“The crucified give pain because they are in pain. But the redeemed give joy because they have been healed of pain. Everyone gives as he receives, but he must choose what it will be that he receives. And he will recognize his choice by what he gives, and what is given him. Nor is it given anything in hell or Heaven to interfere with his decision.” (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-19.IV.D.20)
Decisions about our salvation are up to us. And the decision that we have made is evident from our demeanor. We don’t have a long face if we have been healed of pain; we are joyous, and our countenance reflects joy. If we are in pain, we will show that we are still crucifying ourselves by our choices for judgment and attack, fear and isolation. We are not sharing the good that we could with our brother.
If we do not feel ourselves to be redeemed, we will give pain, for we are still in pain. Only our redemption frees us to experience the joy that is our inheritance from God. If we give pain, we will experience pain, for giving and receiving are indeed one.
Yet all decision is our choice. We are choose the things of God, and be comforted, out of pain. We then give this better feeling to our brother, who is made joyous by our happy face. It is indeed imperative that we watch our facial expression, for if we would be the Self that God intended, we must manifest this to this world. Seriousness is always of the ego. It is a lighthearted attitude toward living that best promotes the way of the Holy Spirit. We cannot have a good witness to the world as long as we are caught in the serious demeanor of egoic thought.
If we find ourselves looking sad and depressed, perhaps we ought to take internal inventory of what it is we are thinking. Have we let our salvation become questionable? Are we sorry that we have not sustained Awakening yet? Are we holding grievances against our brother? What is causing the unpleasant nature of our witness?
The Holy Spirit will guide us to a more pleasant expression, and this pleasantness will begin on the inside, where all emotion starts and then is expressed outwardly. If we have given the world less than our best today, perhaps we ought to stop a moment and to figure out why. There are vicissitudes in our experience of the world, but when we realize that this world is an illusion, we will be less ready to take on its disagreeable aspects. If we listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit within, we will adopt a good interaction with our brother, even in this sad place. We will know that God Himself would not have us focused on our dejected feelings; He lends us His Voice to give us the forbearance to see the world but not be affected by its turmoil. The Holy Spirit, God’s Voice, will get our thinking aligned with His, and all will be happiness and light again.