The bible is full of instruction on how we should behave and think towards one another. It turns out that this isn’t just so that we can live in community and harmony; it’s also because it’s good for us! When I think thoughts about another person that come from my frustration, anger or any other negative emotion towards them, my body changes. This state of affairs causes certain chemicals and hormones to be released including adrenaline that effect my entire body including my muscles and vasculature. When this becomes habituated, simply being in the presence of the person, in a place that’s associated with them or a conversation about that person, can trigger off those physical changes in my body.
Here’s what I found though, even when I am in full flow of mental rant concerning someone who has offended me in some way, when I stop those thoughts and choose to bless them unconditionally, I can feel my body changing. When I did it the first time I was astounded! It really works. Sometimes going through Philippians 4:8 and finding things about the person that fit the criteria and thanking God for them, is really helpful. Taking a few deep breaths; becoming conscious of and receiving Jesus’ grace and mercy towards me on the intake, and being thankful for and ‘releasing’ his grace and mercy towards them on the exhale. This too has been helpful and when I can’t think of anything else just praying the Numbers 6 blessing over them is great.
So, yet another lesson in the battle for my mind and the war against fear and anxiety – what and how I think about others really makes a difference. Regardless of how much of a numpty they have been towards me, it really isn’t worth harbouring those thoughts against them… for my own