How to Pursue the Truth (6)
We fellowshiped last time about “letting go,” which is one of the principles of practice for how to pursue the truth. The first part of “letting go” means letting go of all negative emotions. We have already fellowshiped on this topic several times. Did we fellowship on the negative emotion of repression last time? (We did.) What did we fellowship on in regard to this? What causes people to feel repressed? (God fellowshiped that people do as they please in their duties, and are unwilling to abide by the church’s rules and regulations or be subject to restrictions. Due to their willfulness and their failure to act according to the principles, they can’t do their duties well, and so they are often pruned and dealt with. If they do not reflect on their actions and fail to resolve their problems by seeking the truth, they will feel repressed.) Last time, we fellowshiped about one kind of situation in which people feel the negative emotion of being repressed, which is mainly because they are unable to do as they please. That fellowship was primarily concerned with: situations where people are unable to do as they please, what things people wish to do as they please, and what common behaviors are present in people who wallow in the emotion of repression. We then fellowshiped on the path one must take to resolve this emotion. Have you reached any conclusions after hearing these fellowships on letting go of negative emotions, whether they were revealing the manifestations of man’s negative emotions, or telling people the path for letting go of them? What is this practice of letting go of negative emotions directed at? After listening to these fellowships, did you ponder on this? (God, my understanding is that this practice is directed at people’s views on things.) That is right, that is one aspect of it. It is concerned with people’s views on things. These views are primarily concerned with the various ideas and views that one clings to in the face of various people, matters, and things, and primarily directed at the various problems that one encounters in their normal human life and existence. Examples of this include: how to interact with others, how to defuse animosity, the attitude one should have toward marriage, family, work, their prospects, sickness, aging, death, and trivial matters in life. It also touches on how one should face their environment and how they should face the duty they are supposed to fulfill, among other issues. Does it not touch on these things? (It does.) As for all the major issues and matters of principle that relate to a normal human life and existence—if one has the right ideas, views, and attitude, then their humanity will be relatively normal. What I mean by “normal” is having normal reason and a normal perspective and stance on things. Only those who possess correct ideas and views will have an easy time understanding and entering into the truth when they are pursuing it. This means that only those with normal ideas and normal views, perspectives, and stances on people and things will be able to attain certain results in their pursuit of the truth. If a person’s perspective and stance on people and things, and their ideas, views, and attitude are all negative, do not conform with the conscience and rationality of normal humanity, and are radical, stubborn and impure—in short, if they are all negative, adverse, and depressive—if a person who possesses these kinds of negative ideas and views pursues the truth, will they find it easy to understand and practice it? (No.) It is simple enough for you to say that from a theoretical perspective, but in actuality, you do not really understand it. To put it simply, with regard to the various negative emotions we are fellowshiping on, if a person has a negative and inaccurate perspective and stance on various people, matters, and things they encounter in their life and on their life path, will they be able to achieve an understanding of the truth? (No.) If they are always wallowing in negative emotions, can they achieve a pure understanding of God’s words? (No.) If they are always dominated, controlled, and influenced by the thoughts and views of negative emotions, will their perspective and stance on all things, and their views of things that happen to them not be negative? (It will.) What is meant by “negative” here? Firstly, can we say that it runs counter to fact and objective laws? Does it violate the laws of nature that man should conform to, as well as the fact of God’s sovereignty? (Yes.) If people carry these negative ideas and views with them while listening to and reading God’s words, can they truly accept and submit to His words? Can they achieve submission to God and compatibility with God? (No.) Provide an example that illustrates this, so that I can see if you have understood. Find an example where one is dealing with major issues of their life and survival, like issues about marriage, family, children, or sickness, about their future, fate, whether their life goes smoothly, their worth, social status, personal interests, and so on. (I remember God fellowshiped last time that when people are faced with illness, they wallow in negative emotions like distress, anxiety, and worry, and are extremely afraid of dying. This affects their ability to perform their duty and live a normal life, and renders them unable to conform to objective laws. In reality, people’s lives and deaths, when they become ill, and how much they suffer are all predestined by God. People should face and experience these situations with a proper, positive attitude. They should seek the treatment they need, and do the duty they are supposed to do—they should maintain a positive state of being and not be trapped in their illness. But when people are wallowing in negative emotions, they do not believe in God’s sovereignty, and they do not believe that God has predestined their life and their death. They just feel worried, frightened, and anxious about their illness. They become increasingly worried and fearful—they are not governed by the truth of God’s sovereignty over man’s fate, and God is absent from their hearts.) That is a great example. Does this relate to the question of what view people ought to have on the significant matter of life and death? (Yes.) Do you all know something about this subject? This is a question of facing one’s own life and death. Does this relate to problems within the scope of normal humanity? (Yes.) This is a major issue that everyone must face. Even if you are young or in good health and have not dealt with or experienced life-and-death issues, inevitably a day will come when you will have to—this is something that everyone must face. As a normal person, no matter if you are personally affected by it, or if you are far removed from it, in any case, it is the most significant issue you will face in life. So, when faced with the significant matter of death, should people not ponder on how they should handle this issue? Will they not adopt some human methods to deal with it? What views should people cling to? Is this not a practical issue? (Yes.) If people are wallowing in negative emotions, what will they think? We fellowshiped on this before—if people live by thoughts and views of negative emotions, are their actions and expressions in keeping with the truth or not? Do they accord with the thinking of normal humanity or not? (No, they do not.) They do not accord with the thinking of normal humanity, and much less do they conform with the truth. They do not accord with objective facts or objective laws, and they certainly do not conform with God’s sovereignty.
What is the ultimate result of our fellowship about letting go of various negative emotions? How can you specifically act out and practice “letting go” in order to possess the thinking and reason of normal humanity, in other words, to possess the thoughts, perspectives, and viewpoints that someone with normal humanity and reason should possess? What are the specific steps or paths of practice involved in this “letting go”? Isn’t the first step to recognize whether your viewpoints on matters you face are correct and if they carry any negative emotions? This is the first step. For example, regarding the example we raised earlier about dealing with illness and death, you should first dissect your viewpoints toward such matters, whether there are any negative emotions in them, such as if you feel any distress, worry, or anxiety regarding these issues and how your distress, worry, and anxiety arise, and you should delve into the root cause of these problems. Next, keep dissecting, and you will discover that you haven’t fully understood these matters. You haven’t clearly recognized that everything of mankind is in God’s hands and under His sovereignty. Even when they fall ill or are faced with death, people should not become ensnared within these things. Instead, they should submit to the arrangements and orchestrations of God, without being intimidated or overwhelmed by illness or death. They should not be afraid of these things, nor let them influence their own normal lives and fulfillment of duties. In one respect, they ought to actively experience and appreciate God’s sovereignty and submit to His orchestrations and arrangements while going through illness, and they can seek treatment when necessary. That is, they should actively face, experience, and appreciate the process. In another respect, they ought to develop a correct understanding in their hearts about these matters and believe that everything is in the hands of God. Human beings can only do their part, and for the rest they should submit to Heaven’s will. Because everything is in the hands of God, and people’s life and death are all predestined by God. Even if people do what they are supposed to do, the ultimate outcome of all this does not shift according to their will, and it is not determined by people, right? (Right.) When faced with illness, you should first examine your own heart and identify any negative emotions. You should assess your understanding of the matter and the viewpoints you hold in your hearts, whether you are under the control or bondage of negative emotions and how these negative emotions have come about. You should dissect the following, such as what it is you are worried about, what it is you fear, where it is you feel insecure, and what you are unable to let go because of your illness, then examine the cause of these things that make you feel worried, frightened, or afraid, and gradually resolve each of them one by one. You should first dissect and explore whether these negative elements exist within yourself, and if they do, dissect and ascertain whether they are correct or if there are elements that do not align with the truth. If you find elements that do not align with the truth, you should seek answers in the words of God and gradually seek the truth to resolve them. You should strive to reach a state where you are not troubled, affected, or bound by these negative elements, making it so they don’t affect your normal life or work or the fulfillment of your duties, or disrupt the order of your life. And, of course, they should certainly not affect your belief in God and following Him. In summary, the goal is for you to eventually be able to face these kinds of problems you encounter or will encounter with reason, correctness, objectivity, and accuracy. Isn’t this the process of letting go? (It is.) This is the specific path of practice. Can you summarize what the specific path of practice is? (First, one needs to understand the matter they are facing, dissect whether they have any negative emotions during this process, then seek answers in the words of God, seek the truth to resolve them, and not let themselves be troubled by these negative emotions, nor their lives and the fulfillment of their duties be affected. Also, they should believe that the matters they encounter arise out of the sovereignty and arrangements of God. With this kind of understanding, people can eventually achieve submission and carry out a positive and proactive practice.) Tell Me, if people live in negative emotions, what is their typical behavior whenever they face illness? How do you realize when you have negative emotions? (First, there is a lot of fear, and we’ll start to have random thoughts like, “What kind of illness is this? Will it bring me a lot of suffering if I cannot cure it? Will it lead to death in the end? Will I still be able to fulfill my duty later on?” We will think about these things, worry about them, and feel afraid. Some people start paying more attention to their health, not willing to pay the price of fulfilling their duties, thinking that if they pay less of a price, their illness might be alleviated. These are all negative emotions.) Negative emotions can be probed from two angles. From one angle, you should know what you are thinking in your own mind. When you fall ill, you may think, “Oh no, how did I get this illness? Did someone pass it on to me? Is it because I’m tired? If I continue to tire myself out, will this illness grow worse? Will it become more painful?” This is one angle; you can perceive the things within your thoughts. From a different angle, when you have these thoughts, how are they manifested in your behavior? When people have thoughts, their actions are influenced accordingly. People’s actions, behavior, and methods are all governed by various thoughts. When people have these negative emotions, they give rise to various thoughts, and governed by these thoughts, their attitudes or methods regarding the fulfillment of their duties undergo a transformation. For example, in the past, sometimes they would start fulfilling their duties as soon as they woke up. But now, when it’s time to get out of bed, they start pondering, “Could this illness be due to exhaustion? Maybe I should sleep a little longer. I used to suffer too much and feel exhausted. Now I need to focus on taking care of my body so that the illness doesn’t get worse.” Governed by these active thoughts, they end up getting up later than usual. When it comes to eating, they ponder, “My illness may be related to a lack of nutrition. In the past, I could eat anything, but now I have to be selective. I should eat more eggs and meat so that my nutrition can keep pace and my body can grow strong—this way I won’t have to suffer from my illness anymore.” When it comes to fulfilling their duties, they are also constantly thinking about how to take care of their bodies. In the past, after working continuously for one or two hours they would at most stretch or stand up and move around. But now, they set a rule for themselves to move around every half an hour, so as not to tire themselves out. Whenever fellowshiping at gatherings, they try to speak as little as possible, thinking, “I need to learn to take care of my body.” In the past, no matter what question someone asked, or when, they would answer without hesitation. But now they want to speak less, to conserve their energy, and if someone asks too many questions, they say, “I need to rest.” You see, they have become particularly concerned about their physical body, which is different from before. Oftentimes they also pay constant attention to taking dietary supplements, eating fruit and exercising regularly. They think, “In the past, I was too stupid and ignorant and I didn’t know how to take care of my body. I followed my appetite and indulged in gluttony. Now that my body has problems, if I don’t focus on my health, and if my illness becomes severe and I can’t fulfill my duty, will I still receive blessings? I must pay attention to taking care of my body in the future and not let any ailments emerge.” So they start to pay attention to their health, and they no longer fulfill their duties with full dedication. They even regret and feel discontented about the suffering they endured and the price they paid in the past while fulfilling their duties. Aren’t these thoughts and behaviors influenced by and don’t they emerge from negative emotions? These thoughts and behaviors are indeed caused by these negative emotions. Then can these thoughts and behaviors along with their negative emotions help them have more faith in God and be more devoted in fulfilling their duties? Definitely not. What will the ultimate result be? They will fulfill their duties in a perfunctory manner without devotion. When they do things, can they seek the truth and act according to the truth principles? (No, they cannot.) They will do whatever they want while governed by these negative emotions, setting the truth aside, not treasuring it or putting it into practice. Everything they do, everything they put into practice will revolve around the thoughts generated by their own negative emotions. Can someone like this achieve the pursuit of the truth? (No, they cannot.) Then are these kinds of thoughts the thoughts that people with normal humanity should have? (No, they are not.) Since these kinds of thoughts are not the thoughts that people with normal humanity should have, where do you think they go wrong? (People do not have any understanding of God’s sovereignty and arrangements. In reality, these illnesses are all in God’s hands. The amount of suffering a person should endure is also determined and arranged by God. However, when a person lives in negative emotions, they tend to resort to scheming and are governed by erroneous thoughts and viewpoints. They rely on human methods and cherish their own physical bodies.) Is it right for a person to cherish their physical body like this? When a person is overly concerned about their physical body and keeps it well-fed, healthy, and robust, of what value is this to them? What meaning is there in living like this? What is the value of a person’s life? Is it merely for the sake of indulging in fleshly pleasures such as eating, drinking, and being entertained? (No, it is not.) Then what is it? Please share your thoughts. (To fulfill the duty of a created being, this at least is what a person should achieve in their life.) That is correct. Tell Me, if a person’s daily actions and thoughts throughout their entire life are solely focused on avoiding illness and death, on keeping their body healthy and free from diseases, and striving for longevity, is this the value a person’s life should have? (No, it is not.) That is not the value a person’s life should have. So, what is the value a person’s life should have? Just now, someone mentioned fulfilling the duty of a created being, which is one specific aspect. Is there anything else? Tell Me the aspirations you usually have while praying or establishing resolve. (To submit to God’s arrangements and orchestrations for us.) (To play the role well which God has assigned for us, and to fulfill our mission and responsibility.) Anything else? In one respect, it is about fulfilling the duty of a created being. In another, it is about doing everything within your ability and capacity to the best that you can, at least reaching a point where your conscience does not accuse you, where you can be at peace with your own conscience and be proven acceptable in the eyes of others. Taking it a step further, throughout your life, regardless of the family you were born into, your educational background, or personal qualities, you must have some understanding of the principles that people ought to comprehend in life. For example, what kind of path people should walk, how they should live, and how to live a meaningful life—you should at least explore a bit of the true value of life. This life cannot be lived in vain, and one cannot come to this earth in vain. In another respect, during your lifetime, you must fulfill your mission; this is the most important. We’re not talking about completing a great mission, duty, or responsibility; but at the very least, you should accomplish something. For instance, in the church, some people put all their efforts into the work of spreading the gospel, dedicating the energy of their entire lives, paying a great price, and gaining many people. Because of this, they feel that their lives have not been lived in vain, and that they hold value and comfort. When facing illness or death, when summing up their entire lives and thinking back on everything they ever did, on the path they walked, they find solace in their hearts. They experience no accusations or regrets. Some people spare no effort while leading in the church or being responsible for a certain aspect of work. They unleash their maximum potential, giving all of their strength, expending all their energy and paying the price for the work they do. Through their watering, leadership, help, and support, they help many people in the midst of their own weaknesses and negativity to become strong and stand firm, not to withdraw themselves, but instead to return to the presence of God and even finally bear witness to Him. Furthermore, during the period of their leadership, they accomplish many significant tasks, clearing out more than a few evil people, protecting many of God’s chosen people, and recovering a number of significant losses. All of these achievements take place during their leadership. Looking back at the path they walked, recalling the work they did and the price they paid over the years, they feel no regrets or accusations. They believe that they did nothing to merit remorse, and they live with a sense of value, and steadiness and comfort in their hearts. How wonderful is that! Isn’t this the result? (Yes.) This sense of steadiness and comfort, this lack of regrets, they are the result and the reward of pursuing positive things and the truth. Let’s not set high standards for people. Let’s consider a situation where a person is faced with a task they should do or want to do in their lifetime. After finding their place, they stand firmly in their position, holding their position, taking great pains, paying the price, and devoting all their energy to accomplish and finish what they should work on and complete. When they finally stand before God to give an account, they feel relatively satisfied, without accusations or regrets in their heart. They have a sense of comfort and of reward, that they have lived a valuable life. Isn’t this a significant goal? Regardless of its scale, tell Me, is it practical? (It is practical.) Is it specific? It’s specific enough, practical enough, and realistic enough. So, in order to live a valuable life and ultimately achieve this kind of reward, do you think it’s worth it for a person’s physical body to suffer a bit and pay a bit of a price, even if they experience exhaustion and physical illness? (It is worth it.) When a person comes into this world, it isn’t just for the enjoyment of the flesh, nor is it solely for eating, drinking, and having fun. One shouldn’t live just for those things; that is not the value of human life, nor is it the right path. The value of human life and the right path to follow involve accomplishing something valuable and completing one or multiple jobs of value. This is not called a career; it is called the right path, it is also called the proper task. Tell Me, is it worth it for a person to pay the price in order to complete some work of value, live a meaningful and valuable life, and pursue and attain the truth? If you truly desire to pursue and understand the truth, to embark on the right path in life, to fulfill your duty well, and to live a valuable and meaningful life, then you should not hesitate to give all of your energy, pay the price, and give all of your time and the extent of your days. If you experience a bit of illness during this period it will not matter, it will not crush you. Isn’t this far superior to a lifetime of ease and idleness, nurturing the physical body to the point that it is well-fed and healthy, and ultimately achieving longevity? (Yes.) Which one of these two options is more conducive to a valuable life? Which one can bring comfort and no regrets to people when they face death at the very end? (Living a meaningful life.) Living a meaningful life means to feel results and comfort in your heart. What about those who are well-fed, and maintain a rosy complexion until death? They don’t pursue a meaningful life, so how do they feel when they die? (Like they lived in vain.) These three words are incisive—living in vain. What does “living in vain” mean? (To waste one’s life.) Living in vain, wasting one’s life—what is the basis for these two phrases? (At the end of their lives they find that they have gained nothing.) What should a person gain then? (They should gain the truth or accomplish valuable and meaningful things in this life. They should fulfill their duty as a created being. If they fail to do all that and only live for their physical bodies, they will feel that their life was lived in vain and wasted.) When facing death, they will ponder what they have done throughout their lives. They will say, “Oh, I only thought about eating, drinking, and having fun every day. My health was good, and I didn’t experience any illnesses. My entire life was peaceful. But now that I’m getting older and about to die, where will I go after death? Will I go to hell or heaven? How will God arrange my end? Where will I go for my destination?” They will feel uneasy. Enjoying physical comfort throughout their lives, they didn’t have any awareness before, but now they feel uneasy as death approaches. Because they feel uneasy, won’t they start thinking about making amends? Is there still time to make amends at that point? (There is no time.) They do not have the strength to run anymore, nor do they have the strength to speak. Even if they want to pay a bit of a price or endure a bit of hardship, their physical strength is inadequate. Even if they want to go out and preach the gospel, they are not in the physical condition for it. Moreover, they don’t understand any of the truth and cannot fellowship about even a bit of it. There isn’t time for them to make amends anymore. Let’s say they want to listen to some hymns. As they listen, they fall asleep. Let’s say they wish to listen to a sermon. As they listen, they become drowsy. They don’t have the energy anymore, and they are unable to focus. They think about what they did all those years, and where they spent their energy. Now they are advanced in years, and they want to attend to their proper work, but their failing bodies will no longer let them. They just don’t have the energy anymore, they can’t learn anything even if they wanted to, and their reactions are slow. They cannot understand many truths, and when they try to fellowship with others, everyone is busy and has no time to fellowship with them. They don’t have principles or a path in anything they do. What happens to them in the end? The more they ponder, the more uneasy they become. The more they ponder, the more they feel remorse. The more they ponder, the more regrets they accumulate. In the end, they have no choice but to wait for death. Their life is over, and there’s no way to make amends. Do they feel remorse? (Yes.) It’s too late! There’s no time left. When facing death, they realize that enjoying a life of physical comfort is entirely empty. They see through everything and want to turn back to pursue the truth and fulfill their duty and do something well, but they can’t achieve anything or strive for anything in any respect. This life is almost over, it ends with regrets, carrying remorse and unease with it. What is the final outcome for people like this when facing death? They can only die with regret, remorse, and unease. This life has been lived in vain! Their physical bodies haven’t endured any hardship. They have enjoyed only comfort, without being exposed to the wind or the sun, or taking any risks. They haven’t paid any price. They have lived in good health, rarely experiencing any illnesses, barely even catching a cold. They have taken care of their physical bodies well, but unfortunately, they haven’t fulfilled any duties or gained any truths. Only at the moment of death do they feel regret. And what if they do feel regret? This is called suffering as a result of their own actions!
If a person wishes to live a valuable and meaningful life, they must pursue the truth. First and foremost, they should have a correct outlook on life, as well as the right thoughts and viewpoints on the various great and small matters that they face in life and on their life path. They should also view all of these matters from the right perspective and stance, rather than approaching the various problems they encounter in the course of their life or in their daily life using extreme or radical thoughts and viewpoints. Of course, they also must not view these things through a secular perspective, and instead they should let go of such negative and incorrect thoughts and viewpoints. If you wish to achieve this, you should first dissect, expose, and recognize the various negative thoughts that people harbor, and then become capable of changing and correcting your various negative emotions, letting go of them, and attaining correct and positive thoughts and viewpoints, as well as the right perspectives and stances from which to view people and things. By doing so, you will possess the conscience and reason necessary to pursue the truth. Of course, it could be said specifically that when a person possesses the correct viewpoints, perspectives, and stances for viewing people and things, that is what it means to possess normal humanity. If people possess this kind of normal humanity and these correct thoughts and viewpoints, it becomes much less challenging and much easier for them to pursue the truth. It is like when a person wishes to reach a destination—if they are on the right path and heading in the right direction, then, regardless of their speed, they will eventually reach that destination. However, if a person is heading in the opposite direction of their intended destination, then, no matter how fast or how slow they go, they will only get farther away from their goal. How does that idiom go? “Trying to go south by driving north.” It is just like how some people believe in God and desire salvation, but pursue fame, profit, and status, which means that they have no way of attaining salvation. What will their ultimate outcome be? It will certainly be punishment. To give an example, say that a person has gotten cancer and they are afraid to die. They refuse to accept death and constantly pray for God to protect them from death and to extend their life for a few more years. They carry the negative emotions of distress, worry, and anxiety with them as they go through day after day, though they manage to survive for a few more years, attaining their goal and experiencing the happiness that comes from avoiding death. They feel fortunate, and believe that God is so good, that He is truly magnificent. Through their own efforts, repeated pleas, self-love, and self-care, they evade death, and, in the end, go on living, just like they wished to. They express gratitude for God’s preservation, grace, love, and mercy. Every day they thank God and come before Him to offer praise for this. They often weep while singing hymns and while pondering on God’s words, and they think about how wonderful God is: “God truly has control over life and death; He has allowed me to live.” While fulfilling their duty each day, they often consider how to put suffering first and pleasure last, and how to do better than others in everything, so that they may preserve their own life and avoid death—they end up living a few more years, and feel quite satisfied and happy. But one day, their illness worsens, and the doctor gives them one final notice, telling them to prepare for the end. They now face death; they are truly on the verge of dying. How will they react? Their greatest fear has come upon them, their greatest worry has finally materialized. The day they were most reluctant to behold and experience has arrived. In an instant their heart sinks and their mood hits rock bottom. They are no longer of a mind to fulfill their duty, and they have no words left to pray to God. They no longer want to praise God or to hear Him speak any words or supply any truths. They no longer believe that God is love, righteousness, mercy, and kindness. At the same time, they feel regret, “All these years, I forgot to eat more good food and to go and have some fun during my free time. Now I don’t have the chance to do those things anymore.” Their mind is filled with grievances and lamentations, and their heart is filled with pain, as well as complaints, resentment, and denial toward God. Then, with regret, they leave this world. Before they departed, was God still in their heart? Did they still believe in the existence of God? (They no longer believed.) How did this outcome come about? Didn’t it begin with the erroneous viewpoints that they held toward life and death from the very beginning? (Yes.) Not only did they hold incorrect thoughts and viewpoints at the outset, but even more seriously, after this they followed and conformed to their own thoughts and viewpoints in their pursuit forward. They never gave up, and they charged ahead and sprinted down the wrong path without looking back. As a result, they lost faith in God in the end—their journey of faith came to an end in this way, and their life was thus concluded. Did they attain the truth? Did God gain them? (No.) When they finally died, did the perspectives and attitudes toward death that they clung to change? (No.) Did they die with comfort, joy, and peace, or with regret, reluctance, and bitterness? (They died with reluctance and bitterness.) They gained nothing at all. They did not attain the truth, and God did not gain them either. So, would you say that this kind of person has attained salvation? (No.) They have not been saved. Before their death, did they not run about a lot and expend a great deal? (Yes, they did.) Just like other people, they believed in God and fulfilled their duty, and on the surface, there didn’t appear to be any difference between them and anyone else. When they experienced illness and death, they prayed to God and still did not abandon their duty. They kept working, even to the same level that they did before. However, there is something that people ought to understand and see through to: The thoughts and viewpoints that this person harbored were consistently negative and erroneous. Regardless of the extent of their suffering or the price they paid while fulfilling their duty, they harbored these erroneous thoughts and viewpoints in their pursuit. They were constantly governed by them and bringing their negative emotions into their duty, seeking to offer the fulfillment of their duty to God in exchange for their own survival, to achieve their aim. The goal of their pursuit was not to understand or gain the truth, or to submit to all of God’s orchestrations and arrangements. The goal of their pursuit was the exact opposite of this. They wanted to live according to their own will and requirements, getting that which they wished to pursue. They wanted to arrange and orchestrate their own fate and even their own life and death. And so, at the end of the road, their outcome was that they gained nothing at all. They did not obtain the truth and they ultimately denied God, and lost faith in Him. Even as death approached, they still failed to understand how people should live and how a created being should treat the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements. That is the most pitiful and tragic thing about them. Even on the verge of death, they failed to understand that throughout a person’s life, everything is under the sovereignty and arrangement of the Creator. If the Creator wants you to live, then even if you are plagued by a deadly illness, you will not die. If the Creator wants you to die, then even if you are young, healthy, and strong, when your time comes, you must die. Everything is under the sovereignty and arrangement of God, this is God’s authority, and no one can rise above it. They failed to comprehend such a simple fact—isn’t that pitiful? (Yes.) Despite their believing in God, attending gatherings, listening to sermons, and fulfilling their duty, despite their belief in the existence of God, they repeatedly refused to acknowledge that human destiny, including life and death, is in the hands of God rather than subject to human will. No one dies simply because they want to, and no one survives solely because they want to live and fear death. They failed to grasp such a simple fact, they failed to see through it even when faced with impending death, and they still did not know that a person’s life and death are not determined by themselves but instead depend on the predestination of the Creator. Isn’t this tragic? (Yes.) Therefore, although various negative emotions may seem insignificant to people, they are all involved in the attitude with which a person views people and things within the scope of normal humanity. If a person can positively approach every kind of thing that occurs in a normal human life and existence, then they will have relatively few negative emotions. It can also be said that their conscience and reason will be relatively normal, making it easier for them to pursue the truth and enter into reality, reducing the difficulties and obstacles they’ll face. If a person’s heart is filled with all kinds of negative emotions, which means that they are brimming with various negative thoughts in their approach to the challenges of life and existence, then they will encounter more obstacles and difficulties in their pursuit of the truth. If their will to pursue the truth is not strong, if they do not have a lot of zeal, or such a tremendous desire for God, then the difficulties and obstacles they face in their pursuit of the truth will be significant. What does this mean? It means that they will struggle to enter into the truth reality. Leaving aside the severity of their corrupt disposition, these negative emotions alone will bind them, making every step difficult. When some people are faced with hatred, anger, various kinds of pain, or other problems, the different thoughts that emerge from them are negative. That is, in almost every matter, their status is basically always dominated by negative emotions. If you lack the necessary determination and perseverance to resolve these negative emotions and to emerge from this status of negative emotions, it will be extremely challenging for you to enter into the truth reality. It will not be easy. This means that before entering into the reality of pursuing the truth, people must first possess the most fundamental correct thoughts, viewpoints, and stances regarding every problem that relates to normal humanity. Only then can they comprehend and accept the truth, and gradually enter into the truth reality. Before formally pursuing the truth, you must first resolve your various negative emotions and pass this stage. Once people have passed this stage, and their thoughts and viewpoints concerning various matters, as well as the perspective and stance from which they view people and things, are all correct, then pursuing the truth and entering into reality will be easier for them.
Last time we fellowshiped about one reason why the negative emotion of repression emerges in people. It is brought about because they cannot do as they please. Today we will continue to fellowship on another reason for the emergence of this negative emotion of repression, namely that people often live in this repressive emotion because they cannot put their expertise to use. Isn’t this another reason? (Yes.) Last time, we talked about how some people often desire to do as they please in the church or in their daily lives, idling about and failing to attend to their proper work, so when their desires go unfulfilled, they feel repressed. This time, we will fellowship about the manifestations of another group of people. These people possess certain gifts, strengths, or professional skills and abilities, or they have mastered a particular kind of technical profession, and so on, yet they are unable to utilize their gifts, strengths, and professional skills normally within the church, and as a result, they are often in low spirits, feeling that life in this environment is uncomfortable and unhappy, and that they are devoid of joy. In short, the word that describes this feeling is repression. In secular society, what are people like this called? They are called professionals, technical experts, and specialist experts—in short, they are referred to as experts. What characteristics do experts possess? They have high foreheads and bright eyes, they wear glasses, and hold their heads high, walking at a hurried pace, handling matters decisively and efficiently. Their most prominent feature is that they carry laptops in their bags wherever they go. They are recognized immediately as professionals and technical experts. In short, people like this have certain professional abilities or are relatively proficient in a specific kind of technology. They have received professional education and tutoring, and undergone professional instruction and training, or some of them may not have received professional tutoring and training, but they were born possessing certain talents and qualities. People like this are known as professionals and technical experts. When these people join the church, just like in society, they often carry their laptops around, and want to be recognized as professionals and technical experts wherever they work. They enjoy being called experts and even prefer for “Professor” to be added in front of their surnames, and so on; they like to be treated and addressed in this way. However, the church is a special place, and a place of special work. It is different from any group or any organization or institution in secular society. What is usually discussed here? The truth, principles, rules, and work arrangements, as well as protecting the interests of God’s house, and testimony to God. Of course, more concretely, people are also required to practice the truth, submit to God’s words and the truth principles, and to submit to the arrangements of God’s house and the principles it communicates, and so on. As soon as these explicit rules are promoted, and people are required to practice and abide by them, these experts who have joined the church feel somewhat wronged. The skills they have learned or the knowledge they hold in certain areas often go unused in the church. They are usually not put in important positions or highly regarded, and they are frequently sidelined. Naturally, these individuals often feel idle, and that their abilities are not being utilized. What do they think to themselves? “Oh, this is just like the saying, ‘If a tiger comes down to the plains, he will be insulted by dogs’! Back in the day when I worked for such-and-such state-owned or foreign company, how glorious that was! I didn’t even have to carry my own bag, and others would arrange every aspect of my daily life and work for me. I didn’t have to worry about a thing. I was a high-level expert, a master technician, so I was a big shot in the company. What does it mean to be a big shot? It means that without me, the company couldn’t function, it couldn’t secure any orders, and all of its employees would have to take a break—the company would be at risk of going out of business, it couldn’t do without me. Those were the glory days, a time when I really felt seen!” Now that they believe in God, they still want to enjoy the same level of glory. They think to themselves, “With my abilities, there should be even more of a place for me to shine in God’s house. So why am I not being utilized? Why do the leaders and brothers and sisters in the church always overlook me? What am I lacking compared to others? In terms of appearance, I’m good-looking; in terms of temperament, I’m no worse than anyone else; in terms of reputation and prestige, I have no problems at all; and in terms of technical expertise, mine is top-notch. So, why does no one pay attention to me? Why does no one listen to my words and suggestions? Why am I not well-received in God’s house? Could it be that God’s house does not need an expert like me? How come I don’t have anywhere to use my skills since coming here? One aspect of the work of God’s house must need the technical skills that I have learned. My expertise should be valued here! I am a professional, I should be a team leader, a supervisor, a leader—I should lead other people. Why am I always just an underling? No one pays attention to me, no one respects me. What is going on? Is this really the treatment I should receive if I don’t understand the truth?” They ask themselves these questions repeatedly, but they can never find the answers, and so they fall into repression.
When the choir came on stage to sing, they once asked Me about their hairstyles. I said, “Sisters can tie their hair in a ponytail or have it cut to ear-length or shoulder-length. Of course, they can also wear it in a bun or an updo. Brothers can do a crew cut or have it parted. There is no need for any adornment or styling. Just make sure it looks neat, clean, sharp, and natural. In short, as long as you appear upright and dignified, and have the look of a Christian, that’s fine. The main thing is to sing well and perform the program.” Were My words spoken clearly? Were they easy to understand? (Yes.) The hairstyles for both men and women were made clear. What are the principles for selecting hairstyles? Brothers can have parted hair or a crew cut, and sisters can have either short or long hair. If it’s long, they can tie it in a ponytail, and if it’s short just make sure it isn’t too short. That’s one principle. The other principle is cleanliness and tidiness, an appearance that is positive and dignified, and a positive character. We are not aiming to become celebrities or famous people in society. We don’t seek a glamorous image, just an upright and dignified appearance. In short, one should look clean, tidy, upright and dignified. Have I made Myself clear? Are these two principles easy to understand and carry out? (They are easy.) Once people hear them, they understand them clearly in their hearts, and there is no need to repeat them. They are all too easy to achieve. After a little over ten days, they sent Me a video. As I watched it, I saw three or four rows of sisters. The first row all had styled hair, each person with a different hairstyle and arrangement. Everyone looked different, every style looked strange, and some sisters in their twenties appeared to be in their thirties or forties, and some looked like old ladies. In short, each person had a different hairstyle. The person who sent the video said, “We’ve arranged many different hairstyles for You to choose from. You can choose any one of them, and we can make it happen. It won’t be difficult for us! After You pick, just give us the word and we can get it done, no problem!” How do you think I felt after watching this video? I felt a bit disgusted, then upon closer inspection I started to get annoyed. When I remembered the principles I had explained to them, in the end I was speechless. I didn’t know what to say. I thought, “Ah, these people don’t understand human language.” I pondered over the words I had said and the principles I had communicated to them, about how they were all things that anyone could understand and comprehend. Such simple things weren’t difficult for people, and people could do them—but why did they send Me such a video? After investigating, I realized it wasn’t that I didn’t explain My point clearly, and it especially wasn’t that I told them to do various different hairstyles. There are two reasons for this behavior: One reason is that they were unable to understand My words. Another reason is that, as soon as people are able to do something, as soon as they understand something and have mastered certain skills and techniques, they don’t know their place in the universe. They don’t respect anyone and always want to show off. They become arrogant to the extreme. Even if they understand My words, they don’t accept them or put them into practice. They don’t take My words to heart, don’t consider them important, and simply ignore what I say. They are just not interested in what I ask them to do or in what I need. When they asked Me about the principles, in reality they had already determined what they were going to do and how they would do it. The fact that they asked Me was simply a step in their process. Isn’t it a kind of mockery for them to ask that? (Yes.) After they finish with their mockery, no matter what I say, they do what they want in the end, without following My words at all. They are so self-willed! What are they thinking? “You underestimate us. We are professional technicians. We interact with influential people in society. We have these skills and expertise, and wherever we go, we can live a good life and earn people’s respect. Only when we come into God’s house do we become service-doers, and we are constantly looked down upon. We have skills, we are experts, we are not ordinary people. We should be respected in God’s house. You cannot suppress our talents like this. We utilize our expertise in God’s house, and You should support us and back us up.” Isn’t this rude and unreasonable? (Yes.) Is there any normal humanity in it? (No, there isn’t.) When I saw it, I thought, “Ah, these people cannot be reasoned with!” When I told them the principles, I even asked them repeatedly, “Have you understood? Will you remember?” They promised Me thoroughly to My face, but then as soon as they turned around they immediately went back on their word. They said things that sound so good, “I am here to fulfill my duty, I am here to satisfy God.” Is that what you call fulfilling your duty? Are you really satisfying God? You are satisfying your own flesh, your own reputation. You are here to pursue your own career, not to perform your duty. In other words, you have come into God’s house to wreak havoc. Tell Me, who has the final say in the principles people should uphold in all aspects of the work of God’s house? Is it you or God? (God has the final say.) Are your words the truth, or are God’s? (God’s words are the truth.) Everything you say is a kind of doctrine. If that doctrine does not align with the truth, then it becomes a fallacy. Since you admit that what I say is the truth, why are you unable to accept it? Why is it that when I speak to you, it has no effect? You say nice things in front of My face, but behind My back, you do not practice the truth. What is going on? When corrupt humanity possesses just a little bit of talent, expertise, or ideas, they become arrogant and conceited and refuse to submit to anyone. They don’t listen to what anyone tells them. Isn’t this just too irrational? If you think you are doing what is right, then why do you let Me examine it? When I point out your flaws and expose your mistakes, why are you unable to accept it? You do not understand the truth, but I can fellowship with you about the truth. I know how to act in accordance with the truth, in accordance with the principles, with the propriety of saints. I know how to act in a way that edifies others. Do you? If you don’t even know these things, why are you still unable to accept the truth? Why don’t you do as I say?
Some people excel in writing; they are naturally gifted with organizing language and conveying ideas. They may also possess a certain level of literary competence, employing certain techniques and styles when describing things. But does having these qualities mean they understand the truth? (No, it doesn’t.) This is merely one aspect of knowledge, one facet of a person’s gifts and talents. It means that you possess a certain talent, that you are good at writing and conveying ideas through language, and that you are well-grounded in the use of words. Being good at such things makes some people think, “I wield the pen in God’s house; I should engage in text-based work.” It’s good to have more people engaged in text-based work; the house of God needs it. However, what the house of God requires is not only what you excel in, nor just your professional capabilities. Your professional skills and expertise are merely tools for the work you engage in. Regardless of your professional abilities and skill level, you should align yourself with the principles and achieve the desired results and goals set forth by the house of God. God’s house has required standards and related principles for these results and goals; it does not let you act based on your personal taste or preferences. For example, some people have good writing skills, and write scripts with elaborate language and a vividly organized plot. But does that achieve the desired result? Far from attaining the effect of bearing witness to God, such scripts simply don’t hold up. However, these scriptwriters feel satisfied and confident with their ability to write fancy language, and they think highly of themselves. They do not understand that a script must achieve the effect of bearing witness to God, of spreading God’s word. This is the aim. When God’s house requires a script, that script must portray the words of God that the protagonist reads, and the genuine understanding that the protagonist gains through experiencing and practicing God’s words under the guidance of God’s work. In one respect it must serve as a testimony to God, and in another it must spread His word. Only then does the script achieve the desired result. The house of God has these requirements. Do you think they are difficult for people? (No, they aren’t.) No, this is the work of God’s house. However, these scriptwriters are unwilling to do it this way. Their attitude is, “What I have written is already perfect and specific enough. If you ask me to add that material, it will go against my intention. I’m not happy with it, and I don’t want to write it that way.” Although this material was reluctantly added later, their emotions have changed significantly by then. Some say, “It feels so repressive to fulfill our duty in the house of God. There are always people dealing with and finding fault with us. I feel truly cornered, as they say, Beggars can’t be choosers. If only I could have the final say and write what I please, how great would that be! While fulfilling our duty in God’s house we always have to listen to others and accept pruning and dealing with. It’s too repressive!” Is this the correct attitude? What kind of disposition is this? It’s too arrogant and self-righteous! There are also those in the choir who fulfill their duty in applying makeup. They like the hairstyles of unbelievers, but the end result of those hairstyles is rejected. Why? Because the house of God does not want demonic hairstyles; it wants hairstyles that are normal, dignified, and upright. Whatever hairstyle you’re able to do, you can go and display it in the world of unbelievers. They need such experts, but the house of God does not. Some people say they are willing to work for free in God’s house, but their work is not considered necessary or valuable; it’s disgusting to witness. What the house of God requires is for you to appear dignified and upright, like a decent person. It doesn’t need you to be elegant, to resemble palace nobility, and certainly not to be like a princess, a lady, a wealthy young master, or a lord. We are ordinary people, without any status, position, or value, just the most normal and unremarkable people. It is best to be an ordinary person, not noble or refined, to wear ordinary clothes and have the appearance of an ordinary person, to not pretend, but to enjoy what you are able to do and be content with living the life of an ordinary person without ambition or desire. This is the best, this is the life of someone with normal humanity. You are just an ordinary person, yet you are always trying to act like a noble person. Isn’t that disgusting? (It is disgusting.) You are always trying to display your expertise in the house of God and show off. Let Me tell you, is it valuable to show off your expertise? If it truly has value, then it’s acceptable. But if it has no value whatsoever and instead becomes disruptive and destructive, then you are just showing your repulsive nature and undesirable qualities. Do you know the consequences of revealing such things? If you don’t know, please don’t reveal them. What you can do, what technical skills you possess, what special talents you naturally excel in or possess, none of that is considered noble; you are merely an ordinary person. Some people say, “I’m proficient in several languages.” Then go work as a translator and do your translation work well; then you can be considered a good person. Some people say, “I can recite the entire Xinhua Dictionary.” So what if you’ve memorized the entire Xinhua Dictionary? Does that enable you to spread the gospel? Does it enable you to bear witness to God? Some people say, “I can read ten lines at a glance. I can read 100 pages of God’s word in a day. Look at this skill, isn’t it impressive?” You may be able to read 100 pages of The Word Appears in the Flesh in one day, but what do you understand from it? What aspect of the truth do you understand? Can you put it into practice? Some people say, “I am a child prodigy. I could sing and write poems by the age of five.” Is that useful? Unbelievers may admire you, but there is no use for you in the house of God. Let’s say I ask you to compose a song right now praising God. Could you do it? If you can’t, it means you don’t understand any aspect of the truth. Having gifts alone is not a big deal. If you don’t understand the truth, you won’t be able to accomplish anything. Regardless of the gifts, skills, or talents a person possesses, in reality these are merely tools. If they can be used for positive things and have a positive impact, they may be said to hold some value. If they cannot be used for positive things or have a positive impact, then they have no value, and learning them is useless and burdensome to you. If you can apply your professional skills or talents in the performance of your duty and fulfill a task in God’s house in accordance with the truth principles, then your professional skills and talents may be said to be used in the proper place and to serve a purpose—this is the value they possess. On the other hand, if you can’t apply them at all to your performance of duty, then your professional skills and talents have no value and are worth nothing to Me. For example, some people are naturally eloquent and articulate, and are skilled linguists and agile thinkers. This can be considered a talent. In the world, if people like this engage in public speaking, publicity, or negotiation, or work as judges, lawyers, or in similar occupations, then they have a place for their talents. In God’s house, however, if you possess such a talent but don’t understand any aspect of the truth, not even a basic understanding of the truth of visions, and cannot proclaim the gospel or bear witness to God, then your gift or talent is of little value. If you constantly live off your gift, parading your talent everywhere you go, boasting and preaching words of doctrine, you will become repulsive to people. Because every word you speak will become nauseating, and every thought or viewpoint you express will become tiresome. In that case, it will be better for you to remain silent. The more you try to showcase yourself and perform, the more repugnant you will become. People will say, “Shut your foul mouth! What you’re saying is all doctrine, but who doesn’t understand it already? How many years have you been preaching? Your words are no different from those of the Pharisees, full of empty theories that pollute the church environment. No one wants to listen!” You see, it stirs up anger and repulses people. Therefore, it’s better for you to focus more on the truth and seek more understanding of the truth, and that is a true ability. The more I say this, the more these “capable” and “expert” people feel repressed, thinking, “It’s over now, there’s no way out. I’ve always considered myself talented, excelling and being put in key positions wherever I go. Isn’t there a saying, ‘If it’s gold, sooner or later it’s going to shine’? But I’ve unexpectedly hit a wall in God’s house. It feels repressive, so repressive! How did I end up like this?” Believing in God is a good thing, so why do exceptionally talented and advanced experts like this feel repressed when they come into the house of God? They have felt repressed for so many years now that they suffer from depression. They no longer even know how to speak or act. In the end, some say, “Being dealt with constantly feels so repressive. Now I’m much more well-behaved, and I agree with whatever the church leaders or group leaders say, always replying ‘yes’ or ‘okay.’” It may seem like they’ve learned to submit and obey, but they still don’t understand the principles or how to fulfill their duties properly. They carry this sense of repression with them and feel indignant and undervalued. When asked about their education level, some say, “I received my bachelor’s,” others, “I have a Master’s,” others, “I have a PhD,” or “I graduated from medical school,” “I studied finance,” or “I studied management,” while others are programmers or engineers. If they do not already have a “Dr.” in front of their name, then they have some other formal title. These people are not addressed as such in God’s house, nor are they treated with any high regard. They often feel repressed and lose their sense of identity. The church has all kinds of experts, including musicians, dancers, filmmakers, technicians, business professionals, economists, and even politicians. While among the brothers and sisters, these people often say, “I’m a respected executive in a state-owned enterprise. I’m the senior executive of a multinational corporation. I’m the CEO, who have I ever been afraid of? Who have I ever submitted to? I was born with management skills, and wherever I go I should be in a position of authority, I should be the one in charge, always the one managing other people, and no one can manage me. So, in God’s house I should at the very least be a group leader or a person in charge!” Not long after, it becomes clear to everyone that these people have no truth reality, are incapable of doing any task, and are particularly arrogant and self-conceited. They fail to fulfill any duty properly, and ultimately, some of them can only be assigned tasks of manual labor, while others are always unwilling to submit, constantly trying to show off their abilities, and running amok. As a result, they cause too much trouble, anger the congregation, and are finally cleared out. Won’t these people feel repressed? In the end, they summarize their experience with a statement: “The house of God is not a place for talented people like us. We are like thoroughbred horses, but there is no discerning judge in the house of God. Those who believe in God are ignorant and ill-informed, especially those who are leaders at various levels. Although they understand the truth, they fail to recognize that we are thoroughbreds. We must go and find someone who can recognize our talents.” In the end, they come to this conclusion. There are others who say, “There is too little space in the house of God to accommodate us. We are all important figures, while those who believe in God are humble people from the lower classes of society: farmers, street vendors, and small business owners. There are no top-ranking experts among them. Although the church is small, the world is wide, and in such a big world there must be a place for us. We, the talented ones, will eventually find our own appraiser!” Let’s wish these people good luck in finding their appraiser, shall we? (Alright.) On the day they say goodbye to us after finding their appraiser, let us give them a farewell dinner and hope that they find their rightful place, free from any emotions of repression. May they live better than us, and may they have a peaceful life. By our saying this, do these people with repressed emotions feel a bit relieved? Their feelings of tightness in the chest, swelling in the head, heaviness in the heart, physical discomfort, and uneasiness—have those feelings disappeared? I hope their wishes come true, that they no longer feel repressed, and that they are able to live happily and freely.
Tell Me, do you think that God’s house is intentionally making things difficult for these talented individuals? (No.) Absolutely not. Then why do the various principles, work arrangements, and the requirements for each item of work in God’s house give rise to repressive emotions in them? Why do these talented individuals get trapped within repressive emotions in God’s house? Did God’s house make a mistake? Or is God’s house intentionally making things difficult for these people? (Neither.) In terms of doctrine, you all understand that both of these explanations are absolutely incorrect. Then why does this happen? (It is because people impose the professional expertise they have acquired in the secular world or their personal preferences onto the principles and requirements of God’s house in the course of fulfilling their duties.) But does God’s house allow them to impose these things onto its requirements and principles? Absolutely not. Some people feel repressed because God’s house does not permit this. What do you think they should do about that? (Before fulfilling each duty, they must first understand the requirements and principles that God’s house has for that duty. After accurately grasping these principles, they can then apply the professional expertise that they have mastered in a reasonable manner.) This principle is correct. Now tell Me, is constantly wanting to display one’s expertise and show off one’s abilities in God’s house the correct starting point? (No, it is not.) In what way is it incorrect? Please explain the reason. (Their intention is to show off and distinguish themselves—they are pursuing their own careers. They are not thinking about how they can perform their duties well or how to act in a way that benefits the work of God’s house. Instead, they want to act according to their own preferences, without safeguarding the interests of God’s house or seeking the truth principles.) How do others view this matter? (Always showing off whenever something happens is a satanic disposition. They do not think about how to fulfill their duties and bear witness to God; they always want to bear witness to themselves, and this path is inherently wrong.) This starting point is inherently incorrect, that is certain. So, in what way is it incorrect? This is an issue that you are all unable to refute. It seems that all of you are feeling repressed, and that you all want to display your expertise in order to showcase your abilities—isn’t that right? Among the unbelievers there is a saying, what is it? “An old lady puts on lipstick—to give you something to look at.” Isn’t this what “showcasing your abilities” means? (Yes.) Showcasing your abilities means wanting to display your capabilities and show off, to gain prestige and status among others, and to be highly regarded. At the very least, it is about wanting to use the opportunity of showcasing one’s abilities to inform and notify others that: “I have some real skills, I am not an ordinary person, do not look down on me, I am a talented individual.” At the very least, that is the meaning behind it. So, when someone has such intentions and always wants to showcase their abilities, what is the nature of this? They want to pursue their own career, to manage their own status, to gain a foothold and prestige among other people. It’s as simple as that. They are not doing it to fulfill their duty, or for the sake of God’s house, and they are not seeking the truth and acting according to the principles and requirements of God’s house. They are doing it for themselves, to make themselves more widely recognized, to elevate their worth and reputation; they are doing it so that people will elect them as a supervisor or as a leader. Once they are elected as a leader or a worker, won’t they then have status? Won’t they then be in the spotlight? This is their pursuit, their starting point is as simple as that—it is nothing more than the pursuit of status. They are purposefully chasing status, and they are not protecting the work of God’s house or its interests.
How should people with gifts and talents practice in order to avoid feeling repressed? Is this easy to achieve? (It is easy.) So, how can you resolve the negative emotions of repression that arise from not being able to utilize your expertise? First and foremost, you need to understand what the technical skills, or any kinds of talents and expertise, that people study and master are—are they life itself? (No, they are not.) Can they be classified as positive things? (No, they cannot.) They cannot be classified as positive things; at best, they are a kind of tool. In society and in the secular world, they are, at most, abilities that enable people to adequately provide for themselves and to maintain their survival. But in the eyes of God’s house, you have just acquired a kind of technical skill; it is merely a kind of knowledge, it is a kind of simple and pure knowledge. It certainly does not indicate someone’s nobleness or lowliness—a person cannot be said to be more noble than others just because they possess a certain expertise or skill. So, how can a person’s nobleness or lowliness be seen? By looking at their humanity, their pursuits, and the path they follow. Technical skills or expertise can only represent what specific skill or knowledge you have acquired, how deep or shallow your understanding of it is, and what level of proficiency you have achieved in it. These technical skills and expertise can only be discussed in terms of proficiency, quantity, depth, and whether one is highly experienced in that field, or just has a superficial knowledge of it. They cannot be used to evaluate the quality of a person’s humanity, their pursuits, or the path they walk. They are purely a kind of knowledge or tool. This knowledge or tool may enable you to perform some related tasks, or make you more competent in a particular kind of work, but this merely provides you with job security and a guaranteed livelihood. That is all. Regardless of how society views your technical skills and expertise, in any case, this is how God’s house views them. God’s house will never regard someone differently, make exceptions to promote them, or even exempt them from any form of pruning or dealing with, or any form of chastisement or judgment, just because they possess some kind of special skill. Regardless of what technical skills or expertise a person may possess, their corrupt disposition still exists, and they are still a corrupted human being. One’s gifts, talents, and technical skills are separate from and unrelated to one’s corrupt disposition, and they also have nothing to do with one’s humanity or character. Some individuals have slightly better caliber, slightly higher intelligence, or slightly greater wits and perception, which allows them to acquire somewhat deeper knowledge when studying certain technical skills. They attain slightly greater achievements and results, and achieve more of them when performing work that involves this profession. In society, this may bring them somewhat greater and higher financial returns, and slightly higher status, seniority, or prestige within their field. That is all. Nevertheless, none of this indicates the path they are walking, their pursuits, or their attitude toward life and existence. Technical skills and expertise are things of a pure realm of knowledge, and they have nothing to do with a person’s thoughts, viewpoints, or the perspective and stance they take on anything. They are not connected to these things in any way. Of course, the ideas that are promoted in some fields of knowledge are heresies and fallacies that mislead people about understanding the truth and recognizing positive things. That is a different matter altogether. Here, we are referring to pure knowledge and technical skills, which do not provide any positive or active support and correction for people’s corrupt dispositions or normal humanity. They also have no ability to restrain or restrict a person’s corrupt disposition. That is their nature. Whether one is engaged in literature, music, or any aspect of the arts, in the sciences, biology, or chemistry, or in design, architecture, commerce, or even in craftsmanship, regardless of the field, the nature of their technical knowledge is like this—this is its essence. Do you think that I have spoken accurately? (Yes.) No matter which field you engage in or which technical skills you study, or if you possess some innate expertise, it does not indicate your nobleness or lowliness. For example, those who engage in business and economics in society, especially the elites, are believed to have noble character by some people, and because the professions and knowledge that they have learned are highly regarded by man, and they earn particularly high incomes, they have high social status. However, such an opinion does not exist in God’s house, and God’s house will not evaluate them in this way. Because the principles and standards used by those people to appraise this matter are not the truth but human understandings, which belong to human knowledge, such viewpoints are not tenable in God’s house. To give another example, some people are fishermen, street vendors, or craftsmen in society; they are considered low-status and nobody holds them in high regard there. However, in God’s house, all of God’s chosen people are equal. Before the truth, everyone is equal, and there is no distinction between noble or lowly people. You will not be considered honorable because you have high status or engage in a noble profession in society, nor will you be regarded as lowly because you perform a low-status occupation in society. Therefore, in God’s house and in the eyes of God, whether your identity, worth, and status are considered high or low has absolutely nothing to do with your professional abilities, technical proficiency, or the expertise that you possess. Some say, “I used to be a commander, a general, and a marshal in the army.” I say to them, “You, go stand to the side.” Why should you stand to the side? Because your satanic disposition is too severe, and it disgusts Me to look at you. First, spend some time reading God’s words, gain an understanding of some truths, and live out a bit of human likeness, and then, when you come back, everyone will be able to accept you. In God’s house, you will not be esteemed because you have engaged in a kind of work in society that is considered noble by man, nor will you be looked down upon because you once had low status in society. The standards and principles of God’s house for assessing people are solely based on the criteria of the truth. So, what are the criteria of the truth? There are specific aspects to these criteria: Firstly, people are assessed based on the quality of their humanity, whether they have conscience and reason, a good heart, and a sense of justice; secondly, people are assessed based on whether or not they love the truth, and what path they are walking—whether they pursue the truth, love positive things, and love God’s fairness and righteousness, or they do not pursue the truth, are sick of the truth and positive things, are always engaging in personal endeavors, and so on. Therefore, regardless of whether you possess some kind of technical skills or expertise, or whether you don’t have any professional skills or expertise, in God’s house you will be treated fairly. God’s house has always functioned this way, continues to do so now, and will do so in the future. These principles and standards will never change. Therefore, what needs to change are those who feel repressed because they cannot utilize their expertise. If you truly believe that God is righteous, that it’s the truth that rules God’s house, and that there is fairness and righteousness in God’s house, then I ask you to make haste and let go of your incorrect viewpoints and opinions regarding technical skills and expertise. Don’t think that possessing a few gifts or a little expertise makes you superior. Although you may possess technical skills or expertise that others lack, your humanity and corrupt disposition are no different from those of others. In the eyes of God, you are just an ordinary person, and there is nothing special about you. You may say, “I used to be a high-ranking official,” well, you’re still an ordinary person. You may say, “I used to accomplish great things,” well, you’re still an ordinary person. You may say, “I used to be a hero,” but no matter what kind of hero or celebrity you were, it is of no use. From God’s perspective, you’re still just an ordinary person. This is one aspect of the truth and principles that people should understand about technical skills and some kinds of expertise. Another aspect—how to approach these professional skills and expertise—is a specific path of practice that people should understand. First of all, you need to know clearly in your thoughts and consciousness that regardless of the professional skills or expertise you possess, you are not coming to God’s house to perform a job, to demonstrate your worth, to earn a salary, or to make a living. You are here to fulfill your duty. Your only identity in God’s house is as a brother or sister, in other words, a created being in the eyes of God. You don’t have a second identity. A created being in God’s eyes is not an animal, a vegetable, or a devil. It is a human being, and as a human being, you should fulfill your duty. Fulfilling your duty as a human being is the most basic goal that you should have for coming into God’s house, and the most fundamental viewpoint that you should possess. You should say, “I am a person. I am someone with normal humanity, a conscience, and reason. I should fulfill my duty.” This is the thought and viewpoint that people should first possess, in terms of theory. Next is how you should fulfill your duty: Should you listen to yourself or to God? (Listen to God.) That’s right, and why should you listen to God? In principle and in theory, people know that they must listen to God, that God is the truth, and that God has the final say. This is the viewpoint that one should have in terms of theory. In reality, you fulfill this duty not for yourself, not for your family, not for your day-to-day existence, nor for your personal career or endeavors, but for God’s work, for God’s management to save humanity. It has nothing to do with your personal affairs. You need to understand and possess this viewpoint. After you possess this viewpoint, next you must understand that since fulfilling your duty is not for the sake of yourself, but for the sake of God’s work, you need to pray to and seek from God on how you should fulfill this duty, and what the principles and requirements of God’s house are. Do your duty however God tells you to do it, doing whatever He asks you to do, without saying anything about it, without hesitation or refusal. This is an absolute. Because this is the house of God, it is only right and proper for people to fulfill the duties they ought to fulfill here. But people aren’t doing this for themselves, for their day-to-day existence, lives, families, or careers. Then what are they doing it for? For God’s work, and for God’s management. Regardless of which specific profession or kind of work it involves, whether it’s as small as a punctuation mark or a formatting style, or as significant as a specific item of work, it all falls within the scope of God’s work. Therefore, if you possess reason, you should first ask yourself, “How should I carry out this work? What are God’s requirements? What principles has God’s house set forth?” Then, list out the relevant principles one by one and act in strict accordance with each rule and principle. As long as it aligns with the principles and doesn’t extend beyond their scope, everything you do will be appropriate, and God will treat and classify it as you fulfilling your duty. Isn’t this something that people should understand? (Yes.) If you understand this, you shouldn’t always be pondering on how you wish to do things or what you wish to do. Thinking and acting in this way lacks reason. Should things that lack reason be done? No, they shouldn’t. If you wish to do them, what should you do about it? (Forsake myself.) You should forsake and let go of yourself, and put your duty and the requirements and principles of God’s house first. If you feel ill at ease, and you gratify your interests and hobbies in your spare time, then God’s house will not interfere with this. This is one aspect of what you should understand—what your duty is and how you should fulfill it. Another aspect pertains to the issue of people’s professional expertise and skills. How should you approach the matter of professional skills and expertise? If God’s house needs you to provide the professional expertise and skills that you excel at or have already mastered, what should your attitude be? You should provide them without reservation, allowing them to perform their function and showcase their value in your duty to the greatest extent possible. You shouldn’t let them go to waste; because you can employ them, you understand them, and you have mastered them, you should let them be utilized. What is the principle of their utilization? It is that, whatever God’s house needs, however much it needs, and to what extent it needs, you employ these skills in a way that is restrained and measured. Apply your technical skills and expertise in your duty, allowing them to fulfill their function, and enable you to achieve better results in your duty. In this way, will your professional skills and expertise not have been studied for a reason? Won’t they have value? Won’t you have made a contribution? (Yes.) Are you willing to contribute in this way? (Yes.) That’s a good thing. As for the skills and expertise that have no use at all in God’s house, God’s house simply does not require or encourage them, and those who possess such skills or expertise should not exercise them arbitrarily. How should you receive this matter? (By abandoning those skills.) Exactly, the simplest approach is to abandon them, to act as if you never learned them. Tell Me, if you willingly let them go, will they still come out and disturb you when you are in the process of fulfilling your duty? No, they won’t. Isn’t it up to you to decide? They are just a bit of knowledge. How much trouble, how great an effect can they cause? Just treat them as if you never learned them, as if you do not possess them, and then won’t the matter be done with? You should handle this matter correctly. If it’s something that God’s house does not require you to do, don’t keep forcibly showcasing your skills in order to show off, to satisfy your own interests, or to show everyone that you know a few tricks. That’s wrong. This is not the performance of your duty and it won’t be remembered. Let Me tell you, not only will it not be remembered, but it will be condemned, because you’re not fulfilling your duty, you’re engaging in personal endeavors, and that is very serious! Why is it serious? Because, at its nature, it is a disruption and a disturbance! God’s house has repeatedly told you that you must not do things that way, or do those things, or use that kind of method, but you don’t listen. You keep doing them, you keep refusing to let go, and persisting. Isn’t that a disturbance? Isn’t that deliberate? You know well that God’s house doesn’t need these things, yet you intentionally continue doing them. Don’t you just enjoy showing off? If the videos or programs you make humiliate God, then the consequences will be unimaginable, and your transgression will be great. You understand this, right? (Yes.) Therefore, for the things you personally enjoy and the professional skills you possess—if you like them, if you’re interested in them, if you cherish them, do them privately at home. That’s fine. But don’t publicly display them. If you want to publicly display something, you must be able to do it to a high standard, and not humiliate God or discredit His house. It’s not simply about whether you possess insight or how proficient you are in certain professional skills. It’s not that simple. There is a basis for the principles and standards that God’s house demands for each piece of work that you do, as well as for the direction and objectives that guide your work at each stage. They are all meant to safeguard the work and interests of God’s house, not to disrupt, disturb, discredit, or destroy them. If your personal caliber, insight, experience, and taste cannot keep up with these, or fall short of them, then fellowship in private, and ask for guidance and assistance from those who understand and can keep up with them. Do not resist, do not constantly harbor negative emotions just because you’re not allowed to do certain things. Your few tricks simply aren’t good enough. Why do I say you aren’t good enough? Because your thoughts and viewpoints are too warped. Not only are your taste, insight, judgment, and experience inadequate and unsatisfactory, you also harbor many old religious notions. Your religious notions are too numerous and deeply rooted, and even some young people in their twenties have significantly outdated thoughts and notions. Although you are people of the modern age, who study modern technical skills, and possess certain professional knowledge, because you don’t understand the truth, your perspectives, viewpoints, and stances regarding various matters and the thoughts you possess are all outdated. So, no matter how many professional skills you learn, your thoughts remain outdated. You need to understand this problem, and this true situation. Therefore, you must let go of those things which God’s house requires you to eliminate, ban, or does not permit you to use. You need to learn to obey. If you don’t understand the underlying reasons for this, at the very least, you must possess enough reason to learn to obey, and first act based on the requirements of God’s house. Don’t resist, first learn to submit.
After having fellowshiped about the correct attitude people should have toward the professional skills they possess, what else should you understand? In the process of fulfilling your duty, if you fail due to the poor application of certain technical skills or expertise, resulting in disruptions and losses in the work of the church, and you face pruning and dealing with, what should you do? This is easy to manage. Quickly turn and repent, and God’s house will give you a chance to correct your mistakes. Because no one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes and has moments where they feel confused. Mistakes aren’t troubling, what is worrying is if you continue to make the same mistakes repeatedly, persistently committing the same errors and not turning around until you hit the end of the road. If you realize your mistakes, then correct them. That’s not so difficult, right? Everyone has made mistakes, so no one should ridicule another. If you can acknowledge your mistakes after making them, learn your lesson, and turn around, then you’ll make progress. Furthermore, if the problem is due to a lack of proficiency in your work, you can continue learning and master the necessary skills, and the problem can be resolved. If you can ensure that you won’t make that mistake in the future, won’t that be the end of it? It’s such a simple matter! There is no need for you to feel repressed just because you constantly make mistakes due to the misapplication of your professional skills, and you face pruning and dealing with. Why feel repressed? Why are you so fragile? Regardless of the situation or work environment, people sometimes make mistakes, and there are areas where their qualities, insights, and perspectives fall short. This is normal, and you need to learn how to handle it correctly. In any case, no matter what your practice is, you should face and handle it correctly and actively. Do not become depressed or feel negative or repressed when faced with a bit of difficulty, and do not fall into negative emotions. There’s no need for all of that, don’t make it into a big deal. What you should do is immediately reflect on yourself, and determine if there is an issue with your professional skills or a problem with your intentions. Examine if there are any impurities in your actions or if certain notions are to blame. Reflect on all aspects. If it is a problem with a lack of proficiency, you can continue learning, find somebody to help you explore solutions, or consult with people in the same field. If there are some wrong intentions in the mix, involving a problem that may be resolved using the truth, you can seek out church leaders or someone who understands the truth for consultation and fellowship. Talk with them about the state you are in and let them help you resolve it. If it is an issue involving notions, once you have examined and realized them, you can dissect and understand them, then turn away from and forsake them. Isn’t that all there is to it? The days ahead still await you, the sun will rise again tomorrow, and you have to go on living. Since you are alive, since you are human, you should continue to fulfill your duty. As long as you are alive and have thoughts, you should strive to fulfill your duty and complete it. This is a goal that should never change throughout a person’s life. No matter when, no matter what difficulties you encounter, no matter what you face, you should not feel repressed. If you feel repressed, you will stagnate and be defeated. What kind of people always feel repressed? Weaklings and fools are often repressed. But you are not without a heart or thoughts, so what are you feeling repressed about? It is just that at the moment your technical skills or expertise are not being utilized normally. What does it mean to be utilized normally? It means doing what God’s house requires of you and applying your learned technical skills to meet the required standards of God’s house. Isn’t that enough? Isn’t that what we call normal utilization? God’s house does not forbid you from utilizing your abilities. It simply wishes for you to utilize them purposefully, with moderation, standards, and principles, rather than using them recklessly. Apart from that, God’s house does not interfere in matters not involving the fulfillment of your duties or in your personal life. Only in matters of fulfilling your duties, God’s house has strict rules and required standards. So, when it comes to handling your professional skills and expertise, your hands and feet are not bound, and your thoughts are not controlled. Your thoughts are free, your hands and feet are free, and your heart is also free. It’s just that, when you give rise to negative emotions, you choose to retreat, become depressed, refuse, and resist. But if you choose to face things positively, listen carefully, and follow the principles, rules, and requirements of God’s house, you won’t find yourself without a path to follow or things to do. You are not a useless person, a weakling, or a fool. God has given you free will, normal thinking, and a normal humanity. So, you have a duty to fulfill, and you should fulfill your own duty. Moreover, you possess professional skills and expertise, and so, in God’s house, you are a useful person. If you can utilize your expertise as you should in certain aspects of the work of God’s house involving professional skills and expertise, you will find your place and fulfill the duty of a created being. As long as you stand firm in your place, fulfill your duty, and do your work well, you are not a worthless person but a useful one. If you can fulfill your duty, have thoughts, and work competently, no matter what difficulties you face, you should not feel repressed, you should not retreat, nor should you refuse or evade. Now, at this moment, what you should do is not immerse yourself in negative emotions so that you are unable to extricate yourself. You should not complain like a resentful woman about God’s house being unfair, about your brothers and sisters looking down on you, or about God’s house not valuing you or giving you opportunities. In fact, God’s house has given you opportunities and entrusted you with the duty you should fulfill, but you did not handle it well. You still kept to your own choices and requirements, you didn’t listen carefully to God’s words or pay attention to the principles God’s house told you regarding your work. You are too self-willed. Therefore, if you are trapped in the negative emotion of repression, it is not anyone else’s responsibility. It is not that God’s house has let you down, much less that you cannot be tolerated here. It is because you haven’t fully utilized your abilities in fulfilling your duty. You have not handled or utilized your technical profession and expertise correctly. You have not approached this matter rationally but have opposed it impulsively and with negative emotions. This is your mistake. If you let go of your negative emotions and come out of this state of repression, you will realize that there are many tasks you can do and many tasks you need to do. If you can come out of these negative emotions and face your duty with a positive attitude, you will see that the road ahead is bright, not dark. No one is blocking your vision, and no one is hindering your footsteps. It is merely that you do not wish to move forward. Your preferences, desires, and personal plans have hindered your steps. Put these things aside, let go of them, learn to adapt to the work environment in God’s house, to adapt to the help and support given you by your brothers and sisters, and to the method of fulfilling your duty and working in God’s house. Bit by bit, let go of your preferences, desires, and unrealistic, fanciful ideas. Gradually, you will naturally come out of these negative emotions of repression. One more thing you must understand is that no matter how advanced your professional skills and expertise, these do not represent your life. They do not represent your maturity in life or that you have already received salvation. If you fulfill your duty in God’s house in a normal and obedient manner according to the truth principles, using your professional skills and expertise, then you are doing well here and are truly a member of God’s house. However, you always fly the banner of fulfilling your duty, take advantage of the opportunity of fulfilling your duty, take advantage of the opportunities given by God’s house, and keep to your preferences, ambitions and desires to fully utilize your own expertise, using this to pursue your own career and personal endeavors, and as a result you hit a dead end and feel repressed. Who has caused this repression? You have caused it yourself. If you continue to pursue personal endeavors while fulfilling your duty in God’s house, it won’t work here, because you have come to the wrong place. From beginning to end, what is discussed in God’s house is the truth, it is God’s requirements and His words. Apart from these, there is nothing more to speak of. Therefore, regardless of the requirements made of people by God’s house in any aspect of their work or profession, or any special work arrangements, they are not aimed at any particular individual, nor are they meant to suppress anyone or extinguish anybody’s enthusiasm or pride. They are solely for the sake of God’s work, in order to bear witness to God, spread His word, and bring more people before His presence. Of course, they are meant also for each and every one of you present here to embark as soon as possible on the path of pursuing the truth and to enter into the reality of the truth. Do you understand? If the examples mentioned today apply to certain individuals, do not feel disheartened. If you agree with what I say, accept it. If you disagree and still feel repressed, then continue in your repression. Let us see to what extent such people can feel repressed, and how long they can hold on in God’s house while carrying such negative emotions, without pursuing the truth or turning around.
If they do not let go of repression, those who live in this negative emotion face another disadvantage: As soon as they are presented an opportunity, they jump up and go to work, taking charge on their own and disregarding all the requirements, rules, and principles of God’s house, acting recklessly and fully indulging in their own desires. Once they make their move, the consequences are unimaginable. To a lesser extent they can cause financial losses to God’s house, or to a greater extent they can disrupt the work of the church. If those leaders and supervisors shirk their responsibility and fail to solve problems, this will also affect the work of expanding the gospel of God’s house, which involves resisting God. If such incidents and consequences occur to these people, their end will come. Rather than foreseeing their future, it is better for them to let go of repression early on and change the attitudes and opinions they have continuously held of overestimating and attaching importance to technical skills and expertise. It is important for them to reverse their viewpoints and not hold them dear. The reason for not holding them dear is not because they are fundamentally insignificant in the house of God or because of My judgment or negative opinion toward these things. It is because technical skills and expertise are essentially a kind of tool. They do not represent the truth or life. When the heavens and the earth pass away, any technical skills and expertise will also perish, while the positive things and truths acquired by humans will not only not perish, they will never go away. No matter how profound, great, or irreplaceable the technical skills or special expertise you possess may be, they cannot change humanity or the world, nor can they change even a single small thought or viewpoint that people have. These things cannot even change a single small thought or viewpoint, let alone the corrupt disposition of human beings, which they are even less able to change. They cannot change humanity, nor can they change the world. They cannot determine humanity’s present, their coming days, or their future, and they certainly cannot determine the fate of humanity. That is just the fact of the matter. If you don’t believe Me, just wait and see. If you don’t believe My words, and keep cherishing such things as knowledge, technical skills, and expertise, see who will be delayed when you cherish them to the end and what you will gain from them. Some people are highly skilled and knowledgeable in computer technology, surpassing the average person and excelling in this field. They are senior technicians, carrying themselves with an air of superiority wherever they go and proclaiming, “I’m very skilled at the computer, I’m a computer engineer!” If you continue to carry yourself like this, let’s see how far you will truly go and where you will end up. You should cast off this title and redefine yourself. You are an ordinary person. Understand that technical skills and expertise come from human beings. They are limited to people’s mental capacity and thoughts, at most flooding the neurons in people’s brains, leaving impressions and traces in their memories. However, they have no positive impact on a person’s life disposition, or on their future path. They provide no real benefits. If you continue to cling to your acquired technical skills or expertise, and are unwilling to let them go, always thinking they are precious and lovable, believing that by possessing them you are superior, you’re a cut above the rest, you’re worthy of honor, then I say you are foolish. Those things are totally worthless! I hope you can try to let go of them, release yourself from the title of technician or professional, step out of the technical and professional domains, and learn to say and do everything, and treat everyone and everything in a grounded manner. Do not indulge in fanciful ideas or have your head in the clouds. Instead, you ought to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, do things in a down-to-earth manner, and maintain a practical comportment. You ought to learn to speak honestly, sincerely, and realistically, fostering the correct thoughts and viewpoints, perspectives, and stances toward people and things. This is fundamental. It means that you let go of and remove the technical skills and expertise that you have held in your heart for many years and which have occupied your heart and thoughts, and that you can learn such fundamental things as how to comport yourself, how to speak, how to view people and things, and how to fulfill your duty according to God’s words and requirements. This is all relevant to the paths people walk, to their existence, and their future. These things that are relevant to the paths people walk and to their future can change your fate, determine your fate, and save you. On the other hand, technical skills and expertise cannot change your fate or your future. They cannot determine anything. If you use these skills and expertise to do a job in society, they may only help you make a living or improve your life to some degree. But let Me tell you, when you come into God’s house, they don’t determine anything. Instead, they can become obstacles to fulfilling your duty and hinder you from being an ordinary and normal person. Therefore, no matter what, you must first have the correct understanding and perspective regarding them. Don’t think of yourself as a special talent or believe that in God’s house you are extraordinary, superior to others, or more special than them. You are not special at all, at least not in My eyes. Besides possessing some special abilities or knowledge and skills that others don’t have, you are no different from anyone else. Your words, your actions and conduct, and your thoughts and viewpoints are filled with the toxins of Satan, filled with erroneous and negative thoughts and viewpoints. There are many things you need to change, many things you need to turn around. If you remain trapped in a state of complacency, self-contentment, and self-admiration, then you are too foolish and you overestimate yourself. Even if you once made some contributions to God’s house because of your professional skills and expertise, it is not worth it for you to continue to cherish these things. No professional skill or expertise is worth dedicating your whole life to, even jeopardizing your future and wonderful destination in order to cherish, uphold, shield, and hold on to them, going so far as to live and die for them. Of course, you also should not let their existence affect your thoughts and emotions in any respect, and even less should you feel repressed because of them, because you lose them or no one recognizes them. That would be a foolish and irrational approach. To put it bluntly, they are like pieces of clothing, which can be discarded or picked up and worn at any time. There’s nothing remarkable about them. You wear them when you need them, and you can take them off and discard them whenever you don’t. You should feel indifferent about them; that is the attitude and viewpoint you should have toward any piece of knowledge, skill, or expertise. You shouldn’t cherish or regard them as your own life, finding joy or happiness because of them, or living and dying for their sake. There’s no need for that. You should approach them rationally. Of course, if you become trapped in negative emotions of repression because of them, affecting your fulfillment of duties and the most important matter in your life which is to pursue the truth, that is even more unacceptable. Because they are merely a tool that you can use or discard at any time, they shouldn’t evoke any attachment or sentiment in you. So, no matter how God’s house treats the professional skills or expertise you have acquired, whether it approves of them or asks you to give them up, or even condemns and criticizes them, you should not have any ideas of your own. You should receive the matter from God, facing and treating them rationally with the correct positions and perspectives. If God’s house uses your skills but finds them lacking, then you can learn and improve upon them. If God’s house does not utilize them, you should let them go without hesitation, without any concerns, and without any difficulties—it’s that simple. The fact that God’s house has no use for your professional skills and expertise is not directed at you personally, nor does it deprive you of the right to fulfill your duty. If you fail to fulfill your duty, it is due to your own disobedience. If you say, “God’s house looks down on me, on my talents, and on the knowledge I have acquired, and it does not treat me as a talented individual. Therefore, I won’t perform my duty anymore!” That is your personal choice not to perform your duty; it is not that God’s house has denied you the opportunity or taken away your right to perform it. If you fail to fulfill your duty, it is equivalent to giving up your opportunity for salvation. Because you prioritize the maintenance of your professional skills, expertise, and personal dignity, you abandon the fulfillment of your duty and the hope of receiving salvation. Tell Me, is this rational or irrational? (Irrational.) Is this foolish or wise? (Foolish.) So, is there a path for what you should choose? (Yes.) There is a path. Then, do you still feel repressed? (No, I don’t.) You don’t feel repressed anymore, do you? Individuals with repressive emotions and those without repressive emotions have completely different attitudes toward fulfilling their duties, and completely different ways of doing things. Repressed people can never be happy, they will never feel peace or joy, and they won’t experience the enjoyment and consolation that come from fulfilling their duties. Of course, after breaking free from this negative emotion of repression, people will feel happiness, comfort, and enjoyment in fulfilling their duties within God’s house. After this, some people should then put effort into their pursuit of the truth—the future will be bright for people like this. However, if you constantly feel repressed and do not seek the truth to free yourself, then go ahead, continue in your repression and see how long you can endure. If you remain in this state of repression, your future will be bleak, dark as pitch, so that you can’t see a thing, and there will be no path ahead. You will live each day in a daze, how ignorant you will be! In reality, this is a trivial matter, just a small thing, but people cannot break free from it, let it go, or turn it around. If they could turn it around, their mindset and the aspirations of their heart, as well as their pursuits, would be different. Alright, we will end our fellowship here today. I hope you will soon break free from the negative emotion of repression!
November 19, 2022