On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. There is no commandment greater than these.
( Matthew 22: 37-40 and Mark 12: 29-31, combined.)
So now, we confess to THEE, O LORD:
to love our neighbor
+ + +
Do we wish ourselves to be given the "benefit of the doubt" when hard choices have to be made ... and our friends hear about them ?
If we become busy, do we want our friends to be "hurt" because of our SEEMING neglect of them ?
If we become unavoidably taken with pressing duties and responsibilities, do we want our friends to feel like we are then giving THEM the "cold shoulder" and ignoring their friendship ?
THEN.... if we wish our friends to be understanding, let us not harden our hearts towards them, when their duties call them away from interacting with us.
Do we love our neighbor as ourselves in the every day contingencies of life ?
If WE DO NOT WISH to be:
- ill-thought of when others hear of the hard choices we have had to make
- accused as neglectful of our friends when other duties press
- labeled as ignoring our friends when we are simply laden with an overload of cares...
BEGONE , you lying torment !
Furthermore, let us make it an iron-clad RULE:
If the accuser still badgers us about how they have "hurt" us by ignoring our friendship ...
THEN let us fortify our prayers for them by fasting a meal or a day in their behalf.
In this way we send notice to the adversary of our souls when he brings his lies to make us feel "hurt" when none was intended.
In this way we train ourselves to be more watchful of accusing thoughts towards our friends and neighbors --- surely an indulgence of self-pity ( and / or bitterness, resentment, anger, etc. ) on our part.
If we take heed to the accuser's thoughts hurled at us, we will have an AUTOMATIC CALL TO PRAYER for our beleaguered friends who may not have time for us.
THEY MAY NEED THOSE PRAYERS RIGHT AT THAT TIME that we are clamoring for their attention !
Thus, by prayers and fasting, we defeat the sly wiles of the devil and refrain from "joining the chorus of bullies" that are ranged against our friends. They are NOT neglectful: they are beleaguered !
We are able, with our corrected perspective now, to strengthen the Body of CHRIST with our hidden support.
Ourselves, we REPENT... ashamed to have followed the father of lies instead of our good Master+ The LORD JESUS CHRIST, Who+ loved all. We learn to love as HE+ loved, not accuse.
LET US LEARN, then , to love our neighbors as ourselves, instead of reproaching them in our hearts when we feel "neglected."
O dear Heavenly FATHER, I have sinned against my friends. They have meant me no harm. Nor have they even tried to neglect me. I have accused them of not caring and I am so ashamed of myself.
Help me to stop this self-pity when my friends become busy or over-whelmed with life.
Help me to fill my heart and my time with THEE+, O Righteous FATHER. Help me to not be so focused on my needs that I neglect my busy friends.
Let my prayers for THEM fill my heart instead of reproaches towards them.
I repent of my self-centeredness. I rebuke the accuser of the brethren; let him not control my thoughts.
And LORD, when I am empty, help me to turn to THEE+ instead of to my friends. Help me to turn to THEE+ for every need of my heart. Then I will be fully supplied to be there for my friends, when they should have a need.
This I pray in the Name of Our LORD JESUS CHRIST Who+ held nothing back from me.
Praise, honor, and glory are THINE+, O LORD !