14. How to resolve the problem of being careless and perfunctory

Words of Almighty God of the Last Days

What gives rise to being careless and perfunctory? Is it not your satanic, corrupt disposition? Being careless and perfunctory is a manifestation of a corrupt disposition; it arises when people are compelled by their corrupt dispositions. It directly affects the results they get in their duties, even causing them to make a mess of their work, and affecting the work of the church. This consequence is very severe. If you are consistently careless and perfunctory in your duty, what kind of problem is this? This is a problem that involves your humanity. Only people without a conscience or humanity are consistently careless and perfunctory. Do you think that people who are always careless and perfunctory are reliable? (No.) They are so unreliable! Someone who does their duty carelessly and perfunctorily is an irresponsible person, and someone who is irresponsible in their actions is not an honest person—they are an untrustworthy person. No matter what duty they do, an untrustworthy person is careless and perfunctory, because their character is not up to an acceptable standard, they do not love the truth, and they are certainly not an honest person. Can God entrust anything to untrustworthy people? Absolutely not. Because God searches the depths of people’s hearts, He absolutely does not make use of deceitful people to do duties; God only blesses the honest, and He only does work on those who are honest and love the truth. Whenever a deceitful person performs a duty, it is an arrangement made by man, and it is man’s mistake. People who like to be careless and perfunctory do not have conscience or reason, their humanity is poor, they are untrustworthy, and they are so unreliable. Will the Holy Spirit do work on such people? Absolutely not. So, those who like to be careless and perfunctory in their duties will never be perfected by God, and they will never be used by Him. Those who like to be careless and perfunctory are all deceitful, full of evil motives, and totally lacking in conscience and reason. They act without principles or lower limits; they act based only on their own preferences, and are capable of doing all kinds of bad things. All their actions are based on their moods: If they are in a good mood, and they are pleased, then they will do slightly better. If they are in a bad mood, and they are displeased, then they will be careless and perfunctory. If they are angry, then they might be arbitrary and reckless, and delay important matters. They do not have God in their hearts at all. They just let the days pass by, sitting around and waiting for death. So, no matter how people who do their duties carelessly and perfunctorily are encouraged, it is of no use, and it is useless to fellowship with them about the truth. They refuse to mend their ways despite repeated admonishments, they are heartless; they can only be cleared out, that is the most appropriate course of action.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Man Is the Greatest Beneficiary of God’s Management Plan

Simply going through the motions when performing your duty is a major taboo. If you are always going through the motions while performing your duty, then you have no way of performing your duty to an acceptable standard. If you want to perform your duty with loyalty, you must first fix your problem of going through the motions. You should take steps to rectify the situation as soon as you notice it. If you are muddle-headed, are never able to notice problems, always just go through the motions, and do things in a perfunctory fashion, then you will have no way of doing your duty well. Therefore, you must always put your heart into your duty. This opportunity was very difficult for people to come by! When God gives them a chance, yet they do not grasp it, then that opportunity is lost—and even if, later on, they wish to find such an opportunity, it might not come up again. God’s work waits for no one, and neither do chances to perform one’s duty. Some people say, “I didn’t perform my duty well before, but now I still want to fulfill it. I should just get back on the horse.” It is wonderful to have resolve like this, but you must be clear about how to perform your duty well, and you must strive toward the truth. Only those who understand the truth can perform their duty well. Those who do not understand the truth are unqualified even to render service. The more clear you are on the truth, the more effective you will become in your duty. If you can see this matter for what it is, then you will strive toward the truth, and you have a hope of performing your duty well. There are not many opportunities currently to perform a duty, so you must take hold of them when you can. It is precisely when faced with a duty that you must exert yourself; that is when you must offer yourself up, expend yourself for God, and when you are required to pay the price. Do not hold anything back, harbor any schemes, leave any leeway, or give yourself a way out. If you leave any leeway, are calculating, or are wily and treacherous, then you are bound to do a poor job. Suppose you say, “No one saw me acting in a slick way. How cool!” What kind of thinking is this? Do you think you have pulled the wool over people’s eyes, and over God’s, too? In actual fact, though, does God know what you have done or not? He knows. In fact, anyone who interacts with you for a while will learn of your corruption and vileness, and though they may not say so outright, they will have their assessments of you in their hearts. There have been many people who were exposed and cast out because so many others came to understand them. Once everyone saw through to their essence, they revealed those people for who they were and kicked them out. So, whether they pursue the truth or not, people should do their duty well to the best of their ability; they should employ their conscience in doing practical things. You may have defects, but if you can be effective in performing your duty, this will not rise to the level of your being cast out. If you are always thinking that you are fine, that you are sure not to be cast out, if you still do not reflect or try to know yourself, and you ignore your proper tasks, if you are always careless and perfunctory, then when God’s chosen people really do lose their tolerance with you, they will expose you for who you are, and in all likelihood, you will be cast out. That’s because everyone has seen through you and you have lost your dignity and integrity. If no one trusts you, could God trust you? God looks upon man’s innermost heart: He absolutely could not trust such a person.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Life Entry Begins With the Performance of Duty

Some people don’t take any responsibility when they perform their duty, they are always careless and perfunctory. Although they can see the problem, they are unwilling to seek a resolution and are scared of offending people, and so they just rush through things, with the result that the work has to be redone. Since you are performing this duty, you should take responsibility for it. Why do you not take it seriously? Why are you perfunctory and careless? And are you remiss in your responsibilities when you perform your duty in this way? No matter who takes primary responsibility, everyone else is responsible for keeping an eye on things, everyone must have this burden and this sense of responsibility—but none of you pay any attention, you really are perfunctory, you have no loyalty, you are remiss in your duties! It’s not that you can’t see the problem, but that you are not willing to take responsibility—nor, when you do see the problem, do you wish to pay any heed to this matter, you settle for “good enough.” Is being careless and perfunctory in this way not an attempt to deceive God? If, when I worked and fellowshiped about the truth to you, I felt that “good enough” was acceptable, then as befits each of your calibers and pursuits, what could you gain from that? If I had the same attitude as you, you could gain nothing. Why do I say this? Part of it is that you do nothing earnestly, and part is that you are of quite poor caliber, quite numb. It is because I see all of you numb and without love for the truth, and not pursuing the truth, along with your poor calibers, that I must speak in detail. I must spell everything out, and break things down and fragment them in My speech, and speak of things from every angle, in every which way. Only then do you understand a bit. If I were perfunctory with you, and spoke a bit on whatever topic, whenever I felt like it, neither putting thought into it nor taking pains, without My heart in it, not speaking when I did not feel like it, what could you gain? With calibers like yours, you would not understand the truth. You would gain nothing, much less attain salvation. But I cannot do that, instead I must speak in detail. I must go into detail and give examples regarding the states of each sort of person, the attitudes people have toward the truth, and each sort of corrupt disposition; only then will you comprehend what I’m saying, and understand what you hear. No matter what aspect of the truth is fellowshiped, I speak through various means, with styles of fellowship for adults and for children, and also in the form of rationales and stories, using theory and practice, and talking of experiences, in order that people may understand the truth and enter the reality. In this way, those who have caliber and possess hearts will have a chance to understand and accept the truth and be saved. But your attitude toward your duty has always been one of carelessness and perfunctoriness, of dragging your feet, and you are unconcerned with how long a delay you cause. You do not reflect on how to seek the truth in order to solve problems, you give no thought to how to perform your duty properly in order to be able to testify to God. This is neglecting your duty. So your life grows very slowly, but you are not upset by how much time you have wasted. In fact, if you performed your duty conscientiously and responsibly, it wouldn’t even take five or six years before you were able to talk of your experiences and bear testimony to God, and the various work would be carried out to great effect—but you are not willing to be mindful of God’s will, nor do you strive toward the truth. There are some things you do not know how to do, so I give you exact instructions. You do not have to think, you just have to listen and get on with it. That is the only bit of responsibility you must take on—but even that is beyond you. Where is your loyalty? It is nowhere to be seen! All you do is say pleasant-sounding things. In your hearts, you know what you should do, but you simply do not practice the truth. This is rebellion against God, and at root, it is a lack of love for the truth. You know full well in your hearts how to act in accordance with the truth—you just don’t put it into practice. This is a serious problem; you are staring at the truth without putting it into practice. You are not someone who obeys God at all. To perform a duty in God’s house, the least you must do is seek and practice the truth and act according to the principles. If you cannot practice the truth in your performance of your duty, then where can you practice it? And if you do not practice any of the truth, then you are a nonbeliever. What is your purpose, really, if you do not accept the truth—much less practice the truth—and simply muddle along in the house of God? Do you wish to make God’s house your retirement home, or an almshouse? If so, you are mistaken—God’s house does not take care of freeloaders, of wastrels. Anyone of poor humanity, who does not perform their duty gladly, who is unfit to perform a duty, must all be cleared out; all nonbelievers who do not accept the truth at all must be cast out. Some people understand the truth but cannot put it into practice in performing their duties. When they see a problem, they do not solve it, and even though they know it is their responsibility, they do not give it their all. If you do not even carry out responsibilities that you are capable of, then what value or effect could performing your duty possibly have? Is it meaningful to believe in God in this way? Someone who understands the truth but cannot practice it, who cannot bear the hardships they ought to—such a person is unfit to perform a duty. Some people who perform a duty really do so just to be fed. They are beggars. They think that if they do a few tasks in God’s house, their room and board will be taken care of, that they will be provided for without needing to get a job. Is there such a thing as a bargain like that? God’s house does not provide for loafers. If anyone who does not practice the truth in the least, and who is consistently careless and perfunctory in performing their duty, says they believe in God, will God acknowledge them? All such people are nonbelievers and, as God sees them, doers of evil.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. To Perform One’s Duty Well, One Must at Least Be Possessed of a Conscience and Reason

If you do not put your heart into your duty, nor seek the truth principles, if you are muddled or confused, just doing things in the easiest way you can, then what sort of mentality is this? It is one of doing things in a perfunctory manner. If you are not committed to your duty, if you have no sense of responsibility toward it, or any sense of mission, will you be able to perform your duty properly? Will you be able to perform your duty to an acceptable standard? And if you are unable to perform your duty to an acceptable standard, will you be able to enter the truth reality? Absolutely not. If, every time you perform your duty, you are indifferent, you do not make any effort, and just muddle your way through, as thoughtless as if you were playing some game, is this not trouble? What can you gain from performing your duty in this way? Ultimately, people will see that when you perform your duty, you have no sense of responsibility, are careless and perfunctory, and are merely going through the motions—in which case, you are in danger of being cast out. God is watching throughout the entire process as you perform your duty, and what will God say? (This person is not worthy of His commission or His trust.) God will say that you are not trustworthy, and that you should be cast out. And so, no matter what duty you perform, whether it is an important or an ordinary one, if you do not put your heart into the work you have been entrusted with or live up to your responsibility, and if you do not see it as God’s commission, or take it on as your own duty and obligation, always doing things in a perfunctory manner, then this is going to be a problem. “Not trustworthy”—these two words will define how you go about your duty. What they mean is that your performance of your duty is not up to standard, and you have been cast out, and God says that your character is not up to par. If a matter is entrusted to you, yet this is the attitude you take toward it and this is how you handle it, then will you be commissioned with any further duties in the future? Can you be entrusted with anything important? Absolutely not, unless you demonstrate true repentance. Deep down, however, God will always harbor some distrust and dissatisfaction toward you. This will be a problem, will it not? You might lose any opportunity to perform your duty, and you may not be saved.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only in the Frequent Reading of God’s Words and Contemplation of the Truth Is There a Way Ahead

Many people are frequently careless and perfunctory while performing their duties. When faced with being pruned and dealt with, they still refuse to accept the truth, stubbornly argue their point, and even complain that God’s house is unfair to them, lacking compassion and tolerance. Is this not unreasonable? To put it more objectively, this is an arrogant disposition, and they lack the slightest conscience and reason. Those who truly believe in God must at least be able to accept the truth and do things without violating conscience and reason. People who are unable to accept or submit to being pruned and dealt with, are too arrogant, self-righteous, and simply unreasonable. To call them beasts is not an exaggeration because they are utterly indifferent to everything they do. They do things exactly as they please and without any regard for the consequences; if problems arise, they do not care. People like this are not qualified to render service. Because they treat their duties in this way, others can’t stand to watch them and lack confidence in them. Is God then able to have confidence in them? By not even meeting this minimum standard, they are unqualified to render service and can only be cast out. … Those who do not love the truth perform their duties in a careless and perfunctory way—they do not have the correct attitude, they never seek the truth principles, and they don’t think about the requirements of God’s house and what results they ought to achieve. How can they perform their duties adequately? If you are someone who sincerely believes in God, when you are careless and perfunctory, you must pray to Him and reflect on and know yourself; you must forsake your corrupt dispositions, work hard on the truth principles, and strive to meet His required standards. By performing your duty in this way, you will gradually satisfy the requirements of God’s house. The truth is, it is not very hard to perform your duty well. It is just a matter of having conscience and reason, of being upright and diligent. There are many unbelievers who work earnestly and become successful as a result. They do not know anything about the truth principles, so how do they do so well? It is because they’re deliberate and diligent, so they can work earnestly and be meticulous, and in this way, they get things done easily. None of the duties of God’s house are very difficult. As long as you put your whole heart into it and try your best, you can do a good job. If you are not upright, and are not diligent in anything you do, if you are always trying to save yourself trouble, if you are always careless and perfunctory and muddle through everything, if you don’t perform your duty well, make a mess of things and bring harm to God’s house as a result, that means that you are doing evil, and it will become a transgression that is detested by God. During the key moments of spreading the gospel, if you don’t achieve good results in your duty and don’t play a positive role, or if you cause disruptions and disturbances, naturally you will be detested by God and be cast out and lose your chance at salvation. This will be an eternal regret of yours! God exalting you for doing your duty is your only chance at salvation. If you are irresponsible, treat it lightly and are careless and perfunctory, that is the attitude with which you are treating the truth and God. If you are not the least bit sincere or obedient, how can you obtain God’s salvation? Time is so precious right now; every day and every second are crucial. If you do not seek the truth, if you do not focus on life entry, and if you are careless and perfunctory and deceive God in your duty, that is truly senseless and dangerous! As soon as you are detested by God and cast out, the Holy Spirit will no longer work in you, and there is no coming back from that.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

If you merely go through the motions in performing your duty and do not seek to achieve results at all, you are a hypocrite, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You may trick people, but you cannot fool God. If there is no real price and no loyalty when you perform your duty, then it is not up to standard. If you do not really make an effort in your faith in God and performance of your duty; if you always want to go through the motions and are perfunctory in your actions, like an unbeliever working for their boss; if you just make a token effort, you don’t use your mind, you muddle through each day as it comes, not reporting problems when you see them, seeing a spill and not cleaning it up, and indiscriminately dismissing everything that is not to your own benefit—then is this not trouble? How could someone like this be a member of God’s house? Such people are unbelievers; they are not of the house of God. Not one of them is acknowledged by God. Whether you are being true and whether you made an effort when you perform your duty, God keeps account, and you also know full well. So, have you ever really made an effort in performing your duty? Have you ever taken it seriously? Have you treated it as your responsibility, your obligation? Have you taken ownership of it? You must properly reflect on and know these matters, which will make it easy to address the problems that exist in performing your duty, and will be beneficial to your life entry. If you are always irresponsible when performing your duty, and do not report problems to the leaders and workers when you discover them, nor seek the truth to solve them on your own, always thinking “the less trouble the better,” always living by philosophies of dealing with the world, always being careless and perfunctory when you perform your duty, never having any devotion, and not accepting the truth at all when pruned and dealt with—if you perform your duty in this way, you are in danger; you are one of the service-doers. Service-doers are not members of God’s house, but employees, hired workers. When the work ends, they shall be cast out, and shall naturally be plunged into catastrophe. The people of God’s house are different; when they perform their duty, it is not for money, or to labor or gain blessings. They think, “I am a member of God’s house. Matters which concern God’s house concern me. The affairs of God’s house are my affairs. I should put my heart into God’s house.” Because of this, they put their heart into every matter that concerns God’s house, and take responsibility for it. They take responsibility for everything they can think of and see. They keep an eye out for things that need handling, and they take matters to heart. These are the people of God’s house. Are you the same way? (No.) If you just lust after the comforts of the flesh, pay no heed when you see there are things that need handling in the house of God, do not pick up a bottle of oil which has fallen over, and your heart knows there is a problem but you do not want to resolve it, then you are not treating the house of God as your own. Is this how you are? If it is, then you have fallen so far that there is no difference between you and the unbelievers. If you do not repent, then you must be counted as being outside of the house of God; you must be shelved and cast out. The fact is that God wishes in His heart to treat you as members of His family, yet you do not accept the truth, and are always careless, perfunctory, and irresponsible in performing your duties. You do not repent, no matter how the truth is fellowshiped about to you. It is you who have placed yourselves outside of God’s house. God wishes to save you and turn you into members of His family, yet you do not accept it. You, then, are outside of His house; you are unbelievers. Whoever does not accept the least bit of the truth can only be handled as an unbeliever would. It is you who have established your own outcome and position. You have established it outside God’s house. Who beside you is to blame for that? … Therefore, only by performing your duty well can you stand firm in the house of God, and be spared from calamity. Performing your duty well is crucial. At the very least, the people of God’s house are honest people. They are people who are trustworthy in their duty, who can accept God’s commission, and perform their duty loyally. If people do not have true faith, consciences, and reason, and if they do not have a heart of fear of and obedience to God, then they are not suitable to perform duties. Even though they perform their duty, they are sloppy while doing so. They are service-doers—people who have not truly repented. Service-doers such as this will be cast out sooner or later. Only loyal service-doers will be spared. Although loyal service-doers do not have the truth realities, they possess consciences and reason, they are able to perform their duties with sincerity, and God permits them to be spared. Those who possess the truth realities, and who can make resounding testimony of God are His people, and will also be spared and brought into His kingdom.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. To Perform One’s Duty Well, One Must at Least Be Possessed of a Conscience and Reason

Right now, in the performance of their duties, the majority of people are able to hold to their duties, without doing evil, but are they devoted? Are they able to do their duties to an acceptable standard? They still fall short by a wide margin. Whether or not people can do their duties well touches on the issue of humanity. So how can they do their duties well? What must they possess in order to do their duties well? Regardless of what duty they perform or what they do, people must be meticulous and earnest, and fulfill their responsibilities; only then will their hearts feel steady and at peace. What does it mean to fulfill one’s responsibilities? It means to be diligent, to give your whole heart to your responsibilities, and to do all the things you ought to do. For example, say that a church leader assigned you to do a duty, and fellowshiped the simple principles of it to you, but did not go into much detail—how should you act in order to do this duty well? (Rely on your conscience.) At the very least, you must rely on your conscience to do it. “Rely on your conscience”—how can you implement these words? How do you apply these words? (By thinking about the interests of God’s house, and not doing anything that would bring shame upon God.) This is one aspect. Additionally, when you do something, you must deliberate on it repeatedly, measuring it according to the truth principles. If your heart does not feel at peace after finishing it, and you feel as though there is still a problem with it, and after it is examined, a problem is indeed discovered, what should you do at this point? You must quickly fix it and resolve the problem. What sort of attitude is this? (It is meticulousness and an attention to detail.) This is meticulousness and an attention to detail, which is an earnest, rigorous attitude. Doing your duty must be based in an earnest, responsible attitude, saying: “This work has been given to me, so I must do whatever I can to do it well within the scope of what I am able to know and achieve. I cannot make any mistakes.” You cannot have a mindset of “close enough is good enough.” If you always have a careless and perfunctory way of thinking, can you do your duty well? (No.)

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Man Is the Greatest Beneficiary of God’s Management Plan

Since people have corrupt dispositions, they are often perfunctory and careless 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 and carelessness. As long as they have such a perfunctory and careless attitude, they will not be able to perform their duties properly, which means that solving the problem of perfunctoriness and carelessness 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 careless and 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 cast out. And will there still be time for regrets, then? There will not. These actions will become an eternal lament, a stain! To be perennially careless and 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 careless and 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 careless and 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 praise? 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 the 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 exposed 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 exposed. 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 carelessness and 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 careless, 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 carelessness and 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 render service in My house.” Why does God say this? It is because when they perform their duty and do work they are consistently careless and perfunctory. No matter how much they are pruned and dealt with, 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 carelessly and 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 cast out.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

When people perform their duty, they are, in fact, doing what they ought to do. If you do it before God, if you perform your duty and submit to God with an attitude of honesty and with heart, will this attitude not be far more correct? So how should you apply this attitude to your everyday life? You must make “worshiping God with heart and honesty” your reality. Whenever you want to be slack and just go through the motions, whenever you want to act in a slippery way and be lazy, and whenever you get distracted or would rather be enjoying yourself, you should consider: “In behaving like this, am I being untrustworthy? Is this putting my heart into doing my duty? Am I being disloyal by doing this? In doing this, am I failing to live up to the commission God has entrusted to me?” This is how you should self-reflect. If you come to find out that you are always careless and perfunctory in your duty, that you are disloyal, and that you have hurt God, what should you do? You should say, “In the moment I sensed that there was something wrong here, but I didn’t treat it as a problem; I just glossed over it carelessly. I didn’t realize until now that I really had been careless and perfunctory, that I had not lived up to my responsibility. I truly am lacking in conscience and reason!” You have found the problem and come to know a bit about yourself—so now, you must turn yourself around! Your attitude toward performing your duty was wrong. You were careless with it, as with an extra job, and you did not put your heart into it. If you are careless and perfunctory like this again, you must pray to God and let Him discipline and chasten you. You must have such a will in performing your duty. Only then can you truly repent. You may turn yourself around only when your conscience is clear and your attitude toward performing your duty is transformed. And as you repent, you must also reflect often on whether or not you really have put all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength into performing your duty; then, using God’s words as the measure and applying them to yourself, you will learn what problems still lie in the performance of your duty. By constantly resolving problems in this way, according to God’s word, are you not bringing the performance of your duty with all your heart, mind, and strength into reality? To perform your duty in such a way: have you not already done so with all your heart, mind, and strength? If there is no longer any recrimination of your conscience, if you are able to meet the qualifications and demonstrate loyalty in the performance of your duty, only then will there truly be peace and joy in your heart. Performing your duty will feel like a responsibility that is perfectly natural and justified, rather than an added burden, and not at all like a job done for someone else. Performing a duty in this way, you feel fulfilled, and you feel that you are living in the presence of God. Conducting yourself like this brings peace of mind. Would it not make you a bit more human and less like a zombie? Is it easy, conducting yourself like this? It is, actually, but not for those who do not accept the truth.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only in the Frequent Reading of God’s Words and Contemplation of the Truth Is There a Way Ahead

You want to be careless and sloppy when you perform your duty. You try to slack off, and try to avoid God’s scrutiny. At such times, hurry before God to pray, and reflect on whether this was the right way to act. Then think about it: “Why do I believe in God? Such sloppiness might get past people, but will it get past God? What’s more, my belief in God is not to slack off—it is in order to be saved. My acting thus is not the expression of normal humanity, nor is it beloved by God. No, I could slack off and do as I pleased in the outside world, but now I am in the house of God, I am under the sovereignty of God, under the scrutiny of God’s eyes. I am a person, I must act according to my conscience, I cannot do as I please. I must act according to God’s words, I must not be careless and perfunctory, I cannot slack off. So how should I act to not slack off, to not be careless and perfunctory? I must put in some effort. Just now I felt it was too much trouble to do it like this, I wanted to avoid hardship, but now I understand: It may be a lot of trouble to do it like that, but it is effective, and so that is how it should be done.” When you are working and still feel afraid of hardship, at such times you must pray to God: “Oh God! I am lazy and deceitful, I beg You to discipline me, to reproach me, so that my conscience feels something, and I have a sense of shame. I don’t want to be careless and perfunctory. I beg You to guide and enlighten me, to show me my rebelliousness and my ugliness.” When you pray thus, reflect and try to know yourself, this will give rise to a feeling of regret, and you will be able to hate your ugliness, and your wrong state will begin to change, and you will be capable of contemplating this and saying to yourself, “Why am I careless and perfunctory? Why am I always trying to slack off? Acting like this is devoid of any conscience or sense—am I still someone who believes in God? Why don’t I take things seriously? Don’t I just need to put in a little more time and effort? It’s no great burden. This is what I ought to be doing; if I can’t even do this, am I fit to be called a human being?” As a result, you will make a resolution and swear an oath: “Oh God! I have let You down, I truly am too deeply corrupted, I am without conscience or sense, I have no humanity, I wish to repent. I beg You to forgive me, I will surely change. If I do not repent, I would that You punish me.” Afterward, your mentality will turn around, and you will begin to change. You will act and perform your duties with conscientiousness, with less carelessness and perfunctoriness, and you will be able to suffer and pay a price. You will feel that performing your duty in this way is wonderful, and you will have peace and joy in your heart. When people can accept God’s scrutiny, when they can pray to Him and rely on Him, their states will soon be changed. When the negative state of your heart has been reversed, and you have forsaken your own intentions and forsaken the selfish desires of the flesh, when you are able to let go of the comfort and enjoyment of the flesh, and act according to God’s requirements, and you are no longer arbitrary or reckless, you will have peace in your heart and your conscience will not reproach you. Is it easy to forsake the flesh and act according to God’s requirements in this way? As long as people have a tremendous aspiration for God, they can forsake the flesh and practice the truth. And so long as you are able to practice in this way, then before you know it, you will be entering into the truth reality. It will not be difficult at all.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Treasuring God’s Words Is the Foundation of Belief in God

Whatever duty you perform, whatever you can do, consider it your responsibility and your duty, accept it and do it well. How do you do it well? By doing it exactly as God demands—with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength. You should contemplate these words and consider how you can perform your duty with all your heart. For example, if you see someone performing their duty without principles, doing it carelessly and according to their own will, and you think to yourself, “I don’t care, it’s not my responsibility,” is this doing your duty with all your heart? No, it is being irresponsible. If you are a responsible person, when such a situation befalls you, you will say, “This won’t do. It may not be under the scope of my supervision, but I can report this issue to the leader and have them handle it in accordance with the principles.” After doing so, everyone will see that it was appropriate, your heart will be at ease, and you will have fulfilled your responsibility. Then you will have done your duty with all your heart. If, no matter which duty you are performing, you are always inattentive, and you say, “If I do this work in a simple and cursory way, I can get by with just muddling through it. After all, no one will check it. I’ve done the best I can with the limited abilities and professional skills that I have. It’s good enough just to get by. Besides, no one will ask about it or get serious with me—it’s not that important.” Is having this intent and this mindset performing your duty with all your heart? No, this is being careless and perfunctory, and it is a revelation of your satanic, corrupt disposition. Can you perform your duty with all your heart by relying on your satanic disposition? No, that would not be possible. So, what does it mean to do your duty with all your heart? You will say: “Even though the Above has not inquired about this task, and it doesn’t seem very important among all of the work of God’s house, I will still do it well—it is my duty. Whether a task is important or not is one thing; whether I can do it well or not is another.” What is important? Whether or not you can perform your duty well and with all your heart, and whether you can adhere to the principles and practice in accordance with the truth. This is what is important. If you can practice the truth and do things in accordance with the principles, then you are truly performing your duty with all your heart. If you have performed one kind of duty well, but you are still not satisfied and wish to perform an even more important type of duty, and you are capable of performing it well, then this is doing your duty with all your heart to an even greater degree. So, if you are able to do your duty with all your heart, what does this imply? In one respect, it means that you are doing your duty in accordance with the principles of God’s words. In another respect, it means that you have accepted God’s scrutiny and have God in your heart; it means that you are not doing your duty merely for show, or however you please, or according to your own preferences—instead you are regarding it as a commission entrusted to you by God and you are doing it with that responsibility and heart, not according to your own will but entirely according to God’s requirements. You are putting your whole heart into your duty—this is performing your duty with all your heart.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

What must you do in order to be able to do it with all your heart and mind? You must accept the truth and put it into practice; that is, you must accept and obey whatever God demands; you must handle your duty as you would handle your own personal affairs, requiring no one else to watch you, supervise you, check to make sure you are doing it right, keep on you, oversee what you are doing, or even prune or deal with you. You must think to yourself, “Performing this duty is my responsibility. It’s my part, and since it’s been given to me to do, and I’ve been told the principles and grasped them, I’ll keep doing it single-mindedly. I’ll do all I can to see it done well.” You must persevere in doing this duty, and not be held back by any person, matter, or thing. This is what it means to uphold your duty with all your heart and mind, and this is the likeness people should have. So, what must people be equipped with in order to uphold their duty with all their heart and mind? They must first have the conscience that created beings ought to have. That is the minimum. Beyond that, they must also be devoted. As a human, to accept God’s commission, one must be devoted. One must be completely devoted to God alone, and cannot be half-hearted, or fail to take responsibility; to act based on one’s own interests or moods is wrong—it is not being devoted. What does being devoted mean? It means that you fulfill your duties, and are not influenced or constrained by your mood, environment, or other people, matters, and things. You must think to yourself, “I have accepted this commission from God; He has given it to me. This is what I’m supposed to do, so I will do it the same way I would my own affairs, in whichever way yields good results, with importance laid on satisfying God.” When you are in this state, not only is your conscience in control, but devotion is also present within you. If you are satisfied with just getting the task done, do not aspire to be efficient or achieve results, and feel it is enough to simply put all your effort into it, then this is merely fulfilling the standard of people’s conscience, and cannot be counted as devotion. Being devoted to God is a higher requirement and standard than the standard of conscience. It is not just a matter of putting all your effort into it; you also must put your entire heart into it. In your heart, you must always regard your duty as your job to do, take burdens for this task, suffer reproach if you make the slightest mistake or are in a state where you are slipshod, and you must feel you cannot comport yourself this way because it makes you owe God so much. People who genuinely have a conscience and sense fulfill their duty as though it is their own job to do, regardless of whether anyone is watching or supervising them. Whether God is happy with them and no matter how God treats them, they always strictly demand themselves to perform their duties well and complete the commission God entrusted to them. This is called devotion. Is this not a higher standard than the standard of conscience? When acting by the standard of conscience, people are often influenced by external things, or think it is enough to just put all their effort into their duty; the level of purity is not that high. However, when speaking of devotion and being able to faithfully uphold one’s duty, the level of purity is higher. It is not about just exerting effort; it requires you to throw your entire heart, mind and body into your duty. To perform your duty well, you must sometimes endure a little physical hardship. You must pay a price, and devote all your thoughts to fulfilling your duty. No matter what circumstances you face, they do not affect your duty or delay you from fulfilling your duty, and you are able to satisfy God. To do this, you must be able to pay a price. You must abandon your family of the flesh, personal matters, and self-interest. Your vanity, pride, feelings, physical pleasures, and even things like the best years of your youth, your marriage, your future, and your destiny must all be let go of and abandoned, and you must willingly perform your duty well. Then, you will have achieved devotion, and will have human likeness by living like this. Not only do people like this have a conscience, but they use the standard of conscience as a foundation from which to demand of themselves the devotion God demands of man, and to use this devotion as a means by which to evaluate themselves. They diligently strive toward this goal. People like this are rare on earth. In every thousand or ten thousand of God’s chosen, there is only one. Do people like this live lives of value? Are they people whom God treasures? Of course they live lives of value and are people God treasures.

—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three

Today, what you are required to achieve are not additional demands, but the duty of man, and that which should be done by all people. If you are incapable of even doing your duty, or of doing it well, then are you not bringing trouble upon yourselves? Are you not courting death? How could you still expect to have a future and prospects? The work of God is done for the sake of mankind, and the cooperation of man is given for the sake of God’s management. After God has done all that He is supposed to do, man is required to be unstinting in his practice, and to cooperate with God. In the work of God, man should spare no effort, should offer up his loyalty, and should not indulge in numerous notions, or sit passively and await death. God can sacrifice Himself for man, so why can man not offer his loyalty to God? God is of one heart and mind toward man, so why can man not offer a little cooperation? God works for mankind, so why can man not perform some of his duty for the sake of God’s management? God’s work has come this far, yet still you see but do not act, you hear but do not move. Are not such people the objects of perdition? God has already devoted His all to man, so why, today, is man incapable of earnestly performing his duty? For God, His work is His first priority, and the work of His management is of the utmost importance. For man, putting God’s words into practice and fulfilling God’s requirements are his first priority. This you should all understand.

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Practice

Man’s performance of his duty is, in actuality, the accomplishment of all that is inherent within man, which is to say, that which is possible for man. It is then that his duty is fulfilled. The defects of man during his service are gradually reduced through progressive experience and the process of his undergoing judgment; they do not hinder or affect man’s duty. Those who cease to serve or yield and fall back for fear that there may be drawbacks to their service are the most cowardly of all. If people cannot express what they ought to express during service or achieve what is inherently possible for them, and instead fool about and go through the motions, they have lost the function that a created being should have. Such people are what are known as “mediocrities”; they are useless refuse. How can such people properly be called created beings? Are they not corrupt beings that shine on the outside but are rotten within? … If man loses what is inherently attainable by him, he can no longer be considered man, and he is not worthy to stand as a created being or come before God and serve Him. Moreover, he is not worthy to receive the grace of God or to be watched over, protected, and made perfect by God. Many who have lost the trust of God go on to lose the grace of God. Not only do they not despise their misdeeds, but they brazenly propagate the idea that the way of God is incorrect, and the rebellious ones even deny the existence of God. How can such people, who are possessed of such rebelliousness, be entitled to enjoy the grace of God? Those who do not perform their duty are very rebellious against God, and owe much to Him, yet they turn around and lambaste that God is wrong. How could such kind of man be worthy of being made perfect? Is this not the precursor to being cast out and punished? People who do not do their duty before God are already guilty of the most heinous of crimes, for which even death is an insufficient punishment, yet they have the gall to argue with God and match themselves against Him. What is the worth of perfecting such people? When people fail to fulfill their duty, they should feel guilt and indebtedness; they ought to despise their weakness and uselessness, their rebelliousness and corruption, and moreover, ought to give their life to God. Only then are they created beings who truly love God, and only such people are worthy of enjoying the blessings and promise of God, and of being made perfect by Him. And what of the majority of you? How do you treat the God who lives among you? How have you performed your duty before Him? Have you done all you were called upon to do, even at the expense of your own life? What have you sacrificed? Have you not received much from Me? Can you discern? How loyal are you to Me? How have you served Me? And what of all that I have bestowed upon you and have done for you? Have you taken measure of it all? Have you all judged and compared this with what little conscience you have within you? Who could your words and actions be worthy of? Could it be that such minuscule sacrifice of yours is worthy of all I have bestowed upon you? I have no other choice and have been wholeheartedly devoted to you, yet you harbor wicked intentions and are half-hearted toward Me. That is the extent of your duty, your only function. Is this not so? Do you not know that you have utterly failed to perform the duty of a created being? How can you be considered a created being? Is it not clear to you what it is you are expressing and living out? You have failed to fulfill your duty, but you seek to gain the tolerance and bountiful grace of God. Such grace has not been prepared for ones as worthless and base as you, but for those who ask for nothing and gladly sacrifice. People such as you, such mediocrities, are utterly unworthy of enjoying the grace of heaven. Only hardship and interminable punishment shall accompany your days! If you cannot be faithful to Me, your fate shall be one of suffering. If you cannot be accountable to My words and My work, your outcome will be one of punishment. All grace, blessings, and the wonderful life of the kingdom shall have nothing to do with you. This is the end you deserve to meet and a consequence of your own making!

—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Difference Between the Ministry of God Incarnate and the Duty of Man

Related Experiential Testimonies

The Truth Behind Carelessness

The Damage Done by Being Perfunctory

Related Hymns

Practicing the Truth in Your Duty Is Key

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