ACIM Daily Lesson 105 God’s peace and joy are mine.
God’s peace and joy are mine.
ACIM Lesson 105
God’s peace and joy are mine.
1. God’s peace and joy are yours. ²Today we will accept them, knowing they belong to us. ³And we will try to understand these gifts increase as we receive them. ⁴They are not like to the gifts the world can give, in which the giver loses as he gives the gift; the taker is the richer by his loss. ⁵Such are not gifts, but bargains made with guilt. ⁶The truly given gift entails no loss. ⁷It is impossible that one can gain because another loses. ⁸This implies a limit and an insufficiency.
2. No gift is given thus. ²Such “gifts” are but a bid for a more valuable return; a loan with interest to be paid in full; a temporary lending, meant to be a pledge of debt to be repaid with more than was received by him who took the gift. ³This strange distortion of what giving means pervades all levels of the world you see. ⁴It strips all meaning from the gifts you give, and leaves you nothing in the ones you take.
I can see how giving works in the world.
When I give a gift to someone with the expectation of a gift returned to me when it is my turn, this is a bargain.
If I should give a gift to someone with the expectation they will value me more, this is a bargain.
If I give out of obligation, I will feel resentment and this person becomes my repository for guilt I don’t want to see in myself, and this too is a bargain.
In each case, I lose in the hopes of gaining. Each time this happens I teach myself loss, limits, and insufficiency. I teach myself that we are something we are not.
This is not the case with God’s gifts. He gives out of a rich abundance of which there is no limit and no desire to take or expectation of sacrifice. When we accept His gifts they increase rather than decrease.
A Major Learning Goal
3. A major learning goal this course has set is to reverse your view of giving, so you can receive. ²For giving has become a source of fear, and so you would avoid the only means by which you can receive. ³Accept God’s peace and joy, and you will learn a different way of looking at a gift. ⁴God’s gifts will never lessen when they are given away. ⁵They but increase thereby.
Understanding giving and receiving as they exist in eternity is a major learning goal of this course. We learn this as we accept God’s gifts of peace and joy and discover there is no sacrifice asked of us, no exchange of guilt. When we give in the world, there is always a sense of fear involved in the expectation of a loss.
I’m a generous person and give a lot, but I’ve noticed this sense of loss myself. Even when I give away something I don’t need or want, there is this feeling. It is a feeling of, “what if I need it later and it is not there?” I do it anyway, but the feeling is still there for a moment. This feeling is a reflection of the belief in lack and loss, the belief that giving is not safe.
There is a reason we must learn a different way of perceiving giving. In reality, giving is receiving so if we avoid giving, how will we receive? Yes, we can barter away with material gifts, but there is no satisfaction in this and it further confuses the idea of giving and receiving. What does matter is that with, love, peace, and joy, the only way to receive is to give. And giving does not produce loss but only gain.
True Giving Is Creation
4. As Heaven’s peace and joy intensify when you accept them as God’s gift to you, so does the joy of your Creator grow when you accept His joy and peace as yours. ²True giving is creation. ³It extends the limitless to the unlimited, eternity to timelessness, and love unto itself. ⁴It adds to all that is complete already, not in simple terms of adding more, for that implies that it was less before. ⁵It adds by letting what cannot contain itself fulfill its aim of giving everything it has away, securing it forever for itself.
5. Today accept God’s peace and joy as yours. ²Let Him complete Himself as He defines completion. ³You will understand that what completes Him must complete His Son as well. ⁴He cannot give through loss. ⁵No more can you. ⁶Receive His gift of joy and peace today, and He will thank you for your gift to Him.
Jesus has talked to us about giving as receiving and how our joy and peace increase as we accept God’s gifts. Here he is telling us that God’s joy increases as we accept His gifts. When we think of increase in the world, we think of it meaning we receive more of it. This translates into I had less and now I have more.
But in God, there is no assumption of having had less and now having more because God is complete. Instead, there is an increase in joy in fulfilling its aim of giving everything it has away. Instead of losing what it gives, it secures it forever for itself. This is how giving works in truth, and it is true for us as well. It will be our experience of giving when we are in our right mind. Jesus is calling this kind of giving, creation.
Simplifying the Lesson
I think that if I simplify this lesson into what is essential for me to know it would be this. I have thought that I give in order to get and that has caused me to fear giving. In this, I am mistaken in my belief that giving is loss. In actuality, giving is receiving. Giving freely without expectation of return is giving without fear. This is joyful and brings me peace. I want joy and peace so I will deny it to no one. In this way I ensure it for myself as well.
6. Today our practice periods will start a little differently. ²Begin today by thinking of those brothers who have been denied by you the peace and joy that are their right under the equal laws of God. ³Here you denied them to yourself. ⁴And here you must return to claim them as your own.
7. Think of your “enemies” a little while, and tell each one, as he occurs to you:
²My brother, peace and joy I offer you, that I may have God’s peace and joy as mine.
³Thus you prepare yourself to recognize God’s gifts to you, and let your mind be free of all that would prevent success today. ⁴Now are you ready to accept the gift of peace and joy that God has given you. ⁵Now are you ready to experience the joy and peace you have denied yourself. ⁶Now you can say, “God’s peace and joy are mine,” for you have given what you would receive.
If I want the experience of peace and joy, then I must give peace and joy and not to just some, but to all. That is the reason for this lesson, that I can clear my mind of the idea of enemies who I would deny peace and joy. If I deny peace and joy to anyone, I deny it to myself. In choosing to give them peace and joy instead, I give it to myself as well.
Let All Bars of Peace Be Lifted
8. You must succeed today, if you prepare your mind as we suggest. ²For you have let all bars to peace and joy be lifted up, and what is yours can come to you at last. ³So tell yourself, “God’s peace and joy are mine,” and close your eyes a while, and let His Voice assure you that the words you speak are true.
9. Spend your five minutes thus with Him each time you can today, but do not think that less is worthless when you cannot give Him more. ²At least remember hourly to say the words which call to Him to give you what He wills to give, and wills you to receive. ³Determine not to interfere today with what He wills. ⁴And if a brother seems to tempt you to deny God’s gift to him, see it as but another chance to let yourself receive the gifts of God as yours. ⁵Then bless your brother thankfully, and say:
⁶My brother, peace and joy I offer you, that I may have God’s peace and joy as mine.
This lesson made me think of the situation with the plumber I wrote about before. When I was resentful of the plumber who I thought did a poor job for me, I lost my peace. I discovered I could not judge him and be at peace. I found the loss intolerable and I chose to forgive my thoughts about him and bless him instead. It was the only way I could go back to peace and joy. We always get what we give. Always.
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