Leave Your Gift

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“When you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).

“Under the New Law, or Christian dispensation, our altar is our own consciousness, and our offerings are our prayers and treatments.”   —Emmet Fox

From the spiritual point of view, we understand that the people and conditions in our lives affect us—for good or for ill—according to the way we think of them. Anger, justified or not, blocks the finer levels of spiritual energy. It does not matter to whom or what anger is directed; what matters is that the presence of anger and other negative emotions puts us in a non-receptive disposition. To become receptive to things like spiritual guidance and healing, we must be willing to release the energies that counter the positive flow. If making amends starts this releasing process, then make amends. If you make amends, however, make sure you do so with the understanding that this is primarily an internal process.

If, as Fox suggests, you think of your consciousness as the “altar” you can see how placing mixed, competing energies on this altar create mixed, competing results. Jesus is basically saying to keep your “eye,” your inner visioning faculty, single. Release all negative energies—fear, anger, resentment—and move into a receptive state of surrendering to the higher spiritual power that moves naturally through you.

Far too often we mistake outer actions with the need to make the type of internal shift required to align ourselves with the Divine. Much of the Christian message is a focus on morality, actions and thinking deemed worthy of the divine standard. Morality, however, is an effect of the spiritual awakening, not the cause. We are to “cleanse the inside of the cup,” as Jesus elsewhere pointed out, and the outside will take care of itself.


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