BE FREE FROM YOUR GUILT # 15109

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Words of our Lord Jesus Christ: “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25. We know from this passage and many others in the Bible that it is by giving that we receive. By forgiving others, we are forgiven by God our Father. The purpose of forgiveness is to give freedom, to remove the guilt that we placed on ourselves, or on of our fellowman. Because we want to be free from a burden we carry, we need to release those with whom we have accounts pending resolution. The kind of forgiveness that we need to give is the kind that forgets that a problem existed because the negative emotion is gone, instead of the one that is remembering the favor that he made. The difference between true and false forgiveness is that false forgiveness elevates the individual that did the forgiving to a higher level, for being "so good and charitable", therefore creating levels of difference and further separation between the one who offers forgiveness and the one that receives it. This need not be.

Examples of false forgiveness:  when we believe that by forgiving someone, we make him a favor, it is when we deign to their level to forgive him. That is not forgiveness because it involves an attitude of superiority. Other times we try to make a deal with the individual saying, "I will forgive what you did, or I will forget about it, if you do this or the other for me”, in that way, we make him our slave. That cannot be true forgiveness. That is not the way God gives. He makes us free from guilt. God knows how we are and how hard it is for us to see or accept our faults because we don’t see them, that is the reason we see them reflected in others. For us, it is easier to see and to forgive the fault that we see in someone else, and by doing it, our fault is also forgiven. We deceive ourselves; we deny our wrongdoings. We have learned to do it so automatically. It bothers us to see the consequences of our bad decisions so we make someone else responsible for it. We project our fault on someone else so we will appear blameless.  We find a way to justify whatever it is that we do.

However, the sense of guilt stays there hidden in our subconscious, and it is a reproof, because the feeling doesn’t go away.  The only difference is that now we see the fault on someone else and we react with anger in a judgmental way, like saying, “how could you?”  Those emotions are always a reminder that there is something in us that needs resolving; something we need to fix, if we want to be free from guilt. The finality of forgiveness is to forgive ourselves, because what we see in someone else is our own faults. The Lord said, “First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7: 5. “It is impossible to forgive another, for it is only your sins you see in him. You want to see them there, and not in you. That is why forgiveness of another is an illusion… Only in someone else can you forgive yourself, for you have called him guilty of your sins, and in him must your innocence now be found… And do not ever think you can see sin in anyone except yourself.” ACIM S2.1.4.

Your brother is the mirror in which you see yourself reflected. Do you like what you see in him? The faults you see in him are the ones you need to correct in you life.  It is just a matter of taking responsibility for your own actions and the consequences that these may carry. We are only responsible for ourselves. When we correct in us the fault we see in someone else, we will thank him for teaching us, without words, what we needed to do, which is making us now more complete. “What could you want forgiveness cannot give?  Do you want peace?  Forgiveness offers it.  Do you want happiness, a quiet mind, a certainty of purpose, and a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world?  Do you want care and safety, and the warmth of sure protection always?  Do 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? All this forgiveness offers you, and more.”  ACIM W-122.1,2.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."  2 Corinthians 13:14

Ruth