How to Pursue the Truth (2) Part Three

Everyone has to go through many setbacks and failures in life. Who has a life filled with nothing but satisfaction? Who never experiences any failures or setbacks? When sometimes things don’t go right for you, or you come across setbacks and failures, this isn’t bad luck, it’s what you ought to experience. It’s like eating food—you have to eat the sour, the sweet, the bitter, and the spicy alike. People cannot do without salt and must eat some salty foods, but if you eat too much salt, it’ll harm your kidneys. You have to eat some sour foods in some seasons, but it won’t do to eat too much, as it’s not good for your teeth or your stomach. Everything has to be eaten in moderation. You eat sour foods, salty foods and sweet foods, and you have to eat some bitter foods, too. Bitter foods are good for some internal organs, so you have to eat a little. A person’s life is the same. Most of the people, events, and things you come across in every stage of your life won’t be to your liking. Why is this? It’s because people pursue different things. If you pursue fame and fortune, status, and wealth, to be superior to others and achieve great success, and so on, then 99 percent of things won’t be to your liking. It’s just as people say: It’s all bad luck and misfortune. However, if you give up on the idea of how lucky or unlucky you are, and treat these things calmly and correctly, you will find that most things are not so unfavorable or difficult to deal with. When you let go of your ambitions and desires, when you stop rejecting or avoiding whatever misfortune befalls you, and you stop measuring such things by how lucky or unlucky you are, many of the things that you used to see as unfortunate and bad, you will now think of as good—the bad things will turn into good things. Your mentality and the way that you view things will change, which will enable you to feel differently about your life experiences, and at the same time reap different rewards. This is an extraordinary experience, one which will bring you unimagined rewards. It is a good thing, not a bad thing. For example, some individuals always get the appreciation, they always get the promotions, they always receive praise and encouragement, they often win approval from their brothers and sisters, and everyone looks at them with envy. Is this a good thing? Most people think that these things happen because those individuals have luck on their side. They say: “Look, that guy has good caliber, he was born lucky and he’s done well in his life—he gets the good opportunities and wins the promotions. He is just really lucky!” They are incredibly envious. And yet, in the end, that individual is dismissed within a few years and becomes an ordinary believer. He cries over it and tries to hang himself, and in the space of a few days he is cleared out. Is this good luck? If you look at it that way, he is desperately unlucky. But is it actually a case of bad luck? (No.) In fact, it is not that he has bad luck, it is that he did not follow the right path. Because he did not follow the right path, when things that people perceive as “lucky” happened to him, they became a temptation, a trap, and a catalyst that accelerated his destruction. Is this a good thing? He always aspired to be promoted, to be a cut above everyone else, to be the center of attention, and for everything to go well and the way that he wanted it to, but what happened in the end? Was he not cast out? This is the result that comes when people do not follow the right path. Pursuing good luck in itself is not the right path. People who pursue luck are sure to reject and avoid all bad things, all the things that people tend to regard as undesirable, the things that do not conform to people’s moods and fleshly interests. They fear, avoid, and reject the occurrence of these things. When these things happen, they describe them as “unlucky.” Can they seek the truth when they think they are unlucky? (No.) Do you think that people who cannot seek the truth and who always think that they are unlucky can walk the right path? (No.) They certainly cannot. Therefore, people who always pursue luck, who always focus only on their luck and contemplate their luck, are people who do not follow the right path. Such people do not attend to their proper duties, and they do not follow the right path, so they keep sinking into depression. This is their own fault, and they deserve it! It’s because they follow the wrong path! They deserve to sink into depression. Is it easy to get out of this depression? In fact, it is easy. Just let go of your erroneous perspectives, do not expect everything to go well, or exactly the way you want it to, or smoothly. Do not fear, resist, or reject things that go wrong. Instead, let go of your resistance, calm down, and come before God with an attitude of submission, and accept all that God arranges. Do not pursue so-called “good luck,” and do not reject so-called “bad luck.” Give your heart and your whole being to God, let Him do the acting and orchestrating, and submit to His orchestrations and arrangements. God will give you what you need in just measure when you need it. He will orchestrate the environments, people, events, and things that you require, according to your needs and deficiencies, so that you can learn the lessons that you ought to be learning from the people, events, and things that you come across. Of course, the prerequisite to all this is that you must have a mentality of submission toward God’s orchestrations and arrangements. So, do not pursue perfection; do not reject or fear the occurrence of undesirable, embarrassing, or unfavorable things; and do not use your depression to inwardly resist the occurrence of bad things. For example, if a singer has a sore throat one day and does not perform well, they think, “I’m so unlucky! Why isn’t God looking after my voice? I usually sing so well when I’m on my own, but today I’ve embarrassed myself singing in front of everyone. I couldn’t get my pitch right, and I couldn’t grasp the tempo. I’ve made a big fool of myself!” Making a fool of yourself is a good thing. It helps you to see your own deficiencies and your love of vanity. It shows you where your problems lie and it helps you to understand clearly that you are not a perfect person. There are no perfect people and making a fool of yourself is very normal. All people experience times where they make a fool of themselves or are embarrassed. All people fail, experience setbacks, and have weaknesses. Making a fool of yourself is not bad. When you make a fool of yourself but do not feel embarrassed, and do not feel depressed deep inside, that does not mean you are thick-skinned; it means that you do not care whether making a fool of yourself will affect your reputation and it means that your vanity no longer occupies your thoughts. It means that you have matured in your humanity. This is wonderful! Is this not a good thing? It is a good thing. Do not think that you have not performed well or that you have bad luck, and do not look for the objective causes behind it. It is normal. You may make a fool of yourself, others may make fools of themselves, everyone may make a fool of themselves—eventually you will discover that everyone is the same, all are ordinary people, all mortals, that no one is greater than anyone else, and no one is any better than anyone else. Everyone makes a fool of themselves sometimes, so no one should make fun of anyone else. Once you have experienced numerous failures, you gradually mature in your humanity; so whenever you encounter these things again, you will no longer be constrained, and they will not have an impact on the normal performance of your duty. Your humanity will be normal, and when your humanity is normal, your reason will be normal too.

These people who enjoy pursuing luck are people who pursue good fortune in this life, who take things to extremes. What these people pursue is wrong and they should let it go. We fellowshipped just now on how to handle and take the correct approach to these undesirable things—do you understand this now? How did we fellowship on this? (People should submit to everything God orchestrates. They mustn’t seek to become perfect people, nor must they fear anything that makes them feel embarrassed or fear anything unfavorable happening, and people mustn’t use their emotion of depression to resist these things when they happen.) Get your mind calm and face it all with the right mindset. When bad things happen to you, you must have the correct path to approach and resolve them, and even if you don’t handle them well, you should still not sink into depression. If you fail, you can try again; at worst, failure is a lesson, and even if you do fail, it’s still better than being averse, resisting, rejecting, and running away. So, no matter what happens or what you must face in the future, you should never reject it or try to escape from it, much less measure it with the view of your luck being good or bad. Since you affirm that everything is orchestrated by the hand of God, you shouldn’t measure all these things with the view and mindset of your luck being good or bad, much less reject the bad things that happen. Of course, you shouldn’t approach these things with the emotion of depression, either. Rather, you should adopt a proactive attitude and positive mood to meet and approach these things, and see what lessons there are to learn and what understanding you should glean from them—this is what you ought to do. Won’t your thoughts and views then be right? (They will.) And when you once again face some bad or unfortunate things happening, you can approach them according to God’s words, you will have the correct thoughts and views and, in this way, your humanity and reason will become normal. When you look at it like this, isn’t it very important to have the correct view? Isn’t it crucially important to clearly understand the matter of fate according to God’s words? (Yes.) Now that we’re almost done with fellowshipping on this saying of luck being good or bad, do you understand now? (Yes.) If you can understand the essence of this kind of problem clearly, then you will have the correct view on the matter of fate.

There is also another cause for people sinking into the emotion of depression, which is that some particular things happen to people before they’ve come of age or after they’ve grown into adults, that is, they commit some transgressions or do some idiotic things, foolish things, and ignorant things. They sink into depression because of these transgressions, because of these idiotic and ignorant things they’ve done. This kind of depression is a condemnation of oneself, and it is also a kind of determination of the kind of person they are. This kind of transgression is certainly not just swearing at someone or badmouthing someone a little behind their back, or something petty like that, but rather it is something that involves shame, one’s personality and dignity, and even the law. As they continually bring the event to mind, the emotion of depression gathers little by little deep inside their heart, all the way up to the present. What are these transgressions? As I said just now, they are ignorant, idiotic and foolish things which people have done either as children or adults. Do you know what these things include? Idiotic, foolish and ignorant—these include things that harm others but benefit yourself, things that are difficult to talk about, and things which you feel ashamed about. It may be something dirty, despicable, obscene, or indecent, which causes you to sink into this emotion of depression. This depression is not just a simple sort of self-reproach but is rather a condemnation of oneself. Can you think of what might be included within this scope I’ve outlined? Give an example. (Promiscuity.) Promiscuity is one, yes. For example, some people have betrayed their husband or wife in thought or deed; some people have committed adultery and engaged in promiscuity, but they still don’t give it up and are always thinking about who they want to commit adultery with; some people have cheated others out of money, perhaps even large sums of money; some people have stolen things belonging to others; and some people have framed or exacted revenge on others. Some of these things come close to breaking the law, while some are indeed in breach of the law; some may be on the very fringes of moral boundaries, while some may indeed go against the ethics of normal humanity. These things are buried deep in the memories of people’s innermost hearts, and they are brought to mind from time to time. When you find yourself alone, when you’re unable to sleep in the dead of night, you cannot help but think of these things. They play before your mind’s eye like a movie, scene by scene, and you’re unable to erase them or shake them off. Every time you think of these things, you feel depressed, your face burns, your heart quivers, you feel embarrassed, and your spirit is filled with unease. Although you believe in God, you still feel as though these things you’ve done happened only yesterday. You can’t run from them, you can’t hide from them, and you have no idea how to leave them behind. Even though only a few others know what you’ve done, or perhaps no one knows, you feel a faint sense of unease in your heart. From this unease comes depression, and this depression makes you feel incriminated while you follow God and perform your duty. Whether this feeling of incrimination comes from your own conscience, from the law, or from your sense of morality and ethics, you cannot say for sure. In any case, people who have done these things often feel uneasy inadvertently, when some particular thing happens, or in some certain environments and contexts. This feeling of unease makes them fall unknowingly into deep depression, and they become bound up and restricted by their depression. Whenever they listen to a sermon or a fellowship on the truth, this depression slowly creeps into their mind and into their innermost heart, and they give themselves a grilling, asking, “Can I do this? Am I able to pursue the truth? Am I able to attain salvation? What kind of person am I? I did that thing before, I used to be that kind of person. Am I beyond saving? Will God still save me?” Some people can sometimes let go of their emotion of depression and leave it behind. They take their sincerity and all the energy they can muster and apply them to performing their duty, their obligations, and their responsibilities, and can even put all their heart and mind into pursuing the truth and contemplating God’s words, and they pour their effort into God’s words. The moment some special situation or circumstance comes along, however, the emotion of depression takes hold of them once again and makes them feel incriminated again deep in their heart. They think to themselves, “You did that thing before, and you were that kind of person. Can you attain salvation? Is there any point in practicing the truth? What does God think of what you’ve done? Will God forgive you for what you’ve done? Can paying the price in this way now make up for that transgression?” They often reproach themselves and feel incriminated deep inside, and they are always doubting, always grilling themselves with questions. They can never leave this emotion of depression behind them or cast it off, and they feel a perpetual sense of unease about the shameful thing they’ve done. So, despite having believed in God for so many years, it’s as if they’ve never listened to anything God has said nor understood it. It’s as if they don’t know whether attaining salvation has anything to do with them, whether they can be absolved and redeemed, or whether they are qualified to receive God’s judgment and chastisement and His salvation. They have no idea of all these things. Because they don’t receive any answers, and because they don’t get any accurate verdict, they feel constantly depressed deep inside. In their innermost heart, they recall what they did over and over again, they replay it in their mind over and over again, remembering how it all began and how it ended, remembering it all from start to finish. Regardless of how they remember it, they always feel sinful, and so they constantly feel depressed about this matter over the years. Even when they’re doing their duty, even when they’re in charge of a certain job, they still feel like they have no hope of being saved. Therefore, they never squarely face the matter of pursuing the truth and regard it as something most correct and important. They believe that the mistake they’ve made or the thing they’ve done in the past are looked poorly upon by most people, or that they may be condemned and despised by people, or even condemned by God. No matter what stage God’s work is at or how many utterances He has made, they never face the matter of pursuing the truth in the correct way. Why is this? They don’t have the courage to leave their depression behind. This is the final conclusion this type of person draws from having experienced this kind of thing, and because they don’t draw the correct conclusion, they are incapable of leaving their depression behind them.

There are bound to be many people who have committed some transgression or other, whether big or small, but there are most likely very few who have committed serious transgressions, the kind of transgression that goes beyond moral boundaries. We won’t talk about those who have committed various other transgressions here, we’ll just talk about what people who have committed serious transgressions, and who have committed the kind of transgression that goes beyond moral boundaries and ethics should do. As for the people who have committed serious transgressions—and here I’m talking about transgressions which go beyond moral boundaries—this does not involve offending God’s disposition and violating His administrative decrees. Do you understand? I’m not talking about transgressions which offend God’s disposition, His essence, or His identity and status, and I’m not talking about transgressions which are blasphemous against God. What I’m talking about are the transgressions which go beyond moral boundaries. There is also something to be said about how those people who have committed transgressions like this can resolve their emotion of depression. Such people have two paths they can take, and it is a simple matter. First, if you feel in your heart that you can let go of that thing you did, or you have the opportunity to apologize to the other person and make it up to them, then you can go make it up to them and apologize, and feelings of peace and ease will return to your spirit; if you don’t have the opportunity to do this, if this is not possible, if you truly come to know your own problem in your innermost heart, if you realize just how serious this thing is that you’ve done, and you feel truly remorseful, then you should come before God to confess and repent. Whenever you think of the thing you’ve done and feel incriminated, which is precisely the time when you should come before God to confess and repent, you must bring your sincerity and true feelings to receive God’s absolution and forgiveness. And how can you be absolved and forgiven by God? This depends on your heart. If you truly confess, truly recognize your mistake and your problem, and whether it be a transgression that you’ve committed or a sin, you adopt an attitude of true confession, you feel true hatred for what you’ve done, and you really turn yourself around, so that you will never do that wrong thing again, then, one day, you will receive God’s absolution and forgiveness, that is, God will no longer determine your end based on the ignorant, foolish, and dirty things you have done before. When you reach this level, God will forget the matter entirely; you will be just the same as other normal people, without the slightest difference. However, the premise to this is that you must be sincere and have a true attitude of repentance, like David. How many tears did David weep for the transgression he’d committed? Countless tears. How many times did he weep? Countless times. The tears he wept can be described with these words: “Every night make I my bed to swim.” I don’t know how serious your transgression is. If it is really serious, you may need to weep until your bed floats on the water of your tears—you may have to confess and repent to that level before you can receive God’s forgiveness. If you don’t do this, then I’m afraid your transgression will become a sin in God’s eyes, and you will not be absolved of it. Then you’d be in trouble and there would be no point in saying anything more about this. Therefore, the first step to receiving God’s absolution and forgiveness is that you must be sincere and take practical action to truly confess and repent. Some people ask, “Do I need to tell everyone about it?” That’s not necessary; just go and pray to God by yourself. Whenever you feel ill at ease and incriminated in your heart, you should immediately come before God to pray and receive His forgiveness. Some people ask, “How much do I have to pray before I know that God has forgiven me?” When you no longer feel incriminated by this matter, when you no longer slip into depression because of this matter, that is when you will have achieved results, and it will show that God has absolved you. When no one, no power, and no outside force can disturb you, and when you are not under the sway of any person, event, or thing, that is when you will have achieved results. This is the first step you need to take. The second step is that, while constantly beseeching God for absolution, you should actively seek the principles you should follow as you perform your duty—only by doing this will you be able to perform your duty well. Of course, this is also a practical action, a practical expression and attitude that make up for your transgression, and that proves that you are repentant and that you have turned yourself around; this is something you ought to do. How well do you perform your duty, the commission God gives to you? Do you approach it with a depressed attitude, or with the principles God requires you to follow? Do you offer up your loyalty? On what basis should God absolve you? Have you expressed any repentance? What are you showing to God? If you wish to receive God’s absolution, then you must first be sincere: You must have an attitude of earnest confession on the one hand, and you must also bring your sincerity and perform your duty well, otherwise there’s nothing to talk about. If you can do these two things, if you can move God with your sincerity and good faith, and have God absolve you of your sins, then you will be just like other people. God will look upon you in the same way as He looks upon other people, He will treat you in the same way as He treats other people, and He will judge and chastise, test and refine you just as He does other people—you will be treated no differently. In this way you will not only have the determination and desire to pursue the truth, but God will also enlighten you, guide you, and provide for you in the same way in your pursuit of the truth. Of course, because you now have a sincere and genuine desire and an earnest attitude, God will treat you no differently than anyone else and, just like other people, you will have the chance to attain salvation. You understand this, right? (Yes.) Having committed a serious transgression is a special case. We cannot say that it isn’t scary; it’s a very serious problem. It’s not the same thing as an ordinary corrupt disposition or someone having some incorrect thoughts and views. It is something that has actually happened, that has become fact, and which brings about serious consequences. That is why it should be treated in a special way. Whether it’s treated in a special way or a normal way, however, there is always a way forward and a way to resolve it, and this depends on whether you can practice in accordance with the ways and methods I tell you and guide you toward. If you really practice in this way, then your hopes of attaining salvation in the end will be the same as other people’s. Of course, resolving all of this is not just so that people can leave their emotion of depression behind. The ultimate goal is that, by resolving their emotion of depression, they can take the correct approach to all these things within the ambit of the conscience and reason of normal humanity when they encounter people, events, and things. They mustn’t go to extremes, and they mustn’t be stubborn; they should go further in seeking God’s will and seeking the truth, fulfill the responsibilities and duties a created being is supposed to fulfill, until finally they can view people and things and comport themselves and act wholly according to God’s words, with the truth as their criterion. Once people have entered into this reality, they will gradually be approaching the path of salvation, and in this way, they will have hope of attaining salvation. Is the path of how to resolve the emotion of depression that arise from serious transgressions now clear to you? (Yes, it is.)

Is resolving the emotion of depression a difficult problem? I think it’s very difficult, as it involves important matters in life, it involves the path people walk in their belief in God, whether they can attain salvation in the future or whether their belief will all be in vain—this is a major issue. On the surface, what is revealed is an emotion, when in fact there are reasons for the arising of this emotion. I’ve fellowshipped clearly on these reasons today, I have provided a way forward to resolve the problem of these causes now, so can’t the emotion of depression now be readily solved? (It is.) It has been resolved in theory. By having doctrinal understanding, then comparing this doctrine with what you have done in the past, using this doctrine as a basis to gradually solve your difficulties in life, the difficulties in your thinking, and consistently following this path, you can gradually embark upon the path in pursuit of the truth. What do you think of this way to solve the problem? (It’s good.) This is how people must solve the problem. If they don’t, then the complicated problems inside them—the problems in their thinking, the problems in their heart, their mental issues, as well as their corrupt dispositions—these things bind them tightly. They become bound and trapped like this, they suffer and feel exhausted all the time, they don’t know whether to laugh or cry, and they can never find a way out. When you have finished listening to today’s fellowship, you can ponder it carefully and come to have a doctrinal understanding of it. Then, through your practical experiences and personal experiences in your daily life, you can gradually emerge from these negative emotions and the various states of your corrupt dispositions. Once you have left them behind, not only will you be truly liberated and free, and not only will you have entered into the truth reality but, most importantly, you will have understood the truth, you will have gained the truth, and you will be able to live out the truth reality. You will then be of great use, and you will be living a life of value. Do you wish to live like that? (Yes.) Most people want to understand the truth and enter into the truth reality, and they don’t want to spend their lives in the negative emotions of the flesh, lustful desires of the flesh, worldly trends, and corrupt dispositions—that kind of life is too hard and exhausting. Will your life have a good outcome if you live in these corrupt dispositions and negative emotions? To live in these negative emotions is to live under the power of Satan. It’s like living in a meat grinder—sooner or later you will be chewed up, and it’s hard to find a way out. However, if you can accept the truth, then you have hope of leaving confusion and pain behind, and you will be able to escape the pain that comes from being entangled in and confused by negative emotions.

I’d originally planned on fellowshipping on more than one topic today, but I’ve ended up fellowshipping on depression for a long time. There is a lot to say about any matter; nothing can be clearly explained in just a few words. Whatever I talk about, I cannot just explain the doctrine of a matter and then call it a day. Any matter involves many aspects of the truth and reality; it involves people’s thoughts and views, the ways and means in which they conduct themselves, the path they walk, and all of this relates to your attainment of salvation. I cannot be careless when fellowshipping on a truth or a topic, and that’s why I try all the ways I can, like a nagging old grandma, to say these things over and over to you. Don’t complain about it being troublesome, and don’t complain about it being too long-winded. I may have spoken on a topic before, so why speak on it again? If I speak on it again, you can listen to it again and regard it as a review. That’s okay, isn’t it? (Yes.) In short, you must approach matters relating to the truth and the path people walk conscientiously, and you mustn’t be careless. The more details I go into and the more specific I get, the more detailed and clear your understanding becomes of the relationship between the various truths, as well as the differences and connections in the details between them, among other aspects. If I were to speak in general terms and just talk about some things overall, then you would find them hard to understand and enter into, and it would be exhausting for you trying to contemplate and figure out these things by yourselves, right? (Yes.) For example, our topic for today—the negative emotions that arise from fate, luck, and the particular transgressions people have committed in the past—you wouldn’t be able to think of these things on your own, and even if you did, you wouldn’t have a way out of them. Because you don’t understand the truth within these things, you will never be able to find the correct answer to the matter of having committed particular transgressions in the past, and it will always remain a mystery to you, forever bothering you and entangling you, robbing your innermost heart of peace, joy, freedom and liberation. Or perhaps because you didn’t handle the matter correctly and you didn’t follow the correct path, this had an impact on your attainment of salvation. In the end some people were abandoned and cast out. Why would this be? Because they did some unspeakable things in the past and they didn’t handle them well and receive absolution for them. Their heart was perpetually entangled by these things; they didn’t feel like pursuing the truth, they performed their duty in a slipshod manner, they didn’t enter into the truth reality, and they felt like it was hopeless for them to pursue the truth. They carried this negative view until the very end, they never talked about experiential testimony, and they didn’t gain the truth. Only then did they start to feel regret, but it was too late. Therefore, do all these matters relate to the truth and to attaining salvation? (They do.) Don’t think that just because these matters haven’t happened to you, or they haven’t happened to someone else, or they haven’t happened to the people around you, that they don’t exist. Let Me tell you, you may have done some disreputable things before that have not yet resulted in any frightening consequence, or you may have previously become mired in this kind of negative emotion or are mired in it now, only you didn’t notice and were unaware of it, and then one day something real happens and this emotion has a severe impact on you and results in serious consequences. Only when you examine yourself deeply do you discover that you have been mired in this negative emotion for many years or even longer without being aware of it. That’s why people need to continually contemplate, reflect, understand, appreciate, and experience these things in order to slowly discover them. Of course, finally discovering these things means extremely good news for you and is a great opportunity to attain salvation. When you do discover them, this will be when you have the chance or the hope to leave them behind, and what I have spoken about today will not have been spoken in vain. No truth, no topic, and no words can be understood completely and experienced in a day or two. Since it involves the truth, it involves humanity, people’s corrupt dispositions, the path people walk, and people’s attainment of salvation. Therefore, you cannot overlook any truth, but must take a conscientious approach to them all. Even if you don’t yet understand these truths too well and don’t know how to examine yourself to see what problems you have according to these truths, then perhaps after you have experienced them for a few years these truths will save you from the grip of your corrupt dispositions, and they will become the precious truths that save you. When that happens, these truths will guide you onto the correct path through life, and perhaps in ten years or so, these words and these truths will have utterly changed your thoughts and views and utterly transformed your goals and direction in life.

That’s the end of our fellowship for today. Goodbye!

October 1, 2022

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