Dynamics For Living
FORGIVENESS is a process of giving up the false for the true; erasing sin and error from the mind and body. It is closely related to repentance, which is a turning from belief in sin to belief in God and righteousness. A sin is the falling short of divine law. True forgiveness is only established through renewing of the mind and body with thoughts and words of Truth.
Forgiveness really means the giving up of something you should not do. Jesus said that man has power to forgive sin. Repentance and forgiveness are the only means that man has of getting out of sin and its effect and coming into harmony with the law.
Repentance is a reversal of mind and heart in the direction of the All-Good. When we repent, we break with human thought and ascend into a spiritual thought realm, the kingdom of God.
The Greek word metanoia is translated “repentance,” which has been interpreted to mean an admission to God of sorrow for past sin and a resolve to be good in the future. The field of action for that which has been assumed to be goodness in the sight of God has nearly always been in conduct.
There is always hope for the repentant sinner. A repentant state of mind is an exceeding good state for one who has been on the error side. If you find yourself suffering the result of transgressed law, begin at once a righteous repentance. As soon as you repent and recognize that the way of Spirit is the way of pleasantness, your sins are forgiven you, and you are made whole and well.
The law is Truth. Truth is all that is good. There is no power or no reality in sin. If sin were real and enduring, like goodness and Truth, it could not be forgiven but would hold its victim forever. Our first work in the demonstration is to contact God. Therefore, we must forgive all men their transgressions. Through the divine law of forgiveness we cleanse our mind so that the Father can forgive us.
Man can do everything with the thoughts of his mind. They are absolutely under his control. He can direct them. He can coerce them. He can hush them or crush them. He can dissolve one thought and put another in its stead. There is no other place in the universe where man has mastery. The dominion that is his by divine right is over his own thoughts, only. When man apprehends this and begins to exercise that dominion, he begins to open the way to God–the only door to God–through mind and thought.
Law of Dissolving
How can you expect to forgive your transgressions before you have first forgiven others their transgressions? One of the laws of mind is that one belief must be dissolved before another can take its place. If you have in mind a thought that someone has wronged you, you cannot let in the cleansing power of Spirit until you have dissolved and cast out the belief of the wrong.
You may be wondering why you do not get spiritual illumination as others do. What kind of thoughts fill your mind? Have you by forgiving your debtors made room in your life for spiritual blessings, or is your mind filled with thoughts of resentment against this one, and a feeling that you have been slighted by that one? Jesus recognized this infallible law of mind.
Thoughts have substance and form. They may easily be taken to be permanent by one who lacks spiritual discernment. They bring forth fruit according to the seed ideas planted into the mind. They are not enduring unless founded in Spirit.
The question is not “How guilty is that man,” but “How do I stand in the sight of the Father as to my ideas about his guilt?” Reform yourself first. That means very much more to one who enjoys an understanding of mind and its laws than it does to the ordinary individual.
He who knows not himself wholly, but just his superficial, external personality, thinks that he is reformed when he conforms to moral and municipal laws. He may be filled with self-righteousness and may daily lift his voice in prayer, thanking God that he is not as other men are; but he has not forgiven men their transgressions. He looks upon every man who does not conform to his understanding of morality, religion, or finances as a transgressor, and thanks God for his own supposed insight and keenness. But he is not at peace. There is something lacking. God does not talk to him “face to face,” because the mind, where God and man meet, is darkened by the murky belief that other men are sinners. God is too pure to behold iniquity, so our first work of reform is to forgive all men their transgressions. Through this forgiving act on our part, the Father can enter with forgiveness of our transgressions.
Our forgiving “all men” includes ourself. You must also forgive yourself. Let the finger of denial erase every sin or “falling short” that you have charged up against yourself. Pay your debt by saying to that part of yourself which you think has fallen short: “See, you are well! sin no more, that nothing worse befall you.” Then “loose him, and let him go.”
Treat sin as a mental transgression, instead of considering it as a moral defection. Deny in thought all tendency to the error way and hold yourself firmly to the Christ Spirit, which is your divine self. Part company forever with the “accusing conscience.” Those who have resolved to sin no more have nothing in common with guilt.
Deny that any man or woman owes you anything. If necessary, go over your list of names separately and sincerely forgive the thought of debt which you have been attaching to each person named. More bills may be collected in this way than in any other, for many of these people will pay what they owe when you send them this forgiving thought.
Let the law of plenty work itself out in you and in your affairs. This is the way the Father forgives your debts: not by canceling them on His books but by erasing them from His mind. He remembers them no more against you when you deny their reality. The Father is the every-where-present Spirit in which all that appears has its origin. God’s love sees you always well, happy, and abundantly provided for. God’s wisdom demands that order and right relation exist in your mind before it may become manifest in your affairs as abundance. His love would give you your every desire, but His wisdom ordains that you forgive your debtors before your debts are forgiven.
To remedy any state of limited finances or ill health that has been brought about by worry, one must begin by eliminating the worry that is the original cause. One must free one’s mind from the burden before the debt can be paid.
Many people have found that the statement “I owe no man anything but love” has helped them greatly to counteract this thought of debt. As they used the words their minds were opened to an inflow of divine love and they faithfully cooperated with the divine law of forgiveness in thought, word, and deed. They built up such a strong consciousness of the healing and enriching power of God’s love that they could live and work peacefully and profitably with their associates. Thus renewed constantly in health, in faith, and in integrity, they were able to meet every obligation that came to them.
The statement “I owe no man anything but love” does not mean that we can disclaim owing our creditors money or try to evade the payment of obligations we have incurred. The thing denied is the burdensome thought of debt or of lack. The work of paying debts is an inner work having nothing to do with the debts already owed but with the wrong thoughts that produced them. When one holds to the right ideas, burdensome debts will not be contracted.
Your thoughts should at all times be worthy of your highest self, your fellow man, and God. The thoughts that most frequently work ill to you and your associates are thoughts of criticism and condemnation. Fill your mind with thoughts of divine love, justice, peace, and forgiveness. This will pay your debts of love, which are the only debts you really owe. Then see how quickly and easily and naturally all your outer debts will be paid and all inharmonies of mind, body, and affairs will smooth out at the same time. Nothing will so quickly enrich your mind and free it from every thought of lack as the realization of divine love. Divine love will free you quickly and perfectly from the burden of debt and heal you of your physical infirmities, often caused by depression, worry, and financial fear. Love will bring your own to you. Adjust all misunderstandings and make your life and affairs healthy, happy, harmonious, and free, as they should be. Love indeed is the “fulfilling of the law.”
In the kingdom of Truth and reality, ideas are the coin of the realm. You can use the new ideas that divine wisdom is now quickening in your mind and start this very moment to pay your debts.
Begin by thanking God for your freedom from debt-burden thought. This is an important step in breaking the shackles of debt. Debt is soon vanquished when wisdom and good judgment are in control.
Begin to free yourself at once by doing all that is possible with the means you have and as you proceed in this spirit the way will open for you to do more; for through the avenues of Spirit more means will come to you and every obligation will be met.
No one can understand how forgiveness sets free the sin-bound soul and the sick body unless he studies mind and has some understanding of its laws. There is a universal thought substance in which thought builds whatever man wills.
There must be inner growth that is a fuller consciousness of the new life which comes with the entering into the kingdom of Christ. There is a foundation for a worldwide movement in behalf of purer men and better things for all. There is something back of it all, and the old conditions, diseases, and limitations must pass away. The time is now ripe for entering into this kingdom, this attainment of the spiritual side of life, this growing of a new body; and every one of us can enter in if only we will do so.
In all actual transformation of mind and body a dissolving, breaking-up process necessarily takes place, because thought force and substance have been built into the errors that appear. In each individual these errors have the power that man has given them by his thought concerning them. These thought structures must be broken up and eliminated from consciousness.
The simplest, most direct, and most effective method is to withdraw from them the life and substance that have been going to feed them, and to let them shrivel away into their own nothingness. This withdrawal is best accomplished by denial and forgiveness of the power and reality of evil and the affirmation of the allness of Spirit.
Nothing is destroyed, because “nothing cannot be destroyed. The change that takes place is merely a transference of power from an error belief to faith in the Truth, through the recognition that God is good and is all that in reality exists.
To get the actual overcoming power of Christ we must appreciate life and enter into it thankfully and heartily. The abundant life is always present. When we recognize it and open our consciousness to it, it comes flowing into mind and body with a mighty quickening, healing power that renews, transforms, and changes.
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Dynamics For Living by Charles Fillmore
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