131. The Principles of Treating Others Fairly
(1) It is necessary to treat all people, events, and things according to God’s word the truth. Only treating others in keeping with the truth principle accords with God’s will;
(2) Treat others’ strengths and weaknesses properly. Do not ask too much of people or demand they do more than they are able, and do not overestimate or belittle them;
(3) Be loving to God’s chosen ones. Do not be guided by emotion or harbor prejudice in your treatment of others, and do not delimit them arbitrarily. Regard them from a developmental point of view;
(4) Do not be jealous of virtue and talent, and do not exclude or suppress those with dissenting views. When you discover people of good caliber who love the truth, recommend and promote them;
(5) It is necessary to treat others according to their essences. A good person who has committed a transgression should be helped and supported with loving fellowship of the truth, whereas an evil person should be loathed and rejected.
Relevant Words of God:
In God’s words, what principle is mentioned with regard to how people should treat each other? Love what God loves, and hate what God hates. That is, the people God loves, who truly pursue the truth and do God’s will, are the very ones you should love. Those who do not do God’s will, who hate God, who disobey Him, and whom He despises are ones we, too, should despise and reject. This is what God’s word requires.
Excerpted from “Only by Recognizing Your Misguided Views Can You Know Yourself” 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
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. Are you capable of thinking up various ways to punish people because they are not to your liking or because they do not get along with you? Have you ever done that sort of thing before? How much of it have you done? Were you not always indirectly belittling people, making cutting remarks, and being sarcastic toward them? (Yes.) In what states were you in when you were doing such things? At the time, you were venting, and felt happy; you had gained the upper hand. Afterward, however, you thought to yourselves, “I did such a despicable thing. I am not God-fearing, and I have treated that person so unfairly.” Deep down, did you feel guilty? (Yes.) Though you are not God-fearing, you at least have some sense of conscience. Thus, are you still capable of doing this kind of thing again in the future? Can you contemplate attacking and seeking revenge against people, giving them a hard time and showing them who is the boss whenever you despise them and fail to get along with them, or whenever they do not obey or listen to you? Will you say, “If you don’t do what I want, I’ll find an opportunity to punish you without anyone knowing about it. No one will find out, but I will make you submit before me; I’ll show you my power. After that, no one will dare to mess with me!” Tell Me this: What sort of humanity is possessed by a person who does such a thing? In terms of his humanity, he is malicious. Measured against the truth, he does not revere God. In his speech and actions, he has no principles; he acts wantonly and does whatever he pleases. In terms of being God-fearing, have such people achieved life entry? Of course not; the answer is “no,” one hundred percent. If a person has achieved no entry whatsoever when it comes to revering God, then can it be said that not a single ounce of this person’s heart reveres God?
Excerpted from “The Five States Necessary to Be on the Right Track in One’s Faith” in Records of Christ’s Talks
If you know the way you treat others is unfair, why would you continue to do so? What is making you act that way? What are you thinking? Why are you unfair to them? Is there more to this? You say, “I look down on them. I’m better than them. I don’t want to treat them fairly. I want to walk all over them.” What is happening here? It is an arrogant disposition. An arrogant disposition gives rise to these states within you—you do not want to treat that person fairly, nor assess them impartially, much less talk about their good points. When there is a job to do, you do not want to choose them to do it, as, in your heart, you look down on them. When you have grasped these states, is it then easy for you to remedy your opinion of that person? No, it is not. Therefore, one disposition gives rise to many states, and these states are inside you, controlling you, your actions, your speech, your views, and how you treat people—they control your entire being. How do these states arise? They arise from your disposition—it is, in fact, your disposition that controls you, not your state. Such a disposition turns you against the truth. Therefore, if you do not use the truth to resolve this disposition and reverse the course of your state, you will never be free from your satanic disposition. How, then, can you reverse the course of such states? You must be open to God, come before Him to pray, thoroughly understand the essence of the problem, and ask God to discipline you and deal with you, to give you confirmation and make you understand. You must then have a desire to cooperate and forsake yourself. Say: “I won’t act like that again. This person’s caliber may be a bit poor, but I will treat them as they should be treated. If they are suited to do a certain duty, I’ll have them to do it. If I have a good relationship with another person who is not suited for that duty, I won’t assign it to them. I’ll give it to the former instead.” Has the course of your state not then been reversed? That is, having turned away from your previous way of behaving, you have amended the possible consequences of your state. Is this not an aspect of practice? So, how can you undertake this sort of practice? Can you achieve this result if you do not cooperate, and you do not at all forsake your own subjective will? Absolutely not. Therefore, cooperation is key. You must cooperate absolutely and be able to obey the truth absolutely, and have an attitude of obedience to the truth and be determined to obey it—only then will you be able to forsake your individual, subjective will and personal states, and thus will your course gradually be turned. You may look down on someone, and that is your state—yet, if you do not live by that state, but arrange for that person things they can do, and treat them fairly, then, whenever that person is mentioned, your conscience will be at ease, and you will feel you have not done wrong by God. You are practicing the truth, and, after a while, your opinion of that person will change. How does that happen? It is God’s doing. Little by little, the truth begins to take effect inside you, changing your state and reversing its course. At first, it is hard for you; after you have made use of that person, your heart reels whenever you see them, and you feel you have lost your integrity. Despite having made use of them, you do not want to talk much with them, and, in your heart, you still look down on them. Your state has not yet been turned entirely around, which means that the root of your corrupt disposition is still there. That such a little state can cause you so much pain—is this not a problem of disposition? It is a problem in man’s nature essence. As you gradually turn your course, you speak more with that person, fellowship more with them, and understand them more; you see their strengths and discover that they are indeed suited to certain duties. You will then gradually come to recognize your meanness and shamefulness, and that your current actions and the way you now treat that person are impartial and in conformity with the truth, and your heart will then be at ease. This, however, is merely the beginning. When you encounter the same issue again, you will not necessarily be able to use the same methods you used with the prior person to handle it. There may be other, different states at play, or the environment may be different, as may people, matters or things, testing how much you love the truth and your determination to forsake your own corrupt disposition and your will. These are God’s trials. In all your dealings with others, at any time and whoever they may be, and regardless of whether your relationship is good or bad, whether or not they are close to you, whether or not they fawn on you, and regardless of their caliber—when you are able to treat them fairly and correctly, your state will have changed utterly. When the way you treat others does not rely on your imaginings, your emotions, or your hot-bloodedness, you will have gained this aspect of the truth.
Excerpted from “The Path to Resolving a Corrupt Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks
As church leaders, you should learn how to discover and cultivate talent, and not be jealous of talented people. In this way, your duty will be performed satisfactorily, and you will have fulfilled your responsibility; you will also have done your utmost to be loyal. Some people are always afraid that others will steal their limelight and surpass them, obtaining recognition while they themselves are neglected. This leads them to attack and exclude others. Is this not a case of being jealous of people more capable than themselves? Is such behavior not selfish and contemptible? What kind of disposition is this? It is malicious! Thinking only of oneself, satisfying only one’s own desires, showing no consideration for the duties of others, and thinking only about one’s own interests and not the interests of God’s house—people like this have a bad disposition, and God has no love for them. If you are truly capable of being considerate of God’s will, then you will be able to treat other people fairly. If you give someone your recommendation, and that person is cultivated into someone of talent, thereby bringing one more talented person into God’s house, will you not then have done your work well? Will you not then have been loyal in performing your duty? This is a good deed before God, and it is the sort of conscience and reason people should possess.
Excerpted from “Give Your True Heart to God, and You Can Obtain the Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
Tell me whether this is how you act: When you think of someone, you first think of their weaknesses and the ways in which they are corrupt. If you go on thinking this way, you will never be able to get along with others normally. When you think of a person, you should first consider whether or not they truly believe in God and what strengths they have. If this person can accept the truth, is magnanimous and tolerant, and when what you are saying to them is correct, they are able to accept it and deal with it in a correct manner, then this is a person who pursues the truth. If you detect that this person has a shortcoming, and if you do not point it out and they themselves are unaware of it, then they reproach you for it later on; if, however, when you point it out to them, they not only do not hate you, but even thank you, then this is a person who genuinely pursues the truth, who really and truly pursues salvation, and who is willing to be a good person and walk the right path in life. If such a person has a prejudice against someone, or if somebody harms them, they may be somewhat hateful toward that person, yet it will only be temporary. Afterward, when they do some reflection and come to know themselves, they will hate and curse themselves. They will even get to where they can apologize to the other person. This is how true believers of God are. They are able to forgive us, so we must also be able to forgive them. Though they might not forgive us due to some short-lived weakness, we should, deep down, also forgive them. If we are unable to forgive people, then we will be unable to get along with them. Also, if someone does some bad things to you, or speaks judgmentally about you, you must give that person a chance to repent and change. Would you dare to say that said person will always act this way? Would they go on acting with such corruption forever? If you were to affirm such a thing with absolute finality, you would be judging someone and forming conclusions about them. Though they might currently judge you, hate you, and have certain prejudices about you, as they come to genuinely believe in God and develop a desire to pursue the truth, it will not be long before this corrupt aspect of theirs begins to change. Thus, you should look at issues from a developmental perspective. You must not latch onto people’s weaknesses and generalize about them, saying that they are done for in this lifetime or that they are such and such sort of people. To do this would be judging and forming conclusions about people. In saving people, God has not said, “Humans are corrupted to the extent that they are completely done for, so it is pointless to save them.” Even God does not see it this way. Now we are all pursuing the truth. We all desire to pursue the truth, and we believe that, at a minimum, if we keep on with our pursuit, then within a few years, we will certainly be able to change at least somewhat and, ultimately, become fully able to achieve a transformation of disposition and then be perfected by God. You all have this kind of faith, do you not? Because you have this sort of faith, you therefore ought to believe that other people can also have this sort of faith.
Excerpted from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life