How to Pursue the Truth (18)
A few days ago, a serious incident occurred where antichrists were disturbing the work of the gospel expansion. Do you all know about this? (Yes.) After this incident occurred, reorganization of the gospel work of God’s house commenced, and some people began to be reassigned or transferred, and some matters related to the work were also adjusted, right? (Yes.) This kind of big event occurred in God’s house and antichrists emerged around you—have you been able to learn some lessons from encountering such a significant event? Have you sought the truth? Have you seen the essence of some problems, and been able to draw some lessons from such a big event? When something occurs, don’t most people just outwardly draw a few lessons from it, and understand a few doctrines, without digging into its essence, and without learning how to view people and things, and comport themselves and act according to the truth? There are some people who just ponder according to their own minds and calculations no matter what happens to them. They completely fall short of the truth principles, and they also fall short of intelligence and wisdom. They just summarize a few lessons, and then make a resolution: “When these things happen again in the future, I have to be careful and pay attention to what things I can’t say, what things I can’t do, as well as what kind of people I should guard against, and what sort of people I should keep close to.” Does this count as learning a lesson and gaining experience? (No.) So, when things like this happen, regardless of whether they are major or minor events, how should people experience them, approach them, and enter deeply into them so that they may learn lessons, and understand some truths and grow in stature while encountering these environments? Most people do not ponder on these things, right? (Right.) If they do not ponder on these things, then are they people who seek the truth? Are they people who pursue the truth? (No.) Do you think that you are a person who pursues the truth? On the basis of which things do you believe that you are not a person who pursues the truth? And on the basis of which things do you occasionally think that you are a person who pursues the truth? When you endure a bit of suffering and pay a bit of a price in your duty, and are occasionally a bit more serious about your work, or contribute a little money, or abandon your family, resign from your job, give up your studies, and renounce marriage in order to expend yourself for God, or refrain from following worldly trends, or avoid evil people that you encounter, and so on—when you are able to do these things, do you feel that you are a person who pursues the truth and a true believer? Isn’t that what you think? (Yes.) Now, upon what basis do you think this? Is it based on God’s words and the truth? (No.) It is wishful thinking; it is you passing your own verdict. When you occasionally follow some rules and do things by the book, and possess some manifestations of good humanity, when you are able to be patient and tolerant, when you are outwardly humble, lowkey, unassuming, and not arrogant, and when you are able to have a bit of a responsible resolve or mindset in the work of God’s house, you think that you have really pursued the truth and that you are really a person who pursues the truth. So, do these manifestations constitute the pursuit of the truth? (No.) To be precise, these outward actions, behaviors, and manifestations are not the pursuit of the truth. So, why do people always think that these manifestations are the pursuit of the truth? Why do they always think that they are people who pursue the truth? (In their notions, people think that if they exert and expend a little, these are manifestations of pursuing the truth. So, when they pay a bit of a price or suffer a little in their duties, they think that they are people who pursue the truth, but they have never sought before on what God’s word has to say about this matter, or how God judges whether a person is pursuing the truth. Consequently, they always live amid their notions and imaginings, thinking that they’re great.) People never let go of their notions, and when it comes to the significant matter of determining whether they are people who pursue the truth, they always rely on their own notions and imaginings, and their wishful thinking. Why do they act in this way? Isn’t it because they feel at ease when they think and act in this way, believing that they don’t need to really pay a price in order to pursue the truth, and that they can still ultimately receive benefits and be blessed? There’s another reason, which is that people’s so-called good behaviors, such as their renunciations, their suffering, their paying of prices, and so on, are things that they can accomplish and achieve, right? (Right.) It is easy for people to renounce their families and jobs, but it is not easy for them to truly pursue the truth, practice the truth, or act based on the truth principles, and it is not easy for them to achieve these things. Even if you understand a bit of the truth, it will be very hard for you to forsake your own ideas, notions, or corrupt dispositions, and very difficult for you to hold to the truth principles. If you are a person who pursues the truth, why don’t you seem to have made any progress with regard to various aspects of the truth in the years you’ve believed in God? Regardless of whether you’ve paid a price, or what you’ve renounced or abandoned, are the ultimate results that you’ve achieved those achieved by pursuing and practicing the truth? No matter how many prices you’ve paid, how much you’ve suffered, or how many fleshly things you’ve renounced, what have you ultimately obtained? Have you obtained the truth? Have you gained anything with regard to the truth? Have you made progress in your life entry? Have you changed your corrupt dispositions? Do you possess true submission to God? We will not speak of such a deep lesson or practice as submission to God, instead we’ll just talk about the simplest thing. You have abandoned everything, suffered and paid prices for so many years—can you safeguard the interests of God’s house? Especially when antichrists and wicked people do evil things to disturb the work of the church, do you turn a blind eye, maintaining the interests of those wicked people, and protecting yourself, or do you stand on the side of God, maintaining the interests of His house? Have you practiced according to the truth principles? If you have not, then your suffering and the prices you’ve paid are no different to Paul’s. They are just done for the sake of gaining blessings, and they are all futile. They are the same as what Paul said about having fought the fights and finished the courses he was supposed to, and ultimately obtaining blessings and a reward—there’s no difference at all. You are walking the path of Paul; you are not pursuing the truth. You think that your renunciations, expenditures, suffering, and the prices you’ve paid are the practice of the truth, so how many truths have you understood over these years? How many truth realities do you possess? In how many matters have you safeguarded the interests of God’s house? In how many matters have you stood on the side of the truth and God? In how many of your actions have you refrained from evildoing or following your own will because you have a God-fearing heart? These are all things that people should understand and examine. If they don’t examine these things, then the longer they believe in God, and in particular, the longer they perform a duty, the more they’ll think that they have made a meritorious contribution, that they are definitely going to be saved, and that they are of God. If one day they are dismissed, exposed, and cast out, they will say: “Even if I haven’t rendered a meritorious service, then I’ve at least worked hard, and even if I haven’t worked hard, then I’ve at least tired myself out. On the basis of me suffering and paying prices for so many years, God’s house shouldn’t dismiss me, or treat me this way. God’s house shouldn’t just throw me away after I’ve worked for it!” If you truly are a person who pursues the truth, you shouldn’t say these things. If you’re a person who pursues the truth, then how many times have you implemented the work arrangements of God’s house thoroughly and to the letter? How many of them have you implemented? How many items of work have you followed up on? How many of them have you checked? Within the scope of your responsibilities and your duty, and within the range of what your caliber, comprehension ability, and understanding of the truth can achieve, how much have you done your utmost? Which duties have you done well? How many good deeds have you prepared? These are the standards for testing whether a person is a pursuer of the truth. If you’ve made a mess of all these things, and not gotten any results, that proves that you have been suffering and paying prices over these years in the hopes of receiving blessings, and that you are not practicing the truth and submitting to God; everything you’ve done has been for yourself, for status and blessings, and it is not following the way of God. So, what is everything you’ve done? Isn’t the ultimate outcome for people like this the same as Paul’s? (Yes.) These people are all walking Paul’s path, naturally, their outcome will be the same as Paul’s. Don’t think that you’ve made a meritorious contribution just because you believe in God, and have renounced your job, family, or in some cases even your young children. You haven’t made any meritorious contributions, you are just a created being, everything you do is for yourself, and things that you ought to do. Would you be able to suffer and pay prices if it weren’t for the sake of receiving blessings? Would you be able to renounce your family and give up your job? Do not treat renouncing your family, abandoning your job, suffering, and paying prices as equal to pursuing the truth and expending yourself for God. That is just fooling yourself.
Those who do not accept the truth, or being pruned and dealt with at all, are exposed and cleared out one by one every time that God’s house carries out a big cleansing. Some people, whose problems are not too serious, are allowed to remain under observation, and they are given a chance to repent after they are exposed. For others, their problems are too severe, they remain incorrigible despite repeated criticism, they do the same things and make the same mistakes again and again, and they disturb, disrupt, and destroy the church’s work, so ultimately they are cleared out and expelled according to the principles, and not given any more chances. Some people say: “I feel bad for them that they’re not given any more chances.” Are they not given enough chances? They do not believe in God in order to listen to His words, to accept the chastisement and judgment of His words, or to accept His cleansing and salvation, they are managing their own businesses. After they start undertaking the work of the church or performing various duties, they begin engaging in all kinds of wrongdoing, disturbing and disrupting, causing serious damage to the church’s work, as well as serious losses to the interests of God’s house. After giving them repeated chances, and gradually casting them out from various duty performance groups, God’s house arranges for them to perform their duties on the gospel team, but after those people arrive there, they don’t work hard at their duties, and they still engage in various kinds of wrongdoing, without repenting or changing at all. No matter how God’s house fellowships on the truth, or what kind of work arrangements it makes, and though it gives these people chances, warnings, and even deals with and prunes them, this is all to no avail. They are not too numb, they are too intransigent. Of course, this intransigence is speaking from the perspective of their corrupt dispositions. In their essence, they are not people, they are devils. In entering the church, aside from acting as Satans, they do not do anything to benefit the work of God’s house and the work of the church. They only do bad things; they only come to disturb and destroy the church’s work. After gaining just a few people while preaching the gospel, they feel that they have capital and that they’ve made a meritorious contribution, and they start resting on their laurels, thinking that they can rule as kings over God’s house, that they can give orders and make decisions in any aspect of the work, and force people to practice and implement them. No matter how the Above fellowships on the truth or arranges the work, these people don’t take it seriously. To your face, they say quite pleasant-sounding things: “The work arrangements of God’s house are good, they’re exactly what we need, they’ve corrected things just in time, otherwise we wouldn’t know how far off we were.” When they turn their heads, they change, and start spreading their own ideas. Tell Me, are people like this really human? (No.) If they’re not human, what are they? On the surface, they wear a layer of human skin, but in essence, they do not do human things—they’re demons! The role they play in the church is specifically to disturb the various items of work in God’s house. They disturb whatever work they’re doing, and they’ve never sought the truth or the principles, looked to the work arrangements, or acted according to them. As soon as they have a bit of power, they show it off and throw their weight around in front of God’s chosen people. They all have the faces of demons, and no human likeness. They have never upheld the interests of God’s house, they just safeguard their own interests and status. No matter what level of leadership they serve as, or what item of work they supervise, as soon as the work is entrusted to them, it becomes theirs, they have the final say, and others had better not think about checking up on it, supervising it, or following up on it, and even less should they think about intervening. Aren’t these veritable antichrists? (Yes.) And these people still want to obtain blessings! I have two words for these people: unreasonable and irredeemable. Those who do not pursue the truth may stumble at any hurdle, and they will not go far. In the past, I always said to you: “If you can render service until the end, and be a loyal service-doer, that’s quite good too.” Some people do not love the truth, and they are not willing to pursue it. What should be done about this? They should be service-doers. If you can work hard at rendering service, and not cause any disruptions or disturbances, or do any evil that leads to you being cleared out, and you can guarantee that you will not do evil, and keep rendering service until the end, then you will be able to survive. Though you won’t be able to receive a great deal of blessings, at least you will have rendered service during the period of God’s work, you will be a loyal service-doer, and in the end, God will not mistreat you. But right now, there are some service-doers who really cannot render service until the end. Why is that? Because they do not have human spirits. We will not examine what kind of spirit rests within them, but at the very least, looking at their behavior from beginning to end, their essence is that of a devil, not of a person. They do not accept the truth at all, and they are even further from pursuing it.
Ten years ago, when each aspect of the truth hadn’t been fellowshiped on in detail, people didn’t understand what it meant to pursue the truth or to handle things based on the truth principles. Some people acted based on their own wills, imaginings, and notions, or followed rules. This was excusable, because they didn’t understand. But today, 10 years later, though our fellowship on the different aspects of the truth hasn’t concluded yet, the various fundamental truths that relate to people working and doing duties have, at the very least, been explained clearly in terms of principles. No matter what kind of duty they are performing, people who possess hearts and spirits, who love the truth and can pursue it, should be able to practice part of the truth principles by relying on their conscience and reason. People fall short of and fail to reach higher and deeper truths, and they cannot see through to the essence of some problems, or essences that relate to the truth, but they should be able to put into practice the truths that they can reach, and that have been expressly stipulated. At the very least, they should be able to hold to, implement, and distribute the work arrangements that have been expressly stipulated by the house of God. However, those who are of demons cannot even do these things. They are the kind of people who cannot even render service to the end. When people cannot even render service until the end, this means that they will be thrown from the carriage halfway through the journey. Why will they be thrown from the carriage? If they were sitting quietly in the carriage, sleeping, staying put, or even amusing themselves, so long as they didn’t disturb everyone or the forward direction of the whole train, who would have the heart to throw them from the carriage? No one would. If they could really render service, God wouldn’t throw them from the carriage either. But using these people to render service now would incur more losses than gains. The various aspects of the work of God’s house have suffered too great losses due to the disturbances of these people. They are the cause of too much worry! They don’t understand the truth, no matter how it is fellowshiped, and afterward, they still do bad things. Interacting with these people truly means engaging in never-ending talk, and experiencing never-ending anger. The crucial point is that these people have done too much evil, and caused too great losses to the gospel expansion work of God’s house. In the little bit of duties they perform, they just cause disruptions and disturbances, and the losses they cause to the work of God’s house are irreparable. These people do all kinds of bad things. While among the ordinary members of the church, they do as they please, they squander offerings, they inflate the numbers of people they’ve gained while spreading the gospel, and they make use of other people inappropriately. They exclusively use some evil people, muddled people, and people who run amok doing wicked things. They don’t listen to anyone’s suggestions, and they suppress and punish anyone who expresses an opinion. Under their purview, God’s words, requirements, and work arrangements are not implemented, instead they are set aside. These people become local bullies and despots; they become tyrants. Tell Me, can people like this be kept? (No.) At present, some people have been dismissed, and after being dismissed they talk about “submitting to the arrangements of God’s house,” to show that they are so noble, so obedient, and such pursuers of the truth. By saying this, they mean that they have nothing to say about whatever the house of God does, and that they are willing to submit to its arrangements. They say that they are willing to submit to the arrangements of God’s house—so why did they do so much evil, which led the church to dismiss them? Why do they not understand this? Why have they not given an account of this? They brought various kinds of trouble and losses upon the work of God’s house while they were working—don’t they have to open themselves up and lay themselves bare regarding this? Is the matter closed if they just don’t mention it? They say that they want to submit to the arrangements of God’s house, showing how noble and great they are—this is entirely pretense and trickery! If they are learning to submit to the arrangements of God’s house, why didn’t they submit to the previous work arrangements of God’s house? Why didn’t they implement them? What were they doing then? Who is it that they really obey? Why don’t they give an account of this? Who is their master? Did they carry out each aspect of the work that was arranged by God’s house? Did they achieve results? Can their work withstand careful examination? How will they make up for the losses their running amok doing evil caused to the work of God’s house? Doesn’t this matter merit some comment? Can they just say that they’re going to submit to the arrangements of God’s house, and that’s it? Tell Me, do people like this have humanity? (No.) They are devoid of humanity, reason, and conscience, and they have no shame! They don’t sense that they’ve done so much evil, and caused such great losses to God’s house. They have caused so many disruptions and disturbances without feeling any remorse, any sense of indebtedness, or any recognition of this. If you try to hold them responsible, they’ll say, “I wasn’t the only person who did that”—they have their excuses. What they mean is that punishments can’t be enforced if everyone is an offender, and that because everyone did evil, they as individuals shouldn’t be held responsible. This is wrong. They must give an account for the evil that they did—every individual must give an account for whatever evil they did. They should submit to the arrangements of God’s house, and approach their own problems correctly. If they possess this attitude, they can have another chance and remain, but they cannot always do evil! If there is no awareness in their consciences, if they cannot feel that they are indebted to God in any way, and they do not repent at all, from a human perspective, they can be given a chance, allowed to keep doing their duties, and not be held responsible, but how does God see this? If people do not hold them responsible, will God not either? (No.) God treats all people and things with principles. God will not make a compromise with you and smooth things over, He will not be a people-pleaser, like you. God has principles, He has a righteous disposition. If you violate the principles and administrative decrees of God’s house, the church and God’s house must deal with you according to the principles and stipulations of the administrative decrees. As for the consequences of you offending God, in fact, in your heart you know how God sees you or treats you. If you really treat God as God, you ought to come before Him to confess, admit your sins, and repent. If you lack this attitude, then you are a nonbeliever, you are a devil, you are an enemy of God, and you should be cursed! What’s the point of you listening to sermons then? You should get out; you do not deserve to listen to sermons! Truths are spoken for normal corrupt humans to hear; though such people have corrupt dispositions, they have the resolve and will to accept the truth, they can reflect on themselves whenever something befalls them, and they can confess, repent, and turn themselves around when they do something wrong. Such people can be saved, and it is for them that truths are spoken. People who do not have an attitude of repentance no matter what things befall them are not ordinary corrupt humans, they are something else entirely; their essence is that of a devil, not a person. Though they may not pursue the truth either, ordinary corrupt humans can usually refrain from doing bad things based on their consciences, that modicum of shame that their normal humanity possesses, and the little reason that they have, and they have no intention of deliberately causing disruptions and disturbances. Under normal circumstances, such people can render service and follow until the end, and be able to survive. However, there is a type of people, who do not possess conscience or reason, who have no sense of honor or shame at all, who do not have remorseful hearts no matter how much evil they do, and who unashamedly hide within God’s house, still hoping to receive blessings, and not knowing to repent. When somebody says, “You caused a disruption and a disturbance by doing that,” they say, “Really? Then I made a mistake, I’ll do better next time.” That other person replies, “Then you should come to know your corrupt dispositions,” and they say, “Come to know what corrupt dispositions? I was just being ignorant and foolish. I’ll just do better next time.” They lack a deep understanding, and they just fool people with their words. Can people with this attitude repent? They do not even have shame—they are not people! Some people say: “If they’re not people, are they beasts?” They are beasts, but they are even lower than dogs. Think about it, when a dog does something bad or misbehaves, if you rebuke it once, it’ll immediately feel bad, and it’ll keep being nice to you, by which it means: “Please don’t hate me, I’ll never do it again.” When something like that happens again, the dog will deliberately give you a look to tell you: “I won’t do it, don’t worry.” No matter whether the dog is afraid of being beaten, or trying to win the favor of its master, regardless of how you look at this, when it knows that its master doesn’t like or allow something, the dog won’t do it. It is able to restrain itself; it has a sense of shame. Even animals have a sense of shame, but these people don’t. So, are they still people? They’re even less than animals, so they are inhuman and non-living things, they are veritable devils. They never reflect on themselves or confess no matter how much evil they do, and they certainly do not know to repent. There are some people who feel ashamed to face their brothers and sisters because they did a little bit of evil, and if the brothers and sisters choose them during an election, they will say: “I will not take up this duty, I am not qualified. In the past, I did some foolish things which caused some losses to the church’s work. I do not deserve this post.” People like this possess a sense of shame, and they have conscience and reason. But those evil people do not have a sense of shame. If you ask them to become leaders, they will immediately stand up and say: “See! What do you think of this? God’s house can’t do without me. I’m a big shot, I’m very capable!” Tell Me, is it not difficult to make these people feel shame? How difficult is it? It is more difficult than scaling the walls of China’s Shanhai Pass—they are shameless! No matter how much evil they do, they still shamelessly laze away their days in the church. They have never been humble in their interactions with the brothers and sisters, they still live as they always have, and they even occasionally boast about their “great achievements,” about their past renunciations, expenditures, suffering, and the prices that they’ve paid, and about their past “glory and greatness.” As soon as they have the opportunity, they’ll immediately stand up to flaunt and brag about themselves, talking about their capital and showing off their qualifications, and yet they never talk about how much evil they’ve done, how many of God’s offerings they’ve squandered, or how many losses they’ve caused to the work of God’s house. They do not even confess when they pray to God in private, and they never shed a tear because of the mistakes they’ve made or the losses they’ve caused to God’s house. That’s how intransigent and shameless they are. Aren’t they completely unreasonable and irredeemable? (Yes.) They are irredeemable, and they cannot be saved. No matter how you give them chances, it is like talking to a brick wall, or driving a duck onto a perch, or asking the devils and Satan to worship God. So, when it comes to these people, ultimately the attitude of God’s house is to give up on them. If they are willing to perform duties, they can, God’s house will give them a bit of a chance. If they are not willing to perform duties, and say: “I’m going to leave to work, earn money, and pass my days; I’m going to manage my own business,” they can go ahead, the door of God’s house is open, they can hurry up and leave! I don’t want to see their faces again, they’re so disgusting! What are they pretending for? The little bit of suffering they’ve endured, the little prices they’ve paid, their little renunciations and expenditures, were just preconditions that they prepared so that they could do evil. If they remain in God’s house, what kind of service can they render for it? What benefits can they bring to the work of God’s house? Do you have any idea how much disruption and disturbance the evil deeds and bad things done by one evil person, one antichrist, in the space of six months can create for the work of the church? Tell Me, how many brothers and sisters will need to work to make up for it? Isn’t using that evil person, that antichrist, to render a bit of service not worth the trouble? (Yes.) We will not speak of the magnitude of losses that can be caused by a gang of antichrists banding together to do bad things, but how much harm can be wrought on the work of the church by one fallacy and devilish statement spoken by an antichrist, or by one absurd order issued by an antichrist? Tell Me, how many people will need to work, and for how long, to make up for it? Who will take responsibility for this loss? No one can! Can this loss be made up for? (No.) Some people say: “If we get some more people to help, and the brothers and sisters endure a bit more suffering, we may be able to make up for it.” Though you may be able to make up for some of it, how much manpower and material resources will the house of God need to expend? In particular, who can make up for the lost time, and the losses that God’s chosen people suffered in terms of their life entry? No one can. Therefore, the wrongs done by antichrists cannot be forgiven! Some people say: “The antichrists said, ‘We’ll compensate for the money lost.’” Of course they must compensate for it! “The antichrists said, ‘We’ll bring in more people, to make up for the ones we lost.’” That’s the least they can do. They must make up for the evil they committed! But who will make up for the time lost? Can they? It is impossible to make up for it. So, the wrongs done by these people are the most heinous of sins! They cannot be forgiven. Tell Me, is that not the case? (It is.)
When some people see that the house of God handles antichrists quite severely—not giving them a chance and directly sending them away—they have some thoughts about this: “Didn’t the house of God say that it gives people chances? When a person makes a small mistake, does God’s house no longer want them? Does it not give them a chance? It should give them a chance, the house of God is too unloving!” Tell Me, how many chances have those people been given? How many sermons have they listened to? Were they given too few chances? When they’re working, do they not know that they are performing duties? Do they not know that they’re spreading the gospel and doing the work of God’s house? Do they not know these things? Are they running a business, a company, or a factory? Are they managing their own enterprises? How many chances has the house of God given these people? Every one of them has enjoyed a good deal of chances. For those who were moved from various groups to the gospel team, were any of them dismissed after being in the gospel team for only a couple of days? None of them were, unless the evil they had done was too egregious, then they were dismissed. Every one of them has been given enough chances, it is just that they do not know to cherish them or to repent. They go their own way, always walking the path of Paul. They speak very pleasant-sounding and clear words, but they do not act like humans. Should people like this still be given chances? (No.) When they were given a chance, they were being treated like humans, but they are not humans. They do not do the things that humans do, so sorry, the door of God’s house is open—they can go ahead and leave. The house of God won’t use them anymore. The house of God has freedom when it comes to using people, it has this right. Will it be alright if God’s house doesn’t use them? If they want to believe, they can do so outside of God’s house. In any case, God’s house won’t use them—it can’t, they’re the cause of too much worry! They have caused too great losses to the house of God, and no one can foot the bill for this—they couldn’t afford to! It’s not that they’re unlucky, it’s not that God’s house hasn’t given them a chance, it’s not that God’s house is unloving, and has been too hard on them, and it certainly isn’t that God’s house is disposing of them after they’ve finished their work. It is that these people went too far, they could no longer be tolerated, and they couldn’t give an account for the things they’d done. For every item of work, God’s house has provided work principles, and the Above has personally provided guidance, checks, and correction. It’s not just a matter of God’s house and the Above holding a couple of gatherings, or saying a few words; they have spoken many words and held many gatherings, earnestly exhorting people, and in the end, what they got in return was trickery, and ultimately, the church’s work was disrupted and disturbed, and turned into a complete mess. Tell Me, who would still be willing to give those people a chance? Who would be willing to retain them? They can run amok doing evil, but surely they do not forbid God’s house from handling them according to the principles? Handling them in this way should not be called unloving, it should be called possessing principles. Love is given to people who can be loved, to ignorant people who can be forgiven; it is not given to evil people, devils, or those who deliberately cause disruptions and disturbances, it is not given to antichrists. Antichrists only deserve to be cursed! Why do they only deserve to be cursed? Because, no matter how much evil they do, they do not repent, confess, or turn themselves around, they compete with God until the very end. They come before God saying, “When I die, I’ll die standing. I’m unyielding. When I come before You, I will not kneel or bow down. I will not admit defeat!” What kind of thing is this? Even when they’re about to die, they will still say, “I will keep resisting the house of God until the end. I will not confess my sins—I haven’t done anything wrong!” Alright, if they haven’t done anything wrong, they can leave. God’s house will not use them. Will it be fine if God’s house doesn’t use them? It will be perfectly fine! Some people say, “If God’s house won’t use me, then there’s no one that it can use.” These people should look to see if there’s really no one—does any of the work in God’s house rely on people? Without the work of the Holy Spirit and without God’s protection, who could have gotten to where they are today? What item of work could have been maintained until now? Do these people think that they are in the secular world? If any group in the secular world lost the safeguarding of a team of talented or gifted individuals, it wouldn’t be able to complete any of its projects. The work in the house of God is different. It is God who is safeguarding, leading, and guiding the work in God’s house. Do not think that the work of God’s house depends on the support of any person. This is not the case, and this is the viewpoint of a nonbeliever. Do you think it is appropriate for God’s house to abandon evil people like antichrists and nonbelievers? (Yes.) Why is it appropriate? Because the losses wreaked by using those people to carry out work are too great, such people squander both manpower and financial resources without restraint, and they have no principles at all. They do not listen to God’s word, and they act entirely based on their own ambitions and desires. They do not respect God’s words or the work arrangements of God’s house at all, but when an antichrist says something, they hold it in the utmost respect, and practice according to it. I have heard that there was a fool who was located in Europe, but worked on tasks that were based in Asia. God’s house said it would move him to work on spreading the gospel in Europe, to save him from dealing with the time difference, but he wouldn’t consent, and he wouldn’t go back to working on tasks in Europe, even when God’s house arranged it, because the antichrist he worshiped was in Asia, and he was unwilling to depart from his master. Isn’t he a fool? (Yes.) Tell Me, is he worthy of performing his duty? Do we want him? The work arrangements God’s house made were appropriate. If you are in Europe, then you should work on tasks based in Europe and not in Asia. Whichever continent you are in, you should work on tasks there, and that way you can avoid dealing with time differences—that’s a great thing! And yet, this person didn’t consent. The words of God’s house didn’t work on him; God’s house couldn’t get him to transfer, he needed his master to call the shots. If his master said, “Go back to work on tasks in Europe,” he would go back to work on those tasks. If his master said, “You cannot go back to work on tasks in Europe, I need you working on things here,” he would say, “Then I can’t go back.” Who did he render service for? (For his master.) He rendered service for his master—an antichrist. Then, shouldn’t he be cleansed away along with his master? Shouldn’t he be kicked out? (Yes.) Why am I so angry at people like this? Because they do too much evil; anyone would be furious to hear it. These people try to trick God with their eyes wide open—that is too malicious! Tell Me, why am I so angry with people like this? (They say that they believe in God, but in reality, they listen to their masters. They do not truly follow and submit to God.) They have devoted themselves entirely to following devils and Satans. Them saying that they follow God is just a front. They follow and serve Satan under the guise of following God and expending themselves for God, and in the end, they still want to obtain rewards and blessings from God. Isn’t that completely shameless? Isn’t that entirely unreasonable and irredeemable? (Yes.) Tell Me, would God’s house retain people like this? (No.) Then what is the appropriate way to handle them? (To cleanse them away, alongside their masters.) They like to follow their masters, and they are dead set on working themselves to death for their masters; they don’t safeguard the interests of God’s house while performing their duties, they don’t perform their duties while living before God, they are serving their masters within a gang of antichrists—this is the essence of their work. Therefore, no matter what they do, it will not be commemorated. People like this should be cleansed away, they are not even worthy to render service! So, do you think that people like them only turn out this way because they encounter evil people or because they do this kind of work? Are they influenced by their environments, or do evil people mislead them? (Neither.) Then why are they like this? (They are this kind of person in their nature essence.) These people have the same nature essence as their antichrist masters. They are the same kind of people. They have shared hobbies, thoughts, and views, as well as means and methods for doing things; they have a shared language and the same path of pursuit, and they share the same desires, motives, and methods of practice for betraying God and disturbing the work of God’s house. Think about it, they share the same attitude concerning the work arrangements of God’s house, which is lying to their superiors and hiding things from those below them. They have policies for those above them and strategies for those below them. To those above them, they act completely obedient on the outside, and to those below them, they run amok doing evil. They share the same ways and methods. When the Above deals with them, they say, “I made a mistake, I was wrong, I’m bad, I’m disobedient, I’m a devil!” And then they turn around and say: “Let’s not implement the work arrangements of the Above!” After which, they just do things their own way. They are completely going through the motions when they preach the gospel, they inflate numbers, and trick the house of God. These are the methods of these gangs of antichrists. They always approach the work arrangements with their own strategies and methods—haven’t their demonic faces been revealed? Are they people? No, they are not, they’re demons! We do not interact with demons, so let’s hurry them out of here. I do not want to see their demonic faces; they should get out! Those who are willing to render service can be sent to group B, those who are not willing to render service can be expelled. Is this course of action right? (Yes.) It is the most appropriate course of action! They have a shared essence, so when they’re talking and acting together, they do so very smoothly, and when they do things together there’s an incredible amount of cohesion and tacit understanding between them. As soon as those masters open their mouths, no matter what devilish things they say, their followers will immediately echo them, and in their hearts, these followers will even feel proud, thinking, “You’re right, let’s do it that way! The work arrangements from the Above are too finicky, we can’t do things like that.” No matter how well or how specifically the work arrangements of the Above are enunciated, these people won’t implement them, and no matter how warped or absurd the things that the devils and Satans say are, they will listen to them. Who are they rendering service for, then? Can people like this render service in the house of God until the very end? (No.) They cannot render service until the very end. Whether God is showing patience toward a person, or toward the actions of a devil, there is always a limit. He shows tolerance to people to the greatest extent possible, but when a certain point is reached, He will expose those who ought to be exposed, and cast out those who ought to be cast out. When this point is reached, those people will have reached the end of the road. It is not simply that they do not pursue or love the truth, it is that their nature essence is inimical to the truth. Think about it, whenever you talk about positive things, pure understanding, or principles that are in line with the truth, they do not listen. The purer your words are, the worse they feel. As soon as you start talking about the truth principles, they can’t sit still, and they find ways to make excuses to derail the conversation, to shift the focus, or they simply go to pour themselves a drink of water. As soon as you fellowship on the truth or talk about knowing yourself, they feel repulsed, and don’t want to listen. If they don’t need to use the bathroom, then they’re thirsty or hungry, or they’re sleepy, or they need to take a phone call or take care of something. They always have an excuse, and they cannot sit still. If you use their methods, and talk about their statements and approaches that exclusively cause disruptions and disturbances, they will become energized, and be able to go on and on. If you don’t share a common language with them, they’ll feel an aversion toward you and avoid you. These are typical devils! There are some people who, until now, still cannot see through this kind of devil, and think that these people just don’t pursue the truth. How can they be so simple-minded? How can they say such ignorant things? Do those people merely not pursue the truth? No, they are evil demons, and they are extremely fed up with the truth. Those people behave quite well at gatherings, but that’s all fake. In reality, do they really listen to the content that is fellowshiped on or the words of God that are read at gatherings? How many words do they really listen to? How many do they accept? How many can they obey? They cannot even talk about the simplest and most commonly spoken doctrines. When it comes to people like that, no matter how long they work for, or what level of leader or supervisor they serve as, they can’t preach sermons, or speak about their own experiences. If somebody says, “Talk about a bit of your knowledge regarding something. You don’t need to have experience of it, just speak about the knowledge and comprehension you have of it,” they won’t be able to open their mouths, it will be as though they are sealed shut, and they won’t even be able to speak about some doctrines. If they do manage to speak some forced words about it, they will sound awkward and strange. Some brothers and sisters say: “Why is it that when some leaders are preaching sermons, they sound like teachers reading out a text to some children? Why does it sound so awkward and strange?” This is called not being able to preach sermons. And why can’t they preach sermons? It is because they lack the truth reality. Why do they lack the truth reality? Because they do not accept the truth, they are sick of it in their hearts, and they are resistant toward any principle or statement of the truth. If it is said that they are resistant, it is possible that you won’t be able to see this from the outside, so how can you tell that they are resistant? No matter how God’s house fellowships on the truth, they will deny and reject it in their hearts, and be incredibly repulsed by it. No matter how other people fellowship on their knowledge of the truth, they will think, “You may believe that, but I don’t.” How do they gauge whether something is the truth? As long as it is something that they believe to be good and right, then they will think it’s the truth. If they don’t like a statement, then no matter how right it is, they won’t consider it the truth. Therefore, when we look at the root of this matter, in the depths of their hearts, they are resistant toward the truth, they are fed up with the truth, and they hate the truth. The truth has no place at all in their hearts—they despise it. Some people may not see through this, and say, “I don’t usually see them saying anything that insults God, blasphemes against the truth, or violates the truth principles.” Then, there is one fact that they can see: Every specific detail stipulated by the work arrangements of God’s house is necessary, and put forward in order to protect the interests of God’s work, the life progress of God’s chosen people, the normal order of church life, and the normal expansion of the gospel work. The point of the work arrangements in every period of time, and the specific deployment, organization, and modification of each aspect of the work, is to protect the normal development of the work of God’s house, and even more so, to help the brothers and sisters to understand and enter the truth principles. To be more precise, it can be said that these things bring the brothers and sisters before God and help them to enter the truth realities, that these things lead and pull every person forward, holding their hands while teaching, supporting, and supplying them. When it comes to the implementation of the work arrangements, regardless of whether it is carrying out specific fellowship on this during gatherings, or spreading it by word of mouth, the aim is to enable God’s chosen people to experience God’s work, and to gain true life entry, and it is always beneficial to the life entry of God’s chosen people. There is not a single arrangement that is detrimental to the work of God’s house or the life entry of God’s chosen people, and none of the arrangements create disturbances or destruction. And yet, the antichrists never respect these work arrangements or implement them. Instead, they despise them, thinking that they are too simple and unremarkable, that they are not as impressive as how they themselves work, and that they will not receive greater benefits to their prestige, status, and reputation while doing this work. As a result, they never listen to the work arrangements or accept them, let alone implement them. Instead, they do things their own way. Based on this, tell Me, do antichrists merely not pursue the truth? From this point, you can clearly see that they hate the truth. If it is said that they hate the truth, you won’t be able to see through to this, but by looking at how those antichrists approach the implementation of the work arrangements, you will be able to gain insight into this. It is very clear that when it comes to how false leaders and workers approach the work arrangements, at most, they just go through the motions, talk about the work arrangements once, and that’s it. They do not carry out the subsequent follow-up and monitoring, or the specific work properly. These are false leaders. False leaders, at least, can still implement the work arrangements, go through the motions, and maintain them. Antichrists can’t even maintain the work arrangements, they simply refuse to accept or implement them, and instead they do things their own way. What is it they consider? Their own status, fame, and prestige. They consider whether the Above appreciates them, how many brothers and sisters support them, how many people’s hearts they have a place in, how many people’s hearts they rule over, controlling those people, and how many people they have in their grasp. They care about those things. They never consider how to water or supply the brothers and sisters in putting down a foundation on the true way, and they certainly do not consider how the life entry of the brothers and sisters is going, how the brothers and sisters are performing their duties, whether that be spreading the gospel or other kinds of duties, or whether they can act according to the principles, and they’ve never cared about how to bring the brothers and sisters before God. They do not care about those things. Aren’t all these facts laid out right in front of your eyes? Aren’t these the manifestations you can often see in antichrists? Aren’t these facts sufficient proof that these people hate the truth? (Yes.) At all times, the only things that an antichrist cares about are status, fame, and prestige. Say that you put an antichrist in charge of the church life, to enable the brothers and sisters to live a proper church life, and to help them to come to understand the truth and lay down their foundations while living the church life, to possess true belief in God, to come before God, and to gain the ability to live independently, and the faith to perform their duties. That way, the gospel expansion work of God’s house would have some backup forces, and more talented gospel workers could be constantly provided to fulfill their duties in the expansion of the gospel. Is that how the antichrist would think? They absolutely wouldn’t think in this way. They would say: “What does the church life matter? If everyone lives the church life wholeheartedly, and reads God’s words, and if they all understand the truth, who will listen to my orders? Who will care about me? Who will pay attention to me? I can’t let everyone focus on the church life all the time or become obsessed with it. If everybody is always reading God’s words, and if everyone has come before God, who will be left around me?” Isn’t this the attitude of an antichrist? (Yes.) They think that if they focus on supplying the brothers and sisters in gaining the truth and life, this would be detrimental to their pursuit of prestige, profit, and status. They think to themselves: “If I spend all of my time doing things for the brothers and sisters, will I still have time to pursue prestige, profit, and status? If the brothers and sisters all praise God’s name and follow God, there’ll be no one left to obey me. That would be so awkward for me!” This is the face of an antichrist. Antichrists do not simply fail to pursue the truth; they are extremely sick of the truth. In their subjective consciousnesses, they do not say: “I hate the truth, I hate God, and I hate all work arrangements, statements, and practices that benefit the brothers and sisters.” They won’t say this. They just use some approaches and behaviors to resist the work arrangements of God’s house. So, the essence of these approaches and behaviors is doing things their own way, and making other people all heed and submit to them. Consequently, no matter what the house of God does, they will not respect it. Isn’t this the case? (It is.) We have fellowshiped on these manifestations of antichrists quite a lot in the past. You are small in stature, and your understanding of the truth is shallow; antichrists have done so much evil right in front of your eyes, and yet you have failed to discern this. You are foolish and pitiful, numb and dull-witted, impoverished and blind. These are your true manifestations and your true stature. Antichrists cause so much trouble, and cause such great losses to the work of God’s house, and there are still people saying that they should be used to render service. It has caused more harm than good to use them, and yet you do not know to dismiss or handle them—how many years will it take for this stature and these ideas of yours to change? Some people always boast, “I am a person who pursues the truth,” but they cannot discern antichrists when they encounter them, and may even follow those antichrists—where are the manifestations of their pursuit of the truth? They’ve listened to so many sermons, but they still lack discernment. Alright, I’ll finish our fellowship on this subject here, next we’ll speak about our main topic.
At our last gathering, we fellowshiped on content relating to parental expectations within “letting go of the burdens that come from one’s family.” We have finished fellowshiping on the relevant principles and major topics involved in this. Next, we will fellowship on another aspect of letting go of the burdens that come from one’s family—letting go of expectations for one’s offspring. This time we’ll change roles. Regarding the content that involves approaching parental expectations, these are some things that people ought to do from the perspective of a child. When it comes to how children should approach and handle the various expectations that their parents have for them, and the various approaches that their parents use on them, and what principles they should practice, this is about correctly approaching the different problems that come from parents from the perspective of a child. Today, we will fellowship on the topic of “letting go of expectations for one’s offspring,” which is about handling the various problems that people have regarding their children from the perspective of a parent. There are lessons that should be learned and principles that should be observed here. As a child, what matters most is how you should face your parents’ expectations, what sort of attitude you should adopt toward these expectations, as well as what way you should follow, and what principles of practice you ought to possess in this situation. Naturally, every person has the chance to be a parent, or they may be a parent already; this touches on the expectations and attitudes that people have toward their offspring. Whether you are the parent or the child, you ought to possess different principles for dealing with the expectations of the other side. Children have principles that they ought to observe when it comes to approaching their parents’ expectations, and naturally, parents also have truth principles that they ought to observe for approaching the expectations of their children. So first have a think, what principles can you see or think of now that parents ought to observe in their treatment of their children? If we speak about principles, this might be a bit distant for you, and the topic might be a bit too broad and deep, so instead let’s talk about what expectations you would have for your offspring if you were a parent. (God, if I were to become a parent one day, first of all, I would hope that my children would be healthy, and could grow up healthy. Furthermore, I’d hope that they could have their own dreams, and that they’d be ambitious about fulfilling their dreams in life, that they’d have good prospects. These are the two main things I’d hope for.) Would you hope that your children would become high-ranking officials or that they’d become very wealthy? (I’d hope for those things too. I’d hope that they could, at least, get ahead in the world, be better than other people, and be looked up to by others.) The most basic requirements that parents have for their children are that they will be physically healthy, that they’ll be successful in their careers, move up in the world, and have everything go well in their lives. Are there any different expectations that parents have for their offspring? Whoever has children, speak up. (I hope that my children will be healthy, and that things will go smoothly in their lives, and that their lives will be peaceful and safe. I hope they will be in harmony with their family, and that they can respect the old and care for the young.) Anything else? (If I were to become a parent one day, aside from the expectations that have just been spoken about, I’d also hope that my children would be obedient and sensible, that they’d show filial piety to me, and that I could count on them to take care of me in my old age.) This expectation is quite crucial. Parents hoping that their children will show filial piety to them is a relatively traditional expectation that people have in their notions and subconscious. This is a fairly representative matter.
Letting go of expectations for one’s offspring is a very important part of letting go of the burdens that come from one’s family. All parents place certain expectations on their children. Whether they be great or small, near or distant, these expectations are an attitude that parents have toward their children’s comportment, actions, lives, or how their children approach them. They are also a kind of specific requirement. These specific requirements are, from the perspective of their children, things that they ought to do, because, based on traditional notions, children cannot go against the orders of their parents—if they do, then they are unfilial. Consequently, many people carry great and heavy burdens regarding this matter. So, shouldn’t people understand whether the specific expectations that parents have for their offspring are reasonable or not, and whether their parents ought to have these expectations or not, as well as which of these expectations are reasonable, which are unreasonable, which are legitimate, and which are forced and illegitimate? Furthermore, there are truth principles that people ought to understand and observe when it comes to how they should approach parental expectations, how they should accept or reject them, and the attitude and perspective from which they should view and approach these expectations. When these things have not been resolved, parents often shoulder these kinds of burdens, thinking that it is their responsibility and obligation to have expectations for their children and offspring, and, naturally, that they are even more things that they ought to possess. They think that if they had no expectations for their offspring, it would be the same as not fulfilling their responsibilities or obligations to their offspring, and equivalent to not doing what parents ought to do. They think that this would make them bad parents, parents who do not fulfill their responsibilities. Therefore, when it comes to the matter of the expectations they have for their offspring, people involuntarily generate various requirements for their children. They have different requirements for different children at different times and under different circumstances. Since they have this kind of view and burden when it comes to their children, parents go and do the things that they ought to do according to these unwritten rules, no matter whether they are right or wrong. Parents make demands of their children while treating these approaches as a kind of obligation, and as a kind of responsibility, and at the same time, they force them upon their children, making their children achieve them. We will separate this matter into several stages in our fellowship; it will be clearer that way.
Before their children reach adulthood, parents already put forward various requirements for them. Of course, within these various requirements, they also pin various kinds of expectations on them. So, while parents are pinning different expectations on their children, they personally pay various prices and produce various kinds of approaches in order to realize these expectations. Therefore, before children reach adulthood, parents educate them in various ways, and have various requirements for them. For example, from a very young age, they tell their children: “You need to study well and study more. You will only be better than everyone else and not be looked down on by others after you’ve done well in your studies.” There are also parents who teach their children that they need to show them filial piety after they grow up, to the extent that, when their children are just two or three years old, they always ask them: “Will you take care of your dad after you grow up?” And their children say: “Yes.” They ask: “Will you take care of your mom?” “Yes.” “Do you love your dad more or your mom?” “I love my dad.” “No, you have to say that you love your mom first, then say that you love your dad.” Their children then learn these things from their parents. The education of their parents, whether by words or by example, has a deep influence on children’s young minds. Of course, it also imparts a certain amount of basic knowledge on them, teaching them that their parents are the people who love and adore them most in the world, and the people to whom they most ought to show obedience and filial piety. Naturally, the idea that “Since my parents are the people closest to me in the world, I should always obey them” is planted in their young minds. At the same time, an idea arises in their young minds, which is that since their parents are the people closest to them, then everything their parents do must be to ensure that their children can live better lives. Consequently, they think that they should unconditionally accept the actions of their parents; no matter what kind of methods are used by them, no matter whether they are humane or inhumane, they believe that they ought to accept them. At an age where they still do not have any ability to discern between right and wrong, the education of their parents, through words or through example, plants this kind of idea within them. Under the direction of this kind of idea, parents can demand that their children do various things, under the guise of wanting the best for them. Even though some of those things are not in line with humanity, or their children’s talents, caliber, or preferences, under these circumstances, where children have no right to act on their own initiative or any of their own autonomy, they have no choice and no ability to resist regarding their parents’ so-called expectations and demands. All they can do is obey their parents’ every word, let their parents have their way, put themselves at their parents’ mercy, and be steered by their parents onto any kind of path. Therefore, before their children reach adulthood, everything that parents do, whether unintentional or stemming from good intentions, will have a bit of a positive or negative impact on their children’s comportment and actions. That is, everything they do will plant various ideas and views within their children, and these ideas and views may even be buried deep in their children’s subconscious, so that after they become adults, these ideas and views will still deeply influence how they view people and things, comport themselves and act, and even the paths that they walk.
Before they reach adulthood, children have no means of resistance against the living environments, inheritance, or education that their parents pass on to them, because they are not yet adults, and they do not understand things very well yet. When I speak of the period before a child reaches adulthood, I am referring to when a child cannot think or judge right from wrong independently. Under these circumstances, children can only put themselves at the mercy of their parents. It is exactly because parents call the shots about everything before their children reach adulthood, that parents will, during this evil era, adopt corresponding methods of education, ideas, and views based on social trends, to incite their children to do certain things. For example, competition in society right now is very fierce. Parents have been influenced by the climate of various societal trends and consensuses, so they accept this message that competition is fierce, and quickly pass it on to their children. What they accept is the phenomenon and trend of competition in society being very fierce, but what they feel is a kind of pressure. When they feel this pressure, they quickly think of their children, saying: “Competition is so fierce in society right now, it wasn’t like this when we were young. If our children study, work, and approach society, and various people and things in the same way that we did, they will be swiftly cast out of society. So, we need to take advantage of the fact that they are still young, we need to start working on them now—we cannot let our children lose at the starting line.” Right now, competition in society is fierce, and people all pin great hopes on their children, so they quickly pass this kind of pressure that they accepted from society onto their children. Now, are their children aware of this? Because they are not yet adults, they are not aware of this at all. They do not know whether this pressure that comes from their parents is right or wrong, or whether they should reject it or accept it. When parents see their children acting like this, they rebuke them: “How could you be so stupid? Competition is so fierce in society right now, and you still don’t understand anything. Hurry up and go to kindergarten!” At what age do children go to kindergarten? Some of them start at three or four years old. Why is this? In society right now, a phrase is being circulated: You can’t let your children lose at the starting line, education should begin from a very early age. See, very young children suffer, and begin kindergarten at three or four years old. And what kind of kindergarten do people choose? In ordinary kindergartens, teachers often play games like “The Eagle and the Chickens” with children, so parents think that they can’t choose kindergartens like that. They believe that they have to choose a fancy, bilingual kindergarten. And, to them, learning just one language isn’t enough. When children still don’t speak their mother tongue well, they have to learn a second language. Isn’t this making things difficult for children? But what do parents say? “We can’t let our child lose at the starting line. Right now, there are one-year-olds being taught by nannies at home. The children’s parents speak their mother tongue, and the nannies speak a second language, teaching the children English, Spanish, or Portuguese. Our child is already four, they’re already a bit too old. If we don’t start teaching them now, it’ll be too late. We have to start educating them as early as possible, and find a kindergarten that teaches in two languages, where the teachers have bachelor’s and master’s degrees.” People say: “That kind of school is too expensive.” They respond: “It’s fine. We have a big house; we can move into a smaller one. We’ll sell our three-bedroom house and swap it for a two-bedroom. We’ll save that money and use it to send our child to a fancy kindergarten.” Choosing a good kindergarten is not enough, they think that they have to get tutors to help their children study for the Mathematical Olympiad in their spare time. Even if their children innately dislike studying for it, they still have to do it, and if they fail at studying it, then they’ll study dance. If they’re no good at dance, they’ll learn to sing. If they’re no good at singing, and their parents see that they have a good frame, and long arms and legs, then they’ll think perhaps they can become a model. Then they’ll send them to art school to study modeling. In this way, children begin to be sent to boarding schools at the age of four or five, and their families’ homes go from three-bedroom houses to two-bedroom houses, from two-bedroom houses to one-bedroom houses, from one-bedroom houses to rented houses. The tutoring sessions that their children attend outside of school grow increasingly in number, and their homes become progressively smaller. There are even some parents who move their whole families to the south, to the north, moving back and forth, so that their children can go to good schools, and in the end, they no longer know where to go, their children do not know where their hometowns are, and it’s all a big mess. Parents pay various prices before their children have reached adulthood for the sake of their children’s futures, so that their children won’t lose at the starting line, and so that their children can adapt to this increasingly competitive society, and have a good job and a stable income later on. Some parents are very capable, they run big businesses or serve as high-ranking officials, and they make high, enormous investments in their children. Some parents are not that capable, but just like other people, they want to send their children to fancy schools, various after-school classes, dance classes, art classes, to study different languages and music, putting a lot of pressure and pain on their children. Their children then think: “When will I be allowed to play a little? When will I grow up and be able to call the shots like adults do? When will I not have to go to school anymore, like an adult? When will I be able to watch a bit of TV, let my mind go black, and go for a walk somewhere by myself, without being led around by my parents?” But their parents often say: “If you don’t study, you’ll have to beg for food in the future. Look at how little promise you have! It’s not time for you to play yet, you can play when you’re older! If you play now, you won’t be successful in the future; if you play later, you can have more and better fun, you can travel the world. Haven’t you seen all those wealthy people in the world—did they play when they were young? They just studied.” Their parents just lie to them. Did their parents see with their own eyes that those wealthy people only studied and never played? Do they understand this matter? Some of the rich and wealthiest people in the world didn’t go to university—that is a fact. Sometimes when parents speak, they are just tricking their children. Before their children reach adulthood, parents tell all kinds of lies in order to get a better hold on their futures, and control their children and make them obey. Of course, they also endure all kinds of suffering, and pay all kinds of prices for this. This is the so-called “praiseworthy love of a parent.”
In order to realize their expectations for their offspring, parents pin many hopes on their children. Consequently, they do not only educate, guide, and influence their children with their words, at the same time, they also use concrete actions to regulate their children, and to make their children obey them, act and live according to the trajectory that they have designated and the direction that they have established. Regardless of whether or not their children are willing to do this, ultimately parents just say one thing: “If you don’t listen to me, you’ll regret it! If you don’t obey me or take your studies seriously now, and you regret it one day, don’t come to me, don’t say that I didn’t tell you so!” One time, we went to a building to conduct some affairs, and saw a few movers expending a lot of effort to move some furniture up the stairs. They were faced with a mother who was leading her son down the stairs. If a normal person saw this scene, they would say: “There are people moving furniture, let’s get out of their way.” The people going downstairs would have to hurry to get out of the way, without bumping into something, or bothering the movers. But when the mother saw this scene, she took the opportunity to start practicing some situational teaching. I can still remember what she said very clearly. What did she say? She said: “Look how heavy the things they’re moving are, and how tiring it is. They didn’t take their studies seriously when they were children, and now they can’t find good jobs, so they have to move furniture and work very hard. Do you see this?” The son seemed to partially understand, and believed that what his mother said was correct. A sincere expression of fear, horror, and belief appeared in his eyes, and he nodded his head, looking again at the movers. The mother took advantage of this opportunity to hurry and lecture her son, telling him: “Do you see? If you don’t take your studies seriously when you’re young, then when you grow up, you’ll have to move furniture and work very hard like this in order to make a living.” Were these statements right? (No.) In what way were they wrong? This mother took any opportunity to lecture her son—what do you think her son’s mindset was after hearing this? Was he able to discern whether these statements were right or wrong? (No.) So, what did he think? (“If I don’t take my studies seriously, I’ll have to work very hard like this in the future.”) He thought: “Oh no, all the people who have to work really hard didn’t take their studies seriously. I must listen to my mom, and do well in my studies. My mom is right, everyone who doesn’t study has to work very hard.” The ideas he receives from his mother become life-long truths in his heart. Tell Me, isn’t this parent foolish? (Yes, she is.) In what way is she foolish? If she uses this matter to compel her son to study, will her son definitely amount to something? Will it guarantee that he won’t need to work very hard or sweat in the future? Is it a good thing for her to use this matter, this scene, to scare her son? (It’s a bad thing.) It will cast a lifelong shadow over her son. This is not a good thing. Even if this child gains a bit of discernment about these words after he grows up, it will still be hard to remove this theory which his mother expressed from his heart and from his subconscious. To a certain degree, it will mislead and bind his thoughts, and orientate his views on things. Most of the expectations that parents have for their children before they become adults are that they will be able to study a lot, try hard, be diligent, and not fall short of their expectations. Therefore, before their children become adults, no matter what the cost, parents do everything for their children, they sacrifice their own youth, years, and time, as well as their own health and their normal lives, and some parents even give up their own jobs, their old aspirations, or even their own faith, in order to train their children and help them study while they are attending school. In the church, there are quite a few people who spend all of their time with their children, training them, so that they can be by their sides as they grow into adults, so that their children can be successful in their careers and have stable jobs in the future, and so that things will go smoothly in their children’s work. These parents do not go to gatherings or perform duties. They have certain demands regarding their own faith in their hearts, and they possess a little bit of resolve and aspiration, but because they cannot let go of their expectations for their children, they choose to accompany them during this period before they reach adulthood, abandoning their own duties as created beings, and their own pursuits regarding their faith. This is the most tragic thing. Some parents pay many prices in order to train their children to become actors, artists, writers, or scientists, and to enable their children to satisfy their expectations. They leave their jobs, abandon their careers, and even more so, they abandon their own dreams and enjoyment in order to accompany their children. There are even parents who give up their married lives for their children. After they get divorced, they take on the heavy burden of raising and training their children alone, betting their lives on their children, and dedicating them to their children’s futures, just so that they can realize their expectations for their children. There are also some parents who do many things that they shouldn’t do, who pay many unnecessary prices, sacrifice their own time, physical health, and pursuits before their children reach adulthood, so that their children can get ahead in the world in the future, and establish themselves in society. In one respect, for the parents, these are some needless sacrifices. In another respect, for their children, these approaches place a huge pressure and burden on them before they reach adulthood. This is because their parents have paid too many prices, because, whether in terms of money, time, or energy, their parents have expended too much. However, before these children reach adulthood, and while they still lack the ability to discern right from wrong, they have no choice; they can only let their parents act like this. Even if they have some thoughts in the depths of their minds, they still comply with their parents’ actions. Under these circumstances, children imperceptibly start to think that their parents have paid such great prices to train them, and that they will not be able to completely repay or recompense their parents in this life. As a result, during the time that their parents are training and accompanying them, they think that the only things they can do, the only things they can carry out in order to repay their parents, are to make their parents happy, to achieve great things to satisfy them, and to not disappoint them. As for parents, during this time before their children reach adulthood, after they have paid these prices, and as their expectations for their children grow greater and greater, their mindset gradually turns into a demand of their children. That is, after parents have paid these so-called prices and made these so-called expenditures, they demand that their children must succeed, and achieve great things to repay them. Therefore, regardless of whether we are looking at this from the perspective of a parent or a child, within this relationship of “expending for” and “being expended for,” the expectations that parents have for their children grow higher and higher. “Their expectations grow higher and higher” is a nice way of saying this. Actually, in the depths of parents’ hearts, the more they expend and sacrifice, the more they think that their children should repay them with success, and at the same time, the more they think that their children are indebted to them. The more parents expend, and the more hopes they have, the higher their expectations become, and the bigger their expectations about their children repaying them grow. The expectations that parents have for their offspring before they reach adulthood, from “They need to learn lots of things, they can’t lose at the starting line” to “After they grow up, they need to get ahead in the world, and establish themselves in society,” gradually become a kind of demand that they make of their children. That demand is: After you grow up and establish yourself in society, don’t forget your roots, don’t forget your parents, your parents are the people you need to repay first, you must show them filial piety, and help them to live a good life, because they are your benefactors in this world, they are the people who trained you; you being established in society now, as well as everything that you enjoy, and everything that you possess, was bought with the painstaking efforts of your parents, so you should use the rest of your life to repay them, recompense them, and be good to them. The expectations that parents have for their children before they reach adulthood—that their children will establish themselves in society and get ahead in the world—evolve into this, gradually turning from a very normal parental expectation into a kind of demand and solicitation that parents make of their children. Suppose that in the period before they reach adulthood, their children don’t get good grades; say that they rebel, that they don’t want to study or obey their parents, and they disobey them. Their parents will say: “Do you think that I have it easy? Who do you think I’m doing all this for? I’m doing this for your own good, aren’t I? Everything I do is for you, and you don’t appreciate it. Are you stupid?” They will use these words to intimidate their children and hold them hostage. Is this kind of approach right? (No.) It’s not right. This “noble” part of parents is also the despicable part of parents. What exactly is wrong with these words? (Parents having expectations for their children and training their children are one-sided endeavors. They impose certain pressure on their children, making them study this and that, so that their children will have good prospects, put a feather in their parents’ caps, and show them filial piety in the future. In reality, everything that parents do is for themselves.) If we set aside the fact that parents are self-serving and selfish, and just talk about the ideas that they indoctrinate their children with before they reach adulthood, and the pressure that they pass down to them, demanding that their children study such-and-such subject, that they engage in such-and-such career after they grow up, and attain such-and-such success—what is the nature of these approaches? For now, we will not assess why parents are doing these things, or whether these approaches are appropriate or not. We will first fellowship on and analyze the nature of these approaches, and find a more accurate path of practice based on our analysis of their essence. If we fellowship on and come to understand this aspect of the truth from that perspective, it will be accurate.
First of all, are these requirements and approaches that parents have regarding their children right or wrong? (They are wrong.) So, ultimately, where does the main culprit stem from when it comes to these approaches that parents use on their children? Isn’t it the parents’ expectations for their children? (Yes.) Within the subjective consciousness of parents, they envisage, plan, and determine various things about their children’s futures, and as a result, they produce these expectations. Under the instigation of these expectations, parents demand that their children study various skills, that they study theatre and dance, or art, and so on. They demand that their children become talented individuals, and that they are thereafter superiors, and not subordinates. They demand that their children become high-ranking officials, and not foot soldiers; they demand that their children become managers, CEOs, and executives, working for the top global 500 companies, and so on. These are all the subjective ideas of parents. Now do children have any concept of the content of their parents’ expectations before they reach adulthood? (No.) They do not have any concept of these things at all, they do not understand them. What do little children understand? They only understand going to school to learn to read, studying hard, and being good, well-behaved children. This itself is quite good. Going to school to attend classes according to their prescribed schedules, and going home to finish their homework—these are the things that children understand, the rest is just playing, food, fantasies, dreams, and so on. Before they reach adulthood, children have no concept at all of the unknown things on their life paths, and they do not envision anything about them either. All of the things that are envisioned or determined about the time after these children reach adulthood come from their parents. Therefore, the erroneous expectations that parents have for their children have nothing to do with their children. Children only need to discern the essence of their parents’ expectations. What are these parental expectations based upon? Where do they come from? They come from society and the world. The point of all these parental expectations is to enable children to adapt to this world and society, to avoid being cast out by the world or by society, and to establish themselves in society, to get a secure job, a stable family, and a stable future, so parents have various subjective expectations for their offspring. For example, right now it is quite fashionable to be a computer engineer. Some people say: “My child is going to be a computer engineer in the future. They can earn a lot of money in this field, carrying around a computer all day, doing computer engineering. This will make me look good too!” In these circumstances, where children have no concept of anything at all, their parents lay down their futures. Isn’t this wrong? (It is.) Their parents are pinning hopes on their children entirely on the basis of an adult’s way of looking at things, as well as an adult’s views, perspectives, and preferences about matters of the world. Isn’t this subjective? (Yes.) If you were to put it nicely, you could say that it is subjective, but what is it really? What is another interpretation of this subjectivity? Is it not selfishness? Isn’t it coercion? (It is.) You like this or that job and such-and-such career, you enjoy being established, living a glamorous life, serving as an official, or being wealthy in society, so you make your children do those things too, be that kind of person too, and walk that kind of path—but will they enjoy living in that environment and engaging in that work in the future? Are they suited to it? What are their destinies? What are God’s arrangements and rulings regarding them? Do you know these things? Some people say: “I don’t care about those things, what matters are the things that I, as their parent, like. I’ll pin hopes on them based on my own preferences.” Isn’t that so selfish? (It is.) It is so selfish! To put it nicely, it’s very subjective, it’s calling all of the shots themselves, but what is it, in reality? It is very selfish! These parents don’t consider their children’s caliber or talents, they don’t care about the arrangements that God has for each person’s destiny and life. They don’t consider these things, they just force their own preferences, intentions, and plans onto their children through wishful thinking. Some people say: “I have to force these things onto my child. They’re too young to understand them, and by the time they do, it’ll be too late.” Is that the case? (No.) If it really is too late, then that’s their fate, it’s not the responsibility of their parents. If you force the things that you understand onto your children, will they understand them quicker just because you understand them? (No.) There is no relationship between how parents educate their children and when those children come to understand matters like what kind of life path to choose, what kind of career to choose, and what their lives will be like. They have their own paths, their own pace, and their own laws. Think about it, when children are small, no matter how their parents educate them, their knowledge of society is a total blank. They will feel the competitiveness, complexity, and darkness of society, and the various unfair things in society, when their humanity matures. This is not something that parents can teach their children from a young age. Even if parents teach their children from a young age, “You must hold something back when interacting with people,” they will only take it as a kind of doctrine. When they are truly able to act based on their parents’ advice, they will truly understand it. When they do not understand their parents’ advice, no matter how their parents try to teach them, it will still just be a kind of doctrine to them. Therefore, is the idea that parents have, that, “The world is so competitive, and people live under a great deal of pressure; if I don’t start teaching my children from a very young age, they will endure suffering and pain in the future,” tenable? (No.) You are making your children shoulder that pressure early on so that they might suffer less in the future, and they have to bear that pressure starting at an age where they still don’t understand anything—in doing this, are you not harming your children? Are you really doing this for their own good? It is better that they do not understand these things, then they can live a few years in a comfortable, happy, pure, and simple way. If they were to understand those things early, would that be a blessing or a misfortune? (It would be a misfortune.) Yes, it would be a misfortune.
What people should do in each age-group is based on their age and the maturity of their humanity, not the education they receive from their parents. Before they reach adulthood, children should just play, learn a bit of simple knowledge and receive a bit of basic schooling, learn different things, learn how to interact with other children and how to get along with adults, and learn how to deal with some things around them that they do not understand. Before people reach adulthood, they should do non-adult things. They shouldn’t bear any of the pressure, game rules, or complicated things that adults ought to bear. Such things cause psychological harm to people who haven’t reached adulthood, and they are not blessings. The earlier people learn about these adult matters, the bigger blow it deals to their young minds. Not only will these things not help people at all in their lives or existences after they reach adulthood; on the contrary, because they learn about or encounter these things too early, they turn into a kind of burden or cast an invisible shadow on their young minds, to the extent that they might haunt them all their lives. Think about it, when people are very young, if they hear about something horrible, something that they cannot accept, an adult thing that they could never imagine or understand, then that scene or that matter, or even the people, things, and words involved in it, will follow them for their whole lives. This will cast a kind of shadow on them, impacting their personalities, and their methods for conducting themselves in life. For example, children are all a bit naughty at the age of six or seven. Say that a child gets scolded by their teacher during class for whispering to a classmate, and the teacher doesn’t just scold them in a matter-of-fact way, but attacks them personally, scolding them for having a face like a ferret, and eyes like a rat, even scolding them by saying: “Look at how little promise you have. You’re going to be unsuccessful for your whole life! If you don’t study hard, then you’ll just be a laborer. In the future you’ll have to beg for food! You look just like a thief; you have the makings of a thief!” Though the child doesn’t understand these words, and doesn’t know why their teacher would say these things, or whether these things are true or not, these words of personal attack will become a kind of invisible, evil force within their heart, piercing their self-esteem, and hurting them. “You have a face like a ferret, and eyes like a rat, and a tiny head!”—these words of personal attack spoken by their teacher will follow them for their whole life. When they choose a career, when they face their superiors and their co-workers, and when they face the brothers and sisters, those words of personal attack spoken by their teacher will burst forth from time to time, affecting their emotions, and their life. Of course, some of the improper expectations that your parents have for you, and some of the emotions, messages, words, thoughts, views, and so on that they passed on to you, have also cast a shadow over your young mind. From the perspective of your parents’ subjective consciousness, they do not have any bad intentions, but because of their ignorance, because they are corrupted humans, and they do not have proper methods that are in line with the principles for how to treat you, they can only follow the trends of the world in how they treat you, and the ultimate result of this is that they pass various negative messages and emotions onto you. Under circumstances where you lack any discernment, everything your parents say, and all of the mistaken ideas that your parents indoctrinate and promote in you, become dominant in you because you are exposed to them first. They become the goal of your lifelong pursuit and struggle. Although the various expectations that your parents put forth for you before you reach adulthood are a kind of blow and devastation for your young mind, you still live under the expectations of your parents, as well as under the various prices that they pay for you, understanding their will, and accepting and giving thanks for their various acts of kindness. After you accept the various prices they pay and the various sacrifices they make for you, you feel indebted to your parents and ashamed to face them in the depths of your heart, and you think that you have to repay them after you grow up. Repay what? Repay their unreasonable expectations for you? Repay the devastation they cause to you before you reach adulthood? Is this not confusing black and white? Actually, speaking about this from the root and essence of the matter, your parents’ expectations for you are just subjective, they are just wishful thinking. They are absolutely not things that a child should possess, practice, or live out, and they are not something that a child needs. In order to follow the trends of the world, to adapt to the world, to keep up with the progress of the world, your parents make you follow them, they make you bear this pressure as they do, and they make you accept and follow these evil trends. Therefore, under the ardent expectations of their parents, many children work hard studying various skills, various courses, and various kinds of knowledge. They go from trying to satisfy their parents’ expectations, to proactively pursuing the intended goals of their parents’ expectations. In other words, before they reach adulthood, people passively accept their parents’ expectations, and after they gradually come to be adults, they proactively accept the expectations of their parents’ subjective consciousness, and willingly accept this kind of pressure and this deception, control, and binding that comes from society. In sum, they gradually go from passive to active participants in this. In that way, their parents feel satisfied. The children also feel a sense of inner peace, and that they haven’t let down their parents, that they have finally given their parents what they want, and that they have grown up—not simply growing into an adult, but becoming talented individuals in the eyes of their parents, and living up to their parents’ expectations. Though these people succeed in becoming talented individuals in the eyes of their parents after they become adults, and on the surface, it seems as though the prices paid by their parents have been repaid, and that their parents’ expectations for them haven’t come to nothing, what is the reality? These children have succeeded in becoming the puppets of their parents, they have succeeded in owing their parents a great debt, they have succeeded in using the rest of their lives to realize their parents’ expectations, to put on a show for their parents, bringing credit and prestige to their parents, and they have succeeded in satisfying their parents, becoming their pride and joy. Wherever their parents go, they will mention their children: “My daughter is the manager of so-and-so company.” “My daughter is a designer for such-and-such famous brand.” “My daughter is at so-and-so level in this foreign language, she can speak it fluently, she’s a translator for such-and-such language.” “My daughter is a computer engineer.” These children have succeeded in becoming their parents’ pride and joy, and they have succeeded in becoming their parents’ shadows. This is because they will use the same methods to educate and train their own children. They think that their parents have succeeded in training them, so they will copy their parents’ methods of education to train their own children. In this way, their children have to bear the same misery, tragic suffering, and devastation from them as they did from their parents.
Everything that parents do to realize their expectations for their children before they reach adulthood is contrary to conscience, reason, and natural laws. Even more so, it is contrary to God’s ordination and sovereignty. Though children do not have the ability to discern between right and wrong, or to think independently, their fates are still under God’s sovereignty, they are not ruled over by their parents. Therefore, aside from having expectations for their children within their consciousness, foolish parents also carry out more actions, sacrifices, and price-paying in terms of their behavior, doing everything they want and are willing to do for their children, regardless of whether this is expending money, time, energy, or other things. Though parents do those things voluntarily, they are inhumane, and they are not the responsibilities that parents should fulfill; they have already exceeded the scope of their abilities and their proper responsibilities. Why do I say this? Because parents begin attempting to plan and control their children’s futures before they reach adulthood, and also try to determine their children’s futures. Isn’t that foolish? (Yes.) For example, say that God has ordained that a man will be an ordinary worker, and in this life, he will only be able to earn some basic wages to feed and clothe himself, but his parents insist on him becoming a celebrity, a wealthy person, a high official, planning and arranging things for his future before he reaches adulthood, paying various kinds of so-called prices, attempting to control his life and future. Isn’t that foolish? (It is.) Though their child gets quite good grades, goes to university, learns various skills after he reaches adulthood, and has some skills, when he ultimately goes to look for work, no matter how he searches, he still ends up being an ordinary worker. At most, he gets lucky and becomes a foreman, which is already good. Ultimately, he only earns a basic salary, and he is never able to earn the salary of a high official or a wealthy person like his parents have demanded. His parents always want him to rise up in the world, to earn a lot of money, to become a high official, so that they can bask in the light along with him. They never expected that, though he performed so well at school and was so obedient, though they paid so many prices for him, and though he attended university after he grew up, in this life he’d still be fated to be an ordinary worker. If they were able to anticipate this, they wouldn’t have tormented themselves so much at the time. But can parents avoid tormenting themselves? (No.) Parents sell their houses, their land, their family possessions, and some even sell a kidney so that their children can go to famous universities. When the child doesn’t agree with this, the mother says: “I have two kidneys. If I lose one, I’ll still have another. I’m already old, I only need one kidney.” What does her child feel after hearing this? “Even if it means that I won’t go to university, I can’t let you sell your kidney.” And the mother says: “You won’t go? You are a disobedient, unfilial child! Why am I selling my kidney? Isn’t it so that you can succeed in the future?” The child feels moved after hearing this, and thinks, “Mom can go ahead and sell her kidney then. I won’t let her down.” In the end, the mother really does it—she trades a kidney for her child’s future—and in the end, her child only becomes a worker, and does not end up succeeding. So, the mother sold a kidney, and all she got in exchange was a worker—is that appropriate? (No.) In the end, the mother sees this and says: “You’re just fated to be a worker. If I’d known that earlier, I wouldn’t have sold a kidney to send you to university. You could have just gone ahead and become a worker, right? What was the point of you attending university?” It’s too late! Who made her act so foolishly back then? Who made her enjoy the idea of her child becoming a high official and earning a lot of money? She was blinded by greed, she deserved this! She paid so many prices for her child, but does her child owe her anything? No. She paid those prices willingly, and she got what she deserved! Even if she’d sold two kidneys it would have been voluntary. To send their children to prestigious universities, some people sell their corneas, some people sell their blood, some people sacrifice everything they have and sell their family possessions, and is it worth it? It’s as though they think that selling a little blood or an organ can decide a person’s future and change their fate. Can it? (No.) People are so foolish! They are looking for fast returns, they are blinded by prestige and profit. They always think, “Well, this is just the way my life is,” so they pin their hopes on their children. Does that mean that their children’s fates will definitely be better than theirs? That their children will be able to rise up in the world? That they’ll be different? How could people be so foolish? Do they think that just because they have high expectations for their children, their children will definitely be superior to others and live up to their expectations? People’s fates are not decided by their parents, they are decided by God. Of course, no parent wishes to see their children become beggars. But even so, they don’t have to insist that their children rise up in the world and become high officials or prominent people in the upper class of society. What’s good about being in the upper class of society? What’s good about rising up in the world? Those are quagmires, they are not good things. Is it a good thing to become a celebrity, a great figure, a superman, or a person with position and status? Life is the most comfortable as an ordinary person. What’s wrong with living a slightly poorer, harder, tiring life, with slightly worse food and clothes? At the very least, one thing is guaranteed, since you do not live among the social trends of society’s upper class, you will, at least, sin less and do fewer things to resist God. As an ordinary person, you won’t face such great or frequent temptation. Though your life will be a bit tougher, at least you won’t be tired in your spirit. Think about it, as a worker, all you need to worry about is making sure that you can eat three meals a day. It’s different when you’re an official. You have to fight, and you won’t know when the day will come that your position is no longer secure. And that won’t be the end of it, the people you’ve offended will seek you out to settle scores, and you will be punished by them. Life is very tiring for celebrities, great people, and wealthy people. Wealthy people are always afraid that they won’t be so wealthy in the future, and that they won’t be able to go on if that happens. Celebrities always worry that their halos will disappear, and they always want to protect their halos, fearing that they will be cast out by this era and the trends. Their lives are so tiring! Parents never see through to these things, and always want to push their children into the heart of this struggle, sending them into these lion’s dens and quagmires. Do parents really have good intentions? If I say that they don’t have good intentions, you won’t be willing to hear it. If I say that your parents’ expectations affect you negatively in many ways, are you willing to acknowledge this? (Yes.) They harm you quite deeply, don’t they? Some of you aren’t willing to acknowledge this, you say: “My parents want what’s good for me.” You say that your parents want what’s good for you—well, where are those good things? Your parents want what’s good for you, but how many positive things have they enabled you to understand? Your parents want what’s good for you, but how many of your incorrect and undesirable thoughts and views have they corrected? (None.) So, can you see through to these things now? You can feel that parental expectations are unrealistic, right?
Through dissecting the essence of parents’ expectations for their children, we can see that these expectations are selfish, that they go against humanity, and that they furthermore have nothing to do with the responsibilities of parents. When parents impose various expectations and requirements on their children, they are not fulfilling their responsibilities. So, what are their “responsibilities”? The most basic responsibilities that parents ought to fulfill are teaching their children to speak, instructing them to be kindhearted and to not be bad people, and guiding them in a positive direction. These are their most basic responsibilities. In addition, they should assist their children in studying any kinds of knowledge, talents, and so on, that suit them, based on their ages, how much they can handle, and their caliber and interests. Slightly better parents will help their children understand that people are created by God and that God exists in this universe, leading their children to pray and read God’s words, telling them some stories from the Bible, and hoping that they will follow God and fulfill the duty of a created being after they grow up, rather than chasing worldly trends, getting trapped within various complicated interpersonal relationships, and being devastated by the various trends of this world and society. The responsibilities that parents ought to fulfill have nothing to do with their expectations. The responsibilities they should fulfill in their role as parents are to provide their children with positive guidance and appropriate assistance before they reach adulthood, as well as to promptly care for them in their fleshly lives with regard to food, clothing, housing, or at times when they fall ill. If their children become sick, parents should treat whatever illness needs to be treated; they should not neglect their children or tell them, “Keep going to school, keep studying—you can’t fall behind in your classes. If you fall too far behind, you won’t be able to catch up.” When their children need to rest, parents should let them rest; when their children are sick, parents must help them to recuperate. These are the responsibilities of parents. In one respect, they must care for the physical health of their children; in another respect, they must assist, educate, and aid their children in terms of their mental health. These are the responsibilities that parents ought to fulfill, rather than imposing any unrealistic expectations or requirements on their children. Parents must fulfill their responsibilities when it comes to both their children’s mental needs and the things that their children need in their physical lives. Parents shouldn’t let their children freeze in the winter, they should teach them some general life knowledge, like under what circumstances they’ll catch a cold, that they should eat warm foods, that their stomachs will hurt if they eat cold foods, and that they shouldn’t casually expose themselves to the wind or undress in draughty places when the weather is cold, helping them learn to take care of their own health. In addition, when some childish, immature ideas about their futures, or some extreme thoughts arise in their children’s young minds, parents must promptly provide them with correct guidance as soon as they discover this, rather than forcibly suppressing them; they should get their children to express and vent their ideas, so that the problem can truly be resolved. This is fulfilling their responsibilities. Fulfilling the responsibilities of a parent means, in one respect, caring for their children, and in another respect, directing and correcting their children, and giving them guidance regarding the correct thoughts and views. The responsibilities that parents should fulfill actually have nothing to do with their expectations for their offspring. You can hope that your children will be physically healthy and possess humanity, conscience, and reason after they grow up, or you can hope that your children will show you filial piety, but you shouldn’t hope that your children will become such-and-such kind of celebrity or great person after growing up, and even less should you frequently tell your children: “Look at how obedient Xiaoming from next door is!” Your children are your children—the responsibility you ought to fulfill is not to tell your children how great their neighbor Xiaoming is, or to get them to learn from their neighbor Xiaoming. This is not something that a parent should do. Every person is different. People differ in terms of their thoughts, views, interests, hobbies, caliber, personalities, and whether their humanity essence is good or vicious. Some people are born chatterboxes, while others are innately introverted, and won’t feel upset if they go an entire day without saying a single word. Therefore, if parents wish to fulfill their responsibilities, they should try to understand their children’s personalities, dispositions, interests, caliber, and the needs of their humanity, rather than turning their own adult pursuits of the world, prestige, and profit into expectations for their children, imposing these things of prestige, profit, and the world that come from society onto their children. Parents call these things by the pleasant-sounding name of “expectations for their children,” but in reality, that is not what they are. It is clear that they are trying to push their children into the fire pit and send them into the arms of the devil. If you really are an adequate parent, you should fulfill your responsibilities regarding your children’s physical and mental health, rather than imposing your will on them before they reach adulthood, forcing their young minds to bear things that they should not have to bear. If you really love and cherish them and you really want to fulfill your responsibilities to them, then you should take care of their physical bodies and make sure that they are physically healthy. Of course, some children are born frail and in poor health. If their parents really have the conditions to do so, they can give them some more nutritional supplements, or inquire with a traditional Chinese medicine doctor or a nutritionist, showing a little bit of extra care to these children. In addition, at each age before their children reach adulthood, from infancy and childhood to adolescence, parents should pay a bit more attention to changes in their children’s personalities and interests, and their needs with regard to their exploration of their humanity, showing them a bit more concern. They should also give their children some positive and humane guidance, assistance, and provision when it comes to their psychological changes and misconceptions, and some unknown things concerning the needs of their humanity, using the practical insight, experience, and lessons that they themselves gained by going through the same things. Parents should then help their children to grow up smoothly at each age, and to avoid taking roundabout paths or wrong turns, or veering to extremes. When their young, confused minds are hurt or suffer a blow, they should receive prompt treatment, as well as concern, affection, care, and guidance from their parents. These are the responsibilities that parents should fulfill. As for whatever plans their children have for their own futures, whether they wish to be teachers, artists, or officials, and so on, if their plans are reasonable, parents can encourage them, and give them a certain amount of help and assistance based on their own circumstances, education, caliber, humanity, their family circumstances, and so on. However, parents should not go beyond the scope of their own abilities, they should not sell their cars, their houses, their kidneys, or their blood. There is no need to do this, right? (Right.) They should just give their children a certain amount of help to the best of their abilities as parents. If their children say, “I want to go to college,” parents can say, “If you want to go to college, I’ll support you, and I won’t oppose you, but our family’s not very well off. From now on, I will have to save some money each day in order to pay for a year of your college tuition. If, when the time comes, I’ve saved enough, you can go to college. If I haven’t saved enough, you’ll have to find your own solution.” Parents should reach this kind of agreement with their children, agreeing and reaching a consensus together, and then resolving the problem of the needs their children have regarding their futures. Of course, if parents cannot realize the plans and intentions that their children have for their futures, they do not need to feel guilty, thinking: “I’ve let down my children, I’m not capable, and my children have had to suffer because of it. Other people’s children eat well, wear famous brands, and drive around in cars at college, and when they go home, they travel by plane. My children have to travel by train on the hard seats—I can’t even afford to send them in the sleeper cars. I’ve let my children down!” They do not need to feel guilty, these are their circumstances, and even if they sold a kidney, they wouldn’t be able to provide those things, so they should accept their fate. God orchestrated this kind of environment for them, so these parents do not need to feel guilty toward their children in any way, saying: “I’ve let you down. If you don’t show us filial piety in the future, I won’t complain. We’re incompetent, and we haven’t provided you with a good living environment.” There’s no need for them to say this. Parents just need to fulfill their responsibilities with clear consciences, doing everything they can, and enabling their children to be healthy in both body and mind. That’s enough. “Health” here just means parents doing their utmost to make sure their children have positive thoughts, as well as active, upward-facing, and optimistic thoughts and attitudes toward their daily lives and existences. When something upsets them, children should not throw tantrums, attempt suicide, cause trouble for their parents, or scold their parents for being incapable good-for-nothings who aren’t able to earn money, saying: “Look at other people’s parents. They drive nice cars, live in mansions, they go on luxury cruise ships, and take trips to Europe. Now look at us, we’ve never even left our hometown or taken the high-speed rail!” If they do throw tantrums like this, how should you respond? You should say: “You’re right, that’s how incompetent we are. You were born into this family, and you should accept your fate. If you’re capable, then you can earn money yourself in the future. Don’t be rude to us, and don’t demand that we do things for you. We have already fulfilled our responsibilities to you, and we don’t owe you anything. One day in the future, you’ll become a parent, and you’ll have to do this too.” When they have children of their own, they’ll learn that it’s not so easy for parents to earn money to support themselves and everyone in their family, both young and old. In sum, you should teach them some principles about how to comport themselves. If your children can accept it, you should fellowship with them on believing in God and walking the path of pursuing the truth to achieve salvation, as well as some of the correct thoughts and views that you have received from God. If your children are willing to accept God’s work and believe in God along with you, that’s even better. If your children don’t have this kind of need, then it’s enough for you to just fulfill your responsibilities to them; you don’t need to keep rambling on about or bringing up some words and doctrines concerning belief in God to preach to them. There is no need to do this. Even if your children don’t believe, as long as they support you, you can still be good friends, and talk about and discuss anything together. You should not become enemies, or feel resentment toward them. There is a blood tie between you, after all. If your children are willing to fulfill their responsibilities toward you, to show you filial piety, and to obey you, then you can maintain your family relationship with them, and interact with them normally. You do not need to constantly curse or scold your children because they have different opinions and views from yours regarding faith. There is no need to do that. You do not need to become hotheaded, or think that your children not believing in God is a huge matter, as if you’ve lost your life and soul. It’s not that serious. If they don’t believe, then naturally they have their own paths that they have chosen to walk. You also have a path that you should walk and a duty you should perform, and these things have nothing to do with your children. If your children don’t believe, you do not need to insist on it. It may be that the right time hasn’t come, or that God has simply not chosen them. If God has simply not chosen them, and you insist on forcing them to believe, then you are ignorant and disobedient. Of course, if God has chosen them, but the right time hasn’t arrived, and you demand that they believe now, it’ll be a little too soon. If God wishes to act, no person can escape His sovereignty. If God has arranged for your children to believe, then He can achieve this in a word or in a thought. If God hasn’t arranged for them to believe, they will not be moved, and if they are not moved, then no matter how much you talk, it will be of no use. If your children do not believe, you are not indebted to them; if your children do believe, this is not a credit to you. Isn’t that the case? (It is.) Regardless of whether you have common goals with your children regarding faith or if you are like-minded in this regard, in any case, you just need to fulfill your responsibilities to them. If you have fulfilled these responsibilities, this doesn’t mean that you have shown them a kindness, and if your children do not believe, this does not mean that you are indebted to them, because you have fulfilled your responsibilities, and that’s the end of that. Your relationship remains unchanged, and you can continue interacting with your children as you did before. When your children encounter difficulties, you should help them as much as you are able to. If you have the material conditions to help your children, you should; if you are able to correct your children’s thoughts and views on a psychological or mental level, and give them a certain amount of guidance and help, enabling them to emerge from their dilemmas, then that is quite good. In sum, what parents should do before their children reach adulthood is to fulfill the responsibilities of parents, learning about what their children want to do, and what their children’s interests and aspirations are. If their children want to kill people, to set fire to things, and to commit crimes, then their parents should seriously discipline them or even punish them. But if they are obedient children, and no different from any other ordinary children, and they behave themselves at school, doing whatever their parents tell them to, then their parents just need to fulfill their responsibilities to them. Aside from fulfilling their responsibilities, those so-called expectations, requirements, and thinking about their futures are all superfluous. Why do I say that they are superfluous? Every person’s fate is ordained by God, and it cannot be decided by their parents. Whatever expectations parents have for their children, it is impossible that they will all be realized in the future. These expectations cannot determine their children’s futures or their lives. No matter how great parents’ expectations for their children are, or how big the sacrifices or prices they offer up for those expectations are, all of it is in vain; these things cannot influence their children’s futures or lives. Therefore, parents shouldn’t do foolish things. They should not make needless sacrifices for their children before they reach adulthood, and naturally they shouldn’t feel so stressed about this. Raising children is about a parent learning while also gaining various kinds of experience by going through different environments, and then gradually enabling their children to reap benefits from them. That’s all parents need to do. As for children’s futures and future life paths, these things have nothing to do with their parents’ expectations. That is to say, your parents’ expectations cannot decide your future. It is not as if your parents having high expectations for you, or expecting great things from you means that you will be able to prosper and live well, and it is not as if your parents not having expectations for you means that you’ll become a beggar. There is no necessary relationship between these things. Tell Me, are these topics that I’ve fellowshiped on easy to understand? Is it easy for people to accomplish these things? Are they difficult? Parents just need to fulfill their responsibilities to their children, bring them up, and raise them into adults. They don’t need to raise their children into talented individuals. Is this easy to achieve? (It is.) This is an easy thing to do—you do not need to bear any responsibility for your children’s futures or lives, or develop any plans for them, or presuppose what kind of people they’ll become, what kind of lives they’ll have in the future, what social circles they’ll be found in later on, how their quality of life will be in this world in the future, or what kind of status they’ll have among people. You don’t have to presuppose or control these things; you just have to simply fulfill your responsibilities as a parent. It’s as easy as that. When your children reach school-age, you should find a school and enroll them there, pay for their tuition when it is needed, and pay for whatever they need in school. It’s enough to just fulfill these responsibilities. When it comes to what they eat and wear throughout the year, you just need to take care of their physical bodies based on the circumstances. Don’t allow an uncured illness to remain within them during the period before they reach adulthood, when they don’t understand how to care for their own bodies. Promptly correct their flaws and bad habits, help them to develop good life habits, and then counsel and guide their minds, and ensure that they do not veer to extremes. If they like some evil things in the world, but you can see that they are good children, and that they have just been influenced by the evil trends of the world, you should promptly correct them, and help them to fix their flaws and bad habits. These are the responsibilities that parents ought to fulfill and the functions that they ought to serve. Parents should not push their children toward the trends of society, and they should not make their children bear various kinds of pressure too early on, that only adults need to bear, when they still haven’t reached adulthood. Parents should not do these things. These are such simple things to achieve, but some people cannot accomplish them. Because those people cannot let go of their pursuit of worldly prestige and profit, or the world’s evil trends, and because they are afraid of being cast out by the world, before their children reach adulthood, they make them assimilate into society very early and adapt to society very quickly on a mental level. If children have parents like these, they’re out of luck. No matter the methods or pretexts by which their parents love, cherish, and pay prices for them, for children of families like these, those are not necessarily good things—it could even be said that they are kinds of disasters. This is because, behind their parental expectations, what those parents bring upon their children’s young minds is devastation. Or, in other words, the expectations of those parents are not, in fact, really about their children having healthy minds and bodies, they are just expectations that their children will be able to establish themselves in society, and avoid being cast out by society. The aim of their expectations is for their children to live the good life, or to be superior to other people, to avoid becoming beggars, to avoid being discriminated against or bullied by other people, and to assimilate into evil trends and evil groups of people. Are these good things? (No.) Therefore, you do not need to take these kinds of parental expectations to heart. If your parents once held these kinds of expectations for you, or if they paid many prices to realize their expectations for you, so you feel indebted to them, and intend to use your whole life to repay the prices they’ve paid for you—if you have this kind of idea and desire, you should let go of it today. You do not owe them anything, rather, it is your parents who have devastated and crippled you. Not only have they failed to fulfill their responsibilities as parents, on the contrary, they have hurt you, inflicted various injuries on your young mind, and left behind a wide range of negative memories and imprints. In short, parents like these are not good parents. If, before you reached adulthood, in the way they educated, impacted, and spoke to you, your parents were always hoping that you’d study hard, succeed, and not end up being a laborer, that you’d definitely have good prospects in the future, become their pride and joy, and bring honor and glory to them, then as of today, you ought to make a break from their so-called kindnesses, and you no longer need to take them to heart. Isn’t that right? (Yes.) These are the expectations that parents have for their offspring before they reach adulthood.
The nature of parents’ expectations for their children remains the same after their children become adults. Though their adult children can think independently, and communicate, speak, and discuss things with them from the status and perspective of an adult, parents still harbor the same expectations for their children from the perspective of a parent. Their expectations turn from expectations for a child who has not reached adulthood to expectations for an adult. Though parental expectations for adults differ from those for children who haven’t reached adulthood, as ordinary, corrupt people, and members of society and the world, parents still harbor the same kinds of expectations for their children. They hope that things will go smoothly for their children at work, that they’ll have happy marriages and perfect families, receive salary increases and promotions, gain the recognition of their bosses, and that everything will go particularly well for them in their jobs, without them encountering any difficulties. What’s the use of these expectations? (They’re useless.) They’re useless, they’re redundant. Parents think that they can read your mind because they brought you up and supported you, and consequently they believe that they know everything about what you’re thinking, what you want, and what your personality is like, even though you’re an adult now. And even though you’re an independent adult, and you can make money to support yourself, they feel that they can still control you, and that they still have a right to speak, get involved, decide, interfere, or even dominate when it comes to anything about you. That is, they think that they can have the final say. For example, when it comes to marriage, if you are dating someone, your parents will immediately say: “That’s no good, she doesn’t have the same level of education as you, she’s not very good looking, and her family lives in the countryside. After you marry her, her relatives from the countryside will come in a big group, they won’t know how to use the bathroom, and they’ll make everything filthy. That definitely won’t be a good life for you. It’s no good, I don’t consent to you marrying her!” Is this not interfering? (Yes.) Isn’t it redundant and disgusting? (It’s redundant.) Sons and daughters still have to get their parents’ consent when they look for partners. Consequently, there are some children now who don’t even tell their parents that they’ve found partners, just to avoid their interference. When their parents ask, “Do you have a partner?” they just say, “No, it’s still early, I’m still young, there’s no rush,” but in fact they’ve had partners for two or three years already, they just haven’t told their parents about this. And why don’t they tell their parents about it? Because their parents want to interfere in everything; they’re very fussy, so they don’t tell them about their partners. When they’re ready to get married, they just bring their partners directly to their parents’ homes and ask, “Do you give your consent? I’m getting married tomorrow. This is how I’m handling this matter, whether you consent or not. If you withhold your consent, we’ll still go ahead and have children.” These parents interfere too much with their children, even interfering with their marriages. As long as the partners their children find are not what they hope for, if they don’t get along well with them, or if they don’t like them, they’ll try to break them up. If their children don’t agree to this, they’ll weep, make a fuss, and threaten to kill themselves, to the point that their children won’t know whether to cry or laugh—they won’t know what to do. There are also some sons and daughters who say they’re old and don’t want to get married, and their parents tell them: “That’s no good. I hoped that you’d grow up, get married, and have kids. I’ve seen you grow up, and now I want to see you get married and have kids. Then I can die in peace. If you don’t get married, I’ll never be able to fulfill this wish. I won’t be able to die, and if I do, I won’t die in peace. You must get married, hurry up and find a partner. It’s even alright if you just find a temporary partner, and let me have a look at them.” Isn’t this interfering? (It is.) When it comes to their adult children choosing marriage partners, parents can give suitable advice, they can prompt their children, or help to check their partners out, but they should not interfere, they should not help their children decide. Their children have their own feelings about whether they like their partners, whether they get along well, whether they have similar interests, and whether they will be happy together in the future. Parents do not necessarily know these things, and even if they do, they can only make suggestions, they must not flagrantly obstruct or seriously interfere with this. There are even some parents who say: “When my son or daughter finds a partner, they must be of equal social standing to my family. If they are not, and they have some motives regarding my son or daughter, then I won’t let them marry, I’ll have to disrupt their plans. If they want to enter my house, I won’t let them!” Is this expectation appropriate? Is it rational? (It’s not rational.) This is a significant matter in their children’s lives, it’s irrational for parents to interfere in it. But from these parents’ perspective, there is even more cause to interfere in the significant matters of their children’s lives. If their children casually find friends of the opposite sex to talk to, they won’t interfere, but if it has to do with the great matter of marriage, they’ll think that they must interfere. There are even parents who put a lot of effort into spying on their children, looking at which members of the opposite gender they have contact details and information for on their phones and computers, interfering and stalking their children, to the point that their children have no recourse, where they cannot fight, argue back, or evade this hurdle. Is this an appropriate way for a parent to act? (No.) If parents make their children feel sick of them, this is called being troublesome, isn’t it? What parents should do for their adult children is still to perform their responsibilities and obligations as parents, to help them in their future life paths, and to give them some reasonable and valuable advice, prompting, and admonishment, so that they can avoid being deceived at work or when they come into contact with various kinds of people, events, and things, and avoid taking roundabout paths, meeting with unnecessary trouble, or even getting sued. Parents should stand from the perspective of a person with experience, and give their children some useful and valuable advice and points of reference. As for whether their children listen to them or not, that’s their own business. What parents ought to do is just to fulfill their responsibilities. Parents cannot influence how much suffering their children will experience, how much pain they will endure, or how many blessings they will enjoy. If their children must endure some tribulations in this life, and they already teach them the things they need to be taught, but when something happens to them, they are still very willful, then they are supposed to suffer, that is their fate, and they do not need to blame themselves, isn’t that right? (Yes.) In some cases, people’s marriages don’t go well, they’re not on good terms with their spouses, and they decide to get divorced, and after they get divorced, there are disputes over who will raise their children. The parents of those people hoped that everything would go well for them at their jobs, that they’d have happy, blissful marriages, and that no rifts or problems would emerge, but in the end, nothing went the way they wanted it to. Consequently, these parents worry about their children, crying, complaining to their neighbors about it, and helping their sons or daughters to find lawyers to fight for custody of their own children. There are even some parents who see that their daughters have been wronged, and stand up to fight on their behalf, going to their husbands’ houses and shouting, “Why did you wrong my daughter like this? I’m not going to let this insult slide!” They even bring their extended families with them to vent anger on their daughters’ behalf, and this comes to blows. As a result, they cause a huge scene. If the whole family hadn’t come to make a fuss, and the tensions between the husband and wife had slowly defused, then after they had calmed down, they probably wouldn’t have gotten divorced. But, because these parents made a fuss, it turned into a huge thing; their broken marriage couldn’t be fixed, and a rift formed. In the end, they made so much of a fuss that their children’s marriages didn’t go smoothly, and these parents had to worry about this too. Tell Me, was this worth the trouble? What was the use of them getting involved in those things? Whether it has to do with their children’s marriages or work, parents all think that they have a great responsibility: “I have to get involved, I need to track and observe this matter closely.” They observe whether their children’s marriages are happy or not, whether there are any problems in terms of their affections, and whether their sons or sons-in-law are having affairs. Some parents meddle with, criticize, or even come up with schemes regarding various aspects of their children’s lives in order to satisfy an expectation they have for their children’s marriages or various other things, and this seriously impacts the normal order of their children’s lives and work. Aren’t parents like this detestable? (Yes.) There are even some parents who get involved in their children’s lifestyles and life habits, and when they have nothing to do, they go to their children’s houses to see how their daughters-in-law are doing, to check whether they’re secretly sending gifts or money to their own families, or if they’re hooking up with other men. Their children find these actions really repulsive and loathsome. If parents go on like this, their children will feel that it is loathsome and repulsive, so it is very clear that these actions are irrational. Of course, if we look at this from another perspective, these actions are also immoral and lacking in humanity. No matter what kind of expectations parents have for their children, after they reach adulthood parents should not get involved in their living or work circles, or their families, and even less should they try to interfere with or control the different aspects of their lives. There are even some parents who really love money, and they say to their children: “To make more money quickly, you’ll need to scale up your business. Look at so-and-so’s kid, they expanded their business—they turned their little shop into a big one, and they turned that big shop into a franchise, and now their parents get to eat and drink well along with them. You have to earn more money. Earn more money and open more shops, then we can bask in your glory together.” Regardless of their children’s difficulties or wishes, they just want to satisfy their own preferences and selfish desires; they just want to use their children to earn a lot of money in order to achieve their goal of enjoying fleshly pleasures. These are all things that parents shouldn’t do. These things are immoral and lacking in humanity, and such parents are not fulfilling their responsibilities. This is not the attitude that parents should have toward their adult children. Instead, these parents are taking advantage of their seniority, interfering with their adult children’s lives, work, marriages, and so on, under the guise of showing responsibility toward their children. Regardless of how capable one’s adult children are, what their caliber is like, what kind of status they have in society, or what their income may be, this is the fate that God has set for them—it is under God’s sovereignty. Parents should not interfere with what kind of lives their children live, unless they are not walking the right path, or they are breaking the law, in which case parents should discipline them strictly. But, under normal circumstances, where these adults are in their right minds, and have the ability to live and survive independently, their parents should back off, because their children are already adults. If their children have just become adults, and they are 20 or 21 years old, and they still don’t know about the various complex situations in society, or how to conduct themselves in life, and they don’t understand how to socialize, and they have poor survival skills, then these parents should give them some appropriate assistance, enabling them to gradually transition to the point where they can live independently. This is called fulfilling their responsibility. But as soon as they have put their children on the right track, and their children have the ability to survive independently, these parents should withdraw. They shouldn’t continue to treat their children as though they are not yet adults, or as though they are mentally deficient. They shouldn’t have any unrealistic expectations of their children, or interfere with their children’s private lives or their attitudes, viewpoints, and actions regarding work, family, marriage, people, and events, under the guise of having any expectations for them. If they do any of those things, they are not fulfilling their responsibilities.
When their sons and daughters are able to survive independently, what parents ought to do is simply to show them concern and the necessary care when it comes to their work, lives, and families, or to give them some appropriate assistance in situations where they cannot accomplish or take care of something using their own abilities. For example, say that your son or daughter has a baby, and both they and their spouse are very busy with work. The baby is still very little, and sometimes there is no one to take care of it. Under these circumstances, you can help your child to take care of their baby. This is the responsibility of a parent, because they are your flesh and blood after all, and it would be safer for you to take care of their baby than for someone else to do it. If your child trusts you to take care of their baby, then you should take care of it. If they don’t feel at ease entrusting the baby to you and don’t want you to take care of it, or if they won’t let you take care of it because they cherish you, because they are being considerate of you, and they fear that you’re not physically well enough to do it, then you shouldn’t find fault with this. There are even some sons and daughters who simply don’t trust their parents, they think that their parents don’t have the ability to care for a baby, that they only know how to spoil little children, and not how to educate them, and that they are not careful when it comes to the food they eat. If your son or daughter doesn’t trust you, and doesn’t want you to take care of their baby, that’s even better, then you have some more free time. This is called mutual consent: Neither parent nor child interferes with the other, and they show consideration for one another at the same time. When their children need help, solicitude, and to be taken care of, parents just need to provide them with the appropriate and necessary concern, care, and financial support on an emotional level or in other respects. For example, suppose that a parent has some savings, or they are good at their job and have a source of income. When their children need some money, they can help them a little if they are able to. If they are not able to, then it is not necessary for them to give up all of their possessions or to borrow money from a loan shark to help their children. They just need to do whatever is in the scope of their abilities to fulfill the responsibilities they have under the framework of kinship. There is no need for them to sell everything they have, or to sell their kidneys or blood, or to work themselves to death to help their children. Your life belongs to you, it was given to you by God, and you have your own missions. You possess this life so that you can fulfill those missions. Your children also possess their lives so that they can finish their life paths and complete their missions in life, not so that they can show you filial piety. Therefore, no matter whether their children are adults or not, the lives of parents belong only to the parents themselves, they do not belong to their children. Naturally, parents are not their children’s free nannies or slaves. Regardless of what expectations parents have for their children, it is not necessary for them to let their children order them around arbitrarily without any compensation, or for them to become their children’s servants, maids, or slaves. No matter what feelings you have for your children, you are still an independent person. You should not take responsibility for their adult lives as though it were completely right to do so, just because they are your children. There is no need to do this. They are adults; you have already fulfilled your responsibility to raise them. As for whether they’ll live well or badly in the future, whether they’ll be wealthy or poor, and whether they’ll live happy or unhappy lives, that’s their own business. These things have nothing to do with you. You, as a parent, have no obligation to change those things. If their lives are unhappy, you are not obliged to say: “You’re unhappy—I’m going to think of ways to fix this, I’ll sell everything I own, I’ll use up all my life’s energy to make you happy.” It’s not necessary to do this. You just need to fulfill your responsibilities, that’s all. If you want to help them, you can ask them why they’re unhappy, and assist them in making sense of the problem on a theoretical and psychological level. If they accept your help, that’s even better. If they don’t, you just need to fulfill your responsibilities as a parent, and that’s it. If your children want to suffer, then that’s their business. There’s no need for you to worry or to feel upset about this, or to not be able to eat properly or sleep properly. To do so would be excessive. Why would it be excessive? Because they’re adults. They should learn to manage everything they encounter in their lives themselves. If you feel concern for them, that’s just affection; if you don’t feel concern for them, then it doesn’t mean that you’re heartless, or that you haven’t fulfilled your responsibilities. They are adults, and adults must face adult problems and handle everything that adults ought to. They should not rely on their parents in all things. Of course, parents should not place responsibility on themselves for whether things go well with their children’s jobs, careers, families, or marriages after they reach adulthood. You can feel concern about these things, and you can inquire about them, but you do not need to take complete charge of them, chaining your children to your side, taking them with you wherever you go, watching them wherever you go, and thinking about them: “Are they eating well today? Are they happy? Is their work going well? Does their boss appreciate them? Does their spouse love them? Are their children obedient? Do their children get good grades?” What do these things have to do with you? Your children can solve their own problems, you don’t need to get involved. Why do I ask what these things have to do with you? By this, I mean that those things have nothing to do with you. You have fulfilled your responsibilities to your children, you have raised them into adults, so you should back off. Once you do, it won’t mean that you’ll have nothing to do. There are still so many things that you ought to do. When it comes to the missions that you need to complete in this life, aside from raising your children into adults, you also have other missions to complete. Aside from being a parent to your children, you are a created being. You should come before God, and accept your duty from Him. What is your duty? Have you completed it? Have you dedicated yourself to it? Have you embarked on the path to salvation? These are the things that you should think about. As for where your children will go next after becoming adults, how their lives will be, what their circumstances will be like, if they’ll feel happy and cheerful, these things have nothing to do with you. Your children are already independent, both formally and mentally. You should let them be independent, you should let go, and you shouldn’t try to control them. Whether in terms of formality, or relationships of affection or fleshly kinship, you have already fulfilled your responsibilities, and there is no longer any relationship between you and your children. There is no relationship between their missions and your missions, and there is no relationship between the life paths that they walk and your expectations. Your expectations for them and your responsibilities toward them have come to an end. Naturally, you shouldn’t have expectations for them. They are them, and you are you. If your children don’t get married, then in terms of your fates and missions, you are completely unconnected and independent individuals. If they do get married and start families, then your families are completely unconnected families. Your children have their living habits and lifestyles, they have their needs regarding their quality of life, and you have your living habits, and your needs regarding your quality of life. You have your path in life and they have their paths in life. You have your missions, and they have their missions. Of course, you have your faith, and they have theirs. If their faith lies in money, prestige, and profit, then you are completely different people. If they have the same faith as you, if they pursue the truth and walk the path of salvation, then you are naturally still completely different individuals. You are you, and they are them. You should not intervene when it comes to the paths that they walk. You can support, help, and provide for them, you can remind and exhort them, but you do not need to interfere or get involved. No one can determine what kind of path another person will walk, what kind of person they will live to be, or what kind of pursuits they will have. Think about it, on what basis am I sitting here, chatting to you and speaking to you about all of these things? On the basis of your willingness to listen. I am speaking because you are willing to listen to My earnest exhortations. If you weren’t willing to listen, or you left, I wouldn’t speak anymore. The number of words I speak depends on whether or not you are willing to listen to them and whether you are willing to spend your time and energy to do so. If you were to say, “I don’t understand what You’re saying, could You go into more detail?” then I’d do My best to go into more detail, to enable you to understand and enter into My words. When I’ve put you onto the right track, brought you before God and the truth, and enabled you to understand the truth and to follow God’s way, My task will be complete. However, when it comes to whether you will be willing to practice My words after you hear them, or what kind of path you will walk, what kind of life you will choose, or what you will pursue, these things are none of My business. If you were to say, “I have a question regarding that aspect of the truth, I want to seek on it,” then I’d patiently answer your question. If you never wished to seek the truth, would I deal with you because of that? I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t force you to seek the truth, or mock and make fun of you, and I certainly wouldn’t treat you with a cold attitude. I would act as I had before. If you make a mistake in your duty or deliberately cause a disruption or a disturbance, I have My principles and My methods for handling you. You may, however, say: “I don’t want to hear You speak about these things, and I’m not willing to accept those views of Yours. I’m going to keep performing my duty the way I always have.” Then you must not violate the principles or the administrative decrees. If you do violate the administrative decrees, then I will handle you. But if you do not violate the administrative decrees, and you can behave yourself properly while living the church life, I won’t interfere with you, even if you do not pursue the truth. I won’t interfere when it comes to your personal life, what you want to eat, wear, or which people you want to interact with. I grant you freedom in these regards. Why is that? I’ve spoken clearly to you about all of the principles and content regarding these matters. The rest depends on your own free choices. The path that you choose to walk depends on what kind of person you are, this is obvious. If you are not a person that loves the truth, who could force you to love it? Ultimately, every person will take responsibility for the path that they walk, and the results that they come to bear. I do not need to take responsibility for this. If you pursue the truth, you do so voluntarily. If you don’t pursue the truth, you also do so voluntarily—no one is holding you back. If you do pursue the truth, no one will be encouraging you and you will not be given special grace or material blessings. I am just performing and fulfilling My responsibilities, telling you all the truths that you should understand and need to enter into. As for how you live your lives in private, I’ve never inquired about this, or snooped into it. This is the attitude that I possess. Parents should also act like this toward their children. Adults have the ability to tell right from wrong. It is their business whether they choose right or wrong, whether they choose black or white, whether they choose positive things or negative things—this depends on their inner needs. If a person’s essence is evil, they won’t choose positive things. If a person strives to be good, and they possess humanity, the awareness of conscience, and a sense of shame, they will choose positive things; even if they are a bit slow to do so, eventually they will embark on the right path. This is inevitable. Therefore, parents should have this kind of attitude toward their children, and not interfere with their children’s choices. The requirements that some parents have for their children are: “Our children ought to embark on the right path, they should believe in God, abandon the secular world, and give up their jobs. Otherwise, when we enter the kingdom, they won’t be able to get in, and we’ll be separated from them. It would be so wonderful if our whole family could enter the kingdom together! We could be together in heaven, as we are here on earth. While we’re in the kingdom, we mustn’t leave one another, we must stay together throughout the ages!” Then, it turns out that their children do not believe in God, and that they instead pursue worldly things, and strive to earn a lot of money and to become very wealthy; they wear whatever is fashionable, they do and talk about whatever is trendy, and they do not fulfill their parents’ wishes. As a result, these parents feel upset, they pray and fast because of this, fasting for a week, 10 days, or a fortnight, and put in a lot of effort for the sake of their children in this matter. They are often so hungry that they feel dizzy, and they often pray before God while weeping. But, no matter how they pray, or how much effort they put in, their children are unmoved, and do not know to wake up. The more their children refuse to believe, the more these parents think: “Oh no, I’ve failed my children, I’ve let them down. I haven’t been able to spread the gospel to them, and I haven’t brought them with me onto the path of salvation. Those fools—it’s the path to salvation!” They are not fools; they just do not have this need. It is these parents who are fools, for trying to force their children onto this path, isn’t it? If their children had this need, would it be necessary for these parents to speak about these things? Their children would come to believe by themselves. These parents always think: “I’ve let my children down. I encouraged them to go to college from a young age, and since they went to college, they haven’t turned back. They won’t stop pursuing worldly things, and whenever they come back, they just talk about work, making money, about who got a promotion or bought a car, who married rich, who went to Europe to do advanced studies or to be an exchange student, and say how great other people’s lives are going. Whenever they come home, they talk about those things, and I don’t want to hear them, but there’s nothing I can do about it. No matter what I say to try and get them to believe in God, they still won’t listen.” Consequently, they fall out with their children. Whenever they see their children, their faces darken; whenever they talk to their children, their expressions sour. Some children don’t know what to do, and they think: “I don’t know what’s wrong with my parents. If I don’t believe in God, then I just don’t believe in Him. Why do they always treat me with this attitude? I thought that the more someone believes in God, the better person they’d become. How can believers in God have so little affection for their families?” These parents are so worried about their children that they’re about to burst a blood vessel, and they say: “They’re not my children! I’m cutting off ties with them, I’m disowning them!” They say that, but that’s not really how they feel. Aren’t parents like this foolish? (Yes.) They always want to control and take hold of everything, they always wish to take hold of their children’s futures, their faith, and the paths that they walk. This is so foolish! It’s not appropriate. In particular, there are some children who pursue worldly things, who are promoted to managerial positions and make a lot of money. They bring huge piles of ginseng, gold earrings, and gold necklaces home to their parents as gifts, and their parents say: “I don’t want these things, I just hope that you’ll be healthy, and follow me in believing in God. Believing in God is such a wonderful thing!” And their children say: “Don’t you start with that. I’ve been promoted, and you haven’t even done anything to congratulate me. When other people’s parents hear that their children have been promoted, they break out the champagne, they go out for big meals, but when I buy you necklaces and earrings, you’re not happy. In what way have I let you down? You’re just sulking because I don’t believe in God.” Is it right for these parents to sulk like this? People have different pursuits, they walk different paths, and they choose these paths themselves. Parents should approach this matter correctly. If your children do not acknowledge God’s existence, you should not demand that they believe in God—forcing things never works. If they do not want to believe in God, and they are not that kind of person, then the more you mention it, the more they will annoy you, and you will annoy them too—you will both feel annoyed. But you both feeling annoyed is not what’s important—what’s most important is that God will loathe you, and He will say that your affections are too strong. Since you are able to pay such great prices just because your children don’t believe in God, and you are so upset about them pursuing worldly things, if God were to take them away one day, what would you do then? Would you complain about God? If, in your heart, your children are everything to you, if they are your future, your hope, and your life, then are you still someone who believes in God? Won’t God loathe you acting like this? The way you’re acting is too unwise, incompatible with the principles, and God will not be satisfied with it. Therefore, if you are wise, you will not do these kinds of things. If your children don’t believe, then you should let this go. You’ve made all of the arguments that you ought to, and you’ve said what you’re supposed to say, so let them make their own choices. Keep maintaining the relationship you had with your children before. If they wish to show you filial piety, if they want to cherish and care for you, you do not need to reject this. If they want to take you on a trip to Europe, but it hinders the performance of your duty, and you don’t want to go, then don’t go. But if you do want to go, and you have the time, then go. There’s nothing wrong with expanding your horizons. Your hands will not be dirtied by this, and God will not condemn it. If your children buy some nice things for you, some nice food or clothes, and you think that it’s appropriate for a saint to wear or use them, then enjoy them, and consider them grace from God. If you despise those things, if you do not enjoy them, if you think that they are troublesome and disgusting, and if you are not willing to enjoy them, you can refuse them, saying: “I’m just happy to see you, you don’t need to bring me gifts or spend money on me, I don’t need those things. I just want you to be safe and happy.” Isn’t that wonderful? If you say these words, and you believe these things in your heart, if you really don’t require your children to provide you with any material comforts, or to help you to bask in their light, then your children will admire you, won’t they? As for any difficulties they face in their work or lives, do your best to help them whenever you can. If helping them would impact your performance of your duty, you can refuse—that is your right. Because you no longer owe them anything, because you no longer have any responsibilities toward them, and they are already independent adults, they can manage their own lives. You do not need to serve them unconditionally or at all times. If they ask for your help, and you are not willing to assist them, or if doing so will hinder your performance of your duty, you can say no. That is your right. Though you have a blood tie to them, and you are their parent, this is only a relationship of formality, blood, and affection—in terms of your responsibilities, you have already been freed from the relationship with them. So, if parents are wise, they won’t have any expectations, requirements, or standards for their children after they reach adulthood, and they will not require that their children act in a certain way or that they do certain things from the perspective or position of a parent, because their children are already independent. When your children are independent it means that you’ve fulfilled all your responsibilities to them. So, no matter what you do for your children when the circumstances permit, whether you show them solicitude or care, it is merely affection, and it is superfluous. Or if your children ask you to do something, that is also superfluous, it is not something you are duty-bound to do. You should understand this. Are these things clear? (Yes.)
Suppose that one of you were to say: “I can never let go of my children. They were born with weak constitutions, and they’re innately cowardly and timid. They also don’t have very good caliber and they’re always bullied by other people. I can’t let go of them.” You not being able to let go of your children does not mean that you haven’t finished fulfilling your responsibilities toward them, it is merely an effect of your feelings. You may say: “I’m always worried and thinking about whether my children have been eating well, or if they’re having any stomach problems. If they don’t eat meals at the proper times and keep ordering takeout food on a long-term basis, will they develop stomach problems? Will they get some kind of illness? And if they’re sick, will there be anyone to take care of them, to show them love? Do their spouses show concern for them and take care of them?” Your worries simply arise from your feelings and the blood tie that you have with your children, but these are not your responsibilities. The responsibilities that God has imparted upon parents are just the responsibilities of raising and caring for their children before they reach adulthood. After their children become adults, parents no longer have any responsibilities toward them. This is looking at the responsibilities that parents should fulfill from the perspective of God’s ordination. Do you understand this? (Yes.) No matter how strong your feelings are, or when your parental instincts kick in, this is not fulfilling your responsibilities, it is merely the effect of your feelings. The effects of your feelings do not derive from the reason of humanity, or the principles that God has taught man, or man’s submission to the truth, and they certainly do not derive from man’s responsibilities, instead, they come from man’s feelings—they are called feelings. There is just a little bit of parental love and kinship mixed in with this. Because they are your children, you worry about them constantly, wondering whether they are suffering out there, and whether they are being bullied. You wonder whether their work is going well, and whether they are eating their meals at the proper times. You wonder whether they have contracted an illness, and whether they will be able to afford their medical bills if they do get sick. You often think about these things, and they have nothing at all to do with your responsibilities as a parent. If you cannot let go of these concerns, it can only be said that you are living amid your feelings, and unable to extricate yourself from them. You just live amid your feelings, approaching your children according to your feelings, rather than living by the definition of parental responsibilities given by God. You are not living according to God’s words, you are just feeling, viewing, and handling all of these things according to your feelings. This means that you are not following God’s way. This is obvious. Your parental responsibilities—as taught to you by God—ended the moment that your children reached adulthood. Isn’t the method of practice that God taught you easy and simple? (It is.) If you practice according to God’s words, you will not be engaging in pointless exercises, and you will be giving your children a certain amount of freedom, and a chance to develop themselves, without causing them any extra trouble or bother, or placing any extra burdens on them. And, since they are adults, doing so will allow them to face the world, their lives, and the various problems that they encounter in their daily lives and existences, with the perspective of an adult, an adult’s independent methods for handling things and viewing things, and an adult’s independent worldview. These are the freedoms and rights of your children, and even more so, they are the things that they should do as adults, and these things have nothing to do with you. If you always want to get involved with these things, then that’s quite nauseating. If you always want to willfully insert yourself into these things and to interfere with them, then you will have a disruptive and destructive effect, and ultimately, not only will things turn out contrary to your wishes, even more so, you will make your children feel averse toward you, and your life will be quite tiring too. In the end, you will be full of grievances, and complain that your children are not filial, obedient, or considerate of you; you will complain that they are ungrateful, unappreciative, and uncaring ingrates. There are some rude and irrational parents who will also cry, make a fuss, and threaten to kill themselves, using any tricks that they can. This is even more disgusting, isn’t it? (Yes.) If you are wise, you will allow things to take their natural course, living your life in a relaxed manner, and just fulfill your parental responsibilities. If you say that you want to care for your children and show them some concern for the sake of affection, then showing them the necessary concern is permissible. I am not saying that parents should just cut ties with their children as soon as the children become adults and the parents have fulfilled their responsibilities. Parents shouldn’t completely neglect their adult children, they should not tell them to just go off by themselves, or ignore them no matter how great difficulties they face—even when those difficulties drive their children to the brink of death—or refuse to offer their children a hand when they need their parents. This is also wrong—this is extreme. When your children need to confide in you, you should lend them an ear, and after listening, you should ask them what they’re thinking and what they intend to do. You can also give your own suggestions. If they have their own thoughts and plans, and they don’t accept your suggestions, just say: “Alright. Since you’ve already made up your mind, whatever consequences come of this in the future will be yours alone to bear. This is your life. You have to walk and finish your own life path. No one else can take responsibility for your life. If you’ve made up your mind, then I’ll support you. If you need money, I can give you a bit. If you need me to help you, I can help you within the scope of my abilities. I’m your parent after all, so nothing more needs to be said. But if you say that you do not need my help or my money, and you just need me to lend you an ear, then that’s even easier.” Then you will have said what you had to say, they will have said what they had to say; all of their grievances will have been poured out, all of their anger will have been vented. They will wipe away their tears, they will go and do what they need to do, and you will have fulfilled your responsibilities as a parent. This is done for the sake of affection; this is called affection. And why is that? Because, as a parent, you do not have any malicious intentions toward your children. You will not harm them, plot against them, or mock them, and you certainly will not make fun of them for being weak and incompetent. Your children can cry, vent, and complain in front of you without restraint, as though they were little kids; they can be spoiled, sulky, or willful. However, after they are done venting their emotions and being sulky and willful, they must do what they ought to do, and handle whatever things lie before them. If they can achieve that without you doing anything for them or giving them any help, that’s quite good, and you will have some more free time then, right? And since your children have said those things, you ought to have some self-awareness. Your children have grown up, they are independent. They just wanted to talk to you about that matter, they did not ask for your help. If you don’t have sense, you might think: “This is a significant matter. You telling me about it shows that you respect me, so shouldn’t I give you some counsel about it? Shouldn’t I help you to make a decision?” This is called overestimating your own capabilities. Your children were simply talking to you about that matter, but you’re really treating yourself like an important figure. This isn’t appropriate. Your children told you about that matter because you’re their parent, and they respect and trust you. In reality, they’ve had their own ideas about it for some time, but now you keep wanting to intervene in it. That’s not appropriate. Your children trust you, and you must be worthy of that trust. You should respect their decision, and not get involved in the matter or interfere with it. If they want you to get involved, you can do so. And suppose that, when you do get involved, you realize: “Oh, this is so much trouble! This will impact my performance of my duty. I really can’t get involved in this; as a believer in God, I can’t do these things.” Then you should hurry to disengage from that matter. Say that they still want you to intervene, and you think: “I’m not going to intervene. You should handle this yourself. It was kind enough of me to listen to you vent this grievance and all this garbage. I’ve already fulfilled my parental responsibilities. I absolutely cannot intervene in this matter. That’s the fire pit, and I’m not going to jump into it. If you want to, go ahead and jump in yourself.” Isn’t this appropriate? This is called having a stance. You should never let go of the principles or your stance. These are the things that parents ought to do. Have you understood this? Are these things easy to accomplish? (Yes.) They are, in fact, easy to accomplish, but if you always act according to your feelings, and if you’re always trapped amid your feelings, it will be very difficult for you to achieve those things. You will feel that it is very heart-wrenching to do so, that you cannot abandon this matter, and that you cannot shoulder it either, or move forward or backward. What word can be used to describe this? “Stuck.” You will get stuck there. You wish to listen to God’s words and practice the truth, but you cannot let go of your feelings; you love your children dearly, but feel that it is not appropriate to do so, that it goes against God’s teachings and God’s words—you’re in trouble. You must make a choice. You can either let go of your expectations for your offspring, and no longer try to manage your children, letting them fly free instead, because they are independent adults, or you can follow them. You must choose one of those two options. If you choose to follow the way of God and to listen to God’s words, and you let go of your worries and feelings for your children, then you should do what a parent ought to, hold firm to your stance and your principles, and refrain from doing things that God finds loathsome and disgusting. Can you do this? (Yes.) In reality, it is easy to do these things. As soon as you let go of the bit of affection you harbor, you can accomplish these things. The simplest method is to not get involved with your children’s lives and to just let them do what they want to do. If they want to talk to you about their difficulties, listen to them. It’s enough for you to just know that’s how things are. After they finish speaking, tell them: “I hear you. Is there anything else you want to tell me? If you want something to eat, I can cook for you. If you don’t, then you can head home. If you need money, I can give you a little. If you need some help, I’ll do what I can. If I can’t help, you’ll have to find a solution yourself.” If they insist that you help them, you can say: “We’ve already fulfilled our responsibilities to you. We only have these abilities, you can see that—we’re not as skilled as you are. If you want to seek success in the world, that’s your own business, don’t try to get us involved in it. We’re already quite old, and that time has already passed for us. Our parental responsibility was just to raise you into an adult. As for what kind of path you take, and how you torment yourself, leave us out of these matters. We’re not going to torment ourselves along with you. We have already completed our mission with respect to you. We have our own matters, our own ways of living, and our own missions. Our missions are not about doing things for you, and we do not need your help to complete them. We will complete our missions by ourselves. Don’t ask us to get involved with your daily life or your existence. Those have nothing to do with us.” Express yourself clearly, and that will be the end of the matter; you can then get in touch, communicate, and catch up with them as needed. It’s just that simple! What are the benefits of acting in this way? (It makes life very easy.) At the very least, you will have handled the matter of fleshly, familial love appropriately and properly. Your mental and spiritual worlds will be at ease, you won’t be making any needless sacrifices, or paying any extra prices; you will be submitting amid God’s orchestrations and arrangements, and letting Him handle all of these things. You will be fulfilling every one of the responsibilities that people ought to, and you will not be doing any of the things that people must not do. You will not be stretching out a hand to get involved in things that people must not do, and you will be living as God tells you to. The way that God tells people to live is the best path, it can enable them to live very relaxed, happy, joyous, and peaceful lives. But, most importantly, not only will living in this way leave you with more free time and energy to perform your duty well, and to show devotion to your duty, you will also have more energy and time to put in effort with regard to the truth. By contrast, if your energy and time are entangled with and occupied by your feelings, your flesh, your children, and your love for your family, then you won’t have any extra energy to pursue the truth. Isn’t that true? (It is.)
When people engage in careers in the world, all they think about is pursuing things like worldly trends, prestige and profit, and fleshly enjoyment. What’s the implication of this? It is that your energy, time, and youth are all occupied and consumed by these things. Are they meaningful? What will you gain from them in the end? Even if you gain prestige and profit, it will still be hollow. What about if you change your way of living? If your time, energy, and mind are only occupied by the truth and the principles, and if you only think about positive things, like how to perform your duty well, and how to come before God, and if you expend your energy and time for these positive things, then what you gain will be different. What you gain will be the most substantive benefits. You will know how to live, how to comport yourself, how to face every kind of person, event, and thing. Once you know how to face every kind of person, event, and thing, to a large extent this will enable you to naturally submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements. When you can naturally submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, then without even realizing it, you will become the kind of person that God accepts and loves. Think about it, isn’t that a good thing? Perhaps you do not know this yet, but in the process of you living your life, and of you accepting God’s words and the truth principles, you will imperceptibly come to live, to view people and things, and to comport yourself and act according to God’s words. This means that you will unconsciously submit to God’s words, and obey and satisfy His requirements. Then you will have already become the kind of person that God accepts, trusts, and loves, without you even knowing it. Isn’t that great? (It is.) Therefore, if you expend your energy and time to pursue the truth and to perform your duty well, what you gain in the end will be the most valuable things. Conversely, if you are always living for the sake of your feelings, the flesh, your children, your work, and prestige and profit, if you are always entangled in these things, what will you gain in the end? Just a void. You won’t gain anything at all, and you will stray further and further from God, and eventually be thoroughly despised and rejected by God. Then, your life will be over, and you will have lost your chance at salvation. Therefore, parents should let go of all their emotional worries, attachments, and entanglements regarding their adult children, regardless of what expectations they have for them. They shouldn’t place any expectations on their children on an emotional level from the status or position of a parent. If you are able to accomplish these things, that’s wonderful! At the very least, you will have fulfilled your parental responsibilities, and you will be an adequate person—who just so happens to be a parent—in the eyes of God. No matter what human perspective you view this from, there are principles for what people ought to do and the perspective and stance that they ought to adopt, and God has standards regarding these things, isn’t that right? (Yes.) Let’s conclude our fellowship here on the expectations that parents have for their offspring and the principles that they ought to practice when their children reach adulthood. Goodbye!
May 21, 2023