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DEFAULT TO LOVE

I believe that the root of all peace and happiness is centered in living the teachings of Jesus Christ.  

As a coach, I try to help people learn how to apply these teachings to their lives.

Anyone that knows the teachings Jesus Christ, would most times agree that how He admonishes us to live is a peaceful, happy way to get along with everyone.  If we could all live that way, harmony and peace would be more abundant in our families and communities.

Upon first studying these principles they may be interpreted as instructions to how we can help better the lives of others.  I believe any commandment is given to us to help us live a more peaceful life.  First, we need to feel love, peace, and hope, before we can help others benefit from living like Jesus Christ lived.  We have to develop the attributes of Jesus Christ before we can influence others to consider living a Christ-like life. That means we need to spend more time improving ourselves than trying to improve others.

We are quick to learn the attributes but sometimes slow to understand and implement them.  When we learn to “walk the talk”, then we can show up as the best version of ourselves to our family and the world.  We become aligned with the Savior and the world

Principles of loving everyone, even our enemies; forgiving everyone; judging no one; honest in all our doings; being selfless; losing ourselves in service to others.  These are just a few of the teachings we have been taught.

So, if living Christ-like attributes is the most peaceful way to live, why don’t we default to living those principles?

Specifically, why are we so quick to judge others rather than to forgive?  Forgiveness feels so amazing; judgement never feels good.. 

Christ would never ask us to do something we were not capable of doing and everything he asks us to do is to help us find peace in our life.

He has asked us to love our enemies.  I can agree with Him, but most of the time it’s very difficult to do.   And it’s never my default reaction.  I default to judgement and vengeance and justice.  But for my good, Christ has asked me to love my enemies.

A fellow coach and friend of mine, Tami Schwendiman, suggested I read Left to Tell, by Immaculee Ilibagiza.  It is a true account of the author’s experience living through the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 where more than one million people were murdered in 100 days.  It is her account of finding peace through forgiveness while hiding in a small bathroom with seven other women for four months, as she was surrounded with the sounds of the atrocities of what was going on outside the house where she was hiding.

It is a story about what happened to her as she discovered to love those that were killing her family and friends.  Here are some exerts.  

I was in deep prayer when the killers came to search the house…..That was a problem for me because I knew that God expected us to pray for everyone…..I wanted God on my side.

…….An ugly whispering slithered in my head again:  Why are you calling on God.  Don’t you have as much hatred in your heart as the killers do?  Aren’t you guilty of hatred as they are?

Don’t call on God, Immaculee, the voice broke in.  He knows that you’re a liar….Didn’t God create us in His image?  How can you love God but hate so many of His creations?

Immaculee:  I tried again, praying for Him to forgive the killers, but deep down I couldn’t believe that they deserved it at all……Please open my heart, Lord, and show mw how to forgive.  I’m not strong enough to sqush my hatred…..Touch my heart, Lord and show me how to forgive.

One night I heard a screaming not far from the house, and then a baby crying.  The killers must have slain the mother and left her infant to die in the road…..I prayed for God to receive the child’s innocent soul and then ask Him, HOW CAN I FORGIVE PEOPLE WHO WOULD DO SUCH A THING TO AN INFANT?

I heard his answer as clearly as if we we’d been sitting in the same room chatting.  YOU ARE ALL MY CHILDREN.

The killers were like children.  They were cruel, vicious, and dangerous, as kids sometimes can be, but, nevertheless, they were children.  They saw but didn’t understand the terrible harm they’s inflicted.  They’d blindly hurt  others without thinking……Their minds had been infected with the evil that had spread across the country, but their SOULS weren’t evil.  Despite their atrocities , they were children of God. And I could forgive a child.

In God’s eyes, the killers were part of His family, deserving of love and forgiveness.  I knew I couldn’t ask God to love me if I were unwilling to love His children…….I prayed for the killers, for their sins to be forgiven.  I prayed that God would lead them to recognize the horrific error of their ways before their life on Earth ended…..

…….Forgive them for they know not what they do.

My anger was draining from me…….For the first time I pities the killers.  I asked God to forgive their sins.

That night I prayed with a clear conscience and a clean heart.  For the first time since I entered the bathroom, I slept in peace.

I believe the core of all happiness is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is possible to love everyone. It’s not easy.  It takes desire and practice.  It takes learning how to manage the thoughts in our brain to think on purpose. It’s only possible with the gift of Atonement of Jesus Christ that was given to us.  The Atonement gives us the power to love those that are difficult to love; to choose love on purpose.I can help you feel more love by teaching you how to manage your brain.  Book a free call to get started.

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