I was at a conference recently, and one of the leaders of the organization asked the gathered participants for their view on why the organization is not growing. No one had an answer. It caused me to think about give and take action, because the Divine Principle teaches that give and take action is the foundation for multiplication. “Through the agency of universal prime energy, the subject and object elements of every entity form a common base and enter into interaction. This interaction, in turn, generates all the forces the entity needs for existence, multiplication and action. The interaction generating these forces through this process is called give and take action.” (Exposition of the Divine Principle, pp. 22) So give and take action is the foundation for existence, action and—to the point—multiplication.
In my view, give and take action is another word for love, and Jesus made a valuable summary of this when he said, “ For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20) This means that when two or three have a relationship in Jesus’ name, then God is in it and their community will exist, act, and multiply. So, in the words of my friend Kevin Thompson, “We can have all the teaching in the world, but if we ain’t got love, we ain’t got diddly. We can have God’s Principles, 5 Universal Principles, 4 Core Values, 8 points to pledge and any other teaching, but all of that is to guide us towards love.” This echoes St. Paul’s eternal verses in 1 Corinthians 13, telling us that we might have prophecy, knowledge, faith, and all the miraculous merit in the world, but if we have not love, we have nothing.
Now, if give and take action is about love, and love is all we need, then we should really understand give and take action. So I’m offering here a ten-step exposition on give and take action—on love relationships.
1. Common base:
The common base is the shared purpose, idea or ideal that ultimately comes from God. God works through our relationships, so indeed when two or more are gathered together in God’s name, He will be with them. When mind and body are united in God’s purpose, He is in us. Among all human beings, there are common bases. We all exist the physical body, so we can all ask, “how are you?” and get a response. We all exist in time, so we can all ask, “do you know what time it is?” We all live in the same environment, so we can ask, “how is the weather?” As we get to know each other more, we have more and more in common. Sports teams, our nation, presidential campaigns, movies… It could be a shared profession, such as an association of registrars, salesmen, presidents or priests. It could be a shared goal, such as a weight-loss group or political organization or business, or a marriage.
2. The Lover:
The Lover is the creator, the source, the origin or, in Unification parlance, the subject partner. I prefer the expression “lover and beloved” to “subject and object partners,” so that is what I will use.
3. The Beloved, the “Other”:
The Other can be my spouse, my parent, my child, my friend, my neighbor, my student, my teacher, my community, the stranger whom I can serve as a customer. The Lover should have a clear sense of for whom this gift is being created. In the business world this is called a “target market.” In common life it is just having empathy and clarity.
4. The Lover creates what is given, the gift, the product:
The idea for the gift, the product, is stimulated by the beloved; by the lover thinking about or praying or doing research about the beloved and realizing what that person needs right now. This should become a concrete manifestation, co-created with God. The Lover gives what the Beloved needs and wants in light of the shared purpose.
5. The presentation: the Lover presents the product:
Critical factors here include care, diligence, attention, good communication, on the basis of trust and legitimacy, consistency, reputation, commitment, reliability, etc. In the business world this is “branding.” In personal and social life, it is having a good reputation.
6. The reception by the Beloved:
The beloved has to receive the gift, and ideally the heart behind it. This takes intelligence and sensitivity. How many times have you had a gift refused, or slighted? Have you done that to others? Do you exhibit gratitude? Do you honor your parents? Do you pay attention to your spouse? Do you appreciate your children? Do we appreciate the labor of others, in the goods that we consume? Are we Grateful? Or are we Dead?
7. The response from the Beloved:
In Divine Principle, the response is given the generic term, “beauty,” because it is beautiful to the Lover. Beauty assumes different forms: the response to parental love to a child: filial piety; the response to a husband’s love to his wife: fidelity; the response to a leader’s love to his followers: loyalty; the response to a teacher’s love to his students: excellence; the response to a politician’s love to his country: votes; the response to a performer’s love to his audience: applause; the response to a pastor’s love to his people: repentance and rebirth; the response to a businessman’s love to the public: money. Yes, money is a form of beauty; it is congealed labor, time, effort, life, energy and thought.
In an authentic love relationship, the response is freely given. It requires the Other to give in return freely, not by coercion. Therefore our Founder said that in the ideal society, people offer funds for the public purpose, that is to say, taxes, freely. St. Paul said, be a cheerful giver.
If there are many lovers, the beloved has the freedom to choose. Many sperm will attach to one ovum, and the ovum chooses which one to let in. Many types of potato chips attach to me when I enter a deli, provided by manufacturers who love me, and I choose which one to buy.
For the relationship to grow, there has to be a response from the beloved. If the lover is not clear what the response is expected, the relationship will not develop. If the beloved is confused by the gift from the love, if it is not clear what the lover wants, or if the price is to high, or if the response is beyond the capacity of the beloved or is more than the beloved considers appropriate, the relationship will not develop. If a wife does not respond, there’s no baby. If the customer does not respond, there’s no business.
8. Transfer of ownership to the Beloved:
When the beloved receives and responds, or returns the gift in reflection, the beloved gains ownership. The lover transfers ownership to the beloved.
In a job, the owner gives the task and goals and when the worker or staff person fully responds, the worker becomes an owner and shares the ownership. If the worker is forced to work or is just working for the money, the worker is not an owner. He or she is a slave or “9 to 5’er.”
In marriage, I give myself and when my wife fully responds, my wife owns me. Friendship is an abstract of that. In childbearing, we give ourselves and when our child fully responds, our child owns the family—calling it “my family,” and the child owns him or herself. In education, the teacher gives the knowledge, heart and expertise and when the student fully responds, the student owns the material or skill. In a commercial transaction, a sale, the seller gives the product and when the buyer fully responds, by paying, the buyer owns the asset.
9. Assessment of the results by the Lover:
Here is where we truly, most critically, live for the sake of others. Love comes from the beloved. How much did my love affect the beloved? I know by my beloved’s response. Is my beloved responding? Did he, she or they respond to my giving? Did they return something? Does my beloved want ownership of what I am giving and, by extension, of me? There’s no way to assess results without a return that is measurable. There’s no way to determine value without something measurable. The measure is the price the receiver returns, is willing to give back.
10. Re-investment by the Lover:
Develop the giving based on the results Development includes self-criticism, self-reflection, willingness to change, to admit I’m not done yet, I’m not complete yet and I have greater heights to reach.
Pay attention to the response with humility; look at yourself first, your own value, what you are offering. Not to blame your spouse, your child, your customer, your community. Check your product. Improve its quality, in light of the response of the Beloved. On that basis, give more the next time. Our Father Reverend Moon’s teaching is that if the lover gives 100%, the beloved will re-invest and return that and add more, sending back 110%. Then the lover will be greatly stimulated and give in return 120%. And this will continue, defying the natural law of entropy. He teaches that this is how God created the universe, and is the secret of eternal expansion, development and growth.
In conclusion, when the purpose is of God, then God is in this entire process. It is an unfolding of God. As Jesus said, when two or three are gathering in my name, I am in the midst of them. When my mind and body are absolutely obedient to God, He is in me. When husband and wife are one in God’s blessing, He is in their relationship, which creates children and a family. When the Lover and Beloved on all levels and of all kinds are one in God, He is in the world. Let us rejoice in this and be glad, for this is His promise and He is a God who fulfills His promises.
“God is love. God is looking for each person—one on one. He wants to find each of us and hold us to His bosom, tight. Another person can be a helper, a guide, a coach, a teacher, but no one else knows you like God. No one else knows your life, your experience, your heart, except God. To have expectations of others inevitably will lead to disappointment and sorrow. Even holy men, people of wonderful heart and motivation, are not God, and God wants you directly, not indirectly. God wants you fully, not partially. God wants to be one with you. Anything less is not good enough, not complete, not whole enough for the living God and neither should it be for us.” (Kevin Thompson)