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An essay on Postive Speech
Here's something I'm working on, an essay explaining the teachings on Positive Speech. Many writers have done a good job on this subject in books; however, there are many people who have trouble reading and will not tackle a whole book. A single page essay is more accessible. And since the average reading level of the US adult population is 7th grade, I am still working on simplifying the language. Comments? Is it readable? Too long? Anything in it needs to be expanded or contracted? How's the tone? Too preachy? Conversational? Any suggestions? Thanks -- Joni
Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?
When Jesus came into town, he saw a fig tree. He looked for figs on it. The tree had no figs, because it was not the right time of year for figs. So Jesus said, "May no one ever eat figs from you again!" The tree died on the spot! (Matthew 21: 18 - 22, Mark 11: 12-14, 20-24.)
Why would he do such a thing? It was not the tree's fault that it was the wrong time of year. We usually think of Jesus as being kind and good, not one to go around killing trees. His friends wondered the same thing.
"It is to show you the power of faith," he said. Still, this leaves me cold. Jesus did many good things to show the power of faith. He healed the sick, calmed the storm, fed the people with good food and wine, even raised the dead. Why would he take it out on a poor innocent tree? Why did the tree have to die?
It is to show you the power of faith, he said. That faith, through speech, can work -- for good or bad! Most of us don't see such great results of our faith, because most of us have not yet grown into the power of Jesus. However, even our little faith can work changes for good or bad, just like a little water running in the same path for a while can carve out land or even rock. For good or bad. This is why as the child's poem says:
Never we curse, always we bless,
Blessed be our no, and blessed be our yes.
Cos when we see all that we're meant to see
Whatever we say, so shall it be!
This means, first off, never damn or darn anything. If you say "I'll be d-----d!", you will be! If you say "This d--- car" or "This d---- landlord" or "This d---- government", is it any wonder that the car or the landlord or the government gives problems? Darn is just another form of damn; is it any wonder that "that darned cat" caused a whole movie's worth of mischief? What about other words, like slang words for sex or bathroom jobs, or the body parts that we use for these? Well, using ugly words for our body parts and their works can make the Subconscious feel that there is something wrong or bad or shameful about our bodies. There is no need to feel bad about these bodies that God has made and said are good! How would it be if we could not go to the bathroom, or could not feel pleasure or make love? When we use body words in a bad way, we are really cursing ourselves. So instead of cursing, give thanks and blessings! Then everything around us will work in harmony.
There are other ways to curse, besides saying four letter words. Saying bad things about oneself, the world, or the future is a form of cursing, especially if the bad things are a matter of guess rather than fact. It is not cursing to say "I broke a cup" but it is cursing to say, "With my luck, I break everything I touch." It is not cursing to say "my son caught the flu" but it is cursing to say, "My kids catch the flu every time it goes around." It may be ok to say "I had a hard time finding this place" but if you say "I always get lost", you will! One can curse the past as well as the present and future. For example, one may say "I was abused as a child"; however, one need not believe or say "I was an abused child and so I will always have problems getting along with people." Or one may say, '"I have XXX (a serious disease)" but please do not say "I am XXX, I am an XXX patient" or "I am dying of XXX" See the difference? The first says that something happened. The second claims the problem as part of who you are, and carries the problem into the present and future. (Note: you may need to see a doctor for problems like this; if so, please do it! Faith and positive speech work along with all the other means of healing that we have on hand nowadays.)
Another way to curse is worry. Worry means to give a lot of thought to what may go wrong, picturing it in detail, decribing it in words, and imagining how it feels. Worry is an ill form of problem solving; when what we worry about does not happen we say "All that worrying for nothing!" It is human nature to imagine what may go wrong so that we can plan how to fix it. However, dwelling too much on the problem does no good. Instead, when the worry wart starts to itch, rub it gently with a good medicine of how things can go right! If there are health worries, picture the person healthy and happy. Give the good picture as much energy and words and feeling as you would give the bad picture. If there are money worries, picture money in your bank account, a full wallet, a fridge and pantry full of good food. If there are problems with a living situatoin, picture harmony with neighbors, landlords, tenants, family, roommates, etc. Imagine what it would look like, feel like, sound like, even smell like! This takes effort and practice, like changing the course of a stream.
Another way to curse is to dwell on anger. It is natrual to get angry sometimes, and anger serves a purpose. When we are angry we want to make changes and draw the line, and sometimes this needs to be done. Yet sometimes anger leads to gossip, bad moods, grudges, hatred. These forms of cursing can be as deadly as any gun or knife. This is why Jesus said "You have heard it said, thou shalt not kill, yet I say to you, anyone who is angry at his neighbor is a murderer." (Remember, Jesus did not speak English; his words were translated thru several languages into English. So understand the sense of these words rather than their literal meaning, otherwise you may worry all the more!)
Fear and anger don't feel good, neither does headaches, stomach trouble, or any of the other ills of stress. So why do we keep cursing anyway? From force of habit! The Subconscious mind loves to do what it has always done, whether it feels good or not. So if you have always worried or hated or cursed, your Subconscious wants to keep on keeping on! If this happens, please do not curse yourself or become angry or discouraged. Correct yourself gently and lovingly, and change the curse into good thoughts and words. Worrying, complaining, all forms of cursing, all take a lot of energy. Learning to change this energy into positive thought or prayer can be a very powerful thing! This is what it means to replace cursing with blessing. Do this as often as it takes, and eventually it will become a habit as well.
Of course, it is not enough just to think good thoughts and say good words. Action is also needed. Instead of "I always get lost", take a moment to map where you need to go, and pay attention along the way. Instead of "I am always broke", watch for ways to make money honestly and well. Also look at other forms of wealth besides money, and ways to keep and share the wealth in whatever form it may take. Instead of "D--- it!" or "You idiot!", say "Blessings!" or "Thank you!" This may not work overnight. Be patient, learn from mistakes, and do better next time. We have our whole lives to learn these things. When thoughts and words are in line with what is good, the actions will follow natrually, like a tree that makes leaves and fruit at its proper time.
When we understand this, that fig tree will have died like a hero for a good cause, and its relatives will always bear fruit in our lives, whatever the season.