But what of YOUR heart?
Psalm 15 (NIVUK)
1 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
2 The one whose way of life is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
3 whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbour,
and casts no slur on others;
4 who despises a vile person
but honours those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
5 who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.
We bring so much to the table, good and bad. We narrate the stories of others and tales of ourselves to try and construct our reality.
Psalm 15 is a beautiful mantra indeed. Treat others as you yourself would wish to be treated/spoken of.
There’s a lovely bit in one of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles — The Voyage of the Dawn Treader I think it was — where Lucy wished to look/spy on her friend just to see what she was doing. Her friend was busy chatting to another little girl and basically slagging poor Lucy off. It shattered Lucy. She was disappointed, hurt and upset. That particular story marked me quite profoundly. I never thereafter wished to say anything about anyone to anyone else that I wouldn’t be comfortable saying to the person’s face. Any of you who know me know I’m not any Angel but in this one area I try very hard to hold a line. In my job there are many people who say some very bad things about me and some angels who are far more kind. It is — as they say — how it is…
We often say things about people and treat people badly at times to alleviate our own discomfort and our own sense of inadequacy. If that person doesn’t like that person and if I agree with them you might feel they will like me more… As if the lessening of another would make ourselves feel greater. What nonsense. It makes no sense at all. Our discomfort is OUR discomfort and no amount of deflection is going to change that. To the listener. Its obvious.
We need to be stronger than that. If only for ourselves and our own self esteem as much as to love our brothers and sisters.
Jealousy is the saddest of all emotions. It lays bare what bothers us most about ourselves and is painfully and embarrassingly obvious.
I am so uncomfortable I need to think I’m above my neighbour
Help me think another way
I am so unhappy that to revel in another’s unhappiness diverts my attention.
Help me think another way
I am so blind Father God I don’t see me as you see me —
Help me think only this way.