A spiritual principle for a blessed life

It is a very common behaviour of mankind to burst out in anger when they do not receive the honour and respect, which is due to them. At times, we will be forced to get angry as we confront a situation or at someone’s gross behaviour. Unfortunately, it is an undeniable truth that people rarely behave the way we want them to. Some of us even do not entertain people who are younger in age or inferior to us addressing us by our name. In Indian culture, it is a traditional custom that we ought to respect elders and dignified personals. However, this is slowly deteriorating.

We all expect a lot from our fellow beings and most of the times, it disappoints us because we hardly see them living up to our expectations. Marc Chernoff said “Tempering your expectations of other people will greatly reduce unnecessary frustration and suffering, in both your life and theirs, and help you refocus on the things that truly matter.” But how do we practically make this possible in our day to day life? Only by learning to be tolerant. Tolerance is inevitable in every area of our life as we live on earth.

There are many people in the world who cultivated this character and led a wonderful life. But among them, Jesus Christ stands at the prime position. Though He was all-powerful, yet became most tolerant in His time. A close study of Jesus’ life would help us to understand how tolerant He was. This would also help us to be like Him because the Bible says “an iron sharpens an iron”. To become more tolerant, we need to:

1) Stop expecting and start giving (loving)

We all expect others to respect and do good to us. But how many of us keep on serving others regardless of their behaviours? While Jesus was on the earth He ministered to everyone who came to Him for help and it is interesting to note that everyone to whom Jesus ministered did not thank Him nor accepted Him. Once Jesus cured ten lepers and only one came back to thank Jesus and others went their way without thanking Him. His ministry or behaviour had never been hindered by others’ gross behaviour. Jesus stayed in Samaria and taught the people for three days and healed their sick. As we flip through Jewish history, we see that Jews never used to get along with Samaritans and they treated the latter as second class citizens. Jesus broke these generational prejudices and served Samaritans in their own soil. Later when Jesus wanted to go to Jerusalem during the time of His crucifixion He intended to halt in Samaria for some time to relax from the journey and He sent disciples before Him for the preparation. But Bible says when Samaritans learned that He is actually heading towards Jerusalem; they were reluctant to receive Jesus at their place. When the disciples saw the rejection of the Samaritans their anger rose and they asked Jesus to bring down fire from heaven to destroy them. But Jesus warned His disciples to check to which spirit they belong to now and said I did not come to destroy but to save. He became more tolerant and continues to do good for them.

Jesus knew for what purpose He had come and He was very much focused on His mission and never allowed anything or anyone to stop Him from doing the will of God. When you and I realize the truth that God called us to serve than to be served, it will help us to outgrow our pride, ego and selfishness and we will become more tolerant in our life.

2) Stop expecting from below and start expecting from above

Many times our services to others is based on purely what we may receive from them in forms of praises, appreciations, thankfulness and honour. It will frustrate us if our works and services go unnoticed. We must learn from Jesus how he managed to cop up with similar situations in his life. There are many people who despised Jesus in spite of His profound teachings and the miracles that He performed. But Jesus never bothered to see who did not value His works rather He went on preaching, teaching and healing the sick. Once He said I do not accept glory from human beings. But He always as a human expected to honour and acceptance from God the Father. This very thought sustained Him throughout his earthly ministry and finally as he expected God the Father honoured him and made his name above all names.

As stated early let us focus on what is most important in life and fulfil our life call rather than brooding over things less matter to us. May God Almighty help us to be tolerant in every situation, in order to carry out our mission faithfully without any hindrances.

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