or to love those who love us. We are all affected by climate and culture. Many of us have been taught to think/believe we are the best. Or to compete to come out on top. Our school, our family, our town, our state, our country, our culture, our gender, our economic status, our team, etc. Feelings of superiority can hamper and hinder our compassion cultivation…and our empathy, love/feelings for fellow-fragile life globally.
It’s important to me…to evaluate what is influencing me/helping me cultivate greater love/understanding for all fellow-fragile-life (or not)…i.e. tv, comedians, entertainment/movies, books, friends, media sites, etc., facebook. What am i allowing to have a positive, peaceful influence or a negative, hurtful influence…for example, read the following cautionary today:
Paul wrote about “a large house” with “utensils . . . for an honorable use but others for a use lacking honor.” (2 Tim. 2:20) He admonished […] to separate themselves from the utensils that are used for a purpose “lacking honor.” In a house, some utensils may become contaminated by dangerous substances or unsanitary conditions. The householder will keep such implements separate from clean utensils, such as those used for cooking. (excerpted w 7/14)
Over the week-end, i heard this thought-provoking talk with this illustration…all of us at one time or another look for change…as in i have a $1.00 bill and do you have 4 quarters? Do we hand over our dollar bill to anyone who doesn’t have the exact change we seek? (Mostly likely not, huh?) Usually, we hold onto our $1. And without hesitation or second thought just move on asking the next person in our quest for change. This illustration helped me appreciate that for me to find “change” to truly pursue change…(spiritual growth, etc)…The point being pure, unselfish, mature love does not expect anything in return!:) Would we readily give our $1.00 bill away to anybody?? How about our kindness?? How about our empathy?? How about our compassion?? How about practical/material help to someone in need say a stranger (and not just a relative/friend/cousin)?? i think it’s important, for me, to honestly assess whether or not i am out to just benefit myself. The bible teaches hospitality. In particular, noteworthy to me, hospitality to strangers…
In fact, the Bible urges genuine Christians: “Do not forget kindness to strangers.” (Heb. 13:2, ftn.)
After Jehovah (aka Yahweh, God of Compassion) delivered his people from Egypt, he gave them a set of laws that showed special consideration for the many non-Israelites who had joined them. (Ex. 12:38, 49;22:21) Since foreigners are often disadvantaged, Jehovah lovingly made provisions for them. The right to glean food was one such provision.—Lev. 19:9, 10.
Rather than order the Israelites to respect foreigners, Jehovah appealed to their empathy. (Read Exodus 23:9 “You must not oppress a foreign resident. You know how it feels to be a foreigner, because you were foreign residents in the land of Egypt.”) They knew ‘how it felt to be a foreigner.’ Even before they were reduced to slavery, the Hebrews were likely shunned by the Egyptians because of racial pride or religious prejudice. (Gen. 43:32; 46:34; Ex. 1:11-14) The Israelites had experienced a bitter life as foreign residents, but Jehovah expected them to treat the foreigner “like a native” among them.—Lev. 19:33, 34. (excerpted article Do Not Forget Kindness to Strangers W 2016)
Just recently going back to Massachusetts (and no longer being a resident) and experiencing drastic climate change from hot to cold…i VERY MUCH appreciated the kindness of, for example, warm jackets, hot coco, etc. given to me to help me!!:) When you think about it, this world (of man cruel) isn’t kind and warm, welcoming or helpful to strangers, etc…
Trying to tie-up this post…so, getting back to the opening questions about my instincts…war? peace? hate? love?
In whom do Isaiah’s words find fulfillment, and in what way? […] Isaiah’s words are fulfilled by individuals from many nations, who are united in pure worship. Jehovah (Impartial God of Compassion) has “set matters straight” among them. He has taught his people to live at peace with one another. Truly, in a divided and strife-ridden world, they have figuratively beaten their “swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears.” How?
For one thing, they do not take sides in the wars of the nations. Shortly before Jesus’ death, armed men came to arrest him. When Peter lashed out with a sword to defend his Master, Jesus said to him: “Return your sword to its place, for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52) Since then, Jesus’ footstep followers have beaten their swords into plowshares and have refrained from taking up weapons to kill their fellow man and from supporting war efforts in other ways. They “pursue peace with all people.”—Hebrews 12:14. (excerpted book reading..Isaiah’s Prophecy 1, chapter 4 pp. 38-41.)
Thank YOU:) Reader for reading!…(btw: most of my readers are “strangers” to me (i don’t know You personally), hoping by sharing some spiritual/mind food…You:) will find strength to pursue peace with all people and perhaps, expand your love/compassion even further…a lofty goal, huh?! YES! achievable goal!:)
Peace (& Honey)
12/6/16 @ 6:00 p.m.