Let Us Repay Our Debts
Reverend Sun Myung Moon
Barrytown, New York
March 10, 1975
Translated by Mrs. Won Pok Choi
My topic today is going to be “Let us repay our debts. ” Let us closely study whether or not you have debts.
Before your birth, you inhabited your mother’s womb for at least nine months. I have witnessed in Mother how long she struggles when she’s conceived with a child. For three to four months, you feel like vomiting whatever you eat. You are physically feeble, so you may need more help and more love from your husband. The baby in the mother’s womb is making the mother suffer, and through the mother, he’s mobilizing even the father. Even though you are experienced, just before childbirth a mother is scared, because labor is frightening. At the moment of childbirth, the mother can die. When she’s in labor, you just cannot imagine how agonized she is. She has no one to rely on, no one whom she can really trust or lean on. You did that. Every one of you, when you were in your mother’s womb, caused that. So, you are greatly indebted to your mother, to your parents. You are the one who caused the pain and pangs, but right after the childbirth your mother felt overjoyed to see you. Immediately, she comes to love you. If it were in other matters, you would hate and feel like kicking the person who caused you such trouble and pain. If you were given every three years the same pain as your mother experienced when she gave birth to you, practically everyone would be faithful to his mother. Have you ever stopped to think that you caused such a pain to your mother’? You feel free to say anything against her, act any way against her, and you think that you are born for the sake of yourself.
In your everyday life, suppose you are hungry and almost starve to death, so you visit a friend of yours and he feeds you; you are immensely thankful to him. When you are in a difficult situation, if you are helped by one of your relatives or friends, you are grateful. But have You ever thought of the pain you have caused your mother and have you been grateful to her? Compared to the gratitude you feel towards your friends, what you should be feeling towards your parents must be many, many times more.
Before being born into the world, there was the period of time when your eyes had to be formed, your ears, your nose, your mouth. Every cell of yours was being formed in your mother’s womb. So every morning when you look at yourselves in the mirror, why don’t you remind yourselves how your eyes were formed, your nose came into being, your mouth and ears came into being. When You closely examine your face, you will find that your eyes resemble your mother’s, your ears resemble your father’s, your nose resembles your father’s again, and maybe your mouth resembles your mother’s mouth. They are a copy of either your father or mother. How can you misuse them? To you, your faces are precious; if that is true, why don’t you talk highly of your mother and father’? Why don’t you feel that they are precious to you” Your whole body, every cell of yours, belongs to them and resembles your parents. If you love yourselves why don’t you love your parents’? Seen from this point of view, we are greatly indebted first to our parents.
But have you ever seen a parent who would ask you to repay that debt? There is no way possible for us to repay the debts we have to our parents. What does the mother do after childbirth? She has to change the diapers. And if a rash appears, she has to medicate it. If you are sick, your mother stays by your bedside, just caring for you and nursing you. If you were at the brink of death, she would pray that she might die in place of you. That’s parental love. Have you ever thought of that? Your parents are a symbol of sacrifice for you. There’s no comparison to the parental love toward you.
Every morning your mother is anxious to get you on the way to school before it is late, and prays for you and begs you to be a nice boy, a nice girl, to behave yourself well at school, and be a good pupil. She warns you against misconduct and misbehavior and things like that. Every moment of her life, she is anxious for you. As time goes by, you will grow bigger and bigger, reaching adulthood, but even when you are in the university, she won’t cease to care. Is there any parent who would want to be indebted to their children? No. Until the time of their death, they want to care for their children, not thinking of any debt. They are the greatest of all benefactors. So, in terms of love, you are, have been, and are going to be indebted to your parents until your death. Suppose your parents are somewhere around 100 years old, and you are 80 years old. Still your parents think that you are their children. We often hear this story: I 00-year-old parents, if their 80-year-old son is going out driving in the car, would say, “Be careful driving the car. ” So, that love lasts for eternity, without changing.
I say for eternity because, even though they pass away into the other world, they will keep loving you and caring for you. When I think of this, I must let you know that the greatest of all loves is parental love. Suppose there’s a young mother who died leaving a young baby. Would you think the mother will have an easy heart and say, “Well, I’m glad I’m relieved from the pain, here in the spirit world?” Or, would she love the baby and care for her all the more? Her love, in the spirit world, toward the orphaned child is more than she felt on Earth. In that case, the baby must know that she’s being cared for by her mother, to a larger and higher degree. Your parents, wherever they are, are those to whom you must be grateful.
There’s no way possible for us to repay the debt to our parents. In a word, you are all indebted to your parents. You are going to be indebted to them all through eternity. So you must be loving children to them. If you love your parents one-tenth of their love towards you, then you are 90 percent indebted to them.
What about your teachers at the school where you were educated. You ignore their love towards you, but if there’s any teacher who loved you so much that he cannot forget you, then you are one of the persons implanted in his memory. You can never forget that kind of teacher who loved you so dearly. So from our birth, we are indebted to our parents, and secondly, we are indebted to our teachers who educated us.
Fallen men must be indebted to some person, either the church minister, the church itself, or the church members. Your church minister cannot save your soul without loving you more than your parents did, on a higher dimension.
Also you are indebted to your country. Especially Americans must be grateful to their nation because in this country of affluence, you have been enjoying your life while others are starving to death. The government is protecting you by exercising the law, and if you do violate the law you are always protected and cared for by your government.
You must also be grateful towards the whole of mankind. America could not have been blessed with affluence like this without other nations. By means of imports and exports you earn money, and use it for the benefit of your people. The American population itself is composed of people from all over the world. Here we have black people, white people, and yellow people living as citizens of these United States. You think you have built your own culture, your own civilization, but your forefathers brought things from other countries. Even at this very moment businessmen are drawing money and materials from other countries for the benefit of this nation. So you are indebted to the whole of mankind.
And you are indebted to your ancestors. Think of your forefathers, who founded this nation. How much blood and tears and sweat have they shed’? But for their struggle and labor, could you enjoy life in the United States? Could you ever become hippies and drug-users when you think of that? If you were starving to death you could not become hippies. You have more than enough to eat, you are degraded spiritually, you become lax, you hate life, and you hate yourself when you become hippies. When you don’t have any money to buy drugs, how can you use them? Your forefathers worked so hard to make an environment for you to enjoy; are you repaying your ancestors that way’? Being great debtors like this, how can you repay all the debts’? If you lead a meaningless life just drifting like a fallen leaf, you will die away without repaying your debt. You will remain a debtor in the spiritual world. Then would you be well received by God? (No!)
There’s a way open here. Jesus said, “Whatever you do to my little ones, in that way you are going to repay me”-something like that. Your ancestors and all the rest living in spirit world as creditors would want you to repay your debts to the whole of mankind and to your own descendants. Starting from your own family, if you repay your debts by loving your brothers and sisters, by loving your parents and relatives, friends and neighbors you reach other people. For instance, a river or stream always flows downward. The size of the river doesn’t matter, big or small it flows downward. We too must flow down, filling other people’s hearts.
Up to the present, you were never aware of being a debtor or how to repay your debt. Think of God and how He worked His providence of restoration even after we became debtors, transgressors. We named many to whom we are indebted, but more than your ancestors more than anyone else, we are indebted to God every moment of our lives. What would God want you to do to repay Him? God’s only wish would be for you to repay the debt towards other people, His own children. Your parents’ wish is for you to love your brothers and sisters more than you would your own parents. The same thing is true with God. God as the parent would want you to love your brothers and sisters more than you love Him. In God’s sight, all of mankind are brothers and sisters, so He would want you to love all mankind. Your parents would want you to love your offspring. More ideal is that you love the whole of mankind more than you would your own descendants, doing things for later generations of mankind. What God wants you to get is not knowledge, position, or wealth, but love to give to other people. You know that you would love your children naturally, as you would your own parents. With that same kind of love you must love other people. That’s the only thing God would want you to do.
Your parents would want you to be successful in life so that everybody around you would praise you and admire you, then they can be proud of their children. They would want you to love your brothers and sisters as you would yourselves, to take care of them and help them to be equally successful. So you can see divine love in your parents’ love toward you. If you are sons and daughters of filial piety, would you not want to carry out what your parents want you to do? So, you want to be able to love your brothers and sisters, your parents, relatives, friends, and neighbors, as you would your own self, and you want to be successful in worldly careers without using evil tactics or things like that, but rather by using goodness and heart. In choosing your mates, you want to have your spouse like that, too.
Let’s go back to the main point. We are aware that we are all great debtors. And now you have learned how to repay the debts. Repay means pay back. But your creditors wouldn’t want you to pay back the money to them, but to pay it to your descendants and people around you. In God’s love, everything good and valuable flows down, like water flows downward filling up any shallow places, and when it is on level ground, it covers the whole space. That’s the only way possible for us to repay. There are two ways to repay your debt: on the horizontal level towards all mankind; and vertically to your descendants. You must always be thinking how to repay the debt, what to leave for mankind and what to leave for your descendants. An artist would want to leave a masterpiece of his handiwork. Your leaving something means you transmit your love to other people. If you want to repay your debt in the soonest possible future, you must choose the place. Which is the best place for you to repay all the debt-your home, your relatives, your neighbor, your church, or what? When you do it through your church, it means you are doing it through God.
Let me tell you why the Church is the best place for you to repay your debt. If you pay by means of the Church, God will be delighted in that. Up to the present in human history we find that the church has played the major role in building up culture and civilization. If not for Christianity, do you think America as it is today could have been built? Without Christianity fifty states could have meant 50 nations. Religion and the love of God enabled them to be harmonized into oneness, with one purpose. Let me prove that. In the Unification Church, we are one with each other, be it black or white. Here it is possible because we have the same purpose, the same goal. First we have to deny ourselves in order to be mingled together into ultimate oneness. There’s nothing like white or yellow or black in God’s sight. Through religion, people talk more highly of the purpose of the whole state than they do of the purpose of smaller communities, more highly of the purpose of the whole country than the purpose of any one state, and ultimately, more highly of the purpose of God. God-abiding churches alone can do the job of bringing oneness to all people. So, before loving the United States, you must love your church; before loving your parents, you must love your church. This is because churches have been playing the role of amalgamating or distributing love towards other people on the horizontal level. More than schools, the church has educated you in that field. Churches are the place where many activities are carried on to love your friends, your family, your neighbors, and all mankind. This is the arena of the practice of love. Seen from this viewpoint, we will choose the church as the place where we can pay our debts in the soonest possible future.
How many nationalities do we have here in terms of your ancestors? You are people from all over the world, from many nationalities. Then it means if you really love America you must love the whole world. If you are strongly united into one, it is the symbol of all mankind being able to be united into one. Is there any hope for Unification Church members to become one, and to make the world become one? (Yes!)
Suppose we have members of 120 nationalities here, and one from each nationality came to you, asking for something; for instance, one would ask you for your finger to be cut off for him. Would you do that? (Yes.) Then you will be cut into 120 pieces. That means sacrificing yourself. So, for total love and dedication, you must sacrifice yourself. That’s our conclusion: You must give away your whole being. Again, we feel the depth of the truth when we read Jesus saying, “Anyone who wants to lose his life will gain it, and he who is prepared to gain his life will lose it.” If you are ready to sacrifice yourself for the sake of other people, you can save your own life and you can save others’ lives so that they will belong to you.
Since we are such great debtors that we have no way to pay back all our debts, why don’t we be ready to sacrifice ourselves; it is better to sacrifice our lives than to remain debtors. In a word, I tell you to love others as God would love them, but that doesn’t come to you in the concrete sense. But God showed His love towards mankind through your parents. So, you want to follow the example of your parents in loving others. Your parents have loved you more than they would their own selves. You must love your brothers and sisters and all mankind as you would your own self. That will solve the whole problem. Then you will repay all your debts and still leave something behind. The purpose of our life is to pay back all debts and then leave something behind in terms of transmitting our love to others. Our conclusion is the motto we are always chanting, “Let us strive forward with Father’s heart, in the shoes of a servant, shedding tears for mankind, sweat for Earth, and blood for Heaven.” In that way alone, we will repay our debt and leave something behind. If you live your life in that way, you are entitled to the Heavenly Kingdom.
God would be anxious to educate you in that way, and your own parents are anxious to educate you in that way. However hard they may study other tactics, there’s no other way possible than this, and no better way possible than this. Every moment you are loved by your parents, friends, teachers, and relatives. That very moment you must think of transmitting the love to others, with interest added so that you can love others all the more. If you are a debtor you cannot lift your face; you are not free in your thinking and acting, you are humiliated. American young people look so liberated, so free in doing things. It is because they don’t realize that they are debtors. Only after having repaid your debt can you feel free to think of things and say things and act out things in whatever way you wish, and that will meet God’s standard. While you are debtors, if you act arrogantly, people will point to you, calling you names, reviling you. We have the mistaken idea of our not being debtors in the golden life. If you are sure that a certain person, the least, especially in the western world. You become hippies and you hate people. In that case you are being utilized by satanic power. Satan is undermining this country through you.
With the knowledge that you are debtors, you cannot sit still without paying the debt. If you really know that you are debtors, can you lead an easy life, and enjoy life, without paying for it? (No.) So you must be agonized and uneasy every moment. If you find yourself able to repay the debt, that would ease your heart a little bit. So, as a debtor, there’s no other way possible to be happy than by repaying the debt. As I said before, the best place for you to repay your debt is the church. You are now here in the Unification Church for that purpose. Our method of repaying our debt is to make the whole of mankind into one family. There’s no division of families, clans, tribes, or nations in our movement. The whole world is one. All people will want to belong to us.
Why do you admire me and love me and want to belong to me? Briefly speaking, you know that I know the true way so you want to ride on me to go to for instance your parent, loves you and is willing to carry you on his back to the goal you utilize him and he is willing to do the job. So am 1, and God is that way all the more. But if you want more speed, I want you to go ahead of me, even. I will stay here, being what I am. But you go out to the local churches, states, and other countries to occupy that territory for God; you will be in the vanguard, and I’m behind you. You are going to experience a bit of everything I have experienced. You will be reviled by the people, be placed under persecution and difficulties, and you will know what I have gone through. But are you going to complain and feel like escaping from the situation? (No!) That is because I have never wanted to escape from the situation, and you are going to follow my example. By my going through bitter experiences, I have paved the way smooth for you to go. In that sense, you are indebted to me. The way for you to repay the debt to me is to do the same, following my example. Then you can pay it back to other people.