Forgive and be forgiven.
Forgiveness offers everything I want.
1. What could you want forgiveness cannot give? ²Do you want peace? ³Forgiveness offers it. ⁴Do you want happiness, a quiet mind, a certainty of purpose, and a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world? ⁵Do you want care and safety, and the warmth of sure protection always? ⁶Do you want a quietness that cannot be disturbed, a gentleness that never can be hurt, a deep abiding comfort, and a rest so perfect it can never be upset?
2. All this forgiveness offers you, and more. ²It sparkles on your eyes as you awake, and gives you joy with which to meet the day. ³It soothes your forehead while you sleep, and rests upon your eyelids so you see no dreams of fear and evil, malice and attack. ⁴And when you wake again, it offers you another day of happiness and peace. ⁵All this forgiveness offers you, and more.
Jesus is building on yesterday’s lesson which told us that forgiveness is the key to happiness. All of these wonderful effects that Jesus lists for us are absolutely true. This is my life now that I have accepted forgiveness as natural and necessary, now that I understand forgiveness. The only time that I lack any of these effects is when I have a grievance and they never last because I value forgiveness and I do not value the grievance.
Yesterday I bought new furniture for my living room because the old furniture was worn out. I spent way more money than I meant to and this morning I woke up with that on my mind, worrying that I had spent all that money and wondering if it was a mistake. I was not at peace because I had a grievance against myself for spending too much and a grievance against the idea that there is no lack. I forgave both ideas as I looked at them with the Holy Spirit. I valued my peace of mind and I saw no value in holding the grievance. Now I am just happy.
3. Forgiveness lets the veil be lifted up that hides the face of Christ from those who look with unforgiving eyes upon the world. ²It lets you recognize the Son of God, and clears your memory of all dead thoughts so that remembrance of your Father can arise across the threshold of your mind. ³What would you want forgiveness cannot give? ⁴What gifts but these are worthy to be sought? ⁵What fancied value, trivial effect or transient promise, never to be kept, can hold more hope than what forgiveness brings?
The veil that hides the face of Christ, the dead thoughts. Those are other ways of saying ego; ego is the veil that hides the face of Christ. When we view the world through the ego thought system, we will not remember Who We are and will not remember God and our place in Him. It is easy to recognize the ego perspective. It is always showing us separation, competition, guilt, and fear. The right mind, the mind that is real and is another word for the Sonship for our true selves, this mind only speaks of Love.
Ultimately, we forgive the world in its entirety and it disappears. That can be off-putting if you still value it for what it might give once you conquer it. There is this idea that if we keep trying we will finally get it right but the thing is, what have we gotten right? We conquer an illusion? Even if we could, what difference would it make? We would just be left with a feeling of emptiness because we would have literally succeeded at nothing.
4. Why would you seek an answer other than the answer that will answer everything? ²Here is the perfect answer, given to imperfect questions, meaningless requests, halfhearted willingness to hear, and less than halfway diligence and partial trust. ³Here is the answer! ⁴Seek for it no more. ⁵You will not find another one instead.
No matter what the question, the answer is forgiveness. Looking for a second opinion will not satisfy. This wanting the answer to be something it is not, and wanting a shortcut to happiness that does not involve effort reminds me of a poster I saw on Facebook that made me laugh.
And it is not even that forgiveness is hard. It isn’t. Do our beliefs make us happy is the simplest test. Do our beliefs bring us closer to God, closer to our reality is another way to decide if we want to keep them. Once the decision to release a belief (to forgive it) is made, most of the work is done. Our decision is an invitation to the Holy Spirit to heal our minds and correct our thinking. Sometimes we need to reinforce the decision and I often do that with true ideas from A Course in Miracles. And sometimes we need to return to that thought more than once, maybe many times, but each time we forgive it, we are shifting our mind to a new way of thinking, to new beliefs.
5. God’s plan for your salvation cannot change, nor can it fail. ²Be thankful it remains exactly as He planned it. ³Changelessly it stands before you like an open door, with warmth and welcome calling from beyond the doorway, bidding you to enter in and make yourself at home, where you belong.
Oh, my! This is wonderful, isn’t it? Forgiveness is God’s plan for salvation. It is His only plan and it never changes nor is it ever unavailable to us. It is simple to use and it always works. What else could we ask for?
6. Here is the answer! ²Would you stand outside while all of Heaven waits for you within? ³Forgive and be forgiven. ⁴As you give you will receive. ⁵There is no plan but this for the salvation of the Son of God. ⁶Let us today rejoice that this is so, for here we have an answer, clear and plain, beyond deceit in its simplicity. ⁷All the complexities the world has spun of fragile cobwebs disappear before the power and the majesty of this extremely simple statement of the truth.
Jesus talks many times about giving and receiving being the same. This applies to forgiveness. Would you be forgiven, then forgive. As you give, you receive. It is important to forgive all mistakes no matter where in the Sonship they occur because we are all one. But forgiveness does not stop there, it affects you directly through the law of giving and receiving.
7. Here is the answer! ²Do not turn away in aimless wandering again. ³Accept salvation now. ⁴It is the gift of God, and not the world. ⁵The world can give no gifts of any value to a mind that has received what God has given as its own. ⁶God wills salvation be received today, and that the intricacies of your dreams no longer hide their nothingness from you.
Salvation is now if we so desire it. Simply forgive at every opportunity. Forgive everyone for any errors making no exceptions. Forgive all circumstances and let the mind be healed of the belief that there is sometimes justification for not doing so. We want to forgive the world we made so that it can disappear from our mind and leave us with the love and joy and peace that the world obscures but which is still in us, as us.
8. Open your eyes today and look upon a happy world of safety and of peace. ²Forgiveness is the means by which it comes to take the place of hell. ³In quietness it rises up to greet your open eyes, and fill your heart with deep tranquility as ancient truths, forever newly born, arise in your awareness. ⁴What you will remember then can never be described. ⁵Yet your forgiveness offers it to you.
Jesus cannot describe to us the actual wonders of Heaven, only that it is what we really want and we get it through forgiveness. It has gone nowhere but is hidden from us by our grievances.
9. Remembering the gifts forgiveness gives, we undertake our practicing today with hope and faith that this will be the day salvation will be ours. ²Earnestly and gladly will we seek for it today, aware we hold the key within our hands, accepting Heaven’s answer to the hell we made, but where we would remain no more.
10. Morning and evening do we gladly give a quarter of an hour to the search in which the end of hell is guaranteed. ²Begin in hopefulness, for we have reached the turning point at which the road becomes far easier. ³And now the way is short that yet we travel. ⁴We are close indeed to the appointed ending of the dream.
If you are like most people, you are now more aware of the untrue thoughts in your mind and this might make it seem like you are actually worse off than when you started this practice. Perhaps you think he is talking about someone else being at the turning point and maybe you can’t believe the way is short. But all that is needed is willingness and practice and if you are being consistent in this, you will change much faster than you think.
You probably already have changed more than you are aware. I know that was true for me. Sometimes I go back and read my journal from a few years ago and I see that I had a lot of doubt about my own progress but I also see that I had an amazing amount of knowledge. I also see that along with my stumbles, I was also walking forward steadily.
11. Sink into happiness as you begin these practice periods, for they hold out the sure rewards of questions answered and what your acceptance of the answer brings. ²Today it will be given you to feel the peace forgiveness offers, and the joy the lifting of the veil holds out to you.
12. Before the light you will receive today the world will fade until it disappears, and you will see another world arise you have no words to picture. ²Now we walk directly into light, and we receive the gifts that have been held in store for us since time began, kept waiting for today.
Your vision may not yet be steady, but do not discount that you do have vision. Instead of worrying about what I have not yet accomplished, I have learned to appreciate each step forward and to be grateful for it.
13. Forgiveness offers everything you want. ²Today all things you want are given you. ³Let not your gifts recede throughout the day, as you return again to meet a world of shifting change and bleak appearances. ⁴Retain your gifts in clear awareness as you see the changeless in the heart of change; the light of truth behind appearances.
14. Be tempted not to let your gifts slip by and drift into forgetfulness, but hold them firmly in your mind by your attempts to think of them at least a minute as each quarter of an hour passes by. ²Remind yourself how precious are these gifts with this reminder, which has power to hold your gifts in your awareness through the day:
³Forgiveness offers everything I want.
⁴Today I have accepted this as true.
⁵Today I have received the gifts of God.
Jesus wants us to keep in mind the value of what we do today toward our own happiness and toward the awakening of us all. Don’t let these precious ideas be absent to you for any length of time. We are worth this effort. You are worth this effort.