Thinking of the late Alistair Cooke who penned and broadcast “Letter from America” from 1946 – 2004, I have copied his idea. I loved listening to him but as he started, I often wondered where on earth he was going, I soon got captivated by what seemed to be his deliberate and clearly successful tactic I cannot match his style!
I awoke to today with “others” on my mind and in days when people are foolishly getting hung up on sexism, I noticed that the words “others” contain the words “he and her”, just as God intended!
An age-old difficulty of life is the business of others and the Bible has much to say about others and if we all followed its teaching; life would be much the better for it. If we treated others as we would like to be treated ourselves crime would surely be eliminated. I know people can self-harm but I feel that has its roots in first being harmed by circumstances created by others.
The love of God is all about His great love for others, a love that extends to people of every tribe and tongue. All lives matter to Him and if everyone realised that there would be no need for all the trouble that is being stoked up in society. I don’t think this is a political matter, it is to my mind a spiritual matter. When people get truly right with God it brings a great incentive to be right with other people.
The Lord Jesus was the best example, spit upon, struck in the face, mocked, jeered and ultimately crucified. The only charge his persecutors could have successfully accused Hm of is that “He went about doing good”. When rash Peter cut a man’s ear off, Jesus put it back!
A hard lesson to learn is that when we have trouble with others it can reveal weaknesses and faults about ourselves. Sometimes when friction has occurred and we think at the time we are in the right; later reflection and the reading of God’s word can convict us regarding our reaction. We might have been badly treated, let down and disappointed with someone but even if we outwardly did not display any malice, in our hearts we entertained bad feelings and even rage.
Calm reflection may convict us that we dealt with a situation in an inappropriate way. But however much we suffered hurt it was our Lord who told his followers to turn the other cheek, to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us (AV) and pray for those who despitefully use us, (Matthew 5:44). He indicates that this is a sure sign that we are God’s children.
It was reported that a lady once attended a meeting where the preacher invited people out to the front for prayer, she went forward because she was constantly suffering from pain. The preacher told her that he felt he could not pray for her because he felt she had some unresolved issue in her life. She confessed that she had a long dispute with her sister and the Pastor encouraged her to put matters right. She did not like his advice, but pain will drive people to try anything to seek relief. She felt that she could not visit her sister and decided to write a letter to her seeking reconciliation. She went to the local post-box, dropped the letter in and her testimony was that from the moment she posted the letter, her pain was gone.
I have witnessed more than one occasion when people who have sought reconciliation found the joy of forgiveness and reunion. A Deacon of a church told me that it had happened to him, he at first told me he could not face visiting a third party. A few months later he met me and said, “I did it!” and he said, “it was just as though the Holy Spirit had gone before me”. I once witnessed two sisters reconciling which led to a wonderful healing of their relationship.
There is a fear of being rebuffed but the antidote to feeling so is to recognise that you have done what was required of you, you are not responsible for the other party. I cannot recall a place in the Bible where it tells us what the other person should do. It is down to us before God and important that He sees. May the Lord help us all to: –
“Love one another”