Friday, May 20, 2011

THE 72-HOUR RULE: LOVE ONE ANOTHER


John 13:34-35
34 A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have love you, that ye also love one another
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another

I never realized the extent of this scripture, and not until recently did I realize just what the Savior is saying to his disciples and to us, as we are his disciples also. A commandment to love one another; this makes me think of the times when my mom had to pull me and brother apart from the frequent “knock-down, drag out fights” we would have. Both my mom and my dad told us that we would have to learn to get along, and we would have to love each other.
 I remember thinking to myself that there was no way I would ever love this horrible little boy, who unfortunately was my brother. But I remember asking my grandmother about this, I told her that I had a hard time trying to love such a bad little boy. She told me that I had to try. I had to try and find something loveable in him. So I did the best I could, and now even in our adult hood, our relationship is often strained due to time and distance from one another. But I made a decision last year to change something about myself, so that I could find a way to love my brother, as the Savior commanded, and as he deserved to be loved by me. My brother and I communicate mostly through letters, and the interpretation of those letters can be subjective. My husband made a very good suggestion, he said, “Why don’t you write a cheerful letter?” Stop complaining, because I am sure your brother is aware of your issues and he is probably as stressed about them as you are”. I was speechless, so I swallowed my pride and I wrote a cheerful and concerned letter. He appreciated it and now we can move on in our relationship.
So this leads me to the next dilemma, we say “Lord, some people are really hard to love”.
Matthew 5:43-45
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
45 That you may be sons of your Father in heaven, for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust
That’s hard, isn’t it? Someone said to me that one way to overcome this is to endeavor to serve that person or persons. Serve? How do we serve an enemy? I believe that the first line of defense is prayer. Is anyone beyond prayer?
Luke 23:33-35
33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.
34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do:And they divided His garments and cast lots.
35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”  
Jesus prayed to our Heavenly Father and asked that He would forgive them. Wow, Jesus was dying, and struggling  just to find the strength to say his last words to his mother and friends. What an effort it must have been to say that prayer,both physically and mentally.
The Roman soldiers were gambling for his clothing,and one of the two criminals that was hanging beside him taunted him, saying to him that he should just get off the cross if he were the son of God. Have we met these people? Even when they are just as bad off as we are, they still throw rocks.

Luke 28:29-30
29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.
30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.
About a week ago, I was the recipient of a random act of kindness. How do you figure. It was interesting how the day developed. The "Big Boss" of the hospital where I work posted his thoughts on his blog. His thoughts were this:
"Small acts of kindness, indeed small acts of kindness often randomly performed, can make huge differences in the lives of men and women". 
He went on to say that in our jobs we could all practice random acts of kindness, a smile, a friendly greeting, listening to another's distress,etc. He said that it didn't matter what job or title we held, we all have the opportunity to make others lives better through kindness. I was really blessed at that moment. So I told my husband about this, read the post to him, and we both got warm and fuzzy all over, but it didn't last, because we immediately started to complain about some unfair treatment or what ever. So we complained and complained, and you know what happened? A car; loaded with 2 adults and assorted kids drove up. We looked at this car and we recognized some of the youth leaders and some of the young men and women. My husband went up to the window and asked if they were lost. Someone shoved a plate of cookies in his hands. They told my husband that he was the recipient of a "random act of kindness" and that he was to pay it forward. We were stunned, so we asked "Why us?" They looked at us and laughed and said because we love you, and then they drove off. Its almost like Jesus was listening to our complaints, and he said, "Put a cookie in it" LOL:). Those were delicious cookies. I wanted to pay it forward, but I can't bake a lick. So I sent my husband to help our neighbors do some minor repairs on their home. 
      
Thank you to everyone who reads my blog, this is my 100th post, and looking back at my older posts,I am surprised at how much I have learned. Thank you for all of you kind words and friendship; keep reading
Ramona
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