Series 2 - Lesson 11 - Annotation 12
What results follow resistance to judgment? What is chastening?
12. Resistance to judgment increases our unpleasant experiences. Those who complain and resist judgment give power to the negative and simply make for themselves worse conditions which they have to meet. No man can evade the effect of a cause that has been set in motion except as he abandons his position for another "cause." Resistance to judgment impedes spiritual unfoldment, and those who resist miss the opportunity to be free from error by learning how to judge wisely. They miss the experience of blessing that comes with judgment and understanding. When we do not resist judgment, we open ourself to divine guidance; we learn to work joyously with the law of our being (Christ or I AM) and then we move into experiences that are wholly soul-satisfying.
Webster's dictionary gives two meanings for the word chasten:
- To punish, to discipline with a lash or rod and the like;
- To purify or refine by freeing from faults, excess and the like; to make free from all taint of that which defiles, debases or cheapens.
The concept of a God who punishes has been the stumbling-block in the path of many persons who would like to know God consciously, not merely know about Him. Unity accepts the teaching of Jesus Christ that God is love and that it is His good pleasure to give His children the good of His kingdom. Unity does not accept the belief that God as Principle, Spirit, or Divine Mind punishes or reprimands His beloved children, the human family. Rather Unity seeks to teach that the activity of Principle, Spirit, or Divine Mind is the will of God, the law of God, the law of Absolute Good which is ever moving throughout the universe to bring the very highest good into manifestation in and through all mankind and all creation. Part of our spiritual growth includes becoming conscious of this activity and then experiencing good in our life as a result.
In our growing-up and unfolding process, we are not always conscious of spiritual activity in us and we become as the "prodigal son" described in the parable of Jesus as recorded in Luke 15:11-32. We use our substance in "a far country," wasting it in "riotous living." We make the wrong use of the powers of our being through our limited thinking, feeling, acting, and reacting. We begin to form wrong concepts about ourself, about God, and about the universe in which we live. We begin to believe that we are separate from God, that there are two powers (good and evil) operating in our life; that we get sick, grow old, and die. Thus, we find ourself living in an unbalanced state of mind that "defiles, debases or cheapens" our consciousness of ourself as a son of God.
In the parable, the prodigal "came to himself," and when he did, he said, "I will arise and go to my father" (Luke 15:18). He recognized a higher way of life and he began to move toward it; he began to prepare himself to live in accordance with it. As we recognize and respond to the law of God working in us, we become conscious of His activity within. This sets, into operation a process that will purify or refine our thinking and feeling and free us from all "taint of that which defiles, debases or cheapens" the consciousness of ourself. This activity is called "chastening." It is not punishment for us, but is rather the salvation which brings us consciously back to Principle, back to a balanced state of mind.
Preceding Entry: What is "the day of judgment" and where is the "judgment seat"?
Following Entry: Why is it important to take the right attitude toward the so-called judgments of the Lord?