II. SECTION 14. What am I?
Lesson 351 My sinless brother is my guide to peace. My sinful brother is my guide to pain. And which I choose to see, I will behold.
- Who is my brother but Your holy Son? And if I see him sinful, I proclaim myself a sinner, not a Son of God, alone and friendless in a fearful world. Yet this perception is a choice I made and can relinquish. I can also see my brother sinless, as Your holy Son. And with this choice, I see my sinlessness, my everlasting Comforter and Friend beside me, and my way secure and clear. Choose, then, for me, my Father, through Your Voice. For He alone gives judgment in Your Name.
What am I? I am a forgiver. I am one with Creation and with God. I cannot see my brother as anything different from myself. My forgiveness toward my brother who has wronged me is my holiness; my unforgiveness of my brother would keep me in a hellish state of awareness where my brother and I are separate and therefore have no meaning.
A brother was telling me about how offended he gets toward those telephone marketers who try to scam people out of their money. With relish he relayed how he likes to play along and then when it gets time to give them his social security number and bank information, he soundly rebukes the swindlers. “I hope you burn in hell for what you do to people,” he tells the person on the other end of the line. “Nothing would be too bad for them to go through,” he informed me, “Playing such mean tricks on old folks, the poor, and the dimwitted. It’s just not right.” In his mind, he had taken a stand for justice.
Today that scenario played out in my mind. How do we forgive telephone scammers? I thought of what it must be like to be so desperate for a job that I would take a job that required me to be dishonest, to pretend to have a better electricity deal or provide a fraudulent car maintenance coverage. Or maybe hack into computers and run up people’s credit cards. No matter how nice the person on the other end of the line sounded, I would have to lie to them, trick them out of their personal information, dupe them out of their money. At night when I cleared my desk and left work, all the people that I cheated over the course of the day – would come home with me. I would try not to think of them, but no matter how far away they lived or how I justified doing what I did, thoughts of my dishonesty would haunt me. No matter how much money I earned, I could never feel good about what I did for a living. But should I burn in hell? Do I deserve cruelty, curses, and punishment? Conversely, what good would it do for someone to forgive, correct, and bless me?
What if instead of a curse, we said we know what it feels like to make mistakes, but mistakes are easy to correct? What if we offered forgiveness and blessings and shared with them how to trust in God for an honest way to make a living? What if instead of sending them to hell, we reminded them of who and what they are in Christ? This is what our lesson is telling us today – if we see others are evil, we are evil in our own sight and we cannot remember God. If we choose to see our brothers as God’s Son and merely making a mistake, which can easily be corrected, we accept our own purity and innocence, and our own mistakes are forgiven.
Who are we, brothers? Are we forgivers and blessers who stand with Christ for unity or do we call mistakes sins and curse our fellowman to hell? Can we look past our ill wishes and condemnation and remind one another of who and what we really are? Are we ready to deny all that is not of God, to acknowledge that in a state of separation we simply cannot know the whole story and therefore have no right to judge – anything. Do we believe what Jesus teaches – that the thoughts we choose to think about our brother will manifest in ours?
Wrongdoers give us perfect opportunities to practice the concepts we learn each day. Jesus clearly states: See them as evil, and we proclaim ourselves sinners and not a Son of God. We are not on God’s side if we would condemn our brothers and focus attention on their wrongdoing instead of their Sonship.
Our return to God is impossible for the ego, with all its bluster, blame, and demand for repayment of some kind. Throughout my life I have been blessed by forgiveness from those whom I have hurt by unkind things I have said or done. “I have washed it from my mind,” a friend told me one time. “I will never bring it up again because it never happened.” I was so stunned! Nobody had ever offered me forgiveness without vain promises and grudging strings attached. It was an incredible lesson in forgiveness. My hurtful behavior washed from his mind, he refused to think of me in terms of the mistakes I had made. It was not only a beautiful feeling; it was a miracle. His forgiveness changed my perception of myself as a bad person who was beyond redemption to a person who was worthwhile, deserving of respect, love, and trust. This is the miracle we offer; the correction that God gives to us as a gift, which we keep only when we share it with our brothers.
So here is to all my brothers who have wronged me in any way – I forgive you even as Christ forgives you. It never happened. When the enemy tries to get me to ruminate upon the pain you caused me, I will say – So and so is a Son of God, part of the brotherhood of Christ. He is sinless and spotless and pure. He made a mistake, and I forgive him, even as Christ forgives me.
This is my salvation! You become my savior even as I become yours. This is how we enter the Kingdom of Heaven – not fighting and calling names and dragging the Lord into our petty battles, misunderstandings, and grievances. Let you be sinless in my mind and guide me to peace! This is what I choose to see, and this is what I will behold.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 351. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com