Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.
Love is one of the spiritual aspects that pervades Christ’s teaching; it is an obvious and overt lesson. Another lesson that is more subtle and sometimes less discernible is that of intelligence. Living without one of these characteristics leads to imbalance. If we only love, without the guidance of intelligence, we run the risk of coddling people and not allowing them the time for growth and development. If we treat people solely with intelligence and no love, we run the risk of appearing as a cold, clever, calculating, and cruel individual.
God does not coddle us, nor is Spirit cruel. We are supremely loved, but also the Infinite Intelligence of our Creator gives us rules, laws, guidance, limits, and direction by which to live. We reap what we sow is one such example. This is a law of love, but it is also a law of intelligence. This precept allows us the space to learn, grow, mature, and develop within a framework of balance. The perfect balance of love and intelligence is called wisdom. This was Solomon’s prayer, and because he asked for Wisdom, he was given all other good things of God.
In our Bible verse, Christ gives us a tip toward developing Wisdom. Do not communicate with spiritually immature people from a high spiritual level. Meet them where they are, accept them where they are, and speak with them at their own level or they will not understand you, or believe you, and they may even turn on you in contempt.
This is wise; this is a basic human skill. We need to love each other, and at the same time we must be smart in how we love each other. We are to be wise in the treatment of our friends and enemies – intelligent as well as loving, not just blithely affable.
If we want to share our spiritual insights, it is best not to start preaching to them about this and that. If we want to educe a reaction and instill inquisitive thought, it is perhaps best to behave in a way that incites their interest. If possible, we can demonstrate through our life how we think, how we act and react to people and situations. We can show by example how a life of closeness to God is more appealing than one distant from God.
It is not only our words that will plant ideas, but our choices of attitude and behavior. This may help them set aside their old values and consider something new. When someone is spiritually open, they will be attracted to new ideas; not until. There must be a subtle spiritual awakening for them to consider changing their life.
It is also difficult for us, from our limited human perspective, to determine the spiritual readiness of someone else. I have heard it referred to as Spiritual Malpractice -- when we are quick to judge others based upon observations or assumptions. Most of us don’t have it figured out for ourselves let alone presume that we can remove the speck of spiritual ignorance from our neighbor’s eye. Only God can determine a heart’s readiness for growth.
So how do we help someone develop an awareness of Christ? The answer is to turn inward to God. The more we can attune ourselves to the Divine Love, the Divine Intelligence, and the Divine Wisdom of God, the greater our ability to allow God to move through us. As we pray for the right words to flow, the helpful words come forth. As we meditate upon the right and perfect timing and the right people to join us, everything will come into perfect alignment. It is not about us doing it; it is about us easing inward to God and allowing the Father within to do His works.
In Matthew 7:7-8, we are told by Christ, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
This is the advice Christ gives for finding our spiritual way in life. This is spiritual teaching intended for a high spiritual level. Over the centuries people have misinterpreted these words and assumed that if we want something trivial at the worldly level all we need to do is ask. We need more money to pay our bills, so we ask God for more abundance. Many times, we are disappointed that what we ask for does not materialize.
This is because the changes must be within us at a spiritual level before anything can appear in the physical world. We attract abundance by what we think and do, by who we are, and what we believe. As we become adept at changing ourselves at the spiritual level material gifts flow more readily.
Ask and it will be given to us, but we will not be pampered. We still have life lessons to learn and challenges to face. Rather than asking God to remove our challenges -- which God will not do, because He loves us -- we can ask for the strength, wisdom, courage, and perseverance to meet the challenge.
When we change our thoughts and attitudes, our world changes, and we do this by asking God, seeking God, and persistently rapping on the door of our consciousness for more awareness. Every Child of God who asks with unflagging determination for guidance and truth from the Divine receives it. This is done in our quiet times of prayer, meditation, and contemplation.
In Matthew 7:9-11, we are asked, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
This is Divine Wisdom speaking – the perfect balance of love and intelligence. In this verse, Jesus destroys the Old Testament misconception that God is a vengeful and jealous tyrant; cruel, impossible to please, and indiscriminate in his anger and judgment. Not at all, says Christ. But rather, God is a fair and loving parent. Just as there is but one Common Parent, we are all made in the image of that Parent and are united in one Common Family. The solution to every challenge, every negative situation, every unproductive and oppressive condition is not only possible and available, but we are worthy of the solution. Ask, seek, and knock as we cling to the surety of God’s loving response.
Christ encourages us to keep on keeping on. Keep growing, asking, searching, learning, and daring to grow and become better; to become a better Patrick. We are being guided to enlarge our loving capacity, hone our skills and abilities, increase our sense of humor, expand our ability to change our thinking, and be more receptive to God’s good. We are guided to respect more of the good in everything, every challenge, and every person around us. Christ is prompting us to dare to release what needs to be released.
Why do we live so small when we are created to shine effusively into Creation? Christ tells us, “You are the light of the world.” Knowing that God surrounds us, guides us, and protects us, we can reach for more than just what is within our grasp. All things are possible with God’s help.
God wants us to be our best and wants the best for us. Hidden in our daily routine are the seeds of greatness. Our challenge is to move our eyes from our difficulties and raise them to God’s level. When we can see our life from a “higher place”, we can see the truth that God’s plans for us are perfect and right for who we are, and where we are on our life path.
Christ says something in Mark 11:24 that is profound: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” This teaching smacks of magical abilities, or things beyond our capabilities, so we often dismiss it and cut ourselves off from God’s power in our life, and become prey to mediocrity, falling far short of our God-given potential.
To attract good into our lives, this is exactly what we are to do. “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” We’ve been introduced to this formula at some point in our lives. It is just that we don’t believe it, so we dismiss it and ignore the Law.
But trust in the Law; trust in God. The first step is to ask for what we want. Ask for it. By asking for it we create a mental image of what we want. A thought is formed, and this initiates the Law of Attraction. This is the easiest step to take, as many the wishful thinkers will attest, and sadly, many of us stop at this step. As Vivian Komori wrote: “Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.”
We must ask and ask persistently. Then we must seek; get into action. St. Augustine taught, “Pray as though everything depends on God. And work as if everything depends on you.” Our work is to become that for which we seek and ask. It is one thing to ask for loving things, joyful things, and peaceful things. It is quite another “to do” loving things, joyful things, peaceful things. Yet it is still quite another thing “to be love, to be joy, and to be peace”. That is God’s will for us: to become that for which we seek; to become the vision that has been placed upon our heart by God.
Jim Rohn said: “If you want to have more, you have to become more. Success is not something you pursue. What you pursue will elude you; it will elude you; it can be like trying to chase butterflies. Success is something you attract by the person you become. For things to improve, you have to improve. For things to get better, you have to get better. For things to change, you have to change. When you change, everything changes for you.”
When God flashes an idea into our heads and hearts, almost instinctively we start to make a list of all the things we need to do and the steps we must prioritize to accomplish that vision. But what we should first ask our self is this: Beloved God, who do I need to become to accomplish this task? It’s not about what we need to do; it’s about who we need to become. After asking that question, we can then pursue our dreams and visions knowing that as we keep knocking on doors the obstacles and challenges that we face will strengthen us, teach us, change us, and make us into what God created us to be.
It is my prayer that we follow the example of Christ, and develop Divine Wisdom, love in balance with intelligence. I pray that we keep asking, seeking, and knocking until Spirit’s reveals Truth to our hearts. My prayer is that God’s call, that still small voice inspires us to become all that Spirit guides us to be.