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:
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 Christ’s Talks
Whatever you do, you must learn to seek and obey the truth in it. So long as you act in accordance with the truth, you are acting correctly. Even if it was a child who proposed it, or the most inconspicuous young brother or young sister, so long as what they say conforms to the truth, then what you are doing will have a good outcome, and it will conform to God’s will. The handling of a matter depends on your impulse and your principles for handling it. If your principles arise from man’s will; if they arise from human thoughts, notions, or imaginings; or if they arise from human emotions and points of view, then your handling of the matter will be wrong, because its source will be wrong. When your views are based on the principles of the truth, and you handle matters in accordance with the truth principles, then you are sure to handle the matter at hand correctly. Sometimes, other people will be unable to accept your handling of the matter at the moment, and, at such times, they may seem to have their own notions, or their hearts will be ill at ease. After a while, however, you will be proven right. Matters that conform to God’s will look better over time; the outcome of matters that do not conform to God’s will, however—matters that accord with man’s will and are man-made—grow worse over time, and will all be proven so. When you act, do not concern yourself with whose way should or should not guide you, and do not make assumptions. First of all, you should seek and pray, and then feel your way forward, and fellowship with everyone together. What is the purpose of fellowship? It enables one to do things in precise accordance with God’s will, and to act in line with God’s will. This is a somewhat grand way of putting it; let us say it enables one to handle affairs in precise accordance with the truth principles —this is somewhat more practical. If you can achieve this, that will do.
Excerpted from “The Path to Resolving a Corrupt Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
God lifts the needy from the dust; the humble must be made high. I will use My wisdom in all its forms to govern the universal church, to govern all nations and all peoples, so that they are all within Me, and so that all of you in the church might submit to Me. Those who did not obey before must now be obedient before Me, must submit to each other, forbear each other; your lives must be interconnected, and you must love one another, all drawing on each other’s strong points to offset your own weaknesses, and serving in coordination. In this way will the church be built, and Satan will have no opportunity to exploit. Only then will My management plan not have failed. Let Me give you another reminder here. Do not allow misunderstandings to arise in you because such-and-such person is a certain way, or acted in such-and-such a way, with the result that you become degenerate within your spiritual condition. As I see it, this is not appropriate, and it is a worthless thing. Is the One you believe in not God? It is not some person. The functions are not the same. There is one body. Each does his duty, each in his place and doing his very best—for each spark there is one flash of light—and seeking maturity in life. Thus will I be satisfied.
Excerpted from “Chapter 21” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you want to fight the good fight for the truth, then first of all, you must not give Satan any chance to work—to this end, you will need to be of one mind and able to serve in coordination, relinquish all your own notions, opinions, views, and ways of doing things, quiet your heart within Me, focus on the voice of the Holy Spirit, be attentive to the work of the Holy Spirit, and experience God’s words in detail. You must have only one intention, which is that My will be done. You should have no other intention apart from this. You must look to Me with all your heart, watch closely My actions and the way I do things, and not be negligent at all. Your spirit must be sharp, your eyes open. Ordinarily, when it comes to those whose intentions and objectives are not right, as well as those who love to be seen by others, who are eager to do things, who are prone to causing disruptions, who are good at spouting religious doctrine, who are Satan’s lackeys, and so on—when these people stand up, they become difficulties for the church, and this causes their brothers’ and sisters’ eating and drinking of God’s words to come to nothing. When you encounter such people play-acting, ban them immediately. If, despite repeated admonitions, they do not change, then they will suffer loss. If those who stubbornly persist in their ways attempt to defend themselves and try to cover up their sins, the church should cut them out immediately and leave them no room to maneuver. Do not lose a lot by trying to save a little; keep your eye on the big picture.
Excerpted from “Chapter 17” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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 Christ’s Talks
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 Christ’s Talks
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 not considering the interests of the house of God, that they are only looking out for their own reputation, 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 “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (8)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
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