[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 ninth session on the deficiencies of the body.
A 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.
Not to go through the necessary process in growth and maturation does not only mean skipping the necessary step.
You might develop a deficiency because you do not pass a particular step normally.
There are many kinds of deficiencies including a deficiency in knowledge, in emotions, or in the ability to act.
There are deficiencies in generally accepted manners, empathizing with other people’s feelings, discernment between good and evil, the will power and self-control to practice the truth, and inability to carry out one’s determinations.
We can go into spirit and whole spirit quickly only when we cast off all these things one by one.
Up until this point I have explained about how the deficiencies of the body are formed and I’ve given you many examples.
We have looked into the manners and etiquette in dining and conversation; one’s attitudes and behaviors; dress code; not being prepared; inability to keep things in mind and breaking promises; not understanding other people’s standpoints; and being unable to broaden one’s heart.
I believe many of these things apply to you, too.
If you have kept the messages in mind and tried to change yourselves, you should have experienced a great deal of change.
But if you thought like, “Oh, it’s not a big deal,” and did not take the lectures seriously, then you would still be living with many of those deficiencies of the body.
He who is faithful to something little would be faithful to something big, and he who is unrighteous in something little would be unrighteous in something big, too.
I urge you not to consider the messages you hear lightly but keep them in mind and change yourselves completely.
I pray in the name of the Lord that, in doing so, you will be lovely and confident as the brides of the Lord.
Continuing from the last session, let us keep looking into the deficiencies in knowledge.
When you fulfill your duty in the Lord, you can fill up your deficiencies if you try to diligently see, hear, and learn things that are necessary.
I gave you the following example in the leadership conference last year.
Suppose there is a person who is making some props for a church event and within her limitations of knowledge and experience she makes combinations of the most beautiful colors.
But a person with more knowledge and experience can make better combinations of even more beautiful colors.
And if this first church worker thinks that her ideas that came from within her limited knowledge are best, it is a deficiency.
She should ask for other people’s opinions with an open mind, and she has to continue to see, hear, and learn more things.
Let me give you another illustration. Suppose there is a house wife who has been doing housekeeping for a long time. But she can still learn many things from other housewives.
When she serves a glass of soda, she could just serve it in a general-use cup or she could use a pretty glass with a flower decoration together with a saucer to serve it.
If she can remember what she has seen in other households, in restaurants, or magazines and apply them in her life, it would be very useful.
You might have a deficiency if you have never seen or heard anything about what kinds of dishes you have to use for certain kinds of food.
For example, suppose you are serving coffee for your guests, and you put sugar in a big luxurious bowl.
You do that in consideration of the guests.
It is also because you have multiple guests and it is to accommodate those who tend to use a lot of sugar so they do not have to ask for more sugar.
But even though you are considering the guests and the bowl is luxurious, it is odd to serve sugar in such a big bowl.
You should use an appropriate bowl for sugar. Or, you can serve an amount of sugar for each guest and prepare some extra. You should find appropriate ways to serve them.
In order to do this, you need to make the effort to learn more things.
Even for small things, you should continually learn from others as to how they speak, walk, and behave, and how they dress and how they interact with others.
But I am not saying that you have to make a framework of thinking that you must do certain things in a certain way only.
Moreover, you must never look down on others thinking that they are ill-mannered when others are not behaving in a way that you consider appropriate.
I am just saying you should know at least the basics about the generally-accepted behaviors and what is more beautiful according to the occasion and place.
If you know various things, you can adjust yourself according to the purpose, but if you are lacking in knowledge, it will cause embarrassment.
Next, giving up easily and getting discouraged sometimes comes from deficiencies of the body.
If you have an innately negative and passive attitude, and if you should encounter hardship, your first thought is to just give up.
You could consider the ways to overcome and think that you can do it by the power of the Lord. But, instead, you just give up thinking, “How can I overcome this situation? I can’t handle this.”
You do something, but it doesn’t go well, so you give up and do something else. If again this does not go well either, you abandon it too and go on to start something else again.
As you keep on repeating this cycle, you pile up negative thoughts that you cannot do anything well.
Brothers and sisters, if you are lacking in willpower, patience, self-control, and concentration, you have to work to develop and strengthen these abilities before you can go into spirit.
As I explained in the last session, without proper training in your childhood, you could be lacking in determination and patience to achieve your goal.
Even in the case of the unbelievers, they fail to quit drinking or smoking or in their diets because they lack such strength in their determination.
They make up their mind to diet, but they can’t stop themselves when they see certain food they like.
They determine today to study hard, but they want to watch movies and play video games more, so they cannot focus on study.
They think they will begin again tomorrow, but when the next day comes, they postpone it again.
Even in this world people say positive thinking, self-control, determination, and concentration are important factors for a successful life.