Is Providing for One’s Parents a Mission Entrusted by God?

April 15, 2024

By Liu Hui, China

At the end of September 2022, Ming Hui’s husband took her home from a detention center. Due to believing in Almighty God, Ming Hui had been arrested and persecuted twice by the police. This was her second time being arrested, and she had been sentenced to three years in prison. Due to evading the police’s pursuit and later being sentenced to jail, it had been 10 years since she last went home.

After arriving home, Ming Hui learned that one year ago, her father had fallen ill and passed away, and her mother had become paralyzed. The moment she saw her mother, she was stunned. Her mother, whose health was once robust, had now ended up in a wheelchair. Ming Hui felt that she owed her parents. She was the youngest in her family, and from a young age, her father wouldn’t let her do any tasks. Her mother, especially, had taken great care of her. They took such pains to bring her up, providing her with food, clothes, and an education, but when they needed her, she had not been a dutiful daughter at all. She thought of the first time she was locked up at the detention center. Her mother was worried that the police would brutally beat her, and because of this she was unable to eat or sleep. Her mother pulled strings any way she could and spent money to bail her out. As Ming Hui thought of this, she walked over to her mother. Breaking down in tears, her mother said, “You’re finally back. Do you know how much I’ve missed you these years? I was afraid that you were suffering and being treated unjustly in there.” Hearing these words, Ming Hui felt even more indebted to her mother. Tears flowed uncontrollably down her cheeks, and she thought, “‘One’s supposed to look after their parents in their old age,’ but when mine fell ill and needed my care, I didn’t get the chance to be by their side and serve them. I didn’t feed them any food or give them any medicine, let alone help them relieve themselves. I’m unworthy of the kindness they showed in raising me. What use is there in raising a daughter like me!” The more Ming Hui thought, the more she reproached herself. In the days that followed, Ming Hui spent each day caring for her paralyzed mother. She wanted to make up for all these years of being indebted to her. Ming Hui hadn’t been home for long when two local policemen went to her home and took a photo of her. They also said they would have to come see her once every month. Ming Hui knew very well that these devils were monitoring her whereabouts. It would be impossible for her to believe in God and do her duty there.

One day, the church leader sent a letter to Ming Hui asking whether she could do her duty somewhere else. Upon receiving the letter, Ming Hui felt both joy and concern. She was happy knowing that she still had a chance to do her duty, but concerned knowing she would be worried about her paralyzed, elderly mother. It was hard enough to get a chance to return home and care for her mother. If she left, she had no idea when she’d come back. Ming Hui couldn’t help but fall deep into contemplation, thinking, “My parents raised me into an adult. When my father passed away, I wasn’t home. If my mother passes and I’m not by her side, will I have any humanity? Forget about the neighbors calling me ungrateful; this would weigh forever on my conscience! Did my parents not take great pains to bring me up so that I could be next to them and care for them in their old age? These few years, I was arrested and persecuted by the Communist Party for believing in God, and I never had the chance to serve them. My conscience already rebukes me because of this; I can’t abandon my mother now.” Thinking of this, Ming Hui wrote a letter rejecting her leader’s request. After this, she reprimanded herself in her heart. As a created being, she ought to do her duty, but she had rejected it in order to stay home and look after her mother. This was not in line with God’s will! Those days, Ming Hui was deeply distressed and constantly prayed about this matter. She thought of a passage of God’s words: “Someone who has normal humanity must at the very least possess a conscience and reason. How can you tell if a person possesses a conscience and reason? If their speech and actions are basically in accordance with the standards of conscience and reason, then from a human perspective they are a good person, and they are someone who is up to an acceptable standard. If they can also understand the truth and act according to the truth principles, then they are fulfilling God’s requirements, which is higher than the standard of conscience and reason. Some people say: ‘Man was created by God. God gave us the breath of life, and it is God who provides for us, nourishes us, and leads us to grow into adults. People of conscience and reason cannot live for themselves or for Satan; they ought to live for God, and fulfill their duty.’ This is true, but it is only a broad framework, a rough sketch. As to the details of how to live for God in reality, this involves conscience and reason. So how does one live for God? (Do well the duty that a created being ought to do.) Correct. Right now, all you do is to do the duty of man, but in reality, who are you doing it for? (For God.) It is for God, it is cooperation with Him! The commission God has given you is your duty. It is fated, predetermined, and governed by Him, or in other words, it is God who gives this task over to you, and wants you to complete it(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Five Conditions That Must Be Met to Embark on the Right Track of Belief in God). From God’s words, Ming Hui came to understand what it meant to have a conscience and humanity. She was a created being, and each breath she took was given to her by God. All that she possessed was supplied to her by God. Her being able to survive to this day was inseparable from God’s sovereignty and provision, and believing in God all these years, she had enjoyed the watering and provision of so many of His words. If she truly had a bit of conscience and reason, she should do her duty well to repay God’s love. She should not only concern herself with her own affairs, only living for her family, for her parents or children; this meant having no conscience whatsoever. Now, her elder brother and sister were taking care of her mother, and they would do so whether or not she was home. In the following days, Ming Hui prayed to God and was willing to submit to His orchestration and arrangement and do her duty.

In February of 2023, Ming Hui broke free from the police’s surveillance and left home to do her duty. She was finally reunited with the brothers and sisters, and an indescribable excitement stirred her heart. One day, she read a short article about a middle-aged woman who heard her mother had fallen ill, so she bought her some food and went to visit her. This woman very much wanted to bring her mother to her house and look after her for a few days, but the circumstances wouldn’t allow it, and all she could do was say a few intimate words to her mother. Ming Hui couldn’t help but think of her own mother, and her voice became choked with tears. Seeing this, the sister partnered with Ming Hui said jokingly, “What’s wrong? Does this article strike a chord in your heart?” At the time, Ming Hui was unable to respond to the sister. It was as though she’d had a vision of her mother sitting in the wheelchair, hoping to see her face, and because of this, tears unconsciously spilled from her eyes. From a young age, she had given her mother plenty to worry about. After believing in God, due to the constant persecution of the Communist Party, she was arrested and thrown in jail twice. Her mother had often been in a state of anxiety because of her. Her mother had worried about her countless times and shed untold tears, and maybe her illness was even caused by her. Now, when her mother needed her service, she abandoned her and went out to do her duty. The more Ming Hui thought, the more she felt she had owed her mother, and she began to cry. She realized that she was living inside her affections yet again, and she hurriedly prayed to God, “God, I am once again living in a state of being anxious about my mother. Please protect my heart and let me view people and things based on Your words, without the disturbance of Satan. Amen!”

Afterward, Ming Hui read a passage of God’s words, and her heart was somewhat liberated. Almighty God says: “By raising you, your parents were just fulfilling their responsibility and obligation, and this should be unpaid, and it should not be a transaction. So, you do not need to approach your parents or handle your relationship with them according to the idea of recompensing them. If you do treat your parents, pay them back, and handle your relationship with them according to this idea, that is inhumane. At the same time, it is likely to make you restrained and bound by your fleshly feelings, and it will be hard for you to emerge from these entanglements, to the extent that you might even lose your way. Your parents are not your creditors, so you have no obligation to realize all of their expectations. You have no obligation to foot the bill for their expectations. That is to say, they can have their own expectations. You have your own choices, and the life path and destiny that God has set out for you, which have nothing to do with your parents. So, when one of your parents says: ‘You’re an unfilial child. You haven’t come back to see me for so many years, and it’s been so many days since you last called me. I’m sick and there’s no one to care for me. I really raised you for nothing. You truly are an uncaring ingrate, and a thankless child!’ if you don’t understand the truth ‘Your parents are not your creditors,’ hearing these words will be as painful as a knife piercing your heart, and your conscience will feel condemned. Every one of these words will embed itself in your heart, and make you feel ashamed to face your parent, indebted to your parent, and full of guilt toward them. When your parent says that you are an uncaring ingrate, you will really feel: ‘They’re absolutely right. They raised me to this age, and they haven’t been able to bask in any of my light. Now they’re sick, and they hoped that I could stay by their bedside, serving them and accompanying them. They needed me to repay their kindness, and I wasn’t there. I really am an uncaring ingrate!’ You will classify yourself as an uncaring ingrate—is that reasonable? Are you an uncaring ingrate? If you hadn’t left your home to perform your duty elsewhere, and you had stayed by your parent’s side, could you have prevented them from getting sick? (No.) Can you control whether your parents live or die? Can you control whether they are rich or poor? (No.) Whatever illness your parents get, it won’t be because they were so exhausted from raising you, or because they missed you; they especially won’t contract any of those major, serious, and possibly fatal illnesses because of you. That is their fate, and it has nothing to do with you. No matter how filial you are, the most you can achieve is to reduce their fleshly suffering and burdens a little, but as for when they get sick, what illness they contract, when they die, and where they die—do these things have anything to do with you? No, they don’t. If you’re filial, if you’re not an uncaring ingrate, and you spend all day with them, watching over them, will they not get sick? Will they not die? If they’re going to get sick, won’t they get sick anyway? If they’re going to die, won’t they die anyway? Isn’t that right? … Regardless of whether your parents call you an uncaring ingrate, at least you are doing the duty of a created being before the Creator. As long as you are not an uncaring ingrate in God’s eyes, that’s enough. It doesn’t matter what people say. What your parents say about you isn’t necessarily true, and what they say isn’t useful. You need to take God’s words as your basis. If God says that you are an adequate created being, then it doesn’t matter if people call you an uncaring ingrate, they cannot accomplish anything. It is just that people will be impacted by these insults due to the effect of their consciences, or when they do not understand the truth and their stature is small, and they’ll be in a bit of a bad mood, and feel a little depressed, but when they return before God, all of this will be resolved, and won’t pose a problem for them anymore(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (17)). Ming Hui thanked God in her heart. If God had not clearly fellowshipped on the truth that “Your parents are not your creditors,” she would have always believed that since her parents gave birth to her, took great pains to provide her with an education, and worried so much about her, the kindness they showed in raising her was greater than anything, and she ought to repay them for it once she grew up. If she couldn’t do this, her conscience would rebuke her, and others would call her ungrateful and unfilial. She had believed that if she’d been at home during these years, she could’ve properly looked after her father when he was ill, and her mother wouldn’t have been so anxious about her. Then, perhaps her mother wouldn’t have come down with her illness. She’d always thought that her mother’s illness was related to her. Now, she read God’s words that say: “Can you control whether your parents live or die? Can you control whether they are rich or poor? (No.) Whatever illness your parents get, it won’t be because they were so exhausted from raising you, or because they missed you; they especially won’t contract any of those major, serious, and possibly fatal illnesses because of you. That is their fate, and it has nothing to do with you.” Ming Hui recognized that everyone’s fate is in God’s hands. In this lifetime, when one falls ill or when one dies are things that God ordained long ago. Even if she had always been by her parents’ side during these years, it wouldn’t have changed their fate. Ming Hui thought of how every year there were so many elderly people who, due to high blood pressure, had brain hemorrhages and heart attacks, dying from sudden illnesses or suffering from hemiplegia due to the aftereffects. Some of these people had children who devoted themselves to caring for them, but no matter how great their care, they couldn’t stop their parents from falling ill and dying. The most they could do was promptly take their parents to the hospital for treatment, but they had no say in whether or not the doctors could cure their parents. Recognizing this, Ming Hui understood clearly that her mother falling ill in this way was not because she missed her or was exhausted from raising her. It was her fate. Ming Hui felt much more relaxed.

Although she understood that her mother’s illness was not related to her, as soon as she thought of everything her mother had done for her, and of how now her mother was paralyzed and needed to be cared for but she wasn’t there, she still felt somewhat reproached inside. She thought she was indebted to her mother. Soon after this, she read two passages of God’s words which transformed her views on the matter. Almighty God says: “There is a saying in the world of unbelievers: ‘Crows repay their mothers by feeding them, and lambs kneel to receive milk from their mothers.’ There’s also this saying: ‘An unfilial person is lower than a beast.’ How grandiose these sayings sound! Actually, the phenomena that the first saying mentions, crows repaying their mothers by feeding them, and lambs kneeling to receive milk from their mothers, really do exist, these are facts. However, they are simply phenomena within the animal world. They are merely a kind of law that God has established for various living creatures, and by which all kinds of living creatures, including humans, abide. The fact that all kinds of living creatures abide by this law further demonstrates that all living creatures are created by God. No living creature can break this law, and no living creature can transcend it. Even relatively ferocious carnivores like lions and tigers nurture their offspring and do not bite them before they reach adulthood. This is an animal instinct. No matter which species they are, whether they are ferocious or kind and gentle, all animals possess this instinct. All kinds of creatures, including humans, can only continue to multiply and survive by abiding by this instinct and this law. If they didn’t abide by this law, or didn’t have this law and this instinct, they wouldn’t be able to multiply and survive. The biological chain wouldn’t exist, and neither would this world. Isn’t that true? (Yes.) Crows repaying their mothers by feeding them, and lambs kneeling to receive milk from their mothers demonstrates precisely that the animal world abides by this kind of law. All kinds of living creatures have this instinct. Once offspring are born, they are cared for and nurtured by the females or males of the species until they become adults. All kinds of living creatures are able to fulfill their responsibilities and obligations to their offspring, conscientiously and dutifully raising the next generation. This should be even more the case for humans. Humans are called higher animals by mankind—if they cannot abide by this law, and lack this instinct, then humans are lower than animals, aren’t they? Therefore, no matter how much your parents nurtured you while they were raising you, and how much they fulfilled their responsibility to you, they were only doing what they ought to within the scope of the abilities of a created human—it was their instinct(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (17)). “Outwardly, it appears that your parents gave birth to your fleshly life, and that it was your parents who gave you life. But, if we look at this from God’s perspective, and from the root of this matter, your fleshly life was not given to you by your parents, because people cannot create life. In simple terms, no person can create man’s breath. The reason why the flesh of each person is able to become a person is because they have that breath. Man’s life lies in this breath, and it is the sign of a living person. People have this breath and life, and the source and origin of these things are not their parents. It is just that people were produced by means of their parents giving birth to them—at the root, it is God who gives people these things. Therefore, your parents are not the masters of your life, the Master of your life is God. God created mankind, He created the lives of mankind, and He gave mankind the breath of life, which is the origin of man’s life. Therefore, isn’t the line ‘Your parents are not the masters of your life’ easy to understand? Your breath was not given to you by your parents, and much less is its continuation given to you by your parents. God looks after and rules over every day of your life. Your parents cannot decide how every day of your life goes, whether each day is happy and goes smoothly, who you meet every day, or what environment you live in each day. It is merely that God looks after you through your parents—your parents are simply the people that God sent to look after you. When you were born, it was not your parents who gave you life, so was it your parents who gave you the life that allowed you to live until now? It still wasn’t. The origin of your life is still God, and not your parents(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (17)). After reading God’s words, Ming Hui heaved a sigh of relief. As God said, it was a fact that “Crows repay their mothers by feeding them, and lambs kneel to receive milk from their mothers,” but this fact only proved that all animals in the natural world are carrying out the responsibility and obligation of raising their children. This is a law that God has formulated for all living things. Even if it is a ferocious tiger or lion, when their children are young and not yet grown, they will devote themselves to protecting and raising them until they can be independent. This is a law that God has made for them, and it is also their instinct. Humans are a more advanced species than other animals, with hearts and spirits, and they should know even better how to adhere to this law. No matter the price parents pay for their children, they are merely fulfilling their responsibility and obligation, and it cannot be called kindness at all. Ming Hui noticed that before, she had understood “Crows repay their mothers by feeding them, and lambs kneel to receive milk from their mothers” in a way that didn’t align with the truth. She thought that this meant even animals knew to repay their parents’ kindness in raising them, and that if she couldn’t do this she was even worse than an animal. Such an understanding was wrong and did not align with God’s words. Her parents birthing and raising her and providing her with food, clothes, and an education were all responsibilities and obligations that they ought to fulfill as parents. She shouldn’t always feel indebted to her parents, let alone always think that she should repay their kindness. On the surface, her parents gave birth to her and brought her up, but this was ordained by God. Parents looked after their children’s lives and raised them into adults, but as for the good and bad of their children’s fates, and as for when certain things would happen to their children or when accidents would befall them, that was all out of their hands. Ming Hui suddenly thought of a time when she was five or six years old, when she went to play by the river with her sister who was two years older and accidentally fell into a deep ditch. She swallowed a lot of water and almost drowned. Crying, her sister dragged her out from the ditch. At the time, although she didn’t believe in God, if God had not been looking out for and protecting her, she would have stopped breathing and lost her life long ago. No matter how much her parents loved her, they had no control over whether she lived or died. That she could make it to today was entirely a result of God’s care and protection. She ought to think of how to repay God’s love and do her duty as a created being; this was what someone with a conscience and reason should do.

Soon after this, Ming Hui read these words of God: “In the presence of the Creator, you are a created being. What you should do in this life is not just to fulfill your responsibilities to your parents, but to fulfill your responsibilities and duties as a created being. You can only fulfill your responsibilities to your parents on the basis of God’s words and the truth principles, not by doing anything for them based on your emotional needs or the needs of your conscience. … Of course, some people will say: ‘The things You’ve said are all facts, but I feel that acting this way is too impersonal. My conscience always feels rebuked, I can’t stand it.’ If you can’t stand it, then just satisfy your feelings; accompany your parents and stay close to their side, serve them, be filial, and do what they say whether they are right or wrong—become like their little tail and an attendant, this is all fine. This way, no one will chirp about you behind your back, and even your extended family will talk about how filial you are. However, in the end, the only one who will suffer a loss will be yourself. You have preserved your reputation as a filial child, you have satisfied your emotional needs, your conscience has never been accused, and you’ve repaid your parents’ kindness, but there is one thing you have neglected and lost: You did not treat and handle all these matters according to God’s words, and you have lost the opportunity to perform your duty as a created being. What does this mean? It means that you have been filial to your parents but betrayed God. You demonstrated filial piety and satisfied the emotional needs of your parents’ flesh, but you rebelled against God. You would rather choose to be a filial child than perform your duties as a created being. This is the greatest disrespect to God. God will not say you are someone who submits to Him or possesses humanity just because you are a filial child, you haven’t disappointed your parents, you have a conscience, and you fulfill your responsibilities as a child. If you only satisfy the needs of your conscience and the emotional needs of your flesh, but do not accept God’s words or the truth as the basis and principles for treating or handling this matter, then you show the greatest rebelliousness to God. If you want to be a qualified created being, you must first view and do everything according to God’s words. This is called being qualified, having humanity, and having a conscience. Conversely, if you do not accept God’s words as the principles and basis for treating or handling this matter, and you also do not accept God’s calling for you to go out and perform your duties, or you’d rather delay or forfeit the opportunity to perform your duties in order to stay by your parents’ side, accompany them, bring them happiness, let them enjoy their twilight years, and repay their kindness, then God will say that you are a thing without humanity or conscience. You are not a created being, and He will not recognize you(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (16)). Ming Hui remembered the first time the church leader sent her a letter asking if she could leave home to do her duty. What she’d first thought of was that she’d become very much indebted to her parents over the years. In particular, it was already too late to make up for what she owed to her father. If she left her mother too, it would be even harder to explain herself. In order to give her conscience a bit of comfort and have the neighbors say that she was filial, she rejected her duty and stayed home to look after her mother. She believed this was what it meant to be someone with a conscience and humanity. From God’s words, she understood that as a created being who breathed the breath that God gave her and enjoyed all that He provided, she ought to repay God’s love. However, when the church needed her to do her duty, she rejected it to take care of her mother. Even if she took great care of her mother and if others praised her for being filial, she would still be someone without a conscience or humanity before the Creator. Thinking of this, Ming Hui couldn’t help but hate herself, and she thought, “If I didn’t believe in God and hadn’t read God’s words, this would be excusable. Now, I’ve believed in God all these years and read so many of His words, yet my views on things are still the same as unbelievers. Am I not a nonbeliever? In order to follow the Lord Jesus, spread the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, and shepherd the churches, Peter abandoned his parents and his family. There were also those foreign missionaries who forsook their families and crossed the seas to come to China and spread the Lord Jesus’ gospel of the kingdom of heaven to us. They too had parents, children, and relatives. However, what they thought of was not their families, not their parents and children, but rather how to be considerate of God’s will and how to bring those people who were living in sin and deeply harmed by Satan before God to accept His salvation. These were people with conscience and humanity. Now, the last days have arrived, and God’s work is about to end. The coronavirus, flooding, war, and all sorts of disasters have befallen us. There are still many people who have not yet heard the gospel of God’s work in the last days. These people are facing the danger of getting lost in the disasters at any time. That I now have the opportunity to do my duty and spread God’s kingdom gospel—is this not the most just and meaningful thing? This is the kind of thing that someone with humanity should do! What does it matter how highly appraised I am by others? As a created being, only fulfilling my duty and receiving the approval of the Creator is most important.” Ming Hui read yet another passage of God’s words and gained more knowledge about her problem. Almighty God says: “Due to the conditioning of Chinese traditional culture, in Chinese people’s traditional notions they believe that one must observe filial piety toward their parents. Whoever does not observe filial piety is an unfilial child. These ideas have been instilled in people since childhood, and they are taught in practically every household, as well as in every school and in society at large. When a person’s head has been filled with such stuff, they think, ‘Filial piety is more important than anything. If I weren’t to observe it, I wouldn’t be a good person—I’d be an unfilial child and I’d be denounced by society. I’d be a person who lacks conscience.’ Is this view correct? People have seen so many truths expressed by God—has God demanded that one show filial piety toward their parents? Is this one of the truths that believers in God must understand? No, it is not. God has only fellowshipped on some principles. By what principle do God’s words ask that people treat others? Love what God loves, and hate what God hates: This is the principle that should be adhered to. God loves those who pursue the truth and are able to follow His will; these are also the people that we should love. Those who are not able to follow God’s will, who hate and rebel against God—these people are detested by God, and we should detest them, too. This is what God asks of man. … Satan uses this kind of traditional culture and notions of morality to bind your thoughts, your mind, and your heart, leaving you unable to accept God’s words; you have been possessed by these things of Satan, and rendered incapable of accepting God’s words. When you want to practice God’s words, these things cause disturbance within you, cause you to oppose the truth and God’s requirements, and make you powerless to rid yourself of the yoke of traditional culture. After struggling for a while, you compromise: You prefer to believe traditional notions of morality are correct and in line with the truth, and so you reject or forsake God’s words. You do not accept God’s words as the truth and you think nothing of being saved, feeling that you still live in this world, and can only survive by relying on these people. Unable to endure society’s recrimination, you would rather choose to give up the truth and God’s words, abandoning yourself to traditional notions of morality and the influence of Satan, preferring to offend God and not practice the truth. Is man not pitiful? Do they not have need of God’s salvation? Some people have believed in God for many years, but still have no insight into the matter of filial piety. They really do not understand the truth. They can never break through this barrier of worldly relationships; they do not have the courage, nor the confidence, let alone the determination, so they cannot love and obey God(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Recognizing One’s Own Misguided Views Can One Truly Transform). In a flash, God’s words brightened Ming Hui’s heart. She recognized that her refusal to let go of her mother came from the indoctrination and influence of traditional culture that Satan had instilled in her. She lived by the satanic poisons “Filial piety is a virtue to be held above all else,” “Your parents raise you so you can care for them when they grow old,” and “Do not travel far while your parents yet live.” From a young age, she had often heard people’s remarks such as, “So-and-so’s child is truly filial; he knows to be filial to his parents and repay their kindness. He truly has a conscience! Meanwhile, so-and-so’s child is no good. His parents fell ill but he didn’t care for them. What an ungrateful son. He threw his conscience to the wolves!” These words had already been planted deep in Ming Hui’s heart. She put being filial to her parents first and thought that since her mother was ill, as her daughter she ought to be by her side serving her. If she was not next to her mother, she was an unfilial daughter. She feared that the neighbors would call her an ungrateful daughter with no humanity, and so she rejected her duty. Later, even though she began doing her duty again, she still felt indebted to her mother. She recognized that she had been so tightly bound by these satanic poisons. At this moment, Ming Hui thought of how her mother was a nonbeliever. Last year, because her mother couldn’t bear the torment of her illness, she went to worship evil spirits. Not only could Ming Hui not love what God loves and hate what He hates, she also let her concern for her mother affect her duty. Wasn’t this being unable to distinguish good from evil and discern right from wrong? Ming Hui hated herself for being so blind and ignorant! She sighed, thinking, “Fortunately, God expressed these words and told us the principles we should practice when regarding our parents. Only because of this can I let go of my indebtedness to my mother and keep my mind on my duty. Otherwise, in this lifetime I could only be controlled by the traditional thinking that Satan instilled in me and would not be of a mind to do my duty at all. In the end, I would lose my chance to be saved and become pitiful.”

Ming Hui read another two passages of God’s words and learned how to regard her parents. Almighty God says: “First of all, most people choose to leave home to perform their duties in part because of the overarching objective circumstances, which necessitate them leaving their parents; they cannot stay by their parents’ side to take care of them and accompany them. It’s not that they willingly choose to leave their parents; this is the objective reason. For another thing, subjectively speaking, you go out to perform your duties not because you wanted to leave your parents and escape your responsibilities, but because of God’s calling. In order to cooperate with God’s work, accept His calling, and perform the duties of a created being, you had no choice but to leave your parents; you could not stay by their side to accompany them and take care of them. You didn’t leave them to avoid responsibilities, right? Leaving them to avoid your responsibilities and having to leave them to answer God’s calling and perform your duties—aren’t these of two different natures? (Yes.) In your heart, you do have emotional attachments and thoughts for your parents; your feelings are not empty. If objective circumstances allow, and you are able to stay by their side while also performing your duties, then you would be willing to stay by their side, regularly taking care of them and fulfilling your responsibilities. But because of objective circumstances, you must leave them; you cannot remain at their side. It’s not that you don’t want to fulfill your responsibilities as their child, but that you can’t. Isn’t this different in nature? (Yes.) If you left home to avoid being filial and fulfilling your responsibilities, that is unfilial and lacks humanity. Your parents raised you, but you can’t wait to spread your wings and quickly go off on your own. You don’t want to see your parents, and you don’t pay any regard when you hear about some difficulty they’ve encountered. Even if you have the means to help, you don’t; you just pretend not to hear and let others say whatever they want about you—you simply don’t want to fulfill your responsibilities. This is being unfilial. But is this the case now? (No.) Many people have left their counties, cities, provinces, or even their countries to perform their duties; they are already far away from their hometowns. Furthermore, it’s not convenient for them to stay in touch with their families for various reasons. Occasionally, they inquire about their parents’ current situation from people who came from the same hometown and feel relieved when they hear that their parents are still healthy and getting by okay. In fact, you are not unfilial; you haven’t reached the point of lacking humanity, where you don’t even want to care about your parents or fulfill your responsibilities toward them. It’s because of various objective reasons that you have to make this choice, so you’re not unfilial. These are the two reasons. … Moreover, what’s most important is that after years of believing in God and listening to so many truths, at the very least people have this little bit of understanding and comprehension: Man’s fate is determined by Heaven, man lives in the hands of God, and having God’s care and protection is far more important than the concerns, filial piety, or companionship of one’s children. Don’t you feel relieved that your parents are under God’s care and protection? You don’t need to worry about them. If you do worry, that means you do not trust God; your faith in Him is too small. If you are genuinely worried and concerned about your parents, then you should pray to God often, entrust them to God’s hands, and let God orchestrate and arrange everything(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (16)). “As a child, you should understand that your parents are not your creditors. There are many things that you must do in this life, and these are all things that a created being ought to do, that have been entrusted to you by the Lord of creation, and they have nothing to do with you repaying your parents’ kindness. Showing filial piety to your parents, repaying them, returning their kindness—these things have nothing to do with your mission in life. It can also be said that it is not necessary for you to show filial piety to your parents, to repay them, or to fulfill any of your responsibilities to them. To put it plainly, you can do a bit of this and fulfill a bit of your responsibilities when your circumstances allow; when they do not, you do not need to insist upon doing so. If you cannot fulfill your responsibility to show filial piety to your parents, this is not a terrible thing, it just goes against your conscience, human morality, and human notions a little. But at the very least, it does not go against the truth, and God will not condemn you for it. When you understand the truth, your conscience will not feel rebuked on account of this(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (17)). From God’s words, Ming Hui realized how her inability to be at home caring for her parents over these years was primarily due to the Communist Party’s persecution and arrests. She was forced to lose her chance of staying home and looking after her parents; it wasn’t that she had intentionally evaded her responsibility to support them. Now, she had a criminal record, and the police would go to her house at any time to harass her and monitor her whereabouts. There was absolutely no way for her to believe in God and do her duty at home, and so she had no choice but to leave home. As a created being, doing the duty of a created being was more important than being filial to her parents. This was the most just thing to do in her life, not to mention that it was her mission. From God’s words, Ming Hui found a path to practice. If the conditions allowed and she had the chance to be at home and care for her mother, then she could fulfill her responsibility and obligation as a daughter and look after her. If the circumstances weren’t appropriate, there was no need to reproach herself. Children and parents did not owe each other anything. Recognizing this, Ming Hui felt her whole body relax. In her heart, she thanked God. It was God’s words that helped her see clearly how traditional culture harmed people and understand that as a created being, only living to do one’s duty has meaning and makes one a person who truly has a conscience and humanity. In the following days, Ming Hui put all her heart into her duty.

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