Monday, June 27, 2016

D&C 42:27 -- On Neighbors and Prayer

"Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor, nor do him any harm."
Doctrine and Covenants 42:27

I think this is a good reminder.  Let's remember today that our neighbors are everyone on the whole earth.  So, anytime we say anything bad about anyone, we're breaking this commandment.  It's really easy to go into critic mode and start tearing people down.  It's a lot more challenging to think about how to build people up and make the world better.

We might not like certain leaders or certain groups.  We might be angry at a friend or family member.  We might be scared of what certain people will do.  It seems justified to say bad things about people we perceive as bad.  Let me ask you this one question though... which will help the world more: saying bad things about people, or praying for them?  It seems like anathema to us to bless and love and pray for people that we can't stand, but that is what God asks us to do (Luke 6:27-28) anyway.

Spreading hatred harms the world, no matter where the hatred is directed.  The solution is never more hatred, or returning hatred for hatred.  The solution is love.  To pray for someone, we have to learn to love them just a little bit.  It's hard, believe me, I know.  But it helps to change our hearts for the better, and it accomplishes *so* much more than speaking evil.  Even if all we can do is pray for God to help them to consider others, or learn an important lesson about love or peace, it helps us to consider another viewpoint, and it helps us to think about how to help someone rather than how to blow them up.  God loves those people too, you know?  And if there is a way to save or help them, that's an important thing to find, and to pray for.

And what about when we're on the other end of hatred?  It also helps us more if people pray for us rather than talk about us in an evil way.  Maybe God will help us learn something we need to know, or consider how we're affecting other people's lives.  Hearing that someone is tearing you down just makes you want to avoid them, not change who you are.  Sometimes these hate-conversations are best had through the medium of God. :)  He translates our intentions and desires into sometimes that might actually be useful to the other person. :)

Today, let's think about who we've been tearing down, and instead of going off on them, let's pray about and for them.  Let's talk about it with God, and if we're brave, we can even ask God to show us why he loves them. :)  Having prayers invested in people we start off hating has the power to change us dramatically, if we let it.  Let's be open to that kind of change, and let's try this the Lord's way.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews