I have to admit: I like ice cream. I like ice cream a lot actually. In truth, as of late I’ve been preferring vanilla frozen yogurt with fresh raspberries, but that’s beside the point.
My oldest son loves ice cream too. In fact, he may love it more than I do. When I buy ice cream, I typically buy my boys something else because, frankly, though my oldest would eat the vanilla, he would smother it in peanut butter, chocolate syrup and anything else that he would deem “necessary” to jazz up the vanilla.
Not long ago, I had bought myself fresh raspberries and frozen yogurt. I tried to control myself by saving my treat for an “I really need a treat” kind of day. Finally, when that day came, I excitedly went to the freezer only to find my frozen yogurt was gone. The container was found, lying empty in my son’s trash can.
I was upset, but I knew my son didn’t intentionally eat the yogurt to upset me. He didn’t go to the freezer and think, “Oh, wow, I really wanna upset mom so I’m gonna eat her yogurt!”
He had no malice in his heart whatsoever. He just wanted to eat ice cream.
I realize that is a very simple story, but have you ever noticed that at the core of most ‘quarrels’ is one person judging another to have malice in their heart?
Perhaps it is human nature, but I’m of the belief that the type of Love that Jesus taught was love without conditions. Love that holds others harmless.
Remember the story in the book of John, Chapter 8 where the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought the adulterous woman before Jesus, demanding that she be stoned to death, according to the Law of Moses?
What did Jesus say?
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
One by one, the woman’s “accusers” left. Jesus then spoke to the woman and said, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
What would happen if, the next time you felt hurt by someone you felt certain loved you, you chose to look at them as Jesus would look at them: Without malice in their heart.
What would happen if you dismissed your own ego that demands ‘justice’ when it feels it has been wronged, and instead looked at the other person with love, compassion and grace and said to yourself, “I know they love me and meant no harm.”
What would happen if instead of anger, spite and revenge we chose forgiveness just as immediately as we felt our pride get hurt?
What would happen?
That’s what would happen.