How to Pursue the Truth (7) Part Two

We were just discussing how people’s ideals can be divided into the ideals of idealists and the ideals of realists, these two categories. Let’s begin talking about the ideals of idealists. The ideals of realists should be easy to distinguish. The ideals of idealists, on the other hand, are not very concrete and are somewhat distant from real life. They are also far removed from the practical matters involved in human survival, such as daily necessities. These ideals have concrete concepts but lack a specific landing point. You could say that these ideals and desires are fantasies, relatively empty and detached from human nature. Some can be considered abstract, and some are even ideals and desires that arise from a fragmented personality. What are the ideals of idealists? Idealism should be easy to understand. It is a daydream, a fantasy, unrelated to the practical matters of daily necessities in real life. For example, being a poet, an immortal poet, wandering the earth; or being a swordsman, a knight-errant, also wandering the earth, remaining unmarried and childless, free from the entanglement of life’s trivialities, free from the worry of daily necessities, living easy and relaxed, drifting here and there, always aspiring to become immortal and escape from real life. Is this the ideal of an idealist? (Yes.) Do any of you have such thoughts? (No.) What about those famous poets in China’s past who used to get drunk and write poetry? Were they idealists or realists? (Idealists.) The ideas they advocated were the fantasies and daydreams of idealists. They were always drifting here and there, and spoke in vague and uncertain terms, imagining how beautiful the world was, how peaceful humankind could be, how people could coexist in harmony. They detached themselves from the conscience, reason, and life necessities of normal humanity. They divorced themselves from these real-life issues and imagined a utopian or imaginary realm that was completely disconnected from reality. They envisioned themselves as beings within that realm, living in that space. Isn’t this the ideal of an idealist? There is a poem from the past, and one of the lines reads “I’d like to ride the wind and fly home.” What was the title of that poem? (“Water Melody.”) Read the lines of that poem. (“I’d like to ride the wind and fly home. I’m afraid it’s too cold in the sky, with the jade-palace being too high. Dancing to my shadow, I feel no longer the mortal tie.”) What does he mean by saying, “Dancing to my shadow, I feel no longer the mortal tie”? Do these two lines convey the repressive and resentful emotions of an idealist whose ideals could not be achieved or realized? Are they something expressed under this repressive emotion? What is the focus of this? Which sentence indicates the environment and background in which he found himself at that time? Is it “I’m afraid it’s too cold in the sky”? (Yes.) He was exposing the darkness and evil of officialdom, a corrupt place to be in. He wanted to be like an immortal, to escape such an environment and situation. Wouldn’t it be enough for him to simply quit being an official? Could it be that he wanted to change this environment? He was dissatisfied with such an environment, feeling that it did not match the environment of the ideal life he envisioned, and he felt repressed deep within. This is a type of ideal that an idealist has. The ideals of idealists mostly tend toward fantasies, they are unrealistic and abstract, disconnected from real life. It’s as if they live in another world outside the material realm, in an independent and individual space, indulging in fantasies and detached from reality. Just like some people living in modern society, they always want to dress in ancient clothing, style their hair in ancient ways, and speak in an ancient language. They think, “Ah, that kind of life is too wonderful! Just like an immortal, drifting and wandering, free from the troubles of the physical body, free from the various hardships of real life. In that kind of living environment, there is no oppression, no exploitation, no worries. People are equal, helping and living in harmony with one another. How beautiful and desirable are those ideal living conditions!” Among unbelievers, there are some who pursue these things. Some people sing similar songs or write similar poems, or put on similar performances. As a result, people yearn even more for that other world that idealists dream of. And when some people sing these songs or put on these shows, the more they sing, the more melancholy their mood becomes, the more they long for and cling to that ideal world. What happens in the end? Some people, after singing for a long time, feel that they can’t escape their worries. No matter how much they sing, they still can’t feel the warmth of the human world. No matter how much they sing, they still feel that the imagined realm of their idealism is better. They become disillusioned with the world, no longer wanting to live in this human realm, and they ultimately make a firm decision to go to that ideal world in their own way. Some swallow poison, some jump off buildings, some strangle themselves with their leggings, and some become monks and pursue spiritual practice. In their words, they have seen through the illusion of worldly attachments. In fact, there is no need to resort to such extreme measures and methods to resolve their disillusionment with the world. There are many ways to address such problems and difficulties, but because they fail to perceive the underlying essence of these issues, they ultimately choose extreme methods to address these difficulties and escape from them in order to achieve the purpose of realizing their ideals. This represents some of the idealists who dwell among unbelievers and their problems.

In the house of God, in the church, are there people who have similar ideals? Certainly, you just haven’t discovered them yet, so I’ll tell you about them. There are individuals who, while in the secular world, yearn for an ideal society of peace, harmony, tranquility, and equality for all, as the idealists among unbelievers do. This ideal society is like the utopias depicted by some poets or authors, though, of course, more often it’s like some spaces, ways of life, or living environments that exist within people’s ideal worlds. These people, driven by such needs and ideals, unconsciously seek out their own faith in order to realize their ideals. While searching, they discover that believing in God is a good path and a fine choice of faith. Carrying their ideals with them, they come into the house of God, hoping to experience warmth, care, and being treasured and looked after among people, and of course, they hope even more to feel God’s great love and protection. They enter God’s house with their ideals, and whether they do their duties or not, in any case, their ideals remain unchanged—they always carry and hold their ideals within them. From beginning to end, their ideals can be described as follows: Upon entering the house of God, they hope that it is a place where they can feel warmth, where they can enjoy warmth, happiness, and well-being. They hope that it is a place without any strife, suspicion, or discrimination between people, a place where there is no bullying, deceit, harm being done, or exclusion happening among people. These are basically the ideals that can be found in the minds of such idealists. That is, they envision a place where people treat each other like machines, devoid of life and any thoughts, smiling, nodding, and bowing mechanically when they meet to show friendliness, to show that there is no hostility. In this ideal place, there is great love between people, and they can care for, treasure, look after, help, understand, and accommodate one another, and even shield and cover up for each other. These are all some of the things that idealists idealize and dream about. For example, when idealists enter the house of God, their ideal and hope is that older people might be respected, treasured, looked after, and given meticulous attention and care by the younger ones. Besides respect, they also hope that people will use honorific titles, addressing brothers as “Big Uncle So-and-So,” “Uncle This-or-That,” or “Uncle So-and-So,” and their sisters as “Grandmother Such-and-Such,” “Aunt So-and-So,” or “Sister So-and-So”—basically, with everyone having their own form of address. They hope that people will be especially cordial, harmonious, and courteous to each other externally, and that no one will have any ill-will or any bad or evil things either on the surface or deep within their hearts. They hope that if anyone makes a mistake or encounters difficulties, everybody can extend a helping hand to assist them, and furthermore, also supply them with deep care and tolerance. Especially when it comes to those who are weak, and to those relatively guileless people who are easily bullied or oppressed by others in the world—they hope even more so that when such people come into the church, to the house of God, they can receive meticulous care, attention, and special treatment. As these idealists say, when they came into the house of God, they wished that everyone would be happy and well, and they hoped that since they all believed in God, they’d be a big family and siblings together. They think that there should be no bullying, no punishing, no harm being done. They believe that if a problem arises, there should be no disputes or anger among people, and that instead everyone should treat each other calmly, and with great patience and helpfulness, that they should always make others feel comfortable, and that each person should only show their best and kindest side to others, while keeping their evil or bad side to themselves. They believe that people should treat each other like machines, that they should not hold any negative views or opinions about other people, and much less do anything negative to one another; they think that people should have good intentions toward others, and that this proverb puts it well, “The good have peaceful lives.” They think that only this is the true house of God and the true church. However, the ideals of these idealists have yet to be realized. In their place, God’s house focuses on principles, emphasizing mutual help and support among people, and requiring everyone to treat all kinds of people based on the truth principles and God’s words. God’s house has even put forward some requirements that are “inconsiderate” toward people, like distinguishing between different types of people, and treating them differently. God’s house also requires that people stand up to expose and prune anyone they see harming the interests of the house of God, violating the work arrangements, or going against the principles, so that the interests of the house of God may be safeguarded, and it does not permit people to shield or cover up for anyone based on feelings. Of course, God’s house has also established various levels of leadership. In one respect, God’s house requires leaders at all levels to take care of the day-to-day work of the church. In another, it requires them to strictly supervise, manage, and follow up on various tasks, while also staying informed about, understanding, and paying attention to the states and church life of different kinds of individuals at all times, observing the attitudes and tendencies they have while doing their duties, and making reasonable and appropriate adjustments when necessary. Of course, God’s house also requires leaders and workers to strictly prune any individuals they discover going against the work arrangements of God’s house or violating the principles and disrupting and disturbing the church’s work, issuing warnings for minor offenses, and handling more serious cases appropriately. In this context, some people have been cleansed away, expelled, or had their names struck off. Of course, when people come into the house of God to do various duties and engage in various tasks, many of them hear, see, or experience the chastisement and judgment that comes from God’s words; furthermore, they experience being pruned by leaders of different ranks. These different environments and matters that people encounter in God’s house are completely different from the ideal house of God and church envisioned by idealists, to the extent that they are enormously outside of their expectations, and this causes them to feel a significant amount of pressure deep within their hearts. In one respect, they find the various occurrences that appear in the church, or the church’s methods and principles for handling problems, to be inconceivable. In another respect, repressive emotions arise within the depths of their hearts due to their ideals and their fallacious understanding of positive things, the church, and God’s house. After these repressive emotions arise, because they fail to promptly correct their erroneous thoughts and viewpoints, or see through to and clearly recognize the problems with their ideals, many notions consequently start to emerge within them. In addition, since they are unable to understand the truth or to use the truth to resolve these notions, they start to take root deep in their thoughts or in the depths of their souls, causing their repressive emotions to be constantly amplified and to become increasingly severe. In reality, God, the house of God, the church, believers, and Christians are all incompatible with the idyllic paradise, heaven, or utopia imagined by these idealists in their ideals. As a result, the repression that lies deep within their hearts continues to accumulate constantly, and they have no way to free themselves from it. Are there people like this in the church? (Yes.)

Some people say, “Oh, why does the house of God always talk about accepting judgment and chastisement? How can believers in God still face being pruned? Oh, why does the house of God expel people? There is no love in it at all! How can such things happen in ‘heaven on earth’? How can antichrists appear in the church? How can there be occurrences of antichrists repressing and punishing others? In the church, in God’s house, how can people expose and dissect one another? How can there be disputes? How can there be jealousy and conflict? What is going on? Since we have come into the house of God, there should be love among us, and we should all be able to help one another. How can these things still occur?” Are there many people with these ideas? Many people view the house of God through the lens of their imaginations. Now, tell Me, are these imaginings and interpretations objective? (No, they are not objective.) Where do they lack objectivity? (Humanity is deeply corrupted, and those whom God saves all have corrupt dispositions, so they will inevitably reveal corruption in their interactions with others. There will be jealousy and conflict, and there will be incidents of bullying and suppression. These things are bound to happen. The things imagined by idealists like these do not exist. Furthermore, in order to safeguard the church life and work, the church will prune people based on the truth principles, or adjust and replace people, or clear out and expel evil people and nonbelievers—this is in accordance with the principles. That is because when people act according to their corrupt dispositions, they disrupt and disturb the work of the church. It would be unrealistic if the church did not take measures like pruning, replacing, or removing such people.) It is unrealistic, which is why these people’s ideas are the ideals of idealists. None of them are realistic, they are all empty and imagined, right? Even now, such people still don’t understand why they should believe in God. Some people say, “Believing in God is good. Believing in God means doing good things and being a good person.” Is this statement correct? (No, it is not correct.) “Believers in God should have good intentions in their hearts.” Is this statement correct? (No, it is not correct.) Having good intentions in one’s heart—what kind of statement is this? Can you have good intentions simply by wanting to? Do you have good intentions? Is having good intentions in one’s heart a principle of human comportment? It is just a slogan, a doctrine. It is an empty thing. When your own interests aren’t involved, you can say this quite nicely, thinking, “I have good intentions in my heart, I don’t bully, harm, cheat, or take advantage of others.” But when your own interests, status, and pride are involved, will the statement “having good intentions in one’s heart” be capable of restraining you? Can it solve your corrupt disposition? (No, it cannot.) Therefore, this statement is empty; it is not the truth. The truth is able to expose the essence of your corrupt disposition, it can expose and dissect the essence and true nature of the kind of things that you do, and determine and condemn the essence of these things that you do and of the disposition you reveal. Then it provides you with the appropriate path and principles to change your way of living and the way you comport yourself and act. In this way, if people can accept the truth and change their way of living, then their corrupt dispositions can be resolved; it is not urging people to have good intentions in their hearts that can do this, only the truth can. The truth resolves one’s corrupt dispositions not by providing slogans, doctrines, or regulations and rules, but by giving them principles, criteria, and directions for how to comport themselves. It uses these principles, criteria, and directions to supplant and replace people’s corrupt disposition. When people’s principles, criteria, and directions for how to comport themselves change and are corrected, all the various distorted ideas and wrong thoughts in their minds naturally change as well. When a person understands and gains the truth, their thoughts change accordingly. It is not a matter of having good intentions in one’s heart but of a change in the source of their thoughts, in their disposition, and in their essence. What is revealed and lived out by such a person becomes positive. The direction, manner, and source of how they comport themselves all undergo a change. Their speech and actions have God’s words as their basis and criterion, and they can live out normal humanity. So, is it still necessary to simply tell them to “have good intentions in their hearts”? Is it useful? That statement is empty; it cannot resolve any problems at all. After idealists come into the house of God, the church, their ideals still cannot be realized, and they feel repressed in their hearts because of this. It’s like how some idealists go deep within the government or society and then find that their ideals cannot be realized or fulfilled. As a result, they often feel disheartened. After some people become officials or emperors, they feel very pleased with themselves and become deeply arrogant, just like that line in a poem that says, “A strong wind rises, the clouds are scattered.” How does the next line go? (“Now that my might rules all within the seas, I return to my homeland.”) You see, their words sound strange. They possess a kind of emotion that people with normal humanity and reason find hard to understand. These idealists always speak in a lofty tone. What does it mean to speak in a lofty tone? It means they never face reality or solve real problems in anything they do. They don’t understand what reality is, they are always driven by emotions. When these people come into the house of God, no matter how much of the truth they hear, they don’t understand what it means to believe in God or the significance of believing in God. They don’t comprehend the value of the truth, let alone the value of pursuing it. What they always pursue is the ideals of idealists. Their dream is for the house of God to one day be as they envision, where people treat each other with respect, live harmoniously together, get along very well with each other, and treasure, look after, cherish, help, and thank one another. Where people say nice things and words of blessing to each other, without any unpleasant or hurtful words, or words that expose people’s corrupt essence, or any disputes, or people exposing and pruning one another. No matter how much of the truth they hear, these people still do not understand the meaning of believing in God, or what God’s requirements are, and what kind of person God wants people to be. Not only do they not understand these things, but they also hope even more that one day they can enjoy the idealistic treatment they desire in God’s house. If they don’t receive such treatment, they feel that there is no place in the house of God where their ideals may be realized, nor any opportunity to realize them. Therefore, some people often think about giving up while feeling repressed, saying, “Believing in God feels boring and empty. Believers in God do not help, cherish, and respect each other in the same way those who believe in Buddhism do. And believers in God are always discussing the truth and the principles, they often talk about discernment in interpersonal relationships, there is the occasional exposure and criticism, and they even frequently encounter being pruned. This is not the kind of life I want.” If they didn’t have their ideals and the thread of hope that they will get into heaven, idealists like this could leave the church at any time and find another path. So, tell Me, are these people of God’s house? Are they suited to remain in the house of God? (No, they are not.) Where do you think they should go? (They are suited to join the monastic life.) They could go to Buddhist or Taoist temples, either would be fine. They don’t feel repressed in the secular world but feel particularly repressed in the house of God, they feel that they don’t have the opportunity to realize their ideals or a space to put them to use. Therefore, these people are very suited to places filled with wreaths of smoke and the continual burning of incense. Those places are quiet, and they don’t teach you how you ought to comport yourself. They don’t expose your various fallacious thoughts and viewpoints, and they don’t expose or prune your corrupt disposition. There is distance and respect between people there. People don’t exchange more than a few words a day, and there aren’t any disputes. You’re under nobody’s supervision or regulation. You’ll live a self-sufficient life there, barely encountering strangers throughout the year. You won’t have to worry about daily affairs. If you need something for your physical sustenance, you can take a small bowl or a begging bowl and beg for alms from the general populace, and get some food to eat, without needing to earn money. In those places, all worldly troubles disappear. People treat each other very kindly, and no one argues with anyone else. If there are any disagreements, they remain in people’s hearts. Days are spent in ease and comfort. This is what is known as the land of ultimate bliss, it is the place of idealist’s ideals, and the place where idealists can realize their ideals. These people should live in the place of their imagining, not in the church. For people like them, there are too many things to do in the church. Every day, they must read God’s words, attend gatherings, learn each of the principles, and fellowship on the truth and on understanding their own corrupt dispositions all the time; some people, who act based on their corrupt dispositions and violate the principles, face being pruned, and a few people even encounter this frequently. These people feel particularly repressed and unhappy here. The church is not their ideal environment. They believe that instead of using up their time or wasting their youth in this place, it would be better to go live in a place that they like a bit sooner. They think that there is no need to use up their time here, constantly feeling repressed and leading an uncomfortable, joyless, and unhappy life. This is the only typical manifestation of the ideals of idealists that we will cover. There is nothing much to say about these people. No matter how much of the truth you fellowship with them, they will not listen to it. All day they indulge in fantasies, and the things they think about are all very unrealistic and vague, and are just too far removed from normal humanity. They think about these things all day long and cannot communicate with normal people. Normal people also cannot understand the stuff their world is made of. Therefore, no matter what kind of thoughts and viewpoints these people hold, their ideals are hollow. Because their ideals are hollow, their thoughts and viewpoints are naturally hollow as well. They are not worth dissecting or digging into very deeply. Since they are hollow, let them continue to be so. These people can go wherever they want, and the house of God will not interfere. If they are willing to stay in the house of God and do a bit of their duties or render service, as long as they don’t cause a disturbance or do evil, we will meet their needs and give them the opportunity to repent. In short, as long as they remain amicable toward the brothers and sisters, toward the house of God, and toward the church, there is no need for us to handle this type of person, unless they themselves express a desire to leave. If that’s the case, let us welcome this with open arms, alright? (Alright.) That’s settled, then.

The ideals of idealists tend to be hollow, while those of realists are much more practical and closely aligned with people’s lives and actual environments. Of course, they also relate more concretely to questions of human life and existence, including questions of settling down and starting one’s life. Settling down and starting one’s life involves the skills, abilities, and talents people acquire, the various types of education they receive, and their gifts, capabilities, and expertise. The ideals of realists encompass these aspects. In the realm of realists’ ideals, whether aimed at improving their living conditions or satisfying their own spiritual world, these ideals manifest concretely in people’s real lives. For instance, some people possess leadership abilities and enjoy being in the limelight. They may excel in public speaking or verbal communication, or have a keen understanding of people and adeptness in utilizing them, which can be more aptly described as ordering people about. Consequently, people like this are particularly fond of holding office, assuming leadership roles, or working in human resources. Once aware of their aptitude in these areas, they aspire to be leaders or organizers among people, overseeing tasks and personnel or even directing a certain task. Their primary ideal is to become leaders. Of course, this is how they act in society. When they enter the house of God, they perceive it as a religious organization, a unique one at that. After joining the church, their ideals remain unchanged. Their ideals are unaffected by changes in the environment or background in which they live. They bring with them the same ideal of leadership into the house of God. Their desire is to hold leadership positions in God’s house, such as leading a church, being responsible for a specific level, or leading a group. This is their ideal. However, because work arrangements in God’s house have principles and regulations for selecting leaders or workers, and these people fail to meet the qualifications required, even if they occasionally participate in the leadership selection process for a specific level, they ultimately cannot achieve their ideal and become the leaders they aspire to be. The more they are unable to attain leadership or do their ideal job, the more their ideals stir within them, intensifying their longing for leadership. Consequently, they exert great effort in various endeavors, be it among their brothers and sisters or in front of higher-level leaders, to showcase themselves, make themselves look outstanding and exceptional, and make sure their talents are recognized. They may even compromise their own conscience to cater to the preferences of their brothers and sisters, doing or saying certain things and purposefully manifesting certain behaviors in order to conform to the leadership requirements set by the work arrangements of God’s house. However, despite their persistent efforts, they are still unable to achieve their ideals of becoming leaders. There are those who feel disheartened, lost, and disconnected from themselves. The negative emotions of repression they had previously experienced intensify when they believe in God but cannot accept the truth or find solutions to their problems. They have always desired to hold office and be leaders, and these ideals had already sprouted in their hearts even before they came to believe in God. Because they were unable to realize their ideals, there was always an invisible sense of repression deep within them. Even after entering the house of God, where their ideals still cannot be realized, the feelings of repression within them grow stronger and heavier. These people grow resentful because their leadership abilities are not being utilized, and they feel unfortunate, disappointed, and repressed because their ideals cannot be achieved. Since their ideals remain unfulfilled, they feel a sense of injustice within themselves. As they have no outlet for their abilities, they become disheartened about life and the path ahead. Consequently, in their daily lives, they often carry a feeling of repression while doing various tasks. Some people, even after many efforts and attempts, still cannot become leaders or achieve their ideal. In such situations, they begin to resort to various means to vent their emotions and release or convey their repression. Of course, some who believe in God while still holding on to their ideals to hold office obtain their hearts’ desire and become leaders in the church. However, they are unable to perform their duties as leaders according to God’s requirements and the arrangements of God’s house. At the same time, they find themselves reluctantly fulfilling these leadership roles under the demands and supervision of God’s house and of their brothers and sisters. Although they have achieved their ideals and are doing the things they ideally wished to do, they still feel repressed. This is because they are leading based on the foundation of realizing their personal ideals, and even though they may appear to externally or superficially be fulfilling the tasks required by the house of God, their ideals go far beyond these responsibilities. Their ambitions, ideals, desires, and vision extend far beyond the scope of their current roles. Due to the work arrangements of the house of God and God’s requirements, their actions and thoughts, as well as their plans and intentions, are bound and restricted. Therefore, even after assuming leadership positions, they still feel repressed. What is the cause of these problems? It is because, despite becoming leaders, they continue to pursue the realization of their own ideals and the promises they have made in their own ideals. However, serving as leaders in the house of God or in the church does not realize their ideals and desires, and their feelings become mixed and contradict each other. Due to these conflicts and their inability to let go of their own ideals and pursuits, they often feel repressed deep within and unable to find release. This is one type of person. In the house of God, among these idealists, there are those who fight for their ideals but still cannot achieve them, and there are also those who fight for and eventually realize their ideals but still feel repressed. Regardless of which situation they find themselves in, these are people who have not given up on their ideals and still continue to pursue them while doing their duties and living their lives in the house of God.

There are also others who possess a talent for writing, verbal communication, and literature. They hope to express their thoughts through their literary skills and, at the same time, showcase these skills and make people notice their ability, value, and contribution to the house of God. Their ideal is to pursue becoming an outstanding and qualified writer and intellectual. When they enter the house of God and begin to do text-based duties, they feel that they have found a place to utilize their abilities. They eagerly demonstrate their strengths and talents to realize their ideal of becoming writers and intellectuals. Although they continue doing their duties, they do not give up on their ideals. In their performance of duties, it can be said that 80 to 90 percent of it is based on their ideals, in other words, the motivation for doing their duties comes from their pursuit of and hope for these ideals. Consequently, the performance of duties for people like this is quite adulterated, making it difficult for them to meet the standards of fulfilling duties according to the truth principles and the required standards of God. They do not come into the house of God solely to fulfill their duties, rather they hope to take advantage of the opportunity of doing their duties to display their own talents, longing to achieve their ideals and demonstrate their value through the exhibition of their talents. Hence, their greatest obstacle in fulfilling their duties to standard is their ideals, that is, their process of doing duties is mixed up with personal preferences and their thoughts and perspectives on various people, events, and things. Some people have an understanding of certain professional skills or have a certain talent, for example, some understand computer technology and enjoy working as computer engineers. They wear glasses, dress professionally, and most characteristically, carry laptops that are unique or that others seldom see. No matter where they go, they sit there with their laptops and open them up to check information on different webpages and handle various problems with the computer, all with a professional flair. In short, a professional perspective, bearing, speech, and manner is what they demand of themselves and flaunt before others, striving to become professionals in the computer engineering industry. After entering God’s house, these people finally realize their ideal and perform tasks related to computer technology. They are constantly studying technology and updating their skills, diligently identifying and solving various problems, with the purpose of keeping up with industry trends and the promotion and publication of new information in their field. People like this have a particular interest in and understanding of a specific professional skill, making them professionals and experts. Consequently, their ideal is to become professionals, and they hope that the house of God will place them in an important position, esteem them, and rely on them. Of course, in God’s house and in the present period, most people like this have indeed utilized their strengths and achieved their ideals. However, while realizing their ideals, have these people considered whether they are performing their duties or pursuing their own ideals in doing their work? It’s not entirely clear, is it? The work they engage in is specialized, complex, and painstaking. However, the skills they possess fall far short of the house of God’s requirements for this work. Therefore, while pursuing their own ideals and doing their duties, they feel somewhat restricted and controlled. These people, due to the ideals they have in their hearts, may feel a certain level of repression when faced with the various truths of believing in God and the principles of performing duties. A portion of people are like this.

There is another group of people who are involved in spreading the gospel. They aspire to become leaders in evangelism, to be the first, and to lead and excel in any church they are a part of, never content to be left behind. Although they do their duties and carry out their work, their pursuit is of their own ideals and the goals they plan and envision, which have nothing to do with faith in God or the truth. When these goals and ideals are exposed and labeled, or they face certain obstacles, and these people realize that their ideals cannot be realized nor their value demonstrated, they feel particularly repressed and dissatisfied. Many of them wish to receive affirmation and validation while pursuing their ideals. When they do not receive these things, or when the cost of their efforts does not bring immediate returns, they feel that it isn’t worth it, that it’s unfair, and so they feel repressed. Don’t they exhibit such behaviors? (Yes, they do.) Among those involved in spreading the gospel, there are some who have always wanted to be qualified and exemplary preachers or evangelists. When they hear so-and-so, a famous evangelist and preacher, they are filled with envy and hope that one day they too can be like this, commemorated and praised by future generations, and remembered by God. They always want to preach in their own idealized way, using their ideal as their goal and motivation to become a preacher and gain fame or be remembered by future generations in the house of God. This is their ideal. However, in God’s house there are strict requirements for any task, and principles with which God has told people to do this task. Consequently, these individuals feel repressed because they cannot become the kind of evangelists they idealized, they are often under supervision and regulation, and there is follow-up and inquiry from the leaders and workers regarding their work. There are also those who, because they possess special skills or talents, keep pursuing their ideals after coming into God’s house. For example, among those who are actors, some are skilled in performing and have a basic understanding of acting techniques. They aspire to become an ideal actor, hoping that one day they might be like the famous actors popular among unbelievers: bigshots, stars, like kings and queens. However, in the house of God, the disposition and manifestation of corruption in this regard are always exposed, and there are specific requirements and principles for actors. Even after gaining some renown as actors, they’re still unable to become celebrities whom people worship and follow, which leads them to feeling repressed. They say, “God’s house is troublesome. They’re always restricting people in everything. What’s wrong with following the example of celebrities? What’s wrong with dressing uniquely, with a bit of personality and requirements?” Due to the requirements for actors’ costumes and specific performances in God’s house, in their eyes there is always conflict and incompatibility between these requirements and their ideal of becoming celebrities and bigshots. Consequently, they feel deeply upset in their hearts, thinking, “Why is it so difficult to realize my ideals? Why in God’s house do I encounter obstacles at every turn?” When they experience such thoughts or these expectations are not met, they feel repressed. Behind this feeling of repression is their belief that their ideals are legitimate and hold value. They also believe that there is nothing wrong with pursuing their ideals, that it is their right to do so, and consequently, repressive emotions begin to emerge within them. For example, some directors feel that after directing several movies they have gained quite a bit of experience. They believe that their films are worthy of being shown, and have improved in terms of cinematography, editing, actor performances, and similar management of all kinds, compared to before. After receiving guidance from the Above, their films finally meet the appropriate standards and are released on time. This seems to confirm that their pursuit of becoming a qualified director is a suitable, legitimate, and necessary aspiration. However, while pursuing their goal of becoming a qualified director, some of their unprincipled ideas, viewpoints, and actions are often rejected, overturned, or go unacknowledged. They may even often face pruning. This gives them a sense of repression deep in their hearts, and they say, “Why is it so difficult to be a director in God’s house? Look at those directors in the world of unbelievers, how glamorous they are. They have people serving them tea, pouring drinks for them, and even washing their feet. In God’s house, being a director lacks status and panache, and no one regards or admires us. Why are we always being pruned? No matter what we do, it’s never right. How repressive! We have our own ideas, viewpoints, and professional abilities, so why are we always being pruned? Is it wrong to pursue our own ideals, or is it possible that the pursuit of our ideals is illegitimate? Why is realizing our ideals so difficult? It’s so repressive!” No matter which way they think about it, they still feel repressed. There are also certain singers who say, “In God’s house, I don’t pursue anything other than being a qualified singer, singing well, showcasing my own style, and being loved by everyone who listens to me.” However, God’s house often puts forth various requirements and principles for singing hymns, and these singers are often pruned for frequently violating those requirements. When they are not being pruned, they feel that they can realize their ideals smoothly. But when they are pruned and experience a few setbacks, they feel that their efforts and achievements during that period seem to have been invalidated, and they are back to square one. This gives rise to a feeling of repression deep in their hearts, and they say, “Ah, it is truly difficult to realize my ideals! The world is wide, yet there seems to be no place for me. It’s the same in God’s house. Why is pursuing my own career so difficult? Why is it so difficult to do the things I want to do? No one gives me the green light, I encounter obstacles at every turn, and I’m constantly being pruned. All of this is truly challenging and repressive! In the world of unbelievers, they are always scheming and fighting with each other, and there are career obstacles everywhere, so it’s normal to feel repressed. But why do I still feel repressed when I come into God’s house with my ideals?” Those who engage in various tasks in God’s house often encounter setbacks in the process of pursuing their ideals, are frequently invalidated, are often pruned, and often fail to receive recognition. After passively experiencing these things, they unknowingly fall into low spirits, feeling like their life might as well be over and that it’s impossible to realize their ideals. Before coming into God’s house they used to think, “I carry my own ideals and aspirations with me. I have my own desires, and in God’s house there are infinite possibilities. I can become a qualified director, actor, writer, or even a qualified dancer, singer, or musician.” While they were unable to showcase their talents and achieve their ideals, they believed that God’s house would provide them with their own stage, with a vast space where their ideals, dreams and aspirations could come true. They felt that the stage in God’s house was especially large. However, after so many years, they wonder, “Why do I feel like the stage is shrinking beneath my feet? Why is my world shrinking? The possibility of realizing my ideals seems increasingly remote and even impossible. What is happening?” At this point, these people still won’t give up on their ideals or question the correctness of these ideals and desires. They still carry these ideals and desires into the performance of their duties. Consequently, people’s repressive emotions accompany them everywhere, whether while pursuing their ideals and desires or as they do their real duties. For those who carry repressive emotions, or who cannot let go of them, the contradiction between these two cannot be reconciled. They carry a sense of repression into both the pursuit of their ideals and desires and the performance of their duties. So, no matter what, people are constantly adjusting themselves, constantly pursuing their ideals and dreams while doing their duties. You can also say that people do their duties with a contradictory attitude, feeling repressed and reluctant the whole time. But in order to realize their ideals and desires, to demonstrate their value and pursue these ideals and desires, they have no choice but to do their duties. They are not sure why they’re doing it, what they’re seeking to gain, what purpose they’re trying to achieve, trying to pursue, or trying to realize. It becomes increasingly unclear to them, and the road ahead seems more and more unclear. In such a state, isn’t it difficult for them to let go of or resolve their repressive emotions? (Yes.)

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