Our beloved Lord Yeshuah said; "But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Matthew 9:13. He was quoting Hosea 6:6; "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of Yahweh rather than burnt offerings." Forgiveness of others transgressions against us is the purest form of sacrifice after the laying down of our lives for others. The giving of our own life to save the life of a friend, (or enemy) is the supreme act of heroism. But, sharing a kind word with someone else, is also an act of laying down our life, for an instant, especially if when doing so we happen to be in a grumpy mood.

Acknowledgment of Yahweh through daily prayer and meditation is the kind of "...worshipers the Father seeks." "...worship the Father in spirit and truth... The Father is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24 Prayer, it has been said, is talking to the Father. Meditation is listening to the Father. I combine both simultaneously and intermittently. But it is my belief that the Father only hears 'selfless' prayer.

Forgiveness requires both conviction and humility. Conviction is a relatively easy concept to understand. But, humility is a depth, transcendent to both objects of this world and objectives of those living in this world. I have grappled with learning what humility really is for many years. First, because I happen to be an egomaniac suffering from an inferiority complex and recognize my real need for more and more humility. Second, because I want to complicate the hell out of everything. It seems the closer we get to the Source, to Yahweh, the simpler everything becomes and at once the more profound. The most simple definition of humility is: "We are all the same."

When I am offended by someone, my natural instinct is to lash right back at them. When I exercise restraint, I give myself time to reason, to think it over. Rather than 'reacting' from my base animal instinct, I am instead afforded the chance to 'respond' from a deeper spiritual state of awareness. First, after cooling down for a while, I can reason that anytime someone says or does an unkind thing to another, that person is unhappy and uncomfortable. Second, I can reason that I myself am quite capable of doing the same to another under similar circumstances.

The simple fact is, we are all of us spiritually 'sick' to some degree or other. We all have our good days and our bad days to varying degrees. "We are all the same." I need to remember that just as I fall short and fail repeatedly, all others, all of my brothers and sisters in the family of our Beloved Father are flawed in like manner. I try to remind myself when offended that I need to look upon the other as I would look upon a sick friend lying in a hospital bed. Would I go in and yell and scream that he should be out having fun with me instead of lying there in bed? No. I would go in and gently console him and ask him if there is anything that I can do for him to make him more comfortable.

"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:44-45 When I look upon all others as my brothers and sisters in the family of our Beloved, I see that there is, in reality, no such person whom I can describe as my enemy. Yeshuah said: "This is my command: Love each other." John 15:17 But this doesn't mean simply using lip service. What this means is demonstrating our love for each other by helping one another grow spiritually by simply providing an example of kindness, and compassion toward one another. It is this simple act that tells others of our love for them. I learned this lesson from my paternal father. He never told me that he loved me when I was constantly acting like an ass. But he was always there for me, helping me in whatever way that he could, even when I showed contempt for him through what I said and did. My pop is 91 years old at this writing. And I now have the privilege and honor of being 'here' for him as well as my mom who is 90, running errands for them, taking them to appointments and family gatherings and giving them their meds and tucking them in bed every night with hugs and kisses and my dad now tells me that he loves me every day and night, and I'm loving every minute of it. And I will never be able to repay either of them a fraction of what they have given me.

But, I have found that the person whom I need to show mercy to first is myself. It is impossible for me, or anyone for that matter to truly love another without first loving oneself. And the first phase in this process is allowing my Beloved Father to help me to forgive myself for all my past mistakes, all my weaknesses, and failings. I have had nearly 55 years to make a multitude of mistakes. I seriously doubt that I have enough time left on this planet to rectify even a minuscule number of the errors I have accumulated during this lifetime. But, "With Yahweh, all things are possible."

I was in a pathetic state of self-pity for about four months near the end of last year and the beginning of this year without even knowing or recognizing it. Last week I fell into another state of self-pity, but this time I recognized it. Both instances of this self-pity were fueled by mistakes I had made in the past. There is only one thing that I have absolutely no power over; 'EVERYTHING.' The past is past and I cannot change the past to save my life. The future is completely beyond my realm of influence. The only thing I do have power over is right now, this moment to the extent of the attitude I strive toward during this moment. I can wallow in self-pity, or I can enjoy this moment, to the best of my ability. If I strive for the attitude of loving my existence, my being, right now, this moment, the future at least appears promising.

I have developed the habit of meditating on love, the love that is our Beloved Father in heaven. "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:18 "Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us." 1 John 3:24 His command is simply to "...Love each other." The one flaw that holds each of us back is our attachment to this world we presently live in. But, "You, dear children, are from Yahweh and have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4 "And so we know and rely on the love Yahweh has for us. Yahweh is love. Whoever lives in love lives in Yahweh, and Yahweh in him." 1 John 4:16

Instead of asking for riches or power or women, Solomon asked simply for wisdom. To ask for that which will benefit others is the kind of selfless prayer that our Beloved Creator yearns to hear. And we know this because not only did our Beloved grant Solomon what he asked for but everything else that this world has to offer in the form of riches, power, and women, not necessarily in that order of preference.

Fear is biblically the opposite of love. "The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18 The prayer that I used to pray on a daily basis is the prayer that I stopped praying and have resumed since this last bout of self-pity. I call my Beloved by name. The name of my Beloved is both love and beauty. Pure love is pure beauty. 'My most beautiful, precious Beloved, remove my fear and grant me your direction and strength to become what you would have me be. Help me be willing to allow you to transform me into your likeness of love.' It is clear, at least to my mind, that the likeness of the unseen Spirit which is our Beloved Father, is simply love. Love is an unseen intangible, but, it is the most sought after, intangible or tangible, in one form or another, in this life, and in this world. The love that is truth, the love that IS our Creator, has been distorted out of countenance and has been misapprehended to mean everything from sex to what I can get out of or over on you. But, my Beloved is the most beautiful of all because my Beloved IS love.

When I mix that simple prayer with meditation on the truth which is love which is my Beloved Father, and I reciprocate with admissions of my love for my Beloved, I at once am consumed by a wave of peace and joy which deepens with every admission. I do this throughout my day. When I fail as I inevitably will do, I can start my day over again with a meditation on this truth which is love which is my Beloved and it never fails to bring me to the center of peace and joy. It has never failed because this is the Great Truth. "...and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

Other articles in this series are:
Synopsis of the First Four Beatitudes
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
Blessed are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness, for They Will Be Filled
Blessed are the Merciful for They Will be Shown Mercy
Blessed are the Pure in Heart for They Will See God

You can Order 18 1/2” x 12 1/2” fine art prints by Curt Doll for only $35.00 plus shipping of course. Every one of these works of art is a product of intimate and personal collaboration with my Beloved. I was the instrument which my Beloved used to create these works of art. Without my Beloved, I am infinitely less than a puff of smoke.

Author's Bio: 

Artist - Designer - Painter since 1977 - Curtis R Doll Jr began creating Stained Glass Windows in 1979, cutting glass, assembling the windows including installation and various & sundry jobs that go along with making stained glass - began designing Monumental Architectural Glass Installations in 1983 for churches, storefronts, malls, and continued to design small, residential & commercial projects - in addition, creating computer graphics, manipulating & restoring photographs - creating Digital, Limited Edition Fine Art Prints since 1998, and his passion continues to be Gouache paintings of abstracts.