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By: Don Bowman, Moroni Channel
United States Of America
Persecution comes in many shapes, and forms, the most noticeable, being violence in words, physical harm, and sexual abuse. Their are those you persecute the innocent faithful, of the church, within and without, taunting, and mocking them, for their faith and beliefs. God forbid! Yet their are many subtle persecutions, ones that we pass on to, family, friends, church members, and others. Their are so many diverse ways; Let me count the ways.Yes, their are many ways that we can harass, oppress, berate, defame, vilify, and afflict, harm, or injury, emotionally, spiritually, and even psychologically on to another. We need take a pause, and throughly exam our own hearts, to search, explore, and even hunt down, the many ways we persecute those dear to us, love ones, church members, and others that are close and surround us. This is paramount if we are to find peace, and more lovingly relationships, delivering us from undue conflict, contention, and strife. Yea, but we continue sometimes being almost unable to help ourselves, even forming habits, patterns, and traditions, to afflict our dissatisfaction, and unfulfilled expectations, onto another. And in the name of justice, these that commit such transgressions, must know of them, and also be aware of their misdeeds and transgression. Yes, we sometimes think we are now perhaps militant gods, capable, yet even more so, destined, compelled, and ordained to pass judgement, to render verdicts, and then punishments, on the souls of those that we think merit such things. And what does it deliver, therefore, but a life without peace, built walls so high and thick that no one can climb or penetrate, malice, contention, being without union, harmony, or conjunction, stripping us of the power to love, produce tranquilly, or and, to have felicity in our daily lives. And then we are surprised, at the then response of the other, which response then, perpetuates this cycle over and over again.
Where and when does it all end? "Is it I" is the great phrase of exploration, and examination. These militant actions will, and does bring greater strife, as one stands in their self made suit of armor, stretching their bows and then shooting their arrows, sometimes even using poison. The fiery darts are aimed at our targets, sometimes unknowingly, by which over time we have become ignorantly caustic and set in our ways, blindly unaware of the harm, injury, and damage occurring, not only to ourselves, but also to another. Oh, the frailty and flesh of man, that demands this sordid justice. God forbid! All this sounds dramatic for such subtle persecutions, yet lying beneath is the devil of evil, and the great satan of lies, going to and fro, up and down, to drag all our souls down to destruction, and to his hellish hell. Yes, even though the battle, is at times, subtle, yet underneath it is raging on with these weapons of warfare as we are even sometimes, unaware of the consequences of our actions. Yet, there are many, that are great in their trying to be peacemakers, and therefore just need to fine tune a few things, softening our approach, to lightening the load of another. I am sure that all of us have been on both sides of these issues, and this is just a hearty reminder to strive, to do, and to treat each other with more care, respect, and reverence.
Here is a list of ways we can persecute another, realizing we are all going to be guilty of a few. Yet, why not awaken to them, so as to strip ourselves from them, but first a scripture.
Behold, I say, is there one among you who is not stripped of envy? I say unto you that such an one is not prepared; and I would that he should prepare quickly, for the hour is close at hand, and he knoweth not when the time shall come; for such an one is not found guiltless And again I say unto you, is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions.
1. Blame: We blame others for the misdeeds, and traits of our children, or others. We blame bishops, other church leaders, members, spouses, and parents. We even blame others, parents of others, for our own, or children, sometimes bad behaviors. Blame, Blame, Blame! We humans, some, have a great need when they see some dysfunctional happening, to asses blame somewhere, everywhere, so as to be able to face the problem. It for some reasons allows them to feel safe and guilt free, that they are actually solving some great mystery. A good test of character--when we do wrong, whom do we blame?
2. Self Righteous: How many of us has been persecuted by the self righteous of another. How dare they say, behave, or dress as they do? A spouse, or a parent, who, you know the attitude, criticizes another for their lack of faithfulness, reverence, demeanor, or a lesser behavior than oneself. In future arguments they love to discuss and throw out such things, to seemingly let the other know, of his or hers, sinful ways. All goodness, spiritually, and righteousness, seemingly should go through them, not knowing that God would never condone any such behavior.
3. Fear: Fear is an unlikely culprit yet it breeds control, and impatience, having to fix or root out a problem, and for heaven sake, it has to be done right now, and if others don't sense your fear, or even if they do, and don't scurry around as one wants, they are then part of the problem, and are either uninterested in the one with the fear, or lacking in charity for those that need the help. God is in control, and passing hot potatoes on to another is nether wise, or tolerant of another's time, to bring his or her mind into the equation. And the blame and assassination of character then begins.
4, Expectations: Unfulfilled expectations can cause persecution to another, that no other can. It is continuous and inflammatory in its nature, for if the expectation is not meant, criticism, judgement, and blame can be forthcoming, devaluing, and causing one to feel small, and inadequate. Making that list and checking over twice, no thrice, and more, is destructive to the mind that does so, for the one always looks at the glass half empty to empty, causing the mind to be constantly disturbed and perturbed.
Scripture Alma 38:14 Do not say: O God, I Thank thee that we are better than our brethren; but rather say: O Lord, forgive my unworthiness, and remember my brethren in mercy -- yea, acknowledge your unworthiness before God At all times.
5. Body languages and tones: Through our tones, even if elevated to a slight degree, bringing with them at times a touch of scorn, and disdain is deadly to the communication process. Then add a look, a stare, and other such things and we can persecute sometimes unknowingly.
6. Jealousy: When a person is in a state of jealousy, he or she, can also be in a state of denial. Weather if it's jealously of time, a family member, or the perceived thought of another, the jealous person constantly wears the thought, in his or hers mind, heart, speech, and tone, making it difficult, for both to have the companionship, and harmony needed. Yet when the other knows of it, he or she may and should make the proper adjustments. There are many ways this can twist and turn to the disadvantage of both.
7. Negativism: Communication is paramount for good relationships of all kinds, there are many rules for good communication, yet if we violate them hurt feelings can abound. We can't be expected to read another's mind. Therefore, it is difficult, to then be persecuted, not even knowing what the other is trying to say, being confused, and in a certain ignorance. When we expect another, to sit up at attention, and respond, or to chime into an unexpected start up conversation, while reading, watching TV, or other such activities is unfair without getting their attention first, or giving time for an adjustment to get out of ones thought, and on to the other's. There are those that consistently, or even automatically disagrees, contradicts, says the opposite, or feels the need to constantly balance out the other. These traits can make one feel frustrated, devalued, and disrespected. Let us look to find common ground, or to add to the conversation, and not subtract, so we might not esteem another to be our enemy.
8. Sarcasm Dig and Jabs: Digs and jabs are associated with all of the above and others, and sarcasm, even with humor, or underhanded compliments, don't work, especially long term, and wear down the value of another.
9. Bringing up past deeds, follies, or transgression: When we continue to regurgitate up things that have happen in the past, sometimes going back 10, 20, 30 years to remind, to expose, and to emphasized to gain ground, in an argument, shows a lack of forgiveness and therefore love. It is as adding a little log to a smothering underlying fire, that never finds itself quenched. The memory of this behavior by the other, even when complimented, makes him or her suspicious of the givers real feelings.
10. Gossip: Gossip especially when attended with criticism, has alienated many people away from our congregations as they feel offended, hurt, and unwanted for it pushes them down, while the perpetrators think to elevate themselves, yet but, are a bit self righteous and are unknowingly causing long term injury, arming the injured with verbal complaints, lasting for years, stifling their progress.
1 Cor 8:9 - 12 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
We sin against Christ when we contribute in the taking of the power of Christ atonement away from another.
11. Unilateral decisions: When we make unilateral choices and then expect our spouses or others to be onboard with these decisions, we are unknowingly withholding the respect and trust of proper communication, making the other reluctant to commit or an to enjoy the the intended ride.
12. The Silent treatment or withholding affections: unrighteousness judgements, judgements from appearance, falling on the side of justice instead of mercy, all contributes to certain persecutions that can fester the wounds, keeping them from healing!
We persecute by pestering, harassing, irking, and badgering, violating all the rules, or laws of peace, charity, and tranquility, and then bemoan and complain, that we don't then have the friends, love, harmony, unity, or oneness, that we all so desire and need to become a Zion people. Let us therefore rather, be peacemakers lovers of charity, good will, brotherhood, and godliness.
Psalms 7:1 O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
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