Modeling the Love of Jesus

There is a lovely passage early in the text of A Course in Miracles where Jesus talks about how much he love us while clarifying that he will not allow us to hurt ourselves. He is witnessing to the power of love. It is forever kind but does not compromise.

I will love you and honor you and maintain complete respect for what you have made, but I will not uphold it unless it is true (T-4.III.7:7).

In a sense, Jesus is saying that his love is unconditional – even unto respecting our errors. However, he will not support our errors – he will not “uphold” what is untrue because to do so would be fundamentally unloving.

This passage appeals to me in part because I see it in a model for my own day-to-day existence. Often, I confuse kindness with giving people what they want – and, by extension, that their kindness to me means I get what I want. This belief can be hidden quite deep but it’s there. On some level, I take literally Jesus’ admonition to love your enemies.

If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

In the course, this shows up in The Holy Spirit’s Curriculum with a slight – a helpful, I think – twist.

Recognize what does not matter, and if your brothers ask you for something “outrageous,” do it because it does not matter. Refuse and your opposition establishes that it does matter to you (T-12.III.4:1-2).

This is really a call to interior clarity: to understand what matters in truth and what does not. If your brother asks for a coat, give it to him because in truth the coat is illusory as is the body it would warm.

Jesus revisits this passage in The Forgiveness of Illusions.

I have said that if a brother asks a foolish thing of you to do it. But be certain that this does not mean to do a foolish thing that would hurt either him or you . . . (T-16.I.6:4-5).

I think that qualification at the end is critical. Love can readily say “yes” or “no” but it always does so from a place of kindness, which is to say that it always sees what is without judgment.

Look again at the first passage I quoted. Jesus loves me without qualification. But if I go to him in prayer and demand a Maserati or six pack abs or the demotion of annoying co-worker he is not going to give those things to me. He is going to recognize the fundamental error upon which they are premised and simply wait – loving, gently – for me to see recognize it as well.

I will never forsake you any more than God will, but I must wait as long as you choose to forsake yourself. Because I wait in love and not in impatience, you will surely ask me truly. I will come in response to a single unequivocal call (T-4.III.7:8-10).

Thus, true service is not giving our brothers and sisters what they demand, but rather seeking always to perceive them as Jesus would. If we turn within and ask Jesus and the Holy Spirit to join and direct us, then we will inevitably be led to Love. Our behavioral expression will be naturally and surely guided. We might offer the coat, we might offer a kind word, we might offer money, we might offer a dinner invitation, we might offer a ride to a shelter . . . who knows?

Jesus knows – and the Holy Spirit knows. So we don’t have to.

Thus, the well-being of our brothers and sisters is forever in better hands than ours. Our job is simply to practice turning to Jesus and allowing ourselves to be his instruments of peace and love. The prayer of Saint Francis is always pertinent.

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

And it all begins with surrendering our will in favor of God’s – allowing ourselves to be instruments not of the ego’s hateful chaos but rather of the gentle, unchanging and eternal Love that is God and Christ in God and – by virtue of Creation – God and Christ in us.

Jesus tells us how to do it: seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and the rest will be taken care of for us. It’s not rocket science. It’s love.

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Sean Reagan October 29, 2013, 10:59 am

    I realize that I recently said I would only be making videos at this point but my daughter is using the camera to take pictures of her cat so . . .

  • sandy October 29, 2013, 3:53 pm

    This is beautiful …

  • suzy October 30, 2013, 9:36 am

    I loved this Sean. It simply takes us back to what this is all about, Love:) Only Love is real.
    Much Love Suzy x
    P.S. Love the videos and love the writings, please just keep them both coming. x

    • Sean Reagan October 30, 2013, 10:47 am

      Thank you Suzy – I appreciate the kind words – thank you for reading & being here –

      Sean

  • Eric October 31, 2013, 7:13 pm

    I came into your minds because you had grown vaguely aware of the fact that there is another way or another Voice. Having given this invitation to the Holy Spirit, I could come to provide the model for how to think. Psychology has become the study of behavior, but no one denies the basic law that behavior is a response to motivation, and motivation is will. I have enjoined you to behave as I behaved, but we must respond to the same mind to do this. This mind is the Holy Spirit, whose will is for God always. He teaches you how to keep me as the model for your thought and to behave like me as a result. ~Original Edition- ACIM

    • anil November 2, 2013, 4:50 pm

      Thanks, Eric for posting that quote. It pulls the curtain back on the days in 1965+ when Jesus first started talking to Helen in that manuscript.

      Useful to me at this time of my journey Home.

      • Eric November 3, 2013, 7:52 am

        You’re welcome Anil. Reading this blog, this was the first passage that popped into my head. I think there are a few times Jesus explicitly asks the reader to take him as a model.

        Eric

  • zrinka November 2, 2013, 8:58 am

    Dear Sean, thank you for all of your wonderful thoughts! I’ll be getting off internet for a while, deleting my email address and all, so I won’t be able to follow your blog anymore. Thank you so much for… being you:) In so many ways you enlightened my perspective. Hope we’ll meet again:) With Love, Zrinka

    • Sean Reagan November 2, 2013, 9:10 am

      I’ll miss you Zrinka. Your last comment – about creating works of light & Rilke – was powerful. I have been thinking on it ever since. I am so grateful for your sensitivity and insight and that we were able to share the way a little while. Thank you is a poor phrase in so many ways but what else can I offer? Your move away from the internet makes a lot of sense to me. I wish you well & truly hope our paths cross again in these forms and this world. You are one of my teachers. You go with all my love.

      • zrinka November 3, 2013, 11:04 am

        Thank you, Sean:) Lately I’ve been feeling a new phase in my life. For as long as I remember, I have been searching for God, heaven on Earth, Love, knowledge and wisdom. Then, few weeks ago, I faced few situations where I realized how much fear there is in this world. So much! So often fear controls our lives, in the name of Love. Of course I knew that everyone is afraid, but still! This time I could really see it for what it is * lack of Love and Trust in God*. I think I never truly realized it before. This time it seemed so real and final.
        I became terrified and shocked, and felt a cry in myself for Love, simplicity and peace. How could I live in the world where fear is so strong, I will go crazy of fear? Yet, I lived in it my whole life. It is the world I created. I looked at myself, and saw all that fear and anxiety (*Great Expectations*) that I generate in myself, because I persuaded myself it is for a good (best) cause – it is for always trying to be better, closer to God, to Love. But still, it is fear. It is feeling inadequate. No more.
        So, I decided I will no longer be afraid. I need to trust (God) and allow myself to feel good instead of always searching, worrying, trying, falling, failing. It was hard for me to accept that it is not my responsibility to fear, to control, to learn, to achieve, to reach and worry about … everything. And also I decided that my search (for God) is over. Because as long as I search, I believe something is missing. I fear it. I decided to truly believe and accept that God IS (here), no matter my current state of mind. I don’t have to be more than – I am. *I am* is so sweet. Perhaps ego doesn’t like it because everyone IS and we are all same when we just ARE. Just being (without fear) is – lovely. When we are not afraid, it is really obvious how love*ly we are. So, now I am on a new journey, at least it feels that way:) Travelling, but not searching. I have no anwsers. Only Love is here. It feels so good to allow myself to rest, finally:) I just wanted to share this with you. Thank you for inspiring me and others. We will meet again:) I wish for you, dear Sean, and for all of us, what Jesus said *Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.*Love, Zrinka

        • Sean Reagan November 4, 2013, 5:16 pm

          Thank you, Zrinka. That is very satisfying & inspiring. You will be in my thoughts . . .

          Sean

  • Cheryl November 6, 2013, 11:43 am

    Missing your (unique) voice. You OK?

    • Sean Reagan November 6, 2013, 3:13 pm

      Thanks, Cheryl . . . I am good . . . Many irons in the fire as they say but I hope to settle back into a more normal writing routine soon . . . .

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