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Lesson 197

It can be but my gratitude I earn.

1. Here is the second step we take to free your mind from the belief in outside force pitted against your own. ²You make attempts at kindness and forgiveness. ³Yet you turn them to attack again, unless you find external gratitude and lavish thanks. ⁴Your gifts must be received with honor, lest they be withdrawn. ⁵And so you think God’s gifts are loans at best; at worst, deceptions which would cheat you of defenses, to ensure that when He strikes He will not fail to kill.

2. How easily are God and guilt confused by those who know not what their thoughts can do. ²Deny your strength, and weakness must become salvation to you. ³See yourself as bound, and bars become your home. ⁴Nor will you leave the prison house, or claim your strength, until guilt and salvation are not seen as one, and freedom and salvation are perceived as joined, with strength beside them, to be sought and claimed, and found and fully recognized.

3. The world must thank you when you offer it release from your illusions. ²Yet your thanks belong to you as well, for its release can only mirror yours. ³Your gratitude is all your gifts require, that they be a lasting offering of a thankful heart, released from hell forever. ⁴Is it this you would undo by taking back your gifts, because they were not honored? ⁵It is you who honor them and give them fitting thanks, for it is you who have received the gifts.

4. It does not matter if another thinks your gifts unworthy. ²In his mind there is a part that joins with yours in thanking you. ³It does not matter if your gifts seem lost and ineffectual. ⁴They are received where they are given. ⁵In your gratitude are they accepted universally, and thankfully acknowledged by the Heart of God Himself. ⁶And would you take them back, when He has gratefully accepted them?

5. God blesses every gift you give to Him, and every gift is given Him, because it can be given only to yourself. ²And what belongs to God must be His Own. ³Yet you will never realize His gifts are sure, eternal, changeless, limitless, forever giving out, extending love and adding to your never-ending joy while you forgive but to attack again.

6. Withdraw the gifts you give, and you will think that what is given you has been withdrawn. ²But learn to let forgiveness take away the sins you think you see outside yourself, and you can never think the gifts of God are lent but for a little while, before He snatches them away again in death. ³For death will have no meaning for you then.

7. And with the end of this belief is fear forever over. ²Thank your Self for this, for He is grateful only unto God, and He gives thanks for you unto Himself. ³To everyone who lives will Christ yet come, for everyone must live and move in Him. ⁴His Being in His Father is secure, because Their Will is One. ⁵Their gratitude to all They have created has no end, for gratitude remains a part of love.

8. Thanks be to you, the holy Son of God. ²For as you were created, you contain all things within your Self. ³And you are still as God created you. ⁴Nor can you dim the light of your perfection. ⁵In your heart the Heart of God is laid. ⁶He holds you dear, because you are Himself. ⁷All gratitude belongs to you, because of what you are.

9. Give thanks as you receive it. ²Be you free of all ingratitude to anyone who makes your Self complete. ³And from this Self is no one left outside. ⁴Give thanks for all the countless channels which extend this Self. ⁵All that you do is given unto Him. ⁶All that you think can only be His Thoughts, sharing with Him the holy Thoughts of God. ⁷Earn now the gratitude you have denied yourself when you forgot the function God has given you. ⁸But never think that He has ever ceased to offer thanks to you

. (ACIM, W-197.1:1–9:8)

Posted in ACIM Lessons

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