What It Means to Pursue the Truth (8) Part Two

Today, let us continue by fellowshiping on and dissecting the next statement about moral conduct: “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings.” This describes a method for interacting with others that Satan has inculcated in people. It means that when you interact with others, you must give them some leeway. You should not be too harsh with others, you cannot bring up their past faults, you have to maintain their dignity, you cannot damage good relationships with them, you must be forgiving toward them, and so on. This saying about morality mainly describes a kind of philosophy for living that dictates interactions among human beings. There is a tenet in philosophies for living that says, “Keeping silent on the faults of good friends makes for a long and good friendship.” It means that in order to preserve a friendly relationship, one must keep silent about their friend’s problems, even if they see them clearly—that they should abide by the principles of not striking people in the face or calling out their shortcomings. They are to deceive each other, hide from each other, engage in intrigue with each other; and though they know with crystal clarity what sort of person the other is, they do not say it outright, but employ cunning methods to preserve their friendly relationship. Why would one want to preserve such relationships? It is about not wanting to make enemies in this society, within one’s group, which would mean subjecting oneself often to dangerous situations. Knowing someone will become your enemy and harm you after you have called out their shortcomings or hurt them, and not wishing to put yourself in such a situation, you employ the tenet of philosophies for living that runs, “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings.” In light of this, if two people are in such a relationship, do they count as true friends? (No.) They are not true friends, much less each other’s confidant. So, what sort of relationship is this, exactly? Is it not a fundamental social relationship? (It is.) In such social relationships, people cannot offer their feelings, nor have deep exchanges, nor speak about whatever they wish. They cannot say out loud what is in their heart, or the problems they see in the other, or words that would benefit the other. Instead, they pick nice things to say, to keep the other’s favor. They dare not speak the truth or uphold the principles, lest it give rise to animosity toward them in others. When no one is threatening to someone, does that person not live in relative ease and peace? Is this not people’s goal in promoting the saying, “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings”? (It is.) Clearly, this is a cunning, deceptive way of existence with an element of defensiveness, whose goal is self-preservation. People who live like this have no confidants, no close friends with whom they can say whatever they like. They are defensive with each other, and calculating, and strategic, each taking what they need from the relationship. Is this not so? At its root, the goal of “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” is to keep from offending others and making enemies, to protect oneself by not causing hurt to anyone. It is a technique and method one adopts to keep themselves from being hurt. Looking at these several facets of its essence, is the demand of people’s moral conduct “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” a noble one? Is it a positive one? (No.) Then, what does it teach people? That you must not upset or hurt anyone, otherwise, you are the one who will end up getting hurt; and also, that you should not trust anyone. If you hurt any one of your good friends, the friendship will quietly start to change: They will go from being your good, close friend to a stranger or an enemy. What problems can it resolve, teaching people to act so? Even if, by acting in this way, you do not make enemies and even lose a few, will this make people admire and approve of you, and always keep you as a friend? Does this fully achieve the standard for moral conduct? At the very best, this is no more than a philosophy for living. Can abiding by this statement and practice be considered good moral conduct? Not at all. This is how some parents educate their children. If their child gets beaten up while out somewhere, they tell the child, “You’re a wimp. Why didn’t you fight back? If he punches you, just kick him!” Is this the correct way? (No.) What is this called? It is called incitement. What is the purpose of incitement? To avoid losses and to take advantage of others. If someone punches you, it will hurt for a couple days, at the most; if you then kick them, won’t there be more serious consequences? And who will have caused this? (The parents, with their incitement.) So is the character of the statement “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” not somewhat similar to this? Is it right to interact with other people according to this statement? (No.) No, it is not. To look at it from this angle, is this not a way of inciting people? (Yes, it is.) Does it teach people to be wise when interacting with others, to be able to differentiate people, to see people and things in the right way, and to interact with people in a wise way? Does it teach you that if you meet good people, people with humanity, you should treat them with sincerity, provide them help if you are able to, and if you cannot, you should then be tolerant and treat them properly, learn to tolerate their shortcomings, put up with their misunderstandings and judgments of you, and learn from their strengths and good qualities? Is that what it teaches people? (No.) So, what comes in the end of what this saying teaches people? Does it make people more honest, or more deceitful? It results in people becoming more deceitful; people’s hearts grow further apart, the distance between people widens, and people’s relationships become complicated; it is equivalent to a complication in people’s social relationships. Heart-to-heart communication between people is lost, and a mutually guarded mindset arises. Can people’s relationships still be normal this way? Will the social climate improve? (No.) So, that’s why the saying “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” is obviously wrong. Teaching people to do this cannot make them live out normal humanity; moreover, it cannot make people aboveboard, upright, or candid. It absolutely cannot achieve anything positive.

The saying “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” refers to two actions: one being that of striking, and the other that of calling out. In people’s normal interactions with others, is striking someone right or wrong? (Wrong.) Is striking someone a demonstration and behavior of normal humanity in one’s interactions with others? (No.) Striking people is definitely wrong, whether you strike them in the face or elsewhere. So, the statement “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face” is inherently wrong. According to this saying, it is apparently not right to strike someone in the face, but it is right to strike elsewhere, because after the face is struck it becomes red, swollen, and injured. This makes the person look bad and unpresentable, and it also shows you to treat people in a very rude, unsophisticated, and ignoble way. So, is it noble to strike people elsewhere? No—that is not noble, either. In fact, the focus of this saying is not where to strike someone, but the word “strike” itself. When interacting with others, if you are always striking others as a way of confronting and dealing with problems, your method itself is wrong. It is done out of impetuousness and is not based on the conscience and reason of one’s humanity, and of course, less still is it the practice of the truth or adherence to the principles of the truth. Some people don’t attack others’ dignity in their presence—they are careful in what they say and refrain from striking the other in the face, but are always playing dirty tricks behind their back, shaking their hand over the desk but kicking them under it, saying good things to their face but conspiring against them behind their back, working an angle on them, waiting for opportunities to take vengeance, framing and scheming, spreading rumors, or engineering conflicts and using other people to get at them. How much better are these insidious methods than striking someone in the face? Are they not even more severe than striking someone in the face? Are they not even more insidious, vicious, and devoid of humanity? (Yes, they are.) So then, the statement “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face” is inherently meaningless. This viewpoint is itself a mistake, with a hint of false pretenses. It is a hypocritical method, which makes it all the more abhorrent, disgusting, and loathsome. Now we are clear that striking people is itself done out of impetuousness. On what basis do you strike someone? Is it authorized by law, or is it your God-given right? It is none of these things. So, why strike people? If you can get along with someone normally, you can use correct ways to get along with them and interact. If you cannot get along with them, you can go your separate ways without needing to act impetuously or come to blows. Within the scope of the conscience and reason of humanity, this should be something that people do. As soon as you act impetuously, even if you don’t strike the person in the face but somewhere else, it is a serious problem. This is not a normal way of interacting. This is how enemies interact, not the normal way that people interact. It is beyond the pale of the sense of humanity. Is the phrase “call out” in the saying “if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” good or bad? Does the phrase “call out” have a level on which it refers to people’s being revealed or exposed within the words of God? (It does not.) From My understanding of the phrase “call out” as it exists in human language, it does not mean that. Its essence is one of a somewhat malicious form of exposure; it means to reveal people’s problems and deficiencies, or some things and behaviors unknown to others, or some intrigue, ideas, or views operating in the background. This is the meaning of the phrase “call out” in the saying “if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings.” If two people get along well and are confidants, with no barriers between them, and they each hope to be of benefit and assistance to the other, then it would be best for them to sit together and lay out each other’s problems in openness and sincerity. This is proper, and it is not calling out others’ shortcomings. If you discover another person’s problems but see that they are not yet able to accept your advice, then simply do not say anything, so as to avoid quarrel or conflict. If you want to help them, you can seek their opinion and first ask them, “I see that you have a bit of a problem, and I hope to give you some advice. I don’t know if you’ll be able to accept it. If you will, I’ll tell you. If you won’t, I’ll keep it to myself for now and not say anything.” If they say, “I trust you. Whatever you have to say won’t be out of bounds; I can accept it,” that means that you have been granted permission, and you can then communicate their problems to them, one by one. Not only will they completely accept what you say, but also benefit from it, and the two of you will still be able to maintain a normal relationship. Is that not treating each other with sincerity? (It is.) This is the correct method for interacting with others; it is not calling out others’ shortcomings. What does it mean not to “call out others’ shortcomings,” as the saying in question goes? It means not to speak of others’ deficiencies, not to speak of their most taboo problems, not to expose the essence of their problems, and not to be so blatant in calling it out. It means just to make some surface-level remarks, to say things that are commonly said by all, to say things that the person themselves is already able to perceive, and not to reveal mistakes the person has made previously or sensitive issues. What does it benefit the person if you act in this way? Perhaps you will not have offended them or made an enemy of them, but what you have done in no way helps or benefits them. Therefore, the phrase “don’t call out others’ shortcomings” itself is evasive and a form of trickery that does not allow sincerity in people’s treatment of each other. One could say that to act in this way is to harbor evil intentions; it is not the correct way of interacting with others. Unbelievers even see “if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” as something a person of noble morals should do. It is clearly a deceitful manner of interacting with others, which people adopt to protect themselves; it is not at all a proper mode of interaction. Not calling out others’ shortcomings itself is insincere, and in calling out others’ shortcomings, there may be an ulterior intent. Under what circumstances can you generally see people call out each other’s shortcomings? Here’s an example: In society, if two candidates are running for a certain office, they will call out each other’s shortcomings. One will say, “You’ve done some bad thing, and you’ve embezzled however much money,” and the other will say, “You’ve harmed however many people.” They expose such things about each other. Is this not calling out others’ shortcomings? (Yes, it is.) Those who call out each other’s shortcomings on the political stage are political opponents, whereas when ordinary people do it, they are enemies. In lay terms, one would say that these two people don’t get along. Whenever they meet, they start arguing, calling out each other’s shortcomings, judging and condemning each other, and even creating things out of nothing and making false accusations. As long as there is anything dubious about the other person’s affairs, they will expose it and condemn the other person for it. If people call out many things about each other but not others’ shortcomings, is that a noble thing to do? (No.) It is not, but people still regard this tenet as noble moral conduct and praise it, which really is disgusting! The saying “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” fails in itself at advocating anything positive. It is unlike the sayings “A kindness received should be gratefully repaid,” “Requite evil with good,” and “A woman must be virtuous, kind, gentle, and moral,” which at least advocate praiseworthy moral conduct. The expression “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” is a statement on moral conduct that incites negative behavior and has no positive function on people at all. It doesn’t tell people what the correct ways or principles are for conducting themselves in life in this world. It provides no such information. All it does is tell people not to strike others in the face, as if it were fine to strike them anywhere but the face. Strike them all you like; leave them black and blue, maimed, or even half-dead, as long as they’re still breathing. And when people are in conflict with each other, when enemies or political opponents meet, they can call out whatever they want about each other, as long as they don’t call out each other’s shortcomings. What kind of mode is that? Were you previously not quite approving of this saying? (Yes.) Say two people get into a dispute and start arguing. One of them says, “I know that your husband isn’t the father of your child,” and the other says, “I know what tricks your family business uses to make money.” Some people comment on the content of their quarrel, saying, “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings. Look at them raking up each other’s few shortcomings and guilty secrets and making a big thing out of them. What petty behavior! And such a lack of integrity, too. You could at least show people a little respect, otherwise how will they be able to conduct themselves in the future?” Is it right or wrong to make comments like this? (It’s wrong.) Does it have even the slightest positive effect? Does any of it even slightly accord with the truth? (No.) What kind of ideas and viewpoints must someone have to make such comments? Do such comments come from someone with a sense of righteousness who has understood the truth? (No.) From what basis do such comments arise? Were they made because they are wholly influenced by traditional culture’s idea of “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings”? (Yes.) These comments are based entirely on this idea and viewpoint in traditional culture.

Regarding the dispute between the two people that we just talked about, if you look at this matter from the perspective of someone who believes in God, how should it be treated, according to God’s words and with the truth as the criterion? Is this not an issue that people should reflect on? (Yes, it is.) This is something you should reflect on. What principles should believers abide by? They must view people and things, and comport themselves and act, wholly according to God’s words, with the truth as their criterion. If a dispute occurs between brothers and sisters, they must be tolerant and patient with each other, and treat each other with love. They must first reflect and gain self-awareness, then resolve the issue according to God’s words and the truth, such that they recognize their own mistakes and can forsake the flesh, and treat others according to the principles of the truth. In this way, they will resolve the problem at its root. You should gain a thorough understanding of this problem. The saying “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” is not a standard for measuring humanity, but only a baseline philosophy for living, one that cannot restrict people’s corrupt behavior at all. This saying is quite meaningless, and there is no need for believers to abide by such a rule. People should interact with each other according to God’s words and the principles of the truth. Those are what believers must abide by. If people believe in God yet still believe in traditional cultural views and satanic philosophies, and use ideas of traditional culture like “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” to measure people and restrict others, or to put demands on themselves, then that is absurd and preposterous of them, and they are nonbelievers. The saying “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” is a satanic philosophy for interacting with one’s friends, which cannot resolve the essential, root problems of interpersonal relationships. Therefore, this saying is a most shallow rule, a most shallow philosophy for living. It falls far short of the standards of the principles of the truth, and abiding by such a superficial rule cannot achieve anything and it is quite meaningless. Is that a fair way to put it? (Yes, it is.) When a dispute occurs between brothers and sisters, what should be the principle for regarding this matter and sorting it out? Is it to abide by the rules of traditional culture, or to take God’s words and the truth as the principle? Tell Me your view. (First of all, we should analyze and come to know the nature of their dispute and their impetuous accusations against each other according to God’s words, recognizing that these are outpourings of corrupt dispositions. Then, we should fellowship with them on the relevant path of practice. They should treat each other with love, they should have conscience and reason, and what they say and do must build the other up rather than hurt them. If the other has deficiencies or has made mistakes, they should deal with it correctly by helping if they can, rather than attacking, judging, or condemning them.) This is a form of helping people. So, what can be said to help them and resolve their dispute? (They are arguing in the church, and this in itself is unworthy of the saints and out of line with God’s requirements. So we can fellowship with them by saying, “When you discover that someone has issues, help if you can. If you cannot help, there is no need to argue, otherwise it will disturb the life of the church, and if you persist despite repeated admonition, the church will handle it according to its administrative decrees.”) It seems that you all know to handle people who disturb the life of the church according to the principles, but you still don’t quite know how to handle disputes between people, or which of God’s words should be used to handle them—you still don’t know how to employ God’s words and the principles of the truth to resolve problems. In this matter, what issues does each party themselves have? Do they both have corrupt dispositions? (Yes.) Given that they both have corrupt dispositions, look at what corrupt dispositions poured forth from each person when the dispute occurred, and what their origins were. Locate the corrupt dispositions that poured forth, and then use God’s words to expose and analyze them, so that they both come back before God and gain self-awareness according to God’s words. So, what are the main things you should fellowship with them about? You might say something like this: “If you two acknowledge that you are followers of God, then don’t argue, because arguments can’t resolve problems. Don’t treat people who believe in and follow God in that way, and don’t treat brothers and sisters in the same way that unbelievers treat people. Doing so does not accord with God’s will. How does God require people to treat others? God’s words are very clear: Be forgiving, tolerant, and patient, and love one another. If you see that the other person has serious issues and you are dissatisfied with what they have done, you should fellowship about this in a reasonable and effective way, with a forgiving, tolerant, and patient attitude. It is better if the person can accept it and receive it from God. If they cannot, then you will still have fulfilled your responsibility, and don’t need to launch impetuous attacks against them. When brothers and sisters argue and call out each other’s shortcomings, that is behavior that is unworthy of the saints, and it does not accord with God’s will. It’s not the way believers should behave. And as for the person being accused, even if you think that you have acted reasonably and should not be criticized by the other person, then still, you should let go of your personal prejudices, and face the issue and the other party’s accusations calmly and openly. You should never fight back in an impetuous manner. If both of you are worked up into impetuous states and cannot control yourselves, you should start by removing yourselves from the situation. Calm down and don’t keep pursuing the issue, so as not to get caught in Satan’s snare and fall into Satan’s temptation. You can pray in private, coming before God to seek His help, and endeavoring to use God’s words to resolve your issues. When you are both able to calm down and treat each other calmly and rationally, without acting or speaking impetuously, you can then come together to fellowship on the disputed issues, until you reach a consensus, unite in God’s words, and achieve a solution to the problem.” Would that not be an appropriate thing to say? (Yes.) The fact is that when two people argue, they both pour forth their corrupt dispositions, and they both pour forth their impetuousness. It’s all satanic behavior. No one is right or wrong, and neither person’s behavior is in accordance with the truth. If you could have regarded and handled the issue according to God’s words and the truth, your dispute would not have happened. If only one party could have viewed people and things, comported themselves and acted according to God’s words, the dispute would not have happened. Therefore, if two people call out each other’s shortcomings and strike each other in the face, then these people are both impetuous tough guys. There’s nothing good about them; neither of them are right, and neither of them are wrong. What is the basis for measuring right and wrong? It depends on the perspective and stance that you adopt with regard to this matter, what your motives are, whether you have the basis of God’s words, and whether what you do is in accord with the truth. Obviously, the motive behind your dispute is to subdue and overwhelm the other person. You expose and hurt each other with nasty words. It doesn’t matter whether what you expose is right, nor whether the point of your dispute is right or not—because you do not handle this matter according to God’s words, with the truth as your criterion, and what you pour forth is your impetuousness, and the method and principles of your actions are entirely based on impetuousness, having been compelled to do so by corrupt satanic dispositions, therefore, no matter who is in the right, nor who is at an advantage and who at a disadvantage, the fact is that both of you are wrong and bear responsibility. The way you are handling the matter is not based on God’s words. You should both settle down and carefully consider your own issues. Only when both of you can be silent before God and address the problem with a cool head can you sit down and fellowship on it in a calm and composed manner. As long as both people’s views on people and things, and their comportment and actions, are based on God’s words and the principles of the truth, then no matter how different their ideas and viewpoints on a particular matter may be, there is actually no true difference to speak of, and there is no problem. As long as they handle their differences with God’s words and the truth as their principle, then ultimately, they will certainly be able to get along and resolve their differences. Is this how you handle problems? (No.) You simply don’t know how to use the truth to resolve problems, except for your method of resorting to administrative sanctions. So, what is the main takeaway for handling the matter in its entirety? It is not about requiring people to let go of their differences, but about resolving them in the correct way and achieving unity. What is the basis for resolving differences? (God’s words.) That’s right: Look for the basis in God’s words. It is not about analyzing who is right and who is wrong, who is superior and who is inferior, or who is justified and who isn’t. Rather, it is about solving the problem of people’s ideas and viewpoints, which means resolving people’s mistaken ideas and viewpoints and mistaken ways of dealing with a particular matter. Only by searching for a basis in God’s words, and only by understanding the principles of the truth, can problems be truly resolved and people truly live in harmony with each other, achieving unity. Otherwise, if you use statements of traditional culture and methods such as “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” to handle things, problems will never be resolved, or at least, the differences between people’s ideas and viewpoints will not be resolved. Therefore, everyone must learn to search for a basis in God’s words. God’s words are all truth, and there is nothing contradictory in them. They are the only criterion for measuring all people, matters and things. If everyone finds a basis in God’s words, and their outlooks on things achieve unity in God’s words, then is it not easy for people to reach a consensus? If everyone can accept the truth, will there still be differences between people? Will there still be disputes? Will there still be a need to use ideas and viewpoints and statements like “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” as restrictions among people? There will not, because God’s words can resolve all problems. Whatever disagreements people have, or however many different viewpoints, they should all be brought before God, and discerned and dissected according to God’s words. It will then be possible to determine whether they are in accordance with the truth. When people have understood the truth, they can see that most of the ideas and viewpoints of corrupt mankind come from traditional culture, from the luminaries and great figures whom people worship—yet at their root, they come from satanic philosophies. Therefore, these errant ideas and viewpoints are actually easy to resolve. Why do I say they are easy to resolve? Because, if you measure these human ideas and viewpoints with God’s words, you will find that they are all absurd, untenable, and unviable. If people can accept the truth, it is easy to let go of these things, and all problems can be resolved accordingly. What is achieved after the problems are resolved? Everyone can let go of their own opinions and personal, subjective ideas and viewpoints. No matter how noble and correct you think they are, no matter how long they have been circulating among people, so long as they do not accord with the truth, you should deny them and give them up. In the end, once all people have taken God’s words as their basis and denied everything that comes from people, will their ideas and viewpoints not become unified? (Yes.) When the ideas and viewpoints that determine people’s views on people and things, as well as their comportment and actions, are all unified, what differences will there then be between people? At the very most, there will be some differences in diet and living habits. But when it comes to issues that truly concern people’s corrupt dispositions, the path they walk, and the essence of humankind, if people all take God’s words as their basis and the truth as their criterion, they will become one with each other. It doesn’t matter whether you are an Easterner or a Westerner, old or young, male or female, or whether you are an intellectual, a worker, or a farmer: As long as you can interact with others according to God’s words and the truth, will there still be fights and conflicts between people? There will not. So, can infantile requirements such as “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings” still be brought out as a solution to people’s disputes? Can they still be the maxims that people abide by in their interactions with each other? Such superficial rules have no value to mankind, and they cannot affect people’s views on people and things, as well as their comportment and actions, in their everyday life. Think about it: Is that not so? (Yes, it is.) As they are too far removed from the truth, and have no effect at all on people’s views on people and things, or on their comportment and actions, they should be renounced, once and for all.

Looking at what we fellowshiped about above, can it not be said with certainty that God’s words and the truth are the criteria by which all people, events, and things are to be measured, and that the traditional culture and moral scriptures of humanity are untenable and not worthy of mention in the face of God’s words and the truth? (Yes.) As for that “noble” moral requirement of “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings,” which mankind reveres, with what kind of viewpoint and perspective should people now regard it? Should people continue worshiping and obeying such words? (No.) How are they to be renounced, then? Begin by not being impetuous or impulsive when things befall you. Treat everyone and everything correctly, calm down, come before God, seek the principles of the truth in God’s words, and find a path of practice, so that you can treat people and events exactly based on God’s words, rather than being fettered or restrained by the saying on moral conduct that goes, “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings.” Would living in that way not be easier and more joyful for you? If people do not accept the truth, they have no way to break free from the restraint of corrupt dispositions, and it is difficult for them to interact with others in the group in which they live. There may be someone whom you do not bully, but they want to bully you. You want to get along well with someone, but they are always making trouble for you. You put up your guard against certain people and avoid them, but they go on hounding you and pestering you, regardless. If you don’t understand the truth and don’t have a basis in God’s words, all you can do is keep on struggling with them until the end. If it happens that you encounter a formidable bully, you’ll feel you have no choice but to follow the saying, “It is never too late for a gentleman to take his revenge.” You’ll wait for the right opportunity to take revenge on him, using clever methods to bring him down. Not only will you be able to give vent to your grievance, but you will also get everyone to applaud you for your sense of righteousness, and make them think that you are the gentleman and he is the villain. What do you think about this approach? Is this the right way to carry oneself in the world? (No.) Now you understand. So, who is the good guy: the gentleman or the villain? (Neither is good.) Those gentlemen who are venerated by unbelievers are missing a descriptor: “fake.” They are “fake gentlemen.” So, whatever you do, don’t be a gentleman, because all gentlemen are faking it. So, how must one conduct oneself in order to stay on the correct path? Is it fine to act like a “true gentleman” who, “if he strikes others, doesn’t strike them in the face; and if he calls others out, he doesn’t call out their shortcomings”? (No.) All those gentlemen and famous people are phony and deceitful, and they are fake gentlemen. They can all go to hell! How, then, should one comport themselves? By being someone who pursues the truth, who views people and things, and comports themselves and acts, wholly according to God’s words, with the truth as their criterion. Only with such comportment is one a true person. Is this the correct way or not? (Yes.) What should you do if someone keeps calling out your shortcomings? You might say, “If you call me out, I’ll call you out, too!” Is it good to target each other like that? Is that the way that people should comport themselves, act, and treat others? (No.) People may know that they should not do this as a matter of doctrine, yet many people still cannot overcome such temptations and snares. It may be that you haven’t heard anyone calling out your shortcomings, or targeting you, or judging you behind your back—but when you do hear someone saying such things, you won’t be able to bear it. Your heart will beat faster and your hot-headedness will come forth; you will say, “How dare you call me out? If you are unkind to me, I’ll do wrong to you! If you call out my shortcomings, don’t think I won’t call out your sore spots!” Others say, “There’s a saying that goes, ‘If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings,’ so I won’t call out your shortcomings, but I’ll find other ways to take care of you and take you down a peg. We’ll see who’s tough!” Are these methods good or not? (No.) For almost anyone, if they find out that someone has called them out, judged them, or said something bad about them behind their back, their first reaction will be one of anger. They will bristle with rage, unable to eat or sleep—and if they do manage to sleep, they will even be swearing in their dreams! Their impetuousness knows no bounds! It’s such a trifling matter, yet they cannot get over it. This is the impact that impetuousness has on people, the evil results that come of corrupt dispositions. When a corrupt disposition becomes someone’s life, where does it primarily show? It shows in that when the person encounters something they find disagreeable, that thing first affects their feelings, and then that person’s impetuousness will burst forth. And as it does, the person will live in their impetuousness and regard the matter by dint of their corrupt disposition. The philosophical views of Satan will arise in their heart, and they will start considering which ways and means they will use to take their revenge, thereby laying bare their corrupt disposition. People’s ideas and viewpoints on dealing with problems such as this, and the ways and means that come to them, and even their feelings and impetuousness all come from corrupt dispositions. So, what are the corrupt dispositions that come up in this case? The first is certainly malice, followed by arrogance, deceit, evil, intransigence, aversion to the truth, and hatred of the truth. Of these corrupt dispositions, arrogance may be the least influential. What, then, are the corrupt dispositions that are most able to dominate a person’s feelings and thoughts, and determine how they will ultimately deal with this matter? They are malice, intransigence, aversion to the truth, and hatred of the truth. These corrupt dispositions bind a person in a death grip, and it is obvious that they are living in Satan’s net. How does Satan’s net arise? Is it not corrupt dispositions that give rise to it? Your corrupt dispositions have woven all kinds of satanic nets for you. For instance, when you hear that someone is doing something like judging you, cursing you, or calling out your shortcomings behind your back, you let satanic philosophies and corrupt dispositions be your life and dominate your thoughts, your views, and your feelings, thus engendering a sequence of actions. These corrupt actions are mainly the result of your having a satanic nature and disposition. Whatever your circumstances may be, as long as you are bound, controlled, and dominated by Satan’s corrupt disposition, everything you live out, everything you reveal, and everything you display—or your feelings, your thoughts and views, and your ways and means of doing things—are all satanic. All of these things violate the truth and are hostile to the words of God and the truth. The further removed you are from the word of God and the truth, the more controlled and ensnared you are by Satan’s net. If instead, you can break free from the fetters and control of your corrupt dispositions, and forsake them, come before God, and act and resolve problems with the methods and principles of which God’s words tell you, then you will gradually break free from Satan’s net. After breaking free, what you then live out is no longer the same old likeness of a satanic person who is controlled by their corrupt dispositions, but that of a new person who takes God’s words as their life. Your whole way of living changes. But if you give in to the feelings, thoughts, views, and practices that satanic dispositions give rise to, then you will adhere to a litany of satanic philosophies and various techniques, such as “If you strike others, don’t strike them in the face; if you call others out, don’t call out their shortcomings,” “It is never too late for a gentleman to take his revenge,” “Better to be a real villain than a fake gentleman,” “He who does not seek revenge is not a man.” These will be in your heart, dictating your actions. If you take these satanic philosophies as the basis for your actions, the character of your actions will change, and you will be doing evil, and resisting God. If you take these negative thoughts and viewpoints as the basis for your actions, it is obvious that you have strayed far from God’s teachings and words, and that you have fallen into Satan’s net and cannot extricate yourself. You live practically all of your daily lives amid satanic dispositions—you live in Satan’s net. The root of people’s torment is that they are controlled by their satanic dispositions such that they cannot extricate themselves. They live in sin, and suffer no matter what they do. You feel tormented even when you have defeated your opponent, because you don’t know who the next enemy you face will be, nor whether you will be able to defeat them in the same way. You are afraid and tormented. And what about the one who is defeated? Of course, they are likewise tormented. Having been bullied, they feel that they have no dignity or integrity in life. Being bullied is hard to take, so they constantly wait for an opportune moment to strike and seek a chance to retaliate—an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth—to show their opponent what for. Such a mindset is torment, too. In short, the one who retaliates and the one who is retaliated against alike both live in Satan’s net, constantly doing evil, constantly looking for ways to get out of their precarious situation, and wishing as they do to find peace, happiness, and security. On the one hand, people are controlled by corrupt dispositions and live in Satan’s net, adopting the various methods, thoughts, and viewpoints given to them by Satan to resolve issues happening around them. On the other hand, people still hope to attain peace and happiness from God. However, because they are always bound by Satan’s corrupt disposition and trapped in its net, unable consciously to forsake it and emerge from it, and because they grow removed from the word of God and the principles of the truth, people are never able to attain the comfort, joy, peace, and happiness that come from God. In what state do people live, in the end? They cannot rise to the task of pursuing the truth, though they would like to, and they cannot live up to God’s requirements, though they wish to perform their duties properly. They are stuck right where they are. This is an agonizing torment. People live within Satan’s corrupt disposition, in spite of themselves. They are more like fiends than people, often living in dark corners, searching for shameful and evil methods by which to resolve the many difficulties they face. The fact is that deep in their souls, people are willing to be good and to aspire toward the light. They hope to live as human beings, with dignity. They also hope that they can pursue the truth and rely on the word of God to live, and make the word of God their life and reality, but they never can put the truth into practice, and despite the many doctrines they understand, they cannot resolve their problems. People are buffeted front and back in this dilemma, unable to go forward and unwilling to go back. They are stuck where they are. And the feeling of being “stuck” is one of agony—tremendous agony. People have a will to aspire toward the light, and they are unwilling to leave the word of God and the right path. However, they do not accept the truth, and cannot put God’s words into practice, and remain unable to cast off the bondage and control of their corrupt satanic disposition. Ultimately, they can only live in agony, without any real happiness. Is this not how things are? (It is.) In any event, if people want to practice the truth and obtain the truth, they must experience God’s words a bit at a time, starting with the small things, to dispel the influence that these sayings about moral conduct have on their ideas and viewpoints, and on their pursuit of the truth. This is key; these issues must be resolved.

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