Sunday, June 24, 2007



Repentance-- remorse and recompense for errors-- is a part of the whole "package" of Love. Love includes repentance, and so, it is not a separate pursuit.

We have all made many mistakes. Earth is a place designed to make errors. That is one of the most effective ways to grow and to learn. Just as when you are teaching a person math or a foreign language, she makes many mistakes. But we do not become outraged, we do not beat her over the head with a ballbat. Instead, we gently correct her, and patiently remind her of the correct answers.

God is a billion times more loving, patient, and reasonable than any of us. So, God does not murder people, or torture people, for having made mistakes. Jesus' attitude towards sin was scandalous to the "righteous" and "religious" leaders of his day, because he was so tender, so kind, so loving. He lived and acted as if souls were more important than errors. He forgave instantly, on the spot. He even dared say, "All your sins are forgiven.".

He was right: The Soul is more important than any mistake a person might make. Very religious people often get this wrong, and the mistake, the "sin," becomes more important than compassion. They want punishment for the sinner, not learning or growth for her. This is an evil and unloving attitude.

Why do we here equate "sin" with error? Is not "sin" a deliberate rebellion against God? No, it is not. The Greek word used for "sin" in the Christian Scriptures was a term borrowed from archery, and meant "missing the mark." When an archer aims at a target, and misses, she does not do this deliberately. She is honestly doing her best to hit the bull's eye, but she misses because she is imperfect. This is error, not deliberate evil.

That is why this term was chosen by the ancient Christians. They wanted to give the message that sin was not deliberate evil, but error. Is there really any such thing as deliberate sinfulness? Yes,there is; but most "sin" is simply error: You honestly try to do your best, like the archer, but you miss the target.

Because we all screw up in many ways, many times, the universal Mind of Love (God) is pervaded by an infinite (endless) supply of forgiveness. For it is God's will that everyone find life and happiness, and a person bound to a practice of "sin" has become its slave; she knows no freedom. To be a slave is to be unfree, and Jesus said, "The truth [Reality] will make you free." (Jn.8:32)

Because we all sin, when we begin to love God, self, and other creatures, naturally we encounter sorrow due to these imperfections. This is not pathological, but completely normal and natural. It is natural repentance, and Love and repentance always come as a set, like salt and pepper, or two bookends. For one is incomplete without the other.

A healthy person is not always berating herself for her sins. For, once she has carefully studied them, and learned everything that she can from them, she then practices selforgiveness. It is then time to be gentle, merciful, and compassionate with the self as you try to be with others.

Jesus said to forgive "seventy times seven," a number that, in numerological symbolism, represents infinity. For in the healthy mind, there are no limits to the quantity or quality of genuine forgiveness. God has an unending supply; as we grow closer to Her Mind, we also become infinite in our forgiveness-capacity. When a person does not forgive, the only one who suffers is the one who refuses to forgive.

In summary, repentance is a great quality of the enlightened person. It is a genuine reflection of humility-- the very opposite of pretending to be "perfect" or "flawless"-- a stupid game played by only the foolish and unwise.

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