“Judgement and love are opposites. From one
Come all the sorrows of the world. But from
The other comes the peace of God Himself.”
“...Judgement will bind my eyes and make me blind. Yet love, reflected in forgiveness here, reminds me You have given me a way to find Your peace again...” ACIM, Workbook page 480, Lesson 352.
This lesson explains why forgiveness is so important; it brings us peace instead of sorrow, pain and death. If we choose to continue to judge others, which means we choose not to forgive them for any perceived grievances, we are, in effect, binding ourselves to the wheel of life. In other words, we will not be able to awaken from the dream, and will continue to go through the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
Whether we realise it or not, we make judgements about people and events all the time. We judge when someone says something upsetting; we judge when we watch the television news; we judge when we side with a political party—believing that the party we support is “superior” to others; we judge people who have different religious beliefs from ourselves; we judge people whom we consider to be too fat, too thin, too greedy, too lazy, too ugly and too old. In judging people and events, in taking sides, we build barriers between us and “them”, and these barriers will: “...bind my eyes and make me blind.” Pick up any newspaper and read the headlines; nothing could be more judgemental. In fact, journalists would have very little to write about if they were told to eliminate all judgement and finger-pointing from their writing.
“You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgement. When you recognise what you are and what your brothers are, you will realize that judging them in any way is without meaning.” T47. Judgement is meaningless because we are all one; thus in judging another we judge ourselves. But because it doesn’t appear to be that we are all one, it is quite difficult not to judge others at times.
However, not only is judgment meaningless, it brings with it, “all the sorrows of the world.” One example that springs to mind is war. Wars are often waged because one country judges another and feels the need to change that country in some way— so it starts a war. And what can be more sorrowful than war?
In Lesson 311 we read, “Judgement was made to be a weapon used against the truth…In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things; past, present and to come. One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgements on everyone and everything involved in them in any way. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so that his judgement would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this?” M27. No one can see totality; no one can know for certain why a certain person acts in a certain way.
Jesus points out on the same page in the Manual for Teachers that the recognition that judgement is impossible is the aim of the Course’s curriculum. Furthermore, he says there is only one judgement anyone can make: “God’s Son is guiltless, and sin does not exist.” Sin does not exist because we haven’t separated from God. And if sin does not exist and we are all guiltless, judgement is, indeed, meaningless.
The reason why judgment and love are opposites is simply because if we judge someone it means we cannot forgive him; therefore, we cannot give him the miracle of love. “Forgiveness...merely looks, and waits, and judges not. He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive...” W401. If we remember that a miracle is the correction of our false perceptions, and that in order to give the miracle of love to another, we have to be able to forgive him, then we can see that love and forgiveness are definitely the opposite of judgement. “Forgiveness is the home of miracles. The eyes of Christ deliver them to all they look upon in mercy and in love. Perception stands corrected in His sight, and what was meant to curse has come to bless...Each lily of forgiveness offers all the world the silent miracle of love...” W473.
It is helpful to remember that in giving up judgement, we are only giving up illusions. We forgive because we are aware there is really nothing to forgive. “Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. It sees there was no sin. And in that view are all your sins forgiven.” W401.
Speaking to God’s teachers in the Manual for Teachers, Jesus points out: “You who are sometimes sad and sometimes angry; who sometimes feel your just due is not given you, and your best efforts meet with lack of appreciation and even contempt; give up these foolish thoughts! They are too small and meaningless to occupy your holy mind an instant longer. God’s Judgment waits for you to set you free…” M38. We all feel sad and angry at times. And we may sometimes feel that our efforts are not appreciated. But Jesus is asking us to rise above these petty, insignificant feelings and to remember that God is our only goal, and that forgiveness is the way of reaching that goal.
The following description that Jesus gives of God’s final judgment upon us is encouraging and uplifting:
"Holy are you, eternal, free and whole, at peace forever
in the Heart of God. Where is the world, and where is
sorrow now?” M38.
Submit Your Own Article