I’ve Learned How to Treat People Correctly

May 22, 2024

By An Yu, China

In 2023, I was doing the duty of a church leader and partnered with Sister He Li. Before, He Li became a leader and had some grasp of the principles of various tasks. After the two of us divided our work, I didn’t have to worry too much about the work He Li was responsible for. Sometimes when I encountered difficulties at work, He Li could help me. Although the workload was large, with the two of us partnered together, I felt relaxed. In July, He Li was selected as a preacher and took on responsibilities for multiple churches. The work of our church was then placed solely on me, and I hoped to have someone to help share the workload as soon as possible. Later, Zhao Xin was elected as another church leader, and I was partnered with her. I was very happy. Zhao Xin had served as a watering deacon and understood some church work. She should be able to pick it up quickly. Now that there was someone to share the work, I could take off some of the pressure. I told Zhao Xin about the tasks she needed to do, but because Zhao Xin was a bit older, she couldn’t grasp things for a while, and most of the work was still done by me. I felt some resentment in my heart. Now I not only did my own work but also had to help guide Zhao Xin, which made the workload even greater than before. However, I thought that maybe Sister Zhao would become more familiar with the work after a few days of practice.

One day after the meeting, I realized that the watering work hadn’t been followed up on. Then, I thought that Zhao Xin was more familiar with the watering work, so she would follow up on it. When I got home, I quickly asked Zhao Xin if she had followed up on the watering work. Zhao Xin said she hadn’t had a gathering yet, so she didn’t know. In an instant, my anger surged up within me. I thought: “If you could do some of the work, wouldn’t it relieve my pressure? What’s the difference between two people doing the work and just me doing it?” I said in a tone of reproach, “If you could do some of the work, wouldn’t the efficiency improve? Think about what corrupt disposition is preventing you from doing it!” Zhao Xin didn’t say anything for a moment, and at that moment, I realized that speaking like this would make her feel constrained, and that it might be inappropriate for me to treat her like this, especially since she had been sentimentally troubled during that time. Thinking of this, I felt somewhat reproached in my heart.

About half a month later, Liu Wen was elected to collaborate with us as a leader. Liu Wen did her duties conscientiously and was careful in her work, but being new, she didn’t grasp the principles of various tasks well. Problems always arose during her work, and she was pretty slow and lacking in work capabilities, so she often needed my help to make up for it. Originally, I thought having two sisters as partners could help share the workload, but instead of reducing it, it increased my burden. I felt a lot of pressure, and doing this duty was too hard and exhausting. In my heart, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat disdainful toward the two sisters and didn’t want to talk to them much. I was impatient when they asked me questions, and they felt constrained and didn’t dare to ask more. As a result, some tasks were delayed due to their inability to perform. During that time, both sisters were very negative, feeling like they had achieved nothing and weren’t up to the task of performing their duties, and I was still complaining that they weren’t effective. Now that I had partners, it seemed I was even more tired than before without them. Even though it’s work for three people, I ended up doing most of it and felt very disadvantaged. If I didn’t do it, I was afraid of delaying the work and taking responsibility. As I thought about it, tears began to flow uncontrollably, as if I had been greatly wronged. I didn’t know how to face this environment; every day I sighed and felt deeply distressed. I thought if only I could leave this church, but then I realized that escaping wasn’t the solution to the problem. So, I came before God in prayer, saying, “God, I know I have revealed many corrupt dispositions, but I don’t know where to start understanding them. Please enlighten and lead me, so that I may know my corrupt dispositions.” In my seeking, I read these words of God: “Man’s innate disposition belongs to hot-headedness. When damage is done to a person’s interests, vainglory, or pride, if they do not understand the truth or have the truth reality, they will let their corrupt disposition dictate their treatment of that damage, and they will be impulsive and act rashly. What they manifest and reveal then is hot-headedness. Is hot-headedness a positive thing or a negative thing? It is obviously a negative thing. For a person to live in a hot-headed manner is no good thing; it is liable to bring about disaster. If someone’s hot-headedness and corruption are exposed when things befall them, is that a person who seeks the truth and submits to God? Obviously, it is certain that such a person is not submissive to God. As for the various people, events, things, and environments that God arranges for people, if someone cannot accept them from God, instead coping with them and resolving them in a human way, what will result from that in the end? (God will spurn that person.) God will loathe that person, so will that be edifying for people? (No, it won’t.) They will not only lose out in their own life but will also be of no edification to others. More than that, they will humiliate God and have Him spurn them. Such a person has lost their witness and is unwelcome wherever they go. If you are a member of God’s house, yet you are always hot-headed in your actions, always expose what is natural in you, and always reveal your corrupt disposition, doing things with human means and with a corrupt, satanic disposition, the final consequence will be your doing evil and your resisting God—and if you remain unrepentant all the while and cannot tread upon the path of pursuing truth, you will have to be revealed and cast out. Is the problem of living in reliance on a satanic disposition and not seeking the truth to resolve it not a grave one? One aspect of the problem is that one does not grow or change in their own life; beyond that, one will adversely influence others. They will not serve any good purpose in the church, and in time, they will bring great trouble to the church and to God’s chosen people, like a stinking fly that flies back and forth above a dining table, courting disgust and loathing. Do you want to be this kind of person? (No.)” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. A Corrupt Disposition Can Only Be Resolved by Accepting the Truth). What God exposed was my current situation. Why did I always feel annoyed and even pour forth hotheadedness and flare up at my partnered sisters? It’s because they weren’t meeting my expectations after being selected to lead. Instead of directly sharing the workload and easing my pressure, they required more of my energy to fellowship with them and help address the shortcomings in their work. I felt they were wasting my time and causing my flesh discomfort, which led to resistance in my heart. I didn’t seek the truth and lived in my corrupt disposition, despising them, flaring up at them, and pouring forth hotheadedness. This caused them to become negative and feel constrained, affecting our work. I truly lacked humanity!

Later on, I read more of God’s words: “When it comes to performing certain special duties or more strenuous and tiring duties, in one respect, people must always contemplate on how to perform those duties, what hardships they should endure, and how they should uphold their duties and submit. In another respect, people must also examine what adulterations there are in their intentions and how these hinder their performance of their duties. People are born with an aversion toward suffering hardship—not a single individual derives more enthusiasm or more joy from enduring more hardship. Such people do not exist. It is the nature of man’s flesh for people to feel worried and distressed as soon as their flesh endures hardship. But how much hardship do you have to endure now in the duty you perform? You only have to endure your flesh feeling a little tired and toiling a little. If you cannot endure even this little bit of hardship, can you be considered as having resolve? Can you be considered as sincerely believing in God? (No.) This won’t do. … Being able to endure hardship in performing one’s duty is not an easy task. It is also not easy to perform a particular kind of work well. It is certain that the truth of God’s words is at work within people who can do these things. It is not that they were born without fear of hardship and fatigue. Where could such a person be found? These people all have some motivation, and they have some of the truth of God’s words as their foundation. When they take up their duties, their views and standpoints change—performing their duties becomes easier and enduring some fleshly hardship and fatigue begins to feel insignificant to them. Those who do not understand the truth and whose views on things haven’t changed live according to human ideas, notions, selfish desires, and personal preferences, so they are reluctant and unwilling to perform their duties. For example, when it comes to doing dirty and tiring work, some people say, ‘I will obey the arrangements of God’s house. Whatever duty the church arranges for me, I will perform it, regardless of whether it is dirty or tiring, whether it is impressive or unremarkable. I have no demands, and I will accept it as my duty. This is the commission that God has entrusted to me, and a little dirt and fatigue are the hardships that I should endure.’ As a result, when they are engaged in their work, they don’t feel they are enduring any hardship at all. While others may find it dirty and tiring, they find it easy, because their hearts are calm and undisturbed. They are doing it for God, so they don’t feel that it is difficult. Some people consider doing dirty, tiring, or unremarkable work an insult to their status and character. They perceive it as others not respecting them, bullying them, or looking down on them. As a result, even when faced with the same tasks and workload, they find it strenuous. Whatever they do, they carry a sense of resentment in their hearts, and feel that things are not the way they want them to be or that they are unsatisfactory. Inside, they are full of negativity and resistance. Why are they negative and resistant? What is the root of it? Most often, it’s because performing their duties doesn’t earn them a salary; it feels like working for free. If there were rewards, it might be acceptable for them, but they do not know whether they will get them or not. Therefore, people feel that performing duties is not worthwhile, equating it to working for nothing, so they often become negative and resistant when it comes to performing duties. Is this not the case? Frankly speaking, these people are unwilling to perform duties(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). From God’s words I saw that those who don’t practice the truth and are considerate of the flesh only think about their own physical interests. They don’t take their duties as responsibilities. When they do more, they feel like they’re losing out, so they complain and resist. This isn’t doing their duties. Compared with myself, because the sisters partnered with me were new and couldn’t independently do their duties, and they needed more of my fellowship and assistance, I was therefore full of complaints, thinking they were wasting my rest time. I flared up and poured forth hotheadedness, unwilling to talk to them or care about the work they were responsible for. I never considered the church work as my duty or thought about how to help the sisters quickly take up their responsibilities to prevent losses in church work. I was not even willing to talk more or spend more time and energy. How could my behavior be considered performing my duties faithfully? A person with conscience and reason doesn’t consider personal interests in any environment. They remain loyal to God and do their duties well no matter how much they suffer and are tired. However, I always thought about indulging in physical comfort and convenience. When things got a little tough, I felt aggrieved and thought that I had lost out, and I wanted to escape from this environment. All of this was caused by my corrupt dispositions of coveting the flesh and of being selfish and vile. I lived within my corrupt disposition, which greatly hurt the sisters partnered with me. They would watch my expression every day before speaking. Sometimes, they clearly had opinions, but they were afraid of saying something wrong, knowing I might react angrily. As a result, they couldn’t fully fulfill their duties as they originally could have. How could this be considered doing my duty? It was practically doing evil and causing disruption! Now that I think about it, I was truly ugly in my behavior.

Later on, I sought why I always coveted comfort and considered my own physical interests. I read God’s words that said: “Until people have experienced God’s work and understood the truth, it is Satan’s nature that takes charge and dominates them from within. What, specifically, does that nature entail? For example, why are you selfish? Why do you protect your own position? Why do you have such strong feelings? Why do you enjoy those unrighteous things? Why do you like those evils? What is the basis for your fondness for such things? Where do these things come from? Why are you so happy to accept them? By now, you have all come to understand that the main reason behind all these things is that Satan’s poison is within man. So what is Satan’s poison? How can it be expressed? For example, if you ask, ‘How should people live? What should people live for?’ people will answer, ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.’ This single phrase expresses the very root of the problem. Satan’s philosophy and logic have become people’s lives. No matter what people pursue, they do so for themselves—and so they live only for themselves. ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost’—this is the life philosophy of man, and it also represents human nature. These words have already become the nature of corrupt mankind and they are the true portrait of corrupt mankind’s satanic nature. This satanic nature has already become the basis for corrupt mankind’s existence. For several thousand years, corrupt mankind has lived by this venom of Satan, right up to the present day(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Walk the Path of Peter). From God’s words, I saw that I had been living by Satan’s poison of “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” Everything I did was for myself, thinking that anyone who didn’t look out for themselves was foolish. Therefore, in doing my duty, all my thoughts and actions were motivated by self-interest. Ever since He Li left, I hoped to have someone share the workload soon to lighten my burden, so that I could suffer less and feel less tired. Seeing Zhao Xin slow to pick up the work and not able to help much, I felt disdainful and wanted another partner. But as a leader, Liu Wen didn’t grasp the principles well, and her work often needed revisions. I poured forth hotheadedness and flared up at them, feeling that not only did they not help share the workload, but they also required me to spend more effort on fellowshipping with them. This left me with even less time to rest, and I felt very resentful toward them. When they encountered difficulties in their work, I didn’t want to bother getting involved, leading to unresolved issues and delays in work. If I had been willing to sacrifice more and patiently help them, although it would have tired me out physically, if we had collaborated, then the church’s work could have progressed smoothly. But I only considered my own physical interests. Living by Satan’s poison of “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” I became increasingly selfish, vile, and devoid of humanity, even causing delays in the work. If I didn’t change, I’d ultimately be spurned and cast out by God! I came before God and prayed, “God! Lately I have been living by Satan’s poison of ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,’ and it’s been making me unspeakably miserable. If I’m not blaming others, I’m blaming God. I don’t want to keep living like this. Please lead me to break free from the bondage of satanic poisons.”

Later, I pondered: How should I treat people according to principles? I thought of these words of God: “First of all, you must understand the truth. Once you understand the truth, it will be easy for you to understand God’s will, and you will know the principles by which God requires people to treat others. You will know how to treat people, and you will be able to treat them in accordance with God’s will. If you do not understand the truth, you will certainly not be able to understand God’s will, and you will not treat others in a principled way. How you are to treat others is clearly shown or hinted at in God’s words; the attitude with which God treats humanity is the attitude people should adopt in their treatment of one another. How does God treat each and every person? Some people are of immature stature; or are young; or have believed in God for only a short time; or are not bad by nature essence, not malicious, but are just a bit ignorant or lacking in caliber. Or they are subject to too many constraints, and are yet to understand the truth, yet to have life entry, so it is difficult for them to keep from doing foolish things or committing ignorant acts. But God does not fixate on people’s passing foolishness; He looks only at their hearts. If they are resolved to pursue the truth, they are then correct, and when this is their objective, then God is observing them, waiting for them, and giving them time and opportunities that allow them to enter. It is not the case that God will write them off over a single transgression. That is something people often do; God never treats people like that. If God does not treat people in that way, then why do people treat others in that way? Does this not show their corrupt disposition? This is precisely their corrupt disposition. You have to look at how God treats ignorant and foolish people, how He treats those with immature stature, how He treats the normal revelations of humanity’s corrupt disposition, and how He treats those who are malicious. God treats different people in different ways, and He also has various ways of managing different people’s myriad conditions. You must understand these truths. Once you have understood these truths, you will then know how to experience matters and treat people according to principles(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. To Gain the Truth, One Must Learn From the People, Events, and Things Nearby). From God’s words, I saw that God has principles in dealing with people. He is tolerant and patient with those who are small in stature, giving them opportunities to grow. But I didn’t consider the actual difficulties others faced and had too high expectations. Zhao Xin was older and new to this, so it was normal for her to be unfamiliar with the work at first. Instead of understanding her difficulties and providing loving support, I demanded that she immediately take on the work since she was performing her duty. Liu Wen was slow-paced and tended to get confused when there was a lot of work, but she was steady and serious in doing her duties and could handle actual tasks. However, I didn’t help the sisters quickly familiarize themselves with the work and had overly high expectations. When they couldn’t meet these expectations, I showed them dissatisfaction, leading to them feeling constrained. Thinking about when I first performed my duties as a leader, I knew nothing at the time. It was through the constant help of brothers and sisters that I grasped some principles. But then, I excessively demanded from my partnered sisters, making things difficult for them. I truly lacked humanity! Thinking about this, I felt very ashamed.

Later, during my seeking, I read these words of God: “There must be principles to how brothers and sisters interact. Do not always focus on others’ faults, instead you must examine yourself frequently, and then proactively admit to other people what things you have done that caused interference or harm to them, and learn to open yourself up and fellowship. In this way, you can achieve mutual understanding. What’s more, no matter what befalls you, you should view things based on the words of God. If people are able to understand the truth principles and find a path of practice, they will become of one heart and mind, and the relationship between the brothers and sisters will be normal, they will not be as indifferent, cold, and cruel as the unbelievers, and they will shed their mentality of mutual suspicion and wariness. The brothers and sisters will become more intimate with each other; they will be able to support and love each other; there will be goodwill in their hearts, and they will be capable of tolerance and compassion toward each other, and they will support and help one another, instead of alienating each other, being envious of each other, measuring themselves against one another, and secretly competing and being defiant toward each other. … When people live by their corrupt dispositions, it is very hard for them to be at peace before God, and it is very difficult for them to practice the truth and live by God’s words. To live before God, you must first learn how to reflect on and know yourself, and truly pray to God, and then you must learn how to get on with the brothers and sisters. You must be tolerant of each other, lenient with each other, and be able to see what others’ strengths and merits are—you must learn to accept others’ opinions and things that are right(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). God’s words clearly tell us that in our interactions with brothers and sisters, we shouldn’t always focus on their shortcomings but should instead see their strengths and merits. We need to be tolerant of each other and complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Zhao Xin was better at fellowshipping the truth to resolve problems; sometimes when I couldn’t see through to the problems of brothers and sisters, Zhao Xin could find relevant words of God to fellowship and resolve them. Although Liu Wen was slow-paced, she thought through problems carefully, doing her duties seriously and responsibly. When I had a lot of work, I tended to be perfunctory, but Liu Wen occasionally reminded me, which was also helpful and complementary to me. The three of us working together harmoniously and complementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses would surely make our work progress. Later on, I opened up to my partnered sisters about my state and we pointed out each other’s issues. Through fellowship, we found the path and direction of our partnership, and I felt particularly at ease in my heart. Seeing that the environment arranged by God has been beneficial for the growth of my life, I felt especially grateful to God.

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