Forgiveness = Key to Happiness

ACIM Workbook Lesson 121 – for Sunday, May 1, 2011

Affirmation:  “Forgiveness is the key to happiness.”

Selected Passage:

“Forgiveness is acquired.  It is not inherent in the mind, which cannot sin.  As sin is an idea you taught yourself, forgiveness must be learned by you as well, but from a Teacher other than yourself, Who represents the other Self in you.  Through Him you learn how to forgive the self you think you made, and let it disappear.  Thus you return your mind as one to Him Who is your Self, and Who can never sin.  (WB214-215)”


We need to return our minds to the Holy Spirit, relinquishing our judgment for His own.  The Manual asks us how many know all the surrounding factors influencing a situation.  We do no have such prescience.  This world teaches us to use our judgment, to hone it, and to ever make it better in order to improve our decisions.  But ACIM, in the Manual, assures us that this is impossible.  We cannot make good decisions, in which we decide for all the world and everything and everyone in it, because we do not have such knowledge.  But the Holy Spirit does, and when we turn to Him for guidance, our choices become right.  We are finally doing the right thing, but it is direct opposition to what the world has taught us.

We are told that we may resist this advice, because it seems to be personally insulting.  After all, why do not our judgments work?  If we will reflect honestly, though, we will realize that we never knew all the conditions surrounding any one of our decisions, decisions made without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and who would continue along a pathway that is so fraught with mistakes?

We must learn to forgive.  If we see the outer world, the world we perceive, as an illusion, and as madness (or insanity), we will soon come to realize that forgiveness is the only sane response (a Text tenet).  It keeps our rights from being compromised.  Forgiveness also makes us feel better.  We feel more justified in God’s sight (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  But it is not the “forgiveness to destroy,” which is described in A Song of Prayer (also scribed by Helen Schucman).  In forgiveness to destroy, we think that out of our magnanimity we have forgiven our brother or sister.  But they have, in their real Selves, done nothing wrong!  We only thought that we had been hurt.  In our real Self, we have not been hurt.  We are to teach nobody that he or she has wronged us (an ACIM tenet).  We have not been wronged; we have only misinterpreted.  May we fail to misinterpret today.


Dear Mother/Father,

May I put into practice the forgiveness that You encourage me to have–forgiveness of myself for my misdeeds, and forgiveness for my brothers and sisters.  We will in this illusory world, where much is insanity, and these understandings can help us to see the legitimacy of pardon.  May I see pardon as justified always.

Be with me today.  I long for Your guidance, and I long for the will to follow it always.  Make Your guidance clear to me, so that I do not let the ego lead me astray.  I would follow Your pathway.


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