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Weekly Message for Sunday, November 23, 2003

                        When the Master Mind Jesus taught that we are to turn the other cheek, many people did not understand why He would say that.  And there are those who believe that such an instruction is cowardly ... but of course, this would be someone who takes the statement literally.  It has been quite some time since I have read this statement in the Bible and I hadn't thought about it for awhile until I read a Sunday sermon written by Reverend Richard Drasen, Founding Minister of the Palm Springs Church for Today, and I was reminded of it.

          You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.  - Matthew 5.38-41

This is another one of those widely misunderstood teachings of Jesus.  Traditional Christian ministers continue to teach it in its literal sense.  And for many it is a "turn off" or cowardly statement, a statement for pacifists and few others.  But this statement, like so much of Jesus' teachings is an allegory.  The statement is sound and wise.  The Master Mind is simply stating that we are to look at the situation in another way (turn the other cheek), make an attempt to understand where the other person is coming from rather than jumping to conclusions and attacking the other person.

         Most of our problems with other people can be easily resolved if we make the effort to understand the other person ... if we simply just ask why they did what they did or said what they said, we may find that what we assumed was totally wrong.  But most of us don't, we react in kind to the situation and in so doing we make matters worse.  And then rather than solve the problem we create a whole new set of problems by bringing in shame and blame.  The Radical Rabbi was simply attempting to teach us how to avoid creating mountains out of molehills.

        And then we come to the second half of this lesson ... give more than you are asked to give.  Once more Jesus is using an allegory ... and once more we can see that the statement is sound and wise.  Jesus is teaching us not to fear loss ... no matter how much we give up ... there is more and greater still to receive.  So many of us feel that we have less whenever we give, but this is not the Truth.  It is this repetitive feeling of having less when we give or when we use our money to make purchases or to pay bills that cause us to have less and create situations of lack and limitation in our experiences.   In other words, by not gladly giving up the lesser, we lose the greater.

The Science of Mind gives us a greater understanding of the teachings of the Master Mind Jesus and with this greater understanding we can truly benefit from the profound wisdom this Great Mystic gave the world.  Without this greater understanding, our faith in God and our faith in ourselves has little foundation to support us when we find ourselves in difficult situations.  But, if we take the time to study the work of the Great Teacher and truly begin to have an understanding of it, we will find that His work was indeed the discovery of the science of mind.
 And So It Is! 
Letting Love Use Me In Its Own Good Way,
Henry Lee Bates                          

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