The Words The Kwak Family

Blessed are the Meek

Chung Hwan Kwak
July 1980

One of Jesus' most well-known sayings is, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Examples of his meaning are found in several instances in the Bible. God gave blessings and grace to Noah so that he and his family could "inherit the earth." God gave the same blessings to Abraham, Jacob and Moses as well as to the people of Israel. In fact, the Jewish people were told that they should expect to receive His blessing and that they would "inherit the earth." They were looking forward to obtaining this, the greatest of all possible blessings, from God.

From the biblical point of view, the earth represents evil because it became the dwelling place of Satan. In this sense it symbolizes death. Even though people may "hope" to inherit the earth, there is no vision of eternity in the physical world. Even though they keep this hope, people rather cynically don't expect to find any eternal truth or sincerity in the world. The task of religions has been to stress that man seek a world which is eternal instead of focusing on this world. Throughout history religious people have kept hope to actually discover such a world. Yet, it is not easy for man to seek or find this eternal world; such a world is so totally different from the one we know today. Man is perplexed; where does he look? Is there one for sure? Most importantly, will he be sure to find it? Can man "inherit the earth" at the same time he looks for his eternal world?

As we search to know God and His desire, we will discover that God originally wanted the ideal of His creation to be realized on earth through Adam and Eve. The earth was one of His objects of creation and God created human beings to manage it. He originally intended us to be the managers of the earth. This is one of the purposes of man's life. Yet, God did not intend that as a "manager" man would work to receive some sort of salary. Instead, God created man to "inherit the earth," in other words, to become its owner.

From the viewpoint of The Principle, however, it is clear that man was not put on this earth as an owner just to enjoy an indulgent life -- eating and living well. This is not the true purpose of being an "owner." Since He originally permitted man to be its owner, one can understand that the earth has supreme importance for God and man. When looking at the earth from God's viewpoint, we can see that man has developed a very dangerous ideology and view of life quite contrary to God's.

While forgetting, forsaking and not attending God, man has the distinct impression that he does own and should manage this earth. This idea has been continuously nurtured throughout history and people have not been trying to inherit the earth but rather dominate it, conquer it, and even grab as much physical territory over which they can be lord.

Because of this, wars and struggles have continued. One prime example of man's greed was evident during the time of imperialistic colonialism. We can see that man has forsaken God and has insolently declared that he is the lord over the creation. We must try to change man's idea that he owns and manages this earth and that God has nothing to do with it. Such thinking is both arrogant and narrow. Man has put God aside and continued to think that the earth is here for his pleasure so that he can do just as he pleases. Man doesn't really know how to take care of developing this world and as a result it is a cold and desolate place.

Man lives here but man, himself is lonely. The original purpose of this earth has been betrayed and today's culture and civilization are the by-products of this betrayal. Poets have often written about "mother" earth. In fact, many have stated that the earth is the "bosom" of mother. Can we honestly liken this world to a mother's bosom? Does this world really embrace man tenderly enough for him to find complete peace, happiness or security? This world spiritually starves people and therefore has become desolate. Throughout the ages man has continued to destroy himself and the world, but what is so much more painful is that man has lost not only himself but his own value as well. He does not even know why he is living. At the same time, he lost the understanding of what God wanted him to inherit.

The earth was to become the "bosom" of mother's love, but it has been tortured and destroyed because man could not realize its purpose and further has forgotten and forsaken the earth as his inheritance. We can easily understand how miserable the earth itself must be. Yet it continues to revolve and rotate; it works according to the original and absolute principles of the universe. Let us think of the world today. As it revolves around its orbit, it contains tremendous power to destroy itself many times over with such destructive weapons as nuclear atomic bombs. On the other hand, let us ponder how the world could be. According to Heavenly Father's original purpose, the earth could have been like mother's bosom carrying within the tremendous emotions to embrace her peoples.

To compare the possibility and the reality saddens us. In God's desire to give this land to us as our inheritance, He originally never imagined such a situation as the current state of the world. The earth is God's object of creation; the purpose of creation is that God's objects enjoy true happiness, peace, and His love and that while man lives in the physical world the earth should serve as his home. Man must wake up. He must change this earth from what it is today and actualize the world which God originally intended. With such understanding in mind, I mentioned today the "blessings" which Jesus talked about in the Bible.

God's ultimate blessing to bestow upon man is the blessing for him to "inherit the earth." Yet Jesus said that only the ones who are "meek" will receive it. This is God's condition. What is "meekness?" How can one become meek? Usually man interprets being "meek" in the same light as being humble, quiet, gentle, mild, tender or amiable. Yet that view is quite different from the Principle's description of "meekness." The Bible explains that to become humble, one must examine one's own character. Man must realize the evil within himself, shed tears and repent. The man who is not able to repent for being a sinful person cannot be considered "meek." Although there is no right or wrong way to be "meek" the first condition of meekness is for a man to possess a righteous heart and mind.

The second condition is that, after realizing God's precious forgiveness and love, man must be able to be obedient to God. From God's point of view anyone who cannot obey, or trust and believe in God is far from being meek. In the world today, many people pretend to be meek through external things -- in diplomatic gestures, in intellectual circles and the like. Yet if their meekness is on the surface, these people are far from being examples of the true meek people whom God wanted to inherit the earth. As Unification Church members, we must seek the true and righteous meaning of meekness for our own lives, be able to receive the inheritance of God's greatest blessings, we must cultivate a sincere and righteous nature; we must become truly meek individuals. The person who possesses meekness is one who knows himself in front of God. Of course, there are many ways to know one's self. But in the way of faith, to be obedient and humble in front of God -- who is most true, sincere, pure and absolute -- a meek man should realize how different he is from God. Yet, man should try to reflect himself in the mirror of God. A meek man should assume God's characteristics and reflect them.

Yet, when we look into ourselves and from our own standard try to discover who we are we will find that there are many, many ways to know ourselves. Modern man usually thinks of himself in terms of his knowledge, business abilities, general understanding of the world, etc. Many people even look at and rate themselves according to how much they are worth monetarily, equating it to the value they have to the world. Yet to really know one's self sincerely and truthfully, a person must reflect himself in God. When you look at yourself in relation to God and objectively see what is being reflected, you will truly come to know yourself.

A meek individual must be able to look into himself and seeing that he still has sin, shed tears. What this means is that a person is able to see his limited nature and his sinfulness with a righteous mind and heart, and further be able to shed tears seeing that he must strive harder to reflect God's nature. The many righteous sages and religious leaders throughout history examined their characters and came to know how they must reflect God. When a person becomes meek, he will come to know himself better as well as others.

This is because when one is able to see God reflected in himself he will also be able to see God reflected in others. He will observe that those other people reflected in God are not really other people but they then become the realization of God's motivation for them, and for their lives. It is important to know the qualities which God sees in the other person. When we think of our brothers and sisters, husband or wife, neighbors and so on, we tend to compare them with some standard we create in our minds. We use our standard -- analyzing them in terms of what the person could have for me or do for me, etc. We are often critical when the person does not live up to our expectations. We seem to expect that the person should be perfect.

Man has not been able to compromise and arrive at one absolute standard by which to judge others. It is only possible for one to possess the standard of humble and meek judgment when one is totally objective to achieving God's true ideal. We should see a person as the person God, my Father, loves, and as the person whom God cannot forget, and whom God can forgive. When you come to know that God values that person, then you cannot hate or despise him or ever think of him as your enemy. The humanitarian notion "love your enemy" was taught by Jesus. Man is also taught to forgive others and understand and respect their viewpoints. All these ideals and morals have been taught throughout history by both sages and religious leaders. But it is not easy to actualize this.

People say that can only be done in thought. Then how can we achieve the reality where these thoughts also manifest as actions? When a person can come to that point, he reflects God and will then come to know others are also reflections of Him. It is a difficult way, but it is the way we cannot escape. It is ultimately the only way. Therefore, when we view others in our daily lives, we find people whom we love, trust and who come to have intrinsic value to us. Yet, our evaluations of people still stem from our own view of things: from that point of reference, feelings of love and hate grow. Yet these evaluations have nothing to do with eternity.

What is the source of an eternal relationship? When you can realize that a person is in God's thoughts, is in God's love and is one whom God values, then you can finally see that which God sees in the person. Then you can create an eternal heartistic relationship with that person.

Therefore, a person who is meek is one who realizes his own sin and is able to shed tears. Yet he does not only shed tears for himself, but is a person who can come to shed tears for others, realizing they are also reflections of God's nature. Repentance is the first condition of being faithful and religious. When Jesus came to earth, his message to mankind was how important repentance was. John the Baptist came with the same message. Almost all religions throughout the world emphasize it. Why? To feel liberated and cleansed, a person must first repent and shed tears for his sins. Our fervent daily prayer should be, "Oh God, please be able to call us your sons and daughters. Please do not avoid us in our iniquities, but seek us..." It is most important for us to pray in order to meet God. Yet, how do you think anyone meets God? Who among us will be the one with courage enough to try?

We may think that we could meet the God who conforms to an age-old image of Him -- white beard, white robe sitting on the high and almighty throne of heaven. Not at all. When we meet Him we will be embraced in His love. We will walk with Him. We will not see His face, but rather see our own self reflecting His nature. This is meeting God. When we meet and finally come to know God on a more profound level, that external image of God will disappear: only our own reflection will remain. It will be you whom you meet. Why? It is because God's original desire was not just that man harmonize with the creation. He wanted to come within us and share His heart with us. It is because of this that we can realize we each reflect Him. When we truly come to know this, we can only bow our heads in humility. Then each of us naturally can cleanse, purify and redeem ourselves. When you truly realize it, you will reflect God. This takes faith. This is faith.

Many righteous people and sages have gone to the mountains in order to find themselves. They wanted to purify themselves through prayer and meditation. Consequently, they had to forsake their brothers and sisters, parents, children, friends, neighbors, and spouses. Why? When they realized that they are the mirrors of God, nothing else could hold higher value than showing the most beautiful reflection possible. The only thing they want to do is continuously shed tears and desire to be His true sons and daughters.

As a Unification Church member, there will be times when, seemingly without reason, you lament at your sin and tears automatically flow from your eyes. There may be no special reason or purpose for you to feel this way. You will gradually begin to realize who you are and how far you are from God's standard of what a true man should be. Only then can you really see others and yourself as He does. Until that happens, there is no time to reflect what others might think about you.

People need to see how much God desires them to be His true reflections. In the process, they will see their sinfulness. They will be able to realize how unstable their minds and hearts are, wavering and changing at whim. The saints and sages of history were able to understand this. Therefore, no matter how much they were persecuted or how hungry they became, it did not matter; they only continued to feel limited and humbled before God.

It was only natural for them to feel that they deserved such persecution, and that they were qualified to receive such opposition because they felt ashamed in front of God. How could they think of persecution or hunger? They could only feel thankful that they were persecuted and could experience these things. They knew that because they are fallen people, it was only what they deserved.

It is important for you, too, to feel shame for your sin. Tearfully lament. Think of God's pain. When I look at the members in New York, I wonder when I will see any tears flow from your eyes. I don't know when they will begin their lamentation. You must feel how necessary it is to overcome your sin and reflect God's nature; you must become absorbed in the core of His heart and love.

Obviously, this doesn't happen by force.

An example of this is shown in the testimony of one of our early members. The first time he came to our Church, he saw many people shed tears, lamenting God's suffering. He was touched by their obvious expression of meekness in front of God, yet he found that when he tried to cry, he simply could not. He felt so ashamed and embarrassed that he came to the point where he desired to cry any kind of tears. If you find yourself in the same situation, you shouldn't feel embarrassed; tears cannot be shed automatically or forcefully. Tears cannot be shed at will; a person is only able to shed tears relative to his faith or level of growth. You shouldn't feel embarrassed or worried, but you should think about what to do if you find yourself in this situation.

First you must try to meet God. People have not seen the spiritual God; how could we expect to see Him physically? Can one see His heart? You must endeavor to meet God. You should first strive to see God's external form. Only after going through that process can you see His internal character. Also, only after going through these levels can you really know yourselves. When you do, you will be able to come to trust your perception of others.

After deep prayer and meditation in the mountains, many sages had deep realizations about certain aspects of their own characters and how they were far from God. They often continued to stay in the mountains, trying to discover God's will. Yet it is not God's desire for just a select group of people to know the truth so that only they will be able to go to Heaven. The Unification Church desires that these sages come down from the mountains to teach others what they have learned. If it took these people ten years to develop an understanding of God, this world, and themselves, then they should be able to teach others the same in half the time. That is what Reverend Sun Myung Moon has been teaching in the Unification Church and what he asks all members to teach the world. The Principle is precious; it is succinct enough that when a person devotes only a few short years, he can come to more than just understand it, but further integrate it and apply it to his life. It has taken other people tens of years to understand the same things through meditation and sacrifice.

Each of us should strive to become meek. How? Should one conform to the Christian standard of meekness -- being gentle and amiable. Being meek or humble does not mean just offering people our other cheek if we are slapped; that is only being gentle and submissive.

In the Bible Jesus taught about meekness through various examples. He taught that a person should "turn the other cheek" if you are slapped. He taught that a person should walk ten miles if asked to walk five. Yet, what kind of people do you think Christians would be if they strictly followed these teachings of Jesus? By these examples, Jesus taught the Christians just to be submissive and gentle. But meekness is different. It is the way to know that others are reflected in God. When we live in oneness with God, we will be able to find that oneness not only with Him, but with everyone; if a person could do this, he could almost automatically become meek. Jesus taught that to receive the blessing of inheriting the earth, one must be meek. One cannot be meek simply in moralistic terms, or externally under the guidance of a teacher through meditation. Actually there is only one way -- by serving and being of service to God. That is the way to become meek. The by-product of serving God is meekness. There is no true meekness without true service to God; only then can we receive that which He gives.

If we try to force ourselves to be meek or to display meekness only through our actions, we do not have correct motivation. Yet sincerity and service to God are important and their by-product will naturally be meekness. After sincerely serving God, will we all become gentle and amiable? No. Jesus was the prime example of a person who was truly meek and humble, but he was not just an amiable or gentle person. Behind his teachings and actions, there were God's laws and principles. He had a fierce determination within his heart not to budge even an inch from his basic principles. He had to keep, protect, and uphold them. Yet, he never discussed them with anyone; he simply kept them in his heart.

Although they opposed him, the Israelites, themselves, were not really his enemies. However, Satan worked within the people of Israel. Therefore, Jesus had to teach others by showing the example of humility and meekness to the watchful eyes of the Jewish people. Jesus was a person of principle but he was never a gentle or amiably "meek" person. We should remember that Jesus was the one who fiercely judged those merchants who were selling in God's temple and then he threw them out!

Christians could not be gentle and externally meek people if they really understood how a person must be meek before God. People must be strong and uphold these great principles within themselves. In holding on to God's principles, they might need to become blind to the demands or attitudes of their husbands or wives, children, or brothers and sisters. People must learn to be that absolute. They must first abide by the principles themselves and next must seek to educate others and create eternal relationships with their parents, brothers and sisters and friends. This is God's original principle and purpose. If we look at the original plan for this earth to become man's blessing and inheritance according to God's principle, we see that the earth is calling out to us, hoping we can soon understand God's ideal. When we look at this world, we see that externally people see the value of things in terms of dollars. Land here and there is grabbed up by politicians and the rich as they continually try to dominate and control as much as possible. Through these actions, conflicts come about.

The real owners of this earth are God's descendants. This earth was to be God's gift and blessing to His true children. Currently, it is being possessed and managed by false owners. It is up to religious people to restore and re-conquer the land which belongs to God and give it to its rightful owners. This world must be given to the sons and daughters of God who can sincerely love and cherish the land which God has given. Furthermore, as religious people, we must externally fight to regain the ownership of this land, but internally realize that our nature desires to take possession of land and material things. There are those who will still be greedy for more, but we must learn to control and subjugate this emotion within ourselves. It is our own internal enemy. It is important to dominate these feelings within ourselves. Yet it takes a life of faith and self-discipline to be a religious person. Therefore, religious or God-centered people are the ones who try to control and subjugate themselves. They want to be the ones who can take responsibility to dominate the earth. We must think of "inheriting the earth" based on a realistic understanding of ourselves and our natures.

Jesus taught: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Since Unification Church members should realize the meaning of this great blessing, it is best for all of us to strive to become meek and humble. Let us reflect upon the kind of life we should really lead.

The most basic thing is that when we think of our brothers and sisters, our husbands or wives, our parents, our children, and the things in our world, we don't think of them in terms of something which is "mine." Originally these things were never "mine". Originally they were never "mine" to begin with. The relationships between me and my spouse, me and my parents, me and my brothers and sisters are the greatest blessings which God has given me; they become my eternal relationships. Although it is not eternal, even our give and take action with a simple flower has no meaning without God. In all of these relationships, we must never exclude God. It is only through God that we can have them.

Nothing was ever "mine"; originally all things were God's and He entrusts me with their management. He trusts me to create relationships. This was God's original intention and desire. Self-reflection is the first step in being meek and knowing His nature. Eventually, we will gain the qualification to know the meaning of "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." 

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