75. The Principles of Confirming One’s Station
(1) Choose your duty according to your strengths and gifts. As long as the majority of people consider your choice appropriate, you should confirm it as a duty that is yours;
(2) One who does their duty well has found their station, and one who does their duty well is standing firm in their position as a created being;
(3) One should submit to the arrangements of God’s house as they perform their duty. If they feel their duty is unsuitable, they may, in communication with leaders and workers, select suitable duties;
(4) Regardless of one’s particular duty, they should pray to God and rely on Him, and, in all matters, seek the truth and act according to the principles. In doing so, they will become able to perform their duty satisfactorily.
Relevant Words of God:
In His entire management plan, God long ago planned how many times you would come among the world of man, which lineage and which family you would be born into during the last days, what the circumstances of this family would be, whether you would be male or female, what your strengths would be, what level of education you would have, how articulate you would be, what your caliber would be, what you would look like, at what age you would come to the house of God and begin performing your duty, and what duty you would perform at what time—God long ago planned each step for you. Before you were born, when you came among man in your last several lives, God had already arranged what duty you would perform during this, the final stage of work. This is no joke! Even your being here to listen to this sermon was destined by God—this is no small thing! Moreover, your physical state, your experience at a certain age, what kinds of duty you can undertake, your abilities and skills—these were long ago destined for you by God. Which is to say, God wishes to use you, and prior to giving you this commission and vocation, He had already prepared you for it. So is it okay for you to run away? Is it okay for you to waver? You let God down by doing this! There is no greater act of rebellion than turning your back on your duty—it is a heinous sin. God’s intentions are painstakingly earnest. Countless generations ago, God had already predestined your arrival today, and given you this mission—so are you not responsible for this mission? Is it not the value of your very life? And if you do not carry out the mission given to you by God, is there any use in your living? God put you in this situation, He gave you this caliber, He gave you these abilities and skills, He gave you all the conditions to live to this age and do this thing—but you do not do it, and you run away. You want only to lead a comfortable life, to make your way in the world, to use what God gave you to serve Satan. Could God delight in this? Could it make Him happy? You do not carry out your mission, you do not complete the commission given to you by God, and you flee from God’s seat of judgment. What does God determine for such people? He annihilates them! Never again will you be born and come into this world. Never again will God entrust you with anything. Your mission is taken from you, and so you are all out of chances—this means you are in trouble! God will say, “Such a person has fled from My gaze a single time, they have run from My seat of judgment, from My presence. They did not carry out their mission and they did not complete their commission. This is the end, their life ends here, a line has been drawn under it, and it need be mentioned no more.” How tragic this is!
Today, when you perform a duty in the house of God, whether it be big or small, whether it involves physical labor or using your brain, whether it is done outside or inside the church, the duty you perform is no accident; this is not your choice, it is directed by God. It is only because of God’s commission that you are moved, and have this sense of mission and responsibility, and are able to perform this duty. Among the unbelievers, there are many who are attractive, intelligent, or capable. But does God favor them? No. God only favors you, this group of people. He makes you undertake every kind of role, carry out every kind of duty and responsibility in His work of management, and when, ultimately, God’s management plan comes to an end and is completed, what a glory and honor this will be! And so when, whilst performing their duty, people suffer a little hardship, when they have to give things up and expend themselves, when they pay a price, when they lose status, fame and fortune in the world, it seems as if God has taken those things away from them—but they have gained something bigger and better. What have they gained from God? Only when you have performed your duty well, when you have completed God’s commission for you, when you live your whole life for your mission and commission, and you live a worthwhile life—only then are you a real person! And why do I say you are a real person? Because God has chosen you, He has allowed you to perform the duty of a creature of God in His management, and there can be no greater value or meaning to your life.
Excerpted from “The Principles of Practice Concerning Submission to God” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
What are your principles for conducting yourselves? You should conduct yourselves according to your station, find the right station for you, and stand fast in your station. By way of example, there are people who are good at a profession and can grasp its principles, and they should make the final checks in this regard; there are people who can provide ideas and insights, enabling everyone else to build on their ideas and perform this duty better—they should then provide ideas. If you can find the right station for you and work in harmony with your brothers and sisters, you will be fulfilling your duty, and you will be conducting yourself according to your station. If it is yours to be able only to provide a few of your thoughts, but would like to provide other things, and you end up trying very hard to do so, yet are still unable; and then, when others provide those other things, you are uncomfortable, and do not wish to listen, and your heart is pained and constrained, and you say God is unjust, and you blame God—then this is ambition. What disposition is it that engenders ambition in a person? An arrogant disposition engenders ambition. These states can certainly arise in you at any time, and if you cannot seek the truth to resolve them, and have no life entry, and cannot change in this regard, then the degrees of qualification and purity with which you do your duties will be low. If you cannot achieve these things, then it will also be very hard for you to give God the glory He is due. Some people have talents in two or three areas, some have talent in one area, and some have no talents at all—if you can approach these matters correctly, then you will have found your station. People who have found their stations can conduct themselves according to their stations and perform their duties well. There are people who are never able to find their stations, who reach always for the pot when there is food in their bowls, who grab at anything in their interest that comes along, who always have their own ambitions, yet believe they are showing consideration for God’s intentions and loyally performing their duty—this belief is wrong, and it is an erroneous understanding of “loyalty.” If you wish to be loyal and to perform your duty satisfactorily, if this is your pursuit and your desire, you must first find the right station for you, and then do what you can with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is satisfactory, and such performance of duty has a degree of purity. This is what a real created being should do. First, you must understand what a real created being is: A real created being is not a superhuman, but a person who lives straightforwardly and humbly on the earth and is not at all extraordinary. What does it mean not to be extraordinary? It means that no matter how tall you can stand or how high you can jump, the fact remains that your actual height will not change, and you have no extraordinary ability. If you wish always to surpass others, to be ranked above others, then this is engendered by your arrogant, satanic disposition, and it is your delusion. You cannot, in fact, achieve this, and it is impossible for you to do so. God did not give you such talent or skill, and neither did He give you such an essence. Do not forget that you are a normal, ordinary member of mankind, in no way different from others, though your appearance, family, and the decade of your birth may be different, and there may be some differences in your talents and gifts. But do not forget this: No matter how different you are, it is only in these small ways, and your corrupt disposition is the same as others’, and the principles, goals, and orientation to which you must adhere in the performance of your duty are identical to others’. It is merely in their strengths and gifts that people differ.
Excerpted from “The Principles That Should Guide One’s Conduct” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
Some people think they have a gift or specialty in one area and are very good at doing their duty in that area, so they do their very best to recommend themselves. Of course, God’s house will not disappoint such a person; God’s house cherishes talent and will make the best use of each kind of person. In whichever area you have special skills and gifts or whichever area you are able to make fullest use of your strengths, God’s house will do its utmost to promote and use you in that area, and will not neglect you. For example, some people feel they have literary talent, love literature, and can write a bit—that they have special strength in this area. God’s house will arrange for such a person to work in the field of writing. But should they not work well after a period of time, God’s house will see that their claimed specialty and hobby is nothing more than what they want to believe about themselves, and their talents and caliber are simply not up to the work. So, what should be done? Can we just settle for them and say, “You have a passion. Although you are not very talented and of average caliber, as long as you are willing and ready to work hard, God’s house will settle for you and allow you to keep working here. It doesn’t matter if you do it badly—God’s house will turn a blind eye, and you do not need to be reassigned”? Is this the principle of God’s house in handling such matters? (No.) What should be done when encountering such a situation? (Assign the person to a duty that suits them, according to their caliber and strengths.) Is this not the proper thing to do? But some people cannot get past this. Is there not then a problem with their humanity? What is that problem? Such a person says, “All my life, I wanted to be a man of letters in the world of unbelievers, to be a journalist, writer, or editor, but because of my family’s conditions and other reasons, I could not do the work I like. Now, having come to God’s house, I can finally get what I want, but they say I’m not of sufficient caliber, that I can’t do it well, and that I’m not qualified for the job. They won’t let me do it. This means that my life’s greatest wish won’t come true. My passion and my wish can’t be fulfilled. I don’t like any other work; I want to do work that interests me, but now God’s house won’t let me.” What should a person do under normal circumstances when it happens that they are reassigned to a different duty? (They should submit.) Why must they submit? God’s house does not assign people duties according to their preferences, but according to the results of the work. Do you think that God’s house should arrange people’s duties according to their personal preferences? Should satisfying a person’s preference be a precondition for God’s house putting them to use? (No.) Which approach is in accordance with the principles of making use of people in God’s house? Which approach is in accordance with the truth principles? The approach that is based in the results of the work and in what the work of God’s house needs. You have your hobbies, interests, and desires, but should your desires, interests, and hobbies override the work of God’s house? If you persist in this and say, “I want to do this. If you don’t let me do this, I don’t want to live, and I don’t want to perform my duty. If you won’t let me do this, then whatever you have me do, my heart won’t be in it, and I won’t put my all into it.” Is this not a shameful thing? Is it consistent with the truth to sacrifice the effectiveness of the work of God’s house for the sake of satisfying your personal desires, interests, and hobbies? (It is not.) How should people treat matters that are not consistent with the truth? Some people say, “They should make sacrifices for the group’s sake.” Is this right? Is it the truth? (No.) It is a muddled remark, words that confuse others, words of disguise. If you apply these words to your performance of your duty, you are blaspheming God. Why is this blasphemy? God does not need you to sacrifice yourself. God requires people to practice the truth and forsake the flesh, and if you cannot practice the truth, you cannot perform your duty well. Does God’s house deprive you of the right to do your duty if you do not do your duty well? Does it deprive you of the right to accept the words of God? Does it deprive you of the right to eat and drink of the words of God, or to practice them? It does no such thing. It does not deprive you of the opportunity and right to be saved; it simply transfers you to a duty and environment that is suitable for you because you are not suited for a particular duty. That is all. This is a very normal thing and a very understandable thing. It should be regarded correctly. What is the correct way to regard it? When you encounter this matter, the first thing you have to do is accept God’s house’s evaluation of you. Although you love this work subjectively, the truth is that you are not up to it or good at it, so you cannot do this work and must be transferred to another duty. Is this the correct way to regard it? You should realize this first. After you have trained for a period of time, when God’s house sees that you still cannot do the work, that your caliber is insufficient, and that you are not up to this duty, then do not force a donkey to dance. God’s house does not make things difficult for you or force people to do things beyond their power. So, was this thing’s exposure not a good thing for you? First, it makes you rational about your preferences and desires. You had a hobby before, in the form of literature and in the form of writing, but this was only a hobby based in wishful thinking, a one-sided hobby, a manifestation of subjective will. It was a ways off from your real talents and caliber. Having gone through a trial period, you, as well as God’s house and the brothers and sisters around you, can clearly understand your true talent and caliber. This is a good thing for you. At the very least, it lets you know the extent of your caliber and enables you to regard yourself correctly. Your understanding of yourself is no longer stuck amid your hobbies and wishes. At the very least, you have an accurate understanding and assessment of your own caliber. Are you not now more down-to-earth? You are not stuck amid your imagination and your wishes but are more down-to-earth, more realistic, and more accurate as to whether you can do this job or what you can do. This is one part. It is of positive use in knowing yourself. The other part, and the most crucial one, is that no matter to what extent you are able to recognize these things, or whether you recognize these things at all, the most minimal attitude you should have regarding the arrangements of God’s house is one of obedience. You should not pick and choose, or maintain personal plans and choices. This is the sense you ought most to have. If you do not recognize these things now, that is no problem. As long as you are obedient and accept the arrangements of God’s house, and make constant progress in the days to come, and as long as you take your duty seriously and are faithful, you will come to recognize those problems that you do not recognize now bit by bit, as your experience gradually grows. God will not treat you unfairly.
Excerpted from “They Want to Retreat When There Is No Position and No Hope of Gaining Blessings” in Exposing Antichrists
There is often a conflict between dreams and reality. Much of the time, people think their dreams are legitimate. Do they not know that dreams and reality are entirely different? Dreams are only what you want, they are some fleeting preoccupation, often born of willfulness or fantasy, and at odds with reality. What mistakes often occur when people have too many dreams? They ignore the work that is right before their eyes—work they should be doing in the present moment. They ignore reality, and put the duty they should be performing, the work they should be doing, their obligations and responsibilities at that very moment, to one side; they treat them lightly, and indulge in their own dreams, getting up to whatever they wish, and doing whatever they want. And that being so, these people are not only unable to truly perform their duty, but—more importantly—they also delay the work of the house of God, and disturb the work of the house of God. Many people do not understand the truth, and do not pursue the truth, either. What do they treat their duty as? They treat it as work, or as a hobby, or as an interest. They do not treat it as a task or mission given to them by God, or as a responsibility for them to bear, much less do they seek to understand the truth and the will of God in the course of performing their duty. And so, there are some who, in the course of performing their duty, suffer a little hardship and have a change of heart, and start thinking of how to get out of it. When they encounter a difficulty or setback, they backtrack, and, again, are liable to try and get out of it. Instead of seeking the truth, they think about a way out. They are like tortoises: As soon as something happens, they hide in their shell, only coming out again when it is over. There are many such people. In particular, there are some who, when asked to undertake a duty, give no thought to how to perform it loyally, how to do it properly, or how to complete this work well. Instead, they think about how to shirk their responsibility, how to avoid being dealt with, how to offload their responsibility, how to entirely absent themselves from a problem or failure when it occurs. The first thing they think about is their own escape route; before all else, they consider their own preferences and predilections, not how they can do their duty and do it loyally. Can such people gain the truth? They put no effort into the truth. For them, the grass is always greener: Today, they want to do this, tomorrow, they want to do that. Everyone’s duty seems better than the one they are doing, and they all seem easier. They simply put no effort into the truth. They do not reflect on what the problem is when they have such thoughts, nor do they solve the problem. They only ever focus on external practices, looking at who has taken the limelight, who has been recognized by the Above, who gets to have contact with the Above, who does not need to be dealt with when they work. These things are all they ever think about. Would you say that people who only ever think about these things are able to perform their duty faithfully? That will never happen. So what kind of people are those who perform their duty in this way? Do they pursue the truth? First of all, if one thing is for certain, it is that this kind of person does not pursue the truth. All they pursue is ingratiating themselves into the house of God, enjoying some blessings, making a name for themselves, being seen and noticed—which is no different to being in society. What kind of people are they in terms of essence? They are nonbelievers.
Excerpted from “They Would Have Others Obey Only Them, Not the Truth or God (Part One)” in Exposing Antichrists
Understanding what good and bad caliber is, and being clear about one’s own caliber, nature essence, are all beneficial to knowing oneself. When people know where they stand, they will make less mistakes. When people have the measure of themselves, they will stop being arrogant, and their behavior will be more conscientious and dutiful. Not knowing oneself can cause a lot of trouble. There are some people who are of ordinary caliber, but think they are of high caliber. They believe they have a gift for leadership; inside, they are chomping at the bit to be a leader, to head up the team, but no one ever chooses them. And does this not agitate them? When people are agitated by such things and they feel unsettled, they do not perform their duty well, and are liable to do foolish things that cause embarrassment, senseless things that are despised by God. As such, before anything else, they must address these fundamental revelations of their corrupt dispositions by knowing themselves. That includes being arrogant, senseless, always thinking their caliber is good, that they are better than other people, that they should coach others, and so on. Once these issues have been resolved, you will be steadfast in performing your duty well, more proper in your behavior, and such thoughts and behaviors as external aggressiveness, conceitedness, haughtiness, and thinking you are special will not bother you, and you will have become much more mature. At the very least, you will have the dignified and upright manner of a saint, and that is the only way you will be able to come before God.
Excerpted from “Understanding the Truth Is Crucial to Fulfilling One’s Duty Properly” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
God’s house makes optimal use of people according to their actual capacities, in the way that is most suitable. If your humanity is good but your caliber is poor, perform your duty with all your heart and all your strength. You do not need to be a leader or worker to meet with God’s approval. If you were willing to concern yourself with what a leader needs to concern himself with but unable to do so, if you do not possess the qualities required to be a leader and are not up to the task, what should you do? In that case, do not insist on it and make things harder for yourself. If you can carry fifty pounds, carry fifty pounds without showing off and saying, “Fifty pounds isn’t enough—I want to carry a greater burden! I’ll carry a hundred pounds, even if it kills me!” Your inability to be a leader or worker certainly wouldn’t kill you, but it would delay the work of God’s house and affect its rate of progress and efficiency, and it would delay a number of people’s progress in their lives. This is not a responsibility you can bear, because your caliber is not sufficient. Thus, if you have self-awareness, you should take the initiative to step down and to recommend someone to be the leader or worker whose caliber is good, who is properly qualified, and who is better than you. This is the wise course, and only in doing so is one a person with true humanity and true sense, who truly understands the truth and practices it. You think always, “Although my caliber is poor, my humanity is good. I am willing to take on concerns, to endure hardship and pay the price. I am resolute and I do things with greater perseverance than you. I am tolerant and unafraid of being dealt with or pruned, or being tried. What does it matter if my caliber isn’t so great?” This is not meant to condemn you but to classify you, to give you clarity about what you are able to do, what suits you, and what duty suits you. In yet another regard, one of the most practical problems you now face is that your quality is too low. You cannot fulfill the duty of a leader. It does not suit you, and if you try to lead, you will delay the work of God’s house. If you enjoy being busy and have humanity, and if you are willing to take on concerns and pay the price, then there is a job that suits you, a duty you should perform, and God’s house will arrange it appropriately. It accords with the rules and principles of God’s house not to let you be a leader, but God’s house will certainly never deprive you of your right to do your duty or your right to believe in and follow God because of your caliber. Is this proper? Is there still a need for more detailed fellowship on this matter? Some people of lower caliber hear this and think, “Enough fellowship. There is no place to show this face of mine. I know that my caliber is poor, so I won’t be a leader or worker—to be a group leader or supervisor would do, or perhaps I’ll do odd jobs, cook, clean … anything is fine. I’ll just do what I must, no matter what others say, and submit to the arrangements of God’s house and to God’s designs. Being of lower caliber is also the grace of God. There is God’s good will in it, and God does not work wrongly.” If you can look at things in this way, that will do, and the problem needs no more fellowship. In sum, we dissect only the problems of people of lesser caliber, revealing the truth as it is so that more people will have the correct attitude and view toward these people, and so that these people can have the correct attitude and view toward their own poor caliber. They can then situate themselves accurately and find their own appropriate position and duty, so that the price they pay and their resolve to endure hardship can be put to reasonable use and brought into play. This does not affect your understanding of the truth or your practice of the truth. And it does not affect your image in God’s house or in the presence of God.
Excerpted from “Identifying False Leaders (8)” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
There are those who say, “I’m a pretty good person; I haven’t done anything to resist God, and I’ve suffered a lot for Him. Why does He still prune me and deal with me so? Why doesn’t God ever acknowledge me or raise me up?” Still others say, “I’m a plain dealer; I’ve believed in God since I was in the womb, and I still believe in Him now. I’m so pure! I left my family and quit my job to expend myself for God, and I still think of how much God loves me. Now, God seems not to love people so much, and I feel left out in the cold, disappointed and dismayed with Him.” What are these people doing wrong? They have not remained in their proper place; they do not know who they are, and they feel always that they are estimable figures whom God should respect and raise up, or treasure and cherish. If people always have such misconceptions, such absurd and unreasonable demands, then it will lead to trouble. What, then, should people do, and how should they know and treat themselves, to be able to conform to the way God treats man, in order to resolve these difficulties and let go of these demands they make of God? Some people are made leaders by the house of God and carry out their work pretty well, without doing anything disruptive or troublesome; later, when God places them in a certain situation to expose them, and strips them of their leadership, they start trying to reason: “It is the false leaders and false workers and people who try to disrupt and disturb who should be replaced—why should I be replaced when I haven’t been disruptive or troublesome?” They feel put out. Why? They believe that this position is their due, that they should not have been replaced; they are qualified for it because of these things that are exhibited in them. Thus, it is their opinion that God has stripped them of this position when they were qualified to do it, and so they do not accept this—and there is thus born in them notions toward God’s actions. And at the genesis of these notions, they feel hard done by, and begin to complain: “Was it not said that there are principles for the election and elimination of leaders? It seems to me that there is no principle to what happened, God has made a mistake!” In short, as soon as God does something that harms their interests and which hurts their feelings, they start picking fault. Is this a problem? How can this problem be solved? You must know who you are. No matter what sort of gifts or strengths you have, nor how much skill or ability you have, nor even how much merit you have earned in God’s house, nor how much you have rushed about, nor how much capital you have accrued, these things are as nothing to God, and if they seem important from where you stand, then have there not again arisen misunderstandings and contradictions between you and God? How should this problem be resolved? You must shrink the distance between you and God, resolve these contradictions, and deny those things you think are right and to which you cling. In doing so, there will no longer be a distance between you and God, and you will stand properly in your station, and you will be able to submit, able to recognize that all God does is right, able to deny yourself and let go of yourself. You will no longer treat the merit you have earned as a sort of capital, nor will you try any longer to set conditions with God, or make demands of Him, or ask Him for reward. At this time, you will no longer have difficulties. Why do all man’s misconceptions of God arise? They arise because people do not know themselves in the slightest; to be precise, they do not know what sort of things they are in God’s eyes. They rate themselves too highly and estimate their position in God’s eyes too highly, and they see what they consider to be a person’s worth and capital as the standards by which God measures whether they will be saved. This is wrong. You must know what kind of place you have in God’s heart, and how it is appropriate for God to treat you. To know this is to conform to the truth and to be in accord with God’s views. When your practice and treatment of yourself accord with this knowledge, there will no longer be any contradiction between you and God. And when God again treats you in His manner, will you not be able to submit? You may feel some discomfort in your heart, or not understand these things and feel as if they are not as you wish, yet, because you will be equipped with these truths and understand these truths, and because you will be able to stand fast in your position, you will no longer fight against God, which means that those behaviors and practices of yours that would cause you to perish will cease to be. And will you not then be safe? Once you are safe, you will feel grounded, which is what it means to walk the path of Peter.
Excerpted from “The Attitude Man Should Have Toward God” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
No matter what the Creator does, no matter how He manifests, and no matter whether what He does is a great deed or a small one, He is still the Creator; whereas all mankind, which He created, regardless of what they have done, and regardless of how talented or favored they might be, remain created beings. As for created humanity, no matter how much grace and how many blessings they have received from the Creator, or how much mercy, lovingkindness, or benevolence, they should not believe themselves to stand apart from the masses, or think they can be on equal footing with God and that they have become highly ranked among created beings. Regardless of how many gifts God has bestowed on you, or how much grace He has given you, or how kindly He has treated you, or whether He has given you a few special talents, none of these are your assets. You are a created being, and you will thus forever be a created being. You must never think, “I am a little darling in the hands of God. He would not raise a hand to me. God’s attitude toward me will always be one of love, care, and gentle caresses, with warm whispers of comfort and encouragement.” To the contrary, in the eyes of the Creator, you are the same as all other created beings; God can use you as He wishes, and can also orchestrate you as He wishes, and He can arrange as He wishes for you to play every role among all sorts of people, events, and things. This is the knowledge people should have, and the good sense that they should possess. If one can understand and accept these words, their relationship with God will grow more normal, and they will establish a most legitimate relationship with Him; if one can understand and accept these words, they will orient their station properly, assume their place there, and uphold their duty.
Excerpted from “Only by Seeking the Truth Can One Know God’s Deeds” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
As one of the creatures, man must keep his own position, and behave conscientiously. Dutifully guard that which is entrusted to you by the Creator. Do not act out of line, or do things beyond your range of ability or which are loathsome to God. Do not try to be great, or become a superman, or above others, nor seek to become God. This is how people should not desire to be. Seeking to become great or a superman is absurd. Seeking to become God is even more disgraceful; it is disgusting, and despicable. What is commendable, and what the creatures should hold to more than anything else, is to become a true creature; this is the only goal that all people should pursue.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique I” in The Word Appears in the Flesh