What It Means to Pursue the Truth (6) Part Three
Let us now fellowship on the next saying regarding moral conduct—“Be strict with yourself and tolerant of others”—what does this saying mean? It means that you should make strict demands of yourself and be lenient with other people, so that they can see how generous and magnanimous you are. Why should people do this, then? What is it meant to achieve? Is it doable? Is it really a natural expression of people’s humanity? You must compromise yourself so much in order to take this on! You must be free of desires and demands, requiring yourself to feel less joy, suffer a bit more, pay more of a price and work more so that others do not have to wear themselves out. And if others whine, complain, or perform poorly, you must not ask too much of them—more or less is good enough. People believe that this is a sign of noble morals—but why does it ring false to Me? Is it not false? (It is.) Under normal circumstances, the natural expression of an ordinary person’s humanity is to be tolerant of themselves and strict with others. That is a fact. People can perceive everyone else’s problems—“This person is arrogant! That person is bad! This one is selfish! That one is careless and perfunctory in doing their duty! This person is so lazy!”—while to themselves they think: “If I’m a bit lazy, that’s fine. I’m of good caliber. Though I’m lazy, I do a better job than others!” They find fault with others and like to nitpick, but with themselves they are tolerant and accommodating wherever possible. Is this not a natural expression of their humanity? (It is.) If people are expected to live up to the idea of being “strict with yourself and tolerant of others,” what agony must they put themselves through? Could they really bear it? How many people would manage to do so? (None.) And why is that? (People are selfish by nature. They act according to the principle that it is “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.”) Indeed, man is born selfish, man is a selfish creature, and is deeply committed to that satanic philosophy: “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” People think that it would be catastrophic for them, and unnatural, not to be selfish and look out for themselves when things befall them. This is what people believe and it is how they act. If people are expected not to be selfish, and to make strict demands of themselves, and to willingly lose out rather than take advantage of others, is that a realistic expectation? If people are expected to happily say, when someone takes advantage of them, “You’re taking advantage but I’m not making a fuss about it. I’m a tolerant person, I won’t badmouth you or try to get my own back on you, and if you haven’t taken enough advantage yet, feel free to carry on”—is that a realistic expectation? How many people could manage to do this? Is this the way that corrupt mankind normally behaves? Obviously, for this to happen is anomalous. Why so? Because people with corrupt dispositions, especially selfish and mean people, struggle for their own interests, and giving thought to others will absolutely not make them feel satisfied. So, this phenomenon, when it does happen, is an anomaly. “Be strict with yourself and tolerant of others”—this claim about moral conduct is clearly just a demand that does not tally with either the facts or humanity, which is placed upon man by social moralists who do not understand humanity. It is like telling a mouse that it is not allowed to make holes or telling a cat that it is not permitted to catch mice. Is it right to make such a demand? (No. It defies the laws of humanity.) This demand clearly does not square with reality, and it is very hollow. Are those who exact this demand capable of abiding by it themselves? (No.) They expect others to abide by a demand which they themselves cannot fulfill—what is the issue here? Is this not a bit irresponsible? At the very least, it can be said that they are irresponsible and talking nonsense. Now, taking this a step further, what is the nature of this issue? (Hypocrisy.) Right, this is an example of hypocrisy. They clearly cannot abide by this demand themselves, yet they still claim themselves to be so tolerant, big-hearted, and of such high moral stock—is this not just hypocrisy? No matter how you frame it, this is an empty saying that carries a certain falseness to it, so we will classify it as a hypocritical saying. It is similar to the kind of sayings that the Pharisees promoted; there is an ulterior motive behind it, which is clearly to show off, to characterize oneself as a person of noble moral conduct, and to be praised by others as an exemplar and a model of noble moral conduct. So, what kind of people are able to be strict with themselves and tolerant of others? Are teachers and doctors able to abide by this saying? Were the so-called famous people, great people, and sages like Confucius, Mencius and Laozi able to abide by this saying? (No.) In summary, regardless of how ridiculous this saying that man has put forward is, or whether or not this demand is tenable, it is ultimately just a demand placed upon people’s moral character and behavior. At the very least, people are not willing to abide by this demand and it is not easy for them to practice it, because it runs counter to the standards that man’s normal humanity is capable of achieving. But, in any case, it is still a standard and a demand about man’s moral conduct that is promoted by traditional culture. Even though “Be strict with yourself and tolerant of others” is an empty phrase that few can abide by, it is the same as “Don’t pocket the money you pick up” and “Derive pleasure from helping others”—regardless of what motives or intents the people who practice it harbor, or if anyone is even capable of practicing it at all—in any case, based simply on the fact that the people who promote this requirement place themselves at the pinnacle of morality, does this not make them arrogant and self-righteous, and possessed of somewhat abnormal reason? If you were to ask them if they can abide by the saying, “Be strict with yourself and tolerant of others,” they would say, “Of course!” And yet, when they are actually compelled to abide by it, they will not be able to. Why will they be unable to abide by it? Because they have an arrogant, satanic disposition. Ask them to abide by this moral when others are vying with them for status, power, prestige, and profit, and see if they can do it. They will simply be unable to do it, and they will even turn hostile toward you. If you ask them, “Why do you still promote this saying when you cannot even abide by it yourself? Why do you still demand that others conform to it? Is this not hypocritical of you?” will they accept it? If you expose them, they will not accept it—no matter how you expose them, they will not accept it or admit fault—this shows that they are not good people. The fact that they affect a high moral tone despite being unable to conform to their own demands just shows that they are rightly called great frauds and hypocritical posers.
“Be strict with yourself and tolerant of others,” as with sayings about “Don’t pocket the money you pick up” and “Derive pleasure from helping others,” is one of those demands that traditional culture makes regarding people’s moral conduct. By the same token, regardless of whether someone can attain or exercise this moral conduct, it is still not the standard or norm for measuring their humanity. It may be that you really are capable of being strict with yourself and tolerant of others, and that you hold yourself to particularly high standards. You may be squeaky clean and you may always think of others and show consideration for them, without being selfish and seeking after your own interests. You may seem particularly magnanimous and selfless, and have a strong sense of social responsibility and social morals. Your noble personality and qualities may be on display to those close to you, and to those you encounter and interact with. Your behavior may never give others any reason to blame or criticize you, eliciting instead profuse praise and even admiration. People may regard you as someone who is truly strict with themselves and tolerant of others. However, these are nothing more than external behaviors. Are the thoughts and wishes deep in your heart consistent with these external behaviors, with these actions that you live out externally? The answer is no, they are not. The reason you can act in this way is that there is a motive behind it. What is that motive, exactly? Could you bear for that motive to see the light of day? Certainly not. This proves that this motive is something unmentionable, something dark and evil. Now, why is this motive unspeakable and evil? It is because people’s humanity is governed and driven by their corrupt dispositions. All the thoughts of humanity, regardless of whether people put them into words or pour them forth, are undeniably dominated, controlled, and manipulated by their corrupt dispositions. As a result, people’s motives and intents are all sinister and evil. Regardless of whether people are able to be strict with themselves and tolerant of others, or whether or not they outwardly express this moral perfectly, it is inevitable that this moral will have no control or influence over their humanity. So, what does control people’s humanity? It is their corrupt dispositions, it is their humanity essence that lies obscured beneath the moral “Be strict with yourself and tolerant of others”—that is their true nature. A person’s true nature is their humanity essence. And what does their humanity essence consist of? It mainly consists of their preferences, what they pursue, their outlook on life and their value system, as well as their attitude toward the truth and God, and so on. Only these things truly represent people’s humanity essence. It can be said with certainty that most of the people who require themselves to fulfill the moral of being “strict with yourself and tolerant of others,” are obsessed with status. Driven by their corrupt dispositions, they cannot help but pursue prestige among men, social prominence, and status in the eyes of others. All of these things are related to their desire for status, and are pursued under the cover of their good moral conduct. And how do these pursuits of theirs come about? They entirely come from and are driven by their corrupt dispositions. So, no matter what, whether someone fulfills the moral of being “strict with yourself and tolerant of others” or not, and whether or not they do so to perfection, this cannot change their humanity essence at all. By implication, this means that it cannot in any way change their outlook on life or their value system, or guide their attitudes and perspectives on all manner of people, events, and things. Isn’t that the case? (It is.) The more that someone is capable of being strict with themselves and tolerant of others, the better they are at putting on an act, disguising themselves, and at beguiling others with good behavior and pleasing words, and the more deceitful and evil they are by nature. The more that they are this type of person, the deeper their love and pursuit of status and power becomes. However great, glorious and correct their external moral conduct seems to be, and however pleasing it is for people to behold, the unspoken pursuit that lies in the depths of their heart, as well as their nature essence, and even their ambitions, may burst forth from them at any time. Therefore, however good their moral conduct is, it cannot conceal their intrinsic humanity essence, or their ambitions and desires. It cannot conceal their hideous nature essence which does not love positive things and is sick of and hates the truth. As these facts show, the saying “Be strict with yourself and tolerant of others” is more than just absurd—it exposes those ambitious types who attempt to use such sayings and behaviors to cover up their unspeakable ambitions and desires. You can compare this to some of the antichrists and evil people in the church. In order to solidify their status and power within the church, and to gain a better reputation among other members, they are able to undergo suffering and pay a price while performing their duties, and they may even renounce their work and families and sell off everything they have to expend themselves for God. In some cases, the prices that they pay and the suffering they undergo in expending themselves for God exceed what an average person can withstand; they are able to embody a spirit of extreme self-denial in order to maintain their status. Yet, no matter how much they suffer or what prices they pay, none of them safeguard God’s testimony or the interests of God’s house, nor do they practice according to. The goal that they pursue is just to attain status, power, and God’s rewards. Nothing that they do has the slightest relation to the truth. Regardless of how strict they are with themselves and how tolerant they are of others, what will their ultimate outcome be? What will God think of them? Will He determine their outcome based on the external good behaviors that they live out? He certainly will not. People view and judge others based on these behaviors and manifestations, and because they cannot see through to the essence of other people, they end up being deceived by them. God, however, is never deceived by man. He absolutely will not commend and remember people’s moral conduct because they were able to be strict with themselves and tolerant of others. Instead, He will condemn them for their ambitions and for the paths they have taken in pursuit of status. Therefore, those who pursue the truth should have discernment of this criterion for evaluating people. They should thoroughly deny and abandon this absurd standard, and discern people according to God’s words and the truth principles. They should mainly look at whether a person loves positive things, whether they are able to accept the truth, and whether they can submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, as well as the path that they choose and walk, and classify what kind of person they are, and what kind of humanity they have based on these things. It is just too easy for aberrations and errors to arise when people judge others based on the standard of “Be strict with yourself and tolerant of others.” If you wrongly discern and view a person based upon principles and sayings that come from man, then you will be violating the truth and resisting God in that matter. Why is this? The reason is that the basis for your views on people will be wrong, and incompatible with the words of God and the truth—it may even be in opposition to and contrary to them. God does not evaluate people’s humanity based upon the statement about moral conduct, “Be strict with yourself and tolerant of others,” so if you still insist on judging people’s morality and determining what kind of person they are according to this criterion, then you have completely violated the truth principles, and you are bound to make errors, and to cause some mistakes and deviations. Is this not the case? (It is.) Once people comprehend these things, they will at least have a certain level of understanding of the basis, principles, and criteria by which God views people and things—you will at least have an understanding and appreciation of God’s approach to these things. So, what about from your perspective? You should at least know what the correct basis for viewing a person is, and which criterion for viewing people is in keeping with the truth and the actual facts, and will absolutely not lead to any errors or deviations. If you really become clear on these matters, you will have discernment of these aspects of traditional culture, as well as man’s various statements, theories, and ways of viewing other people, and you will be able to thoroughly relinquish these aspects of traditional culture, and all of the different sayings and views that derive from man. In this way, you will view and discern people based on the truth principles, and, to a certain extent, you will be compatible with God, and you will not rebel against, resist, or run counter to Him. As you gradually achieve compatibility with God, you will develop an increasingly clear insight into the essences of people and things, and you will find confirmation of this in God’s words. You will see that God’s various statements that expose mankind, and His characterizations and definitions of mankind are all right, and that they are all the truth. Of course, as you find confirmation of this, you will gain more and more faith and knowledge of God and His words, and you will become increasingly certain that God’s words are the truth and the reality that man ought to live out. Is this not what the process of accepting and attaining the truth consists of? (Yes.) This is the process of accepting and attaining the truth.
The goal of pursuing the truth is to accept the truth as one’s life. When people are able to accept the truth, their inner humanity and life begin to gradually transform, and, in the end, this transformation is their reward. In the past, you viewed people and things according to traditional culture, but now you have realized that this was wrong, and you will no longer view things from that perspective, or view any person based on what traditional culture dictates. So, on what basis will you now view people and things? If you do not know, it proves that you still have not accepted the truth. If you already know which truth principles you should view people and things according to, if you can accurately and clearly state your basis, path, criteria, and principles, and if you can also discern and approach people according to these truth principles, then the truth has already begun to take effect within you, it is guiding your thoughts and dominating the perspective from which you view people and things. This proves that the truth has already taken root in you and become your life. So, how will the effect that the truth has on you ultimately help you? Will it not influence how you comport yourself, the path that you choose, and your direction in life? (Yes.) If it is able to influence how you comport yourself and the path that you walk, then will it not then influence your relationship with God? (It will.) What result will come from the truth influencing your relationship with God? Will you become closer or more distant? (I will become closer with God.) You will certainly become closer with Him. When you become closer with God, will you be more willing to follow Him and to bow down before Him, or will you reluctantly believe in His existence while hampered by doubts and misunderstandings? (I will be willing to follow God and to bow down before Him.) That is certain. Now, how will you achieve this willingness? You will find confirmation of God’s words in your real life; the truth will begin to take effect in you, and you will find confirmation of it. In the process of the unfolding of all things, the hidden source of all these things will be confirmed within you and you will find it to be entirely consistent with God’s words. You will verify that God’s words are all the truth, and this will increase your faith in God. The more faith you have in God, the more normal your relationship with Him will become, you will be increasingly willing to act as a created being, and willing to take God as your Sovereign, and the parts of you that submit to God will increase in number. What do you think about this improvement in your relationship? It is great, is it not? This is the result of a good and positive course of development. Then, what will the consequences of a bad and malignant course of development be? (My faith in God’s existence will become increasingly weak, and I will have misunderstandings and doubts about God.) At the very least, these will be the consequences. You will not receive confirmation in any matters, and you will not only fail to attain the truth in your faith, you will also form all kinds of notions—you will misunderstand, reproach, and guard against God, and you will ultimately deny Him. If you deny God in your heart, will you still be able to follow Him? (No.) You will no longer wish to follow Him. Subsequently, what will occur? You will lose interest in what God does and says. When God says, “The end of mankind is in sight,” you will reply, “I don’t see anything!” You will not believe Him. When God says, “You will gain a good destination after pursuing the truth,” you will reply, “Where is this good destination You speak of? I don’t see it!” You will be disinterested. When God says, “You must act like a true created being,” you will reply, “Is there any benefit to acting like a true created being? How many blessings can I attain from it? Can I really attain blessings from doing that? Is it related to attaining blessings?” When God says, “You must accept and submit to God’s sovereignty!” you will reply, “What sovereignty? Why can’t I feel God’s sovereignty? If God really does reign sovereign, why has He allowed me to live in poverty? Why has He allowed me to fall ill? If God reigns sovereign, why are things always so difficult for me?” Your heart will be full of complaints, and you will not believe anything that God says. This will demonstrate your lack of true faith in God. And that is why, while encountering various issues, all you will do is complain, without the slightest degree of obedience. That is how you will arrive at this malignant outcome. Some people say, “Since God reigns sovereign, He ought to help me to recover from my illness immediately. He ought to help me to achieve all that I wish. Why is my life now filled with inconveniences and suffering?” They have lost their faith in God, and they are left without even the slightest trace of the vague faith that they once had—it has completely disappeared. This is the malignant consequence and evil result of all this. Do you want to get to this point? (No.) How can you avoid stooping to this level? You must put in effort when it comes to the truth—the key and pathway for all of this lie in the truth and in God’s words. If you put in effort when it comes to God’s words and the truth, without knowing it, you will begin to see the path that God has taught you and guided you to more clearly, and you will see the essence of the people, events, and things that God orchestrates. Through every step of this experience, you will gradually discover the principles and basis for viewing people and things, and for comporting yourself and acting within God’s words. By accepting and coming to understand the truth, you will find the principles and paths of practice in the people, events, and things that you encounter. If you practice according to these paths, God’s words will enter you and become your life, and without realizing it, you will start to live under God’s sovereignty and orchestrations. When you live under God’s sovereignty and orchestrations, you will unconsciously learn how to view people and things according to God’s words, and you will view things from the proper stance, perspective, and outlook; the outcomes of your views on things will be in keeping with God’s words and the truth, and they will allow you to grow ever closer to God and to thirst ever more for the truth. However, if you do not pursue the truth, or put in effort regarding the truth, and if you have no interest in the truth, then it is hard to say what point you will end up reaching. Ultimately, the worst possible outcome is when people fail to see the actions of God or to feel His sovereignty, no matter how they try to believe in Him; it is when they fail to perceive God’s omnipotence and wisdom, no matter how many things they experience. In such cases, people will only acknowledge that the words that God expresses are the truth, but they will see no hope of their being saved, much less will they see that God’s disposition is righteous and holy, and they will always feel that their faith in God is hazy. This goes to show that they did not attain the truth or God’s salvation, and that they gained nothing at all after believing in God for years. This concludes My fellowship on the third saying: “Be strict with yourself and tolerant of others.”
What is the fourth statement on moral conduct? (Requite evil with good.) Do people harbor certain intentions when they requite evil with good? Are they not taking a step back in order to make things easier for themselves? Is this not a conciliatory way of dealing with things? People do not want to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of revenge, they wish to smooth things over so that they can live a bit more peacefully. A person’s life is not particularly long, and whether they live to be a hundred years old or several hundred years old, they find their lives to be short. All day, they preoccupy themselves with thoughts of revenge and slaughter, their inner worlds are filled with turmoil, and they live unhappy lives. So, they try to find a way to live a happier, more joyful life, and to treat themselves right—which is requiting evil with good. It is inevitable that people will offend each other and be the victims of each other’s schemes during their lives, they are always plagued by vengeful and bitter emotions, and they live out quite poor existences, so, for the sake of the social climate and social stability and unity, with that as their motivation, moralists promote this moral criterion to the world. They caution people not to requite evil with evil, and to refrain from hatred and slaughter, urging people instead to learn to requite evil with good. They say that even if someone harmed you in the past, you should not take revenge on them, but rather you should help them, forget their past wrongdoings, interact with them normally, and slowly reform them, defusing the enmity between you, and achieving a harmonious relationship. Will this not lead to harmony in society overall? They say that no matter who has offended you, be it a family member, friend, neighbor, or co-worker, you must requite their evil with good, and refrain from holding grudges. They claim that if everyone is able to do this, it will be just like how people say: “If everyone gives a little bit of love, the world will become a wonderful place.” Are these claims not based on imaginings? A wonderful place? As if! Take a look at who it is that runs this world and who it is that corrupts mankind. What change can the statement about moral conduct, “Requite evil with good,” really achieve? It cannot change anything. Like the others, this statement places certain demands on people’s moral quality, or enforces certain regulations on them. It requires that they refrain from resorting to hatred and slaughter when faced with hatred and slaughter from other people, and that they treat the people who harm them calmly, with an even temper, and use their moral conduct to defuse that enmity and slaughter, and to lessen the amount of bloodshed. This saying about moral conduct is, of course, effective on people to a certain degree; it can quell enmity and resentment, and reduce murders of revenge, to a certain extent; and it can have a certain degree of positive effect on the social climate, public order, and social harmony, but what preconditions are there for this saying to have that effect? There are significant preconditions in terms of the social environment. One is the normal reason and judgment that people possess. People think: “Is this person that I want to take revenge on more or less powerful than me? If I take revenge on them, will I be able to achieve my goal? If I take my revenge and kill them, will I be signing my own death warrant?” They first weigh up the consequences. After thinking things over, most people realize: “They are well connected, they have a lot of social influence, and they are vicious and cruel, so even though they have harmed me, I can’t seek revenge on them. I must silently swallow the insult. But if I do ever get a chance to get revenge on them in this life, I will take it.” As the popular sayings go, “He who does not seek revenge is not a man” and “It is never too late for a gentleman to take revenge.” People still harbor these kinds of philosophies for living. The philosophy for living of requiting evil with good is held by people, in one respect, because it is directly connected to the social environment and to the deep corruption of man—it arose due to people’s notions and the judgments of their reason. When most people encounter these kinds of situations, they can only swallow the insults silently, and outwardly practice requiting evil with good, putting aside their hatred and vendettas. Another reason why people hold to this philosophy for living, is that in some cases there is a large imbalance of power between the two parties involved, so the wronged party does not dare to seek revenge, and they are forced to requite evil with good, as there is nothing else they can do. If they were to take revenge, they might endanger the lives of their entire family, and the consequences of that are unimaginable. In such cases, people find it preferable to just go on living by swallowing the insult. However, in so doing, have they overcome their resentment? Is any person capable of forgetting a grudge? (No.) Especially in cases of very serious grudges, for example when someone has killed your close kin and ruined your family, and brought shame upon your name, leading you to develop deep enmity toward them—no one can let a grudge like that go. This is a part of humanity and it is something that humanity cannot overcome. People instinctively develop feelings of hatred in such situations—this is quite normal. No matter whether they arise due to hot-headedness, instinct, or conscience, in any case, it is a normal response. Even dogs grow close to people who treat them well and regularly feed or help them, and they begin to trust them, while despising those that abuse and mistreat them—and that is not all, they will even despise people who smell or sound like their abusers. You see, even dogs possess this instinct, to say nothing of people! Given that people have much more complex minds than animals, it is perfectly normal for them to feel enmity when faced with revenge killing or unjust treatment. However, for several reasons and due to particular circumstances, people are often forced to make concessions and swallow insults, and put up with things temporarily—but this does not mean that they desire to or are capable of requiting evil with good. What I have just said is based on the perspective of humanity and man’s instinctual reactions. If we look at this now from the perspective of objective facts about society—if someone did not requite evil with good, and instead took revenge and committed murder, what would the consequences be? They would be held legally responsible, they might be detained, sentenced to jail time, and even possibly given the death penalty. Based on this, we can conclude that, whether it be from the perspective of humanity or the restrictive power of society and the law, when people are met with unjust treatment and revenge killing, not a single person is capable of striking hatred from their minds or from the depths of their heart. Even when falling victim to slight harms like being verbally attacked, ridiculed, or mocked, people are still unable to requite evil with good. Is the ability to requite evil with good a normal manifestation of humanity? (No.) So, when a person is being bullied or harmed, what does their humanity need and demand, at the very minimum? Would any person cheerfully and happily say: “Go ahead and bully me! You are powerful and evil, you can bully me however you want, and I will requite your evil with good. You will get a strong sense of my noble character and morality, and I certainly will not take revenge on you or develop any opinions about you. I won’t get angry at you—I’ll just take it all as a joke. No matter how much the things that you say insult my character, hurt my pride, or damage my interests, it’s all fine and you should feel free to say whatever you like.” Do such people exist? (No.) Absolutely no one is truly capable of letting go of their grudges—they are already doing well if they can go a while without killing their enemy in revenge. So, no one is truly capable of requiting evil with good, and even if people do practice this moral conduct, it will be because they were forced to act in that way due to the constraints of specific circumstances at the time, or because the whole instance was actually fabricated and fictional. Under normal circumstances, when people fall prey to serious persecution or abuse, they will form grudges and become vengeful. The only circumstance in which someone might not be aware of or respond to their own hatred would be if that hatred was too great, and they suffered such a serious shock, that they ended up losing their memory or their wits. But any person who has normal humanity and reason would not want to be treated with insults, discrimination, disparagement, derision, taunting, mockery, harm, and so on, or someone going so far as to trample on and violate their character and dignity; no person would be happy to insincerely repay those who previously offended or harmed them with moral conduct—no one is capable of doing that. Thus, this claim concerning moral conduct of requiting evil with good appears very weak, anemic, empty and meaningless to corrupted mankind.
If we look at this from the perspective of the conscience and reason of normal humanity, no matter how corrupt a person is, and regardless of whether they are an evil person or a person possessed of relatively good humanity, they all hope that others will treat them well and with a basic level of respect. If someone started flattering and fawning over you for no reason, would that make you happy? Would you like that? (No.) Why would you not like that? Would you feel as though you were being fooled? You would think: “Do I look like a three-year-old to you? How am I failing to understand why you feel the need to say these things to me? Am I as good as you say? Did I do any of those things? What is all this foolish flattery for? How are you not disgusted with yourself?” People do not like to hear words of flattery, and they take them to be a kind of insult. Other than a baseline of respect, how else do people wish others will treat them? (With sincerity.) Asking people to treat others with sincerity would be impossible—if they refrain from bullying others, that is already quite good. Asking people not to bully each other is a comparatively objective demand. People hope that others will respect them, not bully them and, most importantly, treat them fairly. They hope that others will not harass them when they are vulnerable, or ostracize them when their faults are exposed, or constantly flatter and fawn over them. People find these kinds of behaviors disgusting and just wish to be treated fairly—is that not the case? Treating others fairly is a relatively positive ideal in the world of man and in the realm of man’s thinking. Why do I say that? Think about it: Why do people all like Bao Zheng? People love watching depictions of Bao Zheng deciding cases even though these cases are fictional and completely fabricated. Why do people still enjoy them? Why are they still willing to watch them? Because, in their ideal world, in the realm of their thinking, and in the depths of their hearts, they all wish for a positive and slightly better world. They wish that man could live in a relatively fair and just social environment, in a world in which everyone is guaranteed this. That way, at the very least, when you are harassed by evil forces, there would be a place where justice is upheld, where you could file a complaint about your grievances, where you would have the right to complain, and ultimately, where some light would be shed on the injustices that you have suffered. In this society and mankind, there would be a place where you could clear your name, and protect yourself from ever suffering any humiliation or shouldering any grievances. Is this not man’s ideal society? Is this not what every person pines for? (Yes.) This is every person’s dream. People hope that they will be treated fairly—they do not wish to be the subject of any unfair treatment, or to have nowhere to complain if they are treated unfairly, and they find that very distressing. It can be said that the standard and demand placed on man’s moral conduct of “Requite evil with good” is far removed from the reality of mankind’s corruption in real life. And so, this demand placed on man’s moral conduct is not considerate toward man, and it is far removed from objective fact and from real life. It is a statement proposed by idealists who have no understanding of the inner worlds of the underprivileged people who have been wronged and humiliated—these idealists have no sense of the extent to which these people have been wronged, and their dignity and characters insulted, or even how much their own personal safety has been under threat. They do not understand those realities, and yet they still demand that these victims reconcile with their assailants and refrain from taking revenge on them, saying things like: “You were born to be mistreated and you must accept your fate. You were born into the lowest class of society and you are made of the stuff of slaves. You were born to be ruled over by others—you should not take revenge against those who harmed you, and you should instead requite evil with good. You should do your part for the good of the social climate and societal harmony, and contribute to society by displaying your positive energy and your best moral conduct.” This is all clearly said in order to excuse the exploitation of the lower classes by the upper echelons of society and the ruling classes, to provide them with this convenience, and to quiet the hearts and emotions of the underprivileged on their behalf. Is this not the objective of saying such things? (Yes.) If every country’s legal and social systems, and the systems and regulations of every race and clan were fair and strictly enforced, would it still be necessary to promote this unobjective saying that runs contrary to the laws of humanity? It would not be necessary. The saying “Requite evil with good” has clearly just been promoted as an avenue and a convenience for the ruling classes and those evil people who possess authority and power to exploit and trample on the underprivileged. At the same time, in order to placate the underprivileged classes and prevent them from seeking revenge or becoming hostile toward the rich, the elites, and the ruling class, these so-called thinkers and educators position themselves at the pinnacle of moral supremacy, promoting this saying under the pretense of requiring that everyone practices good moral conduct. Does this not create even more contradictions within society? The more you suppress people, the more unfair society proves to be. If society was truly fair and just, would it still be necessary to judge and place demands on people’s moral conduct using this saying? This is clearly due to the fact that there is no justice in society or among mankind. If evildoers could be punished by the law, or if those with money and power were also answerable to the law, then the saying, “Requite evil with good,” would be invalid and would not exist. How many common people would be able to harm an official? How many poor people would be able to do harm to the rich? That would be difficult for them to achieve. Thus, the saying, “Requite evil with good,” is clearly aimed at the common people, the poor, and the lower classes—it is an immoral and unjust saying. For instance, if you demanded that a government official requite evil with good, they would say to you: “What evil do I have to requite? Who would dare to mess with me? Who would dare to offend me? Who would dare to say ‘no’ to me? I will kill whoever says no to me—I’ll exterminate their whole family and every one of their relatives!” See, there is no evil for officials to requite, so the saying, “Requite evil with good,” does not even exist to them. If you say to them: “You must practice this moral conduct of requiting evil with good, you must possess this moral conduct,” they will reply: “Sure, I can do that.” This is a deceptive lie, through and through. In any case, “Requite evil with good” is essentially just a saying promoted by social moralists as a way of placating the lower classes, and even more than that, it is a saying that is promoted in order to enslave the lower classes. It is promoted to further stabilize the authority of the ruling class, to court the favor of the ruling class, and to perpetuate the enslavement of the lower classes, so that they will not complain even if they are enslaved for generations. From this we can see that, in this kind of society, the laws and systems are clearly unjust; this kind of society is not governed by the truth, and it is not ruled by the truth, justice, or righteousness. Instead, it is governed by man’s evil and power, regardless of who serve as officials. If the common people were to serve as officials, the situation would be just the same. This is the essence of this social system. “Requite evil with good” exposes this fact. The phrase clearly has a certain political quality to it—it is a demand placed on man’s moral conduct in order to strengthen the ruling classes’ domination and enslavement of the lower classes.
Not only is the demand that people requite evil with good not in keeping with the normal needs or demands of humanity, or the character and dignity of humanity, naturally, it is much less a proper standard for evaluating the quality of a person’s humanity. This demand is so far removed from actual humanity; it is not just that it is unachievable, it should never have been promoted in the first place. It is just a saying and a strategy employed by the ruling class to strengthen their rule and control over the masses. Naturally, God has never promoted this kind of saying, whether it be in the Age of Law, the Age of Grace, or the current Age of Kingdom, and God has never used this kind of method, saying, or demand as a basis for evaluating the quality of people’s humanity. This is because, regardless of whether someone is moral or immoral, and no matter how good or bad their moral conduct may be, God only considers their essence—these sayings about moral conduct just do not exist in God’s purview. Thus, the saying about moral conduct, “Requite evil with good,” is invalid in God’s house, and it is not worthy of analysis. Regardless of whether you requite evil with good, or requite evil with vengeance, how should believers in God view the matter of “requiting evil”? With what attitude and from what viewpoint should they view and approach this matter? If someone commits an act of evil in the church, God’s house has its own administrative decrees and principles for handling that person—there is no need for anyone to take vengeance for the victim or to defend them against injustice. There is no need for that in God’s house, and the church will naturally handle the problem according to the principles. This is a fact that can be both observed and encountered by people. To put it very clearly and precisely: The church has principles for handling people and God’s house has administrative decrees. What about God, then? With regard to God, any person who does evil will be punished accordingly, and God will dictate when and how they are punished. God’s principles of punishment are absolutely inseparable from His disposition and essence. God has a righteous and unoffendable disposition, He has majesty and wrath, and all who commit evil will be punished accordingly by Him. This is far greater than the laws of man, it surpasses humanity and all of the secular laws. Not only is it fair, reasonable, and in keeping with the desires of humanity, it also does not require everyone’s plaudits and affirmation. It does not require you to judge matters from the pinnacle of moral supremacy. When God does these things, He has His own principles and timing. It should be left up to God to act as He may, and people should refrain from interfering, as this has nothing to do with them. What does God ask of people with regard to the matter of “requiting evil”? That they do not act or take revenge on other people out of hot-headedness. What should you do if someone offends you, harasses you, or even wishes to harm you? Are there principles for handling such things? (Yes.) There are solutions and principles for these things, and a basis in God’s words and the truth. Regardless of anything else, the saying about moral conduct, “Requite evil with good,” is also not a standard by which to judge the quality of people’s humanity. At most, if someone is capable of requiting evil with good, it can be said that they are relatively tolerant, simple, good-natured, and magnanimous, that they are not petty, and that they are possessed of passable moral conduct. However, can the quality of this person’s humanity be evaluated and judged on the basis of this one saying? No, absolutely not. One must also take into account what they pursue, the path they walk, and their attitude toward the truth and positive things, and so on. That is the only way to accurately judge whether or not they have humanity.
This concludes our fellowship for today.
March 26, 2022