ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 4. What are the Characteristics of God’s Teachers? VI. Defenselessness VII. Generosity


VI. Defenselessness

1. God’s teachers have learned how to be simple. They have no dreams that need defense against the truth. They do not try to make themselves. Their joy comes from their understanding Who created them. And does what God created need defense? No one can become an advanced teacher of God until he fully understands that defenses are but foolish guardians of mad illusions. The more grotesque the dream, the fiercer and more powerful its defenses seem to be. Yet when the teacher of God finally agrees to look past them, he finds that nothing was there. Slowly at first he lets himself be undeceived. But he learns faster as his trust increases. It is not danger that comes when defenses are laid down. It is safety. It is peace. It is joy. And it is God.

VII. Generosity

1. The term generosity has special meaning to the teacher of God. It is not the usual meaning of the word; in fact, it is a meaning that must be learned and learned very carefully. Like all the other attributes of God’s teachers this one rests ultimately on trust, for without trust no one can be generous in the true sense. To the world, generosity means “giving away” in the sense of “giving up.” To the teachers of God, it means giving away in order to keep. This has been emphasized throughout the text and the workbook, but it is perhaps more alien to the thinking of the world than many other ideas in our curriculum. Its greater strangeness lies merely in the obviousness of its reversal of the world’s thinking. In the clearest way possible, and at the simplest levels, the word means the exact opposite to the teachers of God and to the world.

2. The teacher of God is generous out of Self interest. This does not refer, however, to the self of which the world speaks. The teacher of God does not want anything he cannot give away, because he realizes it would be valueless to him by definition. What would he want it for? He could only lose because of it. He could not gain. Therefore he does not seek what only he could keep, because that is a guarantee of loss. He does not want to suffer. Why should he ensure himself pain? But he does want to keep for himself all things that are of God, and therefore for His Son. These are the things that belong to him. These he can given away in true generosity, protecting them forever for himself.[1]

When we answer the call of God in our lives, we learn that we have nothing at all to prove.  We have accepted that God is in charge; we have accepted that He loves us and would never abandon us; we have accepted that all that is not of God leads to nothing because it is nothing.

No defense is needed then. God certainly does not need us to defend Him; nor do we as God’s Son need to defend ourselves.  We walk in defenselessness then for this is our safety. We do not trust in weapons to defend us because when we turn to a defense of any kind, we reject our defense as God’s Son. 

This lesson may come slow to us, but just as it took time to teach us to arm ourselves against each other, so will it take time for us to be undeceived by the world’s constant stream of frets and threats and realize the divine in each other. When I can look past what I see as dangerous in you, I see the Christ in you.  And when I see the Christ in you, the Christ in you dawns upon your awareness. When this happens, we are no longer dangerous to each other, for we recognize our kinship. This is our safety, our peace, and our joy.  This is God in us.

Defenseless can only be developed in us after we learn to trust. Practicing defenselessness in our daily interactions, teaches us that we can depend upon it. Even when we make mistakes and go into defense, the results of our interactions will be so unacceptable to us that we will be more motivated to practice defenselessness the next time.  Defenselessness saves us from defending our mistakes, making excuses for poor behavior, and blaming others for the unloving, unkind, and mean ways in which we would typically respond to them. It takes a lot of psychic energy to live in defense of what has no defense!  As we give up defensive behavior, as we lay down our arsenal, as we stop devising stories and justifications, a generosity of spirit becomes us.       

Generosity of Spirit is a completely different attribute than what we consider generosity in the world. In the world we can only be generous with our time, our money, and the fruit of our efforts, all of which are finite and exhaustible.  The generosity we practice in the world comes with a terrible cost, with considerable strings and backlashes. Our generosity in the flesh spoils our children, our pets, and each other as we grow fat, diseased, and selfish. The world is full of givers and takers. The would-be givers, no matter how much they seem to enjoy caring and sharing, soon feel used and drained dry by the would-be takers in their lives. Generosity in the world creates false friends, associations, and entitlement.  When we shower others with gushiness, undeserved gifts, and expensive goodies, there is an underlying, conscious or unconscious agenda, and we are wise to examine our motives.

As teachers of God we learn that generosity is an attribute of God. We give to receive to give again. The practice of generosity is not the false generosity of this world for we give to others the attributes of God Himself. We are generous then with love, with joy, with peace. We are generous of Spirit and the Gifts of God’s mercy and grace.  We would not dream of withholding His Gifts from anyone for any reason for to withhold the attributes of God from others is to deny them in ourselves.  Our generosity as teachers of God stems from a realization that we can only gain by sharing love, by promoting peace. To be joyful, we must share joy. Salvation cannot be denied to anybody for any reason, it is only ours to give.  This is the generosity of God.

Today in your personal devotional practice, ask Holy Spirit to show you ways in which to practice defenselessness and true generosity in your daily interactions with the world. Understand that defenselessness means refusing to draw up sides or to take sides, that there is never a cause “good enough” to rise up in spite and meanness – that we are here to help and not to harm.  Understand that true generosity may look like downright stinginess to the uninitiated! We often have to say no to physical gifts and gift-giving, to giving and accepting flattery, to over-indulging each other with food, favors, playthings, and non-essentials.  We are here to learn, to practice, to develop the traits that will take us through eternity, awakening us from the dream of time-based constraints and the laws that govern this realm.  Many of the things we practice will seem unnatural at first for they are the exact opposite of what we devise to thrive and survive in a realm separate and distinct from God and from each other.  Our trust in God deepens and our understanding of Spirit is quickened by practical application, thus making the best use of time, for this is the way we give time to Him.

[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 4. What are the characteristics of God’s teachers? VI Defenselessness VII Generosity. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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Published by eckief

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

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