The Consequences of Blind Trust in a Person

September 28, 2022

By Li Shuang, the Philippines

In November of 2020, some brothers and sisters accused my partner, Sister Wang, of not doing practical work and being a false leader. Our superior confirmed this to be true after verifying it and dismissed her. After that, he asked me, “You were her partner. Did you know that Sister Wang wasn’t doing practical work?” I faltered and couldn’t explain clearly, so he dealt with me for only focusing on my own work in my duty, disregarding other work, and for being selfish, despicable, and irresponsible. Later, others said I protected Sister Wang, and that I was covering for her. Faced with such an environment, I knew there must be lessons for me to learn, so I started to reflect on myself. Before Sister Wang was dismissed, I had received a report accusing her. The letter, written by the gospel workers, reported that she didn’t do practical work, she didn’t fellowship on the truth to solve things when the gospel workers had difficulties, and she merely asked about the progress of the work. What’s more, she rarely asked about the state of the brothers and sisters performing their duties, and when she did, she was just going through the motions. At gatherings, when the brothers and sisters asked her questions, she’d just say a few perfunctory words and leave, without solving the actual problems…. I didn’t quite believe it at the time. How could Sister Wang not be doing practical work? She was not only responsible for gospel work, but also for video work. I thought she might be busy following up on video work, so she didn’t have time to solve the problems of the brothers and sisters doing gospel work. Sister Wang was responsible for many aspects of work, so I thought it was normal that she couldn’t handle every job well. Whenever our superior came to ask about work progress, she could answer fluently. How could she have mastered these situations if she didn’t do practical work? Could it be that they didn’t treat Sister Wang correctly and didn’t consider her difficulties? Besides, she wasn’t superhuman. She couldn’t do everything well. They couldn’t blame her for everything. When I thought about it like this, I didn’t take the report to heart. I just told the gospel supervisor about the situation. She later told me that the content of the letter was basically true, but I still didn’t take it seriously. I felt there are no leaders or workers without deviations or deficiencies in their work. It wasn’t such a big problem, so there was no need to treat it like it was, and I just left it at that. Thinking about it now is frightening. After I received the report, why didn’t I investigate and verify in detail? I didn’t discuss how to handle it with my co-workers, nor did I tell my superior. I just quietly shelved the letter. Wasn’t this just covering for Sister Wang? The more I thought about it, the sadder I felt. I also asked myself: Why did I have no principles in my actions? In a matter as serious as the brothers and sisters reporting a false leader, how could I just let it go so easily? Why was I so sure that Sister Wang could do practical work? What was I basing this on?

Later, after reading a passage of God’s words, I gained a little understanding of this issue. “How can it be judged whether a leader is fulfilling their responsibilities, whether they are a false leader? Most fundamental is to look at whether they are able to do real work, at whether or not they have this caliber. Secondly, look at whether they actually do real work. Ignore what their mouths say and what kind of understanding of the truth they have; when they do superficial work, don’t focus on whether they have caliber, whether they are talented and gifted, whether they do this work well or not—these things are not important. What is crucial is whether they are able to properly carry out the most fundamental work of the church, whether they are able to solve problems using the truth, whether they can lead people into the reality of the truth. This work is what’s most fundamental and essential. If they are incapable of doing this real work, then no matter how good their caliber is, how talented they are, how able to endure hardship and pay a price they are, they are still a false leader. Some people say, ‘Forget that they haven’t done any real work. They are of good caliber and capable. Train them for a while and they are bound to be able to do real work. What’s more, they haven’t done anything bad, or committed any evil or caused any interruptions and interference, either—how can you say they are a false leader?’ How to explain this? Forget how talented you are, how great your caliber is, or how well-educated you are; what matters is whether or not you do real work, and whether or not you fulfill the responsibilities of a leader. During your time as leader, did you take part in every specific piece of work within the scope of your responsibility, how many problems that arose during work did you effectively solve, how many people, because of your work, your leadership, your guidance, came to understand the principles of the truth, how much of the work of the church was advanced and pushed forward? These are what matter. Forget how many mantras you can repeat, how many words and doctrines you have mastered, forget how many hours you spend toiling each day, how exhausted you are, and forget how much time you have spent out on the road, how many churches you have visited, how many risks you have taken, how much you have suffered—forget all this. Just look at how effective the work within your scope of responsibilities has been, whether it has achieved any outcomes, how many of the arrangements of God’s house and the targets you are supposed to reach you have achieved, how many of them you have brought to fruition, how well you have brought them to fruition, how well they have been followed up, how many issues relating to problems of oversights, deviations, or violation of principle that appeared in the work you solved, rectified, made up for, and how many problems relating to HR, admin, or various specialist tasks you helped solve, and whether you solved them according to principle and the requirements of the house of God, and so on—these are all standards by which to test whether a leader or worker is fulfilling their responsibilities” (The Word Appears in the Flesh, Vol. 4, Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers). After contemplating God’s words, I understood that to evaluate whether a leader is qualified, the most crucial principle is to see if they can do practical work, whether they actually do practical work, whether their work can give people a path, and whether they can solve practical problems in others’ life entry and their duties. If they can’t do this, no matter how high their caliber and gifts or how well they can speak, they are false leaders, and they must be dismissed. Looking at Sister Wang, although she did some practical work in the past, after the workload increased, she began to indulge the flesh and crave comfort. She never actually guided the work of the brothers and sisters, and although she asked about the work sometimes, she was just going through the motions. She didn’t focus on finding problems, she merely asked about the progress of work, so when there were problems and deviations in the brothers’ and sisters’ work, she didn’t understand them at all. When they had difficulties and negativity in their duties, she rarely offered help or fellowship, which directly affected the progress of gospel work. When some brothers and sisters revealed corrupt dispositions and sought help from her, her responses were perfunctory, she didn’t care about or try to solve their problems, and they never gained anything from her. Judging from Sister Wang’s behavior, she only wanted to do things which made her look good. But when she needed to suffer, pay a price, and solve actual problems, she avoided things. She really didn’t do practical work. I judged her based on my previous evaluations and impressions on her. I lived in notions and imaginings. I was so foolish.

Later, I reflected on myself, and wondered why I could believe in myself and Sister Wang so much. What was the root of this problem? I read a passage of God’s words. Almighty God says, “False leaders will not look into supervisors who are not doing actual work, or who are neglecting their responsibilities. They think they just need to choose a supervisor and everything will be fine; afterward, the supervisor will handle all work matters, and all they need to do is hold assembly every so often, they won’t need to keep an eye on work or ask how it’s going, they can stay hands-off. If someone reports a problem with a supervisor, the false leader will say, ‘It’s just a minor problem, it’s fine. You can handle it yourself. Don’t ask me.’ The person who reports the issue says, ‘That supervisor is a lazy glutton. They do nothing but eat and entertain themselves, and they are bone idle. They don’t want to suffer even a little bit of hardship in their duty, and they always find ways to cheat and make up excuses to avoid their work and responsibilities. They are unqualified to be a supervisor.’ The false leader will answer, ‘They were fine when they were selected as supervisor. What you’re saying isn’t true, or even if it is, it’s just a temporary manifestation.’ The false leader doesn’t try and find out more about the supervisor’s situation, but judges and determines the matter based on their past impressions of the person. Regardless of who reports problems with the supervisor, the false leader ignores it. The supervisor is out of their depth, they are not competent enough to complete their work, and are already close to messing it all up—but the false leader doesn’t care. It’s bad enough that when someone reports the supervisor’s issues, they turn a blind eye. But what is most despicable of all? When people tell them about really serious issues the supervisor is having, they don’t try and sort these out, and even come out with all sorts of excuses: ‘I know this supervisor, they truly believe in God, they would never have any problems. Even if they did, God would protect them and discipline them. If they make any mistakes, that is between them and God—we need not concern ourselves.’ This is how false leaders work: according to their own notions and imaginings. They pretend to understand the truth, and to have faith—with the result that they make a mess of church work, or even bring it to a standstill, all the while they feign ignorance. Are they not just paper pushers? False leaders are incapable of doing real work, nor do they approach the work of group leaders and supervisors with any seriousness. Their view of people is only based on their own impressions and imaginings. Seeing someone acquitting themselves well for a time, they believe this person will be good forevermore, that they will not change; they do not believe anyone who says there is a problem with this person, they ignore it when someone points something out about the person. … False leaders are too conceited, are they not? What they think is, ‘I wasn’t wrong when I spotted this person. Nothing could go awry; they are definitely not someone who messes around, who likes to have fun and hates hard work. They are absolutely dependable and trustworthy. They will not change; if they did, that would mean I was wrong about them, wouldn’t it?’ What kind of logic is this? Are you some kind of expert? Do you have x-ray vision? Is this your special skill? You could live with this person for one or two years, but would you be able to see who they really are without a suitable environment to lay their nature and essence utterly bare? If they were not exposed by God, you could live side-by-side with them for three, or even five, years, and would still struggle to see just what kind of nature and essence they have. And how much more is that true when you rarely see them, are rarely with them? You blithely trust them based on a fleeting impression or someone else’s positive appraisal of them, and dare to entrust the work of the church to such people. In this, are you not being extremely blind? Are you not being impetuous? And when they work like this, are the false leaders not being extremely irresponsible?” (The Word Appears in the Flesh, Vol. 4, Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers). From God’s word, I saw that false leaders often judge people based on their notions and imaginings. They trust people based only on their temporary behavior, and then they completely hand over church work to them and start to let go, and during this they never seek the principles of truth or listen to others who report on problems. They just believe themselves and cling to their own opinions. They are extremely arrogant, and they are completely irresponsible. Wasn’t my behavior the same as what God revealed? I thought Sister Wang was responsible for a lot of tasks and was busy every day, and yet she could answer fluently when our superior asked about the work, so I determined she was doing practical work. When the brothers and sisters reported her, I didn’t take it seriously. I felt they were asking too much of her and putting all the blame on her. Later, I learned that Sister Wang did show some signs of not doing practical work, but I thought, “No one is perfect, so there must be good reasons why some jobs weren’t done well, and it isn’t a big problem.” Because of my arrogance, self-righteousness, and self-confidence, the problem of Sister Wang wasn’t resolved for a long time, which hindered the work of the church and harmed the life entry of the brothers and sisters. When I saw God reveal that false leaders are conceited and judge others based on their notions, I was heartbroken. I really was too conceited. I lacked the realities of truth, I couldn’t discern people, and moreover, I couldn’t see people’s essence. What’s more, I never actually supervised or inspected Sister Wang’s work, how she implemented or followed up on the various tasks of the church, whether actual problems were solved, or whether actual work was done. I didn’t know anything about these things, and I rarely asked about them. How could I trust her so rashly? Even when I asked my friend to help me buy things before, I wasn’t reassured. I worried that when she was helping me choose items, she wasn’t carefully checking the quality of the items. What if she bought defective products that didn’t last very long? So, I gave her countless warnings. When she brought the things back, I still checked them carefully. If they were unsuitable, I wanted to return them promptly to avoid suffering any losses. When it came to my personal interests, I didn’t dare trust anyone lightly. But in the major matter of my brothers and sisters reporting a false leader, I blindly believed Sister Wang based on my temporary impression of her. I didn’t attend to her work at all, and I didn’t take it seriously when someone accused her. I was too irresponsible with church work. If I’d been responsible and bore a burden with church work, I would have actually supervised and inspected Sister Wang’s work instead of just listening to the good things she said, trusting her blindly, and shelving the report letter. During this process, I didn’t even have an attitude of seeking the truth. It was truly arrogant and irrational of me to believe only in my own opinion. I treated church work too irresponsibly.

Later, I read another passage of God’s words, “If, in your heart, you truly understand the truth, then you will know how to practice the truth and obey God, and will naturally embark on the path of pursuing the truth. If the path you walk is the right one, and in line with God’s will, then the work of the Holy Spirit will not leave you—in which case there will be less and less chance of you betraying God. Without the truth, it is easy to do evil, and you will do it despite yourself. For example, if you have an arrogant and conceited disposition, then being told not to oppose God makes no difference, you can’t help yourself, it is beyond your control. You would not do it on purpose; you would do it under the domination of your arrogant and conceited nature. Your arrogance and conceit would make you look down on God and see Him as being of no account; they would cause you to exalt yourself, constantly put yourself on display; they would make you scorn others, they would leave no one in your heart but yourself; they would rob you of God’s place in your heart, and ultimately cause you to sit in the place of God and demand that people submit to you, and make you venerate your own thoughts, ideas, and notions as the truth. So much evil is done by people under the dominance of their arrogant and conceited nature!” (The Word Appears in the Flesh, Vol. 2, Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition). After reading God’s words, I felt very ashamed. I was the arrogant person revealed in God’s word. In dealing with reports, a rational person with a God-fearing heart would be cautious, look at the problem from a fair and just perspective, not rashly trust either side, nor arbitrarily decide a case. They would check and verify the problem exposed by the brothers and sisters, and then handle things in accordance with principles. But after I received the report, I didn’t seek the principles of handling reports at all, and I didn’t go into the details of whether the issues reported were true. Instead, I stood on Sister Wang’s side and judged those who wrote the accusation letter. Even when the supervisor learned that the reported problems were true, and the facts were laid out in front of me, I still ignored, and I disdained what others had verified. I was truly arrogant and stubborn. I had no fear of God whatsoever. I believed so much in myself that I rashly shelved the letter without verifying or handling it. Wasn’t this just standing on the side of a false leader to protect her? My brothers and sisters had had the courage to report a false leader. They had a sense of justice, and they were upholding the work of the church. As a leader, I should have supported them and verified the report according to principles, and if it was determined Sister Wang was a false leader, I should have rushed to transfer or dismiss her. But I took this legitimate report as asking too much of the leaders and workers. In essence, I was shielding a false leader. and not allowing the brothers and sisters to have any objections to the leaders or workers. Wasn’t this the same as the officials of the great red dragon who protect each other? In the outside world, where officials rule and call the shots, the common people have no right to speak. They don’t even dare to say “no” to leaders, out of fear things will be made difficult for them. In severe cases, people are even tortured. But in God’s house, the truth reigns, and it is God who holds power. God’s house treats people according to principles. No matter a person’s status, if they don’t do practical work or practice the truth, the church will verify, investigate, and handle the matter according to principles. This shows God’s righteousness, which is completely different from the outside world. But I, as a leader, didn’t handle or resolve the report after receiving it. Instead, in my arrogance, I defended whoever I wanted to, and had no principles of truth. This was the behavior of a false leader. The thought made me shiver with fear. Because I had acted without principles, the brothers and sisters had lived under a false leader, their situations and difficulties couldn’t be resolved, and they lived in pain and darkness. Wasn’t I just harming my brothers and sisters? I was truly detestable! I came before God and prayed, “God, I don’t want to do things according to my own will anymore. Please guide me in resolving my arrogant disposition.”

Later, I searched for a path of practice to resolve my arrogant disposition in God’s words. In God’s words, I read, “How should you reflect on yourself, and try to know yourself, when you have done something that violates the principles of the truth and is displeasing to God? When you were about to do that thing, did you pray to Him? Did you ever consider, ‘Is doing things in this way in line with the truth? How would this matter be viewed by God if it were brought before Him? Would He be happy or irritated if He knew about it? Would He detest or be disgusted by it?’ You did not seek it out, did you? Even if others reminded you, you would still think that the matter was no big deal, and that it did not run against any principles and was not a sin. As a result, you offended God’s disposition and provoked Him to anger, even to the point of His despising you. This is produced by people’s rebelliousness. Therefore, you should seek the truth in all things. This is what you must follow. If you can earnestly come before God to pray beforehand, and then seek the truth according to God’s words, you will not go wrong. You may have some deviations in your practice of the truth, but this is hard to avoid, and you will be able to practice correctly after you gain some experience. However, if you know how to act in accordance with the truth, yet don’t practice it, the problem is your dislike of the truth. Those who do not love the truth will never seek it, no matter what may happen to them. Only those who love the truth have hearts that fear God, and when things happen that they don’t understand, they are able to seek the truth. If you can’t grasp God’s will and don’t know how to practice, then you should seek the truth through fellowship with someone who understands the truth. If you can’t find someone who understands the truth, you should find a few people to pray to God together with one mind and one heart, seek from God, await God’s time, and wait for God to open a way for you. As long as you all yearn for the truth, seek the truth, and fellowship on the truth together, the time may come when one of you comes up with a good solution. If you all find the solution suitable and it is a good way, then this may have been due to the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. If you then continue to fellowship together to come up with a more accurate path of practice, it will certainly be in line with the principles of truth” (The Word Appears in the Flesh, Vol. 2, Part Three). God’s words pointed out the path of practice. To do our duty in accordance with God’s will, we must have a heart that fears God. When we do things, we must be able to seek, and figure out whether there is a basis in God’s word, whether it is in line with principles, and what God’s will is. In this way, by often examining ourselves, we can avoid going our own way and doing things that disrupt the work of the church. In addition, we must be able to deny ourselves, and listen to the suggestions of our brothers and sisters with an open mind. Especially in things we aren’t clear on and that involve important church work, we must seek and fellowship with co-workers, and act with principles after reaching a consensus. If we blindly believe in ourselves and do what we want, it is easy to do things that offend God. Through this failure, I saw that I had no realities of truth, nor could I discern people. When things befell me after that, I didn’t dare blindly insist on my own opinion, and I could consciously deny myself and seek the principles of truth.

Later, I started watering newcomers, and I was responsible for the work of a group. Once, the leader asked me to monitor and inspect the work of some brothers and sisters. I knew all of these people, and they were all quite down-to-earth, so I thought I might not need to investigate so often, and that there shouldn’t be any major problems. But then I thought, “I haven’t actually investigated or followed up on the work, but I’m pretty sure there won’t be a problem. Isn’t this still doing my duty from my arrogant disposition?” Then, after actually investigating, I found that there were still many problems and deviations in the work, and through fellowship and problem-solving, the work gradually improved. This made me see that only by not relying on my arrogant disposition and being able to seek the principles of truth in all things could I achieve results in my duty.

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