[Philippians 4: 8-9] “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
This is the second session on the ‘Deficiencies of the Body’. You can become more of a perfect child of God when you realize your deficiencies and correct them quickly. Your faith can grow up quickly, and you can go into spirit and whole spirit quickly. In the last session I explained the concept of the ‘deficiencies of the body’. It refers to the state where you lack the basic mental or physical ability, or the state where you have significantly different emotions than other people because you have not gone through the processes that you should have gone through in the steps of seeing, feeling, and acting. In other words, you develop deficiencies of the body because you lack the knowledge you gain from seeing, hearing, and learning, or feelings, experiences, or actual process of doing things. According to the different steps of growth where you develop deficiencies, you might have deficiency in knowledge, in emotions, or in your behaviors and actions. But ‘not going through’ the steps that you have to go through in your growth does not only mean skipping that particular step entirely. You might develop deficiencies when you do not go through those steps normally. As you are raised in abnormal environment, you might plant sins and evil more deeply than other people. When the evil is placed deep inside you, it is difficult to realize your evil. You develop an emotional deficiency so that you do not feel how evil and filthy that evil is. When you listen to the word of God and try to cast off sins, you would need much more effort than others. For example, those who are raised in violent environments where people always fight and scream, they will easily use violence when they get angry. They didn’t learn that we must not use violence. They learned it is natural to use violence if they don’t like something. So, they cannot feel that they have done wrong even after using violence. It is the same for those who are exposed to obscene environments, those who live with liars who always tell lies, or those who are raised in wasteful and extravagant environments. When they hear and see unfavorable things in those environments, their hearts, minds, and actions are smeared with those things without them being aware of it, and thus they think and act accordingly. Even though they are not raised in improper environments, if they commit sins a couple of times, it becomes their habit. They know that certain behaviors are sins because they’ve heard the truth. But they keep on taking fleshly things and commit sins, and to that extent their consciences become increasingly numb. Some people do not acknowledge their fault but create excuses and reasons using their intelligence and reasoning power. If they keep on doing this, they will tell clever lies for their own benefit. But when others point it out, they would say, “When did I lie?” If you keep on grumbling with frustration and if it becomes a habit, you do not even realize that you are doing it. You just think you said something you had to say. That is why I always ask, again and again, you who are longing for holiness to see the truth, hear the truth, and think in truth only. This is also the reason why I ask especially students and young people to cut off the worldly things and take only spiritual things. It will take a lot of time to realize and correct the deficiencies of the body that you have made without knowing the truth. Now you have come to know the truth, so you don’t have to take the worldly things and accept more sins and evil to create more deficiencies of the body. But sometimes it is not the acquired aspects but the innate aspects might play a crucial role in creating deficiencies of the body. I gave you an example of such a person at this past leadership conference. This person has negative thinking because of his innate nature. This negative thinking created the deficiency and he stays at 80th percentile in the third level of faith. She has faith and grace. But she is always sorry that she is not doing better. This feeling is so great in her. Even when she should have shown faith being simple and pure like a child, she couldn’t do that because she was mentally depressed. She remained within her limitations thinking, “How can I possibly ask for something so great? How could I receive such great grace?” This kind of negative thinking can hinder us from having greater faith and going into spirit. But even the deficiency caused by an innate nature can be changed as we realize ourselves and change our thinking and our hearts. We can just rely on the Father like a child and change ourselves to have more active and positive attitudes. Brothers and sisters, in fact, before they go into spirit, we have to say everybody has some deficiencies of the body. We all have some kind of shortcoming if we reflect upon ourselves with the truth. To have formed your present frameworks of self, you have had both some innate natures and the things that are formed by seeing, hearing, and feeling certain things experienced in your growth. But most of these elements that formed your ‘self’ were untruths. If you are raised and taught only by the word of God from birth, you could have filled your ‘self’ with the truth. But this is not common. Most of you formed your ‘self’ which is not proper by the standard of the truth. In your ‘self’, you have some evident sins and evil. You also have your self-righteousness and frameworks, which is difficult to change because you think they are right. There are also deficiencies of the body that cause you to stay away from the matters of the Lord. You have to realize all these things one by one and cast them off so you can become a bride of the Lord without any blemish. But some of the deficiencies of the body are not caused because they don’t know deep spiritual truth. Sometimes they don’t even have common sense and acceptable social behavior. This may involve socially acceptable standards in public such as in dining and normal conversation. Examples include talking loudly allowing saliva to come out of the mouth or talking with food in their mouths while eating. Some people talk loudly in a quiet restaurant and disturb others. Some people park their cars randomly any place just because they are busy. Late at night when people are sleeping, they talk and laugh loudly while walking on the streets or in residential areas. They cut in line in dining halls. Even if you don’t hear about these things in sermons you know that they are inappropriate. It’s not really about faith. It is about the etiquette that we have to keep in everyday life. But even though you say you believe in God and long for holiness, you will easily do these things as long as you do not cast off selfishness. If you cannot seek the benefit of others and cause discomfort to others even at the level of common sense, which even the worldly people keep, how far away are you from being in ‘spirit’? I will explain about these things that you have to have and do to be perfect brides of the Lord. Acceptable standards of behavior of the world and that of the Lord are not completely different. Those who have standards of behavior of the Lord would meet the standards of the world, too. To become spotless as brides of the Lord, you have to check yourself even in these things and adorn yourself. To the extent that you cast away evil from your heart, these low-level deficiencies of the body will naturally be filled up. Also, if you have a stoppage at a later stage of the third level of faith even though you try hard, realizing your deficiencies of the body and casting them off will help you greatly. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, from now, let me give you specific examples of the situations where the deficiencies of the body are formed. Long ago, when the whole family lived together in one house, they learned to give and receive love among the family members. They learned the roles of the parents and those of the children, and they learned to follow the order and serve each other seeing, feeling, and experiencing those things. As they lived with the elders of the family, they naturally learned the everyday etiquette and manners in dining, conversation, and greeting. Also, as the extended family lived all together, they could not just seek their own desire. They naturally learned how to care about other people’s viewpoints and situations and to sacrifice themselves for others. On the contrary, if you do not experience such things in the family, it is easy to develop deficiencies of the body in those things. For example, some are raised in a family where the parents would quarrel a lot. Some others might have been deserted by their own parents. Still others are raised in unfavorable environments or being abused. If they do not experience the love and trust of being raised in stable homes, but experience fear and pain, it is more likely that they will have instability in their personalities and negative thinking.
They find it difficult to trust or share their heart with others. They might find it difficult to have any social life. Those children who see their parents get angry are likely to follow after their parents’ behavior even though they hated their parents getting angry. They impulsively show violent acts being unable to control their emotions. If the deficiency is serious, they come to have cruel hearts. They might abuse animals or commit grave crimes without having any pangs of conscience. When they feel fear and hatred towards their parents rather than love, they also find it difficult to feel the love of God. Even if they hear of the unconditional love of God the Father or the sacrificial love of the Lord, they are not easily moved. They just feel God is a Judge who is fearful and to be feared. Such people, in many cases, cannot have deep friendships sharing love with God, even though they might seem to lead a very faithful Christian life after accepting the Lord. They pray and worship diligently and work faithfully, but they cannot go deeply into spirit. Our life in faith is the path to feel the heart of the Father, live according to His will, and resemble Him to have His heart. But as they lack the ability to feel the love, they cannot feel the heart of God, and that is why their spiritual growth is slow. On the other hand, if you love your children and care for them too much, these children will also have deficiencies of the body. Suppose you buy all the toys and clothes they want, and when they have difficulty doing something, you do the difficult tasks for them. You accept all their ill-mannered behaviors, and you never punish them for their wrongdoings.
Such children will become selfish. They won’t have consideration of others, and they will not be able to yield to or serve others. In their school life or social life, for minor reasons they miss their classes or work. If they have a difficult task, rather than trying to solve it themselves, they just rely on others or give up easily. They just want to do what they are interested in, what they enjoy, and what is easy for them. If they have to control their desires, they find it extremely difficult. Such persons, when they come into faith, find it difficult to practice the truth and continue without changing. In trials, they easily get discouraged, and they cannot control their desires to take flesh. Even if they lead a diligent Christian life casting away evil from their heart, they are not considerate of others, and they cannot accept and embrace others with love and virtuous generosity. Because they only received love and considered only themselves or their family members, the size of their heart is limited. This way, they lack love and generosity, and it hinders them from going into spirit. Brothers and sisters, I explained that you develop deficiencies of the body to the extent that you lack appropriate feelings and deeds necessary at each step. But you cannot justify the fact that you did not go into spirit just because you were not raised in good environments, thinking, “That is why I couldn’t go into spirit.” You must not give up thinking it’s impossible. You have to find the way to make it possible. If you understand the causes of your deficiencies formed by your circumstances, you can more easily realize the causes of different problems, thinking of the processes through which you were made. In doing so, you can overcome them with the power of the Lord and go into spirit. For your information, let me give you some guidelines for parents who are raising their children. It is beneficial not only for your children but also for your sanctification if you check whether you are causing your children to develop deficiencies of the body. Even though you don’t have children, you can apply this to think about how you treat other people. First, when children hit their friends, speak foul language, or do something wrong, what do the parents do? The parents or the teachers must first understand the standpoint and heart of the children as to why they did such things. Then, you have to talk to them like, “You hit him because he made you angry! I can see your frustration, but your friend must be hurting, too. In such a situation, you shouldn’t hit him but talk to him and tell him not to do that, so God can also be pleased with you.” The point is you have to let them realize their fault themselves. But some parents scold and admonish their children with their own anger and frustration. When the children commit minor wrongdoings, there are parents who easily say, “If you do that, you will go to Hell. God will hate you.” To express her anger a mother might turn her face away and wouldn’t talk with the children and ignore them. They treat their children with frustration and temper. But they don’t realize their evilness because they think they are only trying to correct their children’s wrong behavior. They have to let the children feel the love of God and give them the desire and willingness to do better. But instead, if they make them feel a fearful God and God who forsakes them, then the children will end up departing from God. Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” If the parents do not understand their heart but threaten and condemn them, what would the children feel? If they do anything wrong, they would first shrink, and try to hide their fault and give excuses even by telling a lie. They will develop defiant hearts to keep from getting hurt. They don’t learn the ways to understand other’s standpoints but the ways to condemn others. If the parents compare them with children of their neighbors, it means the parents are planting the sense of inferiority and jealousy in their children’s heart. When the children do not meet the parents’ expectations, if the parents say, “I knew you would make this mistake again. That’s what you usually do,” then it means that the parents are planting the feelings of being disheartened. The children become persons who easily give up and get discouraged thinking, “I can do only this much. Even my mom doesn’t trust me and who can?” Also, sometimes, the parents often tell trivial lies to their children. When the children want to follow the parents outside, the parents send the children to get their shoes. Then they just leave the house while the children are gone. Or, they say, “I will buy you some presents if you wait at home and behave yourself.” But later they don’t buy anything for them. They just think the children will easily forget because they are children. But this is certainly a lie, and the children in fact remember those promises very clearly. So, at first they receive great shock from their parents. If the parents often tell lies, the children will also tell lies. They will come to have unstable and rough personalities feeling nervous that the promises that are made will not be kept. On the contrary, if the parents keep their promises, their children will learn integrity and trust, and they can develop patience and self-control. Some parents speak to their children with frustrated faces just because they are tired or busy. When they are in good mood, they are nice to the children. But when they are not in a good mood, they easily get angry and even throw a temper tantrum in front of the children. If the children are raised by that kind of parents, they will feel that they are not loved, and they will not have self-esteem. They will also get angry following their parents. If you parents leave the children on the churchyard while you pray in the sanctuary, it will also cause deficiencies of the body of your children. Since they are young, the parents have to show them the good example of praying and attending worship service. They have to teach them to respect the sanctuary of God. If you just leave the children in the churchyard, they will run here and there and even fight with each other. So, although they spend a lot of time around the church, they don’t learn to cherish the sanctuary or the importance of worship service and prayers. They don’t know how to lead a proper life in faith even after they grow up. In a serious case, they even commit sins in the church. Even though the Sunday school teachers teach them the truth, if the parents do not pay attention to them or raise them with truth, it is of no use. A saying goes the children are the mirror of the parents. If you can’t understand why your children are like they are, in most cases, you are the cause. If you pray about how to change yourself so that you can raise your children in truth, you will have the answer.
Now, listening to this message, I hope the students will not think like, “Oh, this message is really my case. I had to have deficiencies because of my parents and my circumstances.” It doesn’t mean you will definitely have deficiencies of the body if you have unfavorable circumstances. The result can be very different according to your heart and your effort. Also, being raised in a good environment doesn’t ensure that children will have no deficiencies. There are also many people who grew up in undesirable circumstances but became great people. It’s because they fill up their shortcomings with positive thinking, good heartedness, and unceasing effort even in unfavorable situations. For example, suppose your father easily loses his temper after getting drunk. Then, if you think like, “I hate having been born in this family. It’s so hard. I don’t want to live here,” is this the right way of thinking? Or, wouldn’t it be right if you think like, “My father doesn’t actually want to do that. He is going through such a hard time. I will treat him more nicely”? You have the love of God and word of the truth that shows you the right way. You can just hold on to the word of God and choose the good way in any situation. Then, you will not form a deficiency of the body but rather you can enlarge your heart through those undesirable circumstances. It’s just that, if you have not experienced something normally due to that kind of environment, you can realize that part and fill it with the truth. Then, you can just give thanks to the Father God for giving you grace and strength for you to realize and change yourself.