Chapter 65. To Attain the Truth, You Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Around You
When you perform your duties, everybody should pray and fellowship together; the duty belongs to everyone as well as to each individual. Each individual, therefore, has a responsibility and an obligation to perform well. This responsibility is not for one alone but for all, so everyone must work hard together and put in extra effort to achieve it. You learn a little, I learn a little; you provide a little, I provide a little—in this way, the outcome of the duty will get better and better. Why do the unbelievers put so much strenuous effort into doing something? It takes them one or two years to compose a melody and half a year to choreograph a dance. They can spend a month or two on a new dance move and still not have it nailed down. So why do they take such pains over what they do? Why are they up against such great resistance? (Because they don’t have any harmonious partnership and just hold to themselves.) Yes, they don’t have any harmonious partnership. Why don’t they have any? (They are arrogant and self-righteous and are unwilling to relinquish themselves.) Being unwilling to relinquish themselves, being arrogant and self-righteous—these are all corrupt dispositions. So is this problem of theirs easily solved? Can anyone solve it? Can those high officials like the national leaders, mayors, and provincial governors solve it? Can those great directors solve this problem? (No, man can’t solve it.) They certainly can’t solve it, can they? Why can’t any of them solve it? (Because they don’t have the truth.) That’s right. They all live in dependence on the flesh, on corruption, on life philosophies and on the nature and essence of Satan, and they live in dependence on means and plots and cunning schemes. They don’t stress seeking the truth, practicing the truth, relinquishing their self-righteousness or themselves, and they don’t stress obeying the truth, so when they do something it takes a lot of strenuous effort. They need to exploit connections and gain entry through the back door. There is too much maneuvering behind closed doors and private business conducted under the table. There are many kinds of dirty deals and shady business. So even with real ability and a genuine talent, you still won’t necessarily be chosen and be able to take the stage. Those with means, who can play at plots and schemes, who can exploit connections and get in with cliques can distinguish themselves. People like this more often than not have no genuine talent. The unbelievers, therefore, expend strenuous efforts in what they do; they are all at odds with each other and they scheme against each other. The vying in those engaged in professions or in academia, or in those in the cultured upper class is even more intense. They cheat each other, harm each other and elbow each other out—these things are all too common. You are at the top of your profession and outstanding at what you do, yet you won’t often be chosen. You don’t know how to suck up to others, saying, “I earn a living through my own true ability.” This gets you nowhere! At the very least you must be a sycophant; secondly you must curry favor with gifts, and your family must be financially sound, and you must have a backer; thirdly, you must sell yourself out. Living in Satan’s world, it is so hard to do anything and you face such resistance. If you don’t seek the truth but live only for the flesh, then you will surely fail.
Why do brothers and sisters in God’s family work together more efficiently than those unbelievers? On the one hand, there is a foundation—everyone comes to God’s family performing their duty with their heart working for the same direction. Another aspect is that they share the same objectives and the same beliefs, their hearts are interlinked. Regardless of whether you come from the North, the South or the Central Plains of China, even though you all speak different dialects, as long as everyone sits together to talk about faith in God and to talk about your own experiences, then very quickly you become familiar with each other; it seems that you have known each other for many years and you feel as if you were of the same family. On the other hand, those in God’s family who play at plots and cunning schemes, who don’t do real work, who toy with different means, those who are self-righteous, arrogant and crafty and those who walk the way of worldly people—can they get anywhere? (No.) No, they can’t get anywhere. This has been proven, hasn’t it? No matter how old you are, what gender you are or how your profession is going, if you say “My profession is going well, so I am self-righteous and I won’t listen to you,” would anyone buy it? How would everyone regard you? Would they hold you in high esteem? (No.) So can this kind of person remain standing? (No.) Some people are smooth talkers and this gives others a good impression of them for a short period of time. After a long time has gone by, will people still like them? What will everyone say? “This person can talk the talk, but their heart is bad! They speak pleasantly but they don’t do any real work or act in a concrete manner. One cannot see what practical experience they have and they don’t love the truth; they just walk the way of worldly people. And why don’t they ever mention belief in God? Why do the principles behind their getting along with other people and doing work seem identical to those of worldly people? This is not like someone who believes in God!” After a while, people will get fed up with them. They will feel that when speaking with this person or working with him, they are unable to obtain any edification or get any help; they feel uneasy in their hearts, they are unable to feel any release in their spirits, so they will gradually distance themselves from him. This kind of person will look at the situation and think, “Not seeking the truth is no good. Neither is it any good to just walk the way of worldly people or employ the methods they use. I must seek the truth!” In this kind of environment, people can unknowingly come to realize that it is no good relying on their petty shrewdness, their minds and the summary of their own experiences, lessons, life philosophies and methods.
What kind of person do the majority of people like? (Those who seek the truth, who can relinquish themselves and accept the truth, and who have the reality of the truth.) What expressions are made by those who have the reality of the truth? Do you know? (They are fairly honest; they live out a fairly pious life and do things in a principled way.) Doing things in a principled way—this is a somewhat practical expression. What does “doing things in a principled way” specifically involve? For example, in relation to getting along with others, what is the principle behind how one treats one’s brothers and sisters, whether it be those with status or those without status, ordinary brothers and sisters, or all levels of leadership? You cannot treat your brothers and sisters in the same way as the unbelievers treat others; you must treat them fairly and reasonably. You cannot be close to this one, but not that one; you cannot form cliques or collude with others; you cannot bully someone because you have taken a dislike to them, and fawn on those who are strong. This is what is meant by this principle. You must be principled in the way you deal with other people; you must treat them all fairly. To bring those who you think are pretty good over to your side and exclude those who are hard to approach—isn’t this an unprincipled way of going about things? This is the life philosophy of the unbelievers and it is the principle behind how unbelievers treat other people. This method is of a satanic disposition, and it is satanic logic. According to which principle should you treat the members of God’s family? (Treat each and every brother and sister fairly.) How do you treat them fairly? Everyone has minor faults and shortcomings, as well as certain idiosyncrasies; people all possess self-righteousness, weakness, and areas in which they are lacking. You should help them with a loving heart, be tolerant and forbearing, and not be too harsh or make a fuss over every tiny detail. With people who are young or have not believed in God for very long, or have only recently started to perform their duties or have certain special requests, if you just grab them by the pigtails and refuse to let go, then this is what is known as being harsh. You ignore the evil done by those false leaders and antichrists, and yet upon spotting minor shortcomings and faults in your brothers and sisters, you refuse to help them, instead choosing to make a fuss over those things and judge them behind their backs, thereby causing even more people to oppose, exclude, and ostracize them. What sort of behavior is this? This is just doing things based on your personal preferences, and not being able to treat people fairly; this shows a corrupt satanic disposition! This is a transgression! When people do things, God is watching; whatever you do and however you think, He sees! If you wish to grasp the principles, then you must first understand the truth. Once you understand the truth, you can comprehend the will of God; if you do not understand the truth, you certainly will not understand God’s will. The truth tells you how to treat people, and once you have understood this, you will know how to treat people in line with God’s will. How you are to treat others is clearly shown and pointed out in God’s words; the attitude with which God treats humanity is the attitude people should adopt in their treatment of one another. How does God treat each and every person? Some people are of immature stature, or are young, or have believed in God for only a short time. Some people’s nature and essence are not bad or malicious; it is simply that they are somewhat ignorant or lacking in caliber, or that they have been polluted too much by society. They have not entered into the reality of the truth, so it is difficult for them to keep from doing some foolish things or committing some acts of ignorance. However, from God’s perspective, such matters are not important; He looks at only people’s hearts. If they are resolved to enter into the reality of the truth, they are headed in the right direction, and this is their objective, then God is watching them, waiting for them, and giving them time and opportunities that allow them to enter. It is not that God knocks them down with one blow or beats them the moment they stick their heads out; God has never treated people like this. That being said, if people treat each other in such a manner, then does this not show their corrupt disposition? This is precisely their corrupt disposition. You have to look at how God treats ignorant and foolish people, how He treats those with immature stature, how He treats the normal manifestations of humanity’s corrupt disposition, and how He treats those who are malicious. God has various ways of treating different people, and He also has various ways of managing different people’s myriad conditions. You must understand the truth of these things. Once you have understood these truths, you can then know how to experience them.
Does God only give people one or two years when He works to save them? Or three years or five years? Does He look at whether someone has made major or small transgressions? Does He look at what their strengths are? Does He look at their appearance? Does He look at whether they are high- or low-born? Does He look at their previous faults? Does He look at how old someone is? He doesn’t look at any of these things. Therefore, you must understand: Just as God doesn’t look at these things, you cannot look at these things either. When you see someone who is attractive you trip over yourself to say to them: “You’re pretty good! Let’s get to know each other better and get close to each other. Let’s be best friends.” And when there is someone unattractive, whose words don’t sound pleasant and who cannot communicate well with others, you think to yourself, “Just ignore them. Find someone else to bully them, say bad things to them and stifle them. Who is it that makes them never join us?” What kind of way is this to treat someone? These are all the corrupt dispositions and the malignancy of Satan. So are you willing to live within this kind of corrupt disposition of Satan? Are you willing to be controlled and bound by these corrupt dispositions, and to be put up to doing these things by Satan? (No.) Certainly no one would be willing to do this. In the subjective will of every individual, no one is willing to do anything or perform their duty living within the corrupt disposition of Satan. In people’s subjective wills, they aim for good. But if you don’t understand the truth, don’t seek the truth, aren’t serious about the truth or don’t make any effort with it, you will not be able to enter into the reality of the truth, and then what you live out, the principles you adopt in everything you do, and the words that you say will not conform to the truth. Just as this implies, these things will be completely without the truth. If you don’t understand just one aspect of the truth, then you will be absolutely unable to enter into the reality of the truth; if you cannot enter into the reality of the truth, then you will have no truth. Is there any humanity in those who have no truth? (No.) So what is it that they live out? What they live out is entirely the corrupt disposition of Satan. It is not the case that people become someone who has the truth as soon as they start doing their duty. Doing one’s duty is no more than one method and one channel to take. In the doing of their duties, people use these opportunities to gradually attain an understanding of the truth, an acceptance of the truth and gradually enter into the truth. They then reach a state whereby they get rid of the bonds and control of the corrupt disposition of Satan, and so they become someone who has the truth, someone who has the reality of the truth and they become someone with a normal humanity. Once people become someone with normal humanity, then the performing of their duties, their speaking and acting can be of benefit to others and can satisfy God. Only then can they become standard created beings; only then can they become the standard and qualified mankind created by God. So regarding the performing of your duty, although that which you now expend and bring out in devotion are the various skills that you have learned, it is precisely these knowledge, culture or skills, that which you bring out in devotion and that which you can achieve, provide the channel through which you can understand the truth during this time, and that will allow you to know what it is to perform one’s duty, what it is to come before God, what it is to wholeheartedly expend for God, what it is to throw off your corrupt disposition, and that will allow you to relinquish yourself, not to be self-righteous, and to obey the truth and obey God.
In your faith, you must learn to experience God’s work and to submit to God. Submitting to God is a truth, and is God’s requirement of humanity. If you can seek in the direction of submitting to God, then you have set foot upon the right path of believing in God. Can someone who totally has no understanding of what putting the truth into practice is, or what the principles of doing one’s duty are, perform their duty well? Will they have any difficulties? This hardly needs mentioning, as they will certainly have difficulties. You may perhaps have experienced and realized that, if you don’t possess or haven’t entered into any reality of the truth, then you will find it very difficult to perform your duty in God’s family, will find it very difficult to do your duty well and to do your duty to a level that is up to standard, and you will find it very difficult to remain standing. So do you now have that experience that without the truth it is difficult to take even one step forward? (Yes.) What causes you to experience this most deeply? (Pruning, dealing, trials, refinement, failure and falling down.) Having failed and fallen down multiple times is not a bad thing; nor is being exposed. Whether you have been dealt with, pruned, or been exposed, you must remember this at all times: Being exposed does not mean that you are being condemned. Being exposed is a good thing; it is the best opportunity for you to get to know yourself. It can bring your life experience a change of gears. Without it, you will possess neither the opportunity, the condition, nor the context to be able to reach an understanding of the truth of your corruption. If you can come to know the things inside you, all those aspects hidden deep within you that are hard to recognize and difficult to unearth, then this is a good thing. Becoming able to truly know yourself is the best opportunity for you to mend your ways and become a new person; it is the best opportunity for you to obtain new life. Once you truly know yourself, you will be able to see that when the truth becomes one’s life, it is a precious thing indeed, and you will thirst for the truth and enter into the reality. This is such a great thing! If you can grab this opportunity and earnestly reflect upon yourself and gain a genuine knowledge of yourself whenever you fail or fall down, then in the midst of negativity and weakness, you will be able to stand back up. Once you have crossed this threshold, you will then be able to take a big step forward and enter into the reality of the truth.
If you believe in God’s rule, then you have to believe that the things that happen every day, be they good or bad, are not random occurrences. It is not that someone is intentionally hard on you or targeting you; it is actually all arranged by God. What does God orchestrate these things for? It is not to reveal your shortcomings or to expose you; exposing you is not the end goal. The end goal is to perfect you and save you. How does God do that? Firstly, He makes you aware of your own corrupt disposition, of your nature and essence, your shortcomings, and what you lack. Only by knowing these things and understanding them in your heart can you pursue the truth and gradually cast off your corrupt disposition. This is God providing you with an opportunity. You have to know how to seize this opportunity, and don’t butt heads with God. Particularly when faced with the people, events, and things that God arranges around you, don’t always think that things aren’t as you wish them to be, always wanting to escape, always blaming and misunderstanding God. That is not undergoing God’s work, and that will make it very difficult for you to enter into the reality of the truth. Whatever the thing is that you cannot fully understand, when you have difficulties, you must learn to submit. You should first come before God and pray more. That way, before you know it there will be a shift in your internal state and you’ll be able to seek the truth to resolve your problem—you’ll be able to experience the work of God. During this period, the reality of the truth is being wrought within you, and this is how you will progress and how a change in the state of your life will occur. Once you have undergone this change and have this kind of reality of the truth, then you will possess stature, and with stature comes life. If someone always lives based on a corrupt satanic disposition, then no matter how much enthusiasm or energy they have, they still cannot be considered to possess stature, or life. God works in every single person, and no matter what His method is, what kind of people, things and matters He makes use of to do service, or what kind of tone His words have, He only has one end goal: saving you. Before saving you, He needs to transform you, so how could you not suffer a bit? You’re going to have to suffer. This suffering can involve many things. Sometimes God raises up the people, matters, and things around you so that you can come to know yourself, or else you might be directly dealt with, pruned, and exposed. Just like someone on an operating table–you have to undergo some pain for a good outcome. If every time you are pruned and dealt with, and every time He raises up people, matters, and things, it stirs up your feelings and gives you a boost, then this is correct, and you will have stature and will enter into the reality of the truth. If, every time you are pruned and dealt with, and every time God raises up your environment, you feel no pain or discomfort whatsoever, and feel nothing at all, and if you do not come before God to seek His will, neither praying nor seeking the truth, then you really are so numb! If a person is too numb, and is never spiritually aware, then God will have no way to work on them. He will say, “This person is overly numb, and has been corrupted too deeply. I have done so many things on them, and made so much effort, yet I still cannot call to their heart, nor can I awaken their spirit. This is so troublesome and difficult to work with.” If God arranges certain environments, people, things, and objects for you, if He prunes and deals with you and if you learn lessons from this, if you have learned to come before God, learned to seek the truth, and, unknowingly, are enlightened and illuminated and attain the truth, if you have experienced a change in these environments, reaped rewards, and made progress, if you begin to have a little comprehension of God’s will and you cease to complain, then all of this will mean that you have stood firm in the midst of the trials of these environments, and have withstood the test. As such, you will have gotten through this ordeal. How will God regard those who withstand the test? God will say that they have a true heart, that they can endure this kind of suffering and that deep down, they love the truth and want the truth. If God has this kind of assessment of you, are you not then someone with stature? Do you not then have life? And how is this life attained? It is bestowed by God; it is God coming personally to carry a bowl of food over to you and bringing it right up to your mouth; then, once you have eaten, you feel satiated and can stand strong. This is how you must comprehend these things; this is how to be obedient to everything that comes from God. You must possess this kind of state of mind and this kind of attitude, and you must learn to seek the truth. You must not always look for external causes or blame others for your troubles, and you must understand God’s intention. From the outside, some people might seem to have opinions about you or prejudices against you, but you should not see things that way. If you see things from an erroneous standpoint, the only thing you will do is reason with others, and you will not be able to attain anything. You should see things objectively and justly; in that way, you will seek the truth and understand God’s intention. Once your viewpoint and state of mind are rectified, you will be able to attain the truth. What possible reason could there be to not proceed? Why do you resist? If you don’t resist, then you will attain the truth. If you resist then you won’t attain anything, and you will also hurt God and disappoint Him. How is God disappointed? This amounts to you pushing away the bowl of food that God Himself has brought to you, the bowl of food that He has fed you straight from His mouth. You don’t want it, and you say, “I’m not eating it. I’m not hungry. I don’t need it!” God tries again and again to dissuade you from this course of action, but you still don’t want it, and would rather go hungry. You think that you are full, when really you have nothing at all. This is the situation.
If you wish to enter into the reality of the truth, then you must first start from the drips and drops of life and from the people, events, and things around you. If you can learn lessons from everything that happens around you, from the way you are treated by the people around you, and from the issues and environments you encounter every day, then you will mature and will enter onto the right track. Some people often look for external causes, saying this was caused by this, that happened for that reason and this excuse is why that happened. They say, “I have ample reasons that can explain these things clearly. I am not like that. I’m not that kind of person.” This is far too troublesome. They don’t have an obedient attitude, nor do they have an attitude that seeks for the truth. On the one hand, this kind of person is ignorant. On the other hand, they are stubborn. And moreover, the stature of this kind of person is too small and it is not worth mentioning. They don’t understand what people say, and have no way to communicate with mature people. Others have no way to approach them as if they were mature people, so this kind of person can only progress very slowly. Why can they only progress slowly? It is that they are not capable of seeking the truth, and they don’t seek it. In all things they look to others for causes, reasons and to find fault. Whether in big matters or small matters, they don’t seek for the truth. They would rather ingratiate themselves with other people, and be slick and worldly-wise. They are not willing to attain any truth or to satisfy God. Some people even think “How can God arrange so many people, events, and things? Will God not be dead tired? Is God able to do all this, being so busy?” Is this not man’s conception? Is this not man’s rebellion? On the one hand, their words say that they believe and acknowledge God as being almighty, that everything is within God’s hands, that all matters and all things are within God’s hands and that everything is under God’s dominion. On the other hand, they still don’t believe or acknowledge this fact. Are they not unbelievers? They say, “How can you learn lessons from everything? How come I don’t have that many lessons to learn? Is it that you are too ignorant and that you are following the rules?” What kind of argument is this? This is unbelief! Can unbelievers attain the truth? This type of person will find it very difficult to attain the truth. There are even some who say, “I pray to God about the big things, but I don’t bother God with the small things. God is so busy, administering the entire universe and every individual every day. He must be so tired! I won’t bother God. I’ll sort it out and resolve it myself. It would be good if I could work this out myself and make God satisfied, so I won’t make Him worry about me.” What kind of argument is this? All these are the viewpoints of unbelievers. God administers the entire universe; has God said that He is tired? Has God said that He is too busy to do anything? No, He hasn’t. God dominates all things, and dominates the entire universe with ease, so as for the things that happen every day to every one of His chosen people, it is so easy for God to administer it all. You mustn’t be afraid of bothering God with these things; it is crucial to attain the truth! The more you lean on God and come before Him, the happier, the more gratified, the more comforted God is and the more He enjoys it. The more you leave God, don’t know to be intimate with God, don’t know to get close to God, don’t know to lean on Him and don’t know to seek for Him, the more hurt God is. If you don’t come before God, what hurts Him? Is God hurt because He doesn’t have a companion to talk to? Is He lonely? God pays a painstaking price for the sake of every individual. He pins His will on each and every person, with expectations and hope for all. He freely pays the painstaking price for those people of His own will, and He willingly gives His life and truth to every individual. So God is gratified if anyone is able to understand this aim of His. If you can accept and obey the things He does, and if you can receive all from God, He then feels that the painstaking price has not been paid in vain. This means that, if you have lived up to the care and thought God has invested in you, you have reaped the rewards in every environment, and haven’t disappointed God’s hopes in you, and if what God does on you has had the expected effect and has reached the expected objective, then God’s heart is satisfied. If you never accept what God does on you, but instead always refuse and oppose it, will God’s heart be anxious? God’s heart will be worried and anxious, and He will say, “I have arranged such environments for you and paid such a painstaking price. Why has there been no result? Why has this had no effect on you? Why hasn’t anything been wrought in you?” God can see no result and so He feels hurt. What is the cause of His feeling hurt? It is because you are numb, ignorant, obtuse and stubborn. God takes responsibility for your life and He worries, feels anxious and gets fired up about it. This is why God gets hurt.
Tell Me, who bears the greatest burden for the life of man? (God.) Only God! People are numb and dull-witted; they don’t know or understand it. Their parents or relatives can’t take up this burden, can they? People always say, “I cannot feel it, however much God may love me. Anyway, my mom and dad love me the most.” How do they love you? “They take me to learn dance, they want me to grow up with prospects for my future, to be able to distinguish myself and be a star and they let me become famous! They really love me! They raised me for 20 years, from when I was born up until now, they have spent untold amounts of money on me, lost so many hours of sleep, went without wearing so many nice clothes, and went without eating so many nice things. Their love for me is so great, I can never repay them for it all!” Tell Me, is that love? Your parents inspire you to distinguish yourself, to become famous in the world, have a good job and integrate yourself into this world. Is that a good path to take? That isn’t loving you; it is ruining you. No matter what your parents do, whether it is for themselves or for you, they remorselessly make you distinguish yourself, make you enter wholeheartedly into this world, and make you throw yourself at Satan. Is this love? Until one day you will have degenerated so much as to be beyond the point of return, beyond the ability to free yourself and you will go down into hell. Only then will you know: “That wasn’t my parents loving me. It was them ruining me!” You may perhaps still not have realized this. Some still say, “I still haven’t felt it, however much God may love me. I still think my mom loves me most. My mom is the closest person to me in the world. Isn’t there that song in the world called ‘Mom Is the Best in the World’? This is a name and a fact. It is completely true!” Until the day you feel that those words were false, when you truly have life, when you have entered into life and have attained the truth, you will then say, “My mom is not the one who loves me the most and neither is my father. God loves me the most and He is my dearest loved One, because He gave me life and He is the only One who can provide life to man!” You will only come to a deep understanding of these words when you reach that day when you understand the truth and have completely attained the truth.
Where do you start, if you want to attain the truth? Start from the people, matters and things around you; learn how to learn the lessons and seek the truth within these lessons, seek the truth within the people, matters, and things around you, and seek God’s will; only by doing this can you attain the truth. Some people don’t pay attention to small matters, always thinking, “Why is there never any big thing to deal with? Nothing earth-shaking ever happens. If something earth-shaking happened, then I could attain some great truth! That would be so fantastic!” Is this way of thinking realistic? Is it pragmatic? (No.) It is a little too ambitious and arrogant, right? You can’t attain the truth by this means of pursuit. If you want to attain the truth, you must grasp the principles and study the lessons from the things around you that you consider to be the most inconspicuous.