Lesson 170: “There is no cruelty in God and none in me.”
Gone are the days with the strict head master at school who raps our knuckles fiercely with a ruler to discipline us.
He has his own definition of justice. The world and the ego are apt to believe that this form of punishing is beneficial because it forces youngsters to shape up and be disciplined. To me this seems really backward. This sure doesn’t look like a loving act.
And when people are hurt in the process of making a point, this then generally backfires.
There will always be that part of the kid who then grows into adulthood and may have all kinds of trust issues with authority figures, like God. The people who were supposed to be loving and helpful instead turned to this type of what can be called abuse. It just didn’t work because it wasn’t loving.
The Course teaches us to be loving even when we are disciplining children who may not know any better than to behave in ways that our society may categorize as not good and helpful behaviors.
The Course teaches us to even when we say no or are concerned and need to get this child’s attention, we still connect with the love in our hearts and pray to God.
We ask the Holy Spirit for guidance about how to make our point in a way that is loving. When people receive punishment that is not loving, the chances are very good that the child or adult may totally tune out the situation in some way. They may have been so stressed about the emotional or physical punishment that then they can’t integrate the lesson that we as mentors were trying to express and communicate.
That means that they will be shut down in some way because they had this experience that left them confused or distressed.
Then they may not be able to benefit from the wisdom we are trying to pass on in the showing them that their behavior was not helpful or ideal.
It makes total sense to take care to discipline other people with feelings of our wanting to be helpful. This then doesn’t translate as the ego is putting up a fist and pushing at us. It also is not something that makes us feel more separate from the person because we are closing ourselves off to the energy of joining in peace.
We can just pay greater attention to making sure we come with respect for ourselves and the other people with whom we are in relationships.
When we respect ourselves and each other then we are able to meet them with love because we are connected with the feelings of valuing all.
We therefore, want to treat them in the most respectful way possible.
The Course wants us to realize that cruelty is often hidden in our minds and behaviors. The Course is a perfect method to undo this way of thinking. We are learning how God is in truth. This requires a release of how we used to see things. God is generally associated with some form of punishment and religions have all sorts of rules about how we are supposed to atone for our sins. This always comes with some amount of begging God to forgive us. We hear stories that God is always a tyrant. We learn that God is out to get us. The Course says that this is totally false.
It doesn’t make any sense that God would be totally Love in essence and then at the same time, retain some part of Him as cruel.
Cruelty definitely does not go with love.
They simply can not exist together because they are opposites; thus, only one can be true.
When you really think with the Course’s logic, the only thing that can be true is that God is all love, with no cruelty included. When we realize there is no cruelty in God, we can feel totally relieved because that part of us that is afraid of God vanishes.