How to Enable us to See the Bright Side of People
(Published in The Gregorion November 2006 Edition)
By His Grace Mathews Mar Barnabas, Metropolitan of America
We easily find out the bright side of those whom we love. We appreciate the good qualities in them and we encourage them. On the other hand, we fail to see the bright side of those whom we don’t like. Not only that, we try to find out their bad qualities and shortcomings. In the case of our enemies we try to find out their defects and sins and speak all bad things about them. The same is true in the case of those of whom we are jealous. We want to discredit them. Hence in order to find out the bright side of people, we have to get rid of enmity and jealousy.
Let us therefore try to see how to overcome enmity. We should find the reason why anyone has become our enemy. We might have done something, which had hurt him. It is also possible that he may have misunderstandings about us. We should think what would be our reaction if we were in his place. Through personal talk we have to remove all misunderstandings. If we had really hurt him, we must apologize. Then we must try to have a loving relationship. St. Paul says, “Whatever you do, do in love” (1 Cor. 16:14). He again says, “See that none render evil to evil unto any man, but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves and to all men.” (1 Thess. 5:15). “And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Gal. 6:9). We must forgive others as God forgives us. St. Paul says, “Forbearing one another and forgiving one another, if any man has a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (Col. 3:13).
Now let us see how to overcome jealousy. Where there is love there will be no jealousy. If there is no love we may become jealous of even our own children. Hence we have to find out how to grow in selfless love in order to overcome jealousy.
Growing in love
The first way to grow in love is to visualize the truth that everyone is child of God to whom we owe everything. Moreover our Lord wants us to express our love for Him through loving His children. Our Lord asked St. Peter whether he loved our Lord more than others. He asked him thrice and Peter gave a positive answer. Then our Lord told him, “Feed my lambs”; “ feed my sheep.” There is no limit to our obligation to God for His blessings.
Hence there cannot be any limit to our love for His children. We should love sinners also as God loves them.
Another way to grow in love is to visualize people as fellow-beings like us. We should have a deep conviction in this. Then we will be able to rejoice with those who rejoice without jealousy.
When we grow in love overcoming enmity and jealousy, we will be able to see the bright side of people and love
them all the more.