Mount of Olives
It was from this site Jesus delivered what has come to be called,
The Beatitudes (Be-attitudes),
notably one of the most profound moral teachings ever given.
Check em out!
A father died and left his business and comfortable estate to his widow. The couple had two adult children, a girl and a boy. The girl was senior by three years, a college grad, a Army Veteran, a wife and mother of three. The boy flunked out of college, was married with two daughters, but he’d agreed to take over the business, if reluctantly.
The son was appointed Executor of the will and, conveniently, he received the business, the summer home in Florida, and upon the sale of the couple’s home, he purchased a modest condo for his mom and pocketed the change. The daughter initially, received nothing.
A few years later, their mother began to show signs of dementia and took a spin down her steps. The following weekend, she was moved into her daughter’s home. Mom’s dementia got worse quickly, and the daughter asked her brother if he could help a little, maybe take her one evening a week for dinner or something. No reply was forthcoming.
The daughter’s marriage, bad for several years, hit the wall, and divorce proceedings began. Her children were now ages 10, 13, and 16, so clearly, she had her hands full. Her brother still remained distant when she asked for help, but allowed them to move into a small cottage he and a partner had renovated, using estate money. The cottage was assessed at a mere $36k, but he charged his own mother $95k and since he already had power of attorney, (seems like a conflict of interest in there someplace, doesn’t it?) he took the money from his mother’s account.
Time went on and the Mother’s dementia became a danger since the daughter had to work and the children had to attend school. The son, finally and angrily, abducted their mother while everyone but mom was out of the house. The daughter came home to … no mother, no mom’s furniture, and no note or explanation.
Many of the daughter’s friends urged her to take her brother to court. Clearly, both the mother and daughter had been ripped off by the son. While the daughter agreed in theory that he owed her a piece of her inheritance, she was unable to take legal action against her brother. Instead, she prayed … and prayed … and prayed.
Her brother’s children and the daughter’s children are friends today, and they still pray for the reconciliation of their parents: the brother ah, but there is an underlying tension that seems to prevent healthy reconciliation.
God’s ways are ALWAYS better than our ways!
Living, or attempting to live in accordance with God’s Word is never easy. It goes against some of our most basic instincts of self-preservation. But God expects us to be more than creatures enslaved by basic human instincts. He gave us the ability to REASON, to think things through, and to evaluate the options in light of the attached consequences. He expects us to rise above the call of instinct and obey His directive … Let HIM deal with the wayward brother, or whatever YOUR particular situation might be.
While there is some debate over the precise meaning of a few of the Beatitudes, certainly there is enough clarity to demonstrate a rather “upside down” set of standards. God discourages retribution and revenge, and instead, asks us to FORGIVE. Living God’s way is not easy, but it is rewarding.
Maybe if more of us tried this “upside down” lifestyle, we’d get along a little better? I’m thinking maybe we “comfortable Americans” might have our priorities be a bit messed up! Just sayin …