O SON OF MAN! Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art thyself a sinner. Shouldst thou transgress this command, accursed wouldst thou be, and to this I bear witness. (Bahá’u’lláh, Hidden Words Arabic 27)
This is such an important injunction to understand and boy am I struggling with it today! Someone I’m doing business with wronged me and then lied to me and I want to sully their name on social media. Someone else is spreading lies and slandering my name and I want to defend myself. Last night I was at a gathering where there was a lot of gossip and backbiting which would have been so easy to get hooked in, and other people were criticizing our hosts and their business partners. One of my neighbors was partying too loud and another doesn’t pick up after her dog and I want everyone to know how upset it makes me. It’s enough to make me run back into my cave and not interact with the world! I’m sure you could easily come up with your own list.
It’s easy to feel wronged and our culture promotes sharing our negativity widely, but in this quote we see we can’t even breathe another person’s sins (which I have done in the paragraph above!).
I’m learning that instead of venting my anger outwardly, I can remember that “hurt people hurt people”. I can give the situation to God and ask for the strength to let go of my indignation and forgive. I can talk to the person directly. I can pray for the person and ask God to intervene in their lives.
Knowing there are other ways avoid criticizing others, thereby avoiding God’s wrath, I am grateful.
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Letting Go of Criticizing Others