1 – Worth
To those of us who have been perfectionists in growing up and continuing throughout adulthood, the assertion that our worth is not tied up with achievement is welcome indeed. Let’s look at the whole passage:
“Your worth is not established by teaching or learning. Your worth is established by God. As long as you dispute this everything you do will be fearful, particularly any situation that lends itself to the belief in superiority and inferiority. (T-4.I.8)”
2 – Achievement
It is easy for us now to recognize that the will to achieve is associated intimately with the ego, at least in many cases, perhaps most. We may feel, additionally, that we are superior to others because of those achievements, and, indeed, the reason for the achievement initially was to set one’s self apart from others, to see one’s self as superior.
3 – Inferiority Complexes
Actually, though, psychologists tell us that there is no such thing as a “superiority complex,” that this idea is just a manifestation of an underlying sense of inferiority, an inferiority complex. Certainly when one says internally or outwardly that he is better than another because of some accomplishment, it is now easy for us to see the ego in action. It isn’t hiding from us this time, as it frequently does. So we are wise to see the fallacy of our assertion of being better in any way than another.
4 – Temporary Differences
Any differences in talent are just temporary:
“When the Atonement has been completed, all talents will be shared by all the Sons of God. God is not partial. All His children have His total Love, and all His gifts are freely given to everyone alike. (T-1.V.3)”
5 – Time Does Not Really Exist
So it is quite possible, and not an ego orientation, to recognize that right now we have some talents that others do not share. But only time separates, and time does not really exist. Time is an illusion. The ones who temporarily have more are bidden to share with others out of their bounty, but not to feel superior because of this wholly temporary discrepancy.
6 – Repeating Lessons
“Teachers must be patient and repeat their lessons until they are learned. . . .Again,–nothing you do or think or wish or make is necessary to establish your worth. This point is not debatable except in delusions. (T-4.I.7)”
7 – No Delusions
And we would not be lost in delusions. The ego has always been illusory, not made by God but made by us as a part of our belief about ourselves. Our spirit, though, was created by God, and is therefore never at stake in this illusory world. That is the ultimate reason that our worth is established by God and does not have to be “deserved” by anything that we do.
8 – Conditional Love
Children who were raised by conditional love have a particularly hard time with believing that they are worthy in and of themselves. And so those of us who share that background (and we all do to some extent) can be particularly warmed by the passage for today. We don’t have to achieve to be loved! God loves us, even with all of our lazy ways. Even when we make mistakes. Even when we don’t achieve anything much at all. We don’t have to accomplish to “merit” love. Love is part of our inheritance from God.
9 – Take Words to Heart
If we can take these words of Jesus to heart, our lives will never be the same again. We will stand tall, knowing that we are children of the Almighty, and that he does not love us conditionally, but unconditionally. We are still innocent, regardless of how many mistakes we have made. He doesn’t pardon us for those mistakes, because he has never condemned us (from A Course in Miracles). What a joy to finally put to rest the thought that we had to achieve to merit love!
Affirmation: “My worth is established by God.”
I would remember today that I do not have to “do” anything to merit Your love. You love me unconditionally. You do not have an ego that is enlarged by identification with my achievements. You love me just as I am.
Be with me today as I seek to make these words my own. May I no more feel that achievement is the way to Your grace, for it is not. Your grace is granted to me, day by day, in an undying affirmation of my place in Your heart.