How to Pursue the Truth (20) Part Four

What is the second principle of the topic of letting go of one’s career? Being content with food and clothing. In order to survive in society, people engage in various kinds of labor or jobs to sustain their livelihoods, ensuring they have a source and security for their daily meals and living expenses. Consequently, whether they belong to the lower classes or to a slightly higher tier, people maintain their livelihoods through various occupations. Since their purpose is to maintain a livelihood, it’s pretty straightforward: having a place to live, eating three meals a day, affording meat on occasion if they wish to eat meat, going to work regularly, having an income, not going around in rags or unable to get sufficient nourishment—that’s good enough. They are people’s basic necessities in life. When one achieves these basic necessities, isn’t it relatively easy to achieve food and warmth? Isn’t it within the scope of their ability? (Yes.) So, if the nature of one’s career is solely for the sake of food and warmth, for the sake of their livelihood, regardless of what career they are involved in, as long as it’s legal, it will generally align with the standards of humanity. Why do I say that it aligns with the standards of humanity? Because the motive, intention, and purpose you have behind engaging in this profession have nothing to do with any matter or idea other than maintaining livelihoods—it is purely for the sake of having enough to eat, having enough warm clothes to wear, and being able to support your family. Isn’t that so? (Yes.) These are the basic necessities. Once these basic necessities are provided for, people may enjoy a basic quality of life. When they can achieve this, they can sustain a normal existence. Is it not enough for a person to be able to sustain a normal existence? Is this not what people should achieve within the range of humanity? (Yes.) You are responsible for your own life, you bear it on your shoulders—this is a necessary manifestation of normal humanity. It is sufficient and appropriate for you to achieve this. However, if you are not content, then whereas a normal person might eat meat once or twice a week, you insist on having it every day, and more left over. For instance, if you consume a quarter pound or half a pound of meat daily when you only need three ounces to maintain proper physical health, this excess nutrition might lead to illness. What causes such diseases as fatty liver, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol? (Eating too much meat.) What is the problem with eating too much meat? Isn’t it due to a lack of control over one’s diet? Isn’t it due to gluttony? (Yes.) Where does this gluttony come from? Isn’t it because one’s appetite is excessive? Are excessive appetite and gluttony in line with the necessities of normal humanity? (No.) They exceed the necessities of normal humanity. If you constantly wish to exceed the necessities of normal humanity, it means you’ll have to work more, earn more money, and work many times more than normal people. Whether through overtime or taking multiple jobs, you’ll need to generate more income to afford eating meat three times a day and whenever you desire. Doesn’t this go beyond the scope of normal humanity? Is it good to go beyond the scope of normal humanity? (No.) Why is it not good? (In one respect, people’s bodies are prone to illness; in another, in order to satisfy their desires and appetites, people have to invest more time, energy, and cost into their work. This takes up the time and energy they could use to pursue the truth and do their duties, affecting how they walk the path of believing in God and pursuing the truth.) People should be content with having basic necessities, not feeling hungry or cold, and achieving the food and warmth needed for normal humanity. You should earn enough money to keep in accordance with the normal bodily requirements for nutrition. That is enough, that is the kind of life that people with normal humanity should have. If you’re always craving pleasures of the flesh, satisfying your fleshly appetite without considering your physical health, and disregarding the right path; if you always want to eat good food, enjoy good things, have a good living environment and a good quality of life, eat rare delicacies, wear brand-name clothes and gold and silver jewelry, live in mansions, and drive luxury cars—if you constantly wish to pursue this, then what kind of occupation do you need to have? If you only take an ordinary job to meet your basic needs and address food and warmth, can it fulfill all these desires? (It cannot.) Certainly not. For instance, if you want to do business, and a small business with just one stall can provide enough for the food and warmth of your whole family, you may have less than those above you, but you have much more than those below. You can eat meat on occasion, and your whole family can dress decently. You can use the remaining time to believe in God, attend gatherings, and do your duties, and you can still have the energy to pursue the truth. This is good enough. Because, based on your life having assurance, while engaging in this occupation you will be able to free up time and energy to pursue faith in God and the truth. This is in alignment with God’s intentions. However, if you are never content, you will always think, “This business has potential. I can earn this much money per month with just one stall. It can provide for my family’s food and warmth. If I have two stalls, then I can double my earnings. Not only can my family have food and warmth, we can also save a bit of money. We can eat whatever we want and even travel and buy a few luxury goods. We can eat and enjoy things that most people can’t. That would be so great. Let me add another stall!” After adding another stall, you grow wealthier; you get a taste of the perks and think, “It seems that this market is quite large. I can add yet another stall, expand my business, and bring in different goods to expand it further. Not only can I save money, I can buy a car and upgrade to a bigger house. My whole family can travel both domestically and internationally!” The more you think about it, the more appealing it becomes. At this point, you’re set on adding another stall. The business grows bigger and bigger, you earn more and more money, your enjoyment increases, but you go to fewer and fewer gatherings, from weekly gatherings to bi-monthly or monthly, and eventually, only once every six months. You think in your heart, “My business has grown, I’ve earned a lot of money, I support the work of God’s house and give a large offering.” You’re driving a convertible, your wife and children are adorned in gold and diamond jewelry, dressed head-to-toe in brand-name clothing, and you’ve even traveled abroad. You think, “Having money is great! If I knew making money would be this easy, why didn’t I start earlier? Having money is so great! A wealthy person’s days are spent in such comfort and ease! When I eat delicious food, the taste is unparalleled. When I put on designer brands, I feel elated, and wherever I go, I receive envious and jealous looks from others. I’ve gained people’s respect and admiration, and I feel different, my back feels like it’s straightened up a bit.” The desires of your flesh have been satisfied, as well as your vanity. But the dust on the cover of God’s words keeps getting thicker and thicker, you haven’t read them in a long time, and your prayers to God have become shorter. The gatherings have moved to a different place, and you’re not even sure where they’re held now. You don’t even occasionally report to church anymore. Tell Me, is this getting closer to salvation or farther away? (Farther away.) Your quality of life is improving, your body is well-fed, and you’ve become more particular. In the past, you wouldn’t even go for a medical check-up once every eight years or a decade, but now that you’re wealthy, you go for a check-up every six months to see if you have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or high cholesterol. You say, “One must take care of their body. As the saying goes, ‘If you must be something, don’t be sick. If you must not be something, don’t be poor.’” Your thoughts and viewpoints have changed, haven’t they? Now that you’re rich and no longer an ordinary person, you feel that you’re valuable, that your identity is honorable, and you treasure your body even more. Your attitude toward life has changed as well. Before, you didn’t bother with medical check-ups, thinking, “We poor folks don’t need to worry about that. Why should I get a check-up? If I’m seriously ill, I can’t afford the treatment anyway. I’ll just sit and bear it, and if I can’t, I guess this flesh will just go ahead and die. No big deal.” But now it’s different. You say, “People shouldn’t live with an illness. If they’re sick, who will spend the money they’ve earned? They won’t be able to enjoy life. Life is short!” It’s different, isn’t it? Your attitudes toward money, toward the life of the flesh, and toward enjoyment have all changed. Similarly, your attitudes toward believing in God, pursuing the truth, and receiving salvation have also grown increasingly indifferent.

Once a person embarks on the path of not being content with food and clothing, they will pursue a higher quality of life and the enjoyment of better things. This is a sign of danger, it’s falling into temptation, it will cause trouble, and it is a bad omen. Once someone enjoys and experiences the taste of wealth, they start worrying that one day they will lose their money and become poor. As a result, they particularly cherish the days of having money now and value the position and status of being rich. You often hear nonbelievers say, “Going from bitter to sweet is easy, going from sweet to bitter is not.” This means that when you have nothing, you don’t mind being asked to let go; you can let go at the drop of a hat, because there’s nothing worth holding on. These monetary and material possessions do not become obstacles for you, and it’s easy for you to let go of them. But once you possess these things, it becomes difficult for you to let them go, more difficult than ascending to heaven. If you’re poor, then when it’s time to leave your house and do your duties you can readily walk away. However, if you’re a wealthy bigwig, your mind becomes filled with thoughts and you say, “Oh, my house is worth two million yuan, my car is worth five hundred thousand yuan. Then there are fixed assets, bank savings, stocks, funds, investments, and other things, adding up more or less to a total of ten million yuan. If I leave, how am I going to take all of this with me?” It’s not easy for you to let go of these material possessions. You think, “If I give up these things and leave this house and my current family, will the place I inhabit in the future have similar conditions? Would I be able to tolerate living in a mud hut or a house of straw? Could I bear the stench of a cattle shed? Right now, I can take a hot shower every day. Could I endure a place where I can’t even take one hot shower per year?” Your thoughts multiply, and you can’t take it. While you have money, you pull out fistfuls of cash to buy things, buying whatever you want without hesitation, you’re particularly generous, and you’re never tripped up by money. But if you were to give up all this, you’d feel embarrassed every time you reached into your wallet, wondering what would happen if there’s nothing there. If you wanted to eat a bowl of hot noodles, you’d have to calculate which restaurant is the cheapest and how many meals you can still eat with the money you have left. You’d have to keep to a strict budget, living the life of a poor person. Could you tolerate that? Previously, if you washed a piece of clothing twice and it lost its shape, and wearing it out would make you feel embarrassed, you’d throw it away and get a new one. Now, you wash and wear the same T-shirt over and over again, and even if the collar tears you can’t bear to throw it away. You stitch it back together and keep wearing it. Could you tolerate that? Wherever you go, people would see that you’re poor, and they wouldn’t want to interact with you. When you’re out shopping and ask for the price, no one would pay attention to you. Could you bear that? It’s not an easy feeling, is it? But if you didn’t have these monetary and material possessions, you wouldn’t need to let go of them, and you wouldn’t need to face this challenge. It would be much easier for you to abandon everything and pursue the truth. Therefore, God has long told people they should be content with food and clothing. No matter what profession you engage in, do not treat it as a career, and don’t see it as a springboard or a means to rise to prominence or accumulate wealth and live comfortably. Regardless of the work or profession you engage in, it’s enough to see it solely as a means to sustain your livelihood. If it can sustain your livelihood, you should know when to stop and not pursue riches anymore. If earning two thousand yuan per month is enough to cover your three meals a day and the basic necessities of life, then you should stop there and not try to expand the scope of your job. If you have any special necessities, you can take on additional shifts part-time or a temporary job to make ends meet—that’s acceptable. God’s requirement for people is this: No matter what profession you engage in, regardless of whether it involves knowledge or any technical skills, or if it calls for any physical labor, as long as it is reasonable and lawful, it is within your capabilities, and this profession can sustain your livelihood, then that is enough. Do not turn the profession you engage in into a stepping stone for realizing your own ideals and desires for the sake of satisfying your life in the flesh, thereby letting yourself fall into a temptation or quagmire, or leading yourself down a path of no return. If earning two thousand yuan per month is enough to sustain your personal life or the life of your family, then you should keep that job and use the remaining time to practice faith in God, attend gatherings, do your duties, and pursue the truth. This is your mission, the value and meaning of a believer’s life. And any profession you engage in is merely for sustaining the basic physical necessities of a normal human life. God will not demand that you rise to prominence, become outstanding, or make a name for yourself in your profession. If your profession is related to scientific research, it will require a significant portion of your energy, but the principle of practice remains unchanged—be content with food and clothing. If your profession offers you opportunities for promotion and a substantial income based on your capabilities, and this income exceeds the range of being content with food and clothing, what should you choose to do? (Refuse the offer.) The principle you should obey is that which God has admonished—be content with food and clothing. No matter what profession you engage in, if it goes beyond the scope of being content with food and clothing, you will inevitably invest energy, time, or costs outside the range of basic necessities to earn that additional income. For instance, you might currently be a junior employee earning enough to sustain your basic needs, but due to your good performance on the job, your superiors want to promote you to a managerial position or to such-and-such senior executive with a salary several times higher. Is this income earned in vain? When your income increases, the corresponding amount of labor you invest also increases. Does investing effort not require energy and time? This is equivalent to saying that the money you earn is obtained by trading a large chunk of your energy and time. To earn more money, you need to invest more of your time and energy. As you earn more money, a large chunk of your time and energy is then occupied, and at the same time, the time you allocate to your faith in God, attending gatherings, doing duties, and pursuing the truth decreases proportionately. This is a plain fact. When your energy and time are dedicated to accumulating wealth, you lose out on the rewards of your faith in God. God will not treat you favorably, nor will His house fill you in on what you missed just because you’ve been promoted and a large amount of your time and energy are now occupied, causing you to have no time to do your duties or attend the gatherings in God’s house. Is this the kind of thing that happens? (No.) God’s house won’t catch you up or let you have special treatment, and God will not treat you favorably because of this. In short, if you wish to have rewards for your belief in God, if you want to attain the truth, it depends on your own efforts to secure time and energy. This is a matter of choice. God doesn’t forbid you from sustaining a normal life. Your income is sufficient to cover food and warmth, sustaining your bodily survival and life activities. It’s enough to support your continued existence. But you are not content; you always want to earn more. Then your energy and time will be taken away by this sum of money. What are they being taken away for? To enhance the quality of your physical life. As you improve the quality of your physical life, you gain less from believing in God, and your time for doing duties is gone, it is occupied. What occupies it? It is occupied by the pursuit of a good physical life, by physical enjoyment. Is it worth it? (No.) If you’re good at weighing the pros and cons, you know it’s not worthwhile. You gain enjoyment in your physical life, you eat better food and keep your belly satisfied; you dress well, stylishly and comfortably. You acquire a few more designer items and luxury goods, but your job is tiring, more demanding, and it takes up your time and energy. As a believer, you have no time to attend gatherings or listen to sermons. You also lack time to ponder the truth and God’s words. There’s a lot of truth you still don’t understand and cannot recognize, but you lack time and energy to ponder and seek after them. Your physical life improves, but your spiritual life fails to grow, and faces decline. Is this a gain or a loss? (A loss.) This loss is too great! You have to weigh the pros and cons! If you’re a clever person who genuinely loves the truth, you should weigh both sides and see what is the most valuable and meaningful thing for you to gain. If promotion comes, and you have the opportunity to earn more money and provide a better physical life for yourself, what should you choose? If you’re willing to pursue the truth and have the determination to pursue the truth, then you should forgo such opportunities. For example, suppose someone at your company says, “You’ve been doing this job for ten years. Most people in the company see their salaries rise and receive promotions in three to five years. But your compensation is the same as before. Why won’t you give a better account for yourself? Why aren’t you improving your performance? Look at so-and-so, she has been here for three years, and now she drives a convertible and lives in a bigger house: She switched out her 1-1 for a 3-2. When she came, she was just a poor student. Now, she’s a wealthy woman, dressed head to toe in designer clothes, staying in luxury hotels, living in a mansion, and driving a luxury vehicle.” When you see how well off she is, wouldn’t you begin to feel the itch? Wouldn’t you feel bad? Could you withstand such temptations? Would you still stick to your original intention? Would you stick to the principles? If you genuinely love the truth, are willing to pursue the truth, and believe that gaining something in the truth is the most important thing, the most valuable thing in your life, and that you’ve chosen that which is the most important and valuable thing in your life, then you won’t regret it, and you won’t be swayed by things like promotions. You will be persistent, saying, “I am content with food and clothing; whatever occupation I take, it is for the sake of food and warmth, to allow my body to continue living, not for bodily enjoyment, and certainly not for achieving prominence. I don’t pursue promotions or high salaries; I will utilize my limited lifetime to pursue the truth.” If you possess this determination you won’t waver, and your heart won’t itch; when you see others getting promoted, receiving raises, or wearing gold and silver jewelry and brand-name clothes, enjoying a better quality of life than you, and surpassing you in style, you won’t feel envious. Isn’t that so? (Yes.) However, if you don’t love the truth and don’t pursue the truth, you won’t be able to restrain yourself, and you won’t persist for very long. On such an occasion and in such an environment, if people lack the truth as their lives, if they lack a bit of determination, if they lack true insight, they will frequently vacillate back and forth and feel weak. After persisting for a while, they will even grow depressed, thinking, “When will these days come to an end? If God’s day doesn’t come, how long will I remain a footman in the company? Others are earning more than me. Why am I only able to maintain basic food and warmth? God doesn’t tell me to earn more money.” Who’s stopping you from earning more money? If you have the capability, you can earn more. If you choose to earn more money, to lead a wealthy lifestyle, and to enjoy living extravagantly, that’s fine; no one is stopping you. However, you need to be responsible for your own choices. In the end, if you don’t attain the truth, if God’s words haven’t become life within you, you will be the only one regretting it. You need to be responsible for your own actions and choices. No one can foot the bill or take responsibility for you. Since you chose to believe in God, walk the path of salvation, and pursue the truth, don’t regret it. Since this is what you’ve chosen, you shouldn’t see it as a rule or commandment to follow; rather, you should understand that your persistence and choices have meaning and value. Ultimately, what you gain is the truth and life, not just a rule. If your persistence and choices make you feel particularly embarrassed, uncomfortable, or unable to face people around you, then don’t continue to persist. Why make things difficult for yourself? Whatever you wish for in your heart, whatever you want, pursue that thing—no one is stopping you. Right now, us fellowshipping like this is just giving you a principle. In the world, every profession that people engage in is associated with fame, profit, and physical enjoyment. The reason why people earn more money is not to achieve a certain number, but to improve their physical enjoyment through earning that money, and also to become wealthy people known to the public. This way, they will have fame, profit, and position, all of which exceed the range of basic necessities. Any price people pay is for physical enjoyment, none of it has meaning; all of it is empty, like a dream. What they gain in the end is pure emptiness. Today you might have dumplings for your meal and find it delicious, but after careful reflection, you see that you’ve gained nothing. If you eat it every day, you might get tired of it, stop eating it, and switch to something else, like corn buns, rice, or pancakes. You adjust yourself like this, and your physical body grows healthier. If you eat rich foods every day, your physical body might grow unhealthy, won’t it?

Being content with food and clothing, is this the correct path? (It is correct.) Why is it correct? Is the value of a person’s life about food and clothing? (No.) If the value of a person’s life is not about food and clothing or enjoyment in the flesh, then the profession a person engages in should only fulfill the need for food and clothing; it shouldn’t go beyond this scope. What is the purpose behind having food and clothing? To ensure the body can survive normally. What is the purpose of survival? It’s not for the sake of fleshly enjoyment, nor for the sake of enjoying life’s course, and it certainly isn’t for the sake of enjoying all the things that humans experience in life. All of these are unimportant. So what is the most important? What is the most valuable thing a person should do? (One should walk the path of believing in God and pursuing the truth, and then fulfill their own duties.) No matter what kind of person you are, you are a created being. Created beings should do what they are meant to do—this is what has value. So, what is it created beings do that has value? Every created being has a mission entrusted to them by the Creator, a mission they are meant to fulfill. God has determined the destiny of each person’s life. Whatever their life’s destiny is, that is what they should do. If you do it well, then when you stand before God to give an account, God will provide a satisfying answer. He will say that your life was lived valuably and fruitfully, that you turned God’s words into your life, and that you are a qualified created being. However, if your life is just about living, struggling, and investing for the sake of food, clothing, pleasure, and happiness, then when you finally stand before God, He will ask, “How much have you fulfilled of this life’s task and mission that I gave you?” You will tally it all up and find that the energy and time of this life were spent on food, clothing, and entertainment. It seems like you haven’t done much with your faith in God, you haven’t fulfilled your duty, you haven’t persisted to the end, and you haven’t carried out your devotion. With regard to pursuing the truth, though you had some willingness to pursue it, you haven’t paid much of a price, and you haven’t gained anything. In the final test, God’s words have not become your life, and you are still the same old Satan. Your methods for viewing things and acting are all based on human notions and imaginings, and Satan’s corrupt disposition. You are still completely opposed to God, and are incompatible with Him. In that case, you will be rendered useless, and God will not want you anymore. From this point on, you will no longer be God’s created being. That is a pitiful thing! Therefore, no matter what profession you engage in, as long as it’s legal, it is arranged and predestined by God. But that doesn’t mean God supports or encourages you to earn more money or to rise to prominence in the career you have taken. God doesn’t approve of this, and He never required it from you. God will moreover never use the profession you engage in to push you toward the world, to hand you over to Satan, or to allow you to willfully pursue fame and profit. Instead, through the profession you engage in, God allows you to address your needs for food and warmth—that is all. Additionally, within God’s words He has told you such things as what your duty is, what your mission is, what you should pursue, and what you should live out. These are the values you should live out and the path you should walk throughout your life. After God has spoken and you understand what He said, what you should do? If working three days a week is enough to meet your needs for food and warmth, but you still choose to work on the other days, then you cannot do your duty. When a duty requires your cooperation, you say, “I’m at work, I’m at my post,” and when someone tries to contact you, you always claim to have no time. When do you have time? Only after 8 p.m., when you’re worn out, tired, and drained, you have the will but not the strength. You work six days of the week, and whenever someone tries to contact you by phone you always claim that you don’t have time. Only on Sundays do you have time, and even then you need to spend time with your family and your children, do household chores, and recharge yourself and relax a while. Some people even go out on vacation, spend some time on leisure activities, and go off spending money and shopping for things. Some people build on their relationships with colleagues, and network with leaders and higher-ups. What kind of belief is this? This is a disbeliever through and through; what’s the point of engaging in the formality? Don’t say you believe in God; you have no relationship with believers in God. You don’t belong to the church; at most, you’re just a friend of the church. God’s house needs someone to handle external affairs, and you may agree to help out, but it’s just that you’re not refusing. Whether you can fill your post, or when you can fill it, is unknown. And after you’ve arrived at your post, whether you can give it all of your time, and your whole heart, and strength, is uncertain—these are all unknowns. Who knows when you might get too busy with work, or go on a business trip, and disappear without a trace for two weeks or a month—no one can reach you. This is no longer genuine faith, it is a mere formality. When it comes to people like this, their books of God’s words should be taken away, and then they should be cleared out and told, “If you can’t let go of work, have no time for gatherings, and can’t do your duty, God’s house won’t force you. Let’s part ways here. When you can come to be content with just having food and clothing, give up your demands for a high-quality life, and allocate more time to doing your duty, then we’ll formally accept you into the fold and count you as a member of the church. If you can’t achieve this, and you just report in, help out, and build tenuous relationships with brothers and sisters in your spare time, that doesn’t count as doing your duty as a created being, and it certainly doesn’t qualify as formally believing in God.” What do we call people like this? (Friends of the church.) Church friends, good friends of the church. “For he that is not against us is on our part” (Mark 9:40). Therefore, these kinds of people are referred to as church friends. Calling someone a friend of the church indicates that they’re still in the observation phase, they aren’t yet formal believers in God, they aren’t counted among the church members, nor are they yet considered as people doing a duty; at most, they still have to be observed, as it’s still unclear whether they can do their duty. However, some people, due to restrictions placed on them by family environment or conditions, must work several days a week to address making a living and support their children. We won’t make any peremptory demands on them. If they can do their duties in their remaining time, then they count as members of God’s house, as formally believing in God, because they have already met the basic condition of being content with food and clothing. They have objective difficulties, and if you prevent them from working, their entire family will have no means of support, and they’ll suffer from cold and hunger. If you don’t let them work, who will support their family? Are you going to support them? Therefore, church leaders, supervisors, and anyone related to them are not justified in demanding that they quit their jobs and not worry about their families. This ought not to be done. It would be asking the impossible of people; they should be given a means to live. People don’t live in a vacuum, they are not machines. They need to survive, to sustain a livelihood. As we discussed before, if you have children and a family, then as a mainstay or a member of the family, you should take on the responsibility of supporting your family. The principle for fulfilling this responsibility is to achieve food and warmth, that is the principle. For some people, this is the condition they are in, and they can’t do anything about it. After performing their responsibilities to their family, they adjust their schedule to do their duty. This is allowed and permitted by God’s house; you can’t ask the impossible of people. Is this a principle? (Yes.) No one is justified in demanding that those who have just recently believed in God and have yet to establish roots must quit their jobs, abandon their families, get divorced, neglect their children, or reject their parents. None of these are necessary. What God’s words require people to follow are the truth principles, and these principles include various situations and conditions. Based on these different situations and conditions, requirements and measures should be made according to the truth principles; only this is accurate. Therefore, in matters of a career, it is crucial to be content with food and clothing. If you can’t see this point clearly, you might lose your duty and jeopardize your chances of being saved.

The last days are also a special time. In one respect, the affairs of the church are busy and complicated; in another, facing this moment when the gospel of the kingdom of God is expanding, more people are needed to dedicate their time and energy, to contribute their efforts and fulfill their duties in order to meet the needs of various projects within the house of God. Therefore, regardless of your occupation, if outside of meeting your basic living needs, you are able to devote your time and energy to fulfill your duty in God’s house, cooperating in various projects, then in the eyes of God, this is not only desirable but also particularly valuable. It is worthy of God’s commemoration, and of course it is worth it for people to invest and spend this much too. That is because although you sacrificed the enjoyments of the flesh, what you gain is the priceless life of God’s words, an everlasting life, a priceless treasure that cannot be exchanged for anything in the world, with money or any other thing. And this invaluable treasure, the thing you gain through investing time and energy, through your own efforts and pursuits: This is a special favor and something you have been lucky to receive, isn’t it? God’s words and the truth becoming one’s life: This is a priceless treasure in exchange for which people should offer everything. So, based on your occupation allowing you to have the food and clothing, if you are able to pay the price and invest time and energy into pursuing the truth—if you choose this path—then it is a good thing worth celebrating. You shouldn’t feel discouraged or confused about it; you should be certain that you made the right choice. You might have missed out on opportunities for promotions, for salary increases and a higher income, for more enjoyment of life in the flesh, or for a wealthy life, but you have seized the opportunity for salvation. The fact that you have lost or let go of those things, means that your choice has brought you hope and vitality for salvation. You haven’t lost anything. On the contrary, if, after having the food and clothing, you exert extra time and energy, earn more money, acquire more material pleasures, and your flesh is satisfied, yet in doing so, you’ve ruined the hope of your own salvation, then this undoubtedly is not a good thing for you. You should be upset and anxious about it; you should adjust your work or your attitude about life and demands concerning physical life quality; you should let go of certain desires, plans, and agendas for life in the flesh that do not align with reality. You should pray to God, come into His presence, and resolve to fulfill your own duty, throwing your mind and body into the various tasks in God’s house, striving so that in the future, on the day when God’s work is concluded, when God examines the work of all different kinds of people, and measures the statures of all these different kinds of people, you will be a part of them. When God’s great work is accomplished, when the gospel of God’s kingdom has spread throughout the universe, when this joyous scene unfolds, there will be your toil, your investment, and your sacrifice. When God receives glory, when His work is expanded throughout the universe, when everyone is celebrating the successful accomplishment of God’s great work, at the unfolding of that moment of joy, you will be the one who is connected to this joy. You will be a partaker in this joy, not the one who will weep and gnash their teeth, who will beat their breast and pound their back while everyone else is shouting and jumping for joy, not the one receiving severe punishment, who will be thoroughly spurned and eliminated by God. Of course, even better is that when God’s great work is accomplished, you will possess God’s words as life. You will be a person who has been saved, no longer rebelling against God, no longer violating principles, but someone who is compatible with God. At the same time, you will also rejoice over everything you gave up initially: the high salary, fleshly pleasures, good material treatment, a superior living environment, and the appreciation, promotion, and elevation given by leaders. You won’t be regretting that you did not give up those opportunities for promotion, or those opportunities to increase your salary and build wealth, or those chances to indulge in a luxurious lifestyle. In short, the requirements and standards for the profession one engages in, which are also principles of practice they should obey, are all summed up in this saying: “Be content with food and clothing.” Pursuing the truth to attain life is what people should hold on to. They should not forsake the truth and the right path in order to satisfy their own fleshly desires and enjoyment. This constitutes the second principle people should uphold with respect to a career.

Regarding the topic of letting go of one’s career, today we discussed two principles. Have you understood these two principles? (Yes.) With the principles clear, the next step is to evaluate, based on these principles, how to practice them. Ultimately, those who can uphold these principles are the ones following the way of God, while those who cannot uphold the principles are deviating from God’s way. It’s as simple as that. If you can uphold the principles, you will attain the truth; if you don’t uphold the principles, you will lose the truth. Attaining the truth provides the hope of salvation; failing to attain the truth will lead to losing the hope of salvation—that’s just how it is. Alright, let’s conclude the fellowship here for today. Goodbye!

June 10, 2023

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