Our Lord Jesus Christ said: “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.”Luke 6: 27-30. To love those who love us and pray to God for them, help them with any need they may have, is something we are glad to do. But there are people we don’t consider our friends. We hold resentments against them due to a disagreement or offense. It doesn’t seem easy to help them, love them, or pray to God for them. Here we are reminded that we need to do it. If we were living according to how God created us, and He is love, since we are His children, the natural thing would be to act from the standpoint of love without opposing feelings, such as love and hate. But there is an incentive that can motivate us to live as we should.
The Bible says, “Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.” James 3: 11:12. If we were in sync with our nature, we would only be loving and compassionate. Getting to that point is obviously our goal, but perhaps we have not yet achieved it. However, according to the law of cause and effect, we reap what we sow. Our good wishes for our fellow man will bring us happiness, and ill will towards them will bring us misfortune. That should be reason enough to change our ways. We have a very powerful mind which never rests. Our thoughts are creating our future, even while we are daydreaming, so we need to be always vigilant.
Life is difficult enough, and we have no control over what others may be thinking, but there is a lot that each one can do for himself. We need to be aware of the power of our minds. There are no neutral thoughts, because all thoughts have power. We need to be vigilant to our thoughts and point them in the right direction so they work for us. If we are offended, we should think about it, and instead of counterattacking, perhaps we could overlook the grievance. The way in which the majority reacts is acting by compulsion, because we trained our mind that way. If we are attacked we react automatically, without even thinking. Since we have no way of knowing what the other person was thinking, or what his intentions were, we can intercede for him and ask God to correct his mind, while in silence we sent him ablessing, "I offer you peace and joy, that I may have God’s peace and joy as mine.” That does not take much effort. We always receive benefit, and that was the intention of the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants us to live to our full potential and enjoy the happiness God gave us.
Perceive your fellow man like a person who is trying to move ahead, and although he tries, he often does not succeed. He does the best he can with the limited knowledge he has, but sometimes his anger and frustration come to the forefront. He deserves love and compassion. Consider that what you wish for him is what you yourself will receive. You are choosing for both. “Your brother is the mirror in which you see the image of yourself as long as perception lasts.” T.7.vii.3:9
“This brother who stands beside you still seems to be a stranger. You do not know him, and your interpretation of him is very fearful. And you attack him still, to keep what seems to be yourself unharmed. Yet in his hands is your salvation. You see his madness, which you hate because you share it. And all the pity and forgiveness that would heal it gives way to fear. Brother, you need forgiveness of your brother, for you will share in madness or in Heaven together. And you and he will raise your eyes in faith together, or not at all.” ACIM T-19.IV.D.12.
Let us remember that what we want for ourselves is what we must give to others. If we want God's love, we need to get rid of the resentments. We are always choosing between a miracle and a grievance.
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all." 2 Corinthians 13:14