Day 236, Morning
Today’s morning meditation is available below in audio and script formats. The audio version is also available for free download on the player.
The test of a man or woman’s upbringing is how they behave in a quarrel.
—George Bernard Shaw
When tempers are frayed, and an argument is in progress, it is very difficult for anyone to listen with courtesy to an opposing point of view. If we could ask the mind on such occasions why it doesn’t listen, it would answer candidly, “Why should I? I already know I’m right.” We may not put it into words, but the other person gets the message: “You’re not worth listening to.” It is this lack of respect that offends people in an argument, much more than any difference of opinion.
But respect can be learned – in part by acting as if we had respect. We show respect by simply listening with complete attention. Try it and see: the action is very much like that of a classical drama. For a while there is “rising action.” The other person’s temper keeps going up; language becomes more and more vivid; everything is heading for a climax. But then comes the denouement. The other person begins to quiet down: his voice becomes gentler, his language kinder, all because you have not retaliated or lost your respect for him. (WLB)
As your day begins, spend a few moments in silence and stillness, thinking of those with whom you have conflict, with respect.
Almighty God, be with us in conflict. May we come to realization that the fight we are fighting is not with an outside enemy, but with one who is animated and breathed through by the same Spirit Of Life that breathes in us. May we realize that our fight is not with people, but with you. (CIB)
(BC) The Belgic Confession
(CAC) The Center For Action & Contemplation
(CD) The Canons of Dort
(CIB) Church In Bethesda Prayers
(DZ) Donna Z.
(HC) The Heidelberg Catechism
(MAO) Michael A. O’Sullivan
(NT) The New Testament
(OT) The Old Testament
(RP) Ryan Phipps
(TAO) The Tao Te Ching
(WC) The Westminster Confession
(WLB) Words To Live By
(WLC) The Westminster Larger Catechism
(WSC) The Westminster Shorter Catechism