Jesus told us not to judge according to appearances, because there is a perfection at the center of things. This is what he meant when he said: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” It seems to me that the only way we can translate the meaning of these words is to accept them in their simplicity and interpret them as though they actually meant what he said—for Jesus never wasted time in idle talk. The more we study the simplicity of his style, the more we discover that it reached to the very foundation of life itself. Jesus had reduced his spiritual philosophy to a few simple, fundamental facts that he taught and lived.
The inner center of our being is what is meant by the word Christ, the “Anointed” or the “Illumined.” Christ means God-in-us. It means the Divine Son or Daughter at the center of every person’s life. If Jesus was right, there is a perfection forever established, a kingdom of God forever at hand, and a possibility of good that is available right now.
We should reread the words of Jesus as though we had never heard them before. Since the teachings of Jesus contain the key to right living, it would do us well to consider their meaning.
Jesus said, in effect: “God has made you. The Divine Spirit is already within you. This is your Father in your heaven who desires only your good.” Spirit has already provided a law of mind, giving you the use of a power greater than you are. And if you will only learn to live in recognition of this presence and in harmony with this law, then the miracle of life and love will take place. He coupled the knowledge of spiritual truth with the thought that there is a law of mind which acts upon our belief and brings into our experience those things which we believe.
Choosing our path
We should realize that Jesus was not talking about any particular age. He was not talking about just himself. For over and over again he said that what he did, we could do also—that what he was, we may become.
But it is also as though he were proclaiming: “There is a presence within you that is already perfect. You need not worry over your previous mistakes, nor live in anxious anticipation of tomorrow. All of that is unnecessary. All you have to do is learn to live right today. And when you do, previous mistakes will be blotted out and your future will be taken care of.”
But before this can happen we must learn to live right today. It is in this moment of time that we are to make the great decision. It is in this day in which we now are living that we must choose what path we are to follow. Shall we live in fear or in faith? Shall we live in confusion, or in the peace that comes from a deep and abiding conviction that there is a power greater than we are, ready, willing, and able to work for us? I think the outstanding thing in the new spiritual outlook of today is that we are called on to invite this presence, to experiment with this power, and actually to live as though God were present with us right now.
Jesus seemed to have laid no restriction on the willingness of this power greater than we are to operate for us, other than to say that everything we think and say and do should be based in a consciousness of love—in a realization that we must become one with others, even as we already are one with God. This is why he prayed “that they may be one, even as we are one.”
Training the mind to think differently is simple enough, but I would not say that it is easy, for a thing can be simple without being easy. And again this is where faith must be used—faith in a power greater than we are, based on the firm conviction that we live in a Divine Presence that wishes only good for us.
The final surrender
Common sense should teach us that we did not create the universe, nor need we be responsible for the laws of nature. All we can do is to use them. Now we are called on to reform all our thinking—to make a complete and final surrender of all our littleness, fears, doubts, and uncertainties to that great something within us that is calm and certain and sure. That something has never really left its divine kingdom, even though our minds have become so confused, so unhappy, and so filled with fear.
This is the great challenge. It is also the great adventure—the adventure of faith in a power greater than we are, the challenge of a love that abides forever. Therefore, say to yourself, quietly, and with deep conviction:
I realize that I am one with the eternal newness of life. All that Spirit is creates in and through me. My body is alive with the life of God. My body is illumined by the light of God. There is no darkness of discouragement, despair, or defeat. My mind is refreshed in that One Mind that eternally gives of itself to its creation.
All that God has is mine. I open my heart to accept the good gifts of joy, happiness, and enthusiasm, right now. I open my heart to know that that which is forever ageless is my source.
I decree that my body and my experiences shall reflect the image of life in all of its newness, and I shall move through the days of my years with gladness in my mind. I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever, knowing that my cup is full to overflowing with the only life there is—the life and the eternal youth of God. And so it is.