Sermon: Blessings and Curses

Rev. Hyung Jin Nim Sermon Mapo Church, Seoul October 13, 2007 Topic: Blessings and Curses

So many people in the world today are still suffering from the curses they received from their parents.
Maybe they heard things, like, “You’re lazy, and you’re incompetent. You’re totally inadequate. What’s wrong with you?” These parents, they’re concerned, and they’re trying to encourage the child to work, or whatever the situation may be. But how they (the children) interpret it, how they take that in (receive it) becomes a curse in their life. What happens is that we can replay these curses in our minds, and more and more they continue to spread into our minds, into our actions, into our habits, into our personality, and then into our life. When they do that they’re almost like a poison. They can poison our minds.

Yeon Ah Nim:

Not long ago I had a chance to attend one of Father’s big speech rallies. At that time, as usual, the event went on, and it was Father’s turn to speak, and somehow, at that time, the crowd became very very noisy and it slowly drowned out Father’s voice. And I kind of worried, but however, you know how Father is. He kept on giving his speech very enthusiastically. At that moment, I had a question in my mind.

“Why does he continue to give his speech to people who don’t even like
listening to him?” And then I realized that Father is not actually
speaking to the whole crowd. He could see that some of them were not
actually listening to him, but he decided to keep giving his speech for
the few who would listen to his message.

Father puts so
much sweat and tears into our blessed families. We should know how
precious we are. We are the blessed families that Father loves the
most, and he cherishes our blessed couples the most. We should be proud
of who we are: Central Blessed Families.
Interesting Story (Hyung Jin Nim):

I always like to start…when I was at the Divinity School we always liked to look at religious jokes. Today is kind of a short one. I saw a nice little joke that said, “There are two types of people in this world. One type of person, in the morning when they get up, they say, ‘Good morning, Lord,” The other type of person when they get up, they say, ‘Good Lord! It’s morning. I’m late!”

Main Sermon (by Hyung Jin Nim):

I’d like to speak to you today about curses and blessings, or blessings and curses, In Father’s speeches we see that he says that he cannot curse those who even have opposed our church. (He says) that if those people are not brought under God’s love then it’s actually the responsibility of our church. Or even Father put it on his own shoulders. He said, “It’s MY responsibility.” When today I refer to blessings – usually we talk about the blessing ritual in our movement, the marriage blessing – (but today) I’m actually talking about words of blessing, also about curses.

We have to understand, that the words that we utter, the words that we say, have power over people, they have power over our lives. So the words that we utter, they shape our lives. They shape others. They shape our friends. They shape our children, our co-workers. They shape our environment. OK? So if you’re around negative people, and if they’re complaining, your life will become more and more negative. You’ll feel yourself becoming more negative in mindset. And this, of course, becomes a big handicap if you’re trying to work through (accomplish) things or trying to do well on a test, or whatever, (when you are trying) to find victory in your life.

So let us first of all learn to reduce the power of negative influences in our life. If we have (negative) people around us or if even we (ourselves) are rotating and uttering negative statements, we have to change those in our mind. Because otherwise they can have a big effect on the way we live our lives and also our future

So let’s learn to use the power of words to help others achieve what God is planning for them, their God-given destiny. So let’s use our words as a life giving force. Let’s encourage others to find their unique gift that only THEY have. All of you have a unique gift that nobody has in this entire world. You have it. What that is, is for you to find out? But God has given each one of you a special unique gift that is particular only to you and that you can use to help the entire world or to help people around you.

You know, when we see movies like Harry Potter, we see things like spells and witchcraft and curses. You guys read the book, and my kids read the book. And so I ended up seeing the movie, too. And I was mesmerized by all the spells and all the computer graphics. It was incredible. But, we have to understand that it’s like that: Our words have power.– We are blessed families, and in order to live the blessed life that True Father has blessed us to live—he has blessed our lives—in order to live that blessing, one of the secrets is to GIVE a lot of blessings.

How do you do that? I’m not talking here about physical objects or expensive gifts. I’m talking about giving a lot of words of blessing. The more words of blessing you give to other people, the more blessing you will receive. Because blessing and give and take action–those two cycles of give and take–are on the same line. As the subject gives to the object, the object receives and returns it back to the subject. You stand in the subject position maybe to your friends. You may stand in the subject position to somebody who’s in a struggling situation. So in that position, in that Abel position then, it’s important for us to learn the power of giving blessings to people.

Again, I’m not talking about physical objects, I’m talking that we have to make a commitment to give blessings. What that means is: There’s a simple practice that I’ll offer you today. A very simple practice that I try to do on a daily basis. But you can do it in your own life too, on a daily basis. What you can do is, whomever you meet today – it doesn’t matter who it is. It could be the 7/11 man or the clerk down here selling you items, whomever you meet. It could be the gas man. It could be somebody that you stop by briefly to talk to, whomever you meet – try to bless them in some way. Say, “thank you”. Bless their life, or bless their minute or bless their hour. Try and say, “You know, I really appreciate your service.”

To the 7/11guy – I was on my way here, trying to pick up a sandwich – (to him I) said,”Thank you so much for your service. I’m sure you were up all night.” And he was so happy just because we gave that word of encouragement.

So let’s start looking at blessings, at how we can actualize them in our daily lives. Let’s start practicing the practice of giving blessings to people. Say “thank you”. Say something encouraging for somebody who needs help. Say something that will help somebody believe in themselves when they don’t believe in themselves. OK? This kind of blessing becomes a powerful force that they can utilize. It actually becomes a miracle. It can become a miracle. I know in my own life, I have my older brother who gave me particular blessings, and those blessings stay with me. They’re miracles to me. Because of them, I can say that I accomplish at least something.
But really, when we’re able to use that kind of power of the word, it’s almost like a spell. To bless originally meant to consecrate or make holy. But later, in scripture, in the Old and New Testaments, it came to mean something like worship or praise, even to bend the knee in praise. So blessing was meant to worship, to praise. That’s what a blessing is. How do you worship something? How do you praise? You have to utter your words; you have to say something in praise of somebody. OK?
So a blessing is not a blessing until we SAY it, until it is uttered. It’s not enough for us to just think about it. It’s not enough for us to just hear it in our own mind, but we have to give it to others. If we can do that, we will see that the blessing is returned to us in abounds (abundantly). OK?

I know that my spouse knows I love her. I don’t want, I don’t need, to tell her that. She knows I love her. My kids know I love them. I don’t have to tell them. “I don’t have to tell them that I love them.” So we may be tempted to make such statements. But instead of that, we have to understand what a blessing is. A blessing is not something that we ASSUME somebody knows. It is some verbal statement that has power over somebody’s life in a positive way. OK?

So let’s use the power that we have, the power of blessings, to bless our spouse today. Tell her you love her. Tell him that he is going to have a fantastic day that he is going to overcome all the obstacles in the administration or whatever, any adversity that he is facing. Give him blessing. Give her blessing on her way out.
When you meet the children every morning, tell them,”Daniel I love you today and forever. Rachel, I love you today and forever.” Tell each one of them. Each one of them needs to hear it from you. You are parents. So as parents, let’s make that initiative. Let’s start to bless our children. Let’s not say “Why is it like that? Why aren’t you doing your homework? Why don’t you …?” Those things of course we can raise (talk about). But let’s make sure that the majority of the things that we say to our children are blessings, OK? If we can do that, tell them, let’s tell them that they’ll be protected, that they’ll be given wisdom, serenity, patience, and that they will overcome anything, even that big test that they are facing today.
One of the examples from my own life is my baby boy. He’s a little over one (year). He just learned how to say, “Yes.” So that’s a great joy for us. He just learned how to say ‘yes’. So we have a little thing we can do with him. We can ask him any question and he’ll say ‘yes’. And that’s great, that’s wonderful. And guess what we ask him a lot of times. We ask him, “Dugi, do you love appa?” and of course he says, “Yes”. And we say, “Dugi, do you love omma?” “Yes.” And he’s so happy when he does it. And we’re overjoyed when we receive that blessing from him.

You see, when I, as a father, receive that (blessing) even from a little child, I am so overjoyed. It totally makes my day. I could be having the worst day. I could be feeling that the whole world is against me. I could be stressed out totally. And I see that little boy and I say,”Do you love me, Dugi?” and he says, “Yes” with a smile, and all that is lifted (is gone). That is the power of (words of) blessing.

When even a little child gives us a blessing, when he says I love you and blesses our life, we feel overjoyed. Now think about it. If we are living in a relationship with our spouse, if we can give THAT to our spouse – as a practice, not as a once in a while thing, maybe once on your anniversary, if you remember it – but every day, (then) we renew our blessing every day, (then) we renew our commitment to live a blessed life. And how do we do that? We do that by giving blessings, OK?
So imagine – we do a little visualization practice here – so if we visualize, let’s say, we’re in a big blessing ceremony. And True Father is there and True Mother comes out and there are thousands of brides and bridegrooms there, waiting to be blessed. And let’s imagine, True Father just comes out and puts his hands in the air, and goes back in. Now that would be quite awkward. I don’t know if I would actually call that a blessing. But during the blessing, Father comes out. He doesn’t just come out and just shake his hands and leaves. He comes and blesses us.
As you recall from the religious ceremony, we also have religious leaders that come out. They bless our families as well, to wish, to encourage, to praise the newlyweds, Father comes out and blesses their life, their future together, blesses them so that they will have strong marriages and be mutually respectful in the attitude that they are practicing. So he comes and he utters this verbally.
We all know the story of Jacob and Esau. We all remember that. And remember, when Jacob asked Isaac, his Dad, for a blessing. Originally, the blessing was supposed to go to the first born son, to Esau. But as you know, the Mom, Rebecca, she told Jacob to receive that blessing. “Go, when your brother is out, and you take the blessing.” Now look what Jacob says. Jacob says, in Genesis 27:12 “‘What if my father touches me?” Because Esau had hair. He was hairy. “What if my father touches me and I would appear to be tricking him? And I would bring down a curse on myself, rather than a blessing?”

He was scared. He was scared. “What if my father curses me, as opposed to blessing me?” He knew the power of words. He knew the power and influence of the words that his father, if he would utter those words, would have over the rest of his life, in fact, even over his descendents.

So he was scared at that moment. Listen to Isaac’s blessing. He said, “May God give you of heaven’s due and of earth’s richness. May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord of your brothers and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed, and those who bless you be blessed.”

That was the blessing that he gave to Jacob. So when Esau came and said, “Well, you gave a blessing to him, now give one to me,” then Isaac said at that point,, “I already gave it to Jacob, and indeed he will be blessed.” Once he said the blessing, Isaac couldn’t take it back.

That’s a big lesson for us. Once we utter words, we can’t take them back. If we’re saying negative things to people, if we’re saying things that are not helping, those words never can be taken back, and in fact, we will be held accountable. We will be held accountable if we curse people’s lives.

Now let’s look at what a curse is. In many traditions, in the African tradition, or in African-American tradition, there are different types of curses. You may have heard of a ‘jinx’. You may have heard from the European tradition of a ‘hex’, hexing somebody. You may have heard from the Middle Eastern tradition of the notion of the “evil eye”. OK? When somebody stares at you with jealousy, with those evil eyes, they curse you.

So a curse is said to bring calamity, it’s said to bring evil upon a victim. Let’s look at what a curse is. In Islam a curse is the deprivation of God’s blessing. In Arabic it is a deprivation. You are deprived of God’s blessing. That’s what a curse is. But according to the books and according to the Book of Proverbs, an undeserved curse has no effect, but may fall back upon the one who utters it. That’s a reminder to us that we have to be careful with the words that we say. We have to be careful that we are not cursing somebody’s life. Because what happens? It can bounce off and come right back at us.

Let’s look at this picture. This is a very interesting picture. Here is a very healthy gentleman, right there. And this gentleman, what he’s doing, this is a tradition in the Solomon Islands. And in the Solomon Islands they have a very unique way of cutting down big trees. In fact, they don’t have chain saws and things like that in this particular rural area. So what they do is: for 30 days, all the magicians of that town gather. Every morning when dawn strikes, they go around the tree and they yell at it, they shout at it, they curse it. They call evil and calamity upon it. Guess what happens. After 30 days the tree dies and falls over. 30 days of cursing kill that tree. The theory is, according to the villagers, that when you curse somebody, when you speak bad things about somebody, when you say negative things to people, when you shout, then what happens is this: we kill the spirit of that entity (of that being).– This is what the villagers say. And they say that there’s almost a 100% success rate, that in 30 days you can kill the spirit of a large tree. Now that’s a great lesson for us. We have to be careful whom we are shouting at.

Sometimes we shout at ATM machines and streetlights and traffic cars, and things like that, and pedestrians, but we have to be careful about what we are shouting at, what we are cursing, who we are hexing, because those things can come right back on us. So anything, any sort of negative statement, any derogatory statement, even nagging, nagging somebody, always nagging somebody, can curse their life. Injurious words, words that cause injury can become curses, and deprive people of the blessings that they deserve.

So many people in the world today are still suffering from the curses they received from their parents. Maybe they heard things, like, “You’re lazy, and you’re incompetent. You’re totally inadequate. What’s wrong with you?” These parents, they’re concerned, and they’re trying to encourage the child to work, or whatever the situation may be. But how they (the children) interpret it, how they take that in (receive it) becomes a curse in their life. What happens is that we can replay these curses in our minds, and more and more they continue to spread into our minds, into our actions, into our habits, into our personality, and then into our life. When they do that they’re almost like a poison. They can poison our minds.
We can get filled with anger, hate, revenge even and payback. Or we can get totally depressed, weak, immobilized. These are the powers that words have over people. Many parents may say, “I nag them for their sake.” But look closely. If we look closely, then is it REALLY for another person’s sake that we call them “dumb” or “stupid” or “lazy”? Or “you have the worst genes in our family” or whatever it is?

I heard that a lot when I was growing up, by the way. I never did do well in school until a little later. But if we hear, “Oh you’re going to amount to nothing. You’re incompetent,” if we hear these things, these things can become curses in our lives. Remember, if we utter curses we can’t take them back. Once you curse somebody with negativity, with negative statements, you are going to be held accountable for that person’s life. Once we curse somebody, we’re going to be held accountable. If that person really takes a big turn, it’s on us (because of us).

So the power of our words is so great. I was in a restaurant down here having mandoo with our ministry here, and I was sitting at a table and right at the next table there was a group of ajumas. You know what an ajuma is, right? They’re elderly ladies. In Korea there’s a joke that says, “There’s three types of people in Korea. There are men, there are women and there are ajumas.” I was next to a group of ajumas, and they were loud, causing a big raucous (noise). In fact, they were cursing something that is very dear to me and you. They were cursing our church way out the door (with loud voice). They were cursing it. Oh boy! They were saying all sorts of nasty things, whatever, whatever. I’m not going to repeat them.
But when I was listening to them, I realized that during the day my mind kept on thinking about what they were saying. Now, these are people that I don’t know. These are people that I have no association with. These are people that don’t know me. But simply hearing the negative statements, simply hearing their curses upon our church or upon the good people that are in our church, simply hearing that was disturbing me and creating turbulence the entire day.

And what I noticed was how powerful words are. Can you imagine if somebody that you don’t know has that much power over you, can you imagine if it’s somebody that you love, somebody that’s in your immediate circle of family or friends? (Can you imagine if those people are) cursing you? Think about how painful THAT is. Think how much power that has over your life. Think how much negativity that will bring into your life, OK?

So we have to be careful with our words. In Korea we have a saying, “Your words become seeds”. In Korea, when people are frustrated they say, “Oh, chuketah, chuketah!”, like this. That means, “Oh I’m gonna die. I’d rather die.” This kind of thing. I’m sure you guys have heard it. And we tell people, “Don’t say that! You are cursing your life! You are telling yourself you’re gonna die. If you keep saying that, you’re gonna be at least a little depressed. So let’s stop saying that. Let’s say “I’m alive.”

When I get frustrated, I’m not gonna say, “chuketah”, I’m gonna say “salgetah”, means “I’m gonna live!” In Korea they call their children “yainosega” when they are making a raucous. It is in English, “You little rascal. What are you doing?”, this kind of thing. When the children make you frustrated, when they’re not listening to you so well, don’t use those words, let’s change them. Let’s use, “Oh, you little blessing, you!”

That’s what we do in our house. Whenever we are a little frustrated (we say), “Oh you little blessing, you!” It’s always a good thing to remind them that they are blessings, even if they are aggravating us at times. It’s always good to remind each other that we are blessings for each other. In the end, when all is said and done, after all the cloud settles, we are important to each other. We mean a lot to each other. We are blessings to each other.

So let’s remind ourselves of this. Let’s plant those good seeds. Let’s plant the good words that make good seeds and good fruit in their lives. In Deuteronomy 23:5, it says, “However, the Lord your God turned a curse into a blessing for you because the Lord, you’re God, loves you.” Deuteronomy tells us that God loves us. And by the power of that love a curse can be changed into a blessing. God has the power to change a curse into a blessing.

We can’t say, “I’m gonna die, I’d rather die, terrible, you know”…We don’t want to say these things, but we have to say, “Any evil or abusive words, any jinxes or hexes, evil eyes or curses, that were said against me are broken now.” Break them.

You have God’s love behind you. Break those curses. Don’t let them come into you. It’s like in the Buddhist tradition. They explain curses as poison arrows that hit you. If you get hit with a poison arrow what should you do? You should quickly take it out. Don’t ask, “Oh what type of poison is on the tip of this. I wonder what kind of shaft this is made of. Is it a hickory wood, or is it an elm tree wood, or maybe its pine tree.” Don’t say that. Or maybe, “Is this feather from a hawk? Or maybe it’s from a pigeon, or maybe it’s from a little sparrow.” No. Those are irrelevant questions. We don’t want to fester on those questions because while we are doing that, what’s happening to the poison? Going inside, spreading all over. And we’re gonna become immobilized…

(Here is some break in the tape, something missing)
Let me give you some examples: “May you always have blessing and prosperity. May you always be happy safe and well. May you always be free from any type of pain and suffering. May you be kind to yourself and to others with ease. And may you always have true and lasting peace.” These would be blessings that you would speak over your life. We have to use the power of our words, the power of the sacred words that we can utter, the power that God has given us. We have to use that to bless other people. Also to bless your own life too.
We don’t want to say things like, “Oh I’m terrible. Oh I’m overweight, I’m unattractive. I’m incapable. I’m insignificant.” Let’s not say this. This will curse our lives. We should say, “No. I am fully capable. I am significant. I am adequate. And I will receive the blessings that God has blessed me to have.”
So in our lives, the more blessings you give to other people, the more blessings come back to you. The more people you bless, the more you help their life change in a positive direction. Maybe you give them a little courage when they can’t believe in themselves. Maybe you believe in them when they can’t believe in themselves. Maybe you tell them something that will help them in their live.

When you do that, you can only receive more. Because, guess what? In your time of difficulty, (and we all have such time, we all have times of difficulties, we all have obstacles to overcome) in those times of difficulty, those people who are connected or who are blessed by us, will know the practice of blessing. And in our own lives, we will receive that blessing.
So let’s practice. That’s a practice: Bless your spouse every day. Do that as a practice. We have such beautiful spouses here. Let’s make a practice of blessing each other, telling each other “I love you today and forever.” Tell your children, each one of them, “I love you today and forever.” Your love is not conditional. It is unconditional, it is everlasting. It is unwavering, OK?
So let’s tell the children when they don’t believe in themselves: “You are not insignificant. You are significant. You are not inadequate. You are fully adequate. You are not incapable. You are fully capable. You are not unworthy. You are fully worthy. You are not unattractive. You are truly attractive. You are not a failure. You are a victor. And you are not cursed. You will be blessed.”

Declare this over your life. Tell your children that there will be blessing. Tell them that they will also have things to overcome, that they’ll have trouble sometimes, that they’ll have difficulties to go through, but that they can overcome those easily because they are well-equipped to do so, right? I like to tell my kids that they have the three Cs, the 3 Ps, and the 3 Is. The 3 C’s would be Character, Competence, and Compassion. The 3 Ps would be Persistence, Perseverance, and Patience. The 3 Is would be Imagination, Initiative, and Immunity to insult. That’s always an important one. “I’m immune to insult. You can throw anything at me, and I will be immune to your insult.” We have to also have that protective shield around us. We have to have that immunity to insult, OK?
So let’s give blessings. If we give blessings more, we will be blessed more, and the more we do that, we will more and more live the life of blessing that True Parents have blessed us to live.
Can you receive this today, blessed family?

OK. Thank you.

Transcriptions Submitted by Nina

Source: ipeacetv

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