89. The Principles of Coordinating in Service

(1) Treat others fairly. So long as one is not an evil person, an absurd person, or an evil spirit, you can practice coordination with them. Treating others with love is a fundamental principle;

(2) It is necessary to learn to submit to the truth. Whoever speaks in accordance with the truth must be accepted and obeyed, and the truth should be sought to resolve problems, no matter who may have them;

(3) It is necessary to learn to engage in self-reflection and to know yourself. First, rectify your arrogance and self-righteousness, your willfulness and wantonness, and your fleshly preferences. Only thus can one get along with others;

(4) It is necessary to uphold the principle of safeguarding the work of God’s house. If there is a problem in coordination, help the other with love; if the problem is serious enough that coordination is impossible, the coordination may then be annulled.

Relevant Words of God:

These days, many people do not pay attention to what lessons should be learned while coordinating with others. I have discovered that many of you cannot learn lessons at all while coordinating with others; most of you stick to your own views. When working in the church, you say your piece and someone else says theirs, and the one has no relation to the other; you do not actually cooperate at all. You are all so absorbed in merely communicating your own insights or in releasing the “burdens” you bear inside you, without seeking life in even the smallest way. You appear to only be doing the work perfunctorily, always believing that you should walk your own path regardless of what anyone else says or does; you think you should fellowship as the Holy Spirit guides you, no matter what the circumstances of others may be. You are not able to discover the strengths of others, and nor are you capable of examining yourselves. Your acceptance of things is really deviant and erroneous. It can be said that even now you still exhibit a lot of self-righteousness, as if you have relapsed into that old illness. You do not communicate with each other in a way that achieves complete openness, for example, about what kind of outcome you have attained from work in certain churches, or about the recent condition of your inner states, and so on; you simply never communicate about such things. You have absolutely no engagement in practices such as dropping your own notions or forsaking yourselves. Leaders and workers think only of how to keep their brothers and sisters from being negative and how to make them able to follow vigorously. However, all of you think following vigorously by itself is enough, and fundamentally, you have no understanding of what it means to know yourself and forsake yourself, much less do you understand what it means to serve in coordination with others. You think only of having the will yourselves to repay God for His love, of having the will yourselves to live out the style of Peter. Apart from these things, you think of nothing else. You even say that, no matter what other people do, you will not submit blindly, and that no matter what other people are like, you yourself will seek perfection by God, and that will be sufficient. The fact is, however, that your will has not in any way found a concrete expression in reality. Is all of this not the sort of behavior you exhibit nowadays? Each of you holds fast to your own insight, and you all desire to be perfected. I see that you have served for such a long time without having made much progress; in particular, in this lesson of working together in harmony, you have achieved absolutely nothing! When going down into the churches you communicate in your way, and others communicate in theirs. Seldom does harmonious coordination occur, and this is even more true of the followers who are below you. That is to say, rarely do any among you understand what serving God is, or how one should serve God. You are muddled and treat lessons of this sort as trifling matters. There are even many people who not only fail to practice this aspect of the truth, but who also knowingly do wrong. Even those who have served for many years fight and scheme against each other and are jealous and competitive; it is every man for himself, and they do not cooperate at all. Do all these things not represent your actual stature? You people serving together on a daily basis are like the Israelites, who directly served God Himself every day in the temple. How can it be that you people, who serve God, have no idea how to coordinate or how to serve?

Excerpted from “Serve As the Israelites Did” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The requirement made of you today—to work together in harmony—is similar to the service Jehovah required of the Israelites: Otherwise, just stop doing service. Because you are people who serve God directly, at the very minimum you must be capable of loyalty and submission in your service, and must also be able to learn lessons in a practical way. For those of you working in the church especially, would any of the brothers and sisters below you dare to deal with you? Would anyone dare to tell you of your mistakes to your face? You stand high above everyone else; you do reign as kings! You do not even study or enter into these sorts of practical lessons, yet you still talk of serving God! At present, you are asked to lead a number of churches, but not only do you not give up yourself, but you even cling to your own notions and opinions, saying things like, “I think this thing should be done this way, as God has said that we should not be restrained by others and that nowadays we should not submit blindly.” Therefore, each of you holds to your own opinion, and no one obeys each other. Though you clearly know that your service is at an impasse, you still say, “As I see it, my way is not far off the mark. In any case, we each have a side: You talk of yours, and I will talk of mine; you fellowship about your visions, and I will speak of my entry.” You never take responsibility for the many things that should be dealt with, or you simply make do, each of you venting your own opinions and prudently protecting your own status, reputation, and face. None of you is willing to humble yourself, and neither side will take the initiative to give yourself up and make up for each other’s deficiencies so that life may progress more rapidly. When you are coordinating together, you should learn to seek the truth. You may say, “I do not have a clear understanding of this aspect of truth. What experience do you have with it?” Or, you may say, “You have more experience than I with regard to this aspect; could you please give me some guidance?” Would that not be a good way of going about it? You have listened to a lot of sermons, and have some experience with doing service. If you do not learn from each other, help each other, and make up for each other’s shortcomings when doing work in the churches, then how can you learn any lessons? Whenever you encounter anything, you should fellowship with each other so that your lives can benefit. Moreover, you should carefully fellowship about things of any sort before making any decisions. Only by doing so are you taking responsibility for the church rather than simply acting perfunctorily. After you visit all the churches, you should gather together and fellowship about all the issues you discover and any problems encountered in your work, and then you should communicate about the enlightenment and illumination that you have received—this is an indispensable practice of service. You must achieve harmonious cooperation for the purpose of the work of God, for the benefit of the church, and so as to spur your brothers and sisters onward. You should coordinate with one another, each amending the other and arriving at a better work outcome, so as to care for God’s will. This is what true cooperation is, and only those who engage in it will gain true entry. While cooperating, some of the words you speak may be unsuitable, but that does not matter. Fellowship about it later, and gain a clear understanding of it; do not neglect it. After this sort of fellowship, you can make up for your brothers’ or sisters’ deficiencies. Only by moving ever deeper in your work like this can you achieve better outcomes. Each of you, as people who serve God, must be able to defend the interests of the church in everything you do, instead of simply considering your own interests. It is unacceptable to act alone, undermining each other. People who behave like that are not fit to serve God! Such people have a terrible disposition; not an ounce of humanity remains in them. They are one hundred percent Satan! They are beasts! Even now, such things still occur among you; you even go so far as to attack one another during fellowship, intentionally seeking pretexts and becoming all red in the face while arguing over some trivial matter, neither person willing to put himself aside, each person concealing his inner thoughts from the other, watching the other party intently and always being on guard. Does this sort of disposition befit service to God? Can such work as yours supply your brothers and sisters with anything? Not only are you unable to guide people onto a correct life course, but you actually inject your own corrupt dispositions into your brothers and sisters. Are you not hurting others? Your conscience is horrible, and it is rotten to the core! You do not enter reality, nor do you put the truth into practice. In addition, you shamelessly expose your devilish nature to others. You simply know no shame! These brothers and sisters have been entrusted to you, yet you are taking them to hell. Are you not someone whose conscience has become rotten? You have absolutely no shame!

Excerpted from “Serve As the Israelites Did” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

If you want to properly fulfill your duties and satisfy God’s will, then you first must learn how to work harmoniously with others. When coordinating with your brothers and sisters, you should consider the following: What is harmony? Is the way I speak to them harmonious? Do my thoughts lead to harmony with them? Does the way I am doing things lead to harmony with them? Consider how to be harmonious. At times, being harmonious involves forbearance and tolerance, but it also includes standing your ground and upholding principles; it does not mean reconciling differences regardless of principles, or trying to be “the good guy,” or sticking to the path of moderation. In particular, it does not mean ingratiating yourself to someone. These are the principles. Once you have grasped these principles, you will, without even realizing it, act in accordance with God’s will, and you also will live out the reality of the truth. In their interactions with each other, when people rely on philosophies for living, their notions, ideas, desires, and selfishness, and their own capabilities, gifts, specialties, and cleverness, then they are utterly incapable of achieving unity before God. Because they are living and doing things from within a corrupt satanic disposition, they cannot unify. What is the ultimate consequence of this? God does not work on them. When He does not work on them, and they continue to rely on their meager abilities, cleverness, and specialties, and the tiny bit of knowledge and skills they have gained, they have a very difficult time being put to full use in God’s house, and they also find it very hard to act in accordance with His will. This is because if God is not working on you, you can never grasp the principles of putting the truth into practice or of doing things; that is, you can never grasp the essence or the root of the principles behind the duty you are performing, nor can you know how to act in harmony with God’s will or what to do to bring Him joy. You also cannot know how to act in line with the truth principle. You are unable to grasp these essential things; you have no idea. Your confused attempts to fulfill your duty are bound to fail, and you are certain to be spurned by God.

Excerpted from “On Harmonious Coordination” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

What is harmonious coordination? You do your thing and I do mine; you finish yours and I finish mine. We each do our own thing, and there is no tacit understanding between us; there is no communication or fellowship. We have not reached any kind of mutual understanding. We simply know deep down, “I’m performing my duty and you’re performing yours; you carry out yours and I’ll carry out mine. What you do is no concern of mine, and what I do is no concern of yours. We aren’t interfering with each other, and we aren’t bothering or influencing each other.” Is that harmonious coordination? On the surface, it might seem that there is no conflict or complaints between two people such as these; they seem not to be interfering with each other, or controlling or restricting one another. However, spiritually, there is no harmonious coordination between them; they have no tacit understanding or care for one another. All that is happening is that each of them is putting effort into their own thing, and exerting individual effort, without any coordination. Is this a good way of doing things? It is not a good way of doing things. It seems that neither is managing the other, neither is listening to or giving guidance to the other, and they are not helping each other. They might seem to be rational, but a corrupt disposition is within each of them. Do you know what disposition that is? It is that they are both competing to be at the forefront, and they completely lack love, care, and willingness to help others. There is no harmonious coordination this way of being. Without coordinating with others, you are fighting a solitary battle, and many of the things you do will not be so perfect or complete. This is not the kind of state God wants to see in humans; it does not bring Him joy.

Excerpted from “On Harmonious Coordination” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

What should people do to be useful when working alongside others? Making up for and pointing out one another’s shortcomings, keeping an eye on each other, seeking and consulting with each other. Pointing things out to each other is one part of working alongside others. Someone might say, “You’re doing it wrong, you’re not seeking the truth. How can you be so hasty in what you say and how you’re handling this?” And hearing this, they will say, “Oh no! It’s lucky that you pointed that out—if you hadn’t, it could have bred disaster.” And what about keeping an eye on each other? For each person, there are times to make mistakes, to be perfunctory, to not consider the interests of the house of God, to act up, or to be disobedient. When you see someone showing off, that they are protecting their own status and reputation, and not considering the interests of the house of God, at such times you must come forward, fellowship with them, and also take this as a warning to yourself. Is this not what it means to keep an eye on one another? What is the use of keeping an eye on one another? It is to protect the interests of the house of God and stop people from going astray.

Excerpted from “They Would Have Others Obey Only Them, Not the Truth or God (Part One)” in Exposing Antichrists

Cooperation includes asking others for help and tips, seeking others’ advice, and being able to seek the truth principles when there is a problem. This has all been fellowshiped clearly; what happens next comes down to how you practice it. If you always feel yourself to be above others and treat your mission as an official posting, and you are always taking alternate routes, always hatching plans of your own, always undertaking your own management—this will cause problems. If this is how you always act, and you do not want to cooperate with anyone else, to disperse your authority to others, to have your thunder stolen, the halo snatched from your head—if you want only to have things all to yourself, then you are on the wrong road. Yet if you often seek the truth and practice putting such things aside, and if you can take the initiative in cooperating with others, often opening your heart to consult with others and seek their counsel, and if you can adopt others’ suggestions and listen carefully to their thoughts and words, then you are going on the right path, in the right direction. Get off your high horse and set your title aside. Pay no mind to these things, treat them as nothing important, and do not view them as a mark of status, as a laurel. Believe in your heart that you and others are equal; learn to put yourself on an equal footing with others, and be able even to stoop down to ask others for their opinions. Be able to listen earnestly, carefully, and attentively to what others have to say. In this way, you will engender peaceful cooperation between yourself and others. What function, then, does peaceful cooperation serve? It serves a great function, indeed. With it, you can gain from things others have seen that you have yet to see, things others have understood that you have yet to understand, and you can discover others’ strengths and virtues. And there is something else, too: the aspects amid your notions where you consider others daft, stupid, foolish, inferior to you—when you listen to others’ suggestions, or when others open their hearts to speak to you, you come unwittingly to realize that no one at all is simple, that everyone, no matter who they are, has a few thoughts of note. This keeps you from thinking yourself clever or feeling superior. It keeps you from living always in a narcissistic, self-admiring state. It serves to protect you, does it not?

Excerpted from “They Would Have Others Obey Only Them, Not the Truth or God (Part One)” in Exposing Antichrists

At times, when cooperating to fulfill a duty, two people have a dispute over a matter of principle. They have different viewpoints and they have come to different opinions. What can be done in that case? Is this an issue that occurs frequently? It is a normal phenomenon, caused by differences in people’s minds, calibers, insights, ages, and experiences. It is impossible for two people’s heads to have precisely the same contents, so that two people might come to differ in their opinions and views is a very common phenomenon and a most regular occurrence. Do not tie yourself in knots about it. The critical question is how, when such an issue arises, you should cooperate and seek to achieve unity before God and unanimity of opinion. What is the goal of having a unanimous opinion? It is to seek the truth principles in this regard, and not to act according to your own or someone else’s intentions, but together to seek the intentions of God. This is the path to achieving harmonious cooperation. Only when you seek God’s intentions and the principles He requires will you be able to achieve unity. Otherwise, if it went your way, the other person was unsatisfied. If things went their way, you would feel displeased and frustrated. You can’t see it clearly and you can’t let go of it. “How is doing things this way? Is it suitable?” You’re not at ease internally, and you feel that if you don’t fight for it, you won’t be able to account for things in front of God, but if you do fight for it, you’ll feel, “Is this just putting myself forward for my own sake? Is this struggling for my own face, for my own status?” Either way, you feel it’s not suitable. Neither this nor that feels right. Could unity be achieved then? In that kind of situation you should seek the truth. You should seek what the principle is, and what the standard God requires is. Once you find the standard that God requires, you have fellowship with that person. After he hears it, he says, “Yes, my opinion was flawed.” You ponder it and think, “Mine wasn’t that great either. It was a little erroneous, a bit superficial. His idea was better and it came close to the standard that God requires. If there’s a little added to it and it’s adjusted a bit, it’s basically fine. I’ll put my opinion aside, I’ll obey. We should go forward based on his idea, and in the future I should learn some things from him, from that method of his.” Haven’t you been shown favor then? He gave a bit, and didn’t you gain from it? You enjoyed something ready-made. That’s called God’s grace, and you have been shown favor. Do you think it is really only when you are enlightened by the Holy Spirit that it is being shown favor? Someone else has an opinion, or some light to share with you in fellowship; or something is put into practice and done according to their principle, and you see it and think it’s not bad. Isn’t that gaining something? It is. Cooperation among brothers and sisters is itself a process of offsetting one’s weaknesses with another’s strengths. You use your strengths to compensate for others’ shortcomings, and others use their strengths to make up for yours. This is what it means to offset one’s weaknesses with others’ strengths, and to cooperate in harmony. Only when cooperating in harmony can people be blessed before God, and, the more of this one experiences, the more practicality they possess, the path becomes ever brighter, and they become ever more at ease. If you are always at loggerheads with others, and always unconvinced by others, who never wish to listen to you; if you try to preserve the dignity of others, yet they do not do the same for you, which you feel to be unbearable; if you back them into a corner over something they have said, and they remember it, and, the next time an issue arises, they do the same to you—can what you are doing be called offsetting each other’s weaknesses with your strengths and cooperating in harmony? It is called strife, and living by your hot blood and corrupt dispositions. It will not gain God’s blessing; it does not please Him.

Excerpted from “On Harmonious Coordination” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

When you are coordinating with others to fulfill your duties, are you able to be open to differing opinions? Can you accept what others say? (I always used to cling to my own ideas, but after being exposed in situations arranged by God, I saw that when everyone got together and discussed things, we usually got things right, and many times it was my own personal perspective that had been wrong or shortsighted. I came to appreciate how important working in harmony with others is.) And what have you learned from this? Do you think anyone is perfect? No matter how strong people are, or how capable and talented, they still are not perfect. People must recognize this; it is a fact. This is also the most appropriate attitude of any who are correctly looking at their strengths and advantages or faults; this is the rationality that people should possess. With such rationality, you can properly deal with your own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of others, and this will enable you to work alongside them harmoniously. If you are armed with this aspect of the truth and can enter this aspect of the truth reality, then you can get along harmoniously with your brothers and sisters, drawing on each other’s strong points to offset any weaknesses you have. In this way, no matter what duty you are performing or what you are doing, you will always get better at it and have God’s blessing. If you always think you are pretty good and that others are worse by comparison, and if you always want to have the final say, then this will be troublesome. Someone might say something correct, but you think, “Even though what he said was right, if I agree with him, what will the others think of me? Won’t that mean I’m not as good as he? I can’t agree with him. I’ll have to find a way to keep the others from knowing I am following his advice, and make them think I’m doing it my way; then they’ll have a high opinion of me.” If this is how you always deal with other people, can you call it a harmonious cooperation? What will the side effects be? As time goes by, everyone will be able to see right through you. People will say you are too crafty, that you do not act in accordance with the truth, and that you are dishonest. Everyone will detest you, and you will be very liable to be forsaken. How does God regard someone whom everyone forsakes? God detests him, too. Why does He detest this kind of person? Such a person’s efforts to fulfill his duty might be honest, but what sort of approach is this? God detests it. The disposition such a person has revealed before God, everything in his heart and mind, and all of his intentions are loathsome to God; God finds them disgusting and evil. Using extremely undesirable methods and tricks to achieve one’s own goals and to gain the admiration of others is the sort of behavior that God detests.

Excerpted from “Only by Practicing the Truth Can One Possess Normal Humanity” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

What is the duty you can fulfill? It is to do all you can. If you have a bit of caliber, then say what you are thinking. And if you have strengths in a profession, then bring those strengths to bear. If your ability to understand is relatively strong, then voice your ideas. This is what peaceful cooperation means, and in this way, you can fulfill your duty. If you always try to take everything on, always trying to stand out from the crowd but never letting others do the same, that is not fulfilling your duty. This is called domination, putting yourself on show, and it is behavior of Satan. Even if someone has a special ability, a gift, or a special skill, they cannot bear the burden of work alone and complete it all. Everyone must learn to cooperate peacefully. What is the principle behind this? So long as you commit all your strength, give your loyalty, and contribute all that you are able to do, you will be fulfilling your duty. To fulfill your duty does not mean you need undertake as much as possible, nor should it leave you exhausted and spent, and even less should it back you into a corner. You must learn to cooperate peacefully, to fulfill all that you can, to fulfill your responsibility, and to commit all your strength. This is what is called fulfilling your duty. To fulfill your duty means to do what you can. Fulfill what you can and contribute what you can—that is enough. Do not be an obnoxious person, and do not always act autocratically, without sharing what you reap. Do not always seek to outshine others. If you always want to sound high-minded and say, “You say we should do it one way, but I insist we do it another way,” are you fulfilling your duty? This causes disturbance and undermines others. Is it the behavior of one with normal humanity to cause disturbance and undermine others? It is acting the role of Satan, and it is not fulfilling your duty. Therefore, when you cause disturbance or act destructively or autocratically, then no matter how much effort you make, it will not be commemorated by God. The strength you contributed might seem negligible and inconspicuous, but there may be a time when you say something that benefits everyone, or a time when something you do enables everyone to cooperate peacefully, and everyone may act together, in one direction, their opinions and views united. Although no one might remember that this is your doing, and you might not feel as if you made much effort, God will see that you are a person who practices the truth, a person who acts according to the principles. God will commemorate your having done so. This is called fulfilling your duty. Does fulfilling your duty involve anything difficult? Actually, it is easy—simply do not cause disturbance or act autocratically. You must remember: Fulfilling your duty is not a matter of undertaking your own endeavors or your own management. This work is God’s work, and you only contribute the strengths you have. You participate in a part of God’s management work, or you play a small role in one tiny area. Such is the responsibility you assume and your role. This work is not your personal work, so you must communicate whatever small or large matters arise with everyone. If you have no one at your side, what do you do? You must seek, pray to God, and look for the principles. This is the path of practice. If everyone is there with you, and you always want to have things your own way, what kind of behavior is that? You plan what you do on your own, without informing others, and do not discuss your opinions with anyone; you neither share them with anyone nor open them up but keep them hidden in your heart. When the time comes to act, you always want to amaze others with your brilliant feats, to give everyone a big surprise, so that they will think highly of you. Is that performing your duty? It is undertaking your own management—managing your own position, shoring up your own power and influence. Otherwise, why would you not tell anyone what you are doing? As this work is not yours alone, why would you act without discussing it with anyone and make decisions on your own? Why would you act in secret, operating in a black box, so that no one knows about it? Why would you always try to make people heed you alone? Clearly you view this work as your own personal work. You are the boss, and everyone else is a worker—they all work for you. Is that not trouble? Is what this kind of person reveals not the very disposition of Satan?

Excerpted from “The Proper Fulfillment of Duty Requires Harmonious Cooperation” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

In performing your duty, you must train yourself to work in harmony with your brothers and sisters, fellowship openly with them, lay everything out on the table, communicate openly, publicly, and honestly, and speak clearly. Then everyone divvies up the work and cooperates, working together in harmony. If there is anything still not understood, then everyone should get together and fellowship more. Those who do understand should fellowship their understanding without hesitation, and anyone who has gained the light of enlightenment should hurry up and tell others about it. If, while others are performing their duties, you are able to give them more help and support, then you should spare no effort to do so, without the slightest reservation. How do despicable girls tend to think? “I know this, but I won’t tell you.” “If you won’t tell me, then I won’t tell you.” This is how despicable girls think—mean, and very afraid that others will be better than they. That is not the sort of thinking that someone with normal humanity should possess. It is not normal humanity or a positive thing; this is a corrupt disposition. All these things that are selfish, mean, deceitful, shadowy, dirty, and shameful are not positive things; they are all negative things. You must therefore learn to let go of these things. You must not let them control, constrain, or dominate you; you have to break past them and strive to be someone in possession of the truth and who lives in the light. Honesty, openness, sincerity, the ability to be tolerant, forbearing, patient, and self-effacing; learning to cherish others, learning to find joy in helping others, doing good deeds, and having a good heart—all of these are positive things. As for those negative things, once you discover that you have such thoughts or ideas, or that you are in such states, you must learn to forsake them and relinquish them. If you do not, then they will control you, and once they have you under their control, you will be capable of doing this type of thing—and then, you will forever be a puppet, enslaved and controlled by your corrupt satanic disposition, and you will never gain the truth. If people wish to gain the truth, they must first recognize what corrupt dispositions they have, how they express those corrupt dispositions, what their thoughts are, what their ideas are, and what states they are in that are at odds with the truth. They should bring these negative, passive things out into the open and recognize them, and then resolve them one by one by learning to forsake them, break through them, and give them up. They should learn to use the truth in the way they treat others, in their approach to their duties, and in their approach to every single thing that happens in their lives, and they should learn to speak and act in accordance with the truth. In this way, little by little, people will come to possess human likeness; they will get better and better at performing their duties, and everyone will work more and more harmoniously together and will become increasingly unified.

Excerpted from “How to Experience God’s Words in One’s Duties” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days

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