Thursday, July 31, 2014

Psalms 119:165 -- On Peace and Offense

"Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."
Psalms 119:165

This is interesting, especially the "and nothing shall offend them" part.  We could probably all use some extra peace in our lives, and maybe we could all try to be less offended by others.  I don't think this means that we are above it all... able to go into the most offensive places or read/experience the most offensive things and be protected from it.  I don't think it works that way.  I'm guessing that the message God is trying to get across here is more that we won't be offended because not only will we avoid offensive places and things, but we will also never ascribe malicious intent to the people we interact with.  I think just that would change the world a lot... If we assumed that everyone were doing their best, and tried to help or defuse the situation rather than getting offended or angry because someone is avoiding us or being cruel or cutting us off in traffic maliciously.  What if we never, ever were offended by another's actions?  Isn't that pretty much the only reason we criticize others?  
Maybe today we can relax a little bit... love instead of hate.  Not expect people to live by our rules, but understand that everyone learns different ways to cope with the world, and we're all at different levels.  Alma 5:54 springs to mind here.  It asks if we will "persist in supposing that ye are better one than another."  I think that is a pretty common cause of offense and criticism/judgement as well.  We think our way is better... that *we* are better, and so people that don't do things our way or that we don't understand are malicious or evil.  And although that occasionally might be the case, probably it is less often than we assume.  And it's better to assume good intentions than bad intentions, since we're supposed to love everyone despite intentions anyway, right?  Let's try it God's way.  Maybe it will give us greater peace. :)

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