The Words The Kwak Family

Conditions of our Faith

Chung Hwan Kwak
November 1980

Part I

We are now walking down the road of life and as Unification Church members we are going the way of living faith. Yet we are not simply going our own independent way: we need support from Heavenly Father. On our way of faith, we walk together with our God. Actually, Heavenly Father wants to support, help and work together with us. However, before He can. He needs us to offer some condition of service back to Him.

This morning I would like to focus on the subject of this "condition" and discuss several aspects of it.

First, one of the most important things to remember as we walk the way of faith is that we should always be joyful and keep a thankful attitude. I have often mentioned how important it is to keep a positive outlook. I know that each of you tries to be happy, but you and I both know it is not easy. Therefore, we should examine how it can be possible. How can one continue to be positive day after day? I feel that when we are joyful, we send God an invitation to live with us. Fallen man is so far away from God. Even though we possess many material things we always feel that we don't have enough; we always want more "things." When Heavenly Father looks at us, He sees how dirty we are. If we continue to develop our sense of gratitude, Heavenly Father will come to reside with us. God will support us more and more in our personal faith if we can always thank and praise Him. God will begin to pay more attention to us; He will abide with us. However, you should first present Him with this kind of invitation.

I know that you are already aware of how difficult it is to keep a spirit of thankfulness 24 hours a day even if you have an extraordinary desire to. I would like to discuss with you one method I have used. I want to show you how not to disappoint Heavenly Father. Intellectually, you already know how to continue to be positive, yet practically speaking, it is not often easy for you to actualize.

It is not hard to see that each member has various missions and works extremely hard. Yet many times individuals need to pass through difficult experiences. These include difficult experiences in both an external and internal sense. An externally difficult situation may mean that one has a hard mission, or that externally one's responsibilities are difficult. It's true that externally some missions may very well be difficult; however, my main concern is with the internal difficulties. Often people experience internal difficulties while doing their missions.

Even though we may internally have something blocking our way, in order to overcome it with a spirit of exuberance, we need to think of the eternal point of view. We claim we are going the eternal way of faith, but at the same time, we may forget eternity while muddling through our complex lifestyles.

When we study Principle, we can realize that it explains many things about the relationships of our daily lives with eternity. Every day we make conditions. Even in the span of one simple moment, we might make a condition which could carry eternal influence in either a positive or a negative way. Principle explains this, yet you can only understand this logically. How can you learn to understand it internally?

Whether you experience an internal or an external difficulty, you still have the potential to feel unhappiness or sorrow. Yet, if we are continually positive and happy, we naturally remain joyful and thankful. Father once mentioned a definition of happiness in this way: Happiness is having found someone to whom you want to give and give still more, for whom you want to do many favors and do still more, and to whom you bring joy and bring still more. Father's perception about how to be happy is to find someone to whom you want to give, and give still more.

We must pay attention to this idea of Father's. Father didn't say that happiness can be found in something -- material things, riches or power. Father said that to find some one to whom we want to give and give still more will bring us happiness.

On the whole, Unification Church members are joyful, positive people. When we first join the Unification Church we are ecstatic because we found True Parents. Who are the True Parents? How can we connect ourselves to them? If we could really reach Father's heart -- even a miniscule part of Father's heart -- and could know even one aspect of Father's true value: our original mind would want to support and to give to Father more and more. It is natural for Unification Church members to feel this way. If you are looking at True Parents and thinking of Heavenly Father and you don't have some kind of special feeling, then you must realize that something is wrong; something is missing. You need to examine yourself in order to grow in your relationship to True Parents.

When family members begin to think of giving to True Parents, their desire grows and they usually want to give still more. This feeling stems from their original mind. I'm sure that you have experienced this many times during your deep prayers. You realize that you are not close enough to them. This is your original mind speaking to you. Even though you work hard all day long, if you still feel there is something missing and you want to do even more, then you feel a satisfied longing: this is wonderful! Happiness begins at this point! You may continue to follow your same schedule every day and continue to really invest yourself in working hard, yet when you pray before you go to bed, your mind may not rest because you still had the desire to do more and give more. Sometimes though, you have an entirely different feeling and exclaim, "Oh, I'm so tired. I would like to go to bed early." Perhaps in this situation, you only offer a simple prayer.

The second way is not "right" or "wrong." Yet there is a fundamental difference between these two instances. You will be happy if you feel that you still want to do even more. If it is not exuberance, at least you are grasping the root of happiness. However, if you feel glad you finished your work for the day and then just go to bed, you should question the strength of your faith. This type of attitude is actually causes you to worry. Happiness is to find someone we can serve: then we should cultivate the desire to continue to serve even more.

In one sense, we need to practice and nurture this feeling in relating to True Parents. Yet, we cannot limit ourselves to only this one relationship in our lives. Each of us needs to find another "someone." This should be either our eternal husband or wife. From the Principle, we know that the plan for an ideal family is not only that the husband and wife live together and give birth to their children, but it emphasizes that the interaction and emotions between all of them are of paramount importance. The feelings which blessed couples have toward each other should always be ones of concern and support. The couples should always be filled with the desire to give more and more to each other. If you continually want to give more to your partner after the Blessing you will have been victorious in laying the foundation for happiness for the family you will create.

Father's desire is to train us. Heavenly Father and True Parents are the center and essence of love. They don't just want people to receive all the material things they desire and thus stop their desire for them. Our happiness begins with a basic first step. Then we shall find our next "someone" -- our eternal husband or wife. Next, we need to have and raise our own children. Fallen man lost the original love that God gave, but even today we long for love similar to that of the original love of parents. Actually, we don't just want this love to be merely similar, but rather to have it exactly as original love was meant to be. We have the same feeling and ideal goal for our own children. This is the original principled pattern: first True Parents, then husband or wife and then true children. This further extends to all things and then to all other people.

The ideal of God's creation is love: the motivation for the creation was love. If we can't grasp Heavenly Father's love, we also can't dwell in happiness. Father mentions that when someone is happy, we have someone who is the object of our original love. We are so lucky. Many outside people continue to try to find happiness, but actually they don't understand what it is. Father teaches and guides us in the way to find essential happiness for our lives. What is the standard of happiness? Our typical daily pattern, work in our own missions and so on, only makes up the external form of our lives. The pinnacle of Heavenly Father's and True Parents' desire is that each of us attains total internal happiness. If we can I maintain this viewpoint, we can always continue to go on in joy.

Sometimes you feel that you have to do "your work," "your mission," "your responsibility." You continually say. "I should do this," "I must do that," "it's my mission," but it is best to retain such a level of hard work as the root of your own happiness and the foundation for your own achievements. It is also important to remember that it is not only our own happiness which is at stake. True Parents and Heavenly Father ask each one of us to become the owners of happiness. When this is achieved then True Parents and Heavenly Father reach the goal of their happiness as well.

Sometimes it is natural for us to make mistakes or do something wrong. Have you ever had such an experience? Fallen man is not perfect and sometimes, even though we don't want to, we lose our positivity. Yet usually when we make a mistake, our spirit is directly influenced by it or its result. Our original mind also becomes influenced by our mistake. Yet the degree of our joy and gratitude depends on how close Heavenly Father is. We must check how close we are to Heavenly Father. We can become closer and closer step by step. When we do, it is natural for us to remain joyful and thankful. To make a mistake is to fall down or slide backwards. There is a fundamental change in a person before and after he makes a mistake. After you make a mistake you feel somehow empty or as if some gap is created.

After making a mistake, one needs to repent. On which level do we stand after we repent? Before making a mistake, a person is on a certain level of progress in his own individual faith. If he commits a mistake he falls to a lower level. Yet if he repents after the mistake, where is he? You need to understand fundamental things about repentance. After a person repents, he stops going down, and then has the potential to return to his former level: he does not actually reach it. If he doesn't repent, he has the potential to continue to drop.

Research your own faith. If after you have made a mistake and you do not repent, then you could continue to fall to a lower level. Have you had such experiences? Repentance is not only external: you must also make some foundation of indemnity condition. If you do this, then you can keep the hope to return to your original level. This is an indemnity condition which you must fulfill.

Many of our members as well as many religious people never understood repentance. After repentance, they thought they just naturally returned to the original stage before they made their mistake. This concept is 100% wrong. If someone never repents, he continues to fall down. However, if someone does repent, the potential exists for him to raise himself to return to his original stage.

In living the way of faith, one must guard against making serious mistakes. I have often reminded members that fallen man is not perfect. Sometimes, even though we don't want to, we make mistakes and do wrong things. But the danger comes when someone repeats a mistake. The person who is wise and has deep faith doesn't make mistakes: he has researched the Principle and the experiences of early members. Looking into the detailed situations of brothers and sisters, such a person can see where it was possible to make a mistake. He realizes how careful he needs to be. This is the attitude of a wise person. If you made some mistake, please don't repeat it. After your mistake, you need to repent and then you need to lay some indemnity condition.

No matter in which kind of situation you find yourself, it is very difficult to always continue to keep a joyful spirit. Our way may be slow -- one step, another step and yet another step; while on the road, it is important to be careful. We are now going the most difficult way, completely opposite from the "normal" way which outside people go. We are now treading the eternal way of faith. Let us pledge that we will take care and take one step at a time. That way we will never make mistakes.

Some members have extremely righteous minds, but don't have very strong faith. Our original mind wants us to avoid making mistakes. Yet there are times when we make many mistakes. In repeating mistakes over and over, we lose our attitude of joy and gratitude and in so doing, our motivation and our relationship with God is cut. Motivation is so important in our personal relationship with God.

Each morning, the members of every department begin their missions. Sometimes individuals are driven by good motivation and strong determination; they are able to work step by step and are, consequently, less apt to make a lot of mistakes. They can maintain a positive outlook. Yet repeating even small mistakes creates a very bad circumstance in a person's life of faith.

Think about why you joined the Unification Church. Even after many long hard months or years, we continue to externally work hard; often our physical body becomes tired; perhaps we don't sleep enough. Even though this is the reality, why do we continue to stay here and work so hard? Actually, it is because Unification Church members possess the key to eternal happiness. We are going through difficult circumstances to reach this goal; therefore, we need to go carefully -- step by step.

Going through difficulty may not make you feel very joyful. But actually, what is happiness? From the viewpoint of eternity, you do possess real happiness! Sometimes you aren't grateful for the results you achieve. Even though you may have worked hard, you often couldn't bring the results you desired either in quantity or quality. Of course, this makes you unhappy. I would like to advise you to be careful when considering your result. Results are not produced simply or easily. Results generally come from Heavenly Father's motivation and support. Result is not made horizontally; it's the condition made through the vertical level. Heavenly Father created the motivation and from it we can then gain result.

No result is ever produced only by ourselves or our own conditions. There is already an historical condition of indemnity. Many conditions were already made on the vertical level. You must be concerned with how you can do your best and not focus on the outcome. If you don't gain so much result but you do your best, you shouldn't worry about anything.

On the other hand, if you achieve some wonderful result but did not do your best, you do need to be concerned. Never think of the result; concentrate on\your process. This is the main point of faith. Heavenly Father checks the process we use. If Heavenly Father would only have based things on the external results gained throughout history, He would have already given up. If we consider the entire providence of God, we can understand that His history of restoration is serious. Did mankind ever bring wonderful results to God? Never. Yet God's work continues. He keeps His parental heart towards us and His salvation work continues. His main objective is what process he uses.

Each member should think about his own process and lifestyle. How can one do his best? If this is your main concern, your attitude would never be affected by your results. Heavenly Father and True Father are concerned about your internal process. The American family as a whole especially needs to think more deeply about its internal process, not just the goal or the result. When I visited America the first time, I was amazed by the American members' excitement, always yelling "yes" to Father's questions and cheers of "Monsei." Actually in Korea, we never have a regular cheer of "Monsei." We might sometimes shout it after a special ceremony, but here there are so many cheers and so much external excitement. I, think that the internal meaning of these external things is very often lost. Excitement is good but you need to be more conscious; is there a difference between your excitement and your internal process? How strong is your faith? It would be much better if you could get excited about your process and your faith first, and then cheer "Monseis."

I see how you brighten up and how joyful you become when you make some wonderful result or hear a wonderful or exciting report. Yet, I honestly feel that your excitement comes too easily. I hope that you can continue to be jubilant even after you receive the results or hear the exciting news. If it's difficult for you to maintain this level, then you need to correct something within yourself. I have the same experience when I hear some wonderful reports; I am also happy. But internal joy and external joy are far apart. You need to learn to fuse the two. 

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