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Faith Works, Part 4

Faith Works, Part 4

This past Sunday the Scripture passage from James confronted us in regards to how destructive and debilitating things like favoritism and judgement can be. These things essentially impair the ability fulfill Jesus' teaching; caring for the poor, loving others as you would love yourself, showing and receiving mercy. In light of this I wanted to pass on a quote from Richard Rohr that I feel reveals an underlying reason that we tend to fall into selfish favoritism and judgement. Please take some time to sit with the quote and recall areas in your life where you seek satisfaction at the expense of what is really Truth; really a way of seeking to see and act out love to others as Jesus would have.
“Satisfying untruth is more pleasing to us than unsatisfying truth, and Big Truth is invariably unsatisfying—at least to the small self.”
The small self is the part of us that always wants it our way, wants to be on top, first at all costs, number 1, right all the time, or at least enough of the time that we are seen as better than others. And it is so subtle how the small self can rear its head and be so loud. When you look at another person and because of their skin color, or the way they dress, or the way they carry themselves, or what they drive, or the things they like – when you look at those people and you think that you know more than they do, or that you are better off than they are, or that God favors you more . . . that is the small self – that is the part of you that does not have any room for the love of neighbor; that small self that has no room because it has already inflated itself with “satisfying untruth” about others and the world.
Let us be courageous in our ability to seek the truth in love, generosity, kindness, compassion and mercy - even and especially when it does not stroke our selfish ego. Perhaps this prayer that I crafted will help you along the way:

Lord forgive me for the times I have shown favoritism,

Forgive me for the people that I think are more valuable than others,

Forgive me for seeking to be first, or the best, or the smartest, at other peoples expense.

Forgive for not trusting in your words to love others as I love myself.

Forgive me for not acting in kindness and mercy to all people.

Lord help me to remember that I will be judged for what I have said and done.

Lord grant me patience,

Grant me wisdom,

Grant me humility,

Grant me peace,

Grant me words to honor others

and actions to bless those around me

as I seek to do your will.  Amen