Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 105 God’s Peace and Joy are Mine.
- God’s peace and joy are yours. Today we will accept them, knowing they belong to us. And we will try to understand these gifts increase as we receive them. They are not like to the gifts the world can give, in which the giver loses as he gives the gift; the taker is the richer by his loss. Such are not gifts, but bargains made with guilt. The truly given gift entails no loss. It is impossible that one can gain because another loses. This implies a limit and an insufficiency.
- No gift is given thus. Such gifts are but a bid for a more valuable return; a loan with interest to be paid in full; a temporary lending, meant to be a pledge of debt repaid with more than was received by him who took the gift. This strange distortion of what giving means pervades all levels of the world you see. It strips all meaning from the gifts you give, and leaves you nothing in the ones you take
- A major learning goal this course has set is to reverse your view of giving, so you can receive. For giving has become a source of fear, and so you would avoid the only means by which you can receive. Accept God’s peace and joy, and you will learn a different way of looking at a gift. God’s gifts will never lessen when they are given away. They but increase thereby.
- As Heaven’s peace and joy intensify when you accept them as God’s gift to you, so does the joy of your Creator grow when you accept His joy and peace as yours. True giving is creation. It extends the limitless to the unlimited, eternity to timelessness, and love unto itself. It adds to all that is complete already, not in simple terms of adding more, for that implies that it was less before. It adds by letting what cannot contain itself fulfill its aim of giving everything it has away, securing it forever for itself.
- Today accept God’s peace and joy as yours. Let Him complete Himself as He defines completion. You will understand that what completes Him must complete His Son as well. He cannot give through loss. No more can you. Receive His gift of joy and peace today, and He will thank you for your gift to Him.
- Today our practice periods will start a little differently. Begin today by thinking of those brothers who have been denied by you the peace and joy that are their right under the equal laws of God. Here you denied them to yourself. And here you must return to claim them as your own.
- Think of your “enemies” a little while, and tell each one, as he occurs to you: My brother, peace and joy I offer you, that I may have God’s peace and joy as mine. Thus you prepare yourself to recognize God’s gifts to you, and let your mind be free of all that would prevent success today. Now are you ready to accept the gift of peace and joy that God has given you. Now are you ready to experience the joy and peace you have denied yourself. You can say, “God’s peace and joy are mine,” for you have given what you would receive.
- You must succeed today, if you prepare your mind as we suggest. For you have let all bars to peace and joy be lifted up, and what is yours can come to you at last. So tell yourself, “God’s peace and joy are mine,” and close your eyes a while and let His Voice assure you that the words you speak are true.
- Spend your five minutes thus with Him each time you can today, but do not think that less is worthless when you cannot give Him more. At least remember hourly to say the words which called to Him to give you what He wills to give and wills you to receive. Determine not to interfere today with what He wills. And if a brother seems to tempt you to deny God’s gift to him, see it as but another chance to let yourself receive the gifts of God as yours. Then bless your brother thankfully, and say: My brother, peace and joy I offer you, that I may have God’s peace and joy as mine.
Notes and Personal Application: There was a struggle these past few days to clear my altar of self-made gifts and make the place ready for God’s gifts of peace and joy. I outlined some of the struggle in my previous post, but it would have been impossible to capture it all simply because of the places in which Holy Spirit visited with me to expose the extent of damage and denial that took place because I had chosen the self-made gifts offered by the ego. Surprisingly, even after getting glimpses of the consequences of substitutes for God’s gifts of peace and joy, I still was on the fence – struggling with an ego that would not seem to let go. The split part of me was convinced that the gifts I had made for myself had saved me, had empowered me, had driven me to do something different.
Long story short, simply putting the whole matter into the capable hands of Holy Spirit resolved the whole issue. I brushed aside the spite, vengeance, and decision not to love and asked God to do the rest. There was no grappling with the ego. It was purely a matter of trusting in God and accepting what was already mine! As God’s peace and joy came back and took their rightful place, I could no longer find any traces of anger, spite, or vengeance in my mind. The little girl who chose rage and fury was gone; she is no more. She is healed, she has forgiven, she has let the bars to peace and joy be lifted up. She gives those who had seemed to offer ridicule instead of understanding, mockery instead of healing, arrogance instead of a helping hand – God’s peace and joy.
God has reversed my idea of giving. Giving has always been an especially difficult thing for me. I like to receive first and let that determine how I give! Too many people have borrowed from me and did not pay back. Too many people took and did not reciprocate. Too many people promised to pay and then made me keep reminding them and did it grudgingly, as if I were in the wrong for wanting to be paid. I was through with that. But Jesus tells us today that when we accept God’s peace and joy, we learn a different way of looking at a gift. God’s gifts keeps replenishing when they are given away!
True giving is creation, Jesus tells us. It adds to what is already complete; the only way it can be secured forever is by giving it away. When I give someone a gift of money, I have a deficit and he has a gain. When I host a feast, I have less food in my pantry, and my guests have full bellies. In God’s Kingdom this is not the way it works. Spiritual gifts replenish and multiply when you give them away; they shrivel and shrink and become nothing when you hoard them and try to keep them to yourself.
Today, Jesus asks us to offer all of those who have been our enemies the peace and joy that we have been given. He intimates that this is the only way in which we can keep it. After spending the last three days struggling with that which was not joy and peace, I am ready to extend God’s gifts to all – I love having a mind that is at peace and full of joy. I love having the right mind of Christ. The only way to keep this mind is to give God’s gift to those whom we may have been withholding it from. We must share it to keep it.
When we are tempted to place our self-made gifts upon the altar, when we are tempted to extend thoughts of spite, vengeance, hatred, or judgment, Jesus tells us to use this as an opportunity to receive God’s gifts as our own. Blessing those who bless us, is a given. But Jesus teaches us to go further: To get the full measure of God’s gifts, we must also, with gratitude, extend joy and peace to those who treat us with cruelty and disdain. While we may be tempted to see them as our enemy, they are giving us another golden opportunity to increase our storehouse.
My brother, peace and joy I offer you. That I may have God’s peace and joy as mine.
Thank you for listening and have a blessed day!
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 105 God’s peace and joy are mine. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, (1992). pp. 188-189.