Today brothers an sisters, we continue to study love. God is love, but as we have learned love is not the only attribute of God. Today we turn our attention to a facet of love which is often not considered. It is acceptance. Acceptance is self-tolerance. It is also the tolerance of the will of God.

First to the self. As we have learned, tolerance for loving, kindness, mercy, and compassion towards others is necessary to love your fellows. It is also equally necessary in order to love yourself. For, if you are not self-tolerant you can fall into the traps of negative thinking, encompassing judgment, criticism and ego traps of self-obsessiveness.

You are the creation of God and the experiences and decisions of your free will and environment. All the factors were created to foster soul evolution. You were not created in perfection as members of the first universes were, therefore you must learn to love your imperfections as well as your spirit victories. Your imperfections will be the greatest source of learning you will experience. Many of your flaws will take centuries and centuries of time as you know it to even understand, let alone transcend. How can you experience the joy of fusion and the ultimate joy of perceiving the creator without the recognition of the validity and honor of the struggle for a godly character. These flaws must be perceived as blessings to humans, as markers on your path as ascendent children of time and space.

Self-tolerance is often a forgotten virtue. Without self-tolerance issues of morality rather than spirituality take the fore, so to speak. You have been created in this fashion because it is the Father's wish for this universe. It is therefore God's will that you be thus imperfect.

How do you understand the will of the Father? You cannot understand His will totally for He is the creator and you are the creation. To understand His will for you, you should simplify: one, you are created this way; two, God creates good; three, because God has created you with love, who are you not to love this creation. So, acceptance - self-tolerance - is necessary to evolve a truly spiritual human and not a judgmental human from which divisions must spring.

It is an error to approach imperfections with a vengeful heart or an arrogant intellect. Rather, weaknesses, imperfections, should be viewed lovingly as opportunities for soul growth, and should be viewed in long-term ways of their eventual outworking into more desirable or mature spiritual qualities. Every flaw has an evolution and can either be ignored, be rationalized into a good quality and therefore pursued into possible error, or can be seen as a lesson for soul growth tolerantly. If one views the final outcome to be not only the absence of that quality but the victorious spiritual shining of light which ensues from the struggle, that is the benefit that is permitted only to those who actively and lovingly desire to mold their characters into more evolved souls. The benefit of this spiritual plus does not (seven seconds of silence on tape).

Many religionists have made the error of thinking the moral struggle is between good versus evil within the individual human. It is not. It is between acceptance of who you are today - knowing who you will become with faith in God's will - and who you fool yourselves into believing you are. This is the struggle of the spiritually dedicated mortal. So acceptance is necessary in order to perceive spiritual realities within your own evolving being, for without acceptance you will, children - rest assured, fool yourselves, or judge yourselves too harshly, or misperceive your status. There is no competition for first place in the spiritual race. There is only the motivation spurred on by a thirst for God-knowingness that thrusts us forward to become better and better sons and daughters of our eternal Father.

If God can love you unconditionally now, the way you are, why can you not love yourself? Think about that in your daily meditations and prayers. For is it not an ungrateful act to not love what such a supreme creator has made and loved so dedicatedly?

If you cannot forgive yourself, you cannot forgive others. If you cannot accept your humanity, you cannot grant your brothers and sisters the same gift of this humanity. Self-acceptance, self-tolerance, is necessary in order to: one, be more open (next few words unintelligible) and two, to be able to bestow Divine love through your life and interactions with others. You cannot be loving in the world or to the Divine without also feeling love for the miracle of your beingness and uniqueness.

You are a part of the tapestry of time surging forward into eternity, the tapestry of imperfection becoming perfect, the tapestry of the mortal creature becoming one with a creator. If you do not celebrate and be humbled by such a gift, you will not fully participate in this wonderment.

Acceptance also encompasses the will of God which we talk much of when we pray “thy will be done,” “It is my will to do thy will.” But do we really understand this? First, it is God's will that you exist or you would not be here at all. So therefore, if your prayer is sincere to accept God's will, why not accept yourself as you are today? This is God's will. Two, you pray to know God's will, but children, you cannot fully know God's will until you stand in the presence of the I AM. Until that day some amount of partiality is necessary in terms of understanding and acting. So, the idea of understanding God's will in totality is therefore unachievable.

Simplify again. Acceptance of the mystery of God is part of worship. There is no momentous handing down of tablets of stone for us. There is only common sense, filtered through the desire to do good, be loving, see beauty, speak truth, and continue to learn. How simple it is - when one rises - to thank God for this day, to get out of bed, to love those around you, to have a cheerful word, to take time out to lend a hand to others, to service. You can rest assured that when you drive in traffic, that it is God's will that you smile rather than be angry or yell. If you simplify, it is quite easy to do God's will. Would God prefer you to be kind and loving towards your family or to be withholding and mean? Would God prefer you to take time to listen to another's suffering or to busy yourself with tasks? As you go through your day look at the simple things. It is God's will for you to work and earn your daily bread or is it God's will that you steal?

These are simple things. There is not confusion. Is it God's will for you to try always to reflect the inspiration of Jesus in your daily tasks? Yes. This is not something one should meditate on for years and discuss in forums.

Your will enters with choices. You are tired, you would prefer not to listen to a friend, but you do service because that is the higher value. That, then, is God's will, and your free will is to accept it. God in His wisdom, and through the ministry of the celestial beings on this planet, throws into each life millions upon millions of opportunities for soul growth, millions upon millions of situations to choose higher values. Rather than question what is the will of God, what is the will of God for me, which gets you no where, accept all of the opportunities that come your way as gifts from the celestial overcontrollers.

The people who ask for your love, and kindness, and attention, and time, are sent by angels and social architects, and by the spirit - Divine Mother - as opportunities for soul growth. The will of the Father is for you to choose always to do higher values. There is no mystery here, or great theological discussion.

Some days you may choose better than other days, and that is where self-tolerance enters. But always be dedicated to doing the Will of the Father, which is to shed more spiritual light as you go through your life in very simple ways. When the book says “love acts,” that is what it means. You need not have a grandiose, dramatic, epiphanal moment for love to act. Rather, love acts in the tiny insignificant moments of time which will one day add up to fusion for you. So, you must accept God's will. Life is but a days' work. Do it well.

Your work is of a spiritual nature, and it is not involved in the historical moments that will be remembered here in Urantia. It is involved rather in the moments which are recorded on high. The actions which constitute your survival and soul evolution, the things which you so often forget to pay attention to, this constitutes a life of loving service. That should be your highest consecration to God. When you look back on your life weave a wonderful memory all the tiny acts of love will make. What a shining soul for the rest of the world to see. For this is what creates you.

Acceptance is something you may pray for: acceptance of who you are, acceptance of God's will, and - between the two in the act of daily living - the birth and growth of your soul, and the metamorphosis from a physical animal being into a spiritual perfecter. This is what it is about. It is a slightly new way to look at truth.

We can reject God's will. Therein lies soul insanity. We can pretend there is no choice - as many mortals do on this planet - or we can actively choose in our actions to do the will of the Father, knowing that we will not always behave correctly, and we will forgive ourselves for the lapses because that is part of the Divine plan.

This is not a world for perfection; it is a world of recognizing imperfection and doing the best we can with our imperfectness. Please keep in mind that these choices, all of them, contribute to the Supreme, and even when you have not done your best you are creating the God of experience. You are also allowing your Thought Adjuster to participate in imperfection, which is a gift.

So acceptance, self-tolerance of yourself, first in your imperfect state, acceptance of God's will that you are created this way and what awaits you is perfection, and acceptance that you will never totally understand God's will, are part of living a spiritually dedicated and conscious life.

My advice again, simplify, for it is in living faithfully as tadpoles that we become frogs. You are tadpoles now, as I am, and one cannot expect your life to be more than it is. We make tadpole decisions and we do the will of God by recognizing what we are.

And that, brothers and sisters, is the formal lesson for today. Do you have questions?

Q: Yes. We talked about self-acceptance, and there are a couple of things I think you said, prayer, and recognition of who we are, and willingness to live as a tadpole each day. As I think of ways to achieve self-acceptance I find that I have particular intolerance of my flaws. That, I see is sort of arrogant in the face of God. I understood you very clearly to say that it will take possibly centuries to get rid of some of these. On a daily basis when things come up, do you know any ways or methods to work on that, you know, one day at a time?

A: To think of yourself as a child, which is what we all are, to apply the same understanding patience as you would to a struggling toddler falling and learning to walk. To understand that you cannot skip this stage, and that you will fall and become bruised, and bruise yourself many times, but will rise again to continue walking the path, that the love should come for the miracle of the human spirit in rising again, that although you are flawed now, look to each day for the moment when you acted in a God-like fashion. And every day there are those moments: a smile, a caress to a child, an illumination or feeling of unity with God, a comfort for a minute inside yourself, a peace bestowed by the Spirit of Truth, observing the beauty of nature, putting your feet up and relaxing from life's anxieties - are all God-like attributes which you humans overlook, concentrating only on the moments when anger or fear or doubt got the better of you.

Faith pulls you through when you have not acted in the highest fashion: faith in God's acceptance and love for you, which you should mirror to yourself; faith in the fact that flaws are bestowed in order for you to grow past and from; that there would be no growth without this struggle, and that if it were easy and your flaws could disappear it would not be God's plan. Stretching your time sense to a more eternal one will help you to develop acceptance. A sense of humor also eases the times when you grow critical or impatient with what you see as regression.

Q: When you talk of faults and flaws in human terms, I guess that's just a point of view. It might be other person's likes or dislikes would differ; a fault from another person might be a virtue to another person. But I guess from a cosmic point of view, from the Father's, the main faults that we should be concerned about are evil, iniquity and sin. Should we be tolerant of our own sin just as we are tolerant of our own error?

A: We should forgive ourselves for sins if we feel we have committed them. Remember, it is not for us to judge even ourselves, but merely to evaluate. If you feel you have committed a sin which is fairly extreme - most people fall into error - you must pray to forgive yourself as you ask for the forgiveness of the Father. But you must also ask for growth to learn from these sins and to resist them, to resist taking those actions. Flaws are not errors or sins or evil, but can lead one into errors. Flaws are anger, fear, faithlessness, lack of love - which are all relative - those are examples of spiritual flaws rather than the actions.

It is the inner soul-scape, so to speak, that leads one into actions that would constitute error, sin, and evil. It first starts within the human, the conflicts, the trouble. It would help to read the analysis of Judas as he fell into grave error and sin. First started in his personality flaw of isolation, and then his inner conflict as his wrong thinking took hold, and then finally the action. Does that answer?

Q: Yes. So basically the flaws, once we learn how to deal with our flaws, then we will not enter into evil or sin.

A: Probably not.

Q: But to do that, one has to be tolerant and resistive.

A: That is correct. (Thank you.) ...

Q: Rayson, greetings, I heard you saying in the beginning of the lesson that there's a difference between spiritual or moral, morality or spirituality. My concept, or my understanding, in order to be spiritual we need to have morality. Would you help me to understand what you meant to say?

A: Yes. Spirituality is unchanging truth, the attributes which will eventually make you Godlike. Morality, while sometimes the same, is a man-made concept of behavior which changes culturally and timewise. Morality is necessary for the organization of families, tribes, and nations. But does not necessarily add up to the highest spiritual traits. For example, morality has sometimes dictated that people have many mates, sometimes dictated one mate. These are societal values. The spiritual value would be a partner and relationship between a man and a woman that is loving, service oriented, tolerant, and that encourages spiritual reality in the raising of children, which forces the humans to experience unconditional, give unconditional love. Many mates, one mate, things change societally, but spiritually values are the same. (03/28/93)

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