The Law of Compensation is one of the most important and basic laws of life and has sometimes been described as “the great law.” The ancient enlightened ones called it the law of karma. The scientifically-minded may call it the law of cause and effect or the law of action and reaction. Ralph Waldo Emerson called it the law of compensation.

When Jesus talked about it, He explained it as the principle of sowing and reaping, giving and receiving, and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Emmet Fox, commenting on this teaching, said, “If the average man understood for a single moment the meaning of these words and really believed them to be true, he would immediately revolutionize his whole life from top to bottom, turn his everyday conduct inside out, and he would be so changed that his closest friends would hardly know him.”

Some persons doubt the existence of such a law, because its workings are often so slow that they are not readily perceived by human understanding.

Some persons believe that since this law doesn’t seem to work consistently in the world, it must come into operation in the next world. And with this belief many persons have carried on in the face of the vicissitudes of life with cheerful courage, comforting themselves with the faith that they would get their reward in some future “heaven.”

This law of perfect justice and fair compensation permeates the activities of humankind whether we know it or not, whether we see it or not. Every day is a day of judgment, for every day of our life we are reaping the harvest we have previously sown, whether good or bad. And the law guarantees that in the long run every virtue is rewarded, every wrong is redressed – in silence, in certainty, in Divine order.

What does this law mean to you in your everyday living? It has many practical applications. First of all, knowledge of the great law should cause you to make a constant effort to keep from letting anything that is evil or negative go out from you in thought, word, or deed.

In the final reckoning, the thief steals from himself. The liar lies to himself. The person who is cruel is hurting himself, for he is attracting to himself, under inexorable law, as much pain as he is afflicting.

But in like manner, the good one does is blessing himself, and the giver is giving to himself. For he is setting into operation, in his own behalf, the law that guarantees that as he has given, so shall he receive; as he has done, so shall it be done unto him.

This is the great law of compensation. And we never understand life or the experiences of life until we grasp this real truth. Understanding this law should always bring you greater tranquillity because it is deeply comforting to know that regardless of appearances to the contrary, you will eventually be compensated through every virtue, and no good will go unrewarded.

When you really understand the workings of this great law, you know that you don’t have to hold resentment or anger toward anyone. You no longer need to feel any concern if what you have been doing for others goes unappreciated. You no longer have to harbor ill will toward those who have treated you unjustly. You can let go of all feelings of anger, resentment, injustice, or unforgiveness.

You can rest in the comfortable assurance that the law of compensation will even every score and balance every account. Whatever your would-be grievance, know that God is taking care of the situation and is working in and through the minds and hearts of all involved. Go peacefully about your business and let the law balance your accounts.

If there is something in your life that you don’t like, in order to remove it from your experience you must first uproot it from within your soul or your mental attitude. 

On the other hand, if there is something missing from your life, build it into your soul and mentality, and the law will maintain a perfect balance by making it manifest in your world.

Once we accept this great Truth, once we free ourselves of the human weakness of trying to blame circumstances and people for our troubles, then and perhaps for the first time we’re ready to stand up to life with a new-found strength.

It is in thinking that we find the key to the law of compensation, for it is not so much what we do in the outer as what we think in our inner selves that counts the most.

Develop an attitude of looking for the good. Give expression to constructive, beneficial thoughts and feelings in every situation.

When you express appreciation of others, things will no longer upset you, others will appreciate you instead of being indifferent, you will find warm smiles directed your way. Never fail to say something good. As you learn to appreciate others you will increasingly find yourself surrounded by those who will in turn appreciate you.

When you understand the law of compensation, you will realize that your whole life is centered around the spirit of giving – giving love, appreciation, praise, time, support, efforts and substance. The “comeback” will always follow.

And don’t just do your share, go the extra mile. It is not enough to give love and friendship; give it back with an extra measure. Likewise with justice, kindness, cooperation, and devotion – give back dividends.

In any situation, find some way to give. Give your way into a new consciousness. This is one of the most important starting points in the study of Truth, and the law of compensation is one of Truth’s most fundamental laws.

God is Blessing You, Right Now!

Rev. Alan A. Rowbotham


Rev. Alan A. Rowbotham, a Unity minister for over thirty-seven years, invites you to subscribe to his free inspirational newsletter, “Spiritual Solutions,” at Spiritual Solutions. Feel free to share this article in its entirety with a friend.

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