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Don't throw the peas

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

I remember watching someone get so angry one time that he took the saucepan he was holding and threw it on the floor. This sent boiled peas flying all over the place. After this outburst, he was faced with the job of cleaning up all those peas. They had rolled everywhere, and it took a lot of time.

Still, it's a lot easier to clean up peas than it is to take back the words we've said to someone in anger. And however hard that is, it's much, much easier than making amends for hitting someone in anger.

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We can't afford it.

It's certainly not a problem-solver.

It's terribly self-destructive.

If it takes every ounce of strength we have to be still and be silent, it's the best use of our strength we can make at that moment. And we can be grateful that God gives us all the strength we need.

Anger is a loss of control. It means that we've forgotten who is in control.

If, at the very moment when evil is pumping the bellows to raise us up to a white-hot pitch of anger, we can remember that God is in this place - and that God is in control - the fire will die. A sense of God's presence and a sense of anger cannot be in the same place at the same time. When you remember that God is in charge, anger disappears. And healing begins.

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Jesus had to remind people that he was interested in healing, not in getting even. His disciples James and John were sometimes called Boanerges, which meant "sons of thunder or wrath." On one trip to Jerusalem, they all stopped in a Samaritan town. But no one would give them a place to stay or help them. James and John wanted Jesus to call down fire from heaven and burn the place up. Jesus turned on them and said, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." Then the Bible says simply, "They went to another village" (Luke 9:55, 56).

The sons of thunder had met the Prince of Peace.

Nothing is gained by anger. But if we let the spirit of God work in us, discord will yield to harmony. Injustice, unfairness, prejudice, unkindness, are sparks just begging to be fanned into flames. They are strong urgings to look at things humanly rather than spiritually.

But there is spiritual truth that, when invoked, counteracts and destroys these urgings!

Perhaps something happens to us that is totally unjust. What can we do? We can ask, "Is my life in the hands of this person or organization? Or is my life in the hands of God?" The Bible states that "the Lord is our judge" (Isa. 33:22). That is, supreme wisdom, almighty good, is overseeing our life. As we accept this, we see better than ever before the divine law that is at work in our lives. It is able to overturn injustice and replace it with justice, integrity, honesty, understanding. This is the Christlike approach to life that destroys friction and discord.

If we constantly think of someone as callous or unfair, we'll be a pot simmering away, ready to boil over. But we have the option of striving to look beyond this mask of injustice, to where we'll detect the evidence of each individual's true nature, established by God, and to where the elements that create discord disappear.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered the Science of Christ in 1866, wrote: "Sin, sickness, appetites, and passions, constitute no part of man, but obscure man. Therefore it required the divinity of our Master [Jesus] to perceive the real man, and to cast out the unreal or counterfeit" ("Christian Science versus Pantheism," pgs. 10-11). As we strive to have "that mind which was also in Christ Jesus," as St. Paul urged, we are able to see God's good son or daughter, rather than any evil mask hiding this true and spiritual nature.

The spiritually-minded aren't susceptible to anger. They don't forget that God is in control. Aren't blind to the fact that there is an answer from God that will correct whatever is wrong. They won't have to pick up the peas - or the pieces.

You can visit the home page of The First Church of Christ, Scientist:

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