Only One Who Performs Their Duty Well With All Their Heart, Mind, and Soul Is One Who Loves God (Part One)

Whether a person truly has faith in God is revealed through their performance of duty. To determine if someone pursues the truth, observe whether they perform their duty with principle. Some people lack any principles when performing their duty. They consistently follow their own inclinations and act arbitrarily. Is this not a display of perfunctoriness? Are they not deceiving God? Have you ever considered the consequences of such behavior? You show no consideration for God’s intentions through your performance of duty. You are thoughtless and inefficient in everything you do, lacking wholehearted dedication and effort. Can you gain God’s approval this way? Many people perform their duty reluctantly, and they cannot persevere. They cannot endure even the slightest suffering and they always feel that they have been done a great disservice, nor do they seek the truth to resolve difficulties. Can they follow God to the end by performing their duty in this way? Is it alright to be perfunctory in whatever they do? Can this be acceptable to the conscience? Even measured by human standards, such behavior is unacceptable—so may it be accounted as the satisfactory performance of duty? If you perform your duty in this way, you will never gain the truth. Your laboring will be unsatisfactory. How, then, could you gain God’s approval? Many people fear hardship when performing their duty, they are too lazy and crave physical comfort. They never invest any effort into learning specialized skills or contemplating the truths in God’s words. They believe that being perfunctory in this way saves them trouble. They don’t need to do any research or seek advice from others. They don’t need to use their minds or think deeply. This seems to save them a lot of effort and physical discomfort, and they still manage to complete the task. And if you prune them, they become defiant and argue, saying: “I wasn’t lazy or idle, the task was done—why are you nitpicking? Aren’t you just trying to find fault with me? I’m already doing well enough by performing my duty like this. How are you not satisfied?” Do you think people like this can make any further progress? They consistently perform their duties in a perfunctory manner, and always come up with excuses. When problems arise they refuse to let anyone point them out. What kind of disposition is this? Is it not the disposition of Satan? Can people perform their duty acceptably with such a disposition? Can they satisfy God? Is this how you perform your duty? From the outside you appear busy, working well with others without any disputes. However, none of you are putting effort into your duty, racking your brains over it, concerning yourselves about it. None of you are losing your appetites or losing sleep because you haven’t performed your duty well. None of you are seeking the truth or adhering to principles to resolve problems. You are all just getting by, going through the motions in a perfunctory manner. Too few of you take true responsibility in your duty. Regardless of the difficulties that arise, you do not come together to pray earnestly or face problems and solve them collectively. There is no consideration for the outcome. You simply complete a task, only to find that it needs to be redone. Doing your duty this way is simply acting perfunctorily and is no different from how nonbelievers do their jobs. This is the attitude of someone who is a laborer. By performing your duties in this way, you are not experiencing God’s work, nor are you sincerely expending yourselves for God. If you do not change this mindset, you will only end up revealed and eliminated.

With each task you undertake, with each project you complete, what hardships do you endure? Have you ever experienced days without proper meals, without good sleep, days where you’ve sacrificed rest and food? Have you overcome any personal difficulties? Have you paid any price? Some people, after performing their duty, are so strained that they cannot sleep through the night. Why can’t they sleep? It’s because they feel that they lack the truth needed to perform their duty well, and it becomes laborious for them. They become anxious, feeling that if they cannot perform their duty well, it means they haven’t performed it loyally. Their conscience is made uneasy and accuses them. While others are eating, they wonder: “How can I do better? Last time, I made a mistake again in that same area. I didn’t check on things properly. What should I do about this? This isn’t just a matter of enduring being pruned; it’s about me not fulfilling my responsibilities.” They see others enjoying their meals, but they have no appetite themselves. Their mind is always preoccupied with how to perform their duty well. Is this not putting their heart into it? Is this not making an effort? (Yes.) Have you ever made that kind of effort? If you do not have the slightest sense of responsibility, if you can do wrong things or act perfunctorily without any feelings of reproach in your conscience, without any awareness, then how can you speak of devotion? You simply cannot. If the house of God entrusts you with a duty that is on a tight schedule and must be completed as soon as possible, how would you carry it out? If you simply go through the motions without thinking, without researching, without seeking fellowship from knowledgeable individuals; if you just while away the time, then what kind of attitude are you taking toward your duty? You are merely paying lip service without a sincere heart. What does it mean to be all talk? It means that what you say sounds nice, but it is just for show; it gives people a false impression or intentionally misleads them so that they think you’re suffering, that you are very careful and hardworking, when in reality you have not put any thought into things at all. If you truly put in thought, if you throw your heart into it, if you are genuinely committed to your duty, then you should take action. How should you take action? You need to get busy, do research, or read more about the principles of God’s house. Or you should consult with knowledgeable people who are adept in that field. Sometimes you will be so busy that you won’t have time to eat, but while you’re busy, you still must not forget to pray to and rely on God. Once you have found a path forward and have more or less grasped the principles, it’s time to start working. Several days later you will have produced something up to standard, and that will be an achievement. If you don’t put that kind of effort into it and instead approach it with a perfunctory attitude, you might be able to produce something after a few days, but what will be its quality? On the surface it might look acceptable, with no obvious flaws. But it won’t be any kind of masterpiece. It won’t be something that has been meticulously crafted, but a rough piece of work. If you submit something that you have completed in a perfunctory manner, can it ever be considered satisfactory? In the end, you will just have to redo it, and will that not just delay things?

Some people do things in a rough manner. They don’t put their heart into anything; they have a perfunctory attitude. Such people have a bad mindset. Does someone with a bad mindset feel any responsibility? (No.) Conversely, is someone with no sense of responsibility likely to have a good or bad mindset? (Bad.) An irresponsible person is someone with a bad mindset! They approach everything with a perfunctory attitude, without wanting to take responsibility or pay any sort of a price to achieve results. Is performing your duty with that kind of attitude considered satisfactory? (No, it is not.) Are there requirements and standards for performing your duty satisfactorily when it comes to time? Are there requirements or standards for performing your duty, when it comes to your attitude? Some people say: “I have standards. The first is not to wear myself out, the second is not to go hungry, and the third is not to stick my neck out. If others have not arrived, I can’t arrive early; I won’t be the first one there. If others are still performing their duty, I’ll think about how I can wrap things up and get some rest. I won’t endure any suffering that others aren’t enduring, and I will only suffer as much as others can handle. If everyone is doing something, I’ll do it too. But if no one is doing anything, then neither will I.” What sort of standards are these? (Bad standards.) Some people say: “If I’m in a bad mood, I’ll put my duty off for a little while. I’ll shorten my work time and when my help is wanted, I won’t have to be quite so proactive. Then, when I’m in a better mood, I’ll be more engaged.” How about these standards? (It’s no good; their work is dependent on their mood.) And there are others who say: “If everyone treats me well and does what I want when I’m performing my duty, and if no one prunes me even if I make a mistake, then that’s fine, and I’ll put in about 70 percent effort. But if someone criticizes me or points out my faults, I won’t feel like performing my duty properly anymore, and I’ll just hide out.” What do you think of this attitude? (It’s bad.) There are also some who say, “No one can demand anything from me when it comes to performing my duty. I will only do it voluntarily. I have my own dignity, and if anyone keeps pushing me to perform my duty, demanding efficiency, I won’t take it. If they’re always saying I’m going against principles, then they’re creating difficulties for me and giving me a hard time. If they continue to use the truth principles of God’s house to make demands of me, then my small stature will prevent me from achieving them. I’ll do my best to achieve what I can, but don’t force me when something is beyond me. If you do, I’ll just throw in the towel and go, and I’ll come back when you stop forcing me.” How is that attitude? (Bad.) None of these attitudes are any good—that is obvious and everyone knows. Then how are all of you performing your duties? Do you display any of these behaviors? You are unrestrained, willful, arrogant and self-righteous, refusing to listen to anyone, just acting perfunctorily. You do not have a serious attitude toward anything. You put on airs when you have the slightest talent and when any little thing does not go your way, you throw a tantrum and pout, and do not want to work anymore. You are always thinking of giving up on performing your duty. Have you ever acted this way? (Yes.) When you do act this way, do you fellowship with each other and try to resolve these issues? Are people able to perform their duty well with those issues present? Are they able to perform their duty up to standard and satisfy God? Obviously, they cannot.

Whatever sort of corrupt disposition one reveals as they perform their duty, it is a practical problem, and it will undermine their effective performance of that duty. They need to seek the truth and resolve it promptly. If such practical problems go unresolved, they will not disappear on their own; they will worsen over time. What does it mean that they will “worsen”? It means that if these corrupt dispositions go unresolved, they will interfere with your state, and they will interfere with other people. In time, these problems will obstruct you from performing your duty well, from understanding and practicing the truth, and from coming before God. This is no trifling issue, but a serious problem. And as time goes on from there, the grievances and resentments in your heart, your notions and misunderstandings of God, and your biases against others, as well as your estrangement from others, will grow in you. This will surely lead you onto a mistaken path. These things can do nothing but disturb one at heart, and make one negative, and make one shun God. Why is this? It is because such things as people’s notions and misunderstandings are all negative things, all Satan’s poisons. If they build up for a long time in someone’s heart, they corrode that person’s faith, and they deplete their zeal and sincerity. And without faith or zeal, does one’s energy to perform their duty not shrink over time? When one does not feel the peace and joy of believing in God, and they do not feel God’s blessing and guidance in performing their duty, they cannot muster the strength in them, and they will be controlled by negative things such as notions, misunderstandings, grievances, and negativity. When one is in these states, they can do nothing but exert themselves in performing their duty, hanging on and coping, doing everything by force of will—but not seeking the truth to resolve it. One cannot see God’s guidance or His blessings in this way. And what follows close after that? However they perform their duty, they cannot find its principles. They just act as they will, with less and less assuredness, and lose the energy to perform their duty. Some people say, “When I’d just begun performing my duty, I felt quite moved and enlightened, and I felt that God was with me. There was joy in my heart; my sight could penetrate everything and I was able to do everything with a sense of ease. After a while, though, my heart was too far from God, there was no more prayer in my heart, and I couldn’t feel God anymore.” What is going on here? This person is diseased at heart. And what disease is that? It is the corrupt dispositions inside them always acting out and causing disturbances. If these corrupt dispositions go unresolved, problems will always arise in the performance of their duty, and when they grow serious, they will disrupt and disturb the work of the church. If one wishes to achieve the satisfactory performance of their duty, they must seek the truth often and resolve their corrupt disposition, and put effort into resolving their corrupt disposition, they must be able to suffer and pay a price, until they have resolved their corrupt disposition. They will then be able to perform their duty unobstructed and unhindered. Some people cannot seek the truth to resolve their corrupt dispositions. They can only restrain themselves by means of goodness and zeal, by means of human will; they can only prevent momentary revelations of their corrupt disposition. But can they resolve the problem of a corrupt disposition at its root? If one does not seek the truth, they have no way to resolve a corrupt disposition, and if one lives in a corrupt disposition, they have no way to put the truth into practice, and no way to achieve the satisfactory performance of duty.

Is someone who is a natural people pleaser a genuinely good person? What kind of person is seen by God to be a genuinely good person who possesses the truth? First and foremost, one must understand God’s intentions and understand the truth. Secondly, one must be able to put the truth into practice, based on one’s understanding of it. They are able to resolve the things within themselves that do not conform to the truth—their notions and imaginings, their prejudices about others and the misunderstandings they have about other people and about God—the moment they are discovered. And when they live within bad states or negative states, they are able to turn themselves around in good time; they don’t cling to these corrupt things. That is, the moment this person discovers they have a problem, they are able to come before God to search for a solution, and are able to maintain a normal relationship with Him. Such a person may be weak and rebellious, and may reveal all manner of corrupt dispositions such as arrogance, self-righteousness, crookedness, and deceitfulness. However, once they have examined themselves and become aware of these things, they can resolve them in a timely manner and make a turnaround. What kind of person is this? This is one who loves the truth and who practices the truth. How is such a person viewed in God’s eyes? This, in God’s eyes, is a good person. Some people always hold on to their old notions, stubbornly clinging to their personal biases and misunderstandings. They always perform their duty with a negative attitude, knowing full well they are wrong but still persisting in their ideas. Even when pruned, they are resistant and defensive, saying, “This is just how I do things. I’m not letting go of my own way. I think God’s house is handling this unfairly so I won’t resolve this issue. Even if you talk about fairness, I won’t accept it. Your words are not the truth! You claim I don’t have the proper attitude in performing my duty, but I haven’t done any evil. You say I’m being perfunctory in performing my duty. Then what should I do to not be perfunctory? Doing my duty this way is good enough. If God is not pleased with me performing my duty this way, then God isn’t fair, and His righteousness is also fake.” Is this the kind of person who accepts the truth? Is this the attitude of someone who accepts the truth? How is a person who speaks like this any different from a nonbeliever? How does God view such a person? What is God’s attitude? (He detests them.) Isn’t this a person who is stubborn and rebellious? Although you have corruptions, God does not remember them. God does not reject or condemn you because you are a corrupt human being. But it is because you are well aware of the truth, but still intentionally resist and rebel against it. It is your attitude that saddens God, that He detests, and that makes Him repulsed. This is the attitude of God. Such a person is not a good person in God’s eyes or in the eyes of others.

If you believe in God and want to attain His salvation, you must perform your duty well. Firstly, in the course of performing your duty you need to foster a sense of responsibility and give your best effort. When God sees you as a good person, you are halfway there. If, while performing your duty, you are able to pursue the truth, and no matter how much corrupt disposition is revealed or how many difficulties you face, you can still seek the truth to resolve them; and if you have an attitude of acceptance and submission when you are being pruned, then your hope of attaining God’s salvation will be fully intact. To be seen by God as someone who pursues the truth is a lofty requirement that you may still be unable to meet. You lack the will and stature, and your faith is too weak. So, start by letting the brothers and sisters around you see you as a good person, as someone who is right, who relatively loves positive things, who loves fairness and righteousness, and who is relatively upright. When you make mistakes, you correct them. When you recognize your rebellious state, you quickly turn it around. When you discover your corrupt disposition, you promptly seek the truth and fellowship with others. Once you gain understanding, then you can repent. By pursuing in this way, you are sure to make progress. First, let your brothers and sisters see you as a good person, as someone who is right, someone who has life entry. Then, step by step, strive to become a person who loves the truth and pursues the truth. By putting this into practice it will become easier to gain entry, and it will be more practical for you to make such demands of yourself. First and foremost, you must bring your brothers and sisters to acknowledge you as a good person. What are the criteria for being a good person? First, you must look at the performance of your duty. How many standards and requirements should be met in the performance of your duty? You must be diligent, responsible, willing to endure hardship, willing to pay the price, and be meticulous when handling affairs, not acting perfunctorily. On a slightly higher level, you must be able to find the right principles in every matter and act according to these principles. Regardless of who speaks, even if a brother or sister whom you least admire expresses a principle that is right and in line with the truth, you should listen to it, try to accept it, and attempt to rebel against your own opinions and notions. What do you think of this attitude? (It is good.) It is easy to talk about the need to perform your duty well, it is an easy thing to say; but it is difficult to actually perform one’s duty up to standard. It requires you to pay a price and to give up certain things. What should you give? At the most basic level, you need to invest some time and energy. Every day, you should spend more time and put in more energy than other people. You should keep going a little longer and put in a little more effort. If you want to foster a sense of responsibility and perform your duty well, you need to constantly be pondering how to fulfill your duty properly. You need to consider what truths you must equip yourself with and what kind of problems you should address. Then seek the truth through prayer, expressing your aspirations to God, and earnestly beseech God, asking Him to enlighten and guide you. While others are resting at night, you ought to spend more time pondering on the problems that were present while performing your duty that day and what corruption you revealed. You should reflect on these things, and only take your rest after you have figured out a way forward, so that that day is proven fruitful and not wasted. If you do not contemplate how to solve these problems, you will not be able to eat or sleep well. This is suffering, this is the price you pay. You will have to endure more hardships and pay a greater price than others, and invest more time and energy in striving for the truth. Is this a practical price to pay? (Yes.) Have you paid such a price before? Some sisters love to dress up, spending at least one or two hours each day on their makeup and various hairstyles. They never sacrifice anything in the indulgence of their physical desires, always striking a bright and beautiful figure and dressing impeccably. But when it comes to performing their duty, they never take it seriously and never put in any effort. Where is their lack of effort reflected? It is in the absence of sincerity and thoughtfulness in the performance of their duty. Even if they occasionally stay up late, it is only because everyone else is staying up late, not because they want to, or because they have unfinished tasks and cannot leave. But personally, they have never dedicated any extra time or energy, never paid any additional price, and never endured any hardships in performing their duty. Although they have been performing their duty along with everyone else, spending the same amount of time, there hasn’t been any fruitful result. It has all been simply a matter of being perfunctory and going through the motions, and yet they still feel quite miserable inside. What do you think of this attitude? Does it conform to the truth to perform your duty with this kind of attitude? Definitely not. How do you typically go about performing your duty? Have you ever taken it seriously? Knowing that you lack such determination or dedication, knowing that your performance of duty relies solely on willpower and self-restraint, and realizing that there is something wrong with this situation, have you made any changes? What should be done to make it right? Firstly, you need to pay the price. Sometimes that means staying up late, and other times it means getting up early. This is the suffering of the flesh. In addition, you should invest more thought and energy, think more, ponder more, and come before God more to pray and seek Him, dedicating your time and energy to God, expending yourself for God, spending that time and energy on the performance of your duty, on carrying out the commission God has set upon you, and on pursuing the truth. Is this not the price that must be paid while performing your duty? (Yes.)

What do you lack most in your performance of duty? God has said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). You have only exerted your strength, but not your heart, soul, and mind—you have not achieved these three aspects. You know only to exert strength in the performance of your duty. In the eyes of God, what sort of person is this? (A laborer.) Are you willing to be laborers? (No.) Even though you are unwilling to be laborers, you are still laboring, and this you do tirelessly. This is the path you tread. Is it not contradictory that you are unwilling to be laborers, yet you labor voluntarily? How did this come about? It is because people take the wrong path. The path you choose determines your ultimate goal, in other words, you reap what you sow. If you choose the path of laboring, the ultimate result is to become a laborer. Because you always wish to receive blessings by putting forth effort, and are unwilling to seek the truth and handle things according to principle in performing your duty, in order to fulfill your duty satisfactorily; because you are unwilling to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind in your fulfillment of your duty, and you are satisfied with simply putting forth strength, then the result is that you become a laborer. There is no contradiction here. However, contradictions do arise within the hearts of laborers. What contradictions? People are unwilling to be laborers, yet they are also unwilling to pursue the truth or pursue loving God. They still wish for blessings. If they hear that they are laborers, they do not want that, thinking, “Are they not trying to demean and belittle me? Is this not a kind of prejudice? I’ve put in so much effort and exhausted so much of my strength. How could I possibly be a laborer?” But it is correct. You do not practice any truth at all; you are satisfied only with exerting effort, and that makes you a laborer. Do not think that performing your duty is just about putting forth a bit of effort. You cannot perform your duty well if you do not do so with your whole heart. Acting wholeheartedly means giving all your heart, soul and mind. You must measure up to this standard. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This statement is applicable in its entirety to the fulfillment of duty. If you are a true believer in God, you should perform your duty well with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Then, in the eyes of God you will be considered a good person. How should a person who is good in the eyes of God be measured? From what perspective should they be evaluated? (From the perspective of performing duties.) They should first be evaluated from the perspective of their performance of duty, from their attitude and viewpoint in the performance of their duty, their intent and purpose, whether they have the truth principles in the performance of their duty, and what results they can achieve by handling matters. By assessing these aspects, we can determine whether someone loves the truth, pursues the truth, and is an honest person in the eyes of God, a person whom God loves. These are the most direct principles and criteria for assessing a person. Do you understand this? Do you have the determination to pursue the truth and become the people of God? Don’t just be content with exerting effort to perform your duty; you should strive for the truth and to meet God’s requirements. Only this aligns with God’s intentions. If you are only satisfied with putting in effort, the standard of this requirement is too low. Performing one’s duties is not about doing simple tasks that can be done with a little effort. Tasks which require technical expertise cannot be done well without the required expertise. In particular, the duties within God’s house involve bearing witness to God and cannot be done if you are lacking the truth. If you do not perform your duty in line with the truth principles, you cannot achieve the desired results in bearing witness to God. Therefore, to perform their duties well, people must understand the truth and grasp the principles. If a person does not love the truth but merely wishes to put in a little effort in order to win God’s blessings, such a mindset is untenable. If you do not fulfill your duty satisfactorily, God will not use someone like you. God will eliminate you, because the standard for God’s salvation of people is for them to be able to fulfill their duties satisfactorily, and not merely labor. If you, as a laborer, feel any discomfort about this in your heart, in reality, God is saddened and grieved for you also. You really don’t have any understanding of God’s heart. Would God pay such a great price to save a group of laborers? Absolutely not. God desires to perfect a group of individuals who know Him and align with His intentions. Do laborers possess the truth and life? Is it worthwhile for God to save laborers? Is this a sign of God’s gaining glory? Is laboring alone a testimony for God? Being a laborer does not constitute bearing witness to God. That is not the path that humans should walk. Some may say, “I am willing to labor for God. No matter how much effort is required, I am willing to give it all. I will give 100 percent effort instead of 80 percent. I have already given my utmost, though my caliber is a bit poor and I don’t understand the truth. God knows my heart, and He should approve of me, shouldn’t He?” Does this statement align with God’s requirements? God approves of those who satisfactorily fulfill their duty, those who perform their duty with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. If you merely exert strength without putting your heart into it, then you have not performed your duty with all your heart. Can you practice the truth without your whole heart? Can you manage affairs with principle? If you only put in strength without your whole heart, then you can only be a laborer. Can laborers earn God’s approval? That is impossible. What does God’s word require for the performance of duty? (“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”) This pertains to the truth, to the truth principles, and to the principles of practice. What are the principles of practice? They’re what you should do in your life and in the performance of your duty, your path of practice, and the direction and goal of your life. Engrave the words “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” as your motto. In whatever you do, use these words to assess yourself. Ask yourself, “Which of these have I attained? Which ones have I not yet achieved? What is my inward state? Is there any rebelliousness? Any selfishness? Am I bargaining or negotiating terms with God? Am I being stubborn? Is there any element of negativity or slacking off within me? Am I acting in a perfunctory manner?” When you engrave the words “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” on your heart, you are remembering these words of God, these words of the truth, in your heart. What is the purpose of keeping them in your heart? It is not to say them for others to hear, but to rectify your own state, regulate your behavior, and to guide your every action. For example, if there is something you do not know how to do, quickly consider what God’s word says and think, “God said to do it with all my heart, so how can I do it with all my heart? Someone else understands this better than I do, so I should ask them and fellowship with them.” After fellowshipping, pray and examine yourself to see if you have any wrong intents. If you are without any personal aims or selfishness, and you are sure that doing this aligns completely with the truth, and you become able to practice the truth, then your heart will be at peace, indicating that you have acted with all your heart, that is to the fullest extent possible. In order to achieve wholeheartedness, you need to seek the truth in your heart, ponder over God’s words, pray to God, and be in communion with Him. This is a matter of the heart. When your heart draws near to God, always contemplating and striving toward the truth, then you are someone who lives before God. Once you do something with all your heart, doing it with all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength will naturally follow. The words “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” will become your reality.

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