1. What is it to perform one’s duty? How should one regard their duty?

Relevant Words of God:

There is no correlation between the duty of man and whether he is blessed or cursed. Duty is what man ought to fulfill; it is his heaven-sent vocation, and should not depend on recompense, conditions, or reasons. Only then is he doing his duty. To be blessed is when someone is made perfect and enjoys God’s blessings after experiencing judgment. To be cursed is when someone’s disposition does not change after they have experienced chastisement and judgment, it is when they do not experience being made perfect but are punished. But regardless of whether they are blessed or cursed, created beings should fulfill their duty, doing what they ought to do, and doing what they are able to do; this is the very least that a person, a person who pursues God, should do. You should not do your duty only to be blessed, and you should not refuse to act for fear of being cursed. Let Me tell you this one thing: Man’s performance of his duty is what he ought to do, and if he is incapable of performing his duty, then this is his rebelliousness. It is through the process of doing his duty that man is gradually changed, and it is through this process that he demonstrates his loyalty. As such, the more you are able to do your duty, the more truth you shall receive, and the more real your expression shall become. Those who merely go through the motions in doing their duty and do not seek the truth shall be eliminated in the end, for such people do not do their duty in the practice of truth, and do not practice truth in the fulfillment of their duty. They are those who remain unchanged and will be cursed. Not only are their expressions impure, but everything they express is wicked.

Excerpted from “The Difference Between the Ministry of God Incarnate and the Duty of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

How does duty come into being? To speak broadly, it comes into being as a result of God’s management work of bringing salvation to humanity; to speak specifically, as God’s management work unfolds amongst mankind, various tasks arise that need to be done, and they require people to cooperate and complete them. This has given rise to responsibilities and missions for people to fulfill, and these responsibilities and missions are the duties God bestows upon mankind. Therefore, in God’s house, the various tasks that require people’s cooperation are the duties they should fulfill. So, are there differences between duties in terms of better and worse, lofty and lowly, or great and small? Such differences do not exist; as long as something has to do with God’s management work, is a requirement of His carrying that work out, or is a requirement of the work of His house, then it is a person’s duty. This is the definition and origin of duty. Without God’s work of management, would people on earth—regardless of how they live—have duties? (No.) Now you see clearly that there is a direct relationship between the duties of created beings and God’s management work of the salvation of mankind. It can be said that without God’s salvation of mankind, and without the management work He has launched on the earth, among man, people would not have any duties to speak of. Looking at it from this perspective, duty is important for every person who follows God, is it not? Speaking broadly, you are taking part in the work of God’s management plan; more specifically, you are cooperating with God at different times and among different groups of people to fulfill the requirements of various types of jobs. Regardless of what your duty is, it is a mission God has given you. Sometimes you may be required to look after or safeguard an important object. This might be a comparatively trivial matter that can only be said to be a responsibility of yours, but it is a task God has given you; you received it from Him. To put it in broader terms, God gives you a commission, which might be to spread the gospel or lead a church, or it might be work that is even more dangerous and more important. Regardless, as long as it has to do with God’s work and the work of His house, people should accept it as a duty from God. Duty, to put it in even broader terms, is a person’s mission, a commission entrusted by God; more specifically, it is your responsibility, your obligation. Given that it is your mission, a commission entrusted to you by God, and is your responsibility and obligation, it has nothing to do with your personal affairs.

Excerpted from “What Is the Adequate Performance of Duty?” in Records of Christ’s Talks

A duty is not managed by you—it is not your own career or your own work; instead, it is God’s work. God’s work requires your cooperation, which gives rise to your duty. The part of God’s work with which man must cooperate is his duty. The duty is a portion of God’s work—it is not your career, not your domestic affairs nor your personal affairs in life. Whether your duty is to deal with external or internal affairs, it is the work of the house of God, it forms one part of God’s management plan, and it is the commission God has given to you. It is not your personal business. …

No matter what duty you fulfill, you must always seek to grasp God’s will and understand what His requirements are regarding your duty; only then will you be able to handle matters in a principled way. In performing your duty, you absolutely cannot go by your personal preferences, by just doing whatever you would like to do, whatever you would be happy and comfortable doing, or whatever would make you look good. If you forcibly impose your personal preferences on God or practice them as though they were the truth, observing them as if they were the truth principles, then that is not fulfilling your duty, and performing your duty in this way will not be remembered by God. Some people do not understand the truth, and they do not know what it means to fulfill their duties well. They feel that since they have put their heart and effort into it, forsaken their flesh and suffered, then the fulfilling of their duties should be up to standard—but why, then, is God always dissatisfied? Where have these people gone wrong? Their mistake was to not seek out God’s requirements, and instead act according to their own ideas; they treated their own desires, preferences, and selfish motives as the truth, and they treated them as though they were what God loved, as though they were His standards and requirements. They saw what they believed to be correct, good, and beautiful to be the truth; this is wrong. In fact, even though people might sometimes think something is right and that it accords with the truth, that does not necessarily mean that it accords with God’s will. The more people think something is right, the more cautious they should be and the more they should seek the truth to see whether what they are thinking meets God’s requirements. If it happens to run counter to His requirements and counter to His words, then you are wrong to think it is right, it is but a human thought, and it will not necessarily accord with the truth no matter how right you think it is. Your determination of right and wrong must be based solely on God’s words, and no matter how right you think something is, unless there is a basis for it in God’s words, you must discard it. What is duty? It is a commission entrusted by God to people. So how should you fulfill your duty? By acting in accordance with God’s requirements and standards, and by basing your behavior on the truth principles rather than on human subjective desires. In this way, your fulfilling of your duties will be up to standard.

Excerpted from “Only by Seeking the Principles of the Truth Can One Perform Their Duty Well” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Let us put aside antichrists for the time being and speak instead of how God works to manage mankind, save mankind, and thereby give rise to the duty of mankind; and regardless of what duty man performs, is there anything more proper? This is the most beautiful and righteous thing among man. Creatures of God should perform their duty; you live under God’s dominion, you accept all that is provided by God, everything that comes from God, and so you should fulfill your responsibilities and obligations—this is your duty. From this it can be seen that for mankind to perform the duty of a creature of God is more righteous, beautiful, and noble than anything else done whilst living in the world of man; nothing among mankind is more meaningful or worthy, and nothing brings greater meaning and worth to the life of a creature of God, than performing the duty of a creature of God. For a creature of God to be able to perform the duty of a creature of God, to be able to satisfy the Creator, is the most wonderful thing among mankind, and is something that should be celebrated among mankind. Anything entrusted by the Creator to creatures of God should be unconditionally accepted by them; for mankind, this is something blessed and glorious, and for all of mankind who perform the duty of a creature of God, nothing is more wonderful or worthy of commemoration—it is something positive. And as for how the Creator treats those who perform the duty of a creature of God, and what He promises them, this is a matter for the Creator, and no business of created mankind. To put it bluntly, this is up to God; you will get whatever God gives you, and if He gives you nothing, then there is nothing you can say about it. When a creature of God accepts God’s commission, and cooperates with the Creator to perform their duty and do what they can, this is not a transaction or a trade; creatures of God must not try to use any attitude or thing to barter for blessings or promises from God. When the Creator entrusts this work to you, it is right and proper that, as creatures of God, you accept this duty and commission; there is no transaction involved. On the Creator’s side, He is willing to entrust this commission to each and every one of you; and on created mankind’s side, people should gladly accept this duty, treating it as their life’s obligation, as the worth they should live out in this life. There is no transaction here, this is not an equivalent exchange, much less does it involve any reward or any kind of interpretation. This is not a trade, it is not an exchange for the price people pay or the labor they contribute when performing their duty. God has never said that, and it should not be understood thus by man.

Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (15)” in Records of Christ’s Talks

How you regard God’s commissions is a very serious matter! If you cannot complete what God has entrusted to you, then you are not fit to live in His presence and should be punished. It is Heaven’s law and earth’s principle for humans to complete whatever commissions God entrusts to them; this is their highest responsibility, just as important as their very lives. If you do not take God’s commissions seriously, then you are betraying Him in the most grievous way; in this, you are more lamentable than Judas, and should be cursed. People must gain a thorough understanding of how to view what God entrusts to them and, at the very least, must comprehend that the commissions He entrusts to humanity are exaltations and special favors from God; they are most glorious things. Everything else can be abandoned; even if one must sacrifice one’s own life, he must still fulfill God’s commission.

Excerpted from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

The thing that most directly and perceptibly reflects the bond that links you to God is how you treat the matters God entrusts to you and the tasks He assigns you, and the attitude you have. What is observable most directly is this issue. When you have grasped this crucial point and fulfilled the commission God has given to you, your relationship with God will be normal. If, when God entrusts a task to you, or tells you to perform a certain duty, your attitude is cursory and apathetic, and you do not see it as a priority, is this not precisely the opposite of giving all your heart and strength? So, your attitude when performing your duty is of crucial importance, as are the method and path you choose. What is the result of performing your duty carelessly and perfunctorily, and treating it lightly? It is the poor performance of your duty, though you are capable of performing it well—your performance will not be up to standard, and God will not be satisfied with your attitude toward your duty. If, originally, you had sought and cooperated normally; if you had devoted all your thoughts to it; if you had put your heart and soul into doing it, and put all your effort into it, and had devoted a period of your labor, your striving, and your thoughts to it, or had devoted some time to referencing materials, and committed the whole of your mind and body to it; had you been capable of such cooperation, then God would be up ahead, guiding you. You do not need to exert much strength; when you spare no effort in cooperating, God will have already arranged everything for you. If you are wily and treacherous, and, halfway through the job, you have a change of heart and go astray, then God will show no interest in you; you will have lost this opportunity, and God will say, “You are not good enough; you are useless. Go stand off to the side. You like being lazy, no? You like being deceitful and cunning, do you not? You like resting? Well then, take a rest.” God will give this grace and opportunity to the next person. What do you say: Is this a loss or a win? It is an enormous loss!

Excerpted from “How to Solve the Problem of Being Careless and Perfunctory When Performing Your Duty” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Some people see fulfilling their duties as capital, some see fulfilling their duties as their own personal tasks, and some see fulfilling their duties as their own work, enterprises, or private matters, or see a duty as a sort of pastime, entertainment, or hobby to kill the time. In short, no matter what sort of attitude you have toward your duty, if you did not receive it from God, and if you are unable to treat it as a task that a created being within God’s management work should do or with which it should cooperate, then what you are doing is not fulfilling your duty. Why do I raise these topics? What problems am I trying to resolve by fellowshipping about them? I am attempting to fix the incorrect attitudes people have toward their duties. Once they have understood these truths, their attitudes toward their duties will gradually come in line with the truth and conform to its principles, as well as God’s requirements. At the very least, your perspective and attitude with regard to your duty should be in line with the truth and God’s requirements. Duties are tasks entrusted to people by God; they are missions for people to complete. However, a duty is certainly not your own personally managed business, nor is it a counterweight to your standing out from the crowd. Some people use their duties as opportunities to engage in their own management and form cliques; some to satisfy their desires; some to fill the voids they feel inside; and some to satisfy their trust-to-luck mentality, thinking that as long as they fulfill their duties, they will have a share in God’s house and in the wonderful destination God arranges for man. Such attitudes about duty are incorrect; they disgust God and must be urgently resolved.

Excerpted from “What Is the Adequate Performance of Duty?” in Records of Christ’s Talks

What is the most basic attitude toward duty that one should have? If you said, “Since God’s house has given this duty to me, it belongs to me, and I can fulfill it however I want,” would this be an acceptable attitude? It absolutely would not. If you have such thoughts, they will cause trouble, and it means you have started down a bad path. You must not think this way. So, what is the correct way of thinking? First, you must seek the truth and principles. Seek these things: how this duty should be fulfilled, what God requires, what the principles are of God’s requirements of people, what you should do, which parts of the work you should complete, and how you should act to be utterly devoted and responsible while fulfilling this duty. So, to whom should devotion be given? To God—you should be devoted to Him, responsible toward other people, and, as for yourself, you should adhere to principle and uphold your duty. What does it mean to adhere to principle? To adhere to principle is to act in accordance with God’s words and the truth. What, then, does it mean to uphold duty? Say, for example, a duty has been given to you for a year or two, but, so far, no one has checked up on you. What should you do? If no one checks up on you, does that mean the duty is gone? Pay no mind to whether anyone checks up on you or sees how you are doing; this task was entrusted to you, and, though it is not your personal business, it was assigned to you, and it is your responsibility. You should consider how this job should be done and how it can be done well, and that is how you should do it. If you are always waiting for others to check up on you, for them to supervise you and urge you on, is this the attitude you should have in your duty? What kind of attitude is this? This is a passive attitude; it is not the attitude you should adopt toward your duty.

Excerpted from “What Is the Adequate Performance of Duty?” in Records of Christ’s Talks

You should each do your own duty to the best of your ability, with open and honest hearts, and be willing to pay whatever price is necessary. As you have said, when the day comes, God will not be remiss toward anyone who has suffered or paid a price for Him. This kind of conviction is worth holding on to, and it is right that you should never forget it. Only in this way can I put My mind at ease about you. Otherwise, you will forever be people about whom I cannot put My mind at ease, and you will forever be the objects of My distaste. If all of you can follow your conscience and give your all for Me, sparing no effort for My work, and devoting the energy of a lifetime to My gospel work, then will My heart not often leap for joy on your account? This way, I will be able to put My mind entirely at ease regarding you, won’t I?

Excerpted from “On Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Man’s performance of his duty is, in actuality, the accomplishment of all that is inherent within man, which is to say, that which is possible for man. It is then that his duty is fulfilled. The defects of man during his service are gradually reduced through progressive experience and the process of his undergoing judgment; they do not hinder or affect man’s duty. Those who cease to serve or yield and fall back for fear that there may be drawbacks to their service are the most cowardly of all. If people cannot express what they ought to express during service or achieve what is inherently possible for them, and instead fool about and go through the motions, they have lost the function that a created being should have. Such people are what are known as “mediocrities”; they are useless refuse. How can such people properly be called created beings? Are they not corrupt beings that shine on the outside but are rotten within? If a man calls himself God yet is unable to express the being of divinity, do the work of God Himself, or represent God, he is undoubtedly not God, for he has not the substance of God, and that which God can inherently achieve does not exist within him. If man loses what is inherently attainable by him, he can no longer be considered man, and he is not worthy to stand as a created being or come before God and serve Him. Moreover, he is not worthy to receive the grace of God or to be watched over, protected, and made perfect by God. Many who have lost the trust of God go on to lose the grace of God. Not only do they not despise their misdeeds, but they brazenly propagate the idea that the way of God is incorrect, and the rebellious ones even deny the existence of God. How can such people, who are possessed of such rebelliousness, be entitled to enjoy the grace of God? Those who do not perform their duty are very rebellious against God, and owe much to Him, yet they turn around and lambaste that God is wrong. How could such kind of man be worthy of being made perfect? Is this not the precursor to being eliminated and punished? People who do not do their duty before God are already guilty of the most heinous of crimes, for which even death is an insufficient punishment, yet they have the gall to argue with God and match themselves against Him. What is the worth of perfecting such people? When people fail to fulfill their duty, they should feel guilt and indebtedness; they ought to despise their weakness and uselessness, their rebelliousness and corruption, and moreover, ought to give their life to God. Only then are they created beings who truly love God, and only such people are worthy of enjoying the blessings and promise of God, and of being made perfect by Him. And what of the majority of you? How do you treat the God who lives among you? How have you performed your duty before Him? Have you done all you were called upon to do, even at the expense of your own life? What have you sacrificed? Have you not received much from Me? Can you discern? How loyal are you to Me? How have you served Me? And what of all that I have bestowed upon you and have done for you? Have you taken measure of it all? Have you all judged and compared this with what little conscience you have within you? Who could your words and actions be worthy of? Could it be that such minuscule sacrifice of yours is worthy of all I have bestowed upon you? I have no other choice and have been wholeheartedly devoted to you, yet you harbor wicked intentions and are half-hearted toward Me. That is the extent of your duty, your only function. Is this not so? Do you not know that you have utterly failed to perform the duty of a created being? How can you be considered a created being?

Excerpted from “The Difference Between the Ministry of God Incarnate and the Duty of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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