Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, “Rejoice!” Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Fret not about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things which ye have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you.
Because I’m preparing to facilitate a workshop on forgiveness and letting go, this passage comes in handy – where are you going to put your focus and your energy? Although I don’t remember her, I’m told that I’m much like my father’s mom. She apparently always found the good in a person and focused on that. That’s where she put her energy, and she generally got the best of people toward her. There were those who took advantage of her nature, but for the most part, she encouraged the best and most positive attributes in people – she made you want to be a better person, because she already saw that person in you.
In the same way, the famous Two Wolves Story talks about which attributes you feed.
And among Baha’is, one of the admonishments in “To Live the Life” is: “To look always at the good and not at the bad. If a man has ten good qualities and one bad one, look at the ten and forget the one. And if a man has ten bad qualities and one good one, to look at the one and forget the ten.” I can remember putting that on my wall at this one place I worked. I’d been told my boss was difficult to work for, and I was coming up on 2 years – longer than anyone had worked for him. I finally blew up that section on the photocopy machine and tacked it up on the wall, just to continue reminding myself, and when the positives were that he dressed very sharp and the part in his hair was quite straight, I knew it was time to find another job, so that I could continue thinking of him in a kindly manner. <grin>
So choosing to rejoice in God, in the blessings God has given us, is just that – a choice, made consciously, and acted on each and every day.