54. The Principles of Resolving Negativity
(1) First, examine the circumstances that give rise to negativity: What activities cause it, what constraints lead to it, and what the resulting consequences are;
(2) It is necessary to understand the essence and origin of negativity, and to know the disposition to which it is related. Only by seeing the root problem can one truly know oneself;
(3) When faced with negativity, one should do the work of learning to know themselves. It is necessary to know the truths with which one must be equipped in order to eradicate the problem of negativity at its root;
(4) When one exists within a satanic disposition, negativity may arise at any time, thereby leading to rebellion and resistance against God. In all matters, one must seek the truth in order to rectify negativity.
Relevant Words of God:
The work that God performs in people is primarily to allow them to gain the truth; having you pursue life is for the sake of perfecting you, and this is all to make you suitable for God’s use. All you are pursuing now is hearing mysteries, listening to God’s words, feasting your eyes, and looking around to see if there is some novelty or trend, and thereby satisfying your curiosity. If this is the intention in your heart, then there is no way for you to meet God’s requirements. Those who do not pursue the truth cannot follow until the very end. Right now, it is not that God is not doing something, but rather that people are not cooperating with Him, because they are tired of His work. They only want to hear words that He speaks to bestow blessings, and they are unwilling to hear the words of His judgment and chastisement. What is the reason for this? The reason is that people’s desires to gain blessings have not been fulfilled and they therefore have become negative and weak. It is not that God purposely does not allow people to follow Him, nor is it that He is purposely delivering blows to mankind. People are negative and weak only because their intentions are improper. God is the God that gives man life, and He cannot bring man into death. People’s negativity, weaknesses, and backsliding are all caused by their own doing.
Excerpted from “You Should Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Deep down, people harbor a few bad states—negativity, weakness, and depression or fragility; or a persistent base intent; or always being in the thrall of worrying about prestige, selfish desires, and their own benefits; or they think themselves of poor caliber and are in possession of certain negative states. When you live constantly within these states, it is very difficult for you to gain the work of the Holy Spirit. If you have difficulty gaining the Holy Spirit’s work, you will contain very few positive things within you, and it will be hard for you to gain the truth. People always rely on their willpower to exercise restraint, holding back in this way and that, but they still cannot free themselves from those negative or adverse states. Part of this is due to human reasons; people cannot find a path of practice that suits them. Another reason—and this, too, is a major one—is that people always fall into these negative, sinking, degenerate states, and the Holy Spirit does not work. Even if He occasionally gives them enlightenment, He does not do major work in them. Thus, it takes people great effort to take action, and it is difficult for them to see and understand anything. It is hard for you to obtain enlightenment and illumination, and very hard to have light, because too many negative and adverse things have occupied all the space within you. If one cannot be enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and is unable to gain the work of the Holy Spirit, then one cannot leave these states or transform these negative states; the Holy Spirit does not work, and you cannot find a path forward. For both these reasons, it is difficult for you to attain a positive, normal state. Even though you can endure a lot and work hard at fulfilling your duties, and even though you have expended great effort and are able to abandon your home and occupation, and completely let go of everything, your inner state has still not actually changed. Too many entanglements still hold you captive from practicing the truth and from entering truth reality. Various things fill the space within you: Personal notions, imaginings, knowledge, and philosophies for living, as well as negative things, selfish desires and self-interests, concerns about prestige, and disputes with others. People have nothing positive within them. Their heads are full of negative and adverse thoughts; this is a fact that no one can deny. Their hearts have been filled and occupied by satanic things. If you do not eradicate these things, if you cannot free yourself of these states, if you cannot transform into the genuine likeness of a child—innocent, lively, guileless, authentic, and pure—and come into God’s presence, and if you do not come before Him, then it will be very difficult for you to gain the truth.
Excerpted from “Give Your True Heart to God, and You Can Obtain the Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks
People will have been through many states before God judges and chastises them. For instance, there is a negative state often seen in people: They are negative when others perform their duties more productively than they; they are negative when others’ families are more united than theirs; they are negative when others’ conditions are better than theirs, or they are of higher caliber; and they are negative when made to wake a bit early, when their duties are tiring, and even when they are not. No matter what happens, they are negative. If these people put forth a special effort in seeking, and are particularly able to pay a price, and if they have some caliber and are able to do some degree of practical work, then the notions of others might cause them to say of these people, “It’s a shame that those people are always negative. Shouldn’t God show them a little partiality by not making them negative, and allow them to emerge from their negativity? How come God isn’t doing His work?” What does God do to such people? What is His attitude toward them? He does not discipline them, nor does He deal with them or prune them; He simply shelves them off to one side. What does this mean? It means that if you are always negative and never satisfied with anything God does, He will toss you somewhere and make you wait. The Holy Spirit does not do useless work. Some people say, “If God won’t do it, it means He isn’t loving!” That is not how God’s love is expressed. Negativity means there is a problem within people: They cannot accept the truth, and are constantly dissatisfied with all God does; moreover, they do not in the least seek the truth or put it into practice. Why would God remain responsive to such people? Are they not deaf to reason? What is God’s attitude toward those who are deaf to reason? He casts them aside and ignores them. You may act as you like, and you may believe if you wish to do so; if you believe and seek, you may obtain. God treats every person fairly. If your attitude is unaccepting of the truth and not one of submission, and if you do not conform to God’s requirements, then believe what you will; also, if you would rather leave, you may do so at once. If you do not wish to do your duty, then, whatever you do, do not make a disgraceful scene or put on airs, but leave at once, off to wherever you like. God does not urge such people to stay. That is His attitude. If you—who are clearly a created being—never wish to act like one, and instead always want to be an archangel, then can God pay attention to you? If you—who are clearly an ordinary person—always wish for special, preferential treatment, and to be a person of status and standing who excels over others in all things, then you are being unreasonable and lack sense. How does God see people who lack sense? What is His assessment of them? Such people are deaf to reason!
Excerpted from “Only by Resolving One’s Notions Can One Enter the Right Track of Believing in God (3)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Whether big or small matters come to pass, you are always negative and weak, and you bear no witness. What a person should do or cooperate with, you fail to, proving that neither God nor the truth is in your heart. Let us ignore, for the moment, how the work of the Holy Spirit moves people. By mere dint of their years of experience of God’s work, having heard so many truths, and with a bit of conscience and willed restraint, they should be able to meet the lowest standard, and not be as numb and weak as they are now. It is an incredible thing. It is clear you muddled through these last few years—had you not, why would you be as numb and sluggish as you are? The truth is that you have delimited yourself, thinking “I’m not okay—I’m too corrupt. That’s how it is, and I’ll just have to live with it!” You have not yet put effort into your pursuit, and you say, “That is my challenge. You may as well just send me home!” What is that but nonsense? It is simply avoiding and shirking responsibility! If you have a bit of conscience and reason, you should properly complete what you ought to do and your mission; being a deserter is a terrible thing and a betrayal of God. Pursuing the truth requires a firm will, and people who are too negative or weak will accomplish nothing. They will not be able to believe in God unto the end, and, if they wish to obtain the truth and achieve a change of disposition, they have less hope still. Only those who are resolved and pursue the truth can obtain it and be perfected by God.
Excerpted from “Confused People Cannot Be Saved” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The Holy Spirit has a path to walk in each person, and gives each person the opportunity to be perfected. Through your negativity you are made to know your own corruption, and then by throwing off negativity you will find a path to practice; these are all ways in which you are perfected. Further, through the continuous guidance and illumination of some positive things inside of you, you will proactively fulfill your function, grow in insight and gain discernment. When your conditions are good, you are especially willing to read the word of God, and especially willing to pray to God, and can relate the sermons you hear to your own state. At such times God enlightens and illuminates you within, making you realize some things of the positive aspect. This is how you are perfected in the positive aspect. In negative states, you are weak and passive; you feel that you do not have God in your heart, yet God illuminates you, helping you find a path to practice. Coming out of this is attainment of perfection in the negative aspect. God can perfect man in both positive and negative aspects. It depends on whether you are able to experience, and on whether you pursue being perfected by God. If you truly seek being perfected by God, then the negative cannot make you suffer loss, but can bring you things that are more real, and can make you more able to know that which is lacking within you, more able to grasp your real state, and see that man has nothing, and is nothing; if you do not experience trials, you do not know, and will always feel that you are above others and better than everyone else. Through all this you will see that all that came before was done by God and protected by God. Entry into trials leaves you without love or faith, you lack prayer and are unable to sing hymns, and without realizing it, in the midst of this you come to know yourself.
Excerpted from “Only Those Who Focus on Practice Can Be Perfected” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Do not be a passive follower of God, and do not pursue that which makes you curious. Through being neither cold nor hot you will ruin yourself and delay your life. You must rid yourself of such passivity and inactivity, and become adept at pursuing positive things and overcoming your own weaknesses, so that you may gain the truth and live out the truth. There is nothing fearful about your weaknesses, and your shortcomings are not your biggest problem. Your biggest problem, and your greatest shortcoming, is your being neither hot nor cold and your lack of desire to seek the truth. The biggest problem with all of you is a cowardly mentality whereby you are happy with things as they are, and just passively wait. This is your greatest obstacle, and the greatest enemy to your pursuit of the truth.
Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Now, you must pay no mind to negative things. First, put aside and disregard anything that makes you feel negative. When you are handling affairs, do so with a heart that searches and feels its way forward, a heart that submits to God. Whenever you discover a weakness within you but do not let it control you, and despite it, perform the functions that you ought to, you have made a positive step forward. For example, you older brothers and sisters have religious notions, yet you are able to pray, submit, eat and drink of the word of God, and sing hymns…. This is to say, you should devote yourselves with all the strength you can muster to whatever you are able to do, whatever functions you are able to perform. Do not wait passively. Being able to satisfy God in your performance of your duty is the first step. Then, once you are able to understand the truth and attain entry into the reality of God’s words, you will have been perfected by Him.
Excerpted from “On Everyone Performing Their Function” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If your heart truly is at peace before God, you will not be disturbed by anything going on in the outside world, or occupied by any person, event, or thing. If you have entry into this, then those negative states and all negative things—human notions, philosophies for living, abnormal relationships between people, and ideas and thoughts, and so forth—will naturally disappear. Because you are always pondering God’s words, and your heart is always drawing close to God and always being occupied with the current words of God, those negative things will fall away from you without you realizing it. When new and positive things occupy you, negative old things will have no place, so do not pay attention to those negative things. You need not make an effort to control them. You should focus on being at peace before God, eat, drink, and enjoy God’s words as much as you can, sing hymns in praise of God as much as you can, and let God have a chance to work on you, because God now wants to perfect humanity personally, and He wants to gain your heart; His Spirit moves your heart and if, following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you come to live in God’s presence, you will satisfy God.
Excerpted from “On Quieting Your Heart Before God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The people God saves are those who have been corrupted by Satan and thus came to have corrupt dispositions. They are not perfect people without the slightest blemish, nor are they people who live in a vacuum. For some, as soon as their corruption is revealed, they think, “Yet again, I’ve resisted God; I’ve believed in Him for so many years, but I still haven’t changed. God surely doesn’t want me anymore!” What sort of attitude is this? They have given up on themselves and think that God does not want them anymore. Is this not a case of misunderstanding God? When you are so negative, it is easiest for Satan to find chinks in your armor, and once it has succeeded, the consequences are unimaginable. Therefore, no matter how much difficulty you are in or how negative you are feeling, you must never give up! While people’s lives are developing and while they are being saved, they sometimes take the wrong path or go astray. They exhibit some immature states and behavior in their life for a while, or sometimes grow weak and negative, say the wrong things, slip and fall, or suffer a failure. From God’s point of view, such things are all normal, and He would not make a fuss over them. Seeing how profoundly corrupted they are, that they will never be able to satisfy God, brings pain to some people’s hearts, and people who are capable of such remorse are often the objects of God’s salvation. Those who do not feel they need salvation, who think they are already perfect, are not the ones who will be saved by God. Why am I telling you this? What I mean is that you must have faith: “Despite the fact that I am now weak, and that I have fallen down and failed, one day I will grow, one day I shall be able to satisfy God, understand the truth, and be saved.” You must have this faith. No matter what setbacks, difficulties, or failures and falls, you must not be negative; you must know what kind of people are saved by God. In addition, if you feel that you are unfit for salvation by God, if you occasionally have a state in which you feel you are loathsome or displeasing to God, or if there was a time in the past when you were wholly unapproved of or rejected by God, do not worry. You now know this, and so it is not too late; as long as you repent, God shall give you your chance at salvation.
Excerpted from “Entry Into Life Is Most Important to Faith in God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
People can refrain from becoming negative when they encounter difficulties or when they are pruned and dealt with, or when they fail and fall. What is the primary reason for this? It is that they are able to accept the truth. In being able to accept the truth, they stop being negative. If they do not accept the truth and they always harbor difficulties within themselves, and are always incapable of resolving them, they will always be negative; this has to do with their understanding of the truth. For some people who have become negative, when you fellowship with them, they say, “Don’t fellowship with me; I understand everything.” Do they really understand everything? If they did understand everything, would they still be negative? What does this understanding they mention entail? It is that they understand doctrines and they understand literal meanings. In actual fact, they do not understand the truth. Why are they able to accept doctrines, when they do not understand the truth? (They don’t experience God’s words; they don’t contemplate them, nor do they seek the truth; they don’t check their corrupt dispositions against it.) That is exactly what is going on. They do not take those doctrines that they understand and put them into practice or use them; they merely talk and preach about them to other people, and then they stop there. They themselves do not accept the truth, and in this way, they are unable to resolve their negative states, their weakness, their rebelliousness, their misconceptions, and their complaints. So, then, what is the best way to resolve the problems of being negative and regressing and abandoning themselves to despair? (Accepting the truth.) It is accepting the truth based on your understanding of it, and then entering truth reality. This is easily said, but upon entering it, difficulties are encountered, and this makes entry difficult. You must therefore genuinely understand what the truth is. If you always think you understand, but you are unable to resolve your difficulties, then this proves that you have not understood the truth. On the basis of the doctrines you understand, if you regard them as the truth and measure yourself against them, and practice them, then your difficulties will be resolved; it will not be a problem even when you are negative or weak, and you will not despair or come to a standstill. This is precisely the way of resolving negativity.
Excerpted from “People Can Only Truly Be Happy by Being Honest” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Some people, despite being in the midst of negativity, can still maintain an attitude of “being faithful till the end, no matter what the outcome,” when performing their duties. I say that this is change, yet you yourselves are unable to recognize it. Actually, if you examine yourself carefully, you will see that a part of your corrupt disposition has already changed; however, when you are constantly measuring yourself against the highest of standards, not only will you not be able to meet them, but you will even negate any changes you have already made within yourself. This is where people go astray. If you are truly someone who can tell right from wrong, then there is no harm in making yourself aware of the changes that have occurred within you; not only can you see them, but you can, moreover, find a path to practice going forward. When that happens, you will see that as long as you are hard-working, you still have hope; you will see that you are not irredeemable. Right now I tell you this: Those who can correctly view their problems have hope; they can come out from negativity.
You give up on the truth because you think you are already beyond saving, so you end up abandoning even the most fundamental truths. Perhaps it is not that you cannot put the truth into practice, but that you have discarded opportunities to do so. If you give up on the truth, can you still change? If you give up on the truth, where is the meaning in your belief in God? As has already been said, “Regardless of when it is done, seeking a change in disposition is never wrong.” Have you forgotten these words? Nevertheless, you feel that you are without hope. If you have lost your positive pursuits, will negative things not emerge? How, then, will you be able to refrain from being negative? Thus, I still say to you: You must view yourself correctly, and not give up on the truth.
Excerpted from “View Yourself Correctly and Do Not Give Up on the Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks