Affections Must Be Principled

June 26, 2022

By Xiangshang, USA

As a child, my parents and teachers taught me to be a good person, and to practice gratitude, just as the saying goes, “Repay a drop of kindness with a fountain of reward.” So since childhood, this has been my principle for getting along with others. Especially when others were kind to me, I did my best to repay their kindness twofold. As time went on, I received approval and praise from most people around me, and my family and friends felt I was affectionate, so they wanted to interact with me. After believing in God, I got along with my brothers and sisters in the same way. I thought conducting myself this way made me a good person with a conscience. Only through circumstances God arranged to expose me, and through what God’s word reveals, did I realize that these thoughts of traditional culture are not the truth, and are not the criteria for how we should act and conduct ourselves.

In September 2018, I was dismissed as a leader for not doing practical work. At the time, I was very negative and weak, but Sister Li, who supervised administrative work, sent me many passages of God’s word to support and help me, and I was very moved. I felt Sister Li not only didn’t look down on me, she encouraged and helped me. After that, Sister Li arranged for me to do administrative work. She took very good care of me, and also took the initiative to ask my thoughts and opinions on matters in our duty. Seeing that Sister Li valued me so much, I felt even more grateful to her. Later, when a church leader investigated evaluations of me, some brothers and sisters said things that misunderstood me, and Sister Li knew the incident and clarified the facts about me on the spot. For this, I was even more grateful to her, because I felt she spoke up for me at a critical moment and saved my image. Although I didn’t say a word of thanks to her verbally, I always wanted to find a chance to express my thanks to her.

But not long after, she was dismissed for not doing practical work, and I was selected as group leader. In the process of following up on Sister Li’s work, I found that she was often absent-minded and forgetful in her work. I asked her in a gentle tone, “Sister Li, why are you so careless in your duty?” When she heard this, rather than reflect on herself, she said, “I’m old, and I have a bad memory.” Afterwards, my partner sister saw that Sister Li was still often absent-minded in her duty and reminded her about it several times, but she didn’t change a bit. I realized that too, and I wanted to find a good time to point it out to her. But then I remembered that when I was first dismissed, I was in a bad state, and she had helped and supported me so gently. Now, she had just been dismissed, so if I pointed out her problems now, wouldn’t she think I was too cruel? Besides, she had just been dismissed and was in a bad state, so her mistakes were excusable. I had to lovingly help and support her and give her time to change things. After that, when Sister Li didn’t properly do the work, my partner and I directly did it for her. I feared she would forget some things, so I often reminded her, and I often fellowshiped and asked about her state. In several discussions about work, her suggestions weren’t in line with principles, and most brothers and sisters didn’t approve, but she still insisted her point of view was right and forced others to accept it, which made discussions nearly impossible to continue. I wanted very much to remind her, but I also thought she had been recently dismissed, and she must be miserable. If I exposed her problems now, wouldn’t that be rubbing salt in the wound? So I let it go, hoping she would realize on her own in time. Thinking of that, I didn’t give her any reminders, and I just tried to make sure she was less involved in work discussions. But rather than reflecting on herself, she indirectly attacked me by saying I wasn’t listening to her opinions. When I finally saw she had no knowledge of herself, I bit the bullet and leveled the accusation. I said: “Sister Li, you are too arrogant and self-righteous. You really should reflect on yourself.” I saw that her face hardened a bit, and her voice dropped. I felt sad all of a sudden. Was it a bit too much for me to treat her like this? After all the help she gave me before, was doing this a little too cruel? So, I started to blame myself. A few days later, the supervisor saw Sister Li’s work was often done by me and my partner, so she asked us how Sister Li was doing in her duty. The question made me anxious. If I answered honestly about Sister Li’s state, she might be transferred. I was only able to do administrative work because she arranged it, she usually treated me well, and she helped and supported me at the crucial moment. If she was dismissed while I was the group leader, would she think I was too cruel and ruthless? To protect her job, after I wrote about her behavior objectively, I went out of my way to add, “These behaviors are due to her bad state after recently being dismissed. She is consciously trying to change.” Later, to keep her from being dismissed, at several meetings, I deliberately fellowshiped to help her with her state, but she continued to muddle through as she always had, and there were constantly problems in her duty. There was even one time that she purchased unnecessary items without consulting anyone, and the price was much higher than usual. I was very angry, and wanted to deal with her, but because of our past relationship, I held my temper. I simply persuaded her not to do it again, and to be more careful in her duty. After she agreed not to, I didn’t say any more about it. During that time, the brothers and sisters kept telling me about problems in her work. I wanted to rebuke and deal with her, but when I faced her, I couldn’t open my mouth. The words nearly came out a few times, but I swallowed them. Later, the supervisor came to find out how Sister Li was doing in her duty. She evaluated it based on the principles with the others and determined that Sister Li was unsuitable to continue doing administrative work, and urged me to dismiss her soon. But Sister Li had just been dismissed as the person in charge. If she was now removed from her current duty, how could she stand the blow? Would she be able to take it? At that moment, all the images of her helping me in the past flashed through my mind. In those days, when I thought of facing her, I felt depressed and miserable. For several nights, I tossed and turned, and couldn’t sleep. It felt as bad as when I was dismissed. I couldn’t stop thinking, “She was kind to me before, but now I have to personally dismiss her and expose her behavior. Will she think I’m an ungrateful person and resent me for it?” To avoid my inner condemnation, I wanted to ask the supervisor to fellowship with Sister Li, while I stood behind her and said little, or even made an excuse and didn’t go at all. But I knew motives like this were despicable and shameful, so I felt trapped by the dilemma. In misery, I prayed to God. I said, “God, I know it is right to dismiss Sister Li, but why is it so difficult for me? God, where is my problem? Please guide me in knowing myself.”

After I prayed, I wondered, it wasn’t so difficult when I dismissed other people, so why was I so indecisive about dismissing Sister Li? As I sought, I read these words of God, “Some people are extremely sentimental; every day, in all that they say, and all of the ways they behave toward others, they are living by their emotions. They feel affection for this person and that person, and every day they feel obliged to pay back favors and return good feelings; in everything they do, they live in the realm of emotion. … You could say that emotions are this person’s fatal flaw. Everything they do is ruled by their emotions, they are incapable of practicing the truth, or acting according to principle, and are frequently liable to rebel against God. Emotions are their greatest weakness, their fatal flaw, and are entirely able to bring them to ruin. People who are overly emotional are incapable of putting the truth into practice or obeying God. They are preoccupied by the flesh, foolish and muddle-headed. Such people are especially sentimental by nature, they live by their emotions(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Know Man’s Nature). “What characterizes emotions? Certainly not anything positive. It is a focus on physical relationships and satisfying the predilections of the flesh. Favoritism, making excuses for others, doting, pampering, and indulging all fall under emotions. Some people place great stock in emotions, they react to whatever happens to them based on their emotions; in their hearts, they know full well this is wrong, and yet are still incapable of being objective, much less of acting according to principle. When people are always ruled by emotion, are they capable of practicing the truth? This is extremely difficult. Many people’s inability to practice the truth comes down to emotions; they regard emotions as especially important, they put them in first place. Are they people who love the truth? Certainly not. What are emotions, in essence? They are a kind of corrupt disposition. The manifestations of emotions can be described using several words: favoritism, over-protectiveness, maintenance of physical relationships, partiality; these are what emotions are(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. What Is the Reality of the Truth?). Only after reading God’s words did I realize that dismissing Sister Li caused me so much worry, pain, and embarrassment because my affection for her was too strong and I always felt constrained by my emotions. I thought, because Sister Li once helped me and was kind to me, I had to be grateful to her. When I saw she muddled through her duty, delayed work, and refused to change, I clearly knew I should have pruned and dealt with her, but I feared damaging her self-respect and making her resent me, so I only talked to her about it gently and let the issue rest there. She held incorrect views, but insisted that people listen to her and obey, which ground work discussions to a halt several times, causing a serious disturbance. All the while, I couldn’t bring myself to expose or deal with her. When the supervisor came to ask how Sister Li was doing her duty, I worried she would be dismissed, so I lied and said she was trying to change, hoping to confuse the supervisor and make it impossible for her to judge correctly. When I saw that Sister Li did her duty without principles and wasted offerings, I didn’t rebuke her, and blindly shielded and accommodated her. Now, I had to dismiss her and expose her behavior, and I wanted to ask the supervisor to do it. My emotions were too strong, and I lacked all testimony of practicing the truth. To protect Sister Li, and keep her from resenting me and calling me an ingrate, I continued to protect and indulge her, with no regard for the work of God’s house. I lived in my emotions, cared for her flesh, and protected my personal relationship. I even thought this was lovingly helping her, but actually, I was engaging in worldly philosophy. I wanted Sister Li to approve of me at the cost of harming the interests of God’s house. Everything I did was for myself. I was so evil and despicable! I felt deep remorse. I was acting from emotion, which harmed the work of God’s house and made God hate me. If I continued to act from emotion and not practice the truth, one day I would be cast out.

After that, I wondered, “Why did I do so many things from emotion that went against the principles of truth?” In my search, I read a passage of God’s word, “Motivations are a clear part of people’s state, and one of the most common; in most matters, people have their own thoughts and motivations. When such thoughts and motivations occur, people think them legitimate, but most of the time they are for their own sake, for their own pride and interests, or else to cover something up, or to satisfy themselves in some way. At such times, you must examine how your motivation came about, what produced it. For example, God’s house asks you to do the work of cleansing the church, and there is one individual who has always been careless and perfunctory in their duty, always looking for ways to slack off. According to principle, this person should be removed, but you have a good relationship with them. So what kinds of thoughts and motivations will arise in you? (Acting according to my own preferences.) And what produces these preferences? Because this person has been good to you or has done things for you, you have a good impression of them, and so at this time you want to protect them, and to defend them. Is this not the effect of emotions? You feel emotional toward them, and so take the approach of ‘While the higher authorities have policies, the localities have their counter-measures.’ You’re double-dealing. On the one hand, you say to them, ‘You must try a little harder when you do things. Stop being careless and perfunctory, you have to suffer a little hardship; this is our duty.’ On the other, you reply to the Above and say, ‘They have changed for the better, they are more effective now when they perform their duty.’ But what you’re actually thinking in your mind is, ‘This is because I worked on them. If I hadn’t, they’d still be like they were.’ In your mind, you’re always thinking, ‘They have been nice to me, they can’t be purged!’ What state is it when such things are in your heart? This is harming the work of God’s house by giving up on the principles of the truth and protecting personal emotional relationships. And is there obedience to your doing this? (No.) There is no obedience; there is resistance in your heart. When you have your own ideas, and make subjective judgments, about the things that happen to you and the work you are supposed to do, there are emotional factors mixed in with this. You are doing things based on emotions, and yet still believe that you are acting impartially, that you are giving people the chance to repent, and that you are giving them loving assistance; thus you do as you wish, not as God says. Working in this way is selling the work short, it reduces effectiveness, and harms the church’s work—which is all the outcome of acting according to emotion. If you do not reflect on these things, will you be able to identify the problem here? You never will. You might know that it is wrong to act in this way, that this is a lack of obedience, but you think it over and say to yourself, ‘I must help them with love, and after they have been helped and they get better, there will be no need to purge them. Does God not give people the chance to repent? God loves people, so I must help them with love, and I must do as God asks.’ After thinking these things, you do things your own way. Afterward, your heart feels at ease; you feel that you are practicing the truth. During this process, did you practice according to the truth, or did you act according to your own preferences and motivations? Your actions were wholly according to your own preferences and motivations. Throughout the whole process, you used so-called kindness and love, as well as emotions and interpersonal philosophies, to smooth things over, and you tried to walk the fence. It seemed like you were helping this person with love, but in your heart you were actually controlled by emotion—and, fearing the Above would find out, you tried to win them over with compromise, so that no one was offended and the work got done—which is the same way that the unbelievers try to walk the fence(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Attitude Man Should Have Toward God). I only realized it after reading God’s word. Why did I know Sister Li had problems, yet I didn’t expose her, and I still protected her? It was because I wanted her to approve of me. Actually, I was controlled by the idea that we should “repay a drop of kindness with a fountain of reward.” I used this idea as my principle for interacting with others. I believed people should be affectionate and loyal with others, so if they were kind to me, I had to repay the kindness twice over. Otherwise, I would be ungrateful, and so I would be condemned and cast aside by others. So, when I saw Sister Li helping me and taking care of me, as well as speaking up for me, I felt I had to repay her. When I saw that Sister Li consistently muddled through her duty, I violated principles and harmed the interests of God’s house to not expose and deal with her. More seriously, I kept blindly offering love and fellowship to help her, and I lied and deceived to cover up that she was muddling through and disturbing church work. I did this purely to make people think I was a good person who was grateful and kind to others. Through what God’s word revealed, I finally saw that these ideas and viewpoints only confuse and corrupt people. I lived by these things without knowing right and wrong, and I acted without principles. Outwardly, I was performing my duty, but actually, I did things by my own will, without any obedience to God. I even obstructed church work and resisted God without realizing it! If we believe in God, yet do not practice the truth and still live by these things, no matter how good our outward behavior is and how well we get along with people, in God’s eyes, we are still someone who resists God. Only then did I gain some discernment of these absurd and despicable satanic viewpoints. I saw that these things are all from Satan and run contrary to the truth, They are all contaminated with human interests and desires, and they are evil and ugly. They shouldn’t be the criteria by which I act and conduct myself.

A few days later, I saw another passage of God’s word and gained some understanding of the essence of this matter. God’s words say, “What you are loyal to is not God’s word, not God’s commission for you, and not God, it is satanic philosophy for living and satanic logic. You believe in God while blatantly betraying God and God’s word. This is a serious problem, isn’t it? … This is not merely a failure to keep to God’s word and your duties, this is taking Satan’s schemes and philosophy for living as if they were the truth, and following and practicing them. You are obeying Satan and living by a satanic philosophy, aren’t you? Doing this means you are not a person who obeys God, much less a person who abides by God’s words. You are a scoundrel. Putting God’s words aside, and instead taking a satanic phrase and practicing it as the truth, is betraying the truth and God! You work in God’s house, yet act by the satanic logic and philosophy for living, what kind of person are you? This is someone who rebels against God and someone who gravely shames God. What is the essence of this act? Openly condemning God and openly denying the truth. Isn’t that the essence of it? In addition to not following God’s will, you are allowing Satan’s fallacies and satanic philosophies for living to run rampant in the church. In doing this, you become Satan’s accomplice and aid Satan’s actions in the church. The essence of this problem is serious, isn’t it?(The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Excursus One: What the Truth Is). God’s words felt like they were piercing my heart, especially when He said “a scoundrel,” “betraying the truth,” “someone who gravely shames God,” and “Satan’s accomplice.” These words sank into my heart like sharp swords. I lived by the ideas of traditional culture. In God’s eyes, this was not just emotion causing a momentary failure to practice the truth and safeguard the interests of God’s house, it was being unfaithful to God and my duty. It was denying the truth, and it was shaming and betraying God. The nature of this was very serious! Realizing this, I felt especially distressed and afraid. I didn’t know doing a duty based on satanic thoughts was a serious problem! It took a long time to calm myself down. Later, I read two more passages of God’s words. Almighty God says, “Throughout all of humankind, there is not a single race in which the truth holds dominion. No matter how high, ancient, or mysterious the ideas or traditional culture a race has produced, or the education that has been passed onto it, or the knowledge it possesses, one thing is for sure: None of these things are the truth, or bear any relation to the truth. Some people say, ‘Some of the morals, or the notions for measuring right and wrong, black and white, contained within traditional notions seem pretty close to the truth.’ No matter how close to the truth they are, they are not the truth, and cannot become the truth; this is beyond doubt. They are close in human wording and expression only, but in fact, these traditional notions are incompatible with the truths of God’s words. Although there may be some closeness in the literal sense of these words, they do not share the same source. The words of God come from the Creator, whereas the words, ideas, and views of traditional culture come from Satan and the devils. Some people say, ‘The ideas, views, and famous sayings of traditional culture are universally acknowledged as positive; even if they are lies and fallacies, can they become the truth if people uphold them for several hundred—several thousand—years?’ Absolutely not. Such a viewpoint is as ridiculous as saying apes evolved into men. Traditional culture will never become the truth. Culture is culture, and no matter how noble it is, it is still merely something relatively positive produced by corrupt mankind. But being positive is not equivalent to being the truth, being positive does not make it a criterion; it is merely relatively positive, and nothing more. So is it now clear to us whether, in the context of this ‘positivity,’ its impact on mankind is good or bad? Without a doubt, it has a bad and negative impact on mankind(The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Excursus One: What the Truth Is). “What is the ultimate effect when mankind is infected by, inculcated by, paralyzed by, and influenced by this traditional culture? Mankind is corrupted, duped, and shackled by it. People produce a certain doctrine or spirituality, and then they propagate and spread it, they diffuse it far and wide for the acceptance of others, and ultimately it captures people’s hearts, and everyone approves of this spirituality or idea, and they are all corrupted by this kind of thinking. Once they are corrupted to a certain point, people can no longer tell the difference between right and wrong, they no longer wish to try to distinguish between what is righteous and what is evil, they are no longer willing to try to distinguish between what is positive and what is negative, and the day has even come when they can’t even tell if they are human or not; many perverts don’t even know if they are male or female. How far is such a humankind from destruction? … The whole of mankind has been duped and corrupted by the ideas and supposed spirituality of Satan. And what is the extent of this deception and corruption? People accept the words of Satan as the truth, they worship and follow Satan, and do not understand the words of God and the words of the Creator. No matter what the Creator says, how much the Creator speaks, or how comprehensibly and practically this is stated, people do not understand, what they hear is incomprehensible to them, they are numb and dull-witted, their thoughts and brains have been scrambled. How were they scrambled? They were thrown into chaos by Satan. Satan has completely corrupted people(The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Excursus One: What the Truth Is). In the past, I only knew “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” “In all the universe, only I reign supreme,” and other satanic worldly philosophies are contrary to the truth and not things normal humanity should possess. But for things from traditional culture that seemed to be in line with conscience and morality, like “Repay a drop of kindness with a fountain of reward,” “Repay debts of gratitude,” “Man is not inanimate; how can he be free from emotions?” and other civilized- and noble-sounding traditional morality, I couldn’t discern them. I thought these things were passed down from generation to generation, and good people should follow these concepts. I didn’t exercise discernment in these traditional thoughts, and I regarded them all as positive things to pursue and practice. If I went against these things, I felt guilty, and I feared people would condemn and reject me. Now, through what God’s word revealed, I finally saw that under the control of these ideas and views, people only think about emotions, not principles, and can’t discern good and evil. As long as others were kind to me, even if they were bad or wicked people, and even if helping them was helping do evil, I had to repay my debt and help them. Outwardly, I seemed conscientious, but I was actually confused and stupid, and I had my own motives and intentions. I did it to protect my own good image and reputation, entirely for my own interests. I was very selfish, despicable, and hypocritical. I wasn’t actually a good person at all. If I clung to these satanic philosophies, it could only make me more and more cunning, deceitful, selfish, and evil. I saw that these seemingly noble and legitimate traditional ideas and sayings are simply sugar-coated cannonballs. They sound lofty and in line with human morality and ethics, they are actually hostile to the truth, and this is one of Satan’s means to corrupt people. I realized I had believed in God for many years, but because I didn’t practice the truth and lived by these traditional ideas, I thought about conscience everywhere, and always wanted to repay people’s kindness, I couldn’t discern good and evil. I was such a confused idiot! God has expressed so much truth in the last days and revealed all aspects of the truth that people should practice, in concrete and practical detail, in the hope that we conduct ourselves according to the truth and God’s word, and that we glorify and testify God. But I did my duty purely to maintain my fleshly relationships, didn’t seek the truth, didn’t protect the interests of God’s house, and became someone who shamed and resisted God. When I recognized this, I felt guilt and remorse for all I had done. I came before God and prayed. I said, “God, I live by satanic poisons. I have done too many things that go against the truth and resist You. God, I want to repent and act according to the principles of truth.”

After that, I wondered, since living by these views and ideas from traditional culture didn’t mean I had good humanity, what does it mean to have good humanity? Later, I saw a passage of God’s word that gave me an accurate standard to evaluate things. God’s words say, “There must be a standard for having good humanity. It does not involve taking the path of moderation, not sticking to principles, endeavoring not to offend anyone, currying favor everywhere you go, being smooth and slick with everyone you meet, and making everyone speak well of you. This is not the standard. So what is the standard? It includes treating God, other people, and events with a true heart, and being able to take responsibility. This is plain for all to see; everyone is clear about this in their heart. Moreover, God searches people’s hearts and knows their situation, each and every one; no matter who they are, no one can fool God. Some people always boast that they possess good humanity, that they never speak ill of others, never harm anyone else’s interests, and they claim never to have coveted other people’s property. When there is a dispute over interests, they even prefer to suffer loss than take advantage of others, and everyone else thinks they are good people. However, when performing their duties in God’s house, they are wily and slippery, always scheming for themselves. Never do they think of the interests of God’s house, never do they treat as urgent the things God treats as urgent or think as God thinks, and never can they set aside their own interests so as to perform their duties. They never forsake their own interests. Even when they see evildoers committing evil, they do not expose them; they have no principles whatsoever. What kind of humanity is this? It is not good humanity. Pay no attention to what such a person says; you must see what he lives out, what he reveals, and what his attitude is when he performs his duties, as well as what his internal state is and what he loves. If his love of his own fame and fortune exceeds his loyalty to God, if his love of his own fame and fortune exceeds the interests of God’s house, or if his love of his own fame and fortune exceeds the consideration he shows for God, then is such a person possessed of humanity? This is not someone with humanity(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. In Giving One’s Heart to God, One Can Obtain the Truth). After reading God’s word, I understood that a person of good humanity doesn’t take the path of moderation, so that no one is offended and everyone supports and approves of them. Instead, they love the truth, love positive things, are responsible, uphold the principles of truth, and protect the work of God’s house. People like this are genuinely good people. If you only protect your relationships with people and your own fame and status, and only try to get along well with others, but you are not loyal to God in your duty, and you maintain relationships with people at the cost of harming the work of God’s house, then you are extremely selfish and despicable. No matter how morally acceptable your outward behavior is, it deceives people, and it’s hostile to the truth. I thought about how I lived by these traditional ideas, and disguised myself as a good person. Actually, I only became more and more selfish, deceitful, and evil inside. Everything I did was to protect my reputation and status, and to satisfy my personal ambitions and desires. There wasn’t anything human about me. All I lived out was demonic. In the past, when I judged whether someone had humanity, it was based on my own notions. It didn’t accord with the truth at all, and it wasn’t in line with God’s standards for evaluating people.

Over the next few days, I contemplated how to practice in accordance with the principles of truth and God’s will. In God’s word, I read, “Your relationships with people are not established in the flesh, but on the foundation of God’s love. There are almost no fleshly interactions, but in the spirit there is fellowship, mutual love, mutual comfort, and provision for one another. This is all done on the foundation of a heart that satisfies God. These relationships are not maintained by relying on a human philosophy for living, but are formed very naturally through carrying a burden for God. It does not require man-made effort. You need only practice according to the principles of the word of God. … A normal relationship between people is established on the foundation of giving their hearts to God, and not through human effort. Without God in their hearts, interpersonal relationships between people are merely relationships of the flesh. They are not normal, but rather, are an abandonment to lust. They are relationships that God detests, that He loathes(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. It Is Very Important to Establish a Normal Relationship With God). God requires us to treat people according to the principles of truth, interact with our brothers and sisters on the foundation of love of God, and support and help each other in the truth and in life, not go engage in worldly philosophies of the flesh. Sister Li helped me in the past, and this was God’s arrangements, and even more so, it was God’s love. I should have received it from God. But I attributed all of this to a person, and showed my gratitude to her in everything. I saw that my relationship with Sister Li was based on the flesh, what I did was not in line with God’s will at all, and I had no principles. Actually, when others encounter failures or setbacks and become passive and weak, fellowshiping on God’s words to help and support them is in line with the principles and something we should do, but those who consistently muddle through their duties and are irresponsible, or even disrupt and disturb the work of the church should be restricted, exposed, dealt with, or dismissed. They should never be covered up or protected from emotion. Even in affection, we must act according to principles. Sister Li was irresponsible and derelict in her duties after she was dismissed, and she had no real understanding of her own problems. If I had analyzed her behavior and the nature of the problem using fellowship on God’s word so she could reflect on herself, repent, and change, this would actually have been love for her. It would have helped both her and the work of God’s house. Once I realized this, I suddenly felt a sense of release, and I no longer wanted to maintain my fleshly relationship anymore.

After that, I used God’s word to expose Sister Li’s attitude toward her duty and her various behaviors and dismissed her from her duty. After that fellowship, I felt very secure. Sister Li didn’t resent me, and she could receive it from God. She said that without being dismissed and exposed, she never would have realized what she did could cause such disruption and disturbance, and she had no complaints about how she was treated. When I heard her say that, I truly felt that only by living by God’s word can we genuinely benefit and help people, and I also felt very secure.

Looking at it now, I see that these seemingly civilized and noble things from traditional culture, no matter how many people may tout and admire them, are not the truth. They are all absurd and evil, and they can only harm others and yourself. Only the truth is the criterion for us to act and conduct ourselves. I thank God for setting up these environments to change my mistaken thoughts and views, and I am also grateful for God’s salvation for me!

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