Meditation from David Edwards   5 comments

Give me half!

Kimberly and I read this together Sunday and found the subject quite relevant:

As Jesus is teaching, someone in the crowd calls out, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”  He wants Jesus to correct a personal injustice he has suffered.  He thinks that if Jesus changes his brother, and he gets his share of the loot, he will be happy.  He locates the cause of his suffering outside of himself.

Jesus doesn’t bite the hook.  “Who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?”  If Jesus really cared about people, would he not jump at the chance to make things right between people?  Most of us would!  We love to get in there and decide who is wrong, who is right, and think we are fixing things.  Jesus teaches us to see more deeply than that….  If Jesus had stepped in and made his brother split the inheritance, nothing would have changed.  The man would still be stuck in his own spiritual poverty.

Our responses to others reveal more about ourselves than the other person….  Just when we think we are so loving, forgiving, non-violent, so full of God’s purposes, someone or something comes along and trips us up.  Tha anger, the fear, the jealousy, the judgmentalism flare up in us again.  And once more we find ourselves thinking it is this other person or this circumstance that needs to be changed.  If we can receive persons and experiences into our spiritual lives and discover what they are teaching us about ourselves, we will find that the real answer is not in the change that happens around us but within us.  When we are engaged in that kind of transformative spiritual life, when true, deep love, when true peacefulness, when true forgiveness and compassion are being formed in us, then we are people who foster change in others and the world.

We don’t know what happened to the person in the crowd that day, what he did with Jesus’ teaching.  He was at an important juncture in his life.  He could remain the prisoner of expectations and demands related to his brother and to life around him.  Or he could look at himself, come to greater self-awareness, and turn toward a life of true security, freedom, and joy.

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Posted August 8, 2011 by janathangrace in Uncategorized

5 responses to “Meditation from David Edwards

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  1. I have known the pain inside all my life and have done what I can to surrender, change, be changed, etc. Forgave the sexual abusers, the theft of my family inheritance, the betrayal of family members, and have asked God for forgiveness for my sins too. Have done what I can to move on. I am still in pain.

    • Anonymous, I’m sorry for your pain. I think our emotional reactions tell us more about ourselves than the other person, but it doesn’t mean the other person is not genuinely at fault. For those of us who were never trained in understanding our own emotions, it can be very difficult to interpret them, and we often need to help of a compassionate friend or counselor. The emotion on the surface is often not our deepest emotion. Sadness can hide anger, anger can hide shame, and so on. Most of my life I completely misunderstood my own emotions, because I condemned myself for them and tried to control them instead of being compassionate for myself and accepting them. All my efforts to know my own heart led me to judge myself more harshly instead of feeling greater compassion for my own woundedness. It is a very long journey some of us are on.

  2. Thanks for posting this message. A coincidental, timely learning; just what I wanted to receive this morning – BK

  3. Long journey is almost over for me – what’s another 35 years if I live an average lifetime?

    It’s not all about pain because I “pull myself up by my bootstraps” and only because God gave me the strength in the first place to do so. I know what my emotions are and why I have them. Yes, my emotions tell me I am one messed up person, or tell me I am really joyful depending on the day, what may, or may not have happened, and in also how I allow myself to respond to whatever it is, or what I allow myself to dwell on. Letting something go by forgiveness has also given me the impression it didn’t matter in the first place. I didn’t hold my violators accountable for anything wrong they have done to me. Thinking God’s justice is more stern than my own gives me some comfort, but doubt plays a role in my mind too. Changing my perception to allow others to be who they are and not put them in the box I have designed for them has helped me to not give up. Have a couple of people I can talk with honestly and this helps me know my life has value.

    I was taught very young denying myself meant not feeling emotions, or letting emotions control me. I screamed out for help, but underneath tried to hide the truth of the matter out of fear and realized as an adult that I was right to not tell the truth at that time. Telling it later only reinforced what I already knew and I was able to stand up for myself as I have also stated before. Also, learned not to show the true emotions in different situations as if I was on a stage playing a part. As described before did my best to hide my true emotions out of fear of reprisal. Everyone does that to one extent or another in life. Never understood the honesty qualifier in this either. For example, when one passes a person at work in the office they say, “how are you?” The response usually is, “I am fine, how are you?” And life goes on. Wonder why people don’t talk of true emotions in America?…..One reason there is no time to deal with anything in this fast paced society. Some people don’t care to hear it they got so much to deal with themselves. That’s not how our society operates. More and more people are forced to work 2 to 3 jobs to make it and one won’t get ahead in many types of jobs if they show who they really are. It’s about looking the best, being the smartest, having the best angle, plan, approach, charisma, etc. I cannot try to measure up it’s failed me over and over.
    Wonder what God says about my perceptions here?

    I have failed time and time again to make it in this big world and don’t really have a plan on how to move forward, but know this thinking won’t get me anywhere – my emotions just want me to give up. So all emotions aside I work my minimum wage job as I downsize to one bag of clothes to move to a cheaper place so I can afford to survive. Wonder how long it will take me to save the 3,600 dollars once I move that I need to fix two teeth one of which has an abcess on it for the past two months. Been to dentist twice for this and they gave me antibiotics to treat it and abscess has returned. Dentist used temporary fillings both times because I told them I don’t want to lose those teeth, but they state they won’t put permanent fillings on a tooth that has had partial pulpotomies on them. I asked her to prepare them for a crown and fill it with permanent filling used for root canals, but they won’t do this unless I pay 1800.00 per tooth to get a crown so I probably won’t have any choice but lose the teeth, or die from a tooth infection. Will call the dentist and see if she can call me in some more antibiotics without being seen and then having to pay 75.00 for the visit that I don’t have. I have 63.00 left for the rest of the month for two people to eat on. It’s beans and rice for dinner tonight. So far I have not gone a day without food so I am grateful to God.

    Thank you for all your writings they do help whether it appears as such here, or not.

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