128. The Principles of How to Treat One’s Brothers and Sisters
(1) All who read God’s words often, can accept the truth, and perform their duty to the best of their ability are brothers and sisters, and should be treated accordingly;
(2) Whenever brothers or sisters have difficulties or experience negativity and weakness, they should be visited and supported. One should lovingly fellowship on the truth with them, and help them resolve their problems to the best of one’s ability;
(3) Brothers and sisters who are amid trials and tribulations should be visited and the truth fellowshiped with them all the more often. Support each other, and help the other to taste of God’s love;
(4) One should not act indifferently regarding the practical difficulties faced by brothers and sisters who have committed transgressions and are of relatively poor humanity, but should do all they can to help resolve their difficulties;
(5) To call on your brothers and sisters is not merely to resolve their issues of life entry; they should also be given aid whenever they are experiencing hardship in their households. This is what it means to have a truly loving heart.
Relevant Words of God:
“All truth-loving people are brothers and sisters.” Only those who love the truth belong to God’s family; only they are real brothers and sisters. Do you think that all those who are in God’s house and can believe in God are brothers and sisters? What people are not brothers and sisters? Those who do not accept and detest the truth, those who are wicked, and some people with bad humanity. There are even some who appear to have good humanity on the surface, but who excel at playing with philosophies for living; these people will employ crafty maneuvers and use, wheedle, and cheat others. As soon as someone mentions the truth, they are not interested, they detest it, they cannot stand to hear about it, they feel it is boring and cannot stay seated. These sorts of people are unbelievers, and you really must not regard them as brothers and sisters. They might bribe you with some sort of benefit, or do you a few small favors. However, the moment you start fellowshiping with them on truth, they just start chatting about ordinary things. They always talk about matters of the flesh, work matters, worldly matters, matters concerning the trends of the unbelievers, matters of affections and of family. They just chat about these external things; nothing they say has anything to do with the truth, with having faith in God, or with practicing the truth. What kind of people are these? (They are unbelievers and nonbelievers.) Some of these people are even still doing their duties, and some who perform their duties do no more than exert some physical effort in silence; they never read God’s words or fellowship on the truth. Are such people brothers and sisters? These simply are not brothers and sisters.
Excerpted from “People Can Only Truly Be Happy by Being Honest” 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
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? … 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.
Excerpted from “It Is Very Important to Establish a Normal Relationship With God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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 two people want to get along well, they must open their hearts to each other; this is even more necessary between people who would work in harmony together. Sometimes, when two people interact, their personalities clash, or their family environments, backgrounds or economic conditions do not match. Yet if those two people can open their hearts to each other and be entirely open about their issues, and communicate without any lies or deceit, and are able to show their hearts to each other, then, in this way, they will be able to become genuine friends, which means to become intimate friends. Perhaps, when the other person has a difficulty, they will look for you and no one else. Even if you give them a telling off, they know you speak truly, because they know you are an honest person with a sincere heart. Can you be such people? Are you such people? If not, then you are not honest people. 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.
Excerpted from “Only by Being Honest Can One Live Out a True Human Likeness” in Records of Christ’s Talks