Manual for Teachers: Section 4 WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD’S TEACHERS? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . V: Joy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 13 paragraph 1

Section 4

WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD’S TEACHERS?

page 13, paragraph 1

WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD'S TEACHERS?

WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD’S TEACHERS?

WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD’S TEACHERS?

V: Joy

1 Joy is the inevitable result of gentleness. ²Gentleness means that fear is now impossible, and what could come to interfere with joy? ³The open hands of gentleness are always filled. ⁴The gentle have no pain. ⁵They cannot suffer. ⁶Why would they not be joyous? ⁷They are sure they are beloved and must be safe. ⁸Joy goes with gentleness as surely as grief attends attack. ⁹God’s teachers trust in Him. ¹⁰And they are sure His Teacher goes before them, making sure no harm can come to them. ¹¹They hold His gifts and follow in His way, because God’s Voice directs them in all things. ¹²Joy is their song of thanks. ¹³And Christ looks down on them in thanks as well. ¹⁴His need of them is just as great as theirs of Him. ¹⁵How joyous it is to share the purpose of salvation!

Joy

Joy as described here is not something I can achieve through my efforts in the world, and is not connected to something I own, or have. It is not the result of winning the lottery or owning a lovely home, or being in love. Joy is not the result of anything that I can see or touch, or hear. It has nothing to do with the body or the world.

When I am centered, when I have withdrawn my projections and there is no defense or attack in me, joy is simply there. Sometimes it rises up in me so strongly that I laugh out loud. Sometimes I cry tears of joy. It is just too much to keep in and has to come out in some way. Mostly it simply feels like peace and is so lovely.

Joy’s Consequence

When joy is in me, I have perfect faith in it. It feels so right and so perfect. I always amaze myself when I choose to give it up as if it were not the best thing that had ever happened to me. What draws my attention so strongly that I would sacrifice joy just to have it? I begin to pay attention to my thoughts and to question my safety. When I do this, my mind begins to plan defense strategies and I lose my peace and my joy. Is that crazy, or what? Fortunately, it doesn’t happen very often anymore.

Doubt

Of course, joy and peace haven’t gone anywhere because they are my true nature, but if I have chosen to withdraw from God, I will lose all sense of it. It might be something as simple as judging the person standing next to me or wondering if I will run out of money before I run out of month. One thought follows another and pretty soon I’m stepping away from the person next to me. (That’s an interesting symbol of the separation I created with my judgment.)

Defensiveness

Or I am making plans on my own to protect against a financial shortfall, and at the same time teaching myself lack and loss. Maybe I will think of someone or something that is responsible for my predicament because I don’t like how I feel when I judge myself for my carelessness.

It’s easy to see how I lose that sense of peace and the joy that was so lovely just moments ago. I cannot be joyful if I am being harmful, through judgment, attack, and defense or any form of separation. When the mind detects danger and begins to build its defenses I have forgotten the purpose I share with Christ, and so I have forgotten my joy.

Vigilance

This is why vigilance is so important. I remain vigilant for unquestioned thoughts. I remain vigilant until I don’t need to because I never lose my peace and my joy. Does that ever happen in this world? Yes. Jesus says that we can learn to listen only to the Voice for God and we can do so even in this world. Vigilance is a small price to pay for joy.

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