Sermon: From Emotion to Action

Rev. Hyung Jin Nim’s Sermon, Headquarters, Chungpadong, Seoul, March 15 2008

Topic:From Emotion to Action

What am I saying? I am saying, “It’s important in your lives to not overcondemn yourself (to not condemn you too much).” When you have emotion, it’s OK. We are human beings, we have emotions. God has emotions. We are made in His image. It’s OK to feel emotions. It’s very important actually to feel emotions in our lives. If we don’t feel emotions – psychologists dignose people who cannot feel strong emotions, intense emotions, as psychopaths – so it’s very important to be able to feel emotions. It’s important to give yourself the permission to feel emotions.

Hyung Jin Nim’s Welcoming Message:

Brothers and sisters, I’d like to share this with you from Cheon Seong Gyeong, page 1250: “Of all the blessings in the world, the most precious blessing is the love of God. The second most precious blessing is inheriting God’s power of creation. Just as God created Adam and Eve, you were given the power to create through the children that you have.”

I really want to draw attention to that because today I want us to recognize how precious our children are. It’s so important that we understand the power of this blessing and that we really see our children with those kind of divine eyes, that we see them as the real blessings that they are.

When we call them – I encourage you, even when we are a little upset with the kids – call them, “O blessings, come over here!” Always call them “Blessings” not “Little rascals get over here!” Always make sure you say, “Blessing, come here child.” Let’s see them with God’s eyes. Let’s remember that we are receiving God’s love.

Our pastor’s wife Genn Toffey has just come back from America. Welcome back! (applause) Allright, good to see you

Let’s always remember that we are precious. Let’s always see ourselves with God’s eyes; let’s see ourselves with divine value, cosmic value. Let’s see ourselves as unique, one of a kind, no one like us.

It’s so important that we fill ourselves with these types of visions, that we create our self- identity along such teachings that we hear. It’s very important that we don’t go through the day and give ourselves a hard time, being very critical. Of course all of us have things to change and improve but it’s more important – the majority of the time – to fill ourselves with God- filled words, faith-filled words, knowing that we are powerful, that we have the power of creation, knowing that we have the love of God, knowing that we can get through any obstacle that is in our path, knowing that we have the courage and the strength, the wisdom, to make the right decisions etc…

If we can start seeing ourselves that way, then we’ll be able to move through life with more Peace, more Illumination, more Victory.

Brothers and sisters, I want to invite you all today. Thank you for coming. We really welcome you today on this beautiful glorious spring. I know it’s warm outside, but let’s keep it warm and beautiful on the inside as well. Let’s have a great service. Thank you so much!

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Yeon Ah Nim’s Message:

Once I asked my husband about my frustration. I asked him, “Yobo, sometimes I don’t feel like myself. I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like I have to live up to some super-human expectations, since we’ve started our ministry. Especially I feel this pressure, when I raise my children, that I have to raise them to be a certain people who never cry and never have their bad days, and speak divine words at the age of 3 (laughter), something like that.”

So when I said that, my husband told me something that made me really think again. He said, “Yobo, let’s not raise our children well because we want to get a reward or a trophy from somebody else, but raise them well because it is worth doing. As long as we stick to this principle we will be OK and they will be OK, too.”

Brothers and sisters let us keep our direction moving upwards. We will have bad days and good days, but let’s give ourselves and our children permission to be human. Let us keep our trend moving up. Brothers and sisters we love you so much and we believe in you. Aju!

Now we have to be very clear that the emotions were not the fall itself; they were contributing factors to the fall but they were not the fall itself. So it’s very important that we understand that our emotions are not the act of the fall itself or the act of wrong actions, but they may cause us to create such things in our lives. So it is important to learn how to work with our emotions, to allow ourselves to have those emotions, to learn how to work with them, so they don’t start to influence our actions.

Hyung Jin Nim’s Interesting Story:

As we always begin, I’d like to begin with something a little interesting. I heard a very interesting story; you may like that. A story about a nice elderly woman. She used to sit on her porch and whenever anybody passed by -she was a very faith-filled woman- she would say,”God be praised! God be praised!” like that.

And next door, she had a nice neighbor; he was an atheist and he was passing by one day and the old grandma, she said,” God be praised!, God be praised!” and the atheist said,” There’s no God, stop screaming that!”

One day he was coming on back from work, and he saw her on her porch, but she was quiet in prayer, she was talking in prayer. So in passing by, he heard her pray; and she was praying, “Heavenly Father, please give me some help! I have a party that’s coming up and I need to have enough food and good recipees for the occasion, so please bless me with that.”

The atheist heard that and he said, “You know what, I’m going to play a little joke on that woman”. He went to the grocery store, bought a whole bunch of groceries. Then the next morning, he placed them out, layed them out in front of the porch. The lady came out the next morning. She saw these miraculous groceries in front of her porch. She said, “Oh my God! May God be praised!”

At that instant the atheist jumped out from the bushes and he said, “I bought it lady. It wasn’t God. I’m the one who bought it”. She waited for just a moment and she said, “May God be praised! Not only did He buy me groceries but He made the devil pay for them too!”

Hyung Jin Nim’s Message

I’d like to talk to you today about “From Emotion to Action” Many times in our lives, when we are living the blessed life, it’s important to allow ourselves, as my wife said in the opening, in her comments, she said,” We have to sometimes give ourselves the permission to be human, give ourselves the permission to be made in God’s image”.

We have to realize that human beings have very strong emotions. Sometimes we feel anger; sometimes we feel other things in the emotional realm. And it’s important to realize that it’s OK to have feelings. It’s OK to have emotions; even sometimes it’s OK to have what we usually associate as negative emotions (what we usually call “negative” emotions).

The key to living the blessed life is to make sure that our actions are moving in the right direction. Our emotions can influence our actions, but it’s very important that we don’t start condemning ourselves for sometimes getting a little upset or having a little less patience than we should have etc.. but (it’s important that) we continue to grow, continue to improve our actions as we move along.

People say that there are two types of people that cannot feel strong emotions. The first type of persons that cannot feel strong emotions are what they call psychopaths. The second one are dead people (laughter).

So we have to realize that it’s very important to learn how to feel emotions. It’s important to acknowledge that we can at times have strong emotions. When we look theologically, we see that God also has great emotions. Father taught us about a personal and emotional God, a God that we are truly made in the image of. And even God gets angry. We’ve seen His holy anger. We heard about it in the Principle.

When Adam and Eve lied to Him, when they didn’t answer Him when He called, He felt betrayed; He felt very displeased. He was even angry at that time. He saw His ideal crumbling before Him. Even with Noah and the flood, we already know the story about how God was very angry with humanity. He was very disappointed. And particularly, when He saw Christ on the cross, when he (Jesus) was not able to create unity with the people of his time, then we see also God had tremendous pain.

For 6,000 years (technical problem occured at this point)…Let’s take a look at this. That’s God’s tear; you see there His tear! That’s from “The Passion”. We have to realize that also God has the ability to feel emotions. He also feels intense pain at times. For 6,000 years, He has felt resentment, a sort of unfulfilled emptiness in His heart that we usually translate as resentment. It’s “han” in Korean.

And at the beginning – when we look at the whole situation of the fall – we see that Lucifer who was created by God – he was an angel, and he also felt very strong emotions – he felt jealous of Eve, for example. He felt very powerful emotions. The real key here is to realize that he started acting on those emotions. He started believing that they were his identity. He started being controlled by these emotions.

Now we have to be very clear that the emotions were not the fall itself; they were contributing factors to the fall but they were not the fall itself. So it’s very important that we understand that our emotions are not the act of the fall itself or the act of wrong actions, but they may cause us to create such things in our lives. So it is important to learn how to work with our emotions, to allow ourselves to have those emotions, to learn how to work with them, so they don’t start to influence our actions.

Let’s have a look at this slide, next: When we look at it, there’re probably about 6 ways of behaving when we have for example different types of emotions. Let’s say we have a negative emotion, and that negative emotion can, number 1, lead to a positive action. For example when Martin Luther King felt the real injustice of slavery or inequities of the racial distinctions in the racism that he felt in his country, then his anger, that holy anger, turned into positive action. He turned it into an action that was making a call for social justice.

Gandhi in India had the same thing where he felt the intense anger of the inequities of the caste system and he began to mobilize a movement to fight against that, to change that. That would be where a negative emotion like anger turns into a positive action, OK?

There’s another type of action that a negative emotion can lead to and that is no action. A negative emotion can lead to no action and that would be the yellow light that we see; the yellow light would be no action. So although we feel that (emotion), we don’t necessarily act on it, we just keep in the phase of non-action.

And the third would be that a negative emotion leads to a negative action, right? And of course, that would be considered one of the not so good ways of using a negative emotion where a negative emotion leads to a negative action. I am angry at somebody, so I am going to verbally attack them. I am angry at somebody so I’m going to hit them, etc..like this. This is where a negative emotion would lead to a negative action.

In the next slide, we’ll see how a positive emotion can of course lead to a positive action, right? I feel joy so I want to give other people joy. That’s a very good thing, but we can also see how a green light turns into a yellow light, from positive emotion to no action. We feel joy but we keep it to ourselves. It doesn’t lead to any particular type of action. The third of course is where a positive emotion leads to a negative action. I may feel joy, and so, because I am the only one who wants to feel joy, I’m going to try to steal everybody else’s joy, so I’m the only one who can feel it. That would be a positive emotion leading to a negative action.

So we can see that there are different ways to behave after we feel the initial emotions. And I would say it’s very important to keep our action life, to keep our blessed life moving with greens, and sometimes yellows, but let’s keep them away from the reds. It’s very important that we are able to feel those emotions, that we’re able to work with those emotions and guide them towards the green lights into positive actions; or sometimes no action is better than negative action. It’s important that we learn how to work with these emotions so that we can start moving into the right direction, to keep progressing. We can use the green and the yellow lights to keep moving forward in our blessed lives.

Now let’s remember one thing that we can see from this: Negative emotions are not always evil.

If you have a negative emotion, it’s important not to start condemning yourself, and start saying, “How evil I am! I am getting angry. How my fallen natures are coming out”. (It’s important) not to do this kind of thing but to learn how to channel that, to start learning that if we use even powerful emotions like anger, powerful emotions like frustration, in the right way, we can change them into positive actions, or at the very least that we can keep them to ourselves, keep them in the non action phase.

I gave some example where Martin Luther King used his holy anger to fight against discrimination. Here is Martin Luther King, negative emotion leading to a positive action; we have Gandhi, the same example, negative emotion leading to a positive action, and True Father as well. When True Father was fighting against communism…. a lot of you were very active at the time, where communism was really making an injustice against God, not allowing religion to be set in their lands, and so Father initiated the VOC movement, Victory over Communism movement, to really bring justice to God. He used that holy anger, that feeling of injustice, and worked on it to make social change, to bring about a better land, to allow communism to not thrive and put their roots down.

We can see that it’s very important in our lives to start learning how to practice with our emotions, to start learning how to train with our emotions. I was speaking to a mother, who felt very guilty. She was very guilty to herself, because she kept on being very angry at her children. She is not necessarily screaming at them, or yelling at them, but she is angry sometimes. It’s important to allow yourself, as a mother, to sometimes to feel angry; sometimes kids do things that make us angry as parents, you know! But it’s important not to start condemning yourself, “I am such a bad parent! Satan is invading me, he is destroying my life. I am very evil!”

It’s not good to do that. It’s important to allow ourselves to feel the power of that emotion, but to change that emotion into good action. So, I feel angry at my chidren; so I am going to use that to give me a positive impetus or a positive drive to treat them better or to speak with them with a kinder voice.

I was speaking to a father. He was very judgmental of himself. He was talking about when he had his first child. He was feeling jealous of that child. Here he was, he used to spend time with his wife. They could go on dates and spend time together and he is the apple of her eye, but as soon as the baby comes in the picture, then the mom has to take care of her (the baby) and he sees her hold her and kiss her all the time, and he’s saying, “Hey, what about me?”

So I heard the husband talk about that and feeling judged, “Maybe I am a bad father, maybe I’m selfish because I’m feeling jealous of my child because I feel a little envious. Maybe I’m not a good father.” And I told him, “You know what, it’s important to allow yourself to be human. All fathers feel that. At some point in our lives, as fathers we feel, ‘I wish I could get a little more attention from my wife'”.

Dads, I see you laughing, so you can’t hide it from me, but it’s so important that we allow ourselves to feel that. OK we have those emotions, that’s fine, but let us not act on those emotions, let’s not take them to try to separate our child from the mother. Let us not do those kinds of things, but let us acknowledge that we are human; let us allow ourselves to feel those emotions. Let us not start condemning ourselves.

It’s very important that when these negative emotions come up, when anger, these powerful emotions, like a little bit of envious feelings with the kids come up, it’s important to learn how to work with them. It’s important to learn how to use them, how to be in work with them. It’s important that when they come up, not to necessarily converse (have a give and receive) with them.

You’ll see in this next picture that when a negative emotion comes up, it’s really saying to you (don’t say to you), “Oh, you really are not a good daddy. How can you be jealous of your children, they are only 2 months old. How can you be so jealous? How old are you? You are 30 + years old, you are 40 years old, and you are only thinking about yourself?” Don’t get into dialogue with that thing. Don’t start saying, “I know, I’m so terrible. I really am kind of selfish”, “Yes, you are selfish, you should really be repenting more”, ” Oh I know. I can’t get out of it, it’s just overpowering me”.

You see, we don’t want to get into dialogue with that. Once we start creating a common base and start giving and receiving with this particular type of emotion then we allow it to start overcoming us, and we start allowing it to overpower us.

Here, take a look at this picture: it’s kind of like this, when these negative emotions come up, they’re going to be trying to tempt us into getting into a common base with them. They’re going to be trying to say, “Come, come, make a common base to me so I can have give and take with you”. They’re going to want to do that with us.

It’s very important that when we have these negative emotions, we allow ourselves to have them. We don’t deny that they’re there; we allow ourselves to have them but not necessarily start giving and taking with them. It’s important to sometimes just watch it come, watch it trying to tempt you saying, “Talk to me, you know you are a bad parent, talk to me, you know, you’re neglecting your spouse, talk to me, you are neglecting your children”. When it says those kinds of things, just watch it; just watch it, and don’t give and take with it. Let it just use up its energy.

What you’ll find is that that emotion will become weaker. As you do not create a common base with it, you will not allow it to move into give and receive action with you. As it cannot be moved into give and receive action with you, that emotion has absolutly no power over you. So it’s important to allow yourself, not to start to condemn yourself as soon as you have it, but to see it, to keep yourself distant, to put it in a little box, in a nice little box like that.

Don’t let it come and talk to you, don’t let it come and try to tempt you to talk to it and to converse with it, and remind yourself how bad you are. But just you can watch it, you can see it getting weaker and weaker. And as you do that it will gently pass; it will gently move away.

It’s almost like being a doctor, who’s watching a patient, not necessarily giving and taking with that patient but observing it, watching, seeing what are the symptoms, what are the things that that patient is doing. In the same way as those emotions come, we don’t have to deny them, we don’t have to condemn ourselves for having them, but we don’t have to necessarily create a commom base with them. It’s so important that when it (the emotion) is in that drive to try to connect with us, that we start to separate ourselves, that we don’t let these emotions overpower us.

And really, when we think about it from a Principle perspective, this was really the problem of the fall. The problem with Lucifer was not that he felt emotion; the problem was not that he had a powerful emotion, because any elder son, or elder child may feel envious of their younger siblings. The point was not that. The point was that he started to dialogue with that in his mind. He started to say, “Yes, wait a minute, that’s right. God loves them more than me. He does not love me as much” and he started to get into conversation with that. That allowed the emotion get stronger, that allowed the common base with that emotion to get stronger, and the give and receive to get stronger. And that is the problem that led to the fall.

It’s so important that when we analyze this in our lives, that we learn to not judge ourselves so heavily for having the emotion. The emotion itself is not the problem; it’s the emotion that we start giving and receiving with, that influences our action, that is the problem. So it’s important (to understand), at times, we have good days, we have bad days, as human beings. It’s important to let ourselves have the permission to do so, to have the good days, to have the bad days as well, to feel the ups and downs of life but to not necessarily be controlled by these ups and downs.

In my own life, during Hoon Dok Hwe, I remember one time – Shin Ju is our fourth child and he travels with True Parents a lot – I remember one time it was before breakfast, and he came out and Parents were giving him candies. He (True Father) gave him one candy, OK, he was happy, very delighted, and a couple of seconds later, it was another candy, and a couple of seconds later, another candy and if he started complaining a little bit, OK there another candy, more candy. And they also bought me a shirt, very cute. It says, “Grandma’s rules: Number 1: Give the grandchildren praise, number 2: Give them candy, number 3: Send them home” (laughter).


I remember that one time, Parents were giving my baby boy a lot of candies, and I am sitting here watching and saying (to myself), “This is terrible for his health, this is not good for his health; he has not even had breakfast yet. The child has eaten maybe 20 servings of candy, he is not going to be healthy”. And personally I felt angry. I would be lying if denied it. I am feeling angry; I am very frustrated seeing my little boy digest 20 pieces of candy before breakfast.

And at times I could hear myself say, “You know, why are Parents doing this? Do they really care about the boy’s health? Do they know how bad that candy is for him? Before breakfast? That’s terrible! How could they do that?” So I hear myself saying these kinds of things. But it is important, because at that time I didn’t start judging myself. I didn’t think, “Oh my God, you are getting angry at the True Parents of heaven and earth. You are condemned to hell for ever”. (laughter). No, I allowed myself to be human. I said, “OK I can feel his emotion, I have the permission to be human. I can feel this emotion, I can feel this anger”, but I didn’t act on it. I didn’t start yelling at them, and start cursing at them, saying, “What are you doing?” I let myself feel that emotion, and I separated from it; I didn’t have give and take with it.

And what I noticed is that….. and it’s the same in meditation practise as well, but you’ll notice that emotions fade. If you do not create common bases with them emotions fade, they always fade. So as I became more calm, as I became more centered, then I went to Father, and said, “You know, Father, maybe it’s better to give him vitamins instead of the candies before breakfast”, a more skillfull way of approaching that situation, without the anger. (Laughter) There is no need for the anger to come out with my actions, even though I gave myself permission to feel that internally. There is no need for them to start coming out and ruining my relationships. So when I did – it was very interesting – Father said, “That’s a good idea!” Now before breakfast Shin Ju is eating 4 to 5 vitamins. I am happy, Parents are happy. You see it all worked out. (Applause). Occasionally there is a little candy, but I feel that on the majority of the side, it rather came out quite well.

What am I saying? I am saying, “It’s important in your lives to not overcondemn yourself (to not condemn you too much).” When you have emotion, it’s OK. We are human beings, we have emotions. God has emotions. We are made in His image. It’s OK to feel emotions. It’s very important actually to feel emotions in our lives. If we don’t feel emotions – psychologists dignose people who cannot feel strong emotions, intense emotions, as psychopaths – so it’s very important to be able to feel emotions. It’s important to give yourself the permission to feel emotions.

But it’s important then that we take responsibility for our actions, to be accountable for our actions then. Because allowing ourselves to have the emotions is very freeing, but it would be misleading to think, “Oh, you know, during the sermon he said that I can feel emotions, I can feel whatever I want, I can do whatever I want; it’s fine.” It’s really not what I am saying. I am saying that the emotion is OK to feel, to have, but it’s important that we start being responsible and accountable for the actions, and that’s where we have the control. We may not have the control over what kind of emotion we have but we have the control over what kind of action that becomes, and really this is the key to living a blessed life, I believe, in this realm.

So what can we learn today? Human beings have strong emotions, brothers and sisters. God has emotions. You all have emotions, I have emotions. It’s OK to feel these emotions; it’s normal to have emotions. In fact, it’s even psychologically healthy to have strong emotions, OK? To feel them it’s totally OK.

But let’s remember the 6 ways of acting on those emotions. Remember that green light, yellow light, red light? We want to stay away from red lights. Even though it may be a negative emotion or a positive emotion, we want to stay away from turning them into negative actions. But in our blessed life, if we have these strong emotions, even joy, even anger, whatever they may be, let us use them to move to the green lights, to the yellow lights, to positive actions. Even at times, if you can’t do it into a positive action, then no action is better than a negative action.

Let’s be then like a doctor, and let’s put that negative emotion into a separate space. Put it into a nice little box as you saw; don’t get into dialogue with it. When it starts trying to condemn you, trying to say, “You are bad, you are this and that, you are so selfish; look at you, Satan is invading your mind, you are only thinking of yourself.” When it starts doing that, don’t listen to that, OK? Put it in this little place, and allow it to waste its energy. Dont’ create a common base and let’s move forward like that. If we do that we will not be denying that it’s there. We’ll be allowing ourselves to have that emotion, but we will not be doing the self condemnation that is so devastating for our lives. So we’ll be moving (away) from emotion, having more control and creating stronger actions in our lives.


If we do that, if we create the right common bases, create common bases that move into positive actions, create common bases with emotions that move into positive good will, good actions, good change for social environment, even for ourselves, we will be having more Victory, more Illumination, and more Peace in our lives, and we’ll live that blessed life that True Parents have blessed us to live.

Brothers and sisters can you accept this message today?
Thank you so much!

Hyung Jin Nim’s Prayer

Before we end, we always like to include all the brothers and sisters around the world. We’re going to ask you all to join us in a very brief prayer.


“Heavenly Parents, we are offering this day to You today, and Father, we are thanking you for the ability to have heartistic realms, and emotional realm, and intellectual realm, and a realm of will that you have given all of us. Father, we ask that you may allow us to feel the greatness and depth of each one of those realms and allow us to become responsible for our actions, accountable for our actions. Thank you for this day. We are praying that you may allow us to become the palaces of your love, your peace and your lineage. Father we are repenting for any wrong doings that we may have done and Father we pray that You may come into our hearts and always be sitting in our hearts of glory. Father, thank you for this day; we pray these things in the name of Hyung Jin Kajong (family), a member of a blessed central family. Aju!

Brothers and sisters, if we always keep True Parents in our hearts, if we attend them in our hearts, on the throne of glory that we place there, I do believe that we”ll have more Victory, more Illumination, and more Peace then we can imagine.

Transcribed by:Rev. Beatrice Clyburn

Edited by: Rev. Bruno Klotz

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