More junk in the cellar

Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 5 verses 27 to the end.

This time the junk is to do with sexual desire, intemperate language and retaliation. There’s nothing I can add to my previous blog post on the basic principles of dealing with the mental junk that gets in the way of loving other people and ourselves. (See ‘What Lurks in the Cellar’ posted August 28th)

If you really want to go more deeply into the issues of intemperate language and retaliation I recommend two books:

  • Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg
  • Jesus and Nonviolence by Walter Wink

Both writers are dealing with challenging issues of our violent times. Walter Wink believes that the Christian tradition of nonviolence is urgently needed as an alternative to the “dominant and death-dealing powers of our consumerist culture and fractured world”. He has fascinating insights into some of the social norms of Jesus’ time that shed light on turning the other cheek and going the second mile.

The blurb for Marshall Rosenberg’s book says that it will help me:

  • to put my primary focus on connection through empathetic listening rather than being right or getting what I want;
  • to transform conflict into mutually satisfying outcomes;
  • to defuse anger and frustration peacefully;
  • to break patterns that lead to arguments or depression;
  • and to move beyond power struggles to cooperation and trust.

There’s also a Center For Nonviolent Communication. Go to

Adapting some words of Nan Merrill’s rendition of Psalm 61, May you know abiding love, gently joy, deep peace and wisdom.

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