This Week in Course Companions: The Difficult Teachings

The following is from the weekly message by Circle founder, Robert Perry, delivered each Thursday to Course Companions members. Course Companions is our global community of students and teachers walking through the Course, section-by-section and lesson-by-lesson, together as friends. For access to any classes, handouts, and additional commentaries referenced in these posts, we invite you to join Course Companions by visiting Please note that partial and full scholarships are available and no one is turned away from Circle of Atonement programming for an inability to pay. 


July 9, 2020

Both of our classes this week dealt with topics that we find challenging.

Our Workbook class was about Lesson 186: “Salvation of the world depends on me.” This lesson is all about how the function assigned to us by God—to save the world—seems too big for us. We don’t exactly seem well-suited to the job. And thus to say to ourselves “Salvation of the world depends on me” sounds outrageously immodest.

Our Text class was about bringing our dark and secret thoughts to the Holy Spirit, so that in the light those thoughts can be seen as nothing and shined away. This too, of course, seems very unchallenging. The last thing we want to do is take those dark thoughts out of the vault and really look at them.

What do we do with teachings like these that seem too hard, too much? Maybe ants can carry fifty times their own weight, but can we shoulder teachings that feel this heavy? What do we do when faced with a lesson that seems like more than we can handle?

There is a passage in the Manual for Teachers that addresses this very issue. It first speaks of what it calls “the final lesson,” which is this: “One sin perfectly forgiven by one teacher of God can make salvation complete”—for the whole world (M-14.3:7). How is that possible? Such a lesson feels unlearnable. In the face of a seemingly impossible lesson like this, what do we do? Sensing our question, Jesus directly addresses it:

“What, then, is the function of the teacher of God in this concluding lesson? He need merely learn how to approach it; to be willing to go in its direction. He need merely trust that if God’s Voice tells him it is a lesson he can learn, he can learn it. He does not judge it either as hard or easy. His Teacher points to it, and he trusts that He will show him how to learn it” (M-14.4:4-8).

What a perfectly wise answer: When faced with an apparently unlearnable lesson, just walk in its direction in trust.

What, then, do we do when we are told that our function is to save the world? Or when we are told to bring up all those dark and secret thoughts we’ve been hiding away? Just be willing to go in this direction. We need merely trust that if God’s Voice tells us we can learn this, we can. We don’t judge it as hard or as easy. Our Teacher points to this lesson, and we trust that He will show us how to learn it.

This is the answer to so much that we encounter in the Course, is it not? When faced with a difficult teaching, don’t reject it, don’t back away from it, don’t tell yourself you can’t learn it. Just walk in its direction in trust.

With love,