"God is the Love in which I forgive."
Longer: 3--at least 5 full minutes
- Repeat idea as you close eyes.
- Search your mind for those you have not completely forgiven. To each one say: "God is the Love in which I forgive you, [name]."
- After a minute or two tell yourself: "God is the Love in which I forgive myself."
- For remainder, add your own relevant thoughts. The form may vary considerably, but do not lose sight of the central idea.
- Conclude with repeating original idea.
Shorter: as many as possible
Repeat idea, in original or related form, as you prefer
Response To Temptation: whenever you have a negative reaction to someone: Tell him/her silently: "God is the Love in which I forgive you."
The whole of the Course's teaching on the Atonement principle is contained in the first sentence: "God does not forgive because He has never condemned." Over and over the Course emphasizes that God is not a God of vengeance, that God is not angry with us, that He knows nothing of punishment. God does not condemn; He never has. His heart remains eternally open to us all. To me specifically.
In this world of illusions, where mutual condemnation has become a way of life (or death?), forgiveness is necessary--not God's forgiveness, but our own. Forgiveness is the way we release ourselves from illusions. All condemnation is self-condemnation; the guilt we see in others is our own reflecting back at us, and as we release others from our condemnation, we are released. "As you condemn only yourself, so do you forgive only yourself."
As later lessons will make clear, our whole purpose in this world is to bring forgiveness to it, to release it from the burden of guilt that we have laid upon it. This is what returns our mind to the awareness of God. We find God by liberating those around us, lifting our judgment from them, and acknowledging them as worthy creations of God along with ourselves. "God...is approached through the appreciation of His Son" (T-11.IV.7:2).
Lifting the chains of judgment from everyone that I know puts me in a position to forgive myself (5:1). It brings a warm feeling inside when I can say, "God is the Love in which I forgive myself." I may not even be aware of any guilt consciously, but when I bless myself with forgiveness, something melts, and I know that the forgiveness was needed. There is a subliminal self-criticism that is nearly always going on, and when I break into it, picturing the Love of God pouring over me like molten gold, knowing and accepting (maybe just in that moment) His total acceptance of me, I rarely escape the moment without tears of gratitude.
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