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ACIM CHAPTER 30 THE NEW BEGINNING VI. The Justification for Forgiveness

1. Anger is never justified. Attack has no foundation. It is here escape from fear begins and will be made complete. Here is the real world given in exchange for dreams of terror. For it is on this forgiveness rests and is but natural. You are not asked to offer pardon where attack is due and would be justified. For that would mean that you forgive a sin by overlooking what is really there. This is not pardon. For it would assume that, by responding in a way which is not justified, your pardon will become the answer to attack that has been made. And thus is pardon inappropriate, by being granted where it is not due.

2. Pardon is always justified. It has a sure foundation. You do not forgive the unforgiveable, nor overlook a real attack that calls for punishment. Salvation does not lie in being asked to make unnatural responses which are inappropriate to what is real. Instead, it merely asks that you respond appropriately to what is not real by not perceiving what has not occurred. If pardon were unjustified, you would be asked to sacrifice your rights when you return forgiveness for attack. But you are merely asked to see forgiveness as the natural reaction to distress that rests on error, and thus calls for help. Forgiveness is the only sane response. It keeps your rights from being sacrificed.

3. This understanding is the only change that lets the real world rise to take the place of dreams of terror. Fear cannot arise unless attack is justified, and if it had a real foundation pardon would have none. The real world is achieved when you perceive the basis of forgiveness is quite real and fully justified. While you regard it as a gift unwarranted, it must uphold the guilt you would “forgive.” Unjustified forgiveness is attack. And this is all the world can ever give. It pardons “sinners” sometimes but remains aware that they have sinned. And so they do not merit the forgiveness that it gives.

4. This is the false forgiveness which the world employs to keep the sense of sin alive. And recognizing God is just, it seems impossible His pardon could be real. Thus is the fear of God the sure result of seeing pardon as unmerited. No one who sees himself as guilty can avoid the fear of God. But he is saved from this dilemma if he can forgive. The mind must think of its Creator as it looks upon itself. If you can see your brother merits pardon, you have learned forgiveness is your right as much as his. Nor will you think that God intends for you a fearful judgment that your brother does not merit. For it is the truth that you can merit neither more nor less than he.

5. Forgiveness recognized as merited will heal. It gives the miracle its strength to overlook illusions. This is how you learn that you must be forgiven too. There can be no appearance that can not be overlooked. For if there were, it would be necessary first there be some sin that stands beyond forgiveness. There would be an error that is more than a mistake; a special form of error that remains unchangeable, eternal, and beyond correction or escape There would be one mistake that had the power to undo creation, and to make a world that could replace it and destroy the Will of God. Only if this were possible could there be some appearances that could withstand the miracle, and not be healed by it.

6. There is no surer proof idolatry is what you wish than a belief there are some forms of sickness and of joylessness forgiveness cannot heal. This means that you prefer to keep some idols, and are not prepared, as yet, to let all idols go. And thus you think that some appearances are real and not appearances at all. Be not deceived about the meaning of a fixed belief that some appearances are harder to look past than others are. It always means you think forgiveness must be limited. And you have set a goal of partial pardon and a limited escape from guilt for you. What can this be except a false forgiveness of yourself, and everyone who seems apart from you?

7. It must be true the miracle can heal all forms of sickness, or it cannot heal. Its purpose cannot be to judge which forms are real, and which appearances are true. If one appearance must remain apart from healing, one illusion must be part of truth. And you could not escape all guilt, but only some of it. You must forgive God’s Son entirely. Or you will keep an image of yourself that is not whole and will remain afraid to look within and find escape from every idol there. Salvation rests on faith there cannot be some forms of guilt that you cannot forgive. And so there cannot be appearances that have replaced the truth about God’s Son.

8. Look on your brother with the willingness to see him as he is. And do not keep a part of him outside your willingness that he be healed. To heal is to make whole. And what is whole can have no missing parts that have been kept outside. Forgiveness rests on recognizing this and being glad there cannot be some forms of sickness which the miracle must lack the power to heal.

9.  God’s Son is perfect, or he cannot be God’s Son. Nor will you know him, if you think he does not merit the escape from guilt in all its consequences and its forms. There is no way to think of him but this if you would know the truth about yourself.

I thank you Father for Your perfect Son, and in his glory will I see my own.

Here is the joyful statement that there are no forms of evil that can overcome the Will of God; the glad acknowledgement that guilt has not succeeded by your wish to make illusions real. And what is this except a simple statement of the truth?

10. Look on your brother with this hope in you, and you will understand he could not make an error that could change the truth in him. It is not difficult to overlook mistakes that have been given no effects. But what you see as having power to make an idol of the Son of God you will not pardon. For he has become to you a graven image and a sign of death. Is this your savior? Is His Father wrong about His Son? Or have you been deceived in him who has been given you to heal, for your salvation and deliverance? [1]

In today’s devotional text Jesus teaches us the justification for forgiveness – God is not wrong about His Son; we are as we are created.  What happens in the dream stays in the dream.  To awaken, we must first forgive all the bad plays and all the bad players in the dream.  To awaken we must fully accept that this is not reality, but some alternate form of creation that allowed us our illusions in place of truth.

God created us perfect, to be forever, to know who and what we are, and to have unlimited love, peace, joy, and freedom.  When I recognize God’s Son in you, I recognize God’s Son in me.  There are absolutely no forms of evil that can take God’s Son out of you and make you into something else.  If there were, then forgiveness would not be justified, and pardon would be impossible. But you are as God created you or you are nothing.  Nothing can change what God has made.  To see you as anything but God’s Son is to see the image, to make an idol, to believe your human form and your human foibles define you. 

Our only purpose in this realm is to forgive.  If we are born into the world, we chose an illusion over truth, we chose specialness and separateness, we thought that there was more than God. I wanted to be more than you and you wanted to be more than me.  Forgiveness is the key.  I forgive you striving to be more than me, and you forgive me for striving to be more than you. I forgive you for all your privileges, gifts, and status that I do not share. You forgive me for what you perceive are mine. I forgive you everything! For nothing you can do in this realm has any meaning when we awaken.  What happens in the dream stays in the dream and it is all gone when we come to our senses. 

Today I felt a grudge toward my friend Allene for something she had teased me about.  All day long the snide little comment she made replayed through my head and I could not seem to shake it.  I started to think that she was not my friend after all as I recalled other things she had said or failed to say throughout the course of our friendship.  But only when I see past all that to the holiness of Allene and recall all the fun times we have had together, all the trips we have taken together, the beautiful meals she has prepared for us, the twinkle in her eyes and the little spring in her steps when she walks through our door, can I see Christ in myself.  Jesus asks us to consciously choose to look beyond all that would blur or otherwise obscure the Christ within each one of us.  We are not to cherish these things but rather look at them honestly, judge them as having no reality or meaning, and then forgive them.  When we forgive each other, we awaken to bring forth the Holy Christ within each one of us.  We join hands. We come to the Father together and not apart. 

When I say: “I thank you Father for Your perfect Son. In Allene’s glory will I see my own,” I am freeing my mind from all that would obscure my love for her and her love for me. I am refusing to take the bait and let a cheap remark stand in the place of who and what she really is.

This is an example that can stand for all examples. When we realize the unreality of this realm, we forgive it all.  A little bit of teasing seems a small thing compared to murder, rape, robbery, and other calls to hate and take revenge, but as we read over the text today, we learn that wholeness can have no missing parts and forgiveness rests upon recognizing this and being glad that nothing can keep us apart from who and what we were created to Be.

Today in your personal devotional practice, go over the prayer that is found in paragraph nine. Meditate upon the words and think of those whom you harbor resentment, ill will, grief, and disappointment.  Find your glory in the ones you are called to forgive as you train your mind to be free of all that would stand between you and the Christ within.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 30 The new beginning VI the justification for forgiveness. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons, visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com.

Filed under: ACIM, Teaching and Learning

About the Author

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Coming up on sixty, my love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at eckief@yahoo.com.

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