Let Go and Grow
“When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, ‘Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.' But he lingered; so the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him forth and set him outside the city. And when they had brought them forth, they said, ‘Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley; flee to the hills, lest you be consumed.' … But Lot's wife behind him looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” (Genesis 19:15-17, 26)
The story of Lot's wife is an extreme example of one who has failed to develop the God-given faculty of renunciation. Because this woman simply would not let go of her old life, even under the pressing emergency of the destruction of the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, she suffered not only mentally but physically. She missed her opportunity to start a new life in a new place.
Mentally, she was trying to hold onto the past, with all its negation, and her whole being was preserved in limitation as a result of it. (Salt was used in Old Testament times as a preservative).
It is easy to fall into the pattern followed by Lot's wife, but if we are going to develop our spiritual faculties, we must include along with the others the power of renunciation, or elimination—the ability that enables us to cleanse and purify the whole being.
Some people … are more interested in using affirmations than denials. They may consider the whole concept of renunciation a negative rather than a positive approach. But this is not true.
Charles Fillmore explains: “It is just as necessary that one should learn to let to go of thoughts, conditions, and substances in consciousness, body, and affairs, when they have served their purpose and one no longer needs them, as it is that one should lay hold of new ideas and new substances to meet one's daily requirements. Therefore it is very necessary that the eliminative faculty be quickened in one, and a right balance between receiving and giving, laying hold and letting go, be established” (Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, pp. 652-653).
As elimination is necessary to the completion of the digestive process in the body, so renunciation is important to the completion of the establishment of divine order.
… As the channel of elimination must be kept open if the body is to continue to receive nourishment, so the channels of mind power must be kept open for the digestion of greater ideas through the release of old, outworn, negative thoughts and feelings.
… Renunciation must work in conjunction with all of the faculties, as we replace old, wrong habits of thought and feeling with the new concepts and understanding that will be the basis for spiritual growth and development. As we would remove weeds from our flower or vegetable gardens in order to give the desired plants room to grow, so we must remove weed-thoughts from our minds to prepare room for our budding spiritual assets.