How do we do this?
Jesus told us. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself.”
The first work many of us have to do is to learn to love ourselves. We’ve been taught and told for so long that we are inherently bad, that many of us believe it and act accordingly. For the ones in that situation, only the repeated acts of love they receive from others will break through their belief that they are unlovable.
As we learn to love ourselves, we then become able to love others. Not just others who are nice to us, but even others who despise us and who hurt us.
There are no rules except love. Every situation we encounter must be dealt with in accordance with Love. When we love others as ourselves, we always put their needs ahead of our own, we always do what’s in their best interests, and we never do them harm.
Our mission in this earthly life is not to judge others, nor to condemn others. We were never told to run around informing others about their ‘sins’. The only thing we were told to do is to Love.
As usual, the minute we get a set of instructions, people run around convoluting it and trying to add a bunch of additional rules and regulations to it. The legalistic Pharisees of the day were the only people Jesus ever took to task, and it was precisely because of their legalism. Legalism misses the point; it addresses the action, but not the intent or the heart.
Jesus gave us the keys to completely transform this world. We have been slow in taking them, preferring instead to continue to pile on rules, doctrines, dogma, statements of belief, and creating long lists of sins and things we must disapprove or take a stand against (usually by hurting others). The church continues to split and fracture because of this, and masses are leaving the church at increasingly higher rates. The error of the legalistic and the fundamentalist is that they fail to perceive their error.
We are not to be converters; we are to be transformers!
The church, laboring under the misapprehension that we’re to be ‘converters’, has in a rush hounded and pursued folks, clobbering them with scripts we were taught to use, in an effort to get them to say the words or phrases that give us the belief that they’ve been ‘saved’. Then, once we get them to utter the words, we leave them to flounder, rushing off to save the next. Is it no wonder so many are confused and disgusted?
But there are transformers in all faiths, many working quietly behind the scenes, in whatever situations they find themselves. Most of them are not clergy; they have ordinary jobs and ordinary lives. They don’t seek acknowledgement; they just steadfastly continue, in the context of their varied situations and faiths, to do the real work of Love in subtle and often invisible ways.
Are YOU a transformer?