124. The Principles of Interacting With Others

(1) One must be principled in their interactions with others. One should interact with people who love the truth, walk the right path, and engage in decent work, and never keep company with wolves and jackals;

(2) People must be honest, capable of mutual respect, understanding, tolerance, and patience, and able to sincerely help each other. This is what it means to love one another.

(3) Learn to treat others fairly, neither overestimating nor undervaluing them. Address their shortcomings and transgressions with loving assistance;

(4) One should learn to identify each sort of person. Come in contact more with those who love the truth, and shun deceitful and evil people who do not love the truth.

Relevant Words of God:

In the dispositions of normal people there is no crookedness or deceitfulness, people have a normal relationship with each other, they do not stand alone, and their lives are neither mediocre nor decadent. So, too, is God exalted among all; His words permeate among man, people live in peace with one another and under the care and protection of God, the earth is filled with harmony, without the interference of Satan, and the glory of God holds the utmost importance among man. Such people are like angels: pure, vibrant, never complaining about God, and devoting all their efforts solely to God’s glory on earth.

Excerpted from “Chapter 16” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh

If you want to have a normal relationship with God, then your heart must turn to God. With this as a foundation, you will also have a normal relationship with other people. If you do not have a normal relationship with God, then no matter what you do to maintain your relationships with other people, no matter how hard you work or how much energy you exert, it will all just pertain to a human philosophy for living. You are maintaining your position among people through a human perspective and a human philosophy so that people will praise you, but you are not following the word of God to establish normal relationships with people. If you do not focus on your relationships with people but maintain a normal relationship with God, if you are willing to give your heart to God and learn to obey Him, then naturally your relationships with all people will become normal. This way, these relationships are not established in the flesh, but on the foundation of God’s love. There are almost no fleshly interactions, but in the spirit there is fellowship, mutual love, mutual comfort, and provision for one another. This is all done on the foundation of a heart that satisfies God. These relationships are not maintained by relying on a human philosophy for living, but are formed very naturally through carrying a burden for God. It does not require man-made effort. You need only practice according to God’s word principle. Are you willing to be considerate of the will of God? Are you willing to be a person who is “without reason” before God? Are you willing to completely give your heart to God and to disregard your position among people? Of all the people you have contact with, with whom do you have the best relationships? With whom do you have the worst relationships? Are your relationships with people normal? Do you treat all people equally? Are your relationships with others maintained according to your philosophy for living, or are they built on the foundation of God’s love? When a person does not give their heart to God, then their spirit becomes obtuse, numb and unconscious. This kind of person will never understand God’s words and will never have a normal relationship with God; this kind of person’s disposition will never be changed.

Excerpted from “It Is Very Important to Establish a Normal Relationship With God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

A normal relationship between people is established on the foundation of giving their hearts to God, and not through human effort. Without God in their hearts, interpersonal relationships between people are merely relationships of the flesh. They are not normal, but rather, are an abandonment to lust. They are relationships that God detests, that He loathes. If you say that your spirit has been moved, but you always want to have fellowship with people who you like, with whomever you think highly of, and if another person is seeking but you do not like them, even hold a bias against them and will not engage with them, this is more proof that you are subject to your emotions and you do not have a normal relationship with God at all. You are attempting to deceive God and cover up your own ugliness. Even if you can share some understanding yet you carry wrong intentions, then everything you do is good only by human standards. God will not praise you—you are acting according to the flesh, not according to God’s burden. If you are able to quiet your heart in front of God and have normal interactions with all those who love God, only then are you fit for God’s use. This way, no matter how you associate with others, it will not be according to a philosophy for living, but it will be before God, living in a way that is considerate of His burden. How many people like this are there amongst you? Are your relationships with others really normal? On what foundation are they built? How many philosophies for living are there within you? Have they been cast off? If your heart cannot completely turn to God, then you are not of God—you come from Satan, and you will be returned to Satan in the end. You are not worthy of being one of God’s people.

Excerpted from “It Is Very Important to Establish a Normal Relationship With God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

In God’s house, what people live out and reveal should, in all situations, have the truth as its principle and foundation. If you live in such an environment, there is equality among people, and everyone’s relationship with God is the relationship between a created being and the Creator; as such, interactions between people become much simpler and easier. Only then can people genuinely be liberated and free in how they live, and be genuinely happy. Have you achieved this yet or not? (No.) Well, what do you live by, then? (Satan’s philosophies and a corrupt disposition.) You have not yet broken free of those philosophies for living or extricated yourselves from the life environment of struggle for fame and fortune, and of jealousy and strife; what rules and controls you is entirely a corrupt satanic disposition. Therefore, your way of living is very tiring, and you often feel thus: “Why is it that life in God’s house is so similar to life in the world? Life’s exhausting here, too, and I always have to be careful in everything I do, and I always observe people’s facial expressions before I act.” How did this situation come about? It happened because your principles of behavior, perspective on things, and methods of handling things are all wrong; you do not act in accordance with the truth principles. All matters have beginnings and foundations—so, what is the first, most fundamental thing you should resolve? First, you should dissect and come to know your thoughts, your ideas, your knowledge, and your viewpoints. What then? (Seek what sort of perspective with which you should regard the things around you, how you should deal with them, and what principles you should employ in your actions.) This involves practice. In real life, there must be a most fundamental principle of human interaction: Everyone must stand in the proper station of a created being, keeping to their own duty; no one is better or worse than another. People must all act according to the truth principles, breaking free of philosophies for living, of Satan’s principles and methods of doing things, and treat others in accordance with the truth principles, demanding that others treat them according to those same truth principles. Right now, this is the sort of atmosphere that should be formed among you; throughout the entire church, among all the brothers and sisters, a sort of atmosphere should be produced—the sort that God’s family should have and which should exist among the brothers and sisters, so that neither you nor anyone else will be restricted. You do not restrict others, and they do not restrict you—this is another principle of practice, and it is the most fundamental principle of maintaining normal interpersonal relationships.

Excerpted from “Only by Seeking the Truth Can One Know God’s Deeds” in Records of Christ’s Talks

What does acting according to principle involve, specifically? For example, with regard to how to treat others, what are the principles behind how you treat those with status and those without, as well as ordinary brothers and sisters and various levels of leaders and workers? You cannot treat your brothers and sisters in the same way as the unbelievers treat people; you must be fair and reasonable. You cannot be close to this one, but not that one; nor should you form cliques or gang up. You cannot bully people because you have taken a dislike to them, or fawn over those who are formidable. This is what is meant by principles. You must be principled in the way you deal with other people; you must treat them all fairly. If you entice those you think are pretty good over to your side while excluding those you find difficult to approach, then do you not lack principles? This is the unbelievers’ philosophy for living in the world, and it is the principle behind the manner in which they treat other people. This is both a satanic disposition and satanic logic. According to which principle should you treat the members of God’s family? (Treat each and every brother and sister fairly.) How do you treat them fairly? Everyone has minor faults and shortcomings, as well as certain idiosyncrasies; people all possess self-righteousness, weakness, and areas in which they are lacking. You should help them with a loving heart, be tolerant and forbearing, and not be too harsh or make a fuss over every tiny detail. With people who are young or who have not believed in God for very long, or have only recently started to perform their duties, these people who have certain special requests, if you just grab hold of these things and use them against them, then you are being harsh. You ignore the evil done by those false leaders and antichrists, and yet upon spotting minor shortcomings and faults in your brothers and sisters, you refuse to help them, instead choosing to make a fuss over those things and judge them behind their backs, thereby causing even more people to oppose, exclude, and ostracize them. What sort of behavior is this? This is just you doing things based on your personal preferences, and not being able to treat people fairly. This shows a corrupt satanic disposition and it is a transgression! When people do things, God is watching; whatever you do and however you think, He sees! If you wish to grasp the principles, then you must first understand the truth. Once you understand the truth, you can comprehend the will of God. The truth tells you how to treat people, and once you have understood this, you will know how to treat people in line with God’s will. If you do not understand the truth, you certainly will not understand God’s will. How you are to treat others is clearly shown or hinted at in God’s words; the attitude with which God treats humanity is the attitude people should adopt in their treatment of one another. How does God treat each and every person? Some people are of immature stature, or are young, or have believed in God for only a short time. God might see these people as being neither bad nor malicious by nature essence; it is simply that they are somewhat ignorant or lacking in caliber, or that they have been polluted too much by society. They have not entered truth reality, so it is difficult for them to keep from doing some foolish things or committing some ignorant acts. However, from God’s perspective, such matters are not important; He looks only at these people’s hearts. If they are resolved to enter truth reality, if they are headed in the right direction, and this is their objective, then God is watching them, waiting for them, and giving them time and opportunities that allow them to enter. It is not the case that God knocks them down with one blow, nor is it that He grabs hold of a transgression they once committed and refuses to let go; He has never treated people like this. That being said, if people treat each other in such a manner, then does this not show their corrupt disposition? This is precisely their corrupt disposition. You have to look at how God treats ignorant and foolish people, how He treats those with immature stature, how He treats the normal manifestations of humanity’s corrupt disposition, and how He treats those who are malicious. God treats different people in different ways, and He also has various ways of managing different people’s myriad conditions. You must understand these truths. Once you have understood these truths, you will then know how to experience them.

Excerpted from “To Gain the Truth, You Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Around You” in Records of Christ’s Talks

If you have yet to find the feeling and the principles of being a saint, this proves that your life entry is too shallow, and that you have not yet understood the truth. In your conduct and the environment in which you live each day, this requires you to savor and to ponder, to fellowship with each other, to encourage each other, to keep each other alert, to help and care for each other, and to support and provide for each other. Do not always focus on others’ faults, but reflect on yourself frequently, and be proactive afterward in admitting to another what you have done that constitutes interference or harm to them. Learn to open yourself up and fellowship, and often discuss together how to fellowship practically on the basis of God’s words. When the environment of your lives is frequently thus, relationships among the brothers and sisters become normal—not complicated, indifferent, cold, or cruel like relationships between unbelievers. You will slowly divest yourselves of such relationships. Brothers and sisters become closer and more intimate with each other; you are able to support one another, and to love each other; there is goodwill in your hearts, or you have a mentality with which you are capable of tolerance and compassion toward each other, and you support and care for each other, rather than a state and attitude in which you fight with each other, trample over one another, are jealous of each other, engage in secret competition, harbor hidden scorn or contempt for each other, or in which none obeys another. Living in such states or circumstances creates terrible relationships between people. It not only creates all sorts of negative influences on you and causes you harm, but also negatively influences and harms others to varying degrees. It is very difficult, in general, for people to overcome this—you get angry when people look at you the wrong way, or when they say something that is out of line with your will, and when someone does something that stops you from getting a look-in, you resent them, and feel uncomfortable and unhappy, and can think only of how to restore your reputation. Women and young people are particularly incapable of overcoming this. They are always ensnared in these petty dispositions, these tantrums, these petty emotions, and it is difficult for them to come before God. Entangled in these complex, weblike relationships, entwined in them, it is difficult for people to quiet themselves before God, and quiet themselves in God’s words. Therefore, you must first learn how to get along well with your brothers and sisters. You must be tolerant of each other, lenient with each other, be able to see what is exceptional about one another, what each other’s strengths are—and you must learn to accept others’ opinions, and to retreat deep into yourself to engage in self-reflection and gain self-knowledge. You must not indulge yourself, or give free rein to your ambitions, desires, or your merest strengths, forcing others to listen to you, to do as you say, to think highly of you, and to raise you on high, yet be oblivious to the strengths of others while exaggerating and magnifying their shortcomings without restraint, at all turns publicizing, belittling and despising their shortcomings, or using words and others means to hurt and aggravate others, such that you will have made them obey you, heed you, fear you, and hide from you. Would you want to see such a relationship between people come about or exist? Would you want to feel what it is like?

Excerpted from “The Most Fundamental Principle for the Practice of Entering Truth Reality” in Records of Christ’s Talks

If brothers and sisters are to be capable of confiding in each other, helping each other out, and providing for one another, then each person must speak of his or her own true experiences. If you do not talk of your own true experiences, and only speak catchphrases and words that are doctrinal and superficial, then you are not an honest person, and you are incapable of being an honest person. For example, while living together for several years, a husband and wife try to get used to each other, occasionally locking horns. However, if you are both of normal humanity, you will always speak to him from the heart, and he to you. Whatever difficulties you encounter in life, whatever problems occur in your work, whatever you are thinking deep down, however you plan to sort things out, whatever ideas and plans you might have for your children—you will tell your partner everything. As such, will the two of you not feel especially close and intimate with each other? If he never tells you his innermost thoughts, and does nothing but bring home a paycheck, and if you never speak to him of your own thoughts and never confide in him, then is there not an emotional distance between the two of you? There surely is, for you do not understand each other’s thoughts or intentions. Ultimately, you cannot tell what kind of person your partner is, nor can he tell what kind of person you are; you do not understand his needs, nor does he understand yours. If people have no verbal or spiritual communication, then there is no possibility of intimacy between them, and they cannot provide for each other or help one another. You have experienced this before, have you not? If your friend confides everything to you, giving voice to all that he is thinking and whatever suffering or happiness he harbors, then do you not feel particularly intimate with him? The reason he is willing to tell you these things is that you have confided your innermost thoughts to him as well; you are especially close, and it is because of this that you are able to get along and help each other out. Without this kind of communication and exchange between brothers and sisters in the church, harmony could never exist. This is one of the requisites of being honest.

Excerpted from “The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person” in Records of Christ’s Talks

You must draw close to people who speak the truth, who rebuke and expose you when you deserve it, regardless of your status, yet, no matter how they expose and rebuke you, can help you and keep an eye on you. You must draw close to such people; they are upstanding people who pursue the truth. Do not seek the company of deceitful people who are slippery; stay away from such people. This is the right way. Upstanding people who pursue the truth do not care about your status and contributions; even if you threaten to replace them, they are willing to take that risk, still speaking frankly and acting according to principle, treating you according to the principles by which the house of God treats people. When your actions violate principle, these people expose you, give you advice, and point out your problems openly and unreservedly. They are not afraid of hurting your pride, and will even embarrass you in front of a crowd and back you into a corner. How should you treat such people? Should you crack down on them, or should you keep them close? (Keep them close.) That is right, but do not go out of your way to do so—that is a bit false. When you are in a bad mood, it is fine to stay away from them for a while; wait until you understand to go and fellowship with them: “Your suggestion was right; I had vanity and concern for status in my heart. I thought that since I’ve been a leader all these years, you should have spared my pride in front of all those people, but now I see my actions really were at odds with principle and without the truth, and I shouldn’t have done them. What is the point of having such status? Is it not duty? We’re all equal. I just have a little more responsibility than you do, that’s all. In the future, say what you must. There’s no ill will between us. In the house of God, before God, and before the truth, we are united, and there is nothing between us.” This is the attitude of practicing and loving the truth. What should you do if you wish to shun the path of the antichrists? You should actively draw close to upstanding people who love the truth. Draw close to people who can give you advice, who will criticize you to your face, who do not apple-polish, who point out when you do something wrong, and when you exalt and testify about yourself and try to deceive others. This is the correct path.

Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (2)” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Regardless of the group you are in, if you are able to overcome envy, disputes, mockery, and belittling that exist between people, and the various kinds of hurtfulness and techniques that people employ in their dealings with each other, if you are able to recognize them, and not be governed by these things, and approach them correctly, without falling back on hot-bloodedness, naturalness, or a corrupt satanic disposition, then your relationships with other people will become normal, and you will be able, on the whole, to get along harmoniously with others. If you can get along harmoniously with the average person, and not be controlled or disturbed by any person, matter, or thing when you are with other people, then your state will be normal, and you will live before God. Wherever there are people, there will be disputes. If you do not live by the truth when there are disputes, you will be drawn into them. What do disputes involve? Discord, envy, hate, contempt, competitiveness, passing judgment on one another, vying with one another for high positions, comparing gifts, capabilities, figures, beauty, caliber, status, reputation, roles, whose speech carries more weight, who is more useful, and who is stronger. You spend all day comparing yourself to others in these things, caught up in these disputes, incapable of a normal spiritual life, and of being at normal peace before God. In your heart, you will often be caught up in these disputes, in fights and quarrels, which will not hurt you alone, but others, too, and thus you will never be able to come before God. When someone says something unkind to you, you will become negative; when someone is more gifted than you, has a higher caliber than you, and has a quicker mind than you, you feel uncomfortable, and you wish to contest with them. What a pitiable, exhausting, painful way to live, always to be enmeshed in these states. And does this not interfere with the spiritual life? If you cannot find your way out of this, your life will often suffer loss.

Excerpted from “The Most Fundamental Principle for the Practice of Entering Truth Reality” in Records of Christ’s Talks

People have been too deeply corrupted by Satan, and they lack any understanding of the truth, so it is necessary to practice tolerance of all manner of people—and what have My many years of tolerance cost Me? I tolerate all; I am tolerant to all, and never harsh; I confer and fellowship with people, gently directing the conversation, making them aware, making them understand the reason behind things, and I behave thus toward all. If nothing works, no matter what I say, I let them go. Do not hold yourself in such high regard that when others do not heed you, you are affronted and feel you have suffered some great indignity. It does not matter. The crucial thing is that whatever you do, you do it before God; you must give account of yourself to God. Everything you do must be of benefit to others. To you, this might seem a slightly onerous requirement, but that is because people lack that humanity and stature. Above all, you must consider how to maintain a normal state as you live before God. What must you do when naturalness and hot-bloodedness are about to burst forth? Hurry before God and call out His name. When you call out His name, you will feel your anger and resentment disappear and dissipate. Where do they go? Why are you suddenly unable to recall the strange thoughts and theories of your mind? What is going on? God clears away the things Satan did, and the justifications and hot-blooded things in the mind of man, giving you peace and joy, placating your heart a bit at a time, and you say to yourself: “How could I have been so impulsive just now? How could I have been so stupid? So foolish? What did it matter? I was so angry—it’s a good thing I called out to God and He helped me and gave me strength; God was really there, at my back. He protected me and stopped me from sinning against Him. I can truly feel His grace.” God’s tolerance, love and compassion are without limit, and people must learn to come before God to ask for them and receive them. As long as you have faith and sincerity, God will give these things to you, and help you achieve them all. A human being cannot do such things, but God can. So, before doing anything, you must think first whether it is truly necessary. If you have not yet thought it through, make sure you are at peace. Before everything you do, before your hot-bloodedness bursts forth, you must calm yourself, call out God’s name, and think about whether what you are doing is in accordance with His will; if what you are doing is unsatisfactory to God, He will help you tame your hot-bloodedness, little by little, and sort the situation out. Will this be of benefit to you? If people are too intractable when they are together, it will be difficult for them to return to the earliest state of their relationship, so, when you are about to vent, when naturalness and hot-bloodedness are about to burst forth from you, and when this naturalness and hot-bloodedness are liable to hurt others, you had better think a while, and be sure to pray more to God. The brothers and sisters of the church, or members of your family—you have to get along with all of them. This is the minimum requirement. When one has sorted out these relationships, their stature will have matured, and they will truly be capable of taking tasks on and bearing responsibility, and they will be able to accept God’s commission.

Excerpted from “The Most Fundamental Principle for the Practice of Entering Truth Reality” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Currently, many people’s stature is still juvenile, and they are incapable of ridding themselves of the disputes around them; they often become trapped, as if they were being ground in a meat grinder, and its roil rips them to pieces and leaves them in tatters—and, ultimately, when the house of God commissions you to do a certain job and to perform your duty, you are incapable of undertaking it. It is not that you do not want to, and it is not that you have not resolved to, or made up your mind to, or that you lack conviction, much less that you lack ability. Instead, it is because your stature is too small, and you are unable to deal with the complex people, matters, and things around you, which cause you varying degrees of interference, and stop you from taking on that job, and from accepting your commission and completing the work of your duty. Ultimately, if you are not mired in the temptations of wealth or romance, you will be mired in various other complex, interpersonal relations, and caught up in disputes, or you will be clueless about how to do certain things, and will be brought to a standstill, or you will be entangled in certain matters, trapped in negativity, and incapable of moving forward. Where will your resolve, determination, faith, and perseverance have gone? Faced with such matters, your faith, determination and resolve will be unworthy of the slightest mention, and will fall at the first blow. So, if you have a hope and a will that are good and positive, and take an oath before God, in hope that God helps you achieve your will, the prerequisite is that you must possess sufficient stature and truth to be able to handle the disputes, as well as the people, matters, and things, around you. No matter what is happening around you, and regardless of your context of people, matters, and things, or of the environment you live in, when you are capable of faithfully performing your duty, and facing these things with the truth, and abiding by the truth principle, and are not brought to your knees, overwhelmed, or disturbed by these things—that is when you will be able to continue along the path forward; only then will your stature and your entry into the truth ascend to the next level.

Excerpted from “The Most Fundamental Principle for the Practice of Entering Truth Reality” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Previous: 123. The Principles of Acting Wisely in One’s Faith in God

Next: 125. The Principles of Opening One’s Heart to Others

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