The List Goes On…Eternally
By Deb Crowley of Urbandale, IA, USA
There are subtle, yet powerful, influences in the world, some even claiming to represent Christ, that seek to divide people and nations to accomplish their destructive aims. That which seeks to harden one human heart against another by constructing walls of fear and prejudice is not of God. Be especially alert to these influences, lest they divide you or divert you from the mission to which you are called. —Doctrine and Covenants 163:3c
Over time I have developed a mantra to help keep my priorities straight and to guide my attitude and responses. I ask, “Does it have eternal value?”
Years ago we had neighbors that played their music so loudly all we could hear was the harsh beat that made one’s head throb. Rather than confront them in anger, we chose to live with it. We will talk with them another time to ask them to turn it down. The irritation was not eternal. However, the bond with our neighbors and how our actions expressed the God within us did have eternal value.
We live in an angry world. Does a favorite sports team losing a game because of a bad call by an umpire have eternal value? Does slamming a least favorite politician with broad accusations and name-calling do anything to foster a close association with God that has eternal value? As today’s scripture passage says, “That which seeks to harden one human heart against another by building walls of fear and prejudice is not of God.” It does not witness of God’s love to those who hear or read the rants.
Indeed the world has problems and keeping silent is not an option if the peace of Jesus Christ is to reign on Earth. We can shape our perspectives and actions by first asking, “Does this have eternal value?” Most likely if the choice involves serving another, freeing someone from oppression, relieving hunger, soothing pain, loving an enemy… the answer is, “Yes!”
Prayer for Peace
Eternal God, help us remember for every action there is a reaction. May we always try to bring out the best in others with what we say and do. We know we can do it—Jesus did.
Spiritual Practice: Healing for Broken Spirits
Begin with quiet prayer. Ask God to help you detect some “sore places” in the body of Christ and God’s creation. Become aware of people who feel separated, wounded, or left out. Reflect on or write a short journal entry of healing words to at least one person who comes to mind. Ask God for words that will touch this person’s broken spirit like healing ointment. Keep this person in your heart and prayers today and act on any ideas that come to bring blessing and wholeness.
Today, God, I will cross any heart-hardening actions off my list.