According to goodreads.com, Lewis Smedes was a renowned Christian author and professor of theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He wrote 15 books, including the popular Forgive and Forget.
I’m assuming this quote, which I really, really like, is from that book: “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
Can you even begin to imagine how you’ll feel when forgiveness becomes part of your life, and you forgive those whom you mistakenly believe have hurt you; and by doing so you set a prisoner free, and then learn that prisoner was you?
There is nothing worse in this so-called life than holding onto grudges, anger and resentment. These emotions held in the mind places you firmly into a self-made prison. A prison more sure and stronger than any made of cement, steel and iron bars. Those things are capable of imprisoning the body. But unforgiveness imprisons the mind, the most powerful force in the entire universe.
“Your learning potential, properly understood, is limitless because it will lead you to God.” …ACIM
Now I can hear you say; if the mind is, as you say, the most powerful force in the entire universe; how can it be imprisoned?
For those who see only the flesh, this is a proper question which, it seems, has no answer. Therefore they may not be in a position just yet to be willing to learn. As the American author and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar said; “If you are not willing to learn. no one can help you.“
But for those who recognize the Spirit, it’s a question that they are more than eager to learn the answer to. And again, as Zig Ziglar said: “If you are determined to learn nothing can stop you.”
When God created you He created the most loving and powerful entity, other than Himself, in the entire universe. He created you to be just like Him. You were given unlimited Power to create just like Him. Unlimited Power, unlimited joy, unlimited happiness and unlimited freedom were given you. You are an unlimited Being of Love and Light. And as I keep repeating, you were created from Love, by Love, and for Love – that’s what you are.
You were not created as a physical body. God had absolutely nothing to do with the making of your body. Your body is your own creation. It was designed by you, and made by you.
After you get over your shock of what I just said, and if you’re willing to read anymore of my stuff. I’ll explain just how this could be.
If you have been reading any of my posts then you have probably concluded that I am a student of that great spiritual work, A Course in Miracles. If you haven’t been reading them – which is more likely – then I’ll simply say, that’s what I have taken upon myself in this so-called life. Therefore, most of the answers I provide, if not taken directly from that awesome work, are based on it in some manner.
For convenience when writing I often refer to this work as, The Course. Or sometimes, especially when crediting a quote, I’ll use the acronym, ACIM.
In this most holy work your mind, my mind, or anyone else’s mind is referred to as, The mind which God forever knows to be His only Son. In other words, He created you as Mind, only Mind, and nothing but Mind.
You are a Thought of God with the ability to think, held in the Mind of God. – that’s what you are. He gave your Mind the same unlimited Power to create that His has. You are His Child, and your Inheritance is Everything and All that is His. – You are just like Him.
But that being said, I must clarify something. When I say, You are just like Him, I’m not talking about this ego-made physical being that most of us believe we are. I’m talking about your true Self – The eternal Self of Love and Light that God created. The Self that has not, nor ever could, leave the Mind of Its Creator.
As I often say, my posts are – and will be – mostly about subjects that are not of this world. They’re about the uncommon. Those things which are hoped for, wished for, and then usually scoffed at and shrugged off as unattainable. And now I ask you; what could be more fitting for that criterion than that which I just wrote?
“Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny mad idea at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh.” …ACIM
What was this tiny mad idea? It was a similar idea to those that most children in this physical world get at times. Some of God’s Creations began to see themselves as special, and asked their Father for special status. Something that God could not give. None of His Children were, or are, any more special than the others. His Love is not like the so-called love we find in this physical world. It never changes, and It envelopes all of creation in the same way. It regards everyone, including you and me, as loving, lovable and loved. We are all loved with the same limitless Love that created us. In God’s Love no one is special, and no one will ever be.
“In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea and possible of both accomplishment and real effects.” …ACIM
What was so ridiculous about this tiny mad idea that we should have seen it as a joke – something to laugh at? Well first of all, it was no more than a thought; A thought that had no foundation, for it did not come from God’s Mind. It was a thought of separation – of separating ourselves from our Father in order to find the specialness we desired. But that is an impossibility – nothing can be separate from God and live.
We knew this, and should have seen it as a joke, and laughed it away. But in our desire to be special we forgot, and saw it as a possibility to get for ourselves that which our Father could not give. We held onto this tiny mad idea until it became a serious idea and possible of both accomplishment and real effects.
“For it is here the split with God occurs. A split that is impossible. A split that cannot happen. Yet a split in which you surely will believe, because you have set up a situation that is impossible. And in this situation the impossible can seem to happen. It seems to happen at the ‘sacrifice’ of truth.” …ACIM
The thought of it as being possible of both accomplishment and real effects, was the first illusion we allowed into our minds – and we have seen nothing but illusions since. It was not possible to accomplish nor was it possible for it to have any real effects. Our minds are so powerful that we actually believe that we split part of them off from the whole. This also is an illusion, where one part made the ego, and dreamed of that which is not real. And that dreaming is what made this physical world which most of us believe is so real – it’s all an illusion, we are still dreaming.
“Forgiveness is the only road that leads out of disaster, past all suffering, and finally away from death… Condemn and you are made a prisoner. Forgive and you are freed.” …ACIM
And now that we have placed ourselves in this prison of separation; how do we set ourselves free? There is only one way, and that is through forgiveness, as Lewis Smedes points out in my opening quote.
And as The Course says: “The unforgiving mind is full of fear and offers love no room to be itself, no place where it can spread its wings in peace and soar above the turmoil of the world.” …ACIM
Until next time, think positive – You’ll find that Life is better that way.