slowly but surely i am reading through dave andrew's book, "not religion but love - practising a radical spirituality of compassion" with a women's group here in oz. the book contains pointed insights based on years of his experience of community life. the chapter on "breaking barriers of spitefulness" was a difficult one for me to read. i'm still convinced that spite is not only justifed at times, but it actually feels good. here's what dave thinks:
"Christ says we must give, forgive, and suffer, till we have exhausted our reserves; then ask God for the strength to give, forgive, and suffer some more. We are to give - as long as it meets someone's need. We are to forgive - as long as it sets someone free. We are to suffer - as long as our suffering creates the chance for a human being to be born again. We have reached the limits of the usefulness of our giving, forgiving, and suffering, only when our giving and forgiving makes us irritable, our suffering makes us resentful, or our generosity makes others incorrigible. If we become irritable or resentful, Christ said we must pray for grace to extend our capacity to give and forgive, in spite of how much we may have to suffer (Luke 6:32-36)."