Forgive Us Our Debts
People say, “What can a man do with the thoughts of his mind?” He can do everything with them. They are under his absolute control. He can direct them. He can coerce them. He can hush them or crush them. He can dissolve them and put others in their place. There is no other spot in the universe where man has mastery. The dominion which is his by Divine right is over his own thoughts. When man apprehends this, and commences to exercise that dominion, he has begun to open the way to God, the only door to God—through mind and thought.
“Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors” (R. V.). Jesus’ comments were “How can you expect men to forgive your transgressions until you have first forgiven them their transgressions?” This we find to be in harmony with a law of mind. That is, an idea must be dissolved before another can take its place. If you have in mind a thought that some one has wronged you, you cannot let in the cleansing power of the Spirit until you have dissolved and cast out the idea of the mortal wrong. You may be wondering why you do not get spiritual illumination like others. What kind of thoughts is your mind filled with? Have you made room in your mind by forgiving your transgressors, or is it filled with thoughts of resentment against this one, and a feeling that you have been slighted by that one? Jesus recognized a right law of mind when he said, “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:14). In this is a statement of Science on any of its planes, physical or metaphysical. “Thoughts are things,” and they occupy space. They are alive and think themselves after their kind. They bring forth fruit according to the seed planted by thought in the mind.
Tell me what kind of thoughts you are holding about yourself or your neighbor, and I will tell you what you will experience in health, finances and family relations. Are you suspicious of your neighbor? How can the great love and trust of the Father find place when the room is occupied by mistrust? “Try the power there is in trusting one another—there’s magic in it—white magic.” Are you accusing men of being thieves and highwaymen? With that thought generating its currents of fear and terror, and filling your whole consciousness with its darkness, where is there room for the Father’s aura of protection? Love and Trust are dynamic. Build walls of vibratory substance out of Love. Send out invisible messengers of protection; they are better guards than policemen or revolvers. Have you forgiven all the thieves and highwaymen, your thoughts or the thoughts and opinions of the world about their transgressions? Say to them, “I forgive your transgressions, and the Father forgives mine.”
The question is not, “How guilty is that man?” but, “How do I stand in the sight of the Father as to my ideas about his guilt?” Reform yourself first. That means very much more to one in the understanding of mind and its laws than to the ordinary individual.
He who knows not himself wholly, but just his superficial, external personality, thinks he is reformed when he conforms to the moral and municipal law. He may be filled with self-righteousness and daily lift up his voice in prayer, thanking God that he is not as other men are, but he has not “forgiven men their transgressions.” He looks upon every man not conforming to his standard of morality, religion or finances, as a transgressor, and thanks God for his supposed insight and perspicuity. But he is not at peace. There is something lacking. God does not talk to him “face to face,” because the mind, where God and man meet, is darkened with the smoke of the belief that other men are sinners. God is too pure to behold iniquity. So our first resolve in starting reforms is that we will forgive all men their transgressions, that the Father may forgive us our transgressions.
“All men” includes ourselves. Forgive yourself. Let the finger of denial erase every sin or “falling short” which you have charged to yourself. Say to that part of your being which is liable to “fall short,” “Thy sins be forgiven thee—go and sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee.” Then see to it that there is no further sin. Treat it as a mental transgression instead of a physical or moral deflection. Deny in thought the tendency to the error way, and hold yourself firmly to the Christ Spirit, which you divinely are. Part company forever with “accusing conscience.” He is the friend and “whipper in” of sinners, and not of those who have resolved to sin no more.
The real search of all people is to find God. They may think they are looking for other things, but will eventually admit that it was God they sought, especially after they have once felt his presence in their souls. This being true, our whole aim should be to make the place where we meet God so pure that we shall never mistake his voice nor be hidden from his face. This place we know is in the mind—the inmost recess of the soul —the kingdom of heaven within you.
“Shall I be in debt so long as I hold debts against others?” This we find to be the law of mind. A thought of debt will produce debt. So long as you believe in debt you will go into debt, and accumulate the burdens that follow that thought. Whoever has not forgiven all men what they owe him, stands liable himself to fall into debt. Shall you hand receipted bills to all who owe you? No; that would not be erasing the idea of debt from your mind. First, deny in mind that any man or woman owes you. If necessary, go over the names separately and forgive the idea of obligation you hold against them. It is opposed to Divine Law—the law of universal equilibrium.
In Spirit, there is no obligation. The true disciples have all things in common. Commence your liquidation of debts at the right place, where they exist as living, original, producing entities, and that is in idea. The world will never be free from the bondage of debt and interest until men go to their minds and erase the ideas that are generating debt and interest. If you forgive all your debtors, will they never pay you. Examine the law of mind and see. Analyze the idea of debt, and see if it doesn’t involve an idea of lack. Debt is a thought of absence with lack at both ends. You believe you lack what is owing you, and also that he who owes, lacks, or he would have paid, rather than have incurred the obligation. So there is error at both ends, and nothing in the middie. This being true, according to the law of mind, we should dissolve by denial every idea that another owes us, or that we owe anybody, and hold thoughts right the opposite—fill our minds with ideas of abundance.
We have abundance, and all have abundance. Such thoughts will more quickly bring to us that which is rightfully ours than any other. See abundance everywhere, and the thought of fullness in your mind will bring to you its fruits. Then let the law work itself out. In this way the Father will forgive us our debts. The Father is the everywhere-present Spirit, in which all that appears has origin. Governed by law, the love of God would see us always happy and abundantly provided for, but the wisdom of God demands that order and right relation exist in our minds before this shall be possible.