[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 third session on the deficiencies of the body.
You can become a more of a perfect child of God when you realize your deficiencies and correct them promptly.
Then your faith can grow up quickly, and you can go into spirit and whole spirit more quickly.
Deficiency of the body 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.
We can go into spirit and whole spirit quickly when we find them one by one and cast them away.
Today, I will give you some specific examples of the situations that develop into deficiencies of body.
If you are raised in warm family with proper education, you can learn the social skills and the ways to share love with each other.
But for those children who have not felt love at home or have not received a proper education, it is likely that they will develop deficiencies.
They might have a hard time establishing friendships with others and sharing love with others.
In their life in faith, they cannot really feel the love of God the Father, so their spiritual growth is slow because they cannot understand God’s heart.
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, or 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 for 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, you can think through the processes through which they 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 out of 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 have turned her face away and wouldn’t talk with the children and ignored them.
They treat their children with frustration and bad tempers. 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 that God is 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.