127. The Principles of Helping Others Lovingly
(1) It is necessary to discern between the various sorts of people on the basis of God’s words. Interact lovingly with good people who have true faith in God; treat each other with sincerity and help one another;
(2) One who helps others lovingly should not do so for the sake of some ulterior motive or to get something in return; rather, they should do it solely in order to practice the truth, perform their duties well, and bring others before God;
(3) When people help one another, they should each understand the other’s difficulties and seek the truth to resolve each other’s problems in ways they feel are appropriate and acceptable;
(4) One should treat others fairly based in God’s words. One must not use their notions and imaginings to stereotype others, or condemn others on the basis of their transgressions.
Relevant Words of God:
You must focus on the truth. Don’t bother about what others do incorrectly. We should do our utmost to help them strive for the truth. When they do something wrong, we must still examine ourselves, and strive to achieve a situation where everyone does things right. This is the sort of atmosphere you must have within the church—everyone focusing on the truth and striving to attain it. It does not matter how old or young people are, whether or not they are veteran believers, or how capable they are; the things you must look at are which people speak correctly, which people speak in conformity with the truth, which people are thinking of the interests of God’s house and which ones hold its work in their hearts the most, which people have a good deal of understanding about positive things, which people share a sense of righteousness, and which people are willing to pay the price. Such people should be supported and applauded by their brothers and sisters. This atmosphere of uprightness that comes from pursuing the truth must prevail within the church; in this way, you will have the work of the Holy Spirit, and God will bestow blessings and guidance. If the atmosphere that prevails within the church is one of telling tales, making a fuss about one another, bearing grudges against each other, being jealous of each other, and arguing with each other, then the Holy Spirit will certainly not work in you. Struggling against each other and secretly fighting, deceiving, tricking, and plotting against one another—this is an atmosphere of evil! If such an atmosphere prevails within the church, then the Holy Spirit will certainly not do His work. The Lord Jesus said a certain line that was related. Can you remember what it was? (“Again I say to you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the middle of them” [Mat 18:19–20].) This is the truth. God does as He says. If you go against His will and do not do as He says, then He will be distant with you. Therefore, you will always look at others’ faults and focus on what displeases you about others, and will constantly focus on the fact that others dislike you. This is going to cause problems. If the Holy Spirit does not work in you, if God does not bless or guide you, if you rely solely on your own strength and gifts and abilities, then nothing you do will be done well, nothing you do will be in line with God’s will, and no matter how hard you work, it will be a waste of energy. You will slowly come to learn this through experience. In everything you do, you must be of one mind. And how can you be of one mind? You must practice the truth; only then will you be able to become strong like a bundle of sticks—all together, and all of one mind.
Excerpted from “Having a Human Likeness Requires Fulfilling Your Duty Properly With All Your Heart, Mind, and Soul” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
When you interact with others, you must first have them perceive your true heart and sincerity. If, in speaking and making contact and working together with others, someone’s words are perfunctory, grandiloquent, pleasantries, flattery, irresponsible, and imaginary, or if they simply speak to seek the other’s favor, then their words lack all credibility, and they are not sincere in the least. This is their mode of interaction with others, no matter who those others are. Does such a person have an honest heart? This is not an honest person. Say someone has some shortcoming, and they say to you sincerely and truthfully: “Tell me why, exactly, I’m so negative. I just can’t figure it out!” And say you do, in fact, understand their problem in your heart, but you do not tell them, instead saying: “It’s nothing. I often get negative, too.” These words are a great consolation to their hearer, but is your attitude sincere? No, it is not. You are being perfunctory with the other person; so as to make them feel more comfortable and consoled, you have refrained from speaking honestly with them. You are not helping them in earnest so that they can leave their negativity behind. All for the sake of trying to console them and make sure there is no estrangement or conflict between you, you have done the bare minimum with them—and this is not what it is to be an honest person. So, as an honest person, what should you do when encountering this kind of situation? Tell them what you have seen and identified: “I will tell you what I have seen and what I have experienced. You decide whether what I say is right or wrong. If it’s wrong, you don’t have to accept it. If it’s right, I hope you will. If I say something that is hard for you to hear and hurts you, I hope you can accept from God. My intention and purpose is to help you. I see the issue clearly: Your personal pride has been wounded. No one feeds your ego, and you think everyone else looks down on you, that you are being attacked, and that you have never been so wronged. You can’t bear it and become negative. What do you think—is this what’s really going on?” And, hearing this, they feel it is indeed the case. This is what is actually in your heart, but if you are not an honest person, you will not say it. You will say, “I often get negative, too,” and when the other person hears that everyone gets negative, they think this is normal, and, in the end, they do not leave their negativity behind. If you are an honest person and you help them with an honest attitude and an honest heart, you can help them understand the truth and leave their negativity behind.
Excerpted from “Only by Being Honest Can One Live Out a True Human Likeness” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
If you have a good relationship with a brother or a sister, and they ask you to point out what is wrong with them, how should you do it? This relates to what approach you take to the matter. Is your approach that of practicing the truth, or do you use philosophies for living? If you say, “You’re good in every area and you’re better than me. You’re able to bear hardships, and your caliber is good. There’s no need for you to be negative. You’re so good; what’s there to be humble about?”—if you clearly see there are things wrong with them, yet do not clearly say what they are so as not to harm the peace between the two of you—then you are using a philosophy for living. One who takes a different approach to such a matter says, “My stature is small now and I don’t understand your problems thoroughly. When I do, I’ll tell you.” Is this not trying to fool others? Could they really not understand anything thoroughly at all? Could they have no thoughts on the issue at all? They have thoughts; they simply do not say them for fear of causing offense. They say nothing to you and leave you unable to grasp the matter, making you think you are great. Perhaps you will fail and fall one day, and they will be laughing behind your back. When that happens, they will look better by comparison; this is how they play tricks on you. Is such a person not bad? Of these two approaches, which is preferable? They are both disgusting; neither is preferable. Some people say they must tell the truth. They say, “You’re a bad person, and evil. I can tell at a glance you won’t be saved.” Though they speak honestly, and such a person does think so in their heart, there is a hint of an ulterior motive in their saying so: “If I say this, then you sure won’t be arrogant or haughty.” This approach is wrong, as well—it does not take the other’s feelings into account, nor does it consider the consequences. What do you think of the disposition of this sort of person? Are they practicing the truth? No—to act in this way might make the other negative or cause them to stumble. This would severely block the path they walk. One must consider all these things. This approach is also no good; it carries within it a disposition. It is not speaking or acting from within the rationality of normal humanity, nor is it behaving according to the truth principle.
According to the truth principle, then, how should you approach this matter? What action accords with the truth? How many relevant principles are there? You must have a firm grasp on the principles. Firstly, do not cause others to stumble. You must first consider the other’s weaknesses and what way of speaking with them will not cause them to stumble. This is the very least that ought to be considered. Next, you should consider the positive side of things—what you could do to help the other person. The goal of helping them is to allow them to understand God’s will, to bring them before God, and to have them leave such difficult circumstances behind and gain the truth, as you have done. This is the best sort of person with the kindest of hearts; this is the practice of the truth. First: Do not cause them to stumble. Second: Be able to help them. Third: Allow them to gain the truth. You must grasp these three principles. But how are they enacted, specifically? Do you truly understand the other’s difficulty? Is this not another problem? You must also think: “What is the origin of their problem? Can I help them? If I cannot and I speak arbitrarily and carelessly, I may point them onto the wrong path. Beyond that, how well can this person understand the truth, and what is their caliber? Are they opinionated? Do they understand spiritual matters? Can they accept the truth? Do they pursue the truth? If they see that I am better than them, and I still fellowship with them, will jealousy or negativity arise in them?” These questions must all be considered; this is a thing of humanity. So, when you encounter this issue, you must first consider these things, then go fellowship with them with a positive, proactive mind, and, as you do, pray and seek how to help them, how you can adhere to these principles, and how you can enable them to leave their difficulty behind and be benefited. Is this a simple thing to do? It requires sincerity. If one feels it suffices merely to employ the bare minimum of thought and say, “Read God’s words and love God. You have to repay His love. What’s so hard about that? What are you negative about?” then what they are doing is just going through the motions, and their treatment of others is insincere. Such people are disingenuous, unkind at heart, without sympathy for others, and without love for others. If you truly have a conscience, you must think carefully, pondering thus: “Seeing as they asked me, they must be in quite a tough spot. They normally pursue so ardently and are so positive while performing their duty. If this difficulty really causes them to stumble, or makes them negative and affects their duty, that won’t be beneficial for them or for the house of God. How must I help them so that their problem is resolved?” You ponder this and you then find the way forward in your heart and you know what to do, and then you fellowship with them. Sometimes, your first fellowship will not be entirely clear, as you yourself are also pondering, seeking and praying and cannot yet understand the matter thoroughly. You must take the time to think of the right words to say, and think about how you can say these things such that the other person will be edified and not likely to become negative, and so that they will be able to find the path forward. All these things require careful thought, and they require that you make the effort to ponder them carefully. Thus you ponder carefully, you pray and pray, and the words you say at first will perhaps not have much structure, but, as you speak, what you mean will grow more and more distinct and clear—and when you understand the matter thoroughly, so will the other. As you resolve the problem, you act according to the truth principle, and you, too, will be able to gain an aspect of the truth and be edified, all while being of help to another. This is the special treatment God gives man when he practices the truth, and the special favor in which man is held.
Excerpted from “Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Resolve Their Notions and Misunderstandings of God” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days
In your everyday lives, in what situations, and in how many situations, are you God-fearing, and in what things are you not? Are you capable of hating people? When you hate someone, can you crack down on that person or take revenge against him? (Yes.) Well then, you are quite scary! You are not God-fearing. That you could do such things means your disposition is quite vile, to quite a serious degree! Love and hatred are things which normal humanity should possess, but you must differentiate clearly between what you love and what you hate. In your heart, you should love God, love the truth, love positive things, and love your brothers and sisters, whereas you should hate the devil Satan, hate negative things, hate antichrists, and hate wicked people. If you harbor hatred for your brothers and sisters, then you will be inclined to suppress them and take revenge on them; this would be very frightening. Some people only have thoughts of hatred and evil ideas. After a while, if such people cannot get along with the person they hate, they will start to distance themselves from him; however, they do not let this affect their duties or influence their normal interpersonal relationships, because they have God in their hearts and they revere Him. They do not want to offend God, and are afraid to do so. Though these people might harbor certain views about someone, they never put those thoughts into action or even utter a single word that is out of line, unwilling to offend God. What sort of behavior is this? This is an example of conducting themselves and handling things with principle and impartiality. You might be incompatible with someone’s personality, and you may not like him, but when you work together with him, you remain impartial and will not vent your frustrations in doing your duty, sacrifice your duty, or take out your frustrations on the interests of God’s family. You can do things according to principle; as such, you have a basic reverence for God. If you have a bit more than that, then when you see that someone has some faults or weaknesses—even if he has offended you or harmed your own interests—you still have it in you to help him. Doing so would be even better; it would mean that you are a person who possesses humanity, truth reality, and reverence for God. If you cannot achieve this with your current stature, but can do things, conduct yourself, and treat people in accordance with principle, then this also counts as being God-fearing; this is most fundamental. If you cannot even achieve this, and cannot restrain yourself, then you are in great danger and are quite frightening. If you were given a position, you could punish people and give them a hard time; you would then be liable to turn into an antichrist at any moment. What sort of person is one who becomes an antichrist? Is he or she not one who will be eliminated? As for whether someone is good or bad, and how he or she should be treated, people should have their own principles of behavior; however, as for what the outcome of that person will be—whether he or she ends up getting punished by God, or whether he or she ends up getting judged and chastised—that is God’s business. People should not interfere; God would not allow you to take the initiative on His behalf. How to treat that person is God’s business. As long as God has not decided what sort of outcome such people will have, has not expelled them, and has not punished them, and they are being saved, then you should help them patiently, out of love; you should not hope to determine the outcome of such people, nor should you use human means to crack down on them or punish them. You may deal with and prune such people, or you may open your heart and engage in heartfelt fellowship to help them. However, if you contemplate punishing, ostracizing, and framing these people, then you will be in trouble. Would doing so be in line with the truth? Having such thoughts would result from being hot-blooded; those thoughts come from Satan and originate from human resentment, as well as from human jealousy and loathing. Such conduct does not conform to the truth. This is something that would bring down retribution upon you, and is not in line with God’s will.
Excerpted from “The Five States Necessary to Be on the Right Track in One’s Faith” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days