Clean up, Clean out

Monday, March 17

3-17By Linda Porter of Maryland Heights, Missouri, USA

It is not pleasing to God when any passage of scripture is used to diminish or oppress races, genders, or classes of human beings. Much physical and emotional violence has been done to some of God’s beloved children through the misuse of scripture. The church is called to confess and repent of such attitudes and practices.

—Doctrine and Covenants 163:7C

While cleaning my apartment to get ready for a Wednesday-night “home meeting,” it struck me that I clean well only when someone is coming over! I then began thinking about Jesus coming and wondered how much I’d have to clean for his visit.

I’d have to clean out my old prejudices to understand youth today. I saw three boys walking down the road and commented negatively to my daughter about their orange Mohawk hairdos. She said to relax; they’d be the doctors I would rely on in my old age! It made me think of my own youth. I sincerely hope I have changed since then.

I’d have to clean the corners of my mind that harbor resentment and envy. How many times have I seen someone with a better car and wished it were mine? (Too many to list). But Jesus said to love our neighbors, not judge them or wish for what they had.

There are spots on my carpet that never go away. So I’d better look at my attitude and see if I have some ideas that stick in my mind—like judging the behavior of others. If Jesus said love your neighbor, who am I to decide who is “worthy” of my love? Aren’t all people my neighbors by Jesus’ definition?

My preconceived judgments need to be spot-lifted and cleaned up. How often have I used the scriptures to defend my position on a subject and then found passages that defend the opposition? We use scriptures too willfully. I pray I can clean out the hurtful uses and find wisdom to live kindly.

I’m thinking I have much more cleaning and letting go to do. Perhaps I need to look more compassionately at others—they may be cleaning, too!

Prayer for Peace
Eternal God, thank you for the affirmation of your shalom in the life of Jesus Christ. If we ever question the meaning of a scripture, may we look to his life as our ultimate guide.

Spiritual Practice: Honoring the Worth of All Persons
Read Psalm 139:13–18. After each reading sit quietly and let the words sink deeply into your mind, heart, and body. Sense the intimate knowledge and love God has of you and every child. Be aware of the sacred worth of each person. Weep with God over the soul-wounding forces and events that rob people of dignity and worth. How are you invited to notice, protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of all God’s beloved people today? Pray for God’s compassion.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will let go of diminishing attitudes and practices.

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1 Comment

  1. David Brock

     /  17 March 2014

    Pass the spot remover when you are done. I could use some myself! Fine reflection. Thank you.

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