No more bother

March 7, 2006 | No comments yet

I asked a co-worker if he’d like to eliminate bother from his life. He replied, “Yes, I know a couple of people I’d like to eliminate right now!”

I said, “I didn’t ask if there were people you wanted eliminated. I asked if you wanted to eliminate bother!”

There’s a big difference between eliminating what we think is a bother to us, and eliminating the predisposition to being bothered in the first place.

Christian Science has taught me to take responsibility for my thinking, which means, if I feel bothered by another person’s actions, my irritation is not the other person’s fault. It’s the effect of how I’m thinking about that person.

While riding on an airplane one time, a baby near my seat started crying and giving her mother terrible fits. A passenger next to me got very mad and upset with the two. I had been in a similar situation when a young father, so had an idea of what kind of desperation the mother might have been feeling. I was not bothered, but felt compassion and prayed for the baby’s peace of mind. The child soon calmed down and remained quiet for the rest of the trip. My neighbor calmed down too.

As I thought about how the passenger next to me and I had opposite reactions to the same circumstances, I realized that it wasn’t the baby’s crying that made my neighbor mad. It was his negative attitude about it. And it didn’t help that he was thinking only about himself.

This lesson applies to all of our relationships. It’s never another person that causes us bother. It’s our view of that person’s actions that upsets us. A remedy for eliminating the bother is to look for something good to focus on and consider the other from an unselfish vantage point.

How? One way, is to get a more spiritually inspired view of the individual God created in the first place.

God is good and made each of His children good. No matter how different, and even unusual, another person may appear to us, they are just as important, significant and special as any other individual. They have an important reason to exist, and it helps to seek out that reason, value the worth, and honor the contribution they have to make. The more we love and the less we judge, the better for everyone involved.

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment,” John wrote.

“Righteous judgment” includes looking at others from a spiritual point of view.

The more time we pray looking for good in our neighbor, the less time we have to feel bothered by their actions.

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