The Words of In Jin Moon from 2010

What Is The Importance Of Filial Piety

In Jin Moon
July 11, 2010
Lovin' Life Ministries

How is everyone this morning? I just came back from Korea. I'm sure all of you have heard that our True Parents had a wonderful ceremony proclaiming the substantiation of True Parents of Heaven and Earth and Humankind. It was an opportunity for 13,000 brothers and sisters to come together in Chung Pyung to celebrate the centrality of our True Parents in our lives and in our movement.

I was delighted to see that our True Father and our True Mother were in great spirits. Usually whenever we have events in Korea, the scheduling is quite rigorous. Father and Mother are so busy carrying out their official duties from very early morning to very late in the evening. Sometimes there are just so many things going on and so much pressure that our True Parents are not in the best of moods. But this time our True Father and True Mother were in such high spirits.

Of course, as is the tradition of our True Father, he read his prepared speech, but when he looked out into the audience he could not help but break into a smile as he saw his beloved children gathered there. My father always gets so excited to see so many familiar faces that he has educated and loved and that he has supported over the years. Out of his excitement and desire to say so much in a very short amount of time, our True Father loves to digress a bit, to expound the sentence that he just shared with the audience. Father spoke about two hours, but he was so happy that in the middle of his speech he actually said, "You know, I'm not feeling too bad today." Then he went on to finish his speech.

Here I am, looking at this man that I call my father, but he is also your father. He is our True Father. Even though he is 90-plus years of age, his spark of life, his desire to love, and his commitment to his God, to our God, our Heavenly Parent, never wavers. It never seems to lessen with the passing of years. In fact, it seems to be getting stronger and stronger.

When I gaze upon our True Father, I cannot help but be moved. As he shares with us the Divine Principle and the wisdom of his life, we come to understand the heart of God, who we are as eternal sons and daughters and what we need to do to fulfill our destiny. If you really think about it, our true destiny is to attain oneness of spirit with our Heavenly Parent and our True Parents.

As I sat listening to True Father, a lot of things went through my mind. Remembering the motto that Father shared with us for this special year of the white tiger, when many great things can be accomplished if we can just unite together with our True Parents, I was meditating on this theme of oneness. When I think about different topics, I seem to approach them with the heart of a mother. In my attempt to understand and apply this concept of oneness in my life, I like to think about how I would explain to my children how to go about creating oneness. In that way I can remind myself in simple sound bites what I need to do for that day, week, or month, to continue on our path, on the road of self-discovery that leads ultimately to the goal of truly being one with our Heavenly Parent and our True Parents.

When I was thinking about this, our Father said in his speech that had it not been for the Fall of humankind, Adam and Eve would have substantiated absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience in their lives, and thereby attained perfection. Of course when we say the word "perfection," it doesn't mean there's robotic perfection in that they would never sneeze or cough or make a mistake in saying a simple sentence to each other. What we're talking about is a perfection of spirit.

Contemplating these three words -- faith, love and obedience, absolute love, absolute faith, and absolute obedience -- Father's idea and stressing the importance of Korea came to mind. Our community is so beautiful in that not only do we have Eastern philosophies surrounding our lives, but we also have Western understanding and philosophy flowering in our lives as well. In our movement we truly have the marriage of the East and West.

As a representative of this providential country of America where we enjoy the concept of freedom and independence, I was contemplating the beauty of the Eastern culture in its emphasis on the spirit of filial piety, fidelity, and loyalty. In his speech Father gave examples of filial piety in the story of Shim Cheong, the daughter of a blind man, who sacrifices herself to save her father. Through her sacrificial act, she inspires the heavens and the king to restore her blind father's sight.

We also know a story in Korea, of Choon Hyang, who has become the symbol of fidelity in marriage. Choon Hyang, the daughter of a courtesan, is so beautiful that many suitors fall in love with her, but one in particular wins her heart and they secretly are betrothed to each other. Before they can be married, her suitor needs to go off to become a great person in the government, which in the old days meant you had to prepare for a national exam. So they do not see each other for a couple of years. In the middle of her waiting, the government in her district changes, and the new governor fancies her and pursues her. Although she is engaged to her love, she doesn't know when he might come back. The governor finally throws her in prison because she would not acquiesce to his advances, but she remains steadfast. In Korean culture, she is the symbol of fidelity in marriage.

My father goes on to share about Admiral Yi Soon-Shin, who is the symbol of a loyal servant of the country. He is a very famous admiral who won numerous victories for the country of Korea. Despite the difficulties he had to endure when his countrymen and the king he served turned against him, he still did his best and carried out his duty and won great victories for Korea.

Father shared in his speech and in his proclamation the spirit of filial piety and fidelity and loyalty through these three examples. As I was contemplating the importance of oneness, the importance of filial piety struck me very poignantly. I realized that when we are working toward becoming one with our Heavenly Parent or our True Parents, the words "filial piety" become incredibly important.

The words "filial piety" come from the Latin "filius," meaning son or "filia," meaning daughter. "Pietas" means "duty to God," so "filial piety" means basically duty to God, but we understand filial piety as love or devotion or loyalty to a parent. I think when we are teenagers that word is anathema to most of us because we want to express our independence, our freedom. We want to do whatever we want.

I'm sure many Second Generation are wondering what the importance of filial piety is. Well, if you really think about it, filial piety is especially important because learning how to be a filial son and daughter prepares us for the kind of life that we want to have. We want to have beautiful marriages, to have a wonderful family. But you cannot go about knowing how to have fidelity in marriage, or how to be a loyal servant of God, your family, or your country, if you don't understand the meaning of filial piety.

When you truly start contemplating this word, you realize that in order to live a life of filial piety, you need to exercise three things. Number one, you need to exercise absolute faith. To be a filial son and daughter, we must exercise absolute faith in our parents. When we talk about absolute faith in our parents, we're talking about trusting our parents. We're giving in to higher authority because we know that they mean well.

One of the most fearful things about trusting anybody in life is the fear of being vulnerable, and of somebody taking advantage of your vulnerability. But we must learn how to be vulnerable before our parents. We must learn how to trust them absolutely and completely. We also must learn to exercise this faith by living day to day with our father and mother, and practicing and applying the very faith that we want to carry out in our lives.

Maybe a lot of young people in the audience would say, "Why should we trust our parents? Why should we exercise absolute faith? Why should we exercise something that will help us, so we're told, to build great character? Maybe I want to do something more fun." Let's just say there's a boy in the audience who loves automobiles and dreams about becoming a great designer of fancy cars. Maybe he hopes to one day design the new model Ferrari or Lamborghini. Maybe he loves all sorts of cars; he even dreams about cars and the different colors he would paint them. This boy would be asking, "Why do I have to be a filial son? Why do I have to practice absolute faith? How is that going to help me become a great car designer?"

Let's think how we apply absolute faith in our lives. If we absolutely trust and are absolutely faithful that we will do well in our father and mother's hands, what we are doing is practicing living for the sake of others. When we give of ourselves to our parents, what we are training ourselves to do is to think of the other before "me." "Let me think about my father and my mother. Before I pour myself a tall glass of milk in the morning, let me think about my father and mother and maybe brew them some coffee."

It teaches us to be mindful of others, to be mindful of our conduct. When we absolutely trust our parents, practicing living for the sake of others because we're always conscious of the other in our lives, what it teaches us to do is to anticipate the needs of others. By thinking about others, by thinking of how can I love my father and mother, you are one step ahead in anticipating their needs. Perhaps you might open the door before your mother crosses the threshold of the kitchen or dining room. Before your father asks, "Could you please get my jacket? I'm going off to work," you're anticipating the needs of your father, going to the closet and grabbing that jacket for him.

When you are mindful of your parents, thinking about them, putting yourself in their care, and wanting to be grateful for that situation, what you are doing is being mindful of your parents' time. By anticipating their needs, being mindful of what they might need or want you to do, you're training yourself to execute your duties in the family in an efficient way because you are mindful of their time and of your time.

The boy with the dream of becoming a car designer might ask, "Living for the sake of others by truly giving of myself -- by trusting and having absolute faith in my parents, by practicing being mindful of others, by anticipating the needs of others, and by executing my duties efficiently -- how is that going to help me become a great car designer?" Anybody who loves cars knows that one of the most important things as technology progresses is the science of ergonomics. Applied to automobiles, ergonomics studies how you can make a person comfortable and safe in that vehicle.

If this boy, who has been dreaming of becoming a fantastic car designer, was only thinking about designing cars and did not practice having absolute faith in his parents, and living for the sake of others by being mindful of his conduct, anticipating the needs of others, and executing his duties efficiently -- sooner or later when he came to the science of ergonomics he might be at a loss. Had he been practicing this all along while pursuing his passion, he would realize, "If I am to be a fantastic designer, I have to be mindful of my future clients. I have to anticipate the needs of my clients, the passengers in the car. I have to be mindful to execute my duties as a designer in the most efficient manner so that this incredible machine under the control of my future passenger will be an enjoyable ride."

When our True Parents emphasize filial piety, and we understand filial piety to mean exercising absolute faith, absolute love, absolute obedience, they're not asking us to do something that turns the child into a slave. If you really think about it, what the parent and our God up in heaven are asking us to do is to practice being the very thing that is required for you to achieve your passions.

If we look at the next step in living a life of filial piety, we come to the concept of absolute love. I think the word "absolute" scares a lot of people. "That means never changing. Eternal. Unique." But isn't that what true love is all about? During workshops I attended many years ago Rev. Sudo would almost scream out, "Tu-rue rub. Tu-rue rub." Basically he was saying the most important thing was true love. Of course we were naughty teenagers so we were laughing. Here he was trying to tell us the importance of truly loving another person, but audibly it came to our ears as "tu-rue rub." We used to laugh about that, but when I became a mother, I realized that it's really nothing to laugh about. In the context of a family, that's exactly what we're doing.

A young person watching a Hollywood movie with a beautiful heroine and her love interest is likely to want them to be together, to live forever in eternal bliss -- that's the dream a lot of young people have. That's certainly the dream that I had. The romance is beautiful; it's big, grand, and majestic. It's overpowering. It sweeps you off your feet. That's what a young person's understanding of absolute love is.

That's all exciting, and as a mother I want that for my children. I think a lot of parents in the audience also want that for their children. But more than the great passions that can surge like a tsunami and disappear in a matter of days, what we want as parents for our children is true love -- eternal, unchanging, and unique love -- that we as individuals have an opportunity to enjoy in our lives.

When I talk to my children about the kind of life they would like to have, possibly the kind of marriage they would like to have, possibly the kind of person they would like to be matched to, the concept of love comes up quite a bit. Many times we're thinking, "I'm a hot-blooded teenager. There are a lot of women or men out there. Do I really want to eternally love somebody?" For teenagers, eternity sounds like a really long time. I think for a lot of young people the concept of eternally living with someone is a really scary concept.

If we really want a beautiful relationship in life, however, in which we experience true love -- that unchanging and eternal love -- then we need to realize that our True Father has been asking us to work on eternal relationships when he asks us to be filial sons and daughters. The thing about a family is that you're born into the family, and regardless of what happens, you are eternally part of that family. No matter where you are in life or what you do, you're eternally part of that family.

We've heard about a wonderful, forever, happily-ever-after fairy tale ending, but we never know what happens after the fairy tale book closes. In our lives we human beings still desire this concept of living happily ever after. At the same time in the confines of our social communities, for a teenager in the context of a particular school or clique, there is a lot of pressure to go on dates, to move from one person to another. This concept of eternity is broken almost right away.

I told my kids, "Maybe it's not a good idea to date because if you really think about it, what you are doing is hoping for this eternal blissful marriage, but the only preparation that people are doing in the world is dating one person, breaking up, then dating someone else, breaking up with that person, dating and breaking up with another person." We cannot be ready for a beautiful marriage, for being beautiful parents if we have not practiced working on eternal relationships. This world has created clusters of young people who are serial daters. Young people have been trained by the world to practice divorce. You meet somebody, then break up. Meet and break up. Then how are you going to know how to be an eternal partner to somebody if you haven't practiced eternal relationships?

That's why Father says that the family is the textbook for life. You cannot have a beautiful marriage without having worked out in the family the eternal relationships with your parents and your brothers and sisters. By "tu-rubbing" all these people in our families, we are prepared for the next stage of our life, which is learning how to live eternally with another person.

Even though we might be puzzled as to why we should be a filial son or daughter loving our father and mother when we want to love ourselves during our teenage years, it's really because our parents want to help us accomplish our dreams. They want to help us live happily ever after. By emphasizing these simple concepts of absolute faith and absolute love, that is exactly what our parents are asking us to do.

At the third step of applying filial piety in our lives, we come to absolute obedience. Of these three concepts -- absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience -- probably obedience is the one word that young people want to rebel against the most. Young people hearing the word "obedience" envision being a robot. But what God and our True Parents are asking us to do is in preparation for all the things we want in the future. One of the most important things that marriage counselors know professionally is that they have to help their clients with the concept of listening often as the first step in helping a couple improve their relationship.

If we really are living and practicing absolute love by trusting our parents, if we are exercising and applying absolute love by delighting in our parents, and if we are truly being obedient sons and daughters, what we're actually saying is we're being a son or daughter that has the ability to listen to our parents.

When we learn how to listen to our parents and we practice this in the context of our family, it's a preparation for our married life. It prepares us to listen to our spouse with our heart. I have realized the importance of listening through many different moments in my life. Growing up, probably one of the most difficult situations I've had to learn to deal with was learning how to live with my younger sister [Un Jin Moon]. I love her to death, but when you grow up being made to wear the same clothing, like a uniform, and same hairstyle, living in the same room, you really have a tough time because you want to find your own identity, and you don't want to deal with another person always there with you in the room.

My mother said to me over and over again, "You really just need to be patient and listen to your mother when I ask you to try a little bit better with your sister." When she would say that to me, sometimes as an older sister I'd look at my younger sister and tell her, "You need to listen to me." Of course she did not like that. I was almost like the surrogate mother, having to ask her to do things that my parents asked me to ask the younger sister to do. Yet, the younger sister didn't want to do anything and did not want to listen.

Here we were at a young age, working on the importance of listening. During this age we all have a couple of bands that we just lock onto. During this time when I was working with my younger sister on the importance of listening to each other, her favorite band was "INXS." She would crank it up really, really loud. She said, "You want to listen? Okay, you listen to something." She would really crank it up. She particularly liked one song about a platinum blond, "Suicide Blonde." Basically it talks about the color of the hair, but she wasn't really listening to the words. She was just vibe-ing on the music. She didn't quite know the lyrics, but she knew it had to do with platinum hair. But when it got to the chorus she thought what "INXS" was singing was "You want to make it, super salad bar." When in actuality the real lyrics were, "You want to make her, suicide blonde."

Whenever this song came on, she'd be screaming out into the area, "You want to make it, super salad bar." Then she would groove on it, "Super salad bar, super salad bar," going on and on like that. I said to myself, "Why would 'INXS' be singing about a super salad bar?" I researched a little bit and realized she had the lyrics wrong. She got the platinum blonde part right, but she wasn't really listening carefully so she thought the guy was singing about coming before an incredible salad bar where you want to make that grand platter of all different assortments. She thought he was singing about a super salad bar set to this really groovy, funky music.

While she was grooving, "Super salad bar, super salad bar," I said to her, "Before you go outside and start grooving "super salad bar," you might want to know that what he's actually saying is 'Suicide blonde'." At first she was terribly upset with me because she thought I was raining on her parade. But when she finally researched a little bit and listened to it carefully, she realized, oh, it's not "super salad bar" after all. I reminded her, "See, the importance of listening."

I was no different from my younger sister. I had my moments where I did not want to listen. It's interesting how this super salad bar thing is coming at me again now because music has a way of recycling itself. What was popular in the '80s is really coming back, and now my children are enjoying "INXS."

The funniest thing was my youngest son listening to "INXS," and when he got to that song, he thought the guy was singing about super salad bar too. I said to myself, "Yes, Heavenly Father, I should not be too hard on my sister." Maybe he's trying to poke at me, saying, "See? You had a hard time with your sister, but now your son also thinks it's super salad bar too" -- Again, the importance of listening.

Anybody who has gone through life up to their 40s or 50s, may agree that one of the things we don't want to see is pictures of us when we're teenagers. I remember going through my teenage phase when a lot of vinyl and plastic was very popular. The punk scene came and funky kind of clothing was de rigueur. When my sister and I would borrow clothes from our friends and try different things, Mother would look at us with a puzzling look, always stressing the importance of simple elegance. Back then those two words had no space in my life. Of course she was saying, "Classic clothes, classic lines, simple things stand the test of time." When we're teenagers, we don't want to listen to that. We want what's hip. We want what's current. We want something cool. If our hair is supposed to be spiked out to here, that's how it's going to be. If it calls for a certain kind of jewelry, that's how it's going to be.

The wonderful thing about my mother is she never really told us we couldn't wear those things. She just simply looked at us with one of these silent looks and said, "Simple elegance." The wonderful thing is, she never really tried to control or come into our room and tear the clothes off our back. She very much wanted us to think it through. She very much wanted us to come to a state of being mindful of how we looked, of the kind of clothing we were choosing for ourselves or the kind of music that we were listening to.

Now when I look back on some of my pictures, I hear my mother's voice, "Simple elegance," again reinforcing the importance of listening and the importance of obeying. If you understand the importance of obeying as the importance of listening, then you realize what our Heavenly Parent and our True Parents are asking us to do is really to prepare for a wonderful relationship. What they want is for us to build ideal families.

A friend of mine once said, "You know, Tatiana, it's kind of depressing when you think about life, because the minute you're born is supposed to be a celebration of birth and a new life, but clinically and scientifically we have basically started the clock on dying. The minute we are born, we're dying. We're moving toward a time when we will die and be born into another realm of existence." My friend was saying, "You know, it's kind of depressing if you really think about it."

We come into this world naked and we leave this world naked. Our True Father has said we basically have a span of 100 years in which we can leave something beautiful behind. Why is the teaching of the Divine Principle so beautiful? Because our end goal is achieving oneness with our Heavenly Parent. When you become one with somebody, you understand that person's joy and suffering. You understand both the excitement and jubilation and the trials and tribulations the other person has gone through.

Our Heavenly Parent, in wanting us to be one with him and her, gave us this opportunity to create ideal families, to become parents ourselves loving our own children, and in so doing to understand how much our Heavenly Parent truly loves us.

When we have our own children, it's not all pure bliss, right? There are tears. There's pain, and suffering as well as love, caring, and passion. There are all these things that make us human and help us understand how much our God in heaven truly loves us. When our True Parents are saying to exercise filial piety first and foremost, it's because that is the first step in creating this beautiful banner called One Family under God.

Filial piety is the first step because you have to practice absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience in the context of your family before you can move on through the threshold or the portal of a holy blessing and begin your life as a wonderful couple and start building your family. Heavenly Father is encouraging us to prepare ourselves for a beautiful and fulfilling relationship by starting with ourselves.

Everything we desire and everything we could possibly want in our lives if we really think about it, he has already given. Especially, some of the Second and Third Generation are coming to understand how incredibly precious it is to be a blessed child. Some of these, however, have begun to explode, maybe in too much pride and arrogance, thinking that because they're chosen or prepared, they're better than anybody else. If we really practice absolute obedience and listening to our parents, however, what we are practicing is how to be a humble servant -- before our parents, before this eternal partner we have the opportunity to love, and before God.

If you really think about it, anyone who wants to profess and proclaim and live to accomplish one family under God cannot profess or proclaim or carry the banner of one family under God without going the course of being a filial son or daughter. The right or privilege to work toward this concept of one family under God starts by practicing absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience to our parents first. For those of us in the movement, that means practicing absolute faith and love and obedience to our True Parents.

If we cannot practice these things as a filial son or daughter desiring to become one with our Heavenly Parent, or if we are not listening to our parents, not loving or "tu-rue rubbing" with them, we cannot stand before the world and proclaim one family under God . When we have not trusted our parents, by exercising our faith in them and humbling ourselves as servants of God, saying, "Parents, maybe you know better; maybe you can see things better," we have no foundation for championing one family under God.

In this year when our True Parents have emphasized the motto of not being confused and being absolutely one with them, that's what we must do, brothers and sisters. It is not a time to be saying that my parents are misunderstanding me, or that my parents are misconstruing what I'm doing. It's not a time to say that I'm being misperceived. It's the time to be a loyal son and daughter of God. We have a duty to God. We have a duty to our movement. We have a duty to our True Parents, and that duty means living a life of absolute faith, absolute love, and absolute obedience -- meaning, as the Bible says in Psalm 37:3-5, "Trust in the Lord."

Basically what Father is saying, "Have absolute faith in the Lord, or your parents." The Bible says, "Delight in the law." [Romans 7:22] What our True Father is saying is, "Practice absolutely loving your parents because if you do, you're going to realize how grateful you should be. And when you realize how grateful you should be, you should think of nothing else other than delighting every second of the day with our True Parents."

And when the Bible tells us in Psalm 37, "Commit yourself to the Lord," what our True Father is saying is, "Practice being absolutely obedient to our Heavenly Parent." For us that means absolutely uniting and listening and being one with our True Parents' desires and wishes, because they want the best for every one of us, knowing that we are divine, eternal sons and daughters. They want to help us, and they're hoping we can help them create this One Family under God.

Even though the times may be difficult, even though there might be moments when all we see are shadows on the road to Zion, as the band sang earlier, do not be discouraged because if you see a shadow you know that where there is a shadow, there is light. We might only see the shadow of the situation, but we must not forget our eternal Heavenly Parent. And more important than that, truly a gift for us, is we have our True Parents, the light for the world, together with us, shining on the way.

If we can be dutifully paving the way by working on these three steps to becoming filial sons and daughters each and every day, then, as Lotus Sutra says in number five, we will attain the fruit of the way. What do we desire more than anything? We want beautiful children. We want our fruits to be delicious. We want them to be succulent, to be beautiful inside and out.

Starting with this concept of piety and applying it in our lives let's remind ourselves that the road to piety involves three simple steps. Let's practice applying absolute faith and trusting absolutely in the Lord, practice loving absolutely and learning how to be grateful and delight in the Lord, and practice obeying our True Parents absolutely and committing ourselves to a meaningful life. Brothers and sisters, this is the time of the breaking news. This is the time of our True Parents. We have a lot of work to do, but we need to know we're incredibly blessed. It's an honor for us to exercise our right and privilege to be that dutiful son and daughter.

Have a wonderful Sunday and a wonderful week. Thank you.


INXS "Suicide Blonde"

Suicide blonde, suicide blonde
Suicide blonde, suicide blonde
Suicide blonde was the color of her hair
Like a cheap distraction
For a new affair
She knew it would finish
Before it began
Something tells me you lost the plan

You want to make her
Suicide Blonde
Love devastation
Suicide Blonde

You want to make her
Suicide Blonde
Love devastation
Suicide Blonde

She stripped to the beat
But her clothes stay on
White light everywhere
But you can't see a thing
Such a squeeze
A mad, sad moment
Glory to you, glory to you, take me there

Got some revelation put into your hands
Save you from your misery
Like rain across the land
Don't you see
The color of deception
Turning your world around again

You want to make her
Suicide Blonde
Love devastation
Suicide Blonde

You want to make her
Suicide Blonde
Love devastation
Suicide Blonde

[repeat till fade]

Psalms, chapter 37

0: A Psalm of David.

1: Fret not yourself because of the wicked,
be not envious of wrongdoers!

2: For they will soon fade like the grass,
and wither like the green herb.

3: Trust in the LORD, and do good;
so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.

4: Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5: Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.

6: He will bring forth your vindication as the light,
and your right as the noonday.

7: Be still before the LORD, and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over him who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!

8: Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

9: For the wicked shall be cut off;
but those who wait for the LORD shall possess the land.

10: Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look well at his place, he will not be there.

11: But the meek shall possess the land,
and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

12: The wicked plots against the righteous,
and gnashes his teeth at him;

13: but the LORD laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that his day is coming.

14: The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows,
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those who walk uprightly;

15: their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.

16: Better is a little that the righteous has
than the abundance of many wicked.

17: For the arms of the wicked shall be broken;
but the LORD upholds the righteous.

18: The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
and their heritage will abide for ever;

19: they are not put to shame in evil times,
in the days of famine they have abundance.

20: But the wicked perish;
the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures,
they vanish -- like smoke they vanish away.

21: The wicked borrows, and cannot pay back,
but the righteous is generous and gives;

22: for those blessed by the LORD shall possess the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

23: The steps of a man are from the LORD,
and he establishes him in whose way he delights;

24: though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the LORD is the stay of his hand.

25: I have been young, and now am old;
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or his children begging bread.

26: He is ever giving liberally and lending,
and his children become a blessing.

27: Depart from evil, and do good;
so shall you abide for ever.

28: For the LORD loves justice;
he will not forsake his saints.
The righteous shall be preserved for ever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.

29: The righteous shall possess the land,
and dwell upon it for ever.

30: The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks justice.

31: The law of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not slip.

32: The wicked watches the righteous,
and seeks to slay him.

33: The LORD will not abandon him to his power,
or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

34: Wait for the LORD, and keep to his way,
and he will exalt you to possess the land;
you will look on the destruction of the wicked.

35: I have seen a wicked man overbearing,
and towering like a cedar of Lebanon.

36: Again I passed by, and, lo, he was no more;
though I sought him, he could not be found.

37: Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright,
for there is posterity for the man of peace.

38: But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the posterity of the wicked shall be cut off.

39: The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in the time of trouble.

40: The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked, and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

Romans, chapter 7

1: Do you not know, brethren -- for I am speaking to those who know the law -- that the law is binding on a person only during his life?

2: Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies she is discharged from the law concerning the husband.

3: Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

4: Likewise, my brethren, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.

5: While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.

6: But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.

7: What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet, if it had not been for the law, I should not have known sin. I should not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet."

8: But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment, wrought in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law sin lies dead.

9: I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died;

10: the very commandment which promised life proved to be death to me.

11: For sin, finding opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and by it killed me.

12: So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.

13: Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.

14: We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.

15: I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

16: Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good.

17: So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.

18: For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.

19: For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.

20: Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.

21: So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.

22: For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self,

23: but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members.

24: Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

25: Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.  

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