How to Pursue the Truth (2) Part One

In our previous gathering, we fellowshipped on a big subject: how to pursue the truth. How to pursue the truth—how did we fellowship on this issue? (God gave fellowship on two aspects: The first was “letting go,” the second, “dedicating.” In terms of letting go, God talked about the negative emotions that exist in man. In particular, God fellowshipped on the specific effects and consequences that the negative emotions of inferiority, anger, and hatred have on our duty. God’s fellowship gave us a different understanding of how to pursue the truth. We saw how we often overlook the negative emotions that we reveal every day, and usually do not discern or understand our negative emotions. We make a one-sided judgment that this is simply the kind of person we are. We bring these negative emotions into our duty, and this has a direct impact on the results of that duty. It also influences how we look at people and things and how we deal with problems in our lives. This makes it extremely difficult for us to walk the path of pursuing the truth.) In our last gathering, I fellowshipped on how to pursue the truth. When it comes to practice, there are two main paths—that of letting go, and that of dedicating. Last time, we summed up the main issues associated with the first aspect of that first path, “letting go”—that is, one must let go of various kinds of emotion. These are principally negative emotions—those that are abnormal, irrational, and that do not accord with conscience and reason. Of these, our fellowship focused on the negative emotions of inferiority, anger, and hatred, as well as some behaviors that result from living within these negative emotions, various negative emotions produced as a result of some particular circumstances or developmental background, and negative emotions reflected by an abnormal character. Why must these negative emotions be let go of? It is because these emotions, objectively speaking, bring about negative mindsets and viewpoints in people, influencing the stance they take when faced with people, events, or things. So, the first aspect of this way of practice—letting go—requires people to let go of all kinds of negative emotions. Last time we shared some fellowship on these negative emotions. But besides the inferiority, anger, and hatred that we fellowshipped on, there are, of course, a variety of emotions that can impact the views of normal humanity. They interfere with normal humanity’s conscience, reason, thinking, and judgment, and can affect the results of man’s pursuit of the truth. This means that these negative emotions are the first things humanity must let go of in its pursuit of the truth. Our fellowship today will continue with the topic at hand—how to let go of various negative emotions. First we will fellowship on the various manifestations of negative emotions and, through My fellowship on these manifestations, man can gain knowledge of negative emotions, hold them up for comparison with himself, and then begin to resolve them, one by one, in his daily life. Through seeking and understanding the truth, and through knowing and dissecting the negative thoughts and opinions, as well as the abnormal perspectives and stances, that negative emotions bring out in people, they can begin to resolve those negative emotions.

Last time, we talked about the negative emotion of “depression.” First of all, do most people have this emotion of depression? Are you able to get a sense of the kind of feeling and the kind of mood depression is, and what its manifestations are? (Yes.) This one is easy to understand. We won’t talk about “depression” too extensively, we will just describe the manifestations brought about by the emotion of depression in those who believe in and follow God. What does “depression” mean? It means feeling dejected, not feeling good, not feeling interested in anything you do, having no drive, no motivation, having quite a negative and passive attitude in the things you do, and not having any get-up-and-go determination. So, what is the root cause of these manifestations? This is the main issue that must be dissected. Once you have understood the various manifestations of depression, as well as the different mind states, thoughts and attitudes in doing things brought by this negative emotion, you should understand what the causes are for these negative emotions, that is, what the root causes that lie behind these negative emotions are, that bring them about in people. Why do people get depressed? Why do they feel no motivation to do things? Why are they always so negative, passive and without determination when they do things? There is clearly a reason for this. For instance, you see someone who is always depressed and passive when they do things, unable to muster up any energy, their emotions and attitude are not very positive or optimistic, and they always express such a negative, blaming and despairing attitude. You give them advice but they never listen to it and, although they admit that the way you’ve pointed out to them is the right way and your reasoning is great, yet when they do things they cannot muster up any energy and are still negative and passive. In serious cases, from their body movements, figure, the way they walk, their tone of speech, and the words they say, you can see that this person’s emotions are particularly depressed, that they lack energy in everything they do and they are like a squashed fruit, and whoever spends a lot of time with that person will be affected by them. What is this all about? The various behaviors, facial expressions, tones of speech, and even the thoughts and viewpoints expressed by people living in depression have negative qualities. So, what is the reason behind these negative phenomena? Where does the root lie? Of course, the root cause for the arising of the negative emotion of depression is different for everyone. One kind of person’s emotion of depression may arise from their constant belief in their own terrible fate. Is this not one cause? (It is.) When they were young, they lived in the countryside or in a poor region, their family was not prosperous and, apart from some simple furnishings, they had nothing of much value. They had perhaps one or two sets of clothing that they had to wear even though they had some holes in them, and they could never ordinarily eat good quality food, but instead had to wait for New Year or holidays to eat meat. Sometimes they went hungry and hadn’t enough to wear to stay warm and having a big bowl full of meat to eat was a pipedream, and even finding a piece of fruit to eat was difficult. Living in such an environment, they felt different from other people who lived in the big city, whose parents were of means, who could eat anything they wanted and wear anything they wanted, who got everything they wanted right then and there, and who were knowledgeable about things. They’d think, “They have such a good fate. Why is my fate so bad?” They always want to stand out from the crowd and change their destiny. However, it is not so easy to change one’s destiny. When one is born into such a situation, though they may try, how much can they change their fate, and how much better can they make it? After they become an adult, they are stopped by obstacles everywhere they go in society, they are bullied everywhere they go, and so they always feel so unfortunate. They think, “Why am I so unlucky? Why do I always meet mean people? Life was hard when I was a kid, and that’s just how it was. Now that I’m grown, it’s still so bad. I always want to show what I can do but I never get a chance. If I never get a chance, then so be it. I just want to work hard and earn enough money to live a good life. Why can’t I even do that? How can living a good life be so difficult? I don’t have to live a life superior to everyone else. I want at least to live the life of a city-dweller and not be looked down on by people, and not be a second- or third-rate citizen. At least when people would call out to me, they wouldn’t shout, ‘Hey you, come here!’ At least they would call me by my name and address me respectfully. But I can’t even enjoy being addressed respectfully. Why is my fate so cruel? When will it end?” When such a person didn’t believe in God, they considered it cruel. After they have begun to believe in God and to see that this is the true way, they then think, “All that suffering before was worth it. It was all orchestrated and done by God, and God did well. If I hadn’t suffered like that, I wouldn’t have come to believe in God. Now that I believe in God, if I can accept the truth then my destiny should change for the better. I can now live an equal life in the church with my brothers and sisters, and people call me ‘Brother’ or ‘Sister,’ and I am addressed respectfully. I now enjoy the feeling of having the respect of others.” It seems as though their destiny has changed, and it seems that they no longer suffer and they no longer have a bad fate. Once they have begun to believe in God, they set their resolve to perform their duty well in God’s house, they become able to endure hardship and work hard, able to endure more than anyone else in any matter, and they strive to win the approval and esteem of most people. They think they may even be chosen to be a church leader, someone in charge, or a team leader, and won’t they then be honoring their ancestors and their family? Won’t they then have changed their destiny? However, reality does not quite live up to their wishes and they become dejected, and think, “I’ve believed in God for years and I get on very well with my brothers and sisters, but how come whenever it’s time to choose a leader, someone in charge, or a team leader, it’s never my turn? Is it because I look so plain, or because I haven’t performed well enough, and no one has noticed me? Every time there is a vote, I may have a slight hope, and I’d be happy even to be selected as a team leader. I’m so filled with enthusiasm to repay God, but I just end up disappointed every time there is a vote and I’m left out of it all. What’s up with that? Could it be that I’m truly only able to be a mediocre person, an ordinary person, someone unremarkable my whole life? When I look back at my childhood, my youth, and my middle-aged years, this path I’ve trodden has always been so mediocre and I haven’t done anything noteworthy. It’s not that I don’t have any ambition, or that my caliber is too lacking, and it’s not that I don’t exert enough effort or that I can’t endure hardship. I have aspirations and goals, and I can even be said to have ambition. So why is it that I can never stand out from the crowd? In the final analysis, I just have a bad fate and am destined for suffering, and this is how God has arranged things for me.” The more they dwell on it, the worse they think their fate is. In the ordinary course of their duties, if they make some suggestions or express some views and always receive a rebuttal, and no one listens to them or takes them seriously, they become even more depressed, and they think, “Oh, my fate is so bad! Every group I’m in there is always some mean person blocking my way forward and oppressing me. No one ever takes me seriously and I can never stand out. When all’s said and done, it comes back to this: I just have a bad fate!” No matter what happens to them, they always attribute it to them having a bad fate; they constantly put effort into this idea of having a bad fate, they strive to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of it and, as they turn it over in their minds, their emotions become ever more depressed. When they make a minor mistake in the performance of their duty, they think, “Oh, how can I do my duty well when I have such a bad fate?” In gatherings, their brothers and sisters give fellowship and they think things over and over, but they don’t understand, and they think, “Oh, how can I understand things when I have such a bad fate?” Whenever they see someone who speaks better than they do, who discusses their understanding in a clearer and more illuminated way than them, they feel even more depressed. When they see someone who can endure hardships and pay the price, who sees results in the performance of their duty, who receives the approval of their brothers and sisters and gets promoted, they feel unhappy in their heart. When they see someone become a leader or a worker, they feel even more depressed, and even when they see someone who sings and dances better than they do, and they feel inferior to that person, they get depressed. No matter what people, events, or things they encounter, or whatever situations they come across, they always respond to them with this emotion of depression. Even when they see someone wearing clothes that are a little nicer than theirs or whose hairstyle is a little better, they always feel sad, and jealousy and envy arise in their heart until, finally, they go back to that depressed emotion. What are the reasons they come up with? They think, “Oh, isn’t this because my fate is bad? If I was a little better looking, if I was as dignified as they are, if I was tall with a nice figure, with good clothes and lots of money, with good parents, then wouldn’t things be different from how they are now? Wouldn’t people then regard me highly, and be envious and jealous of me? At the end of the day, my fate is bad and I can’t blame anyone else for it. With such a bad fate, nothing goes right for me, and I can’t walk anywhere without falling over something. It’s just my bad fate, and there’s nothing I can do about it.” Similarly, when they are pruned or when brothers and sisters reproach or criticize them, or make suggestions to them, they respond to it with their emotion of depression. Anyhow, whether it is something happening to them or everything around them, they always respond with the various negative thoughts, views, attitudes and standpoints that arise from their emotion of depression.

People like this, who always think themselves to have a bad fate, constantly feel like their hearts are being crushed by a giant rock. Because they always believe that everything that happens to them does so because of their bad fate, they feel they cannot change any of it, no matter what happens. So what do they do? They just feel negative and slack off and resign themselves to their misfortunes. What do I mean when I say they resign themselves to their misfortunes? They think, “Oh, I’ll just have to muddle along like this through life!” When other people are pruned, those people can reflect on themselves and say, “Why have I been pruned? What have I done that has gone against the truth principles? What corrupt dispositions have I revealed? Is my understanding deep enough and concrete enough? How should I understand and resolve these issues?” They say things like this, and this is someone who pursues the truth. When the person with the so-called bad fate is pruned, however, they feel that others are looking down on them, that their fate is bad, and so no one likes them, and whoever wants to prune them can prune them. When no one is pruning them, their depression eases a little, but as soon as someone prunes them, their depression becomes even worse. When other people are pruned, they may feel negative for several days. They read God’s words and, with the help and support of their brothers and sisters, they become able to accept the truth and slowly they turn themselves around, and they leave that negative state behind. Those who think themselves to have a bad fate, however, not only do not leave that negative emotion behind, but on the contrary, they become even more certain that they do indeed have a bad fate. Why is this? They come to God’s house feeling that their skills are never fully put to use, that they are always being pruned and used as a scapegoat. They think, “You see? Other people do this and don’t get pruned, so how come I get pruned when I do this? Surely this shows that my fate is bad!” And so they get this depressed and they fall into despair. No matter how other people try to fellowship on the truth with them, it doesn’t sink in, and they say, “You only get pruned for a moment, but it’s different for me. I can’t do anything right and was born to endure being pruned. I can’t blame anyone, it’s just that my fate is bad.” Because they always believe themselves to have a bad fate, and that they will always be this way as long as they live, then no matter how God’s house tells people how to pursue the truth, how to perform the duty of a created being, and how to perform their duty up to standard, none of it sinks in. Because they are forever certain that their fate is bad, they feel that this wonderful thing of pursuing the truth and attaining salvation has nothing to do with them, and so they don’t perform their duty very conscientiously. They are sure in their hearts that “People with a bad fate can’t perform their duty well; only people with a good fate can perform their duty well. When someone has a good fate, people like them everywhere they go, and everything goes smoothly for them. I have a bad fate and always come across mean people, I never feel good doing my duties—these misfortunes come one after another!” Because they believe themselves to have a bad fate, they always feel dejected and depressed. They always believe that pursuing the truth is just something to talk about and that someone like them with a bad fate can never achieve anything by pursuing the truth. They feel that, even if they may pursue the truth, they won’t gain anything in the end, and they always think, “How can people with a bad fate enter the kingdom? How can people with a bad fate attain salvation?” They don’t dare to believe it, and so they are constantly delimiting themselves, thinking, “Because my fate is bad and I was born to suffer, it won’t be so bad to survive and become a service-doer in the end. That would mean that my ancestors’ good deeds would bear fruit in me, and they’d bless me with good luck. Because my fate is bad, I’m just suited to doing some unremarkable duties, such as cooking, cleaning, or looking after the children of the brothers and sisters, or some odd jobs, and so on. As for those jobs that let you shine in God’s house, I probably won’t have anything to do with them for as long as I live. You see, I came to God’s house filled with enthusiasm, and how have I ended up? Just cooking and doing manual labor. No one notices how exhausted I get or how hard it is, no one sees, and no one cares. If this isn’t a hard lot then I don’t know what is! Other people are lead actors or extras, filming movie after movie, video after video—how wonderful that is! I’ve never shone, not once. What a hard lot this is! My fate is so bad! Who’s to blame for my bad fate? Isn’t it my fault? I’ll just keep on going until it’s time to die.” They sink deeper and deeper into this negative emotion. Not only are they unable to reflect on and know their own negative emotions, or why they came about, or whether any of this has anything to do with having a good fate or a bad fate, nor do they seek the truth to understand these things, but they also blindly cling to the idea that all their problems are because of their bad fate. The result of this is that they sink deeper and deeper into these negative emotions and are unable to extricate themselves. In the end, because they always believe themselves to have a bad fate, they fall into despair, live without any real purpose and just eat and sleep, waiting for death; thereby they become increasingly disinterested in pursuing the truth, performing their duty well, attaining salvation, and other such requirements of God, and even repel and reject these things more and more. They take their bad fate as their reason and basis for not pursuing the truth and not being able to attain salvation as a matter of course. They don’t dissect their own corrupt dispositions or negative emotions in the situations they encounter and thereby come to know and resolve their corrupt dispositions, but rather they use their view on having a bad fate in how they respond to every person, event, and thing they encounter and experience, resulting in them falling even deeper into their emotion of depression. Isn’t that so? (It is.) So, is this emotion of depression whereby people believe they have a bad fate correct or not? (It is not.) How is it not correct? (I think this emotion is quite radical. They bring their bad fate into how they explain and delimit everything that happens to them. When things happen to them, they don’t reflect on and come to a conclusion about why these problems arise, nor do they seek or contemplate. It is entirely a radical and delimiting way to approach things.) How does this radical and absurd way to approach things come about? What is the root cause of this emotion of depression? (I think the root cause of this emotion is that they are following the wrong path, and the starting point of their pursuit is wrong. They have some wild desires, they are always vying and comparing themselves with others, and when they cannot satisfy their wild desires, this negative emotion inside them rears its head.) You haven’t clearly understood the essence of this issue—it is mainly that their view on the matter of “fate” is inaccurate. They are always pursuing a good fate or they want their fate to be such that everything goes smoothly and easily for them. They are always looking at people’s fates, and when they start pursuing such a thing, what happens to them? They look at people living in all different environments, what they eat, what they wear, what they enjoy, and then they compare it to their own situation and feel that they are worse off in every regard, that everyone else is better than them, and so they believe themselves to have a bad fate. In fact, they are not necessarily the worst off, but they are always making comparisons and measuring themselves against others, always putting effort into pondering and observing this matter of “fate” and delving into the study of it. They use the perspective and view on whether fate is good or bad to take the measure of everything, always measuring, until they have boxed themselves into a corner and have no way forward, and finally they sink into negativity. They constantly use the view on whether fate is good or bad to measure the external appearance of everything that happens instead of looking at the essence of things. What mistake do they make in doing this? Their thoughts and views are distorted, and their ideas about fate are inaccurate. The fate of man is a most profound matter that no one can clearly understand. It’s not just a person’s date of birth or the exact time of their birth that indicates whether a person’s fate will be good or bad—it is a mystery.

God’s arrangement of what a person’s fate shall be, whether it be good or bad, is not to be viewed or measured with the eyes of man or the eyes of a fortune teller, nor is it to be measured according to how much wealth and glory that person enjoys in their lifetime, or how much suffering they experience, or how successful they are in their pursuit of prospects, fame and fortune. Yet this is precisely the serious mistake made by those who say they have a bad fate, as well as a way of measuring one’s fate used by the majority of people. How do most people measure their own fate? How do worldly people measure whether a person’s fate is good or bad? Primarily, they base it on whether that person’s life goes smoothly or not, whether they can enjoy wealth and glory or not, whether they can live a lifestyle superior to others, how much they suffer and how much they have to enjoy during their lifetime, how long they live for, what career they have, whether their life is full of toil or comfortable and easy—these things and more they use to measure whether a person’s fate is good or bad. Don’t you measure it like this, too? (Yes.) So, when most of you encounter something not to your liking, when times are hard, or you aren’t able to enjoy a superior lifestyle, you will think you have a bad fate too, and you will sink into depression. Those who say they have a bad fate don’t necessarily genuinely have a bad fate, nor do those who say they have a good fate necessarily have a good fate. How exactly is fate measured as being good or bad? Your fate is good if you believe in God, and it’s not good if you don’t believe in God—is this right to say? (Not necessarily.) You say, “not necessarily,” meaning that there are some who believe in God who genuinely have a bad fate and some who have a good fate. If this is so, then some people who don’t believe in God also have a good fate and some have a bad fate—is this right to say? (No, that’s wrong.) Tell Me your reasons for saying this. Why is this wrong? (I don’t believe that a person’s fate has anything to do with whether they believe in God.) That’s right; whether a person’s fate is good or bad has nothing to do with belief in God. So, what does it have to do with? Does it have anything to do with the path people walk or with their pursuit? Is it that someone has a good fate if they pursue the truth, but that they have a hard lot if they don’t? Tell Me, does a widow have a good fate? To worldly people, widows have a bad fate. If they are widowed in their thirties or forties, they really have a bad fate, this is really hard for them! But if a widow suffers a lot because they lost their spouse, and they come to believe in God, is their lot hard then? (No.) Because those who haven’t been widowed are living a happy life, with everything going well for them, with lots of support, food and clothing, a family full of children and grandchildren, living a comfortable life, without any hardship or feeling any spiritual want, they don’t believe in God and they won’t believe in Him no matter how you try to spread the gospel to them. So who has the good fate? (The widow has the good fate because she has come to believe in God.) You see, because worldly people consider the widow to have a bad fate, and she suffers so much, she then changes direction and begins to follow a different path, and she believes in God and follows God—doesn’t this mean that she has a good fate now, and is living happily? (It does.) Her bad fate has changed to a good fate. If you say she has a bad fate, then her fate in life should always be bad and she cannot change it; so how then can it be changed? Did her fate change when she started believing in God? (No, it’s because her views on things have changed.) Because the way she regards things has changed. Has the objective fact of her own fate changed? (No.) Before the widow came to believe in God, she envied women who had not been widowed, thinking, “Look at her, she has such a good fate. She has a husband, a home, she lives a happy and contented life. She doesn’t suffer this pain of being a widow.” After she believes in God, however, she thinks, “I now believe in God and God has chosen me to follow Him, and I can perform my duty and gain the truth. In the future I’ll be able to attain salvation and enter the kingdom. What a good fate this is! She hasn’t been widowed, but what is her fate? She’s always seeking to enjoy life, pursuing fame, fortune, and status, looking to do well in her career, and enjoy prosperity and wealth, but later when she dies, she will still go to hell. She has a bad fate. My fate is better than hers!” Her views have changed, but the objective facts have not changed. The one who doesn’t believe in God still goes on thinking, “Hmph! My fate is better than yours! You’re a widow, I’m not. My life is better than yours. I have a good fate!” However, in the eyes of the woman who has come to believe in God, she does not have a good fate. How has this change come about? Has the widow’s objective environment changed? (No.) So how have her views changed? (Her criteria for measuring whether things are good or bad have changed.) Yes, her views on how to measure things and regard matters have changed. She has gone from thinking the woman who has not been widowed has a good fate to thinking she has a bad fate, and from thinking herself to have a bad fate to thinking that she has a good fate. These two views are totally different from how they were before, they have entirely been turned around. What is happening here? The objective facts and environment haven’t changed, so how has she ended up with changed views on things? (After she has accepted the truth and accepted positive things, she now applies the correct criteria in her views on measuring things as good or bad.) Her views on things have changed, but have the actual facts changed? (No.) The widow is still widowed, and the woman who lives happily is still living happily—there has been no change in the actual facts. So, who has the good fate and who has the bad fate in the end? Can you explain? The widow used to think she had a bad fate, one reason being her objective living situation, and another reason being the thoughts and views caused by her objective environment. After she comes to believe in God, by reading God’s words and coming to understand some truths, her thoughts follow suit and change, and her perspective on things is different. So, after she comes to believe in God, she no longer considers herself to have a bad fate, but rather as someone with a good fate, because she has had the chance to accept God’s work, and she can understand the truth and attain salvation—this is something predestined by God, and she is most blessed. Once she believes in God, she focuses solely on pursuing the truth, which is different from the goals she pursued before. Even though her living conditions, living environment, and her quality of life are just the same as before and have not changed, yet her views on things have changed. In reality, has she truly come to have a good fate because she believes in God? Not necessarily. It’s just that now she believes in God, she has hope, she feels some satisfaction in her heart, the goals she is pursuing have changed, her views are different, and so her current living environment makes her feel happy, satisfied, joyful, and peaceful. She feels her fate is so good now, much better than the fate of the woman who has not been widowed. Only now does she realize that the view she held before, believing herself to have a bad fate, was wrong. What can you see from this? Are there such things as “good fate” and “bad fate”? (No.) No, there aren’t.

God long ago predestined people’s fates, and they are immutable. This “good fate” and “bad fate” differ from person to person, and they depend on the environment, on how people feel and what they pursue. That is why one’s fate is neither good nor bad. You may live a very hard life, but you might think, “I’m not looking to live a high-end life. I’m just happy with having enough to eat and enough clothes to wear. Everyone suffers during their lifetime. Worldly people say, ‘You can’t see a rainbow unless it’s raining,’ so there’s value in suffering. This isn’t so bad, and my fate isn’t bad. Heaven above has given me some pain, some trials, and tribulations. That’s because He thinks highly of me. This is a good fate!” Some people think that suffering is a bad thing, that it means they have a bad fate, and only a life of no suffering, of comfort and ease, means they have a good fate. Unbelievers call this “a matter of opinion.” How do believers in God regard this matter of “fate”? Do we talk about having a “good fate” or a “bad fate”? (No.) We don’t say things like this. Say you have a good fate because you believe in God, then if you don’t follow the right path in your belief, if you are punished, exposed and cast out, then does that mean you have a good fate or a bad fate? If you don’t believe in God, you cannot possibly be exposed or cast out. Unbelievers and religious people don’t talk about exposing people or discerning people, and they don’t talk about people being cleared out or cast out. It should mean people have a good fate when they are able to believe in God, but if they are punished in the end, does that mean then that they have a bad fate? One minute their fate is good, the next their fate is bad—so which is it? Whether someone has a good fate or not is not something that can be judged, people cannot judge this matter. It is all done by God and everything God arranges is good. It is only that the trajectory of every individual’s fate, or their environment, and the people, events, and things they encounter, and the life path they experience during their lives are all different; these things differ from person to person. Every individual’s living environment and the environment in which they grow, both of which are arranged for them by God, are all different. The things every individual experiences during their lives are all different. There is no so-called good fate or bad fate—God arranges it all, and it is all done by God. If we regard the matter from the perspective that it is all done by God, everything God does is good and right; it’s just that from the perspective of people’s predilections, feelings and choices, some people choose to live a comfortable life, choosing to have fame and fortune, a good reputation, to have prosperity in the world and come into their own. They believe that this means they have a good fate, and that a lifetime of mediocrity and being unsuccessful, always living at the bottom of society, is a bad fate. This is how things look from the perspective of unbelievers and worldly people pursuing worldly things and seeking to live in the world, and this is how the idea of good fate and bad fate arise. The idea of good fate and bad fate only arises from human beings’ narrow understanding and superficial perception of fate, and from people’s judgments on how much physical suffering they endure, and how much enjoyment, and fame and fortune they gain, and so on. In fact, if we look at it from the perspective of God’s arrangement of and sovereignty over the fate of man, there are no such interpretations of good fate or bad fate. Isn’t this accurate? (It is.) If you regard the fate of man from the perspective of God’s sovereignty, then everything God does is good, and it is what every individual needs. This is because cause and effect play a part in past and present lives, they are predestined by God, God holds sovereignty over them, and God plans and arranges them—mankind has no choice. If we look at it from this standpoint, people shouldn’t judge their own fate to be good or bad, right? If people casually make judgments about this matter, aren’t they then making a terrible mistake? Aren’t they making the mistake of judging God’s plans, arrangements, and sovereignty? (They are.) And isn’t that mistake a serious one? Won’t it affect the path they walk in life? (It will.) Then that mistake will lead them to destruction.

What should people do in response to God’s arrangements of and sovereignty over their fates? (Submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements.) First, you should seek to understand why the Creator has arranged this kind of fate and living environment for you, why He makes you encounter and experience certain things, and why your fate is the way it is. From this, you should understand what your heart yearns for and what it needs, as well as God’s sovereignty and arrangements. After you understand and know these things, you should not resist, make your own choices about, reject, contradict, or avoid your fate. Of course, you also should not try to bargain with God. Instead, you should submit. Why should you submit? Because you are a created being, you cannot orchestrate your fate and you do not have sovereignty over it. Your fate is determined by God. When it comes to your fate, you are passive and you have no choices. The only thing you should do is submit. You should not make your own choices about your fate or avoid it, you should not bargain with God, and you should not go against your fate or complain. Of course, you should especially not say things like, “The fate God has arranged for me is bad. It’s miserable and it’s worse than the fate of others,” or “My fate is bad and I don’t get to enjoy any happiness or prosperity. God has arranged things badly for me.” These words are judgments and by speaking them, you are overstepping your position. They are not words that should be spoken by a created being and they are not perspectives or attitudes that a created being should have. Instead, you should let go of these various fallacious understandings, definitions, views, and comprehensions of fate. At the same time, you should be able to adopt a correct attitude and stance so as to submit to all of the things that will happen as part of the fate God has arranged for you. You should not resist, and you should certainly not be depressed and complain that Heaven is not fair, that God has arranged things badly for you, and not provided you with the very best. Created beings do not have the right to choose their fate. God did not give you this kind of obligation and He did not bestow this right upon you. So, you should not try to make choices, reason with God, or make additional requests of Him. You should conform to and face God’s arrangements, no matter what they are. You should face and try to experience and appreciate whatever God has arranged. You should completely submit to everything that you should experience through God’s arrangements. You should comply with the fate that God has arranged for you. Even if you do not like something, or if you suffer because of it, even if it threatens and suppresses your pride and dignity, so long as it is something that you should experience, something that God has orchestrated and arranged for you, you should submit to it and you have no choice about it. Because God arranges people’s fates and has sovereignty over them, they cannot be negotiated with Him. So, if people are sensible and possess the reason of normal humanity, they should not complain that their fate is bad or that this thing or that thing is not good for them. They should not approach their duty, their life, the road that they follow in their faith, the situations that God has arranged, or His demands of them with a depressed attitude just because they feel that their fate is bad. This kind of depression is not a simple or momentary rebelliousness, nor is it the temporary outpouring of a corrupt disposition, much less the outpouring of a corrupt state. Rather, it is a silent resistance to God, and a dissatisfied silent resistance to the fate arranged for them by God. Though it may be a simple negative emotion, the consequences it brings to people are more serious than those brought by a corrupt disposition. Not only does it prevent you from adopting a positive, correct attitude to the duty you ought to perform, and to your own daily life and life journey but, more seriously, it can also cause you to perish from depression. Therefore, intelligent people should hurry to turn their fallacious views around, reflect on and come to know themselves in the light of God’s words, and see what is causing them to believe they have a bad fate; they should look to see in what ways their dignity has been harmed or their hearts hurt, which have resulted in negative thoughts such as feeling they have a bad fate, which led them to fall into the negative emotion of depression from which they never recovered, not even up to the present day. This is an issue that you should reflect on and examine. Some matter may be deeply engraved in your heart, or someone may have said something vile to you that wounded your sense of self-respect, and this made you feel you had a bad fate, and thus you fall into depression; or perhaps in your life or as you were growing up, some thought or view of Satan or of the world arose and led you to have this incorrect understanding of fate and become incredibly sensitive to whether you have a good fate or a bad fate; or perhaps after experiencing something upsetting at some point, you became particularly serious about and sensitive to your fate, and then you became exceedingly passionate about and dedicated to changing your fate—these are all things you should examine. However, regardless of how you make an examination of these things, what you should ultimately come to understand is this: You shouldn’t use thoughts and views on whether fate is good or bad to measure your own fate. The fate of a person’s life is held in God’s hands and God arranged it long ago; this is not something people can change. However, the kind of path a person walks during their lifetime and whether they can live a life of value are choices people can make for themselves. You can choose to live a life of value, live your life for things of value, live for the plans and management of the Creator, and for the just cause of mankind. Of course, you can also choose not to live for positive things, but instead live for the pursuit of fame and fortune, an official career, riches, and worldly trends. You can choose to live a life without any value whatsoever and be like one of the walking dead. These are all choices you can make.

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