How to Become Free Indeed

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Strange how people do bad things. Why can't we we just be kind, forgiving, and patient? Everywhere you look you see people being cruel to each other. Oppression and tyranny have always ruled on this earth. The worst part is that it is not just bureaucrats oppressing people with arbitrary rules and heartless regulations. You don't have to look any farther than the nearest family to see people oppressing, upsetting, teasing, and pressuring each other. In almost every family, there is pressure to conform and not rock the boat. There is divorce, scapegoating, and parents abandoning the kids to horrible daycare or school environments.

Why can't we just be kind and patient with each other? The answer has to do with identity. Parents have no problem being kind and patient with their peers and colleagues at work. They are kind and patient with others at church, temple or social gatherings. But at home they apply relentless pressure. There seems to be something in the parent (and other authorities) that won't let them be kind, won't let them have a light touch, won't let them be forgiving. They are compelled to do unto others what was done to them.

Something in mom compels her to rant, rave, and scream. Something compels her to turn the kids over to a godless system that applies cruel ambition and peer group pressure. Something in dad won't let him be kind and communicative with his son. Something compels him to reject his son for not making the basket scoring the touchdown.

If the above scenario were all there was, it would be bad enough. But now, when dad or mom fail, other authorities step into the breach and the family is destroyed forever.

If you can see that there was something in your parents that compelled them to be cruel and to pressure you. And if you are a parent yourself, if you can see that there is something in you that compels you to be cruel, hard, unforgiving, and to pressure--then perhaps you can begin to understand what is wrong with the human race.

When we hate others, what is in the other person that tempts them to tempt us to hate, is able to get into us. In other words, the spiritual identity that has a grip on the one who is being cruel is able to get inside of the victim when that person has his defenses down.

You see--faith, forgiveness, patience, longsuffering, and compassion are not mere words. They are very real principles that protect us from evil. Christ taught us to pray: "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." When you read the Sermon on the Mount you will see that He is actually giving you the keys to self protection.

Something in cruel or pressuring people is tempting you to hate them. When you do hate them, what is in them springs into you and then begins to grow. What is in them that is tempting you wants you to hate the person. Because it knows that when you hate, you commit the wrong of hating another person created in the image and likeness of God. And you open yourself up for it to live on in you.

Patience and forgiveness protect you from invasion. Think of a healthy soul (one who is not resentful, hateful, judgmental, or vengeful) as having a force field of protection around it. Remember the Star Trek Television series? Remember the Starship Enterprise had shields they could put up that would make them impervious to the enemy's attack? In a very real sense, the soul has a force field that protects it from the barbs of the enemy evil--as long as the soul is patient, forgiving and does not doubt.

Remember what Paul said in the last chapter of his letter to the Ephesians. he counseled them to to put on the whole armour of God so that we might be able to withstand the schemes and barbs of the evil one.

Faith and patience are very real protections. Another analogy is to that of the healthy body. When you are healthy, you are not conscious of it. It is only when you become sick that you realize that the defenses of your body have been penetrated. And what is it that lowers our resistance? Is it not stress and living improperly? When you are healthy, your body keeps the invaders on the outside. And when your soul is healthy--patient, forgiving and faithful--the enemy has no place to enter.

But if you respond and react to the stress of the spiritual adversary with resentment, anger, and upset--your defenses will soon be down.

Again, I want you to see that when someone is being cruel and unreasonable, they are not the enemy. It is what is in them that is the enemy. It is compelling them. If you really love the other person, then you must be wise and see that reacting resentfully and hating that person only harms them and works to evil's advantage. Evil wants you to hate.

Therefore, love the other person by not hating them. See the wrong--yes--but don't hate the person. By holding up the light of truth and patience, you might even awaken the other to the true love they have never seen before, and the evil in them will cringe, losing power. The good in you (not your own good, but the good that shines forth by your getting your ego out of the way) has the power to set the other free from the evil that currently holds them captive.

In other words, once sin enters, we are no longer free to do right. That is why we need to be set free from the compulsion to sin that entered due to the original trauma. That is also why what ails the human race is beyond psychology. It is a spiritual problem that has its roots in disobedience and sin.

Only God and good have power over evil. We do not have the power to set anyone free, even ourselves. But we can yearn--yearn to know the good and yearn to be saved from the slavery to sin. And when we encounter another human who is compelled to do wrong, we can be patient and not hate them. By standing back and neither condemning nor condoning the person, and by not reacting with judgment and hostility, we hold up the light. And the light is from God, Who is the only power that can overcome evil. Resist not evil, said the Messiah, overcome evil with good. Do you see the principle? Love by not hating. Forgive by not judging in the first place. Deprive evil of its power, and it cannot harm you. And the light in you might even set the other free. Not of yourself, but by the grace of God.

It is the nature of sin and the personality of evil that we take on in all our faithess, willful, ambitious, and resentful indulgences. Although we inherit pridefulness and a reluctance to admit we are wrong, we then go on to add sin to sin, as we indulge our selfish ambitions and secret judgments of others.

In order to begin your recovery, you must forgive--in other words, drop your resentments against those who wronged you, beginning with your parents. And you must regret your doubting what you knew deep down was right. Finally you must yearn for another chance to do what is right.

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