How to Pursue the Truth (3) Part One

Where did we get to in our fellowship at our last gathering? We were fellowshiping on how to pursue the truth, which relates to two major topics which are primarily two aspects of practice. What is the first? (The first is letting go.) And the second? (The second is dedicating.) The first is letting go, and the second is dedicating. With regard to the practice of “letting go,” we first fellowshiped on letting go of various negative emotions. The first aspect of “letting go” involves letting go of various negative emotions. So when we spoke about letting go of various negative emotions, which ones did we mention? (God talked about inferiority, hatred, and anger the first time, and then the second time about depression.) The first time, I talked about the need to let go of hatred, anger, and inferiority—these three negative emotions were what I spoke about primarily, and I also spoke at some length on depression. The second time, I spoke about practicing letting go of depression as one of the negative emotions. People can get depressed for all kinds of reasons, and last time I mainly spoke about several ways in which the negative emotion of depression can come about. Tell Me, what were the main causes I gave for the emotion of depression to come about? (God, there are altogether three causes. The first is people always feeling that they have a bad fate; the second is people blaming their bad luck when things happen to them; and the third is when people have committed serious transgressions in the past, or when they have done foolish or ignorant things, which caused them to sink into depression.) These are the three main ones. The first is because people believe that their fate is bad, and so they are often depressed; the second is because people believe themselves to be unlucky, and so often get depressed as well; and the third is because people have committed serious transgressions, which leads them to often feel depressed. These are the three primary causes. The emotion of depression is not a fleeting feeling of negativity or sadness. Rather it is a habitual and recurrent negative emotion in the mind brought about by certain causes. This negative emotion causes people to have many negative thoughts, views, and standpoints, and even many extreme and fallacious thoughts, views, behaviors, and methods. It is not a temporary mood or a fleeting idea; it is a recurrent and habitual negative emotion, with people all the time, accompanying people in their lives in their innermost hearts and deep in their souls, and with them in their thoughts and actions. Not only does this negative emotion affect the conscience and reason of people’s normal humanity, but it can also have an impact on the various standpoints, views, and perspectives people have in the way they look at people and things, and in their conduct and actions in their daily lives. Therefore, it is necessary for us to analyze different negative feelings, dissect them, and recognize them, before then letting them go and changing them one by one, striving to gradually leave them behind so that your conscience and reason, as well as the thinking of your humanity, become normal and practical, and so that the way you look at people and things and the way you conduct yourselves and do things in your daily lives are no longer impacted, controlled or even oppressed by these negative feelings—this is the main objective of dissecting and discerning these various negative emotions. The main objective is not for you to listen to what I say, know it, understand it, and then leave it there, but rather it is for you to know from My words exactly how harmful negative emotions are to people, to know how harmful they are and how great an impact they have on people’s daily lives, the way they view people and things, and the way they conduct themselves and behave.

We also fellowshiped before on how, to a certain extent, these negative emotions do not reach the level of corrupt dispositions and a corrupt essence, but do facilitate and exacerbate people’s corrupt dispositions to some degree, providing a basis for their doing things based on their corrupt dispositions, and giving people more reason to live by their corrupt dispositions while supported by these negative emotions, as well as reason to view anyone or anything based on their corrupt dispositions. These negative emotions, therefore, all impact people’s daily lives to varying degrees, and, to a certain extent, they affect and control people’s various thoughts, and influence the attitudes, perspectives, and standpoints they have on the truth and God. It can be said that these negative emotions do not have a good impact on people at all, nor any positive or helpful effect, but, conversely, can only harm people. That’s why when people live within these negative emotions, their hearts are naturally influenced and controlled by them, and they are unable to stop themselves from living in a state of negativity, and they even adopt extreme views on people and things from absurd standpoints. When people view a person or a thing from the perspective and standpoint of negative emotions, naturally the behaviors, approaches, and effects of the comportment and actions that they produce will be adulterated with extreme, negative, and depressive emotions. These negative, depressive, and extreme emotions will cause people to be disobedient to God, dissatisfied with God, to blame God, to defy Him, and even to oppose Him, as well as, of course, to hate Him. For example, when a person believes they have a bad fate, who do they blame for it? They may not say it, but in their heart, they believe that God has acted wrongly and that He is unfair, and they think, “Why did God make him so good-looking? Why did God allow him to be born into such a great family? Why did He give him such gifts? Why did He give him such good caliber? Why is my caliber so bad? Why did God arrange for him to be a leader? Why is it never my turn, why have I never gotten to be a leader even once? Why does everything go so smoothly for him, and when I do anything, it never goes right or smoothly? Why is my fate so miserable? Why are the things that happen to me so different? Why do only bad things happen to me?” Although these thoughts that arise from depressive emotions do not cause people to blame God, or to oppose God and their fate in their subjective consciousness, they do cause people to often and involuntarily sink into emotions of being disobedient, dissatisfied, resentful, envious, and hateful in their innermost hearts. In severe cases, they can even cause people to produce more extreme thoughts and behaviors. For example, when some people see someone else performing better than them and being commended by God, they feel envy and loathing. Consequently, a series of petty actions are set in motion: They speak ill of the other person and undermine them behind their back, they secretly do some shady and irrational things, and so on. The arising of this series of issues is directly related to their depression and negative emotions. This series of thoughts, behaviors, and approaches which arises from their depressive emotions may seem like just kinds of emotions at first, but as things progress, these negative and depressive emotions can increasingly encourage people to live by their corrupt satanic dispositions. However, if people understand the truth and live with normal humanity, when these negative and depressive emotions arise within them, their conscience and reason can promptly spring into action, and these people can perceive the presence and disturbance of these depressive emotions and see through them. They can then very quickly leave their depressive emotions behind them, and when they encounter people, events, and things in their present situation, they can make rational judgments and rationally regard the situations they encounter and the things they experience from the correct perspective. When people do all these things rationally, the most basic thing that they will be able to achieve is to accept the governance of the conscience and reason of normal humanity. Even better, if they understand the truth, they will be able to act in accordance with the truth principles in a more rational manner, upon the basis of their conscience and reason, and they will not comport themselves or act under the mastery of their corrupt dispositions. However, if negative emotions take the predominant position in their hearts, influencing their thoughts, views, and the way they handle matters and conduct themselves, then naturally these negative emotions will affect their progress in life, and lead to their thoughts, choices, behavior, and approaches being obstructed and disturbed in all manner of situations. In one respect, these negative emotions facilitate people’s corrupt dispositions, causing people to feel at ease and justified living in their corrupt dispositions; in another respect, they can also cause people to resist positive things and to live in negativity, unwilling to see the light. In this way, negative emotions become more rampant and severe in people, and they absolutely do not permit people to act rationally within the boundaries of conscience and reason. Instead, they prevent people from seeking the truth and from living before God, and, in this way, people naturally degenerate even further, not only feeling negative, but also straying far from God. And what will the consequences be of things continuing like this? Not only can negative emotions not resolve people’s corrupt dispositions, but they will facilitate them, which will cause people to handle matters and conduct themselves based on their corrupt dispositions and to go their own way. What will people do when they’re dominated by fallacious and extreme thoughts and views? Will they disturb the work of the church? Will they spread negativity, and judge God and the work arrangements of God’s house? Will they blame God and defy Him? They certainly will! These are the ultimate consequences. A series of approaches, such as disobedience, dissatisfaction, negativity, and opposition will arise within people—these are all the consequences of negative emotions taking a predominant position in people’s hearts over a long period of time. Look, just a tiny negative emotion—an emotion that people would seemingly be unable to feel, that people could not even sense the existence of or feel whatever effect it’s having on them—this tiny negative emotion still follows them around as if it has been with them since birth. It causes people harm of all shapes and sizes, and it is even constantly enveloping, intimidating, suppressing, and binding you, to the point where it accompanies you all the time, just like your life does, and yet you are totally unaware of it, often living within it and taking it for granted, thinking things like, “This is how people are supposed to think, there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s very normal. Who doesn’t have some active thoughts like these? Who doesn’t have some negative emotions?” You are unable to sense the harm this negative emotion is causing you, but the harm is very real, and you will often be involuntarily incited by it to naturally pour forth your corrupt dispositions, and to act and comport yourself based on your corrupt dispositions, until finally you do everything based on your corrupt dispositions. You can imagine what the final results of this are: They are all negative, all adverse, with nothing beneficial or positive, much less anything that can help people to gain the truth and God’s commendation—these are not optimistic outcomes. Therefore, as long as negative emotions exist in a person, all kinds of negative thoughts and views will severely influence and dominate their life. As long as negative thoughts and views influence and dominate their life, there will be huge obstacles stopping them from pursuing the truth, practicing the truth, and entering into the truth reality. And so, it is necessary for us to continue exposing and dissecting these negative emotions, so that all of them can be resolved.

The negative emotions we have just fellowshiped on have a serious effect and cause severe harm to people, but there are other negative emotions which likewise influence and harm people. Besides the negative emotions of hatred, anger, inferiority, and depression which we have already talked about, there are the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry. These emotions are likewise rooted deep in people’s innermost hearts, and they accompany people in their everyday lives, and in their words and actions. Of course, when things happen to people, they also affect the thoughts and views that arise within them, as well as the standpoints and perspectives they take. Today, we will dissect and expose the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry, and endeavor to help people discover them within themselves. After people discover these negative emotions within themselves, the ultimate goal is for them to know these negative emotions thoroughly, to clear them out, to no longer live under their influence, and to no longer live and comport themselves with these negative emotions as their basis and foundation. First, let’s look at the words “distress, anxiety, and worry.” Are they not ways of expressing emotions? (They are.) Before we fellowship on this topic, let’s first contemplate on it, so that you have the most basic concept of “distress, anxiety, and worry.” Whether you reach a literal understanding of the words, or a deeper understanding beyond their literal meaning, you will then have a basic knowledge of these negative emotions. First tell Me what has caused you to worry in the past, or what things you are always feeling distressed, anxious, and worried about. They can be like a great stone crushing you, or like a shadow that is always following you, binding you. (God, I’ll say a few words. When I don’t achieve any results in my duty, this emotion is quite prominent, and I worry whether I’ll be exposed and cast out, and whether I’ll have a good future and a good destination. When I achieve results in my duty, I don’t feel like this, but whenever I don’t achieve results in it for some time, this kind of negative emotion becomes extremely evident.) Is this not a manifestation of the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry? (It is.) That’s right. This kind of negative emotion hides within people’s innermost hearts at all times, constantly influencing their thoughts. Although people can’t sense this kind of negative emotion when nothing bad has happened, it’s like an odor, or like a kind of gas, or even more so like an electric wave. You can’t see it and when you aren’t aware of it, you’re even not able to feel it either. However, you can always sense its presence in your innermost heart, like the so-called sixth sense, and you can always subconsciously feel the existence of this kind of thought and emotion. At the appropriate time, in the appropriate place, and in the appropriate context, this kind of negative emotion will rise up little by little, and emerge bit by bit. Isn’t that so? (Yes.) So, what other things make you feel distressed, anxious, and worried? Is there nothing besides what was just mentioned? If so, then you must be living so happily and without worry, without any anxiety, and without feeling distressed about anything—then you would be a free person indeed. Is that how it is? (No.) Well then, tell Me what is in your hearts. (When I don’t perform well in my duty, I’m always worrying about losing reputation and status, worrying what my brothers and sisters will think of me, and what my leader will think of me. Also, when I’m working together with my brothers and sisters to do my duty and I keep revealing my corrupt dispositions, I’m always worrying that I’ve believed in God for so long yet I haven’t changed at all, and if this carries on, then perhaps one day I’ll be cast out. These are the misgivings I have.) When you have these misgivings do the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry arise in you? (They do.) So, most of you are anxious and worried because you’re not performing your duties well, is that right? (Mostly, I’m worried about my future and my fate.) Worrying about one’s future and fate is the predominant one. When people are unable to see through to, understand, accept, or submit to the environments that God orchestrates and His sovereignty, and when people face various difficulties in their daily lives, or when these difficulties exceed what normal people can bear, they subconsciously feel all kinds of worry and anxiety, and even distress. They don’t know what tomorrow will be like, or the day after, or how things will be in a few years’ time, or what their future will be like, and so they feel distressed, anxious, and worried about all manner of things. What is the context in which people feel distressed, anxious, and worried about all manner of things? It is that they don’t believe in the sovereignty of God—that is, they are unable to believe in and see through to God’s sovereignty. Even if they saw it with their own eyes, they wouldn’t understand it, or believe it. They don’t believe that God holds sovereignty over their fate, they don’t believe that their lives are in God’s hands, and so distrust arises in their hearts toward God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and then blame arises, and they are unable to submit. Besides blaming and being unable to submit, they want to be masters of their own fate and act on their own initiative. What then becomes the actual situation after they start acting on their own initiative? All they can do is live relying on their own caliber and abilities, but there are many things they cannot achieve, or reach, or accomplish with their own caliber and abilities. For example: what will happen to them in the future, whether they’ll be able to get into college, whether they’ll be able to get a good job when they finish college, and whether everything will go well for them once they get a job; and if they want to climb the ladder and get rich, whether they’ll be able to achieve their ideals and desires within a few years; and then when they want to find a partner, and to get married and start a family, what kind of partner will be suitable for them? To man, things such as these are unknown. With such things unknown, people feel at a loss. When people feel like they’re at a loss, they become distressed, anxious, and worried—they feel distressed, anxious, and worried about everything the future may hold for them. Why is this? It’s because, within the ambit of normal humanity, people just cannot bear all these things. No one knows how they will be in a few years’ time, no one knows what their job, or marriage, or children will be like in the future—people just don’t know these things. These are things that cannot be foreknown within the range of the abilities of normal humanity, and that’s why people always feel distressed, anxious, and worried about them. No matter how simple a person’s mind is, so long as they are able to think, these negative emotions will arise in their innermost heart once they reach adulthood, one by one. Why do distress, anxiety, and worry arise within people? Because people are always fretting and getting agitated about things beyond the scope of their ability; they always want to know, to understand, and to achieve things beyond the scope of their ability, and even to control things outside the range of the abilities of normal humanity. They want to control all of this, and not just that—they also want the laws and outcomes of the development of these things to progress and be fulfilled according to their own will. Therefore, dominated by such irrational thoughts, people feel distress, anxiety, and worry, and the consequences of these emotions differ from person to person. Regardless of what things people feel intensely distressed, anxious, or worried about, thereby forming these negative emotions, people should take them very seriously and seek the truth to resolve them.

We will fellowship on the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry primarily from two aspects: The first will be to dissect people’s difficulties to see what they are, and from there see exactly what the reasons are for the arising of the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry, and exactly how they arise; the second will be to dissect the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry in terms of the various attitudes people have toward God’s work. Do you understand? (Yes.) How many aspects are there? (Two.) We are to dissect the reasons for the arising of the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry, first from the difficulties people have, and second from people’s attitudes toward God’s work. Repeat that back to Me. (We are to dissect the reasons for the arising of the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry, first from the difficulties people have, and second from people’s attitudes toward God’s work.) There are many difficulties people can have, all of which people meet in their everyday lives, difficulties which arise often within the scope of living a life of normal humanity. And how do these difficulties come about? They come about because people are always trying to overreach themselves, always trying to control their own fate, to know their future ahead of time. If their future doesn’t look good, they immediately go in search of a feng shui expert or fortuneteller to redress and correct it. That’s why people encounter so many difficulties in their everyday lives, and it is these difficulties which cause people to often slide down into the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry. What are these difficulties? Let’s first take a look at what people consider to be their greatest difficulty—what is that? It is their future prospects, meaning what a person’s future will be in this lifetime, whether they will be wealthy or ordinary in the future, whether they will be able to stand out, achieve great success, and prosper in the world and among people. Especially among those who believe in God, they may not know what will happen to others in the future, but they often worry about their own future and always wonder, “Is this all there is to believing in God? Will I ever get to stand out from the crowd in the future? Will I be able to take on an important role in God’s house? Will I be able to be a team leader or someone in charge? Will I be able to be a leader? What’s going to happen to me? If I constantly perform my duty like this in God’s house, what will become of me in the end? Will I attain salvation? Do I have any future prospects? Do I still need to keep doing my job in the world? Do I need to continue studying the professional skill I was learning before, or take it into further education? If I can keep performing my duty full-time in God’s house, I shouldn’t have any issues with the basic necessities of life, but if I don’t perform my duty well and I get reallocated and replaced, how will I live then? Should I take the opportunity now, before I get replaced or cast out, to prepare for that eventuality?” They wonder about these things and see that they have some savings, and they think, “How many years can I last on what I have saved? I’m in my thirties now, and in ten years I’ll be in my forties. If I get removed from the church, will I be able to keep up with the situation when I return to the world? Will my health be good enough to allow me to keep working? Will I be able to earn enough to live on? Will I find it hard to live? I perform my duty in God’s house, but will God keep me until the end?” Although they think about these things all the time, they never find the answers. Although there is never any conclusion, they can’t help but keep thinking these things—it is out of their control. When they encounter some setback or difficulty, or when something doesn’t go the way they wanted, in their innermost hearts, they consider these things, without telling anyone. When some people are pruned, when they are replaced in their duties, when they are reallocated to different duties, or when they meet with some crisis or other, they involuntarily look for a route of retreat and can’t help but make plans and schemes for their next steps. Regardless of what happens in the end, people still often make plans and schemes for the things they’re feeling worried, anxious, and distressed about. Are these not things people think about for their own future prospects? Don’t these negative emotions arise because people are unable to let go of their own future prospects? (Yes, they do.) When people are feeling particularly enthusiastic and when things are going very smoothly in the performance of their duties, and especially when they get promoted, used for some important tasks, when they enjoy the support of most of their brothers and sisters, and when their own value is reflected, they don’t think about these things. The moment their reputation, status, and interests are threatened, they can’t help but retreat back into the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry. When they go back into these negative emotions, the way they approach these negative emotions is not to flee from them or reject them, but rather it is to cater to them, and try to work hard to sink down into these feelings of distress, anxiety, and worry, to go deeper into them. Why do I say this? When people sink down into these negative emotions, they then have more reason, more of an excuse to, and can more freely make plans for their future and for their next steps. While they’re making these plans, they think this is just how it should be, that this is what they’re supposed to be doing, and they use the saying, “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” and another saying, “He who doesn’t plan for the future will have troubles right at hand,” meaning that if you don’t make plans for and consider your future and fate in advance, then no one else will worry about them for you, and no one else will care about them for you. When you have no idea how to take your next step, you will face awkwardness, pain, and embarrassment, and the one who will suffer and endure the hardships will be you. So, people feel that they are very smart, and every step they take, they will look forward ten steps. The moment they encounter any difficulties or disappointments, they immediately return to their negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry in order to protect themselves, to have their future and their next step in life be foolproof, to have food to eat and clothing to wear, to not be wandering the streets, and to not be short of food or clothing. Therefore, under the influence of these negative emotions, they often warn themselves, thinking, “I must make plans in advance, hold some things back, and leave myself a sufficient way of retreat. I mustn’t be stupid—my fate is in my own hands. People often say, ‘Our fates are in God’s hands, and God holds sovereignty over the fates of man,’ but this is just empty pleasantries. Who has actually seen this? How does God hold sovereignty over our fates? Who has actually seen God personally arrange three meals a day for anyone, or arrange all the things they need in life? No one.” People believe that when they don’t see God’s sovereignty, and if they feel distressed, anxious, and worried about their future prospects, then these negative emotions are like a protection for them, like a protective shield, a safe haven. They constantly warn and remind themselves to make plans for the future, that they have to worry about tomorrow, that they mustn’t just stuff themselves full of food all day and remain idle; that it’s not wrong to make plans for oneself, to find a way out for oneself, and to work day and night for one’s own future. They tell themselves that this is natural and perfectly justified and is not something to feel ashamed about. So, even though people believe distress, anxiety, and worry to be negative emotions, they never think that to feel them is a bad thing, they never think these negative emotions might be harming them in any way, or that they might be obstacles to their pursuit of the truth and entering the truth reality. Instead, they enjoy them tirelessly, and they willingly and tirelessly live within these negative emotions. This is because they believe that only by living within these negative emotions and constantly feeling distressed, anxious, and worried about their future prospects can they be secure. Otherwise, who else will feel distressed, anxious, and worried about their future? No one. No one loves them more than they do themselves, no one understands them like they do, or gets them like they do. So, even if people can recognize to a certain extent and in terms of words and doctrines that the existence of such negative emotions is harmful to them, they are still unwilling to give up such negative emotions because these negative emotions allow them to firmly take hold of the initiative to grasp and take control of their own future. Is this right to say? (Yes.) To people, therefore, worrying, feeling anxious, and feeling distressed about their future is a matter of tremendous responsibility. It is not shameful, nor pathetic, nor hateful, but to them it is rather just as things should be. That’s why these negative emotions are very difficult for people to let go of, as if they have been with them since birth. Everything people think about since their birth is for themselves, and the most important matter to them is their own future prospects. They think that if they take a firm hold on their future and keep watch on it, then they will live a worry-free life. They think that with good future prospects, they will have everything they want, and it will all be a cinch. And so, people never get sick of feeling distressed, anxious, and worried about their future, over and over again. Even if God has given His promise, even if people have enjoyed or received much grace from God, even if they have seen God bestow all manner of blessings on mankind, and other such facts, people still want to live in the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry, and to make plans and designs for their future.

Besides future prospects, there is something else important, something which people also often feel distressed, anxious, and worried about, and that is marriage. Some people don’t worry about it and are not concerned if they’re still not married in their thirties, because there are many people now in their thirties who aren’t married. This is something often seen in society, and no one laughs at you for it, and no one says there’s something wrong with you. However, if someone isn’t married by the time they get to their forties, they begin to faintly feel panic deep inside them, and they think, “Should I look for a partner or not? Should I get married or not? If I don’t get married and have a family, if I don’t have any children, will I have anyone to look after me when I’m older? Will anyone take care of me when I’m sick? Will I have anyone to arrange my funeral when I die?” People worry about these things. Those who don’t plan on getting married don’t feel so distressed, anxious, or worried. For example, some people say, “I believe in God now, and I’m willing to expend myself for God. I’m not going to look for a partner, and I’m not going to marry. I’m not going to get distressed over these things no matter how old I get.” Single people, people who have been single for 10 or 20 years, who have been single from the age of 20 to the age of 40, shouldn’t have any major concerns. Even though they may occasionally feel some slight worry and distress because of environmental factors or objective reasons, because they believe in God and are busy performing their duty, and because their current resolve hasn’t changed, the kind of worry they feel is vague and comes only now and then, and it’s not a big deal. This kind of emotion which doesn’t affect the normal performance of duties is not harmful to people, nor can it be considered a negative emotion, that is, this matter has not turned into a negative emotion for you. As for those who are already married, what kind of things do they worry about? If both husband and wife believe in God and perform their duties, then will this marriage be maintained? Does the family exist? What about the children? In addition, if one of the two pursues the truth and the other doesn’t, if the one who doesn’t pursue the truth always pursues the world, pursues a wealthy life, and the one who pursues the truth always wants to perform their duty, while the one who doesn’t pursue the truth is always trying to stop their spouse but feels embarrassed to, occasionally voicing some complaint or saying negative things to discourage their spouse, then the one who pursues the truth will wonder, “Oh, my husband doesn’t truly believe in God, so how will it go with us in the future? If we get divorced, I’ll be single and unable to maintain a livelihood. If I stay with him, we won’t be walking the same path, we’ll be harboring different dreams, and then what will I do?” They feel distressed, anxious, and worried about these things. Once they have begun to believe in God, some sisters believe that, although their husbands don’t believe in God, they don’t try too hard to obstruct their own belief in God, and they aren’t being persecuted, so there’s no reason to divorce. If they stay together, however, they always feel restricted and influenced. What are they influenced by? They are restricted and influenced by their affections, and the various difficulties in family life and marriage occasionally stir things up in the depths of their hearts, causing them to experience some distress, anxiety, and worry of a kind that is neither major nor minor. Under such circumstances, marriage is a formality which maintains a normal family life, and it becomes something that fetters the wives’ normal thinking, their normal lives, and even the normal performance of their duties—it is difficult to keep the marriage going, but they cannot extricate themselves from it. There is no particular reason to keep such a marriage as this going, nor is there any particular reason for them to get divorced either; there is no ample reason to take either action. They don’t know what the right choice to make is, and they don’t know what the wrong thing to do is. Therefore, distress, anxiety, and worry arise in them. These feelings of distress, anxiety, and worry are constantly floating up in their minds and binding them in their daily lives, and they also affect their normal life. In the course of performing their duties, these things are always floating up in their minds and arising in their innermost hearts, influencing the normal performance of their duties. Although these things do not seem like a clear word on what these wives should do or what choice they should make, these matters cause them to become mired deep in the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry, which makes them feel oppressed and trapped. Is this not another kind of difficulty? (It is.) This is another kind of difficulty, a difficulty that is brought about by marriage.

There are also those who, because they’ve come to believe in God, live the church life, read God’s words, and perform their duties, won’t have any time to associate normally with their non-believing children, their wives (or husbands), their parents, or their friends and relatives. In particular, they will be unable to properly look after their non-believing children, or do any of the things their children require, and so they worry about their children’s future and prospects. Especially when their children grow up, some people will begin to fret: Will my child go to college or not? What will they major in if they get into college? My child doesn’t believe in God and wants to go to college, so should I, as someone who believes in God, pay for their studies? Should I take care of their daily needs and support them in their studies? And when it comes to them getting married, having a job, and even having a family and children of their own, what role should I play? What things should I do and not do? They have no idea about these things. The moment something like this comes along, the moment they find themselves in such a situation, they are at a loss and have no idea what to do, nor do they know how to handle such things. As time passes, distress, anxiety, and worry arise regarding these things: If they do these things for their child, they fear going against God’s will and displeasing God, and if they don’t do these things, they fear not fulfilling their parental responsibilities and being blamed by their child and other family members; if they do these things, they fear that they will lose testimony, and if they don’t do these things, they fear being mocked by worldly people, and being laughed at, jibed at, and judged by their neighbors; they fear dishonoring God, but they’re also afraid of earning themselves a bad reputation, and feeling so ashamed that they cannot show their face. As they vacillate around these things, distress, anxiety, and worry arise in their hearts; they feel distressed about not knowing what to do, they feel anxious about doing the wrong thing no matter what they choose, and not knowing whether anything they do is appropriate, and they worry if these things keep happening, then one day they won’t be able to cope with them, and if they have a breakdown then things will be even harder for them. People in such a situation as this feel distressed, anxious, and worried about all of these things that crop up in life, whether they are big things or small things. Once these negative feelings arise in them, they become mired in this distress, anxiety, and worry, and are unable to free themselves: If they do this, it’s wrong, if they do that, it’s wrong, and they don’t know what the right thing to do is; they want to please other people, but they fear displeasing God; they want to do things for other people so that they are spoken well of, but they don’t want to dishonor God or cause God to detest them. That is why they always become mired in these feelings of distress, anxiety, and worry. They feel distressed both for other people and for themselves; they feel anxious about things both for other people as well as for themselves; and they also worry about things for other people as well as for themselves, and so they become mired in a double difficulty from which they cannot escape. Such negative emotions as these not only affect their daily lives, but affect the performance of their duties as well, as well as, of course, affecting their pursuit of the truth to some degree. This is a kind of difficulty, that is, these are difficulties relating to marriage, family life, and personal life, and it is because of these difficulties that people often become stuck in distress, anxiety, and worry. Aren’t people to be pitied when they become stuck in this kind of negative emotion? (They are.) Are they to be pitied? You still say, “They are,” showing that you are still very sympathetic toward them. When someone becomes mired in a negative emotion, regardless of what the background is to the arising of that negative emotion, what is the reason for its arising? Is it because of the environment, because of the people, events, and things around that person? Or is it because the truth God expresses disturbs them? Is it the environment that affects the person, or is it that God’s words disturb their lives? What exactly is the reason? Do you know? Tell Me, whether it be in people’s normal lives or in the performance of their duty, are these difficulties present if they pursue the truth and are willing to practice the truth? (No.) These difficulties are present in terms of objective fact. You say they are not present, so could it be that you have resolved these difficulties? Are you capable of doing that? These difficulties are unresolvable, and they are present in terms of objective fact. What will the outcome of these difficulties be in people who pursue the truth? And what will their outcome be in those who don’t pursue the truth? They will have two completely different outcomes. If people pursue the truth, they won’t get caught up in these difficulties and sink into the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry. Conversely, if people don’t pursue the truth, these difficulties are present in them just the same, and what will the outcome be? They will entangle you so that you’re unable to escape, and if you’re not able to resolve them, they will ultimately become negative emotions that tie themselves into knots in your innermost heart; they will affect your normal life and the normal performance of your duties, and they will make you feel oppressed and unable to find release—this is the outcome they will have on you. These two outcomes are different, aren’t they? (Yes.) So, let’s return to that question I asked just now. What was it I asked? (Is it environmental influences or is it God’s words disturbing people that cause negative emotions to arise in them?) So, what is the reason? What’s the answer? (It’s because people don’t pursue the truth.) That’s right, it’s neither of those things, but rather it’s because people don’t pursue the truth. When people don’t pursue the truth, they often become mired in extreme thoughts and negative emotions and are unable to free themselves. Repeat the question I asked just now. (Is the reason for the arising of negative emotions in people because of their environment and the people, events, and things around them, or is it because the truth God expresses disturbs people?) To say it simply, is it because of environmental influences or because God’s words disturb people? Which one is it? (Neither of them.) Correct, neither of them. Environments influence everyone fairly; if you pursue the truth, then you won’t sink into a negative emotion because of some environment. If you don’t pursue the truth, however, you will very naturally become overwhelmed by your environment again and again and will become stuck in the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry. Looking at it from this perspective, is pursuing the truth not important? (It is.) There are the truth principles to be sought in everything that happens. In reality, however, because people don’t pursue the truth and don’t seek the truth principles, or else they know clearly what God requires, what the truth principles are, what path they should practice, and what the criteria for practice are, but they don’t pay them any heed or follow them, when they always make their own choices and plans, what will happen to them in the end? When people don’t practice in accordance with God’s words, always worrying about this and that, then there is only one outcome, and that is that they become mired in distress, anxiety, and worry, and cannot get back out again. Is it possible for people to always rely on their own imaginings, for things to always go as they would wish, to keep other people happy as well as receive God’s approval? That’s impossible! They always want to handle things in a way that makes everyone around them happy, pleased, and full of praise for them. They want to be called a good person, and for God to be satisfied, and if they don’t meet this standard, they feel distressed. And don’t they deserve to feel distressed? (Yes.) This is what people choose for themselves.

There are also some absurd people who say, “If God didn’t speak so many words, I would do things according to the moral standards of being a good person. That’d be so simple, and there wouldn’t be so many statements made. Just like in the Age of Grace, people kept the commandments, and they endured and tolerated, and bore the cross and suffered, and it was so simple. Wasn’t that the end of the matter? Now, with so many truths spoken by God and so many principles of practice given in fellowship, why can’t people achieve them after such a long time? People’s calibers are too lacking, and they aren’t able to understand it all, and there are many truths they cannot achieve; there are also many difficulties in people putting the truth into practice, and even if they do understand it, they still find it hard to achieve. If you understand the truth but don’t practice it, you feel uneasy, but when you do practice it, there are so many practical difficulties.” People believe that God’s words are disturbing them, but is this how it is in reality? (No.) This is called being unreasonable and irrational. They are sick of the truth and do not pursue the truth, nor do they practice the truth, but they still want to pretend to be spiritual, pretend to be practicing the truth, and they want to attain salvation. In the end, when they cannot achieve these things, they feel depressed and distressed, thinking, “Who can balance all these things? It would be better if God lowered His standards a little, and then people would be fine, God would be fine, everyone would be fine—what a heavenly life that would be!” People like this always think that the words God speaks are inconsiderate toward man. In fact, when they have feelings of distress, anxiety, and worry, they are dissatisfied with God about many things. In particular, when it comes to how they approach the truth principles, they cannot achieve them or attain them, they cannot talk about them at all, and this has a severe impact on their reputation and prestige in the eyes of other people, as well as their desire to be blessed, causing them to become mired in distress, anxiety, and worry, and that’s why they believe there are many things God does that they’re not happy about. There are even some who say, “God is righteous, I don’t deny it; God is holy, I don’t deny that either. Everything God says is the truth sure enough, it’s just a shame that what God says now is too lofty, His demands on people are too stringent, and it’s not easy for people to achieve it all!” They have no love for the truth, and they place all responsibility onto God. They begin with the premise that God is righteous, and God is holy, and they believe that all this is true. God is righteous, God is holy—is it necessary for you to acknowledge God’s essence? These are facts; they are not true only because you acknowledge them. So that they are not condemned for their blaming of God, they hurriedly say that God is righteous, God is holy. However, no matter what they say about God being righteous and holy, their negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry are still present and, not only are these emotions present, but they’re unwilling to let these emotions go, unwilling to leave them behind, unwilling to change their principles of practice, change the direction of their pursuit, and change the path they follow through life. Such people are both pitiable and hateful. They are simply undeserving of sympathy, and no matter how much they suffer, they are not worth our pity. All we need to do is tell them these few words: It serves you right! If you die from feeling so distressed, still no one will pity you! Who made you not seek the truth to resolve your problems? Who made you unable to submit to God and practice the truth? For whose sake are you feeling distressed, anxious, and worried? Are you feeling those things in order to gain the truth? Or to gain God? Or for the sake of God’s work? Or for the sake of God’s glory? (No.) Then what are you feeling those emotions for? It’s all for yourself, for your children, for your family, for your self-respect, for your reputation, for your future and prospects, for everything to do with yourself. Such a person doesn’t give anything up, or let anything go, or forsake anything, or abandon anything; they have no true faith in God, and no genuine loyalty to performing their duty. In their belief in God, they do not truly expend themselves, they just believe to get blessings, and believe in God only with a conviction to receive blessings. They’re filled with “faith” in God, in God’s work, and in God’s promises, but God does not commend such faith, nor does He remember it, but rather He detests it. Such people don’t follow or practice the principles for handling any matter that God requires of them, they don’t let go of the things they should let go of, they don’t give up the things they should give up, they don’t abandon the things they should abandon, and they don’t offer up the loyalty they should offer up, and so they deserve to sink into the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry. However much they suffer, they do so only for themselves, not for their duty and not for the work of the church. Therefore, such people are simply not in pursuit of the truth—they are just a bunch of people who nominally believe in God. They know exactly that this is the true way, but they don’t practice it, nor do they follow it. Their faith is pitiable and cannot win God’s approval, and God will not remember it. Such people become mired in the negative emotions of distress, anxiety, and worry because of the manifold difficulties in their home lives.

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