Words on Performing a Duty (Excerpt 31)

Since people have corrupt dispositions, they are often perfunctory when they perform their duties. This is one of the most serious problems of all. If people are to perform their duties properly, they must first address this problem of perfunctoriness. As long as they have such a perfunctory attitude, they will not be able to perform their duties properly, which means that solving the problem of perfunctoriness is extremely important. So how should they practice? Firstly, they must solve the problem of their state of mind; they must approach their duties correctly, and do things with seriousness and a sense of responsibility. They should not intend to be deceitful or perfunctory. One’s duty is performed for God, not any one person; if people are able to accept God’s scrutiny, they will have the correct state of mind. What’s more, after doing something, people must examine it, and reflect on it, and if they feel a bit uneasy in their hearts, and after detailed inspection, they discover there really is a problem, then they must make changes; once these changes have been made, they will feel at ease in their hearts. When people feel uneasy, this proves there is a problem, and they must diligently examine what they have done, especially at key stages. This is a responsible attitude toward performing one’s duty. When one can be serious, take responsibility, and give all their heart and strength, the work will be done properly. Sometimes you are in the wrong state of mind, and cannot find or discover a mistake that is clear as day. If you were in the right state of mind, then, with the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit, you would be able to identify the issue. If the Holy Spirit guided you and gave you an awareness, allowing you to feel clarity at heart and to know where the error lies, you would then be able to correct the deviation and strive for the truth principles. If you were in the wrong state of mind, and were absent-minded and careless, would you be able to notice the mistake? You would not. What is seen from this? This shows that to perform their duties well, it is very important that people cooperate; their frames of mind are very important, and where they direct their thoughts and ideas is very important. God scrutinizes and can see what state of mind people are in, and how much energy they exert as they perform their duties. It is crucial that people put all their hearts and strength into what they do. Their cooperation is a crucial component. Only if people strive to have no regrets about the duties they have completed and the things they have done, and not to be in debt to God, will they be acting with all their hearts and strength. If you consistently fail to put all your heart and strength into performing your duty, if you are perennially perfunctory, and cause tremendous harm to the work, and fall far short of the effects required by God, then only one thing can happen to you: You will be eliminated. And will there still be time for regrets, then? There will not. These actions will become an eternal lament, a stain! To be perennially perfunctory is a stain, it is a serious transgression—yes or no? (Yes.) You must strive to carry out your obligations, and everything you ought to do, with all your heart and strength, you must not be perfunctory, or leave any regrets. If you can do that, the duty you perform shall be commemorated by God. Those things commemorated by God are good deeds. What, then, are the things that are not commemorated by God? (They are transgressions and evil deeds.) You might not accept that they are evil deeds if they were described thus presently, but, if a day comes when there are serious consequences to these things, and they give rise to a negative influence, then you will sense that these things are not mere behavioral transgressions, but evil deeds. When you realize this, you will be regretful, and think to yourself: “I should have chosen an ounce of prevention! With a little more thought and effort at the start, this consequence could have been avoided.” Nothing will wipe this eternal stain from your heart, and if it should leave you in permanent debt, then you’ll be in trouble. So today you must strive to put all your heart and strength into the commission given to you by God, to perform every duty with a clear conscience, without any regrets, and in a fashion that is commemorated by God. Whatever you do, do not be perfunctory. If you make a mistake on an impulse and it is a serious transgression, this will become an eternal stain. Once you have regrets, you will not be able to make up for them, and they will be permanent regrets. Both of these paths should be seen clearly. Which is the one you should choose, in order to meet with God’s approval? Performing your duty with all your heart and strength, and preparing and accumulating good deeds, without any regrets. Whatever you do, do not do evil that will disturb others’ performance of their duties, do not do anything that goes against the truth and is in resistance against God, and do not incur lifelong regrets. What happens when a person has committed too many transgressions? They are accruing God’s anger at them in His presence! If you transgress ever more, and God’s wrath toward you grows ever greater, then, ultimately, you shall be punished.

On the surface, some people do not seem to have any serious problems throughout the time they perform their duties. They do nothing overtly evil; they do not cause disruptions or disturbances, or walk the path of antichrists. In performing their duties, they do not have any major mistakes or problems of principle come up, yet, without realizing it, in a few short years they are revealed as not accepting the truth at all, as being one of the nonbelievers. Why is this so? Others cannot see an issue, but God scrutinizes these people’s innermost hearts, and He sees the problem. They have always been perfunctory and unrepentant in the performance of their duties. As time goes on, they are naturally revealed. What does it mean to remain unrepentant? It means that though they have performed their duties throughout, they have always had the wrong attitude toward them, an attitude of perfunctoriness, a casual attitude, and they are never conscientious, much less are they giving all their hearts to their duties. They may put in a little effort, but they are just going through the motions. They are not giving their all to their duties, and their transgressions are without end. In God’s eyes, they have never repented; they have always been perfunctory, and there has never been any change in them—that is, they do not relinquish the evil in their hands and repent to Him. God does not see in them an attitude of repentance, and He does not see a reversal in their attitude. They are persistent in regarding their duties and God’s commissions with such an attitude and such a method. Throughout, there is no change in this stubborn, intransigent disposition, and, what is more, they have never felt indebted to God, have never felt that their perfunctoriness is a transgression, an evildoing. In their hearts, there is no indebtedness, no guilt, no self-reproach, and much less is there self-accusation. And, as much time passes, God sees that this kind of person is beyond remedy. No matter what God says, and no matter how many sermons they hear or how much of the truth they understand, their heart is not moved and their attitude is not altered or turned around. God sees this and says: “There is no hope for this person. Nothing I say touches their heart, and nothing I say turns them around. There is no means of changing them. This person is unfit to perform their duty, and they are unfit to labor in My house.” Why does God say this? It is because when they perform their duty and do work they are consistently perfunctory. No matter how much they are pruned, and no matter how much forbearance and patience are extended to them, it has no effect and cannot make them truly repent or change. It cannot make them do their duty well, it cannot allow them to embark on the path of pursuing the truth. So this person is beyond remedy. When God determines that a person is beyond remedy, will He still keep a tight hold on this person? He will not. God will let them go. Some people always beg, “God, go easy on me, don’t make me suffer, don’t discipline me. Give me some freedom! Let me do things a little perfunctorily! Let me be a bit dissolute! Let me be my own master!” They do not want to be restrained. God says, “Since you do not wish to walk the right path, then I shall let you go. I shall give you free rein. Go and do what you want. I shall not save you, for you are beyond remedy.” Do those who are beyond remedy have any sense of conscience? Do they have any sense of indebtedness? Do they have any sense of accusation? Are they able to sense God’s reproach, discipline, smiting, and judgment? They cannot feel it. They are unaware of any of these things; these things are faint in their hearts, or even absent. When a person has come to this stage, with God no longer in their heart, can they still achieve salvation? It is hard to say. When one’s faith has come to such a point, they are in danger. Do you know how you should pursue, how you should practice, and what path you should choose to avoid this consequence and assure that such a state will not arise? What is most important is first to choose the correct path, and then to focus on performing well the duty you should perform at present. This is the minimum standard, the most basic standard. It is upon this basis, that you should seek the truth and strive for the standards to perform your duty adequately. This is because the thing that most perceptibly reflects the bond that links you to God is how you treat the matters God entrusts to you and the duty He assigns you, and the attitude you have. What is most observable and most practical is this issue. God is waiting; He wants to see your attitude. At this crucial juncture, you should hurry and make your position known to God, accept His commission, and perform your duty well. When you have grasped this crucial point and fulfilled the commission God has given to you, your relationship with God will be normal. If, when God entrusts a task to you, or tells you to perform a certain duty, your attitude is cursory and apathetic, and you do not take it seriously, is this not precisely the opposite of giving all your heart and strength? Can you perform your duty well in this way? Certainly not. You will not perform your duty adequately. So, your attitude when performing your duty is of crucial importance, as are the method and path you choose. No matter how many years they have believed in God, those who fail to perform their duties well will be eliminated.

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