Changes in Duty Exposed Me
By Mu Zhen, USA
I was making videos in the church, but since there wasn’t much to do, the leader transferred me to watering newcomers. Then I was transferred back again to meet the needs of the work. Unexpectedly, a few months later our work slowed down, and I went back to watering. Then I was transferred back yet again, and a sister said to me, “You just go wherever they need you!” I didn’t think much of it at the time. But less than a month later, the video work ebbed again and I couldn’t help but start to worry that soon we wouldn’t need as many people, and I’d be sent back to water newcomers. A lump formed in my throat at that thought. Why was I so useless? As soon as there was a little less work and fewer people were needed, I was the one transferred out. I was dispensable to the team! If I were really transferred again, what would the others think of me? Would they wonder why I was always being moved around, and other people weren’t? They’d think it was because I wasn’t any good, and didn’t have an important role. These thoughts really upset me, and I didn’t want to face that situation.
Some things happened later that put me in an even worse state. Once, we were discussing some issues in a video, and everyone was chiming in with their views—it was a lively discussion. But even after thinking for ages, I still didn’t have any good ideas, or anything to say. At a loss, I just stayed quiet. Everyone was pitching in, but I wasn’t contributing at all. I felt like I didn’t even exist. I was thinking that I had to say something. I had to share something insightful so they wouldn’t overlook me. I really racked my brains and finally managed to express an idea, but no one agreed with me. I was mortified. It was so embarrassing—what would they think of me? It had been eight months since I’d last done video work, so my professional skills and grasp of the principles were worse than they’d been when I left the team. I’d fallen way behind the others. You have to study constantly to improve those kinds of skills, and the others had been doing video work the whole time. Their grasp of the skills and the principles had kept improving, whereas I’d spent a bit of time here and a bit of time there. I hadn’t practiced for very long in any one place, so I wasn’t particularly skilled in any field. As soon as there was less work, I was the first to go. They were fine with or without me. Based on the workload, I thought that the supervisor might send me back to water newcomers at any time. That idea really upset me, and I couldn’t stop myself from crying. I wondered, “Why does this always happen to me?” Some people on the team had professional skills, some were competent, others were experienced and had done this duty for a while, some were really efficient…. They all stood out in one way or another, but my caliber wasn’t as good as theirs, I wasn’t as skilled, and I was always one step behind them. So when the workload lightened and fewer people were needed, naturally, I was the one who got cut. If I had great caliber and professional skills like them, I wouldn’t be transferred all the time, but unfortunately, I didn’t. Why wasn’t I as skilled as the others? The more I thought like this, the sadder I felt, and I began to misunderstand God.
After that, even though I was doing my duty, I didn’t feel motivated. I just followed the prescribed routine in everything, content with whatever I got done. I didn’t think about how to work more efficiently to accomplish more. I didn’t do my best to resolve the problems I encountered. I didn’t know how long I’d stay on the team, so I’d just leave things be. During that time, I felt really anxious whenever the team leader came to speak to me, thinking he was maybe going to talk about adjusting my duty. My heart would race until I learned that it was just a normal work conversation. This happened over and over, which made every day exhausting. I was getting enough sleep, but I kept nodding off during my devotionals, and I wasn’t gaining insight from God’s words. I was aware that my state was wrong, so I hurried before God to pray and seek, and reflect on my problem. Later, I read a passage of God’s words that helped me understand myself. Almighty God says, “What are your principles for conducting yourselves? You should conduct yourselves according to your station, find the right station for you, and perform the duty that you ought to; only this is someone with sense. By way of example, there are people who are adept at certain professional skills and have a grasp of the principles, and they should take on that responsibility and make the final checks in that area; there are people who can provide ideas and insights, inspiring others and helping them to perform their duties better—they should then provide ideas. If you can find the right station for you and work in harmony with your brothers and sisters, you will be fulfilling your duty, and you will be conducting yourself according to your station. If it is yours to be able only to provide a few of your thoughts, but you would like to provide other things, and you end up trying very hard to do so, yet are still unable; and then, when others provide those other things, you are uncomfortable, and do not wish to listen, and your heart is pained and constrained, and you blame God and say God is unjust—then this is ambition. What disposition is it that engenders ambition in a person? An arrogant disposition engenders ambition. These states can certainly arise in you at any time, and if you do not seek the truth to resolve them, and have no life entry, and cannot change in this regard, then the degrees of qualification and purity with which you do your duties will be low, and the results will also not be very good. This is not performing your duty satisfactorily and means that God has not attained glory from you. God has given every person different talents and gifts. Some people have talents in two or three areas, some have talent in one area, and some have no talents at all—if you can approach these matters correctly, then you will have a sense of reason. People who have a sense of reason will be able to find their stations, conduct themselves according to their stations and perform their duties well. A person who can never find their station is a person who always has ambition. They always pursue status and benefit. They are never satisfied with what they have. To get more benefits, they try to take as much as they can; they always hope to satisfy their extravagant desires. They think that if they have gifts and their caliber is good, they should enjoy more of God’s grace, and that having some extravagant desires is not a mistake. Does this kind of person have sense? Is it not shameless to always have extravagant desires? People who have a conscience and sense can feel that it is shameless. People who understand the truth will not do these foolish things. If you hope to fulfill your duty loyally so as to repay God’s love, this is not an extravagant desire. This is in line with the conscience and reason of normal humanity. This makes God happy. If you truly wish to perform your duty well, you must first find the right station for you, and then do what you can with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your strength, and do your very best. This is satisfactory, and such performance of duty has a degree of purity. This is what a real created being should do” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Principles That Should Guide One’s Conduct). God’s words showed me that I’d been feeling down because my wild desires hadn’t been satisfied. The others didn’t admire or value me, and I wasn’t able to change my circumstances, so I misunderstood and blamed God, feeling that what He gave me wasn’t good enough. My duty had changed twice because the work had slowed down, and I was possibly facing a third transfer less than a month after coming back. In this situation, I felt like I was the worst one on the team, the dispensable one, and that there was no value to my existence. I just couldn’t accept this reality, and I was miserable. In the work discussion, I didn’t want to seem too subpar, so I racked my brains, and tried to express some valuable, insightful opinions, but my suggestions were shot down and I felt totally humiliated. And seeing how far behind my skills were than the others, left me feeling out of sorts and disgruntled. I thought I wasn’t very skilled at anything because my duty kept changing, and that I was on the bottom rung wherever I went, and might be transferred anytime. I secretly compared myself to the others. I felt that they all had strengths and excelled in a certain area, and that I was subpar in every way and also had a fatal flaw—being slow at everything. Unable to face that reality, I blamed God for not giving me good caliber. I felt depressed and wronged, and lacked drive in my duty. But actually, God gives everyone different gifts, strengths, and caliber. We’re ordained to do different duties—it’s all orchestrated by God. A person with reason has a heart of submission. They take their station according to their strengths, and put themselves to good use. But I didn’t submit at all—I wasn’t willing to be the least important one. I pursued a place in others’ hearts, and their respect and admiration, and I slacked off when I didn’t get it. I was devoid of reason. God didn’t give me great caliber, but He didn’t demand much of me, either. He just wanted me to find the right station, and put my all into my duty. It was enough for me to just do what I could. But I was so arrogant and devoid of reason. I wasn’t good at anything, and didn’t want to face reality. I harbored wild ambitions of becoming a success overnight and gaining others’ esteem. As a result, I used up lots of energy but never achieved that, and felt negative. I was tormenting myself.
Later on, I wondered: Why did I always envy others’ gifts and strengths? Why was I always trying to gain a place in people’s hearts, and didn’t want to fall behind? What was the root cause of this? In my seeking, I found this in God’s words: “For an antichrist, status and prestige are their life, and their lifelong goal. In all they do, their first consideration is: ‘What will happen to my status? And to my prestige? Will doing this give me prestige? Will it elevate my status in people’s minds?’ That is the first thing they think about, which is ample proof that they have the disposition and essence of antichrists; they would not consider these problems otherwise. It can be said that for an antichrist, status and prestige are not some additional requirement, much less something extraneous that they could do without. They are part of the nature of antichrists, they are in their bones, in their blood, they are innate to them. Antichrists are not indifferent toward whether they possess status and prestige; this is not their attitude. Then, what is their attitude? Status and prestige are intimately connected to their daily lives, to their daily state, to what they strive for on a daily basis. And so for antichrists, status and prestige are their life. No matter how they live, no matter what environment they live in, no matter what work they do, no matter what they strive for, what their goals are, what their life’s direction is, it all revolves around having a good reputation and a high station. And this aim does not change; they can never put aside such things. This is the true face of the antichrists, and their essence. … If they feel that they have no prestige or status, that no one admires them, or venerates them, or follows them, then they are very frustrated, they believe there is no point in believing in God, no value to it, and they say to themselves, ‘Is such faith in God a failure? Is it hopeless?’ They often deliberate such things in their hearts, they deliberate how they can carve a place out for themselves in the house of God, how they can have a lofty reputation in the church, so that people listen when they talk, and support them when they act, and follow them wherever they go; so that they have a voice in the church, a reputation, so that they enjoy benefits, and have status—they really focus on such things. These are what such people pursue” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine (Part Three)). God reveals that antichrists really treasure prestige and status. In everything they do, they’re always thinking of their place among others. They make prestige and status their life and the object of their pursuit. If they don’t have prestige or people’s admiration, they feel depressed, to the point of losing all interest in things. Wasn’t I acting just like that? When I was transferred back and forth, I felt like I’d become a dispensable, peripheral person without any status, apparently unimportant, so I felt really upset. When discussing issues, I didn’t have any valuable ideas to contribute, and no one accepted the views I expressed. I felt like I was the worst on the team, that no one looked up to me, and it seemed like my life had no value. I became weak and negative, misunderstanding and blaming God. I made prestige and status my life, and slacked off and lacked motivation when I didn’t get them. I cared far too much about these things. I reflected on why I always chased them. It was because I’d fallen prey to the influence of satanic poisons like: “Rise to the top,” “A man’s legacy is his life’s echo,” and “Men should always strive to be better than their contemporaries.” I thought they were the most legitimate aims in life, and that pursuing them meant having aspiration. I worked really hard in school. I came top in my class in nearly every test in middle school and high school. I was really popular and often praised by my classmates and teachers. I felt that only that kind of life was worth living. After joining the church and taking on a duty, I kept living by those satanic poisons, and really cared about my place in others’ hearts, always trying to show off my worth and get people to admire me. Even though I wasn’t a team leader or supervisor, I had to be someone important, who others would approve of. When I didn’t get that and my ambitions went unsatisfied, I complained and felt discontented with God’s sovereign arrangements. I didn’t dare say anything, but in my heart I was opposing God, and I slacked off in my duty. I brought myself nothing but misery and torment from living by those satanic poisons, and I was on the wrong side of God, reasoning and bargaining with Him, even doubting His righteousness and opposing Him. At that rate, I would offend God’s disposition and be cast out by Him. I thought of God’s words: “People must be sure not to hold ambition or entertain idle dreams, not to seek fame, gains, and status or to stand out from the crowd. Moreover, they must not try to be a person of greatness or superhuman, who is superior among men and makes others worship them. That is the desire of corrupt humanity, and it is the path of Satan; God does not save such people. If people incessantly pursue fame, gains, and status and refuse to repent, then there is no cure for them, and there is only one outcome for them: to be cast out” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Proper Fulfillment of Duty Requires Harmonious Cooperation). Before, I never realized how serious those consequences are. I thought that I wouldn’t do great evil like an antichrist or disrupt the church’s work, and that at most, I just felt negative and upset when I couldn’t gain others’ admiration. But then I saw that wasn’t the case at all. On the surface, it didn’t seem like I’d done anything terrible, but I was dissatisfied with the situation God had set up, and always complaining. I was going against God in my heart. I was resisting God! How could God possibly save someone like me? I thought of a sister I’d worked with before. She was enthusiastic in her duty at first, and got elected as leader, but later she was dismissed and lost her prestige and status. She was constantly negative because she couldn’t gain others’ admiration, and ultimately she forsook God and left. If people always chase prestige and status, when their ambitions aren’t satisfied, they become negative, misunderstand and blame God. They struggle with God, or even forsake Him. At this point, I realized that I was in a dangerous state. I didn’t want to keep resisting God, I wanted to cast off the constraints of prestige and status.
In my devotionals, I read a couple of passages of God’s words. “When God requires that people fulfill their duty well, He is not asking them to complete a certain number of tasks, or accomplish any great endeavors, nor to perform any great undertakings. What God wants is for people to be able to do all they can in a down-to-earth way, and live in accordance with His words. God does not need you to be great or honorable, nor does He need you to bring about any miracles, nor does He want to see any pleasant surprises in you. He does not need such things. All God needs is for you to steadfastly practice according to His words. When you listen to God’s words, do what you have understood, carry out what you have comprehended, remember what you have heard, and then, when the time comes to practice, practice according to God’s words, so that God’s words may become your life, your realities, and what you live out. Thus, God will be satisfied” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Proper Fulfillment of Duty Requires Harmonious Cooperation). “If God made you foolish, then there is meaning in your foolishness; if He made you bright, then there is meaning in your brightness. Whatever expertise God gives you, whatever your strengths, however high your IQ, they all have a purpose for God. All these things were preordained by God. The role you play in your life and the duty you fulfill were ordained by God long ago. Some people see that others possess expertise they do not and are discontent. They want to change things by learning more, seeing more, and being more diligent. But there is a limit to what their diligence can achieve, and they cannot surpass those with gifts and expertise. No matter how much you fight, it is useless. God has ordained what you will be, and there is nothing anyone can do to change it. Whatever you are good at, that is where you should make an effort. Whatever duty you are suited to is the duty you should perform. Do not try to force yourself into areas outside your skillset and do not envy others. Everyone has their function. Do not think that you can do everything well, or that you are more perfect or better than others, always desiring to replace others and put yourself on display. This is a corrupt disposition. There are those who think that they cannot do anything well, and that they have no skills at all. If that is the case, you should just be a person who listens and obeys in a down-to-earth manner. Do what you can do and do it well, with all your strength. That is enough. God will be satisfied” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Principles That Should Guide One’s Conduct). I saw from God’s words that it isn’t His will for us to become great people. He hopes we’ll be grounded and act according to our stations, do our duties, focus on practicing His words, and be obedient created beings. Whatever caliber or professional capabilities we have, it’s due to God’s sovereign arrangements. I had to learn to accept and submit, and put all that God had given me to good use based on my strengths, and do my best. My skills weren’t as good as the others’, but I wasn’t incapable of doing the work. Since the church had arranged for me to do that duty, I had to steadfastly give it my all, and do whatever I could. When discussing work, I only needed to talk about things I understood. If I lacked insight or didn’t know the principles, I needed to seek and fellowship with the others, listen to their ideas, and learn from their strengths to make up for my weaknesses. At this thought, my heart brightened, and I had a path and direction for practice. I used to think of being transferred as something embarrassing. When it happened, I felt that it proved that I was the worst, so I couldn’t approach it properly. Thinking about it now, that was a problem with my perspective. God gives everyone different gifts, strengths, and caliber, and has different requirements of everyone. It’s true that my skills weren’t that great, so when the team didn’t have that much work, the church adjusted my duty based on my strengths. That was in line with the principles and benefited the church’s work. Moreover, when God measures a person, it’s not just based on whether they can do a job well, but on whether they pursue the truth, truly submit to Him, and are devoted in their duty. Thinking about this brightened my heart, and I no longer felt constrained by changes to my duty. I also knew exactly what I should pursue. I prayed to God, “Oh God, thank You for enlightening me and helping me to understand Your will. I don’t know when I might be transferred, but I’m ready to submit to Your arrangements. No matter where I do my duty, I only want to give it my all and satisfy You. Please guide me!”
After shifting my outlook, the state of my duty changed too. I always thought that I wasn’t like the others, that I was just a temporary team member who might leave at any time. I felt like I was on the lowest rung and had no sense of belonging. I misunderstood and felt distant from God, and didn’t give my all to my duty. But I don’t feel that way anymore. No matter where I do a duty or for how long, God’s good will is behind it, so I should learn to submit. Even if I have to leave later on, I’m making videos now, and I have to do my best every day, and put my heart into my duty and every situation that I experience. When I do my duty, I often pray to God, asking Him to guide me to become more efficient. I also give thought to what issues there are in my work, so I can summarize and rectify them quickly. When I encounter principles I don’t understand, I fellowship with the others. I feel at ease performing my duty this way, and I feel closer to God.
In a gathering, I read a passage of God’s words that really touched me. Almighty God says, “What should people do in response to God’s arrangements of and sovereignty over their fates? (Submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements.) First, you should seek on why the Creator has arranged this kind of a fate and environment for you, why He makes you encounter and experience certain things, and why your fate is the way it is. From this, you should understand your own needs and God’s sovereignty and arrangements. After you understand and know these things, you should not resist, make your own choices about, reject, contradict, or avoid your fate. Of course, you also should not try to bargain with God. Instead, you should submit. Why should you submit? Because you cannot orchestrate your fate and you do not have sovereignty over it. Your fate is determined by God. You are an object of creation, and, when it comes to your fate, you are passive and you have no choices. The only thing you should do is submit. You should not make your own choices about your fate or avoid it, you should not bargain with God, and you should not contradict God or complain. Of course, you should especially not say things like, ‘The fate God has arranged for me is bad. It’s miserable and it’s worse than the fate of others,’ or ‘My fate is bad and I don’t get to enjoy any happiness or prosperity. God has arranged things badly for me.’ These words are judgments and by speaking them, you are overstepping your authority. They are not words that should be spoken by an object of creation and they are not perspectives or attitudes that an object of creation should have. Instead, you should let go of these various false understandings, definitions, views, and comprehensions of fate. At the same time, you should be able to adopt a correct attitude and stance so as to submit to all of the things that will happen as part of the fate God has arranged for you. You should not resist, and you should certainly not be depressed and complain that Heaven is not fair, that God has arranged things badly for you, and not provided you with the very best. Objects of creation do not have the right to choose their fate. God did not give you this kind of obligation and He did not bestow this right upon you. So, you should not try to make choices, reason with God, or make additional requests of Him. You should conform to and face God’s arrangements, no matter what they are. You should face and try to experience and appreciate whatever God has arranged. You should completely submit to everything that you should experience through God’s arrangements. You should comply with the fate that God has arranged for you. Even if you do not like something, or if you suffer because of it, even if it threatens and suppresses your pride and dignity, so long as it is something that you should experience, something that God has orchestrated and arranged for you, you should submit to it and you have no choice about it. Because God arranges people’s fates and has sovereignty over them, they cannot be negotiated with Him. So, if people are sensible and possess the reason of normal humanity, they should not complain that their fate is bad or that this thing or that thing is not good for them. They should not approach their duty, their life, the road that they follow in their faith, the situations that God has arranged, or His demands of them with a depressed attitude just because they feel that their fate is bad” (The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth. How to Pursue the Truth (2)). Contemplating God’s words showed me more clearly how to approach God’s sovereign arrangements. All of our fates are in God’s hands. What kind of family a person is born into, what kind of education they get, their gifts and strengths, when they come to the church and take on a duty, and what duty they do, are all arranged by God, and God’s good will is behind them. Before, I never understood why I was always being transferred, but after giving it careful thought, I saw that it was really what I needed. Without these experiences, I wouldn’t have seen how bad my desire for prestige and status was. I would still think that I’d changed a bit, and be unaware of how deep-rooted Satan’s philosophies were in me, and that they’d made me lose the reason of normal humanity and oppose God, and I wouldn’t see that I’d be cast out if I kept pursuing them. Going through this, I gained some clarity on my mistaken views about pursuing prestige and status, and I realized that it’s not the right path, it’s a way for Satan to corrupt and harm humans. I also learned that I should approach my own caliber correctly, accept and submit to God’s arrangements, be able to stand in my station, and be a created being with reason. No matter if I’m transferred in the future, no matter what duty I do, I need to submit to God’s sovereign arrangements, seek His will, adapt to, experience, and immerse myself in every situation He arranges for me, and strive to gain something and learn about myself through them.
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