The supreme importance of love:
What is more precious than a heart, which finds joy in loving others, and making others love one another? Love will make our dear ones more loving. It may change our enemies to become friends. Sri Buddha, the great hermit of India, said, “Hatred cannot be won by hatred, but by love.” Then the question arises, why many people do not give primary importance to love? It is because they are carried away by emotions and not guided by intelligent thinking. Our Lord says, “This is my commandment that you love one another, as I have loved you.” (St. John 15:12)
There are two ways to foster love in us. 1. Visualizing that everyone is a child of God. When we realize that there is no limit to our obligation to God, we will understand that no amount of love for His children will be enough. 2. The realization that all human beings are fellow-beings like us in every way. When we have this realization, we will love and care for others as we love and care for ourselves.
This love is to be expressed by helping others to the maximum, forgiving them whole-heartedly, respecting them, saying only the good things of them and obeying them as far as possible.
How to express our thankfulness?
It is not enough to say “thank you”. There must be the readiness to please those who had done good to us. Suppose there is a child who says, “thank you” a hundred times, but does not obey even once. It is a contradiction. Obedience is more important than words of thanks. Before God also, obedience is more important than words of praise and thanks. In the Holy Qurbana we pray saying, “May we offer praise and thanks to you, your only-begotten Son and your Holy Spirit, now and always and for ever.” The response to the prayer is “Amen”, which means, “Let it be so.” Through this response the congregation makes this prayer theirs. It is a dedication to a life of obedience. Do we then care to have a life of obedience in practical life?
How to have the full faith and trust in God’s protection?
When we are bent upon doing things pleasing to God, we will have the full assurance that God will never forsake us. Our Lord said about Himself as follows. “He who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things pleasing to him.” (St. John. 8:29)
Respecting others in all humility will attract everyone.
Humility or poverty in spirit, is the realization that all that we have and all that we are, are the free gifts of God. Those who have this humility can respect everyone to the utmost. St. Paul says, “Count others as better than yourself.” (Phil. 2:3)
The following passages help us to become humble. “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (St. Matt. 5: 3) “What have you that you did not receive?” (I Cor. 4:7). “I am what I am, through the grace of God.” (I Cor. 15:10) God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13)
The need for a hard-working spirit.
Hard-working spirit is necessary for all, both the intelligent and non-intelligent. Solomon the wise, says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Eccl. 9:10)
If you do your best
Your best will better grow
But if you slight your daily task
You will let the better go.
According to the commandment of God, we must love God and man to the maximum, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment; and the second is like it “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (St. Matt. 22:37-39)
The right way to make people do better.
In order to make people do better, encouragement is the right way. If we are bent upon pointing out the sins and foolishness of people, they may get irritated and disappointed. On the other hand, if we point out the good things and encourage them, they would be pleased and would try to do better. Moreover they may try to correct themselves in other fields, to get more appreciation. Our Lord encouraged His disciples saying, “You are those who continued with me in my trails.” (St. Lk. 22:28) Do we make special efforts to find the good things in people and try to encourage them?
An attempt to overcome all sins without exception.
There is a saying, “One disease is enough to kill a man.” It is true in spiritual life also. One sin is enough to destroy the soul. St. James says, “For whoever keeps the whole law, but fails in one point, has become guilty of all of it.” (St. James 2:10) Hence we have to try to avoid and overcome all sins without exception.