Parabale of the peanut butter sandwich

When I hear my friends (or myself) griping about the treatment they get from bosses, friends, spouses, I can't help thinking of that story of Charlie and his sandwiches:

During his lunch break at work Charlie took a seat on a bench next to a fellow workman and began rummaging in his paper sack. He pulled out a sandwich, unwrapped it, and muttered, "Ugh. Peanut butter." He opened the next sandwich, examined it, and again muttered in disgust, "Ugh. Peanut butter."

He left both sandwiches uneaten. His bench companion, who was greatly enjoying a ham and cheese sandwich, sympathetically asked, "If you don't like peanut butter sandwiches, why don't you ask your wife to fix some other kind?"

Charlie frowned back: "Wife? I pack my lunches myself."

Like Charlie, aren't some of us constantly griping about problems we've packed into our own lives? Unlike Charlie, many of us aren't willing to own up to the fact that we ourselves did the packing.

If the boss seems gruff and overbearing, if the spouse seems inconsiderate, if any person or situation is making us unhappy, these persons and things are enemies of our peace. Right?

Wrong. They are false views of man. The true nature of everyone is God's image, His perfect expression, as the Bible tells us in Genesis.

The absolute truth is that God didn't make an irksome person. The negative mortal view of man is formulated out of a mistaken notion. As Mary Baker Eddy n 1 writes: "Can you see an enemy, except you first formulate this enemy and then look upon the object of your own conception? What is it that harms you? Can height, or depth, or any other creature separate you from the Love that is omni-present good, -- that blesses infinitely one and all?" n2

n1 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

n2 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 8.m

We may feel we can justify a critical stance on the basis that other people agree with us. But no matter how many voices say a lie, it still remains a lie. And what cures a lie? The truth -- the truth of man as God's spiritual reflection.

Whenever I'm faced with a challenging relationship situation, I get busy prayerfully reasserting the truths I have learned through Christian Science. I realize that anything not good is not from God; that evil is a false concept of God's creation; that I cannot be hurt by nor resentful of another of God's children, for all, including myself, are in truth God's all-loving likeness.

The result: In exact proportion to my living of those truths, my life becomes brighter and more satisfying. The problem is resolved, and often the other person involved expresses more of his or her true God-given nature.

When Christ Jesus said, "Love your enemies," n3 he wasn't asking us to love the unlovely -- ot lvoe evil in any form -- for Jesus came to cure the human race of evil.Wasn't he asking us to see our "enemy" as in fact God's own child? We can do this by separating from our concept of another the evil that seems so real. Evil isn't man but a nameless, bodiless lie.

n3 Matthew 5:44.

Mrs. Eddy points out that in truth we have no enemies. "Even in belief," she says, "you have but one (that, not in reality), and this one enemy is yourself -- your erroneous belief that you have enemies; that evil is real; that aught but good exists in Science." n4

n4 Mis.,m p. 10.

You and your so-called enemy are, in truth, God's dearly loved children, made in His likeness, and both of you are entitled to victory over your common enemy, the false concept that either of you is capable of hurting or being hurt by any of God's children.

It would appear, then, that we need to decide something basic -- whether we want to indulge in ego-satisfying one-upmanship or to refrain from pointing the accusing finger.

Each time we make the right choice, we strengthen our ability to consistently pack into our thoughts only what we want manifested in our lives. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Judge righteous judgment. John 7:24

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