35. The Principles of How to Approach Failures and Falling Down
1. You must dissect and know the roots of your failures and falling down. You should be cognizant of the law that those who possess an arrogant nature will inevitably fall down and fail;
2. You must recognize that this is God’s salvation. Without failure and falling down, you would never be able to examine yourself or know yourself—failures and falling down are opportunities for positive change;
3. You must have the resolution to pursue the truth—failure and falling down are not to be feared. Only if someone absolutely refuses to accept the truth, then they truly are beyond saving;
4. You must summarize the experiences and lessons gained from failure. Without the truth, you will be unable to stand firm and, if you transgress, then so long as you truly repent, you can still be saved.
Relevant Words of God:
If you really have the truth within you, the path you walk will naturally be the correct path. Without the truth, it is easy to do evil and you would not be able to help yourself. For example, if you have arrogance and conceit inside you, it will be impossible to not defy God, but instead you would be made to defy Him. You wouldn’t do it on purpose; you would do it under the domination of your arrogant and conceited nature. Your arrogance and conceit would make you look down on God, it would make you see God as being of no account, it would make you exalt yourself, it would make you constantly put yourself on display and finally it would make you sit in God’s place and bear witness for yourself. In the end you would make your own ideas, your own thinking and your own conceptions into truths to be worshiped. See how much evil is done by people under the dominance of their arrogant and conceited nature! To resolve their doing of evil, one must first resolve the problem of their nature. Without a change in disposition, it is not possible to fundamentally resolve this problem.
from “Only by Seeking the Truth Can You Obtain Changes in Your Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Some people think that they can do some work, that they have some qualifications, and seem to have some truth. Actually, you don’t have anything, and you are nothing! Though you can speak some doctrine to others now, perhaps someday in the future you will be coaxed by others, and you will falter more grievously than anyone else, and you will be more severely afflicted by negativity than anyone else. Do you believe this? Are you convinced of this matter? It is perhaps that you have not yet experienced being seriously negative or a great fall, and you think you are pretty strong. Without that experience you think you have great stature, but perhaps one day when you are exposed, you will cry and say, “I’m finished, just finished.” You begin to go from one extreme to another. In the beginning, many people are full of energy, but perhaps they come to face something which makes them suddenly weak, and they are never able to get up again. Have you discovered any problems with these people? The strength or weakness of each person is not something they can control themselves. The things hidden within people can come out at any time and any place. There is no small amount of dirty garbage existing within people, and it comes out in an endless stream! Therefore, the nature of people is Satan’s nature—there is no difference at all—and it is completely different from the substance of God.
from “Those Who Have Lost the Work of the Holy Spirit Are Most at Risk” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Generally, when they don’t undergo dealing and pruning or don’t have any setbacks, they will feel like seeking the truth while believing in God, and they will feel that they should satisfy the will of God. But as soon as they suffer a little setback and some difficulties arise, their betraying natures are exposed, making them look especially detestable, and later, they will also feel their natures are especially detestable. In the end, they determine the outcome for themselves: “I am done for. Am I not finished for doing this thing? God will certainly not save me.” There are many people who are in this kind of condition; you could even say that everyone is like this. Why are people able to delineate themselves this way? It proves that people do not understand God’s intention to save them. Being dealt with just once causes you to go a long time without pursuing truth; making one small mistake causes you to not fulfill your duties; an insignificant environment causes you to be stagnant. It seems people feel that they have to be flawless in order to have energy to seek. If they discover that they are too corrupt, then they will not have the inclination to seek. Many people have said disheartening and negative things like this: “I am finished, I am definitely done for. There is no way I can be saved. Even if God forgave me, I would not be able to forgive myself. I will never change.” People’s misunderstanding of God’s will demonstrates that people don’t understand the work of God. Actually, mankind will occasionally reveal some of their corrupt dispositions as they enter in normally. They are impure in the things they do, they don’t take responsibility, they are not devoted, and they work perfunctorily. This is a very natural thing and it is inevitable.
from “Understanding Commonalities and Differences in Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
As you experience, you will fail twice and succeed once, or else fail five times and succeed twice, and as you experience in this way, only amid failure will you be able to see the loveliness of God and discover what is lacking within you. When you next encounter such situations, you should caution yourself, temper your steps, and pray more often. You will gradually develop the ability to triumph in such situations. When that happens, your prayers have been effective. When you see you have been successful this time, you will be gratified inside, and when you pray you will be able to feel God, and that the presence of the Holy Spirit has not left you—and only then will you know how God works within you. Practicing in this way will give you a path to experiencing.
from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Truly Love God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Your many experiences of failure, of weakness, and times of negativity could be said to be God’s trials of you. This is because everything comes from God, all things and events are in His hands. Whether you fail or whether you are weak and you stumble all rests on God and is within His grasp. From God’s side, this is a trial of you, and if you cannot recognize that, it will become temptation. There are two kinds of states that people should recognize: One comes from the Holy Spirit, and the other likely comes from Satan. One state is that the Holy Spirit illuminates you and allows you to know yourself, to detest and regret yourself and to be able to have genuine love for God, to set your heart on satisfying Him. The other state is that you know yourself, but you are negative and weak. It could be said that that is God’s refinement. It could also be said that it is Satan’s temptation. If you recognize that this is God’s salvation of you and that you are now incredibly in His debt, and if from now on you try to repay Him and no longer fall into such depravity, if you put your effort into eating and drinking His words, and if you always consider yourself to be lacking, and have a heart of longing, then this is God’s trial. After the suffering has ended and you are once again moving forward, God will still lead, illuminate, enlighten, and nourish you. But if you don’t recognize it and you are negative, simply abandoning yourself to despair, if you think this way, then Satan’s temptation has come upon you.
from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Whether big or small matters befall, you are always negative, weak, and you bear no witness. What you should do or cooperate with, you fail to do, proving that you don’t have God or truth in your heart. Apart from how the work of the Holy Spirit moves people, people can still achieve the lowest standards by relying on the many years of their experience, the many truths they’ve heard, a bit of conscience, and relying on their will to exercise restraint; yet it’s still better than how numb and weak you are now. This is inconceivable. Maybe you have come carelessly these two years, otherwise how could you be as numb and sluggish as you are now? In actuality you have negated yourself, saying “I’m not okay, I’m corrupt, that’s just how it is, and I’ll just be corrupt!” You have shut the door on yourself, and have not exerted yourself, even saying “This is my difficulty. You may as well just send me home!” Are you not speaking nonsense? You are simply avoiding and shirking responsibility. If you have a tiny bit of conscience and reason you should properly complete your mission; being a deserter is a terrible thing and it is betraying God. Pursuing truth requires a firm will, and people that are too negative or weak will accomplish nothing. They won’t be able to believe in God until the end, and obtaining truth and achieving a change of disposition will be even more hopeless. Only those who seek truth with resolution will obtain truth and be perfected by God.
from “Confused People Cannot Be Saved” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Some people are too fragile and they are lacking perseverance. They whimper when facing some small obstacle; they become weak. The pursuit of truth demands perseverance and determination. If you are unable to satisfy God’s will this time, you must be able to loathe yourself, to be quietly determined in your heart that you will satisfy God’s will the next time around. If this time you were not mindful of God’s burden, you should be determined to rebel against the flesh when facing the same obstacle in the future, and resolve to satisfy God’s will. This is how you become praiseworthy.
from “Be Mindful of God’s Will to Attain Perfection” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Some people quit when negativity befalls them, and are unable to get up after each setback. These people are fools and mediocre people, who spend a lifetime without obtaining truth, so how could they follow to the end? If the same thing happens ten times to you but you gain nothing from it, then you are a mediocre and a useless person. Astute people and those who truly have the inner quality to understand spiritual matters are seekers of the truth, and eight times out of ten they are perhaps able to gain some inspiration, lesson, enlightenment and progress. When the same thing happens to a mediocre person ten times, not once will they gain any life benefit, not once will they make any change and not once will they understand their nature before it is over. They fall each time it happens, each time they need another person to drag or pull them along, and others have to humor them. If no one humors, pulls, hits or drags them then it is game over and they don’t get up. Each time it happens, there is the danger of falling, and each time there is the danger of them degenerating. Isn’t this the end for them? Are there still any grounds for them to be saved? To save someone is to save the part of them that is their will and their resolution, and the part of them within their heart that is their yearning for truth and righteousness. To say someone has resolution means that they yearn for righteousness, goodness and truth, and that they have conscience. God saves this part of you, and through this He changes the aspect of your corrupt disposition. If you don’t have these things, then you cannot be saved. If you don’t yearn for righteousness or rejoice in truth, don’t have the will to cast off evil things or the resolution to suffer hardship, and if your conscience is numb, your faculty for receiving truth is also numb, you aren’t sensitive to truth or the things that happen, aren’t able to distinguish anything, and you have no independent ability to handle or resolve things, then there is no way to be saved. … Why is it said that Peter is a fruit? Because he has something of worth, or something worth perfecting, he has a resolution to seek truth and has a firm will; he has reason, is willing to suffer hardship, and he rejoices in truth in his heart, and when he encounters something he will not let it go. These are all strong points. If you don’t have any of these strong points, then it forebodes trouble and is a bad thing.
from “Confused People Cannot Be Saved” in Records of Christ’s Talks
As long as you now have one hope, regardless of whether or not God remembers the things of the past, you should maintain this mentality: I must seek a change in my disposition, seek to understand God, not be fooled by Satan again and not do anything that brings shame on the name of God. What key areas determine whether someone is now worth anything, whether or not they will be saved and whether or not they have any hope? They are, after you have heard the preaching, whether or not you can receive the truth, whether or not you can put the truth into practice and whether or not you can change. These are the key areas. If you just feel remorse, if you just go and do things and continue to think in the same old way, and have no understanding at all about this matter but instead get worse and worse, then you will be without hope and should be declared as worthless. The more you understand God, and the more you understand yourself, then the more able you will be to master yourself. The more you are able to penetrate your own nature with understanding, the more you will be able to master yourself. After you have summed up your experience, you will never again fail on this matter. In actual fact, everyone has some blemishes on them that have merely not been looked into. Everyone has them, some have small ones, some have large ones; some speak plainly, and some hide their intentions and work in secret. Everyone has them; some people do things that others know about and some people do things that others don’t know about. There are blemishes on everyone and they all reveal some corrupt dispositions, like arrogance or conceit, or they make some transgressions, or some mistakes or errors in their work, or they show some small rebelliousness. These are all pardonable things as they are things that no corrupted person can avoid. Yet they should be avoided once you have understood the truth. It will then no longer be necessary to always be troubled by things that happened in the past. Instead, it is to be feared that you will still not change even after having understood, that you will know that it is wrong to do something and yet continue to do it, and that you will continue to do something even after being told that it is wrong. These people are beyond redemption.
from “To Serve God One Should Walk the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks
God does not like cowards; He likes people with determination. Even if you have revealed a great deal of corruption, even if you’ve taken many winding roads, or even if along the way you’ve had many transgressions or have resisted God—or there are some people who hold in their hearts some blasphemy against God or blame Him, have conflict with Him—God doesn’t look at this. God only looks at whether or not a person will someday be able to change. In the Bible, there’s the story of the return of the prodigal son. Why would there be this kind of analogy? It is that God’s will to save mankind is sincere. He gives people opportunities to repent and opportunities to change, and during this process, He understands people and deeply knows their weaknesses and the extent of their corruption. He knows that they will stumble. Just like when someone is a small child and they are learning to walk, no matter how good of a physique they have and how tough they are, there will be times that they fall and stumble, times that they bang into something or trip. God understands every single person like a mother understands her own child. He understands every person’s difficulties, weaknesses, as well as their needs. Even more, He understands which difficulties each person will encounter in the progression, the process of entering into a change in disposition, and what kinds of weaknesses and failures will occur. This is something that God understands most. That is why it is said God sees into the depths of people’s hearts. No matter how weak you are, as long as you do not forsake the name of God, as long as you do not leave God or this way, you will always have an opportunity to achieve a change in disposition. And if we have the opportunity to achieve a change in disposition then we have hope for our continuing survival. If we have hope for our continuing survival, we have hope of being saved by God.
from “What a Change in Disposition Is and the Path to a Change in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The Man’s Fellowship
The second aspect is that you must be able to examine your own behavior. You must examine yourself concerning your resistance and rebelliousness of God. You must examine yourself, asking, why did you resist God, and why did you disobey God? In what matter and how did you fail? What is the origin of the failure? You must examine yourself before God. After this examination has brought about self-knowledge, there will be authentic repentance. If you don’t practice this part, you will not be able to know yourself. If you do not examine your corrupt actions before God, it will be impossible for you to recognize your own corrupt substance. Unable to recognize your corrupt substance, you have no ability to achieve authentic repentance. The third aspect is even more key. It is to ask, what estrangement and disputes do you really have with God? In what matters have you betrayed God, formed judgment on God, resisted God, or blasphemed God? This is an extremely serious issue. You must solve your most grave transgressions in God’s presence. It will not do to let them go unresolved. There are many people who have cast judgment on God, and blasphemed God, and think nothing of it afterward. When praying to God, they touch on it lightly, and say: “Oh, I am corrupted! How rebellious I am!” and leave it at that. Is this OK? Has the problem been solved? Have your estrangement with God and the disputes with God been resolved? Has the partition between you and God been dismantled? Are you in constant fellowship with God now? God is not working on you now; is it OK for you to not solve the problem? You must therefore thoroughly solve your transgressions, your rebelliousness, your resistance, or your past blasphemy of God. Speak to God in very certain terms about these matters and recognize honestly what you are. Once God has pardoned you in this matter, and when God has forgiven you, when God has let you off the hook, your heart will have confirmation. Then you can continue forward in your pursuit, and walk straight ahead.
from the fellowship from the above
When we make no transgressions, we are not submissive. We think of ourselves as doing well, and do not submit to anyone. Only after transgressing and undergoing God’s pruning and dealing can we sincerely reflect. At such times, we use our hearts to contemplate God’s pruning and dealing and apply it to ourselves, and as we contemplate, awareness grows in us, “I really am this kind of person.” And once isn’t enough to give us penetration. We need to experience it several times to gain true penetration and be submissive. Then we will practice in the direction of truth, “How can I enter this reality? How can I be mindful of God’s will? How can I practice the truth?” Only once we understand these things can we achieve change.
from “One Must Have Principles in Serving God” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life