Insights By: Ryan Westbrook-Vigue
Workbook Lesson: 297 Insights
Forgiveness is the only gift I give.
Forgiveness is the only gift I give.
“Father, how certain are Your ways; how sure their final outcome, and how faithfully is every step in my salvation set already, and accomplished by Your grace.”
One word stands out to me here, grace.
A synonym for forgiveness is grace. I will often look for words throughout the Course that are used in many “main stream” religions that I was taught growing up, but are not used the same in the Course. In doing so, I often find a deeper level of peace because it corrects my previous understandings. An example of the difference in use is forgiveness because the synonym for forgiveness is grace. Growing up in a large “main-stream” religion doctrine and theology I was taught that forgiveness and grace were not related in terms of Spirituality. Forgiveness and grace were not the same thing because forgiveness was of course offered by Jesus through the repentance of my sins, but grace was a “favor” with God and was earned, not freely given. Grace was a special gift given only by God for those who He chose worthy. I thought of grace as something special given to only one favored person over another and grace came in many levels depending on how much grace God chose to give a person. An example would be something like; John is so devoted to this program and he’s given so much financial support that God has greatly favored John for his actions and therefore has earned something “special” this specialness was a grace that others did not receive, it was given to John individually. It is like saying people and their actions are compared to one another and get special attention. Another way to look at this example would be taking something difficult in life like someone passed away and had two children, but God gives one child grace to get through the death, but the other child did not receive that grace because they were not as “special” as the other. I thought I would never be able to earn God’s grace. I was thankful God chose to forgive me for all my sins because I thought there could be no way someone like me was ever worthy of any of God’s grace. So, when The Holy Spirit guided me to the Course I came with many pre-conceived understandings of what certain words meant in relation to God, The Holy Spirit, and Jesus. I was still in a mindset that certain words even though they were synonyms did not apply the same way spiritually. Forgiveness is one word that I chose when I first came to the Course. I remember when I came to the Course thinking that forgiveness though freely given had to be earned through great sacrifice or ceremony and when I came to the Course I learned there was nothing to forgive and forgiveness, grace, and favor are given to all.
Today I know that forgiveness and grace are one. Today forgiveness means to me that I allow my perceptions to be corrected by The Holy Spirit. My perception of having a separate identity, which is attached to a body, that is not worthy of forgiveness and grace. This perception is not true. Forgiveness is letting go of the false ideas I’ve held for so long and is a constant process that happens everyday in my life. It is a constant process of letting go. It is letting go of what never was or could be.
Forgiveness is a gradual process. Forgiveness is a gift to myself and a gift to the world. As I receive the gift of forgiveness from The Holy Spirit, I give this gift of a healed perception to the world.
Everyday is a continuous practice of forgiveness. Only The Holy Spirit knows how to heal my mind. Today I will step back and not think I know anything on my own. With The Holy Spirit’s help, I will practice seeing past illusions through Christ’s eyes and letting my mind be healed today. Forgiveness is the only gift I give.
Wishing each of you the Deepest Peace,