How to Pursue the Truth (17) Part Three

In this world, what kind of people are the worthiest of respect? Is it not those who walk the right path? What does “the right path” refer to here? Does it not mean pursuing the truth and accepting God’s salvation? Are those who walk the right path not people who follow and submit to God? (They are.) If you are this kind of person, or you endeavor to be, and your parents do not understand you, and even always curse you—if, when you are weak, depressed, and lost, they not only fail to support, comfort, or encourage you, they often demand that you come back to show them filial piety, to earn a lot of money and take care of them, to not let them down, to enable them to bask in the light with you, and live a good life with you—should parents like this not be cast aside? (Yes.) Are parents like this worthy of your respect? Are they worthy of your filial piety? Are they worthy of you fulfilling your responsibility to them? (No.) Why not? It is because they are averse to positive things, is this not a fact? (It is.) It is because they hate God, is that not a fact? (It is.) It is because they disdain you walking the right path, is that not a fact? (It is.) They disdain people who engage in just causes; they scorn and look down on you because you follow God and perform your duty. What kind of parents are these? Are they not despicable and vile parents? Are they not selfish parents? Are they not wicked parents? (They are.) You have been chased and hunted by the great red dragon in your belief in God, you have been on the run, unable to return home, and some people have even had to go overseas. Your relatives, friends, and classmates all say that you’ve become a fugitive, and because of these external rumors and gossip, your parents think that you have made them suffer unjustly, and embarrassed them. Not only do they not understand, support, or empathize with you, not only do they not reproach the people spreading those rumors, and those who despise and discriminate against you, your parents also hate you, they say the same things about you as those people who do not believe in God and those who are in power. What do you think of these parents? Are they good? (No.) Then do you still feel that you are indebted to them? (No.) If you occasionally give your family a call, they will think that it’s like receiving a call from a fugitive. They will feel that it is a great humiliation, and that you do not dare to even return home, like a hunted rat. They will feel that it is embarrassing to have you as a child. Are parents like these worthy of respect? (No.) They are not worthy of respect. So, what is the nature of their expectations for you? Are they worth you keeping in mind? (No.) What is the main goal of their expectations for you? Do they really want you to walk the right path and ultimately attain salvation? They hope that you will follow the trends of society and rise up in the world, put a feather in their caps, enable them to face the world with dignity, and become their pride and joy. What else? They want to be able to bask in the light along with you, to eat and drink well, to wear nice brands and to be dripping in gold and silver. They want to go on luxury cruise ships and go traveling to every country in the world. If you were to rise up in the world, to have fame and money in this world, and enable them to bask in the light along with you, they would mention your name everywhere they went, saying: “My son, my daughter is so-and-so.” Do they mention your name now? (No.) You are walking the right path, but they do not bring up your name. They think that you are penniless and destitute, an embarrassment, and that mentioning you would be equivalent to bringing shame on themselves, so they don’t bring you up. Therefore, what is the aim of your parents’ expectations? It is to bask in the light with you, it is not purely for your own good. They will only be happy when they can bask in your light. Now you have returned before the Lord of creation, and accepted God, His salvation, and His words, now you have taken up the duty of a created being, and embarked on the right path in life, they are not profiting or benefiting from you, and they feel that they have lost out by raising you. It is as if they are doing business, and have made a loss. Consequently, they are filled with regret. Some parents often say: “Raising you is worse than raising a dog. When you raise a dog, it’s very friendly and knows to wag its tail when it sees its master. What can I expect from raising you? You spend all day believing in God and performing your duty, you don’t do business, you don’t go to work, you don’t even want a secure livelihood, and in the end all of our neighbors have started laughing at us. What have I gained from you? I haven’t gotten a single good thing from you, or basked in any light at all.” If you followed the evil trends of the secular world, and strived to be successful there, your parents would probably support, encourage, and comfort you if you were to suffer, fall ill, or feel sad. And yet, they do not feel happy or rejoice at the fact that you believe in God and have a chance to be saved. On the contrary, they hate and curse you. Based on their essence, these parents are your foes and your sworn enemies, they are not the same kind of people as you, and they are not walking the same path as you. Though you appear to be a family on the surface, based on your essences, your pursuits, your preferences, the paths that you follow, and the various attitudes with which you approach positive things, God, and the truth, they are not the same kind of people as you. Therefore, no matter how much you say, “I have hope of salvation, I have embarked upon the right path in life,” they will be unmoved, and they will not feel happy for you, or rejoice for you. Instead, they will feel ashamed. On an emotional level, these parents are your family, but based on your nature essences, they are not your family, they are your enemies. Think about it, if children bring presents and money when they go home, and enable their parents to eat well and live in nice places, their parents will be overjoyed, they will be so happy that they will not know what to say. In their hearts, they will keep saying: “My son is so great, my daughter is so great. I didn’t raise and love them for nothing. They’re sensible, they know to show filial piety to us, and we have a place in their hearts. They’re a good kid.” Say that you go home empty-handed, without buying anything, because you are believing in God and performing your duty. Suppose that you fellowship on the truth with your parents, talk about God’s word, and say that you have embarked upon the path of pursuing the truth. Your parents will immediately think: “What are you going on about? I can’t understand you. I’ve raised you for all these years, and you haven’t fulfilled any of my expectations. You’ve finally come back to visit us, you could have at least bought us a pair of socks or some fruit. You didn’t bring anything, you just came back empty-handed.” Your parents won’t say: “Hearing you say these things, I can tell that you’ve changed a lot. Before you were young and arrogant, but now you’ve really changed. I can tell that all the things you’re talking about are proper matters. You’ve made progress. You have promise, and there is hope for you—you’re able to walk the right path, and to follow God and gain salvation. You are a good kid. You’ve been suffering out there, I should make you something tasty to eat. We keep a few chickens, and usually we don’t want to kill them, we wait to eat their eggs instead. But now you’re home, I’ll kill a chicken, and brew some chicken soup for you. You were right to choose this path, you’ll be able to attain salvation. I feel so happy for you! I’ve missed you a lot over these past few years. Though we haven’t been in contact, you’ve come back to visit us now, and I feel at ease. You’ve grown up. You’re more mature and sensible than you were before. The things that you say and do are all proper things.” Through seeing their child walking the right path, and possessing the correct thoughts and views, parents can also benefit and expand their knowledge. Since their child is able to perform a duty and pursue the truth, these parents should support them. If, in the future, their child attains salvation and enters the kingdom, and is no longer harmed by their satanic, corrupt dispositions, that would be a wonderful thing. Though these parents are old, slow to comprehend the truth, and don’t quite understand these matters, they feel: “My child can walk the right path, that’s great. They’re a good kid. No high-ranking government position and no amount of wealth are as good or as valuable as this!” Tell Me, are these good parents? (Yes.) Are they worthy of respect? (Yes.) They are worthy of your respect. So, how should you show them respect? You should pray for them in your heart. If they believe in God, you should pray for God to guide and keep them, so that they can stand firm in their witness during trials and temptation. If they do not believe in God, you should still respect their decision, and hope that their lives will be stable, that they will not do anything bad, and that they will commit fewer evil deeds, then, at best, they will suffer less punishment after their deaths; furthermore, you should do your utmost to fellowship on some positive things, thoughts, and views with them. This is called respect, and it can also be called the best kind of filial piety and the best fulfillment of your responsibilities. Can you achieve this? (Yes.) On a spiritual and psychological level, give them encouragement and support. On a physical level, while you are accompanying them at home, do your utmost to help them get some work done, and fellowship on some things that you understand and that your parents can comprehend. Help them to take it easy, to not tire themselves out so much, to not make too much of a fuss about finances and all other kinds of matters, and to let things take their course. This is called respect. Treat your parents as good, decent people, fulfill a bit of your responsibilities to them, show them a bit of filial piety, and perform some of your obligations to them. This is called respect. Only parents that understand and support your belief in God like this are worthy of respect. Apart from them, no other parents are worthy of respect. Aside from getting you to earn money, they want you to rise up in the world, to make a name for yourself, and to do this or that. These are parents who do not attend to their proper affairs, and they are unworthy of respect.

Now you all understand letting go of parental expectations, and you are able to let go of your parents’ expectations. What other things are you unable to let go of? When it comes to your parents’ lives or to your parents themselves, what things do you care most about? That is, what things are the hardest for you to part with or let go of on an emotional level? “Your parents are not your creditors; your parents are not the masters of your life or your fate”—haven’t we basically finished fellowshipping on this topic? Do you understand it? (Yes.) Your parents are not your creditors—that is, you shouldn’t always ponder on how you must repay them just because they’ve spent so long raising you. If you are not able to repay them, if you do not have the chance or the right circumstances to repay them, you’ll always feel sad and guilty, to the extent that you will even feel sad whenever you see someone with, taking care of, or doing some things to show filial piety to their parents. God ordained that your parents would raise you, enabling you to grow into an adult, not so that you would spend your life repaying them. You have responsibilities and obligations that you must fulfill in this life, a path that you must take, and you have your own life. In this life, you should not put all of your energy into repaying your parents’ kindness. This is just something that accompanies you in your life and on your life path. In terms of humanity and emotional relationships, it is something that is unavoidable. But as for what kind of relationship you and your parents are fated to have, whether you will be able to live together for the rest of your life, or whether you will be separated, and are not linked together by fate, this depends on God’s orchestrations and arrangements. If God has orchestrated and arranged that you will be in a different place to your parents during this life, that you will be very far away from them, and unable to live together often, then fulfilling your responsibilities to them is, to you, just a kind of aspiration. If God has arranged for you to live very close to your parents in this life, and to be able to stay by their side, then fulfilling a bit of your responsibilities to your parents, and showing them some filial piety are things that you should do in this life—there is nothing that can be criticized about this. But if you are in a different place from your parents, and you do not have the chance or the right circumstances to show them filial piety, then you do not need to regard this as a shameful thing. You should not feel ashamed to face your parents because you are unable to show them filial piety, it is just that your circumstances don’t allow it. As a child, you should understand that your parents are not your creditors. There are many things that you must do in this life, and these are all things that a created being ought to do, that have been entrusted to you by the Lord of creation, and they have nothing to do with you repaying your parents’ kindness. Showing filial piety to your parents, repaying them, returning their kindness—these things have nothing to do with your mission in life. It can also be said that it is not necessary for you to show filial piety to your parents, to repay them, or to fulfill any of your responsibilities to them. To put it plainly, you can do a bit of this and fulfill a bit of your responsibilities when your circumstances allow; when they do not, you do not need to insist upon doing so. If you cannot fulfill your responsibility to show filial piety to your parents, this is not a terrible thing, it just goes against your conscience, human morality, and human notions a little. But at the very least, it does not go against the truth, and God will not condemn you for it. When you understand the truth, your conscience will not feel rebuked on account of this. Do your hearts not feel steady now that you have understood this aspect of the truth? (Yes.) Some people say: “Though God won’t condemn me, in my conscience, I still can’t get past this, and I feel unsteady.” If this is the case for you, then your stature is too small, and you have not understood or seen through to the essence of this matter. You do not understand man’s destiny, you do not understand God’s sovereignty, and you are not willing to accept God’s sovereignty and arrangements. You always possess human will and your own feelings, and these things are driving and dominating you; they have become your life. If you choose human will and your feelings, then you have not chosen the truth, and you are not practicing the truth or submitting to it. If you choose human will and your feelings, then you are betraying the truth. Your circumstances and environment clearly do not permit you to show filial piety to your parents, but you always think: “I owe a debt to my parents. I haven’t shown them filial piety. They haven’t seen me for so many years. They raised me for nothing.” In the depths of your heart, you are never able to let go of these things. This proves one thing: You do not accept the truth. In terms of doctrine, you acknowledge that God’s words are correct, but you do not accept them as the truth, or take them as the principles of your actions. So, at the very least, when it comes to the matter of how you treat your parents, you are not a person who pursues the truth. This is because, in this matter, you do not act based on the truth, you do not practice according to God’s words, instead you just satisfy your emotional needs, and the needs of your conscience, wanting to show filial piety to your parents and repay their kindness. Although God does not condemn you for making this choice, and it is your choice, in the end the one who will lose out, particularly in terms of the life, is you. You are always bound by this matter, always thinking that you are too ashamed to face your parents, that you have not repaid their kindness. One day, when God sees that your desire to repay your parents’ kindness is too great, He will go right ahead and orchestrate an environment for you, and you can then just go home. Don’t you think that your parents are higher than everything, higher than the truth? In order to show filial piety to them and satisfy the needs of your conscience and feelings, you’d rather lose God, abandon the truth, and abandon your opportunity to attain salvation. Well, that’s fine, that is your choice. God will not condemn you for it. God will orchestrate an environment for you, He will strike you from His list, and He will give up on you. If you choose to go home to show filial piety to your parents, and to not perform your duty, then you are escaping and walking away from the duty that God has entrusted to you, you are renouncing God’s commission and expectations for you, you are renouncing the duty that God gave you, and abandoning your opportunity to perform a duty. If you go home to reunite with your parents, to satisfy the needs of your conscience, and to satisfy your parents’ expectations, that is okay, you can choose to go home. If you really cannot let go of your parents, you can take the initiative to raise your hand and say: “I miss my parents too much. My conscience feels rebuked every day, I’m unable to satisfy my feelings, and my heart aches. I long for my parents, and I keep thinking about them. If I don’t go back to show filial piety to my parents in this life, I fear that I’ll never have another opportunity, I’m afraid that I’ll regret it.” Then you can go home. If your parents are the heavens and the earth to you, if they are greater to you than your own life, if they are everything to you, then you can choose not to let go of them. No one will force you to. You can choose to go home to show them filial piety and accompany them, to enable them to live a good life, and to repay their kindness. But you need to give this a lot of thought. If you make this choice today, and in the end lose your chance to attain salvation, then only you will have to bear this outcome. No other person can bear this kind of consequence for you, you must bear it yourself. Do you understand? (Yes.) If you would rather abandon your opportunity to perform a duty and to attain salvation, just so that your parents can be your creditors, and so that you can pay off your debts to them, this is your choice. No one is forcing you. Suppose that someone in the church makes a request, saying: “It’s too tough living away from home. I miss my parents too much. I’m unable to let go of them in my heart. I often dream of them. In my mind and in my heart, all I can think about are their shadows, and I feel more and more guilty about everything they have done for me. Now that they’re getting older, I feel even more that it’s so difficult for parents to raise a child, and that I should repay them, give them some joy, and comfort them with my presence for the rest of their lives. I would rather give up my chance to be saved so that I can go home to show them filial piety.” In that case, they can submit an application, saying: “I’m reporting in! I want to go home to show filial piety to my parents, I don’t want to perform my duty.” The church should then approve it, and no one needs to work on them or fellowship with them. To say anything more to them would be foolish. When people do not understand anything at all, you can speak a bit more to them, and fellowship on the truth until it is clear. If you haven’t fellowshipped on it clearly, and they make the wrong choice as a result, then you are responsible for this. However, if they understand everything in terms of doctrine, then no one needs to work on them. It’s like how some people say: “I understand everything, you don’t need to tell me anything.” That’s perfect, you don’t need to waste your breath on them, you can save yourself a bit of trouble. You should allow people like this to return home immediately. First, do not stop them; second, support them; third, give them a bit of comfort and encouragement, saying: “Go home and show your parents some proper filial piety. Don’t make them angry or upset. If you want to show filial piety to them and to repay them, then you must be a filial child. But do not be filled with regret when you cannot achieve salvation in the end. Have a good trip, I hope everything goes well!” Alright? (Yes.) If someone wants to go home to show filial piety to their parents, that’s fine, they shouldn’t bottle this up. Performing a duty is voluntary, and no one will insist that you do it. You will not be condemned for not performing a duty. If you perform a duty, will you necessarily achieve salvation? Not necessarily. This is just a question of the attitude you have toward performing a duty. Then, will you be destroyed if you do not perform a duty? Nobody said that. In any case, your hope of salvation will probably be gone. Some people say: “Is it a good or bad thing to show filial piety to one’s parents?” I do not know. If you want to show filial piety to your parents, then do that. We will not assess this, doing so would be meaningless. This is a matter of humanity and feelings. It is a question of choosing your method of existence. It has nothing to do with the truth. Whoever wants to go home and show filial piety to their parents can choose to do so freely. God’s house will not insist upon them staying, and God’s house will not interfere. The church leaders and the people around them should not stop them from going home. They should not do work on this kind of person, or fellowship on the truth with them. If you want to go home, then go. Everyone will give you a sendoff, eat some dumplings with you, and wish you a safe trip.

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