My spiritual lesson of the year is: forgiveness brings prosperity! This lesson is highlighted in The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity, a book by Unity minister, Rev. Edwene Gaines. I am currently reading her book for the sixth time, and this won’t be the last time.
I recently shared principles from Rev. Gaines’ book at my home church. Incorporating four spiritual laws outlined in the book into my daily life has transformed my life beyond anything I could imagine. The book emphasizes that prosperity is far more than money. In fact, prosperity truly is the acknowledgment of our oneness with God.
The author makes the point that prosperity is:
Having a vitally alive healthy body
Having relationships that work all the time
Having work that we love so much it’s not work – it’s play
Having all the money we can possibly spend.
Living this definition means opening up to a far greater understanding of the magnanimity and immediacy of the Divine’s will of good for all of us!
Many of us didn’t grow up learning that God is Spirit and God is Love. We didn’t grow up learning that this infinite Spirit of Love is within us. We grew up with a punitive, gender-based male image of God as a vengeful, capricious distant figure in some far away Heaven. As a child, I intuitively knew God is within me, that God is Love and that I am innately good. In 1974, I learned about Unity and its teachings about God as Love. With this discovery, I cried for weeks because I was so overjoyed. It changed my life. I finally found the expansive definition of God that matched my childhood understanding. I have continued developing an eclectic blend of spirituality that feeds my soul and my daily life with love, peace, joy, strength and understanding. I am so very grateful for all the good!
Reading Rev. Gaines’ book and putting the principles to work in my life has dramatically changed me even more. I’m living from a greatly expanded understanding of the magnanimity and immediacy of God as Love. At a time when I can barely pay my bills, I’m tithing at the level that Edwene indicated is her level of tithing: 10 percent of gross of any income received + 25 percent. So if I receive $200, my tithe is $25. It’s my way of expressing my faith in the magnanimity and immediacy of all good. It’s hysterically funny how all this is working!
What does this have to do with forgiveness? Tithing is an expression of gratitude and generosity. Forgiveness is the very same principle. To forgive, I have to understand that: this world is a spiritual world built of spiritual substance; that all things are working together for my good because I am innately good, as we all are; and that Spirit is Love in action. I know it doesn’t always look that way. I must look beyond appearance and understand and know that a Divine Intelligence, a God Intelligence, is always at work. God is simply the name humans have given to the Activating Principle of all Life. We cannot be separate from this principle, because it is the very principle of our lives in expression.
Rev. Gaines makes a very important point in her book. She says forgiveness is for us, not the other person. To not forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die! Forgiveness isn’t from God. A God of Love makes no judgment of us. We are loved unconditionally. Our journey as humans is to move into a level of living in the example set by Jesus and all the other spiritual masters. It is a transformative experience to do this. Slowly and surely, I am learning these lessons. It’s very powerful and empowering to let go of fear, doubt, guilt, shame, blame, vengeance, judgment; all of the negative judgments we thought would protect us from others’ judgments!
Rev. Gaines makes a point I’ve heard many times and really love: No one can do anything to us that we haven’t already done to ourselves. I don’t like hearing that message at times, but it’s very freeing! It tells me I’m the captain of my ship. I can make my life easy or difficult. It’s my choice. I can listen to the voice of Love and Wisdom that lives within me, or I can listen to the voice of ego, doubt and separation and be miserable. Our spiritual heritage is we are creations of the Infinite. The Infinite is Love Incarnate. Love is spiritual energy and substance. Love is the Animating Principle in all of life!
For me, it is an act of faith to live this "new" understanding. It means moving into an expansive understanding of our spiritual nature. We are Love Incarnate. We are creations of the Infinite. Our cellular memory knows this nature. Using an affirmation like "Let go, let God" helps reacquaint our conscious mind with this principle of divine love always present in our lives. An affirmation is a positive statement of Truth that helps us stay aligned with our true spiritual nature. Affirmations help us when we’re about to let fear run our lives instead of divine love and trust being our guiding light.
Rev. Gaines suggests that we "let joy be our compass." Joy lets us know with all certainty that we are aligned with our spiritual heritage, our conscious awareness of our oneness with God as Love. When we are in the flow of joy, we can be sure we are magnets for all possible good. Our thoughts are energy. Our thoughts have power. Our thoughts of joy draw all manner of prosperity into physical expression. A constant flow of forgiveness keeps the prosperity coming. It’s our spiritual lesson for this lifetime to keep the flow going. I accept this lesson. It feels like a huge lesson at times. Each time we expand into this lesson, the loving Universe rushes in to meet us, because that is the true nature of the Universe. I believe that with all my heart.
Our most generous, joy-filled gift to ourselves and each other is to give up our need to be victim, to give up our need to punish ourselves and each other. There is no need for punishment if there is no judge! What an expansive love that is to live into! I am moving there. As we restory our lives, we can all live there in love, joy, peace and understanding. This invitation is the ultimate prosperity story. We invite Love and Peace into our lives. We let go of all that no longer serves this highest vision of who we really are! Love Incarnate is our true nature. I now choose to build my life on four pillars: magnanimity, immediacy, flexibility and generosity. Blessed Be to all of us as we move into this empowering, freeing vision of our world. Thank you, Rev. Gaines!