The Words of the Stephens Family
The first thing I want to say about indemnity is that it does not equate to suffering. This thought comes to the minds of many brothers and sisters when they think of indemnity. Indemnity does not equal suffering.
Another thing that indemnity is not is "punishment" God is not really a "hellfire and brimstone" God. He does not have a desire to punish His children. Satan wants you to believe God is punitive so that you will think you won't ever be able to go back to Him.
What would you do if you were shown the door to a room and were told that in that room was God Almighty and He was waiting to see you? Many of you would be scared to death to go in that room, wouldn't you? You would probably think, "Now I'm really going to get it"
From the Principle you should realize that Heavenly Father is not like that. You should not be afraid of Him. He's your father. He wants to help you. So why are you afraid? Satan has made you afraid of God. You have inherited Satan's fear since the fall.
The parent/child relationship is very different from the master/servant relationship. Think about it. If the servant does something wrong, the master will punish him in some way. Or in the case of something really bad, the master will kick the servant out altogether. Now think about the parent/child relationship. If the child does something wrong, the parent is not going to kick the child out. The parent is going to try to restore the original relationship and bring out the original good nature of the child. The parent, in his heart, takes full responsibility for the mistakes of the child because the parent raised the child. Since the parent is the cause and the child is the result, the parent automatically has to take responsibility.
If your child does something wrong, what do you want to see happen? You want to get back to the original relationship before the bad action occurred. But you can't just ignore the bad action. You can't let it continue to happen either. Something's got to change.
First, you would want your child to realize that he did something wrong. Next, you would want him to apologize for the mistake he made and then change his behavior. If he demonstrates thoroughly that he understands what he did wrong and then acts in a good way from then on, your trust and faith in the child will be reestablished.
You would not want just a shallow apology from your child and then see him repeat the same mistake or in some way show that he doesn't sincerely care or understand what he is doing.
As long as the child is making progress in his understanding of what is right and in the sincerity of his heart, you can be satisfied with his growth. In other words, you can forgive immaturity as long as it is growing into maturity. You can also forgive ignorance or even wrong actions as long as you can see that he is sincere and that his motivation is to do the right thing.
If that's what you would do for your own children, wouldn't you expect God to have even greater love for you? God's understanding of your ancestors and of the spiritual forces acting on you is complete, whereas yours is not. God can understand why you do what you do better than anyone else. He also knows the amount of effort you are making compared to your level of capability at each stage of your growth.
God knows that He's putting a lot of pressure on you to do bigger things than anyone in history has ever been able to do. He wants you -- one person at the culmination of thousands of generations of fallen humanity -- to be able to rise above all historical sins in only one generation, your own lifetime. It's not easy to restore all of history in one generation! God knows that. He knows it better than you!
So the real key to God and the secret to paying indemnity is your sincerity. If you have pure motivation and you sincerely want to know the truth and do the right thing, you never have to be afraid of God. He will always want to embrace you and help you to understand the truth and do the right thing. All things were made to grow to perfection over a certain time period. Every one of your skills was developed with a lot of practice and many mistakes on your part over a long time. Heavenly Father knows this very well. He created it that way. He is aware that you are going to make many, many mistakes.
"If you make a mistake, you are going to have to pay indemnity:" You hear this a lot in the church. It is a threat of punishment to scare you into doing something. There is actually truth in this statement, but the understanding of "indemnity" as something to be feared comes from Satan, not from God. If you think of indemnity as punishment, then every time you make a mistake you will feel that still more punishment will be added on to your total. After a while it may seem futile to you to do anything, because however hard you try, you are bound to make mistakes. You finally conclude that each mistake you make adds more punishment to your pile of indemnity, which must already be a mountain, so the smartest thing to do is to just do nothing. "Then at least my punishment won't get any greater;' you say. Satan likes you to think in this way.
But indemnity is not like this. Indemnity is actually a gift from God. Indemnity is grace from God. You can even think that indemnity equals love from God. God is the source of love, not torture; therefore, indemnity must be an expression of God's love. When you experience indemnity, you should at the same time (or as a result of indemnity) experience God's love. If all you experience is personal suffering, you are not "paying indemnity:' If you experience that your suffering is for God, then the result will be that you will grow closer to God and feel more of His love.
The purpose of indemnity is restoration. Restoration of what? Restoration of your relationship with God. Therefore, if true indemnity has been paid, the net result will be that you feel closer to God. If you feel farther away from God's love, then indemnity has not been paid. In fact, Satan has gotten the victory.
It is Satan's will to separate you from God. Remember: If you feel closer to God, indemnity has been paid; if you feel farther away from God, indemnity has not been paid.
Many times a person will get a physical injury and others will say, "You're paying indemnity." But please don't think that physical suffering is indemnity. It might be, but then again it might not be. Heartistic indemnity is spiritual only. Unless you gain some spiritual benefit as a result of the physical suffering, no indemnity has been paid. A small amount of heartistic indemnity can be far, far superior to a great amount of physical suffering. It is all decided by how much closer you are to God as a result.
Let me also clear up some of the confusion about "lesser, equal, and greater" indemnity. Lesser indemnity is always the case in the Unification Church. You never have to pay the full amount. Because of the foundation of the total sacrifice of Jesus and True Parents, our indemnity is always a lesser amount. You never even have to pay equal indemnity. That is an Old Testament concept from back before Jesus came and back before anyone knew anything about the parental heart of God.
Greater indemnity will never have to be paid as long as you maintain a sincere heart. When Abraham had to sacrifice his son Isaac, he was not paying greater indemnity. Sure, it was greater than the sacrifice of the animals, but it was not greater than all of his past sins and the sins of all his ancestors, which he was paying for. Through it all, Abraham was sincere in wanting to do God's will, so he was actually paying lesser indemnity. He did not have to kill his son in the end. He only had to offer him, which in itself was tremendous heartistic indemnity.
Greater indemnity only applies if a person remains insincere and unrepentant. Greater indemnity should be thought of like this: If someone hurts you or wrongs you, then you cannot feel love for him. As long as he remains insincere or unrepentant, you cannot love him. You may be able to love him only if you see him suffering. If you see that he is suffering more than he has made you suffer, then you have a condition to forgive him and begin loving him. This is an example in which that person has paid "greater indemnity." Your heart wants to love him now because he has suffered. You are just waiting for him to turn to you to seek a relationship again.
If a person has hurt you, your heart will become closed. But as soon as a person expresses sincere repentance, your heart automatically wants to open up to him. It could be a long time before you see a person's sincerity, but when you finally see it, your heart begins to open. At such a point, "lesser indemnity" is operating. The relationship is in the process of being restored, and neither party wants to needlessly delay the reunion.
Heavenly Father is always seeking a reunion with you. As soon as He sees your sincerity and repentance, He will rush toward you. He will then give you some physical act to do to symbolically restore the physical wrongs that have been committed. The act can be relatively simple, but it represents all your sincere desire to restore the past. The simple physical act is the key, but the tremendous benefit is entirely spiritual. A small physical act can represent an incredible spiritual breakthrough on your part.
Therefore, physical acts of indemnity that you perform are almost insignificant compared to the spiritual and heartistic realities of what they represent. Once our hearts have made certain conditions, then the grace of God brings about tremendous restoration.
This misconception that greater indemnity equals greater punishment has been hung over a lot of members' heads by Satan, causing many of them intense spiritual anguish and even causing some of them to leave the church. They lost all hope of being able to climb out of the big hole they were digging for themselves and their descendants every day.
It is important for everyone to think about indemnity and the other concepts in the Principle in terms of how they express God's love for man. God has no other motivation but love. If for any reason you cannot understand or feel God's love behind every concept and aspect of the Principle, then please realize that your understanding is not yet big enough. Pray to better understand God's point of view and how God's love is being expressed through everything He does.
Thank you for reading all of this. It's a long comment, but Satan is really trying to confuse our members; therefore, deeply understanding the true meaning of indemnity is extremely important.
Heung Jin Nim