I Can Correctly Regard My Caliber

April 4, 2024

By Zhixin, USA

In April of 2023, I was selected as the watering group leader. As the newcomers gradually increased, I also needed to check up on the overall work of the group. It felt like there wasn’t enough time in a day. Sometimes, when I checked up on the work of brothers and sisters, I would spend less time on watering newcomers myself, and sometimes, when I prioritized watering newcomers, I wouldn’t check up on the group work closely enough. I was never able to balance all tasks. This situation made me anxious, and I feared the leader would say my working ability was no good and my caliber was poor. I was especially afraid that my duty as group leader would be transferred. Among the brothers and sisters whom I was acquainted with in the past, some of them had gone on to be leaders, and some became supervisors. Meanwhile, I was only a group leader, and I was facing the danger of being transferred. I felt somewhat discontent. Was I really going to be this mediocre my whole life? Did I really not have the caliber of a leader or supervisor? I remembered that the brothers and sisters had talked about how planning one’s time reasonably could improve their efficiency in their duty, and a ray of hope lit up my heart. Couldn’t I also use this method to improve my working ability? Moreover, when I endured suffering and paid a price in my duty, would God not favor me and improve my caliber and working ability? Thinking of this, I hurried to take action. I wrote out my schedule every day, keeping a record of which work I was doing each hour and doing my best to maximize my time. After working hard for a time, I didn’t see much of an improvement in the results of my duty. At the time, I was quite upset; why couldn’t I improve? Why did God favor other brothers and sisters and give them good calibers, making them qualified for duties like being leaders and supervisors? As for me, I had worked hard for so long, and just being a group leader was already so strenuous. Did God really not favor me? Especially when problems emerged or the results were poor in my duty, I felt even more depressed and negative. I speculated that it wouldn’t be long before I was dismissed. One time, my supervisor learned about my state and said to me, “The burden weighing on your heart is too great. Your caliber and working ability can’t compare to the brothers and sisters with good caliber, but you have your strong points, like how when you run into problems and difficulties in your duty, you’re able to purely open yourself and seek. You can also help everyone when it comes to life entry. All you’ve got to do is give free rein to your strengths and do your duty well.” Yes, I felt that my life was too exhausting, and that I was exerting lots of unnecessary pressure on myself.

One day, I read God’s words: “You think that the more you are able to transcend, surpassing the range of your own caliber and abilities, it proves that it is more the work of God; that if your sincerity and will to cooperate grow increasingly greater, then that means God works in you more and more, and your caliber and abilities grow increasingly greater. You believe that your sincerity is directly proportional to the magnitude of your caliber and the level of your abilities—is this not a notion and imagining people have? (Yes.) Are you especially inclined to think this way? (Yes.) What is the result of thinking this way? Is it not always failure? Some people are even negative, saying, ‘I have given my utmost sincerity to God, why doesn’t God grant me better caliber? Why doesn’t God give me transcendent abilities? Why am I still always weak? My caliber has not improved, I can’t see anything clearly, and I become confused when faced with complex matters. It was like this before, why is it still the same now? Additionally, regarding my ability to carry out work and my ability to get things done, why can I never transcend my flesh? I understand some doctrines, but still, I cannot see things clearly, and when it comes to dealing with matters, I remain indecisive. I am still not as good as those of high caliber; my ability to do work is also poor, and my performance of duty is inefficient. My caliber has not improved at all! What’s going on? Could it be that my sincerity toward God is insufficient? Or does God not like me enough? Where am I lacking?’ Some people search for various reasons and have tried many ways to change, but the final result is still disappointing. Their caliber and ability to do work remain as before, without any improvement even after believing in God for three to five years(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth II. How to Pursue the Truth (2)). “If you always believe that the purpose of God working and speaking to supply people with the truth is to change all these inherent qualities of humans—and only then can one be considered as truly reborn and a completely new person as spoken of by God—then you are gravely mistaken. This is a human notion and imagining. After understanding this, you should let go of such notions, imaginings, speculations, or feelings. That is, in the process of pursuing the truth, you should not always rely on feelings or guesses to sum up these things: ‘Has my caliber improved? Have my innate qualities changed? Is my personality still as bad as before? Have my lifestyle habits changed?’ Do not ponder over these; such pondering is futile, because these are not the aspects God intends to change, nor are they the targets of God’s work. God’s work has never aimed to change your caliber, innate qualities, personality, and so on, nor has God spoken for the purpose of changing these aspects of people. In other words, God’s work supplies people with the truth on the basis of their original conditions, aiming to make people understand the truth and then accept and submit to the truth. Regardless of what your caliber, innate qualities, or personality are like, what God wants to do is to work the truth into you, to change your old notions and dispositions, rather than changing your original caliber, abilities, and personality. What does God’s work aim to change? (The old notions and dispositions within people.) Now that you understand this truth, you should let go of those transcendent, unrealistic imaginings and notions, and should not use these notions and imaginings to measure yourself or make demands of yourself. Instead, you should seek and accept the truth based on the various conditions originally given to you by God. What is the ultimate goal in this? It is that on the basis of your original conditions, you understand the truth principles, understand each and every truth principle that should be practiced in the face of various situations you encounter, and you can view people and matters—and conduct yourself and handle matters—according to these truth principles. Doing this meets God’s requirements(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth II. How to Pursue the Truth (2)). After reading God’s words, it suddenly dawned on me that I was living according to my notions and imaginings. I thought that if someone sincerely believed in God, did their duty attentively, endured suffering, and paid a price, God would favor them, helping their caliber and working abilities see improvement and enabling the results of their duties to surpass their original caliber and working abilities. Even though such a person’s caliber was poor, they could still do leadership and supervising duties in the church, becoming one of the pillars there. So, even though I did things slowly and was of poor working ability, I thought that as long as I did my duty attentively, endured suffering, and paid a price, God would favor me. Thus, I wanted to use writing out a daily schedule, planning my time, enduring suffering, and paying a price as a way to improve my caliber and working ability. However, after working hard for a while, my caliber and working ability hadn’t improved like I’d imagined, and I grew negative and depressed. I thought that God was not favoring me or working on me. Now, after reading God’s words, I understood that God’s work was not transcendent, but practical. My caliber was a product of God’s predetermination. God worked to help people enter the truth, cast off their corrupt dispositions, and live out true human likeness. He did not work to change people’s caliber and working abilities. When people do their duties sincerely and seek the truth, they can obtain the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit and break through some of the barriers in their duty. However, all of this is based on the foundation of people’s given caliber, and is something people can be up to the task for if they just work hard. There is no person of poor given caliber who has come to possess the caliber of a leader due to obtaining the work of the Holy Spirit. These were all my notions and imaginings. I realized that if believers in God did not seek the truth and only pursued according to their notions and imaginings, they would not only be unable to understand the truth and do their duty well, but also run counter to God’s demands.

A while later, due to working demands, my supervisor arranged for me to go to another church to water newcomers. The sister I was partnered with before had become a church leader, and meanwhile I was only a watering worker. I suddenly felt there was a great distance between me and her. Although I knew that people’s caliber was not changed in God’s work, I was unwilling to accept this and was dissatisfied with my caliber. I thought those with good calibers were people that the church would promote and cultivate and were also pillars of the church. Only such people had bright prospects and were thought highly of by others. Meanwhile, those with poor calibers could only do a bit of peripheral work and were looked down on by people and disliked by God. I didn’t want to be labeled as someone with “poor caliber.” I thought that once such a label was attached to me, it was tantamount to acknowledging that I was worthless scum. I’d have no prospects whatsoever! That wouldn’t do at all; I’d have to keep trying. Even if I wasn’t able to improve my caliber much, it’d be alright if, through suffering and paying a price in my duty, I could just get my caliber to be about the same level as others. So, I then hurriedly threw myself into my work and actively cooperated. When I achieved something, I was very happy, and I would eagerly tell the brothers and sisters about it, hoping to gain their approval. However, later on, I ran into some unresolvable difficulties when watering newcomers, and there were also some tasks that I neglected. I was disheartened and sad. It seemed that my caliber was truly no good. Those days, I was already working very hard, but I still wasn’t doing a good job. Forget it, I thought; no matter how hard I worked, it wouldn’t change. Poor caliber is an incurable illness. Without my noticing, I once again became negative and passive when doing my duty, and I didn’t want to put thought into resolving the problems in my work. I even wanted to evade my responsibility, thinking that I was doing my duty poorly due to my limited caliber, and there was nothing I could do. During that period of time, I felt a bit dazed, and when I read God’s words, I was unable to calm down. When I prayed, I didn’t know what to say to God. I was always feeling depressed.

One day, during my spiritual devotions, I read two passages of God’s words: “Do not challenge yourself, nor seek to push your limits. God knows how capable you are and how high your caliber is. What caliber and capabilities God has given you have long been predetermined by Him. Always wanting to transcend these is to be arrogant and to overestimate oneself, which is asking for trouble and will inevitably end in failure. Are such people not neglecting their proper tasks? (Yes.) They are not conducting themselves in a well-behaved manner, not holding fast to their proper positions to fulfill the duties of a created being, not following these principles in their actions, but always trying to show off. There’s a two-part saying: ‘An old lady puts on lipstick—to give you something to look at.’ For what purpose would the ‘old lady’ do this? (To show herself off.) The old lady wants to draw people’s attention, as if saying, ‘I, as an old lady, am not ordinary—I’ll show you something special.’ She does not want to be looked down upon, but instead wants to be admired and revered; she wants to challenge her limits and surpass herself. Is this not having an arrogant nature? (Yes.) If you have an arrogant nature, then you are not well-behaved, you do not want to conduct yourself in a manner befitting your station. You always want to challenge yourself. Whatever others can do, you want to do as well. When others stand out, achieve results, or make contributions, and everyone praises them, you feel uncomfortable, jealous, and discontent. You then want to abandon your current tasks to undertake work that allows you to shine, also desiring to be highly regarded. But you are not capable of doing such prominent tasks, so isn’t this a waste of time? Isn’t this neglecting your proper tasks? (Yes.) Do not neglect proper tasks, for neglecting them ultimately yields no good results. Not only does it waste time, making others look down on you, but it also incurs God’s loathing, and in the end, you only make yourself quite negative(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth II. How to Pursue the Truth (3)). “God observes whether you conduct yourself in a manner befitting your station, whether you are someone who does the duties of a created being well, whether you put all your heart and effort into it under the conditions God has given you, and whether you act according to principles to achieve the results God desires. If so, God gives you full marks. If not, despite the fact that you may make an effort and put in the work, if everything you do is for showing off yourself, and you are not doing your duty with all your heart and effort, nor according to principles, but rather to show off and flaunt yourself, then your manifestations and revelations, your behavior, are detestable to God. Why does God detest them? God says you are not focusing on proper tasks, you haven’t put in all your heart, effort, or mind, and you’re not following the right path. The caliber, gifts, and talents God has given you are already sufficient. It’s you who are not satisfied, not loyal to your duty, never knowing your place, always wanting to spout high-sounding ideas and show off, ultimately making a mess of your duties. The caliber, gifts, and talents given to you by God have not been utilized to their full potential, no full effort has been made, and no results have been achieved. Although you may be quite busy, God says you are like a prancing clown, not a person who is content and focused on their proper tasks. God does not like such people(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth II. How to Pursue the Truth (3)). After reading God’s words, I understood that in always wanting to change my caliber, I was being controlled by an arrogant disposition. My disposition was very arrogant, and I was always unwilling to lag behind others. I wanted to win the esteem and approval of others and stand out from the crowd. I believed that this would give my life value, so I wanted to use the improvement of my caliber to achieve this goal. Growing up, I was always a top student in school. If someone scored higher than me on a test, I wouldn’t admit defeat, and I would be determined to regain my advantage next time. My mother often said that I was too competitive. Because my grades were good at school, I gained the praise of my parents and teachers, and the teachers even required my classmates to learn from me. I very much enjoyed such a distinction and thought that a person ought to stand out from their competition. Now, I was doing my duty with the same pursuit, always wanting to be a leader or a supervisor. I thought that these people were pillars of the church and that everyone admired and approved of them, and that those of poor caliber could only do ordinary duties, working behind the scenes and living as good-for-nothings. Therefore, when I saw that the sisters whom I was partnered with before had gone on to be church leaders, while I was only an ordinary watering worker, I couldn’t accept it. I didn’t want to be this mediocre forever. I refused to acknowledge it or admit failure, and I was unwilling to do my duty with my feet on the ground. I always wanted to improve my caliber and do leadership or supervising duties. Even though God’s words had clearly stated that God’s work did not change people’s caliber, I still refused to acknowledge this. I always wanted to keep trying and give it all I had, to improve my caliber through my hard work and the price I paid. I was truly so rebellious, so arrogant! God says: “The caliber, gifts, and talents God has given you are already sufficient. It’s you who are not satisfied, not loyal to your duty, never knowing your place, always wanting to spout high-sounding ideas and show off, ultimately making a mess of your duties.” I had poor working ability and my caliber wasn’t too good; I wasn’t leadership material. However, I had my own areas that I was skilled in. For instance, I could speak a foreign language and enjoyed pondering God’s words. When I fellowshipped about my knowledge of the truth, my thinking was also relatively clear. In fact, the watering duty that I was doing now was a perfect fit for me. However, I couldn’t stick to my position, always wanting to improve my standing and do supervising duties. It turned out that none of my efforts to improve changed my caliber, and on the contrary, they made my state quite terrible, and I couldn’t even do my own job well. Recognizing this, I felt guilty and indebted.

Later on, I once again thought, “Why do I always think being of poor caliber is a bad thing? Why do I let this affect the performance of my duty?” When I read God’s words that were relevant to this aspect, my state was reversed. Almighty God says: “Because your caliber and abilities are limited, the effects of doing your duties are always mediocre, always failing to reach the level or standard you idealize. So, unconsciously, you continuously realize that you are not any sort of standout, any superior or extraordinary person. Gradually, you come to understand that your caliber is not as good as you imagined, but rather all too ordinary. In the long run, this process is very helpful for you to know yourself—you experience some failures and setbacks in a practical way, and after reflecting internally, you become more accurate in assessing your level, abilities, and caliber. You increasingly recognize that you are not a person of high caliber, that although you may have some strengths and gifts, a bit of judgment, or occasionally have some ideas or plans, you still fall short of the truth principles, far from God and the requirements of the truth, and even farther from the standards of possessing the truth reality—unconsciously, you have these judgments and assessments about yourself. In the process of judging and assessing yourself, your corrupt dispositions and revelations of corruption will gradually decrease, becoming more restrained and controlled. Of course, controlling corrupt dispositions is not the goal. What is the goal? The goal is to gradually learn to seek the truth in the process of control, and to conduct yourself in a well-behaved manner, not always trying to spout high-sounding ideas or show off, not always striving competitively to be the best or the strongest, and not always trying to prove yourself. While this awareness continuously engraves itself deep within your heart, you will ponder, ‘I must seek what the truth principles for doing this are, and what God says about it.’ This awareness will gradually be established deep within your heart, and your degree of seeking, recognizing, and accepting God’s word and the truth will increasingly heighten, which for you signifies the hope of being saved. The more you can accept the truth, the less your corrupt dispositions will reveal themselves; an even better result is that you will have more opportunities to use God’s word as a standard for practice. Isn’t this gradually embarking on the path to salvation? Is this not a good thing? (Yes.) But if all your abilities are superior, perfect, and extraordinary among people, can you still seek the truth while handling matters and doing your duties? That’s hard to say. For someone with extraordinary capabilities in all areas to approach God with a quieted heart or humble attitude to understand themselves, recognize their shortcomings and know their corrupt dispositions, and reach the point of seeking the truth, accepting the truth, and then practicing the truth—this is quite difficult, isn’t it? (Yes.)” (The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth II. How to Pursue the Truth (7)). “Most of those whom God saves are not those who hold high positions in the world or in society. Because their caliber and abilities are average or even poor, they struggle to find popularity or success in the world, often feeling that life is bleak and unfair. This leads to a need for faith, and ultimately, they come before God and enter into God’s house. This is a basic condition God gives people in choosing them: Only with this need can one have the desire to accept God’s salvation. If your conditions in all aspects are good and suitable for striving in the world, then you would not have the desire to accept God’s salvation, nor would you even have the opportunity to receive God’s salvation. This is all interconnected. Therefore, having an inferior caliber is not your shortcoming, nor is it an obstacle to casting off corrupt dispositions and achieving salvation. In the final analysis, this is what God has given to you. You have as much as God gives you. If God gives you good caliber, then you have good caliber. If God gives you average caliber, then your caliber is average. If God gives you poor caliber, then your caliber is poor. Once you understand this, you must accept it from God and be able to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements. Which truth forms the basis for submitting? It is that such arrangements by God contain God’s good will; God has painstaking intentions, and one must not complain or misunderstand God’s heart. God will not hold you in high esteem because of your good caliber, nor will He disdain you for your poor caliber. What does God disdain? God disdains that you can understand the truth but do not accept or practice it, He disdains that you do not do what you are capable of doing, that you do not give your heart or your utmost effort despite being able to, and that you always have extravagant desires, always wanting status, vying for position, and always wanting things from God. This is what God finds disgusting and detestable(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth II. How to Pursue the Truth (7)). After reading God’s words, I was quite moved. I understood that my poor caliber was ordained by God and had God’s goodwill in it; it was a good thing. In fact, my disposition had always been very arrogant. In the past, because I had this disposition and didn’t do my duty according to the principles, I brought losses to my work and committed a transgression. If I was of good caliber and produced results in my duty, my disposition would be even more arrogant, and it would be even harder to listen to the brothers and sisters’ opinions. I would be unable to humble myself and seek the truth principles. This way, it would become easy to do evil and disrupt and disturb the church’s work. Precisely because my caliber was somewhat poor and I could not manage a heavy workload, I was able to be steadier and more prudent in my duty than before. Sometimes, when my opinion differed a little from that of others, I was not so stubborn. This was an unconscious form of self-protection which reduced my chance of doing evil. I thought of a sister I met before whom everyone said was of good caliber, which made me envy her. Later on, she was selected as a leader, and the scope of the work she oversaw got increasingly wider. However, she didn’t pursue the truth or pay attention to eating and drinking God’s words, nor did she seek the truth to resolve her corrupt disposition. Ultimately, when faced with trials, she betrayed God and abandoned her duty. This showed me that no matter how good someone’s caliber and working ability are, what’s most crucial is whether they can seek the truth and resolve their corrupt disposition. A person’s caliber is not related to whether or not they can be saved. Being of good caliber isn’t necessarily a good thing, just as being of poor caliber isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What’s most important is whether someone can submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements and correctly regard their caliber, pursue the truth with their feet on the ground, and do their duty well as a created being. This is the most critical thing.

I then read a passage of God’s words and found a path to practice. Almighty God says: “Do not try by all means to change your caliber or improve your abilities in all aspects, but rather accurately recognize and correctly approach your original caliber and abilities. If you discover where you are lacking, quickly study those areas in which you can achieve progress in a short time so as to make up for these shortcomings. For those areas you cannot reach, do not force it. Tailor your actions to fit your own caliber and abilities. The ultimate principle is to do your duty according to God’s word, God’s requirements for humans, and the truth principles. No matter the level of your caliber, you can achieve varying degrees of acting and doing your duties according to the truth principles; you can meet or live up to God’s standards. These truth principles are absolutely not empty talk; they absolutely do not transcend humanity. They are all paths of practice tailor-made for created humankind’s corrupt dispositions, innate qualities, and various abilities and caliber. Therefore, no matter what your caliber is, no matter where your abilities are insufficient or flawed, it is not a problem; if you truly understand the truth and are willing to practice the truth, there will be a path forward. A person’s deficiencies in certain aspects of caliber and abilities absolutely do not hinder their practice of the truth. If your judgment or some other ability is lacking, you can seek more fellowship, as well as guidance and advice from those with understanding. When you understand and grasp the principles and paths of practice, you should put them into practice based on your current situation and your stature. Accepting and practicing—this is what you ought to do(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth II. How to Pursue the Truth (7)). From God’s words, I understood that one should not do all they can to change their caliber, but rather, to the extent that they can reach with their given caliber, put their heart, energy, and mind into doing their duty. They should diligently study and do in-depth research on the professional knowledge they should learn, and tap into the full potential of their given caliber. As for one’s caliber and working ability, they can improve these a bit if possible, but if they’re not up to the task, there’s no need to push it. Understanding this, my heart became clearer.

From then on, I thought about how to put my heart and energy into doing my duty within the boundaries of my given caliber. I realized that I wasn’t good at cultivating newcomers to do their duties, and so I tried to seek and ponder the principles around this. I also listened earnestly to what the brothers and sisters shared and talked about. Sometimes, when I ran into some problems and didn’t know how to resolve them, I didn’t try to evade them or blame God for giving me a poor caliber. Instead, I prayed to and relied on God, while also seeking from and fellowshipping with brothers and sisters. Throughout this practicing process, I unconsciously came up with plans for resolving some matters. Now, my caliber is the same as it was before. It hasn’t changed. However, I understand how to correctly regard myself, and my heart has been set free and liberated.

Would you like to learn God’s words and rely on God to receive His blessing and solve the difficulties on your way? Click the button to contact us.

Related Content

Leave a Reply

Connect with us on Messenger