The past few days have been spent studying and praying about self-righteousness. It can be subtle or blatant, but it can be seen through as erroneous thinking. Recently, when visiting with a friend who was telling me of hurt feelings and praying though sensitivity, immediately I saw that she was thinking she was humanly right! Lovingly, I pointed this out to her since I have certainly done the same thing, we both agreed that was breaking the first commandment “Thou shalt have no other God beside me.” Even while discussing symptoms of a disease one may think he has the right to complain. Often we even become defensive about symptoms!
Whether we are talking about self-pity, self-righteousness, self-justification, self-condemnation or any other self……., shouldn’t we address this, refute it and replace it with God is the only power there is? God is our Health, Supply, Shepherd, Guide and the only Cause there is. Isaiah 43:1 reads “But now this is what the Lord says–He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.'” Self is just ego and needs to be corrected immediately.
This morning as I began my prayer and study time, I began with God as I always do. But this time I thought of God as not only the Creator, but the only Cause and Effect, the only Supply, Health, Substance, the Maintainer of our Life and our guide and Shepherd. The more I thought along these lines, fear became non-existent and almost, absurd! If we are made in God’s likeness and image we have access to all Good. When we take responsibility for our thinking and immediately recognize what does not come from God, we can refute erroneous thinking and replace it with a Truth, knowing the allness of God and the nothingness of error.
1 Timothy 6:15 reads “Which God will bring about in His own time –God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” When we quieten our thoughts and go into the closet to pray and simply listen; that is truly prayer.
Recently, while on vacation, we visited a small Indian Reservation where we shopped for a piece of pottery. We arrived early and this woman invited us into her home to show us the five pieces she had made to sell. The vase I found was small, delicate and beautiful and she had $150 price marked on it. I asked her what she would take for it and after thinking, she said $140. She then told us of the steps in making this piece of art and I was almost embarrassed. Before writing my check, I almost wrote it for $200 since I felt pity for how she lived.
Immediately, I caught my thought, wrote the check for $150 and she was beaming. How dare me feel sorry for this lady who loved what she did and was so proud! What a beautiful experience we had listening to her as she proudly told the steps her family had been taking for hundreds of years in making this pottery.
John 14:27 reads “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” I felt such peace that day.
Recently my husband did something wonderful for someone and I felt he was not properly thanked. He feels I put too much emphasis on a “Thank you” note or text. As a young girl, my mother taught us how important it is to express gratitude and I may have “overlearned” that. Then, I was gently reminded and questioned myself on how grateful I am for all my blessings. Humbly, I realized I should really stay in a state of gratitude for all God does and maybe I should judge not lest I be judged.
Ephesians 3:20 reads “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” Once again, I question where my focus is.
Today as I am studying the various healings of Jesus, I notice they are from turning water into wine, healing the lepers, raising the dead and on and on. In none of these, does Jesus say one may be more difficult to heal than another. There are times when I pray, the temptation that it may be worse than another challenge comes to thought until I focus on the allness of God and the nothingness of error. As I begin prayerfully with God and ask to see what Jesus always saw, I soon see the perfection of God’s universe. Matthew 9:35 reads ” Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.”
There is nothing impossible to God and Jesus even showed us how to pray. Gratitude fills my heart as my focus stays on the allness of God.
Yesterday I heard a lady tell a story about her four year old daughter. This child loved to pray to and about everything. She prayed to and about her dolls, family members and her small dog. One day the mother wasn’t feeling well and her little girl was there playing so she asked her to pray for her. The little girl agreed and soon, the lady was feeling much better and asked her daughter what did she pray. She just smiled and said, “I didn’t talk, Mama, I just listened!” What wisdom! So often, we want to do all the talking while true prayer is listening.
Proverbs 16:3 reads “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” This can only be done by listening. An old translation of the word “obey” is to “hear completely”.
Frequently the question of how can I contribute to world peace comes to my thought. The answer always comes in the way I view others as well as myself. Am I critical of others? Am I critical of myself? The answer to both of those questions is often “Yes”. Then I ask myself, “What does God see?” Habakkuk 1:13 comes to mind and it reads “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil.” Once again, I will practice seeing through God’s/Love’s eyes which will be my small contribution to world peace.