How to Pursue the Truth (2)
In our previous gathering, we fellowshiped on a big subject: how to pursue the truth. How to pursue the truth—how did we fellowship on this issue? (God gave fellowship on two aspects: The first was “letting go,” the second, “dedicating.” In terms of letting go, God talked about the negative emotions that exist in man. In particular, God fellowshiped on the specific effects and consequences that the negative feelings of inferiority, anger, and hatred have on our duty. God’s fellowship gave us a different understanding of how to pursue the truth. We saw how we often overlook the negative emotions that we reveal every day, and usually do not discern or understand our negative emotions. We make a one-sided judgment that this is simply the kind of person we are. We bring these negative emotions into our duty, and this has a direct impact on the results of that duty. It also influences how we look at people and things and how we deal with problems in our lives. This makes it extremely difficult for us to walk the path of pursuing the truth.) In our last gathering, I fellowshiped on how to pursue the truth. When it comes to practice, there are two main paths—that of letting go, and that of dedicating. Last time, we summed up the main issues associated with the first aspect of that first path, “letting go”—that is, one must let go of various kinds of emotion. These are principally negative emotions—those that are abnormal, irrational, and that do not accord with conscience and reason. Of these, our fellowship focused on the negative emotions of inferiority, anger, and hatred, as well as some behaviors that result from living within these negative emotions, various negative emotions produced as a result of some particular circumstances or developmental background, and negative emotions reflected by an abnormal character. Why must these negative emotions be let go of? It is because these emotions, objectively speaking, bring about negative mindsets and viewpoints in people, influencing the stance they take when faced with people, events, or things. So, the first aspect of this way of practice—letting go—requires people to let go of all kinds of negative emotions. Last time we shared some fellowship on these negative emotions. But besides the inferiority, anger, and hatred that we fellowshiped on, there are, of course, a variety of emotions that can impact the views of normal humanity. They interfere with normal humanity’s conscience, reason, thinking, and judgment, and can affect the results of man’s pursuit of the truth. This means that these negative emotions are the first things humanity must let go of in its pursuit of the truth. Our fellowship today will continue with the topic at hand—how to let go of various negative emotions. First we will fellowship on the various manifestations of negative emotions and, through My fellowship on these manifestations, man can gain knowledge of negative emotions, hold them up for comparison with himself, and then begin to resolve them, one by one, in his daily life. Through seeking and understanding the truth, and through knowing and dissecting the negative thoughts and opinions, as well as the abnormal perspectives and stances, that negative emotions bring out in people, they can begin to resolve those negative emotions.
Last time, we talked about the negative emotion of “depression.” First of all, do most people have this feeling of depression? Are you able to get a sense of the kind of feeling and the kind of mood depression is, and what its manifestations are? (Yes.) This one is easy to understand. We won’t talk about “depression” too extensively, we will just describe the manifestations brought about by the emotion of depression in those who believe in and follow God. What does “depression” mean? It means feeling dejected, not feeling good, not feeling interested in anything you do, having no drive, no motivation, having quite a negative and passive attitude in the things you do, and not having any get-up-and-go determination. So, what is the root cause of these manifestations? This is the main issue that must be dissected. Once you have understood the various manifestations of depression, as well as the different mind states, thoughts and attitudes in doing things brought by this negative emotion, you should understand what the causes are for these negative feelings, that is, what the root causes that lie behind these negative feelings are, that bring them about in people. Why do people get depressed? Why do they feel no motivation to do things? Why are they always so negative, passive and without determination when they do things? There is clearly a reason for this. For instance, you see someone who is always depressed and passive when they do things, unable to muster up any energy, their emotions and attitude are not very positive or optimistic, and they always express such a negative, blaming and despairing attitude. You give them advice but they never listen to it and, although they admit that the way you’ve pointed out to them is the right way and your reasoning is great, yet when they do things they cannot muster up any energy and are still negative and passive. In serious cases, from their body movements, figure, the way they walk, their tone of speech, and the words they say, you can see that this person’s emotions are particularly depressed, that they lack energy in everything they do and they are like a squashed fruit, and whoever spends a lot of time with that person will be affected by them. What is this all about? The various behaviors, facial expressions, tones of speech, and even the thoughts and viewpoints expressed by people living in depression have negative qualities. So, what is the reason behind these negative phenomena? Where does the root lie? Of course, the root cause for the arising of the negative emotion of depression is different for everyone. One kind of person’s feelings of depression may arise from their constant belief in their own terrible fate. Is this not one cause? (It is.) When they were young, they lived in the countryside or in a poor region, their family was not prosperous and, apart from some simple furnishings, they had nothing of much value. They had perhaps one or two sets of clothing that they had to wear even though they had some holes in them, and they could never ordinarily eat good quality food, but instead had to wait for New Year or holidays to eat meat. Sometimes they went hungry and hadn’t enough to wear to stay warm and having a big bowl full of meat to eat was a pipedream, and even finding a piece of fruit to eat was difficult. Living in such an environment, they felt different from other people who lived in the big city, whose parents were of means, who could eat anything they wanted and wear anything they wanted, who got everything they wanted right then and there, and who were knowledgeable about things. They’d think, “They have such a good fate. Why is my fate so bad?” They always want to stand out from the crowd and change their destiny. However, it is not so easy to change one’s destiny. When one is born into such a situation, though they may try, how much can they change their fate, and how much better can they make it? After they become an adult, they are stopped by obstacles everywhere they go in society, they are bullied everywhere they go, and so they always feel so unfortunate. They think, “Why am I so unlucky? Why do I always meet mean people? Life was hard when I was a kid, and that’s just how it was. Now that I’m grown, it’s still so bad. I always want to show what I can do but I never get a chance. If I never get a chance, then so be it. I just want to work hard and earn enough money to live a good life. Why can’t I even do that? How can living a good life be so difficult? I don’t have to live a life superior to everyone else. I want at least to live the life of a city-dweller and not be looked down on by people, and not be a second- or third-rate citizen. At least when people would call out to me, they wouldn’t shout, ‘Hey you, come here!’ At least they would call me by my name and address me respectfully. But I can’t even enjoy being addressed respectfully. Why is my fate so cruel? When will it end?” When such a person didn’t believe in God, they considered it cruel. After they have begun to believe in God and to see that this is the true way, they then think, “All that suffering before was worth it. It was all orchestrated and done by God, and God did well. If I hadn’t suffered like that, I wouldn’t have come to believe in God. Now that I believe in God, if I can accept the truth then my destiny should change for the better. I can now live an equal life in the church with my brothers and sisters, and people call me ‘Brother’ or ‘Sister,’ and I am addressed respectfully. I now enjoy the feeling of having the respect of others.” It seems as though their destiny has changed, and it seems that they no longer suffer and they no longer have a bad fate. Once they have begun to believe in God, they set their resolve to perform their duty well in God’s house, they become able to endure hardship and work hard, able to endure more than anyone else in any matter, and they strive to win the approval and esteem of most people. They think they may even be chosen to be a church leader, someone in charge, or a team leader, and won’t they then be honoring their ancestors and their family? Won’t they then have changed their destiny? However, reality does not quite live up to their wishes and they become dejected, and think, “I’ve believed in God for years and I get on very well with my brothers and sisters, but how come whenever it’s time to choose a leader, someone in charge, or a team leader, it’s never my turn? Is it because I look so plain, or because I haven’t performed well enough, and no one has noticed me? Every time there is a vote, I may have a slight hope, and I’d be happy even to be selected as a team leader. I’m so filled with enthusiasm to repay God, but I just end up disappointed every time there is a vote and I’m left out of it all. What’s up with that? Could it be that I’m truly only able to be a mediocre person, an ordinary person, someone unremarkable my whole life? When I look back at my childhood, my youth, and my middle-aged years, this path I’ve trodden has always been so mediocre and I haven’t done anything noteworthy. It’s not that I don’t have any ambition, or that my caliber is too lacking, and it’s not that I don’t exert enough effort or that I can’t endure hardship. I have aspirations and goals, and I can even be said to have ambition. So why is it that I can never stand out from the crowd? In the final analysis, I just have a bad fate and am destined for suffering, and this is how God has arranged things for me.” The more they dwell on it, the worse they think their fate is. In the ordinary course of their duties, if they make some suggestions or express some views and always receive a rebuttal, and no one listens to them or takes them seriously, they become even more depressed, and they think, “Oh, my fate is so bad! Every group I’m in there is always some mean person blocking my way forward and oppressing me. No one ever takes me seriously and I can never stand out. When all’s said and done, it comes back to this: I just have a bad fate!” No matter what happens to them, they always attribute it to them having a bad fate; they constantly put effort into this idea of having a bad fate, they strive to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of it and, as they turn it over in their minds, their emotions become ever more depressed. When they make a minor mistake in the performance of their duty, they think, “Oh, how can I do my duty well when I have such a bad fate?” In gatherings, their brothers and sisters give fellowship and they think things over and over, but they don’t understand, and they think, “Oh, how can I understand things when I have such a bad fate?” Whenever they see someone who speaks better than they do, who discusses their understanding in a clearer and more illuminated way than them, they feel even more depressed. When they see someone who can endure hardships and pay the price, who sees results in the performance of their duty, who receives the approval of their brothers and sisters and gets promoted, they feel unhappy in their heart. When they see someone become a leader or a worker, they feel even more depressed, and even when they see someone who sings and dances better than they do, and they feel inferior to that person, they get depressed. No matter what people, events, or things they encounter, or whatever situations they come across, they always respond to them with these depressed feelings. Even when they see someone wearing clothes that are a little nicer than theirs or whose hairstyle is a little better, they always feel sad, and jealousy and envy arise in their heart until, finally, they go back to that depressed emotion. What are the reasons they come up with? They think, “Oh, isn’t this because my fate is bad? If I was a little better looking, if I was as dignified as they are, if I was tall with a nice figure, with good clothes and lots of money, with good parents, then wouldn’t things be different from how they are now? Wouldn’t people then regard me highly, and be envious and jealous of me? At the end of the day, my fate is bad and I can’t blame anyone else for it. With such a bad fate, nothing goes right for me, and I can’t walk anywhere without falling over something. It’s just my bad fate, and there’s nothing I can do about it.” Similarly, when they are pruned and dealt with or when brothers and sisters reproach or criticize them, or make suggestions to them, they respond to it with their depressed feelings. Anyhow, whether it is something happening to them or everything around them, they always respond with the various negative thoughts, views, attitudes and standpoints that arise from their depressed emotions.
People like this, who always think themselves to have a bad fate, constantly feel like their hearts are being crushed by a giant rock. Because they always believe that everything that happens to them does so because of their bad fate, they feel they cannot change any of it, no matter what happens. So what do they do? They just feel negative and slack off and resign themselves to their misfortunes. What do I mean when I say they resign themselves to their misfortunes? They think, “Oh, I’ll just have to muddle along like this through life!” When other people are pruned and dealt with, those people can reflect on themselves and say, “Why have I been pruned and dealt with? What have I done that has gone against the truth principles? What corrupt dispositions have I revealed? Is my understanding deep enough and concrete enough? How should I understand and resolve these issues?” They say things like this, and this is someone who pursues the truth. When the person with the so-called bad fate is pruned and dealt with, however, they feel that others are looking down on them, that their fate is bad, and so no one likes them, and whoever wants to deal with them can deal with them. When no one is dealing with them, their depression eases a little, but as soon as someone deals with them, their depression becomes even worse. When other people are dealt with, they may feel negative for several days. They read God’s words and, with the help and support of their brothers and sisters, they become able to accept the truth and slowly they turn themselves around, and they leave that negative state behind. Those who think themselves to have a bad fate, however, not only do not leave that negative emotion behind, but on the contrary, they become even more certain that they do indeed have a bad fate. Why is this? They come to God’s house feeling that their skills are never fully put to use, that they are always being dealt with and used as a scapegoat. They think, “You see? Other people do this and don’t get dealt with, so how come I get dealt with when I do this? Surely this shows that my fate is bad!” And so they get this depressed and they fall into despair. No matter how other people try to fellowship on the truth with them, it doesn’t sink in, and they say, “You only get dealt with for a moment, but it’s different for me. I can’t do anything right and was born to endure being dealt with. I can’t blame anyone, it’s just that my fate is bad.” Because they always believe themselves to have a bad fate, and that they will always be this way as long as they live, then no matter how God’s house tells people how to pursue the truth, how to perform the duty of a created being, and how to perform their duty up to standard, none of it sinks in. Because they are forever certain that their fate is bad, they feel that this wonderful thing of pursuing the truth and attaining salvation has nothing to do with them, and so they don’t perform their duty very conscientiously. They are sure in their hearts that “People with a bad fate can’t perform their duty well; only people with a good fate can perform their duty well. When someone has a good fate, people like them everywhere they go, and everything goes smoothly for them. I have a bad fate and always come across mean people, I never feel good doing my duties—these misfortunes come one after another!” Because they believe themselves to have a bad fate, they always feel dejected and depressed. They always believe that pursuing the truth is just something to talk about and that someone like them with a bad fate can never achieve anything by pursuing the truth. They feel that, even if they may pursue the truth, they won’t gain anything in the end, and they always think, “How can people with a bad fate enter the kingdom? How can people with a bad fate attain salvation?” They don’t dare to believe it, and so they are constantly delimiting themselves, thinking, “Because my fate is bad and I was born to suffer, it won’t be so bad to survive and become a service-doer in the end. That would mean that my ancestors’ good deeds would bear fruit in me, and they’d bless me with good luck. Because my fate is bad, I’m just suited to doing some unremarkable duties, such as cooking, cleaning, or looking after the children of the brothers and sisters, or some odd jobs, and so on. As for those jobs that let you shine in God’s house, I probably won’t have anything to do with them for as long as I live. You see, I came to God’s house filled with enthusiasm, and how have I ended up? Just cooking and doing manual labor. No one notices how exhausted I get or how hard it is, no one sees, and no one cares. If this isn’t a hard lot then I don’t know what is! Other people are lead actors or extras, filming movie after movie, video after video—how wonderful that is! I’ve never shone, not once. What a hard lot this is! My fate is so bad! Who’s to blame for my bad fate? Isn’t it my fault? I’ll just keep on going until it’s time to die.” They sink deeper and deeper into this negative emotion. Not only are they unable to reflect on and know their own negative emotions, or why they came about, or whether any of this has anything to do with having a good fate or a bad fate, nor do they seek the truth to understand these things, but they also blindly cling to the idea that all their problems are because of their bad fate. The result of this is that they sink deeper and deeper into these negative emotions and are unable to extricate themselves. In the end, because they always believe themselves to have a bad fate, they fall into despair, live without any real purpose and just eat and sleep, waiting for death; thereby they become increasingly disinterested in pursuing the truth, performing their duty well, attaining salvation, and other such requirements of God, and even repel and reject these things more and more. They take their bad fate as their reason and basis for not pursuing the truth and not being able to attain salvation as a matter of course. They don’t dissect their own corrupt dispositions or negative emotions in the situations they encounter and thereby come to know and resolve their corrupt dispositions, but rather they use their view on having a bad fate in how they respond to every person, event, and thing they encounter and experience, resulting in them falling even deeper into their feelings of depression. Isn’t that so? (It is.) So, is this emotion of depression whereby people believe they have a bad fate correct or not? (It is not.) How is it not correct? (I think this emotion is quite radical. They bring their bad fate into how they explain and delimit everything that happens to them. When things happen to them, they don’t reflect on and come to a conclusion about why these problems arise, nor do they seek or contemplate. It is entirely a radical and delimiting way to approach things.) How does this radical and absurd way to approach things come about? What is the root cause of these feelings of depression? (I think the root cause of this emotion is that they are following the wrong path, and the starting point of their pursuit is wrong. They have some wild desires, they are always vying and comparing themselves with others, and when they cannot satisfy their wild desires, this negative emotion inside them rears its head.) You haven’t clearly understood the essence of this issue—it is mainly that their view on the matter of “fate” is inaccurate. They are always pursuing a good fate or they want their fate to be such that everything goes smoothly and easily for them. They are always looking at people’s fates, and when they start pursuing such a thing, what happens to them? They look at people living in all different environments, what they eat, what they wear, what they enjoy, and then they compare it to their own situation and feel that they are worse off in every regard, that everyone else is better than them, and so they believe themselves to have a bad fate. In fact, they are not necessarily the worst off, but they are always making comparisons and measuring themselves against others, always putting effort into pondering and observing this matter of “fate” and delving into the study of it. They use the perspective and view on whether fate is good or bad to take the measure of everything, always measuring, until they have boxed themselves into a corner and have no way forward, and finally they sink into negativity. They constantly use the view on whether fate is good or bad to measure the external appearance of everything that happens instead of looking at the essence of things. What mistake do they make in doing this? Their thoughts and views are wrong and absurd, and their ideas about fate are inaccurate. The fate of man is a most profound matter that no one can clearly understand. It’s not just a person’s date of birth or the exact time of their birth that indicates whether a person’s fate will be good or bad—it is a mystery.
God’s arrangement of what a person’s fate shall be, whether it be good or bad, is not to be viewed or measured with the eyes of man or the eyes of a fortune teller, nor is it to be measured according to how much wealth and glory that person enjoys in their lifetime, or how much suffering they experience, or how successful they are in their pursuit of prospects, fame and fortune. Yet this is precisely the serious mistake made by those who say they have a bad fate, as well as a way of measuring one’s fate used by the majority of people. How do most people measure their own fate? How do worldly people measure whether a person’s fate is good or bad? Primarily, they base it on whether that person’s life goes smoothly or not, whether they can enjoy wealth and glory or not, whether they can live a lifestyle superior to others, how much they suffer and how much they have to enjoy during their lifetime, how long they live for, what career they have, whether their life is full of toil or comfortable and easy—these things and more they use to measure whether a person’s fate is good or bad. Don’t you measure it like this, too? (Yes.) So, when most of you encounter something not to your liking, when times are hard, or you aren’t able to enjoy a superior lifestyle, you will think you have a bad fate too, and you will sink into depression. Those who say they have a bad fate don’t necessarily genuinely have a bad fate, nor do those who say they have a good fate necessarily have a good fate. How exactly is fate measured as being good or bad? Your fate is good if you believe in God, and it’s not good if you don’t believe in God—is this right to say? (Not necessarily.) You say, “not necessarily,” meaning that there are some who believe in God who genuinely have a bad fate and some who have a good fate. If this is so, then some people who don’t believe in God also have a good fate and some have a bad fate—is this right to say? (No, that’s wrong.) Tell Me your reasons for saying this. Why is this wrong? (I don’t believe that a person’s fate has anything to do with whether they believe in God.) That’s right; whether a person’s fate is good or bad has nothing to do with belief in God. So, what does it have to do with? Does it have anything to do with the path people walk or with their pursuit? Is it that someone has a good fate if they pursue the truth, but that they have a hard lot if they don’t? Tell Me, does a widow have a good fate? To worldly people, widows have a bad fate. If they are widowed in their thirties or forties, they really have a bad fate, this is really hard for them! But if a widow suffers a lot because they lost their spouse, and they come to believe in God, is their lot hard then? (No.) Because those who haven’t been widowed are living a happy life, with everything going well for them, with lots of support, food and clothing, a family full of children and grandchildren, living a comfortable life, without any hardship or feeling any spiritual want, they don’t believe in God and they won’t believe in Him no matter how you try to spread the gospel to them. So who has the good fate? (The widow has the good fate because she has come to believe in God.) You see, because worldly people consider the widow to have a bad fate, and she suffers so much, she then changes direction and begins to follow a different path, and she believes in God and follows God—doesn’t this mean that she has a good fate now, and is living happily? (It does.) Her bad fate has changed to a good fate. If you say she has a bad fate, then her fate in life should always be bad and she cannot change it; so how then can it be changed? Did her fate change when she started believing in God? (No, it’s because her views on things have changed.) Because the way she regards things has changed. Has the objective fact of her own fate changed? (No.) Before the widow came to believe in God, she envied women who had not been widowed, thinking, “Look at her, she has such a good fate. She has a husband, a home, she lives a happy and contented life. She doesn’t suffer this pain of being a widow.” After she believes in God, however, she thinks, “I now believe in God and God has chosen me to follow Him, and I can perform my duty and gain the truth. In the future I’ll be able to attain salvation and enter the kingdom. What a good fate this is! She hasn’t been widowed, but what is her fate? She’s always seeking to enjoy life, pursuing fame, fortune, and status, looking to do well in her career, and enjoy prosperity and wealth, but later when she dies, she will still go to hell. She has a bad fate. My fate is better than hers!” Her views have changed, but the objective facts have not changed. The one who doesn’t believe in God still goes on thinking, “Hmph! My fate is better than yours! You’re a widow, I’m not. My life is better than yours. I have a good fate!” However, in the eyes of the woman who has come to believe in God, she does not have a good fate. How has this change come about? Has the widow’s objective environment changed? (No.) So how have her views changed? (Her criteria for measuring whether things are good or bad have changed.) Yes, her views on how to measure things and regard matters have changed. She has gone from thinking the woman who has not been widowed has a good fate to thinking she has a bad fate, and from thinking herself to have a bad fate to thinking that she has a good fate. These two views are totally different from how they were before, they have entirely been turned around. What is happening here? The objective facts and environment haven’t changed, so how has she ended up with changed views on things? (After she has accepted the truth and accepted positive things, she now applies the correct criteria in her views on measuring things as good or bad.) Her views on things have changed, but have the actual facts changed? (No.) The widow is still widowed, and the woman who lives happily is still living happily—there has been no change in the actual facts. So, who has the good fate and who has the bad fate in the end? Can you explain? The widow used to think she had a bad fate, one reason being her objective living situation, and another reason being the thoughts and views caused by her objective environment. After she comes to believe in God, by reading God’s words and coming to understand some truths, her thoughts follow suit and change, and her perspective on things is different. So, after she comes to believe in God, she no longer considers herself to have a bad fate, but rather as someone with a good fate, because she has had the chance to accept God’s work, and she can understand the truth and attain salvation—this is something predestined by God, and she is most blessed. Once she believes in God, she focuses solely on pursuing the truth, which is different from the goals she pursued before. Even though her living conditions, living environment, and her quality of life are just the same as before and have not changed, yet her views on things have changed. In reality, has she truly come to have a good fate because she believes in God? Not necessarily. It’s just that now she believes in God, she has hope, she feels some satisfaction in her heart, the goals she is pursuing have changed, her views are different, and so her current living environment makes her feel happy, satisfied, joyful, and peaceful. She feels her fate is so good now, much better than the fate of the woman who has not been widowed. Only now does she realize that the view she held before, believing herself to have a bad fate, was wrong. What can you see from this? Are there such things as “good fate” and “bad fate”? (No.) No, there aren’t.
God long ago predestined people’s fates, and they are immutable. This “good fate” and “bad fate” differ from person to person, and they depend on the environment, on how people feel and what they pursue. That is why one’s fate is neither good nor bad. You may live a very hard life, but you might think, “I’m not looking to live a high-end life. I’m just happy with having enough to eat and enough clothes to wear. Everyone suffers during their lifetime. Worldly people say, ‘You can’t see a rainbow unless it’s raining,’ so there’s value in suffering. This isn’t so bad, and my fate isn’t bad. Heaven above has given me some pain, some trials, and tribulations. That’s because He thinks highly of me. This is a good fate!” Some people think that suffering is a bad thing, that it means they have a bad fate, and only a life of no suffering, of comfort and ease, means they have a good fate. Unbelievers call this “a matter of opinion.” How do believers in God regard this matter of “fate”? Do we talk about having a “good fate” or a “bad fate”? (No.) We don’t say things like this. Say you have a good fate because you believe in God, then if you don’t follow the right path in your belief, if you are punished, exposed and cast out, then does that mean you have a good fate or a bad fate? If you don’t believe in God, you cannot possibly be exposed or cast out. Unbelievers and religious people don’t talk about exposing people or discerning people, and they don’t talk about people being cleared out or cast out. It should mean people have a good fate when they are able to believe in God, but if they are punished in the end, does that mean then that they have a bad fate? One minute their fate is good, the next their fate is bad—so which is it? Whether someone has a good fate or not is not something that can be judged, people cannot judge this matter. It is all done by God and everything God arranges is good. It is only that the trajectory of every individual’s fate, or their environment, and the people, events, and things they encounter, and the life path they experience during their lives are all different; these things differ from person to person. Every individual’s living environment and the environment in which they grow, both of which are arranged for them by God, are all different. The things every individual experiences during their lives are all different. There is no so-called good fate or bad fate—God arranges it all, and it is all done by God. If we regard the matter from the perspective that it is all done by God, everything God does is good and right; it’s just that from the perspective of people’s predilections, feelings and choices, some people choose to live a comfortable life, choosing to have fame and fortune, a good reputation, to have prosperity in the world and come into their own. They believe that this means they have a good fate, and that a lifetime of mediocrity and being unsuccessful, always living at the bottom of society, is a bad fate. This is how things look from the perspective of unbelievers and worldly people pursuing worldly things and seeking to live in the world, and this is how the idea of good fate and bad fate arise. The idea of good fate and bad fate only arises from human beings’ narrow understanding and superficial perception of fate, and from people’s judgments on how much physical suffering they endure, and how much enjoyment, and fame and fortune they gain, and so on. In fact, if we look at it from the perspective of God’s arrangement of and sovereignty over the fate of man, there are no such interpretations of good fate or bad fate. Isn’t this accurate? (It is.) If you regard the fate of man from the perspective of God’s sovereignty, then everything God does is good, and it is what every individual needs. This is because cause and effect play a part in past and present lives, they are predestined by God, God holds sovereignty over them, and God plans and arranges them—mankind has no choice. If we look at it from this standpoint, people shouldn’t judge their own fate to be good or bad, right? If people casually make judgments about this matter, aren’t they then making a terrible mistake? Aren’t they making the mistake of judging God’s plans, arrangements, and sovereignty? (They are.) And isn’t that mistake a serious one? Won’t it affect the path they walk in life? (It will.) Then that mistake will lead them to destruction.
What should people do in response to God’s arrangements of and sovereignty over their fates? (Submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements.) First, you should seek to understand why the Creator has arranged this kind of fate and living environment for you, why He makes you encounter and experience certain things, and why your fate is the way it is. From this, you should understand what your heart yearns for and what it needs, as well as God’s sovereignty and arrangements. After you understand and know these things, you should not resist, make your own choices about, reject, contradict, or avoid your fate. Of course, you also should not try to bargain with God. Instead, you should submit. Why should you submit? Because you are a created being, you cannot orchestrate your fate and you do not have sovereignty over it. Your fate is determined by God. When it comes to your fate, you are passive and you have no choices. The only thing you should do is submit. You should not make your own choices about your fate or avoid it, you should not bargain with God, and you should not go against your fate or complain. Of course, you should especially not say things like, “The fate God has arranged for me is bad. It’s miserable and it’s worse than the fate of others,” or “My fate is bad and I don’t get to enjoy any happiness or prosperity. God has arranged things badly for me.” These words are judgments and by speaking them, you are overstepping your position. They are not words that should be spoken by an object of creation and they are not perspectives or attitudes that an object of creation should have. Instead, you should let go of these various false understandings, definitions, views, and comprehensions of fate. At the same time, you should be able to adopt a correct attitude and stance so as to submit to all of the things that will happen as part of the fate God has arranged for you. You should not resist, and you should certainly not be depressed and complain that Heaven is not fair, that God has arranged things badly for you, and not provided you with the very best. Objects of creation do not have the right to choose their fate. God did not give you this kind of obligation and He did not bestow this right upon you. So, you should not try to make choices, reason with God, or make additional requests of Him. You should conform to and face God’s arrangements, no matter what they are. You should face and try to experience and appreciate whatever God has arranged. You should completely submit to everything that you should experience through God’s arrangements. You should comply with the fate that God has arranged for you. Even if you do not like something, or if you suffer because of it, even if it threatens and suppresses your pride and dignity, so long as it is something that you should experience, something that God has orchestrated and arranged for you, you should submit to it and you have no choice about it. Because God arranges people’s fates and has sovereignty over them, they cannot be negotiated with Him. So, if people are sensible and possess the reason of normal humanity, they should not complain that their fate is bad or that this thing or that thing is not good for them. They should not approach their duty, their life, the road that they follow in their faith, the situations that God has arranged, or His demands of them with a depressed attitude just because they feel that their fate is bad. This kind of depression is not a simple or momentary rebelliousness, nor is it the temporary outpouring of a corrupt disposition, much less the outpouring of a corrupt state. Rather, it is a silent resistance to God, and a dissatisfied silent resistance to the fate arranged for them by God. Though it may be a simple negative emotion, the consequences it brings to people are more serious than those brought by a corrupt disposition. Not only does it prevent you from adopting a positive, correct attitude to the duty you ought to perform, and to your own daily life and life journey but, more seriously, it can also cause you to perish from depression. Therefore, intelligent people should hurry to turn their erroneous views around, reflect on and come to know themselves in the light of God’s words, and see what is causing them to believe they have a bad fate; they should look to see in what ways their dignity has been harmed or their hearts hurt, which have resulted in negative thoughts such as feeling they have a bad fate, which led them to fall into the negative emotion of depression from which they never recovered, not even up to the present day. This is an issue that you should reflect on and examine. Some matter may be deeply engraved in your heart, or someone may have said something vile to you that wounded your sense of self-respect, and this made you feel you had a bad fate, and thus you fall into depression; or perhaps in your life or as you were growing up, some thought or view of Satan or of the world arose and led you to have this incorrect understanding of fate and become incredibly sensitive to whether you have a good fate or a bad fate; or perhaps after experiencing something upsetting at some point, you became particularly serious about and sensitive to your fate, and then you became exceedingly passionate about and dedicated to changing your fate—these are all things you should examine. However, regardless of how you make an examination of these things, what you should ultimately come to understand is this: You shouldn’t use thoughts and views on whether fate is good or bad to measure your own fate. The fate of a person’s life is held in God’s hands and God arranged it long ago; this is not something people can change. However, the kind of path a person walks during their lifetime and whether they can live a life of value are choices people can make for themselves. You can choose to live a life of value, live your life for things of value, live for the plans and management of the Creator, and for the just cause of mankind. Of course, you can also choose not to live for positive things, but instead live for the pursuit of fame and fortune, an official career, riches, and worldly trends. You can choose to live a life without any value whatsoever and be like one of the walking dead. These are all choices you can make.
By fellowshiping in this way, have you understood whether the thoughts and views of those people who always say they have a bad fate are right or wrong? (They’re wrong.) Clearly, these people experience the emotion of depression due to becoming mired in extremism. Because they have this extreme emotion of depression due to having extreme thoughts and views, they are unable to correctly face the things that happen in life, they cannot normally bring into play the functions people should have, nor perform the duties, responsibilities or obligations of a created being. Therefore, they are the same as those various kinds of people who sink into negative emotions whom we discussed in our last fellowship. Though these people who think they have a bad fate believe in God, and are able to relinquish things, expend themselves and follow God, yet they are likewise unable to perform their duty in God’s house in a free, liberated and relaxed way. Why can’t they do this? It is because within them they harbor a number of extreme and abnormal thoughts and views which cause extreme emotions to arise in them. These extreme emotions cause the way they judge things, the way they think, and their views on things to come from an extreme, incorrect and fallacious standpoint. They regard issues and people from this extreme and incorrect standpoint, thereby repeatedly living, viewing people and things, and comporting themselves and acting under the effect and influence of this negative emotion. In the end, no matter how they live, they seem so tired that they aren’t able to muster up any enthusiasm for their belief in God and pursuit of the truth. Regardless of how they choose to live their life, they cannot positively or actively perform their duty, and despite having believed in God for many years, yet they never focus on performing their duty with all their heart and soul or performing their duty satisfactorily, much less do they pursue the truth, of course, or practice in accordance with the truth principles. Why is this? In the final analysis, it’s because they always think they have a bad fate, and this leads them to have profoundly depressed feelings. They become totally dispirited, powerless, like a walking corpse, without any vitality, exhibiting no positive or optimistic behavior, much less any determination or stamina to devote the loyalty they should devote to their duty, their responsibilities, and their obligations. Rather, they struggle reluctantly from day to day with a slipshod attitude, aimlessly and muddle-headedly, even unconsciously getting through the days. They have no idea how long they will muddle along for. In the end, they have no recourse but to admonish themselves, saying, “Oh, I’ll just keep muddling along as long as I can! If one day I can’t go on anymore, and the church wants to expel me and cast me out, then they should just cast me out. It’s because I have a bad fate!” You see, even what they say is so defeated. This emotion of depression isn’t just a simple mood but, more importantly, it has a devastating impact on people’s thoughts, hearts, and on their pursuit. If you cannot turn your depressed feelings around in a timely and speedy manner, they will not only affect your whole life, they will also destroy your life and carry you to your death. Even if you do believe in God, you won’t be able to gain the truth and attain salvation and, in the end, you will perish. That’s why those who believe their fate to be bad should wake up now; always looking into whether their fate is good or bad, always pursuing some kind of fate, always worrying about their fate—this is not a good thing. Always taking your fate very seriously, when you encounter a slight disturbance or disappointment, or when failure, setbacks, or embarrassments come along, you quickly come to believe that it is due to your own bad fate, and your own bad luck. So, you repeatedly remind yourself that you are someone with a bad fate, that you don’t have a good fate like other people, and you repeatedly immerse yourself in depression, surrounded, bound, and caught up by the negative emotion of depression, unable to escape it. This is a very frightening and dangerous thing to happen. Even though this emotion of depression may not cause you to become more arrogant or deceitful, or cause you to reveal wickedness or intransigence, or other such corrupt dispositions; though it may not get to the level whereby you reveal a corrupt disposition and defy God, or you reveal a corrupt disposition and violate the truth principles, or you cause disruptions and disturbances, or do evil acts, yet, in terms of essence, this emotion of depression is a most serious manifestation of people’s dissatisfaction with reality. In essence, this manifestation of dissatisfaction with reality is also a dissatisfaction with God’s sovereignty and arrangements. And what are the consequences of being dissatisfied with God’s sovereignty and arrangements? They are certainly very serious and will at the least cause you to rebel against and defy God, and lead you to be unable to accept God’s utterances and provision, and unable to understand and unwilling to hear God’s teachings, exhortations, reminders and warnings. Because you are filled with the emotion of depression, you are unable to accept God’s current utterances, and have no way to accept God’s realistic work nor the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, guidance, help, support, and provision for you. Even though God is working, you are unable to feel it; even though God and the Holy Spirit are working, you are unable to accept it. You cannot accept these positive things, these requirements and this provision from God, your heart is filled and occupied with nothing but this emotion of depression, and nothing God does has any effect on you. In the end, you will miss every step of God’s work, you will miss every phase of His utterances, and you will even miss every phase of God’s work and His provision for you. When God’s utterances and the steps of His work are all complete, you will still be unable to resolve your depressed feelings, you will be unable to leave them behind, you will remain surrounded and filled with the emotion of depression, and you will then have entirely missed God’s work. Once you have entirely missed God’s work, you will ultimately be faced with God’s open judgment and condemnation of mankind, and that is the time when God will announce the ends of mankind. Only then will you realize, “Oh, I should reflect on myself, I should leave these depressed feelings behind, read God’s words more, come before God to seek His help and support, seek His provision, seek how to accept His chastisement and judgment and be cleansed, so that I’m able to submit to His sovereignty and arrangements.” Too late! That’s all behind you now. It’s too late to wake up now, and what is it that awaits you? You will beat your chest and wail and be filled with regret. Though depression is just a kind of emotion, because its nature and the consequences it brings about are so serious, you should examine yourself carefully and not let these feelings of depression take you over or control your thoughts and the goals you pursue. You have to resolve it and not let it become a stumbling block on your path in pursuit of the truth or a wall that blocks you from coming before God. If you can become clearly aware of it, or if you find this serious emotion of depression through self-examination, then you should change course immediately, let go of this emotion and leave these feelings of depression behind. Do not cling obstinately to your course, stubbornly thinking, “No matter what God says or does, I know my fate is bad. With a bad fate, I should feel depressed. With a bad fate, I should just accept it and give up all hope.” To face everything that happens with such a negative attitude is to be single-mindedly stubborn. When you realize you have feelings of depression, you should turn yourself around and resolve it as soon as you can. Don’t wait until it has taken control of you completely, as it will be too late to wake up to it then.
Tell Me, is believing in fate an expression of pursuing the truth? (No, it isn’t.) So, what is the correct attitude people should have in their approach to the matter of fate? (They should believe in the orchestrations and arrangements of God and submit to them.) That’s right. If someone always focuses on whether their fate is good or bad, what problem can that resolve? Acknowledging that their fate is bad but believing that their bad fate is orchestrated and arranged by God and being willing to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements—is this viewpoint right or not? (No, it’s wrong.) How is it wrong? (Because that viewpoint still holds the interpretation of their fate being good or bad.) Is this a rule? What is the truth people should understand here? (Fate cannot be said to be good or bad. Everything God predestines is good, and people should submit to all God’s orchestrations.) People should believe that fate is orchestrated and arranged by God, and since it is all orchestrated and arranged by God, they cannot talk about it being good or bad. Whether it is good or bad is judged on the basis of people’s perspective, opinions, predilections and feelings, and this judgment is based on their imaginings and views and is not in accordance with the truth. Some people say, “I have a wonderful fate, I was born into a family of believers. I’ve never been influenced by the environment of the secular world and I’ve never been influenced, seduced or deceived by the unbelievers’ trends. Although I have corrupt dispositions, too, I grew up in the church and have never gone astray. I have such a good fate!” Is what they say correct? (No.) Why not? (Their being born into a family of believers was predestined by God, it was God’s sovereignty and arrangements. It has nothing to do with their fate being good or bad.) Correct, you’ve hit the nail on the head. This was God’s sovereignty and arrangements. It is one manner in which God arranges and holds sovereignty over the fates of man, and it is one form which fate can take—people must not use whether their fate is good or bad to judge this matter. Some people say their fate is good because they were born into a Christian family, so how would you refute this? You might say, “You were born into a Christian family and say you have a good fate, so anyone not born into a Christian family must have a bad fate. Are you saying the fate God has arranged for all those people is bad?” Is it right to refute them in this way? (It is.) It’s right to refute them like this. By refuting them in this way, you are showing that what they say about people who are born into Christian families having a good fate is untenable and not in accord with the truth. Now, is your opinion on good and bad fates a little more accurate? (Yes.) What view should people hold toward the matter of believing in fate that is most correct, most appropriate, and that accords with the truth? First, you cannot judge fate as being good or bad from the perspective of worldly people. Furthermore, you should believe that the fate of every member of the human race is arranged by the hand of God. Some people ask, “Does being arranged by the hand of God mean that God arranges it Himself?” No, it doesn’t. There are myriad ways, means and channels by which God arranges the fates of man and there are complicated details to this in the spiritual realm which I shall not speak of here. It’s a very complicated matter, but generally speaking, it is all arranged by the Creator. Some of these arrangements are made by God Himself for various kinds of people, while some involve categorizing the various types of people and groups of people according to the regulations, administrative decrees, principles, and systems set by God; according to their category and the trajectory of their fate set by God, people’s fates are arranged and formulated in the spiritual realm, and then they are born. This is a very detailed matter, but generally speaking, God arranges and holds sovereignty over it all. God’s sovereignty and arrangements involve the principles, laws and rules of His sovereignty and arrangements. There is no good or bad here, it is all a natural matter of course for God, involving cause and effect. With regards to how people feel about fate, they can have good feelings and bad feelings, there can be fates where everything goes smoothly, fates filled with obstacles, difficult fates, and unhappy fates—there are no good or bad fates. What attitude should people have toward fate? You should comply with the Creator’s arrangements, actively and strenuously seek the Creator’s purpose and meaning in His arrangement of all these things and achieve understanding of the truth, bring into play your greatest functions in this life God has arranged for you, perform the duties, responsibilities, and obligations of a created being, and make your life more meaningful and more of value, until finally the Creator is pleased with you and remembers you. Of course, what would be even better would be to attain salvation through your seeking and strenuous effort—this would be the best outcome. In any case, with regards to fate, the most appropriate attitude created mankind should have is not one of wanton judgment and circumscription, or using extreme methods to deal with it. Of course, much less should people try to resist, choose, or change their fate, but rather they should use their heart to appreciate it, and seek, explore, and comply with it, before facing it positively. Finally, in the living environment and on the journey set for you in life by God, you should seek the way of conduct God teaches you, seek the path God requires you to take, and experience the fate God has arranged for you in this way, and in the end, you will be blessed. When you experience the fate the Creator has arranged for you in this way, what you come to appreciate is not only sorrow, sadness, tears, pain, frustration, and failure but, more importantly, you will experience joy, peace, and comfort, as well as the enlightenment and illumination of the truth which God bestows on you. What’s more, when you become lost along your path through life, when you are faced with frustration and failure, and you have a choice to make, you will experience the Creator’s guidance, and in the end you will attain the understanding, experience and appreciation of how to live the most meaningful life. Then you won’t ever become lost in life again, you won’t ever be in a constant state of anxiety again and, of course, you won’t ever again complain about having a bad fate, much less will you sink into feelings of depression because you feel your fate is bad. If you have this attitude and you use this method to face the fate the Creator has arranged for you, then not only will your humanity become more normal, you will come to have a normal humanity, and the thinking, views and principles on how to view the things of normal humanity, but you will, of course, also come to have the views and understanding on the meaning of life which unbelievers will never have. Unbelievers are always saying, “Where do we come from? Where do we go to? Why are we alive?” There is always someone asking these questions, and what answers do they come up with in the end? They end with question marks, not answers. Why can’t they find the answers to these questions? Even though some intelligent people believe in fate, they have no idea how to approach the matter of fate or how to deal with the manifold difficulties, frustrations, failures, and unhappiness that arise in their fate; neither do they know how to deal with the things that happen in their fate that cause them to feel joyful and happy—they don’t know how to handle them. One minute they say they have a good fate, the next minute they say they have a bad fate; one minute they say they have a happy life, the next minute they say they have an unlucky life—they say both these things with the same mouth. They say one thing when they’re happy and another thing when they’re unhappy; they say one thing when things are going smoothly for them, and another thing when things are not going smoothly; it is they who say they are unlucky, and they who say their fate is good. Clearly, they live with no clarity or understanding. They are always groping in the mist, living in confusion, with no way out. Therefore, people should have a clear understanding and a clear path forward with regard to how they should treat fate correctly, what they should do, and how they should face this major issue in life. Once this issue is resolved, people’s attitudes and views toward fate should be relatively correct and in accordance with the truth principles, and then they will never go to extremes in this matter.
Do these sayings about fate that I have just fellowshiped on accord with the truth? (They do.) Do you know what the characteristics are of sayings that accord with the truth? (When people hear them, they feel clearer and more at ease.) (They are rather practical and they contain paths of practice.) That’s right, they are rather practical; this is a more accurate way to put it. There are even more accurate ways to describe this. Who will speak next? (They can resolve people’s current problems.) This is the effect of their practicality. They can resolve problems because they are practical. People believe in fate, but their minds are always entangled by the idea of good fates and bad fates, so, tell Me, are they liberated and free in their innermost hearts, or are they bound? (They’re bound.) If you don’t understand the truth, then you will be constantly bound by this idea. Once you understand the truth, besides feeling that it is practical and that you have a way forward, what else will you feel? (Liberated.) That’s right, you will feel free and liberated. When you have a path of practice and are no longer trapped, won’t your spirit then be liberated and free? Those warped and absurd views will not be able to bind your thoughts or your hands and feet; you will have a path to follow, and you will no longer be controlled by those views. Once you have heard God fellowship on the fates of man, you will feel free and liberated, and you will say, “Oh, so that’s how it is! Wow, my understanding about fate was so warped and extreme before! Now I understand, and I’m no longer bothered by the incorrect idea of fates being good or bad. I’m not troubled by it anymore. If I hadn’t understood this, I’d always be thinking my fate was good one minute and suddenly bad the next, and wondering whether my fate was good or bad! I’d be worrying about it constantly.” Once you’ve understood this truth, you will have a path to follow, you will have an accurate opinion on the matter, and you will have an accurate path of practice—this means that you are free and liberated. So, in order to discern whether someone’s words are in accordance with the truth principles, and whether they are the truth, you must listen for whether these words are practical or not; at the same time, you should observe whether your difficulties and problems are resolved once you have heard these words—if they are, then you will feel free and liberated, like a heavy weight has been lifted from you. Therefore, every time you come to understand a truth principle, you will be able to resolve some related problems and put some truths into practice, and this will make you feel liberated and free. Won’t this be the outcome? (It will.) Do you now understand what effect the truth has exactly? (Yes.) What effect can the truth have? (It can make people’s spirits feel free and liberated.) Does the truth only have this one effect? Just this one feeling? (Primarily, it resolves the incorrect and radical views that people harbor toward things. Once people view things in a way that is pure and accords with the truth, they will feel liberated and free in their spirits, and they will no longer be bound or disturbed by the negative things that come from Satan.) Besides feeling free and liberated in your spirit, the crucial thing is that it can enable you to enter into a certain truth reality, so that you are no longer bound or swayed by erroneous and warped thoughts and views. Their place is taken by the principles of practicing the truth and then you can enter into that truth reality. I will end here My fellowship on the manifestations of people who feel depressed because they think they have a bad fate.
Another reason why some people become depressed is that, although they don’t think their fates are that bad, they feel that they are always unlucky and that nothing good ever happens to them, just like the unbelievers say: “The God of Luck always passes me by.” Even though they don’t feel that their circumstances are that bad, and they are tall and good looking, educated and talented, and they’re capable workers, they wonder why the God of Luck never favors them. This always makes them feel dissatisfied, and they always think themselves to be unlucky. Beginning with the year when they take their college entrance examinations, their hearts are filled with hope for getting into college, but when the day of the exams comes, they get the flu and run a fever. This affects how they perform in the exams, and they miss out on getting into college by two or three points. They think to themselves: “How could I have been so unlucky? I’m good at my studies and I usually work very hard. Why did I have to run a fever on the day of the college entrance exams, of all days? Oh dear! The first major event in my life and I’ve suffered a setback. What should I do now? I hope that my luck will be better in the future.” But later on in their lives, they meet all manner of difficulties and problems. For example, some business is hiring new staff and they are just getting ready to apply when they find out that all the job vacancies have been filled and the company doesn’t need anyone else. They wonder, “How could I have such bad luck? Whenever something good comes along, why does it just pass me by? It’s such bad luck!” And on the first day they start working somewhere, other people have just been promoted to manager, deputy manager, and department head. No matter how hard they work, it’s of no use; they have to wait for next time to get promoted. Because they perform well at work and their superiors regard them quite well, they think they’ll get promoted next time, but in the end their superiors bring in a manager from somewhere else, and they lose out again. They think to themselves, “Oh dear! It seems like I really do have bad luck. I never have any good luck—the God of Luck never favors me.” Later, they come to believe in God, and, as they enjoy writing, they hope to be able to perform a text-based duty, but in the end they don’t perform very well at the test and they fail. They think, “Usually I write very well, so why couldn’t I perform well on the test? God didn’t enlighten or lead me! I thought that by performing a text-based duty, I’d be able to eat and drink God’s words more and understand the truth more. It’s too bad that I was unlucky. Although the plan was a good one, it just didn’t pan out.” In the end they pick from many other duties, saying, “I’ll go spread the gospel in a gospel team.” Things with the gospel team are great to begin with and they feel like this time they’ve found their place, like they can put their skills to good use. They think that they’re smart, they’re capable in their work, and they’re willing to do practical work. With effort, they manage to achieve some results, and they become a supervisor. However, they do something wrong, and their leader finds out. They’re told that what they’ve done goes against the principles and that it has impacted the work of the church. After their team is dealt with and pruned, someone says to them, “We were doing great before you came along. Then you arrived and we get dealt with for the first time.” They wonder, “Isn’t this still my bad luck?” Sometime later, people are reallocated due to changes in the gospel work and they go from being a supervisor to being just another member of the team, and they’re sent to a new area to spread the gospel. They think, “Oh no, I’m going down instead of up. No one was reallocated before I got there, so how come this big reallocation is happening now that I’ve arrived? Now that I’ve been sent here, I’ve got no hope of ever being promoted.” There are few churches and few church members in this new area. They experience difficulties getting the work started and they don’t have any experience. They have to figure it out for a while, and there are language difficulties too, so what can they do? They want to throw their hands up and walk away, but they don’t dare; they want to do their duties well but it’s so difficult and exhausting, and they think, “Oh, it’s because I’m so unlucky! How can I change my luck?” They hit a wall everywhere they turn, always feeling that they have bad luck, with something blocking their every move, and every step they take is so difficult. It took a lot of effort for them to achieve some results, and to see a little hope, and then their circumstances changed, and the hope disappeared, and they have no choice but to start all over again. They become more and more depressed, thinking, “Why is it so hard for me to achieve a few results and get people’s approval? Why is it so hard to get a firm foothold in a group of people? Why is it so hard to be someone people approve of and like? Why is it so hard for everything to go well and smoothly? Why do so many things go wrong in my life? Why are there so many obstacles? Why do I always run into a wall in everything I do?” In particular, some people never perform their duties well, no matter where they go, and they always get replaced and cast out. They get so depressed and always believe themselves to be unlucky, thinking, “I’m like a swift horse that never gets noticed. As the saying goes, ‘There are many swift horses, but few who can recognize them.’ I’m like a swift horse who hasn’t been discovered. At the end of the day, I’m just unlucky and I can’t achieve anything or do well in any field no matter where I go. I can never put my strengths to use, or show them off, or get what I want. Oh, I’m so unlucky! What’s going on here?” They always feel they have bad luck and spend every day in a cloud of anxiety, thinking, “Oh no! Please don’t let me be reallocated to another duty,” or “Oh no! Please don’t let anything bad happen,” or “Oh no! Please don’t let anything change,” or “Oh no! Please don’t let there be any more major problems.” Not only do they get depressed, but they also feel incredibly uneasy, restless, irritable, and anxious. They always think that their luck is bad, so they feel incredibly depressed, and this depression arises from their subjective feeling of being unlucky. They always feel unlucky, they never get promoted, they can never be a team leader or a supervisor, and they never get the chance to stand out from the crowd. These good things never happen to them, and they can’t figure out why on earth this is the case. They think, “I’m not lacking in any respect, so why doesn’t anyone like me wherever I go? I haven’t offended anyone or wanted to give someone a hard time, so why am I so unlucky?” Because they always cling to such feelings, this emotion of depression is constantly reminding them, saying, “You’re unlucky, so don’t get complacent, don’t go swaggering about, and don’t always be wanting to stand out. You’re unlucky, so don’t even think about becoming a leader. You’re unlucky, so you must be more careful when performing your duty and hold back a little, just in case one day you’re exposed and replaced, or just in case someone reports you behind your back and seizes upon something to ruin you, or just in case you’re always taking the lead and you make a mistake and get dealt with. Even if you become a leader, you still must be careful and cautious all the time, as though you are walking along the edge of a knife. Don’t be arrogant, you must be humble.” This negative emotion reminds them all the time to be humble, to slink around with their tails between their legs and not to comport themselves with any dignity ever again. The idea, the thought, the perspective, or the awareness that their luck is bad reminds them all the time not to be positive or active, not to assert themselves, and not to stick their necks out. Instead, they must keep on being depressed, not daring to live before others. Even if everyone is in the same house, they have to find an inconspicuous place to sit in so that they’re not so noticeable. They must not come across as too arrogant, because the moment they begin to show any arrogance, their bad luck will find them. Because the emotion of depression surrounds them constantly and is always warning them of these things in their innermost hearts, they are timid and cautious in everything they do. They always feel uneasy in their hearts, they can never find their proper place, and they can never put all their hearts, minds, and strength into fulfilling their responsibilities and obligations. It’s as though they’re guarding against something and waiting for something to happen. They guard against the coming of bad luck, against the bad things and embarrassments that their bad luck will bring upon them. Therefore, apart from the struggles in their innermost hearts, it is more the emotion of depression that dominates the ways and methods by which they view people and things, and comport themselves and act. They always use good luck and bad luck to measure their own behavior, and to gauge whether the ways that they view people and things, and comport themselves and act are correct, and that’s why they repeatedly sink into this emotion of depression and cannot extricate themselves, and why they are unable to use the correct thinking and views to face these so-called “unlucky” things, or to handle and resolve what they call their terrible luck. In such a vicious cycle as this, they are constantly controlled and influenced by this emotion of depression. With a great deal of effort, they manage to open their hearts and fellowship about their state or their ideas with others, but then, at gatherings, the words spoken by brothers and sisters in fellowship intentionally or unintentionally touch upon their state and the crux of their issue, which makes them feel like their pride and dignity have been hurt. They still believe this is a manifestation of their own bad luck, and they think, “You see? It was so hard for me to talk about what was in my heart, and as soon as I do, someone seizes upon it and tries to ruin me. I’m so unlucky!” They believe this is their bad luck at work and that when a person is unlucky absolutely everything is against them.
What is the problem with people who always think that they are unlucky? They always use the standard of luck to measure whether their actions are right or wrong, and to weigh up which path they should take, the things that they should experience, and any problems that they face. Is that right or wrong? (Wrong.) They describe bad things as unlucky and good things as lucky or advantageous. Is this perspective right or wrong? (Wrong.) Measuring things from this kind of perspective is wrong. It is an extreme and incorrect method and standard for measuring things. This kind of method often leads people to sink into depression, and it often makes them feel uneasy, and that nothing ever goes their way, and that they never get what they want, which eventually leads them to feel constantly anxious, irritable, and uneasy. When these negative emotions go unresolved, these people constantly sink into depression and feel that God does not favor them. They think that God treats others with grace but not them, and that God takes care of others but not them. “Why do I always feel uneasy and anxious? Why do bad things always happen to me? Why do good things never come my way? Just once is all I’m asking for!” When you view things with this kind of erroneous way of thinking and perspective, you will fall into the trap of good and bad luck. When you are continually falling into this trap, you will constantly feel depressed. In the midst of this depression, you will be particularly sensitive to whether the things that befall you are lucky or unlucky. When this happens, it proves that this perspective and idea of good and bad luck has taken control of you. When you are controlled by this kind of perspective, your views and attitude toward people, events, and things are no longer within the range of the conscience and reason of normal humanity, but have fallen into a sort of extreme. When you fall into this extreme, you will not emerge from your depression. You will keep getting depressed time and time again, and even if you do not normally feel depressed, as soon as something goes wrong, as soon as you feel that something unlucky has happened, you will immediately sink into depression. This depression will affect your normal judgment and decision-making, and even your happiness, anger, sorrow, and joy. When it affects your happiness, anger, sorrow, and joy, it will disturb and destroy the performance of your duty, as well as your will and desire to follow God. When these positive things are destroyed, the few truths you have come to understand will vanish into thin air and be of no help to you at all. That is why, when you fall into this vicious cycle, it will be hard for you to put the few truth principles that you understand into practice. It is only when you feel that your luck is in, when you are not suppressed by depression that you can reluctantly pay a bit of a price, suffer a little hardship, and show a sliver of sincerity while doing the things you are willing to do. As soon as you feel that luck has deserted you and that unfortunate things are happening to you again, your depression soon takes control of you again, and your sincerity, loyalty, and will to endure hardship immediately leave you. Therefore, people who think that they are unlucky or who take luck very seriously are just like those people who think that their fates are bad. They often have very extreme emotions—in particular, they frequently slip into negative emotions such as depression. They are particularly negative and weak, and they are even prone to mood swings. When they feel lucky, they’re filled with joy, replete with energy, and they can endure hardships and pay a price; they can sleep less at night, and eat less food during the day, they’re willing to suffer any hardship, and if they get momentarily excited, they’re happy to offer up their lives. However, the moment they feel that they’ve been unlucky recently, when nothing seems to go right for them at all, the emotion of depression immediately seizes their heart. The vows and the resolutions they made before are all negated; suddenly they’re like a deflated ball, unable to muster up any energy, or like a puddle of mush, unwilling to do anything or say anything at all. They think, “The truth principles, pursuing the truth, attaining salvation, obeying God—none of these has anything to do with me. I’m unlucky and it’s no use no matter how many truths I practice or how much of a price I pay, I’ll never attain salvation. I’m done. I’m like an unlucky charm, an unfortunate individual. Well, so be it, I’m unlucky in any case!” See, one minute they’re like a ball that’s so full of air that it’s about to burst, and the next minute they’re deflated. Isn’t this troublesome? How does this trouble come about? What is the root cause? They’re always watching their own fortunes, as though they’re watching the stock market, to see whether it’s going up or down, whether it’s a bull market or a bear market. They’re always neurotic, incredibly sensitive to the matter of their luck, and incredibly stubborn. This kind of extreme person will often become mired in the emotion of depression because they care too much about their own fortune and they live based on their moods. If they’re in a bad mood when they get up in the morning, they think, “Oh no! I bet today isn’t going to be a lucky day. My left eyelid has been twitching for several days, my tongue feels stiff, and my brain is sluggish. I bit my tongue while eating, and I didn’t have a good dream when I slept last night.” Or they think, “The first words I heard someone say today seem like a bad omen.” They’re constantly paranoid, rambling on and on about this mumbo jumbo, and making a study of such things. They are incredibly concerned about their own fortune, direction, and mood every day and in every period. They also observe the looks, attitude, and even tone of voice that all their brothers and sisters in the church use toward them. Their hearts are occupied by these things, which makes them constantly depressed. They know that they are not in a good state and yet they do not pray to God, or seek the truth to resolve it, and no matter what corrupt dispositions they reveal, they do not pay any attention to them or take them seriously. Is this not a problem? (It is.)
These people who are always concerned about whether they have good or bad luck—is the way that they view things correct? Does good luck or bad luck exist? (No.) What is the basis for saying that it does not exist? (The people we meet and the things that happen to us every day are determined by God’s sovereignty and arrangements. There is no such thing as good luck or bad luck; everything happens out of necessity and has meaning behind it.) Is that correct? (It is.) This view is correct, and this is the theoretical basis for saying that luck does not exist. Whatever happens to you, whether good or bad, it is all normal, just like the weather through the four seasons—not every day can be sunny. You cannot say that sunny days are arranged by God, whereas cloudy days, rain, wind, and storms are not. Everything is determined by God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and is generated by the natural environment. This natural environment arises according to the laws and rules that God arranged and established. All of this is necessary and imperative, so no matter what the weather, it is generated and brought about by natural laws. There is nothing good or bad in it—only people’s feelings about it are good or bad. People do not feel good when it is raining, windy or cloudy, or during hailstorms. People particularly do not like it when it is raining and damp; their joints ache and they feel weak. You might feel bad about rainy days, but can you say that rainy days are unlucky? This is just a feeling that the weather arouses in people—luck has nothing to do with the fact that it is raining. You might say that sunny days are good. If it is sunny for three months, without a drop of rain, people feel good. They can see the sun every day, and it is dry and warm with an occasional slight breeze, and they can go outdoors whenever they want. But the plants cannot tolerate it, and the crops die due to drought, so there is no harvest that year. So, does you feeling good mean that it is really good? Come the autumn, when you have no food to eat, you will be saying, “Oh dear, it’s not good to have too many sunny days either. If it doesn’t rain, the crops suffer, there’s no food to harvest, and people go hungry.” At this point, you realize that endless sunny days are not good either. The fact is that whether a person feels good or bad about something is based on their own selfish motives, desires, and self-interest, rather than on the essence of the thing itself. So, the basis on which people gauge whether something is good or bad is inaccurate. Because the basis is inaccurate, the final conclusions that they draw are also inaccurate. Returning to the subject of good luck and bad luck, now everyone knows that this saying of luck does not hold water, and that it is neither good nor bad. The people, events, and things that you encounter, whether good or bad, are all determined by God’s sovereignty and arrangements, so you should face them properly. Receive what is good from God, and receive what is bad from God as well. Do not say that you’re lucky when good things happen, and that you’re unlucky when bad things happen. It can only be said that there are lessons for people to learn within all these things, and they should not reject or avoid them. Thank God for the good things, but also thank God for the bad things, because all of them are arranged by Him. Good people, events, things, and environments provide lessons that they should learn, but there is even more to be learned from bad people, events, things, and environments. These are all experiences and episodes that should be part of one’s life. People should not use the idea of luck to measure them. So, what are the thoughts and perspectives of people who use luck to measure whether things are good or bad? What is the essence of such people? Why do they pay so much attention to good luck and bad luck? Do people who focus a lot on luck hope that their luck is good, or do they hope that it is bad? (They hope that it is good.) That is right. In fact, they pursue good luck and for good things to happen to them, and they just take advantage of them and profit from them. They do not care how much others suffer, or how many hardships or difficulties others have to endure. They do not want anything that they perceive as unlucky to happen to them. In other words, they do not want any bad things to happen to them: no setbacks, no failures or embarrassments, no being dealt with or pruned, no losing things, no losing out, and no being deceived. If any of that happens, they regard it as bad luck. No matter who arranges it, if bad things happen, it is unlucky. They hope that all good things—from being promoted, standing out from the crowd, and benefiting at others’ expense, to profiting from something, making lots of money, or becoming a high-ranking official—happen to them, and they think that is good luck. They always measure the people, events, and things that they encounter based on luck. They are pursuing good luck, not bad luck. As soon as the slightest thing goes wrong, they get angry, annoyed, and dissatisfied. To put it bluntly, these types of people are selfish. They pursue benefiting themselves at other people’s expense, making a profit for themselves, coming out on top, and standing out from the crowd. They would be satisfied if every good thing happened to them alone. This is their nature essence; it is their true face.
Everyone has to go through many setbacks and failures in life. Who has a life filled with nothing but satisfaction? Who never experiences any failures or setbacks? When sometimes things don’t go right for you, or you come across setbacks and failures, this isn’t bad luck, it’s what you ought to experience. It’s like eating food—you have to eat the sour, the sweet, the bitter, and the spicy alike. People cannot do without salt and must eat some salty foods, but if you eat too much salt, it’ll harm your kidneys. You have to eat some sour foods in some seasons, but it won’t do to eat too much, as it’s not good for your teeth or your stomach. Everything has to be eaten in moderation. You eat sour foods, salty foods and sweet foods, and you have to eat some bitter foods, too. Bitter foods are good for some internal organs, so you have to eat a little. A person’s life is the same. Most of the people, events, and things you come across in every stage of your life won’t be to your liking. Why is this? It’s because people pursue different things. If you pursue fame and fortune, status, and wealth, to be superior to others and achieve great success, and so on, then 99 percent of things won’t be to your liking. It’s just as people say: It’s all bad luck and misfortune. However, if you give up on the idea of how lucky or unlucky you are, and treat these things calmly and correctly, you will find that most things are not so unfavorable or difficult to deal with. When you let go of your ambitions and desires, when you stop rejecting or avoiding whatever misfortune befalls you, and you stop measuring such things by how lucky or unlucky you are, many of the things that you used to see as unfortunate and bad, you will now think of as good—the bad things will turn into good things. Your mentality and the way that you view things will change, which will enable you to feel differently about your life experiences, and at the same time reap different rewards. This is an extraordinary experience, one which will bring you unimagined rewards. It is a good thing, not a bad thing. For example, some individuals always get the appreciation, they always get the promotions, they always receive praise and encouragement, they often win approval from their brothers and sisters, and everyone looks at them with envy. Is this a good thing? Most people think that these things happen because those individuals have luck on their side. They say: “Look, that guy has good caliber, he was born lucky and he’s done well in his life—he gets the good opportunities and wins the promotions. He is just really lucky!” They are incredibly envious. And yet, in the end, that individual is dismissed within a few years and becomes an ordinary believer. He cries over it and tries to hang himself, and in the space of a few days he is cleared out. Is this good luck? If you look at it that way, he is desperately unlucky. But is it actually a case of bad luck? (No.) In fact, it is not that he has bad luck, it is that he did not follow the right path. Because he did not follow the right path, when things that people perceive as “lucky” happened to him, they became a temptation, a trap, and a catalyst that accelerated his destruction. Is this a good thing? He always aspired to be promoted, to be a cut above everyone else, to be the center of attention, and for everything to go well and the way that he wanted it to, but what happened in the end? Was he not cast out? This is the result that comes when people do not follow the right path. Pursuing good luck in itself is not the right path. People who pursue luck are sure to reject and avoid all bad things, all the things that people tend to regard as undesirable, the things that do not conform to people’s moods and fleshly interests. They fear, avoid, and reject the occurrence of these things. When these things happen, they describe them as “unlucky.” Can they seek the truth when they think they are unlucky? (No.) Do you think that people who cannot seek the truth and who always think that they are unlucky can walk the right path? (No.) They certainly cannot. Therefore, people who always pursue luck, who always focus only on their luck and contemplate their luck, are people who do not follow the right path. Such people do not attend to their proper duties, and they do not follow the right path, so they keep sinking into depression. This is their own fault, and they deserve it! It’s because they follow the wrong path! They deserve to sink into depression. Is it easy to get out of this depression? In fact, it is easy. Just let go of your erroneous perspectives, do not expect everything to go well, or exactly the way you want it to, or smoothly. Do not fear, resist, or reject things that go wrong. Instead, let go of your resistance, calm down, and come before God with an attitude of obedience, and accept all that God arranges. Do not pursue so-called “good luck,” and do not reject so-called “bad luck.” Give your heart and your whole being to God, let Him do the acting and orchestrating, and submit to His orchestrations and arrangements. God will give you what you need in just measure when you need it. He will orchestrate the environments, people, events, and things that you require, according to your needs and deficiencies, so that you can learn the lessons that you ought to be learning from the people, events, and things that you come across. Of course, the prerequisite to all this is that you must have a mentality of obedience toward God’s orchestrations and arrangements. So, do not pursue perfection; do not reject or fear the occurrence of undesirable, embarrassing, or unfavorable things; and do not use your depression to inwardly resist the occurrence of bad things. For example, if a singer has a sore throat one day and does not perform well, they think, “I’m so unlucky! Why isn’t God looking after my voice? I usually sing so well when I’m on my own, but today I’ve embarrassed myself singing in front of everyone. I couldn’t get my pitch right, and I couldn’t grasp the tempo. I’ve made a big fool of myself!” Making a fool of yourself is a good thing. It helps you to see your own deficiencies and your love of vanity. It shows you where your problems lie and it helps you to understand clearly that you are not a perfect person. There are no perfect people and making a fool of yourself is very normal. All people experience times where they make a fool of themselves or are embarrassed. All people fail, experience setbacks, and have weaknesses. Making a fool of yourself is not bad. When you make a fool of yourself but do not feel embarrassed, and do not feel depressed deep inside, that does not mean you are thick-skinned; it means that you do not care whether making a fool of yourself will affect your reputation and it means that your vanity no longer occupies your thoughts. It means that you have matured in your humanity. This is wonderful! Is this not a good thing? It is a good thing. Do not think that you have not performed well or that you have bad luck, and do not look for the objective causes behind it. It is normal. You may make a fool of yourself, others may make fools of themselves, everyone may make a fool of themselves—eventually you will discover that everyone is the same, all are ordinary people, all mortals, that no one is greater than anyone else, and no one is any better than anyone else. Everyone makes a fool of themselves sometimes, so no one should make fun of anyone else. Once you have experienced numerous failures, you gradually mature in your humanity; so whenever you encounter these things again, you will no longer be constrained, and they will not have an impact on the normal performance of your duty. Your humanity will be normal, and when your humanity is normal, your reason will be normal too.
These people who enjoy pursuing luck are people who pursue good fortune in this life, who take things to extremes. What these people pursue is wrong and they should let it go. We fellowshiped just now on how to handle and take the correct approach to these undesirable things—do you understand this now? How did we fellowship on this? (People should submit to everything God orchestrates. They mustn’t seek to become perfect people, nor must they fear anything that makes them feel embarrassed or fear anything unfavorable happening, and people mustn’t use their feelings of depression to resist these things when they happen.) Get your mind calm and face it all with the right mindset. When bad things happen to you, you must have the correct path to approach and resolve them, and even if you don’t handle them well, you should still not sink into depression. If you fail, you can try again; at worst, failure is a lesson, and even if you do fail, it’s still better than being averse, resisting, rejecting, and running away. So, no matter what happens or what you must face in the future, you should never reject it or try to escape from it, much less measure it with the view of your luck being good or bad. Since you affirm that everything is orchestrated by the hand of God, you shouldn’t measure all these things with the view and mindset of your luck being good or bad, much less reject the bad things that happen. Of course, you shouldn’t approach these things with the emotion of depression, either. Rather, you should adopt a proactive attitude and positive mood to meet and approach these things, and see what lessons there are to learn and what understanding you should glean from them—this is what you ought to do. Won’t your thoughts and views then be right? (They will.) And when you once again face some bad or unfortunate things happening, you can approach them according to God’s words, you will have the correct thoughts and views and, in this way, your humanity and reason will become normal. When you look at it like this, isn’t it very important to have the correct view? Isn’t it crucially important to clearly understand the matter of fate according to God’s words? (Yes.) Now that we’re almost done with fellowshiping on this saying of luck being good or bad, do you understand now? (Yes.) If you can understand the essence of this kind of problem clearly, then you will have the correct view on the matter of fate.
There is also another cause for people sinking into the emotion of depression, which is that some particular things happen to people before they’ve come of age or after they’ve grown into adults, that is, they commit some transgressions or do some idiotic things, foolish things, and ignorant things. They sink into depression because of these transgressions, because of these idiotic and ignorant things they’ve done. This kind of depression is a condemnation of oneself, and it is also a kind of determination of the kind of person they are. This kind of transgression is certainly not just swearing at someone or badmouthing someone a little behind their back, or something petty like that, but rather it is something that involves shame, one’s personality and dignity, and even the law. As they continually bring the event to mind, the emotion of depression gathers little by little deep inside their heart, all the way up to the present. What are these transgressions? As I said just now, they are ignorant, idiotic and foolish things which people have done either as children or adults. Do you know what these things include? Idiotic, foolish and ignorant—these include things that harm others but benefit yourself, things that are difficult to talk about, and things which you feel ashamed about. It may be something dirty, despicable, obscene, or indecent, which causes you to sink into this emotion of depression. This depression is not just a simple sort of self-reproach but is rather a condemnation of oneself. Can you think of what might be included within this scope I’ve outlined? Give an example. (Promiscuity.) Promiscuity is one, yes. For example, some people have betrayed their husband or wife in thought or deed; some people have committed adultery and engaged in promiscuity, but they still don’t give it up and are always thinking about who they want to commit adultery with; some people have cheated others out of money, perhaps even large sums of money; some people have stolen things belonging to others; and some people have framed or exacted revenge on others. Some of these things come close to breaking the law, while some are indeed in breach of the law; some may be on the very fringes of moral boundaries, while some may indeed go against the ethics of normal humanity. These things are buried deep in the memories of people’s innermost hearts, and they are brought to mind from time to time. When you find yourself alone, when you’re unable to sleep in the dead of night, you cannot help but think of these things. They play before your mind’s eye like a movie, scene by scene, and you’re unable to erase them or shake them off. Every time you think of these things, you feel depressed, your face burns, your heart quivers, you feel embarrassed, and your spirit is filled with unease. Although you believe in God, you still feel as though these things you’ve done happened only yesterday. You can’t run from them, you can’t hide from them, and you have no idea how to leave them behind. Even though only a few others know what you’ve done, or perhaps no one knows, you feel a faint sense of unease in your heart. From this unease comes depression, and this depression makes you feel incriminated while you follow God and perform your duty. Whether this feeling of incrimination comes from your own conscience, from the law, or from your sense of morality and ethics, you cannot say for sure. In any case, people who have done these things often feel uneasy inadvertently, when some particular thing happens, or in some certain environments and contexts. This feeling of unease makes them fall unknowingly into deep depression, and they become bound up and restricted by their depression. Whenever they listen to a sermon or a fellowship on the truth, this depression slowly creeps into their mind and into their innermost heart, and they give themselves a grilling, asking, “Can I do this? Am I able to pursue the truth? Am I able to attain salvation? What kind of person am I? I did that thing before, I used to be that kind of person. Am I beyond saving? Will God still save me?” Some people can sometimes let go of their feelings of depression and leave them behind. They take their sincerity and all the energy they can muster and apply them to performing their duty, their obligations, and their responsibilities, and can even put all their heart and mind into pursuing the truth and contemplating God’s words, and they pour their effort into God’s words. The moment some special situation or circumstance comes along, however, the emotion of depression takes hold of them once again and makes them feel incriminated again deep in their heart. They think to themselves, “You did that thing before, and you were that kind of person. Can you attain salvation? Is there any point in practicing the truth? What does God think of what you’ve done? Will God forgive you for what you’ve done? Can paying the price in this way now make up for that transgression?” They often reproach themselves and feel incriminated deep inside, and they are always doubting, always grilling themselves with questions. They can never leave these feelings of depression behind them or cast them off, and they feel a perpetual sense of unease about the shameful thing they’ve done. So, despite having believed in God for so many years, it’s as if they’ve never listened to anything God has said nor understood it. It’s as if they don’t know whether attaining salvation has anything to do with them, whether they can be absolved and redeemed, or whether they are qualified to receive God’s judgment and chastisement and His salvation. They have no idea of all these things. Because they don’t receive any answers, and because they don’t get any accurate verdict, they feel constantly depressed deep inside. In their innermost heart, they recall what they did over and over again, they replay it in their mind over and over again, remembering how it all began and how it ended, remembering it all from start to finish. Regardless of how they remember it, they always feel sinful, and so they constantly feel depressed about this matter over the years. Even when they’re doing their duty, even when they’re in charge of a certain job, they still feel like they have no hope of being saved. Therefore, they never squarely face the matter of pursuing the truth and regard it as something most correct and important. They believe that the mistake they’ve made or the thing they’ve done in the past are looked poorly upon by most people, or that they may be condemned and despised by people, or even condemned by God. No matter what stage God’s work is at or how many utterances He has made, they never face the matter of pursuing the truth in the correct way. Why is this? They don’t have the courage to leave their depression behind. This is the final conclusion this type of person draws from having experienced this kind of thing, and because they don’t draw the correct conclusion, they are incapable of leaving their depression behind them.
There are bound to be many people who have committed some transgression or other, whether big or small, but there are most likely very few who have committed serious transgressions, the kind of transgression that goes beyond moral boundaries. We won’t talk about those who have committed various other transgressions here, we’ll just talk about what people who have committed serious transgressions, and who have committed the kind of transgression that goes beyond moral boundaries and ethics should do. As for the people who have committed serious transgressions—and here I’m talking about transgressions which go beyond moral boundaries—this does not involve offending God’s disposition and violating His administrative decrees. Do you understand? I’m not talking about transgressions which offend God’s disposition, His essence, or His identity and status, and I’m not talking about transgressions which are blasphemous against God. What I’m talking about are the transgressions which go beyond moral boundaries. There is also something to be said about how those people who have committed transgressions like this can resolve their feelings of depression. Such people have two paths they can take, and it is a simple matter. First, if you feel in your heart that you can let go of that thing you did, or you have the opportunity to apologize to the other person and make it up to them, then you can go make it up to them and apologize, and feelings of peace and ease will return to your spirit; if you don’t have the opportunity to do this, if this is not possible, if you truly come to know your own problem in your innermost heart, if you realize just how serious this thing is that you’ve done, and you feel truly remorseful, then you should come before God to confess and repent. Whenever you think of the thing you’ve done and feel incriminated, which is precisely the time when you should come before God to confess and repent, you must bring your sincerity and true feelings to receive God’s absolution and forgiveness. And how can you be absolved and forgiven by God? This depends on your heart. If you truly confess, truly recognize your mistake and your problem, and whether it be a transgression that you’ve committed or a sin, you adopt an attitude of true confession, you feel true hatred for what you’ve done, and you really turn yourself around, so that you will never do that wrong thing again, then, one day, you will receive God’s absolution and forgiveness, that is, God will no longer determine your end based on the ignorant, foolish, and dirty things you have done before. When you reach this level, God will forget the matter entirely; you will be just the same as other normal people, without the slightest difference. However, the premise to this is that you must be sincere and have a true attitude of repentance, like David. How many tears did David weep for the transgression he’d committed? Countless tears. How many times did he weep? Countless times. The tears he wept can be described with these words: “Every night make I my bed to swim.” I don’t know how serious your transgression is. If it is really serious, you may need to weep until your bed floats on the water of your tears—you may have to confess and repent to that level before you can receive God’s forgiveness. If you don’t do this, then I’m afraid your transgression will become a sin in God’s eyes, and you will not be absolved of it. Then you’d be in trouble and there would be no point in saying anything more about this. Therefore, the first step to receiving God’s absolution and forgiveness is that you must be sincere and take practical action to truly confess and repent. Some people ask, “Do I need to tell everyone about it?” That’s not necessary; just go and pray to God by yourself. Whenever you feel ill at ease and incriminated in your heart, you should immediately come before God to pray and receive His forgiveness. Some people ask, “How much do I have to pray before I know that God has forgiven me?” When you no longer feel incriminated by this matter, when you no longer slip into depression because of this matter, that is when you will have achieved results, and it will show that God has absolved you. When no one, no power, and no outside force can disturb you, and when you are not under the sway of any person, event, or thing, that is when you will have achieved results. This is the first step you need to take. The second step is that, while constantly beseeching God for absolution, you should actively seek the principles you should follow as you perform your duty—only by doing this will you be able to perform your duty well. Of course, this is also a practical action, a practical expression and attitude that make up for your transgression, and that proves that you are repentant and that you have turned yourself around; this is something you ought to do. How well do you perform your duty, the commission God gives to you? Do you approach it with a depressed attitude, or with the principles God requires you to follow? Do you offer up your loyalty? On what basis should God absolve you? Have you expressed any repentance? What are you showing to God? If you wish to receive God’s absolution, then you must first be sincere: You must have an attitude of earnest confession on the one hand, and you must also bring your sincerity and perform your duty well, otherwise there’s nothing to talk about. If you can do these two things, if you can move God with your sincerity and good faith, and have God absolve you of your sins, then you will be just like other people. God will look upon you in the same way as He looks upon other people, He will treat you in the same way as He treats other people, and He will judge and chastise, test and refine you just as He does other people—you will be treated no differently. In this way you will not only have the determination and desire to pursue the truth, but God will also enlighten you, guide you, and provide for you in the same way in your pursuit of the truth. Of course, because you now have a sincere and genuine desire and an earnest attitude, God will treat you no differently than anyone else and, just like other people, you will have the chance to attain salvation. You understand this, right? (Yes.) Having committed a serious transgression is a special case. We cannot say that it isn’t scary; it’s a very serious problem. It’s not the same thing as an ordinary corrupt disposition or someone having some incorrect thoughts and views. It is something that has actually happened, that has become fact, and which brings about serious consequences. That is why it should be treated in a special way. Whether it’s treated in a special way or a normal way, however, there is always a way forward and a way to resolve it, and this depends on whether you can practice in accordance with the ways and methods I tell you and guide you toward. If you really practice in this way, then your hopes of attaining salvation in the end will be the same as other people’s. Of course, resolving all of this is not just so that people can leave their feelings of depression behind. The ultimate goal is that, by resolving their feelings of depression, they can take the correct approach to all these things within the ambit of the conscience and reason of normal humanity when they encounter people, events, and things. They mustn’t go to extremes, and they mustn’t be stubborn; they should go further in seeking God’s will and seeking the truth, perform the responsibilities and duties a created being is supposed to perform, until finally they can view people and things and comport themselves and act wholly according to God’s words, with the truth as their criterion. Once people have entered into this reality, they will gradually be approaching the path of salvation, and in this way, they will have hope of attaining salvation. Is the path of how to resolve the emotion of depression that arise from serious transgressions now clear to you? (Yes, it is.)
Is resolving the emotion of depression a difficult problem? I think it’s very difficult, as it involves important matters in life, it involves the path people walk in their belief in God, whether they can attain salvation in the future or whether their belief will all be in vain—this is a major issue. On the surface, what is revealed is an emotion, when in fact there are reasons for the arising of this emotion. I’ve fellowshiped clearly on these reasons today, I have provided a way forward to resolve the problem of these causes now, so can’t the emotion of depression now be readily solved? (It is.) It has been resolved in theory. By having doctrinal understanding, then comparing this doctrine with what you have done in the past, using this doctrine as a basis to gradually solve your difficulties in life, the difficulties in your thinking, and consistently following this path, you can gradually embark upon the path in pursuit of the truth. What do you think of this way to solve the problem? (It’s good.) This is how people must solve the problem. If they don’t, then the complicated problems inside them—the problems in their thinking, the problems in their heart, their mental issues, as well as their corrupt dispositions—these things bind them tightly. They become bound and trapped like this, they suffer and feel exhausted all the time, they don’t know whether to laugh or cry, and they can never find a way out. When you have finished listening to today’s fellowship, you can ponder it carefully and come to have a doctrinal understanding of it. Then, through your practical experiences and personal experiences in your daily life, you can gradually emerge from these negative emotions and the various states of your corrupt dispositions. Once you have left them behind, not only will you be truly liberated and free, and not only will you have entered into the truth reality but, most importantly, you will have understood the truth, you will have gained the truth, and you will be able to live out the truth reality. You will then be of great use, and you will be living a life of value. Do you wish to live like that? (Yes.) Most people want to understand the truth and enter into the truth reality, and they don’t want to spend their lives in the negative emotions of the flesh, lustful desires of the flesh, worldly trends, and corrupt dispositions—that kind of life is too hard and exhausting. Will your life have a good outcome if you live in these corrupt dispositions and negative emotions? To live in these negative emotions is to live under the dominion of Satan. It’s like living in a meat grinder—sooner or later you will be chewed up, and it’s hard to find a way out. However, if you can accept the truth, then you have hope of leaving confusion and pain behind, and you will be able to escape the pain that comes from being entangled in and confused by negative emotions.
I’d originally planned on fellowshiping on more than one topic today, but I’ve ended up fellowshiping on depression for a long time. There is a lot to say about any matter; nothing can be clearly explained in just a few words. Whatever I talk about, I cannot just explain the doctrine of a matter and then call it a day. Any matter involves many aspects of the truth and reality; it involves people’s thoughts and views, the ways and means in which they conduct themselves, the path they walk, and all of this relates to your attainment of salvation. I cannot be careless when fellowshiping on a truth or a topic, and that’s why I try all the ways I can, like a nagging old grandma, to say these things over and over to you. Don’t complain about it being troublesome, and don’t complain about it being too long-winded. I may have spoken on a topic before, so why speak on it again? If I speak on it again, you can listen to it again and regard it as a review. That’s okay, isn’t it? (Yes.) In short, you must approach matters relating to the truth and the path people walk conscientiously, and you mustn’t be careless. The more details I go into and the more specific I get, the more detailed and clear your understanding becomes of the relationship between the various truths, as well as the differences and connections in the details between them, among other aspects. If I were to speak in general terms and just talk about some things overall, then you would find them hard to understand and enter into, and it would be exhausting for you trying to contemplate and figure out these things by yourselves, right? (Yes.) For example, our topic for today—fate, luck, and the negative emotions that arise from the particular transgressions people have committed in the past—you wouldn’t be able to think of these things on your own, and even if you did, you wouldn’t have a way out of them. Because you don’t understand the truth within these things, you will never be able to find the correct answer to the matter of having committed particular transgressions in the past, and it will always remain a mystery to you, forever bothering you and entangling you, robbing your innermost heart of peace, joy, freedom and liberation. Or perhaps because you didn’t handle the matter correctly and you didn’t follow the correct path, this had an impact on your attainment of salvation. In the end some people were abandoned and cast out. Why would this be? Because they did some unspeakable things in the past and they didn’t handle them well and receive absolution for them. Their heart was perpetually entangled by these things; they didn’t feel like pursuing the truth, they performed their duty in a slipshod manner, they didn’t enter into the truth reality, and they felt like it was hopeless for them to pursue the truth. They carried this negative view until the very end, they never talked about experiential testimony, and they didn’t gain the truth. Only then did they start to feel regret, but it was too late. Therefore, do all these matters relate to the truth and to attaining salvation? (They do.) Don’t think that just because these matters haven’t happened to you, or they haven’t happened to someone else, or they haven’t happened to the people around you, that they don’t exist. Let Me tell you, you may have done some disreputable things before that have not yet resulted in any frightening consequence, or you may have previously become mired in this kind of negative emotion or are mired in it now, only you didn’t notice and were unaware of it, and then one day something real happens and this emotion has a severe impact on you and results in serious consequences. Only when you examine yourself deeply do you discover that you have been mired in this negative emotion for many years or even longer without being aware of it. That’s why people need to continually contemplate, reflect, understand, appreciate, and experience these things in order to slowly discover them. Of course, finally discovering these things means extremely good news for you and is a great opportunity to attain salvation. When you do discover them, this will be when you have the chance or the hope to leave them behind, and what I have spoken about today will not have been spoken in vain. No truth, no topic, and no words can be understood completely and experienced in a day or two. Since it involves the truth, it involves humanity, people’s corrupt dispositions, the path people walk, and people’s attainment of salvation. Therefore, you cannot overlook any truth, but must take a conscientious approach to them all. Even if you don’t yet understand these truths too well and don’t know how to examine yourselves to see what problems you have according to these truths, then perhaps after you have experienced them for a few years these truths will save you from the grip of your corrupt dispositions, and they will become the precious truths that save you. When that happens, these truths will guide you onto the correct path through life, and perhaps in ten years or so, these words and these truths will have utterly changed your thoughts and views and utterly transformed your goals and direction in life.
That’s the end of our fellowship for today. Goodbye!
October 1, 2022