Don’t Doubt Those You Use: Is That Right?
By Lin Ping, China
In July 2020, I served as a leader, overseeing the work of several churches. Brother Liu had just been elected as a leader in one of them. I’d worked with him before, so I knew him fairly well. He was mature, steady, looked at things from all angles and had a burden in his duty. He was good at fellowshiping onto help others. When I worked with him before, he always helped me with fellowship when I ran into problems. I felt like he was pretty reliable, so I didn’t have to worry as much about his church and could put more of my energy into the other ones. So, after briefing Brother Liu on how to handle various projects, I didn’t concern myself much with his work. Later, I saw he seemed to have direction and was getting results in those various projects, so that put my mind even more at ease. I figured that even if I wasn’t checking up on things, he’d be able to quickly resolve any problems he encountered. So for three straight months I didn’t check up on the work he was responsible for in much detail, and even recommended him as a candidate for a higher leadership position.
Then in December I got a letter from my leader saying that some brothers and sisters said Brother Liu didn’t do practical work, and he asked me to follow up and look into his work, and cancel his leadership candidacy for the time being. I was really taken aback to see that. I was thinking: He’s not doing practical work? How could that be? If that was the case, how could his church have been getting results? Sister Wu, his partner, was new to leadership duty so she couldn’t know it well. Wouldn’t that mean Brother Liu was taking on all the work for that church? Was the leader just going by what those evaluations said without really getting a clear picture? I’d worked with him before and had a good understanding of him. Recently, there had been some arrests there. He was probably managing issues following arrests, and didn’t have time for other things. Even if it did seem he wasn’t doing real work, that was understandable. I couldn’t be wrong about him. So what was the problem? I quickly opened the evaluations and saw they’d written about ways he hadn’t been doing practical work before. I was thinking, “What is with them? Just clinging to Brother Liu’s past transgressions instead of seeing whether he has changed. His projects have been going well all these months. He can do practical work.” I explained the situation to the leader and suggested letting him run in the election.
A few days later, seeing I wasn’t taking the matter seriously but was arguing his case, the leader told me, “We can’t have absolute confidence in anyone. Everyone has corruption and no one is reliable until they’ve gained the truth and been perfected. We all can do things our own way, out of corruption. Without supervision, anyone can do things against God that hurt the work of the church. We need actual oversight and supervision to discover and resolve problems in time. This is taking responsibility for the church’s work.” I said I’d do it, but I was thinking, “Supervision is warranted, but I shouldn’t be suspicious of everything. Doesn’t everyone want to pursue the truth and do a duty well? God’s house isn’t like the outside world. Brothers and sisters should trust each other, not watch each other like hawks. I’ve told you that there is context to Brother Liu not doing real work, but you don’t believe that. I will look into things to show you what sort of person Brother Liu is.” So, I went to the church he was responsible for where I found out that Sister Wu, the previous leader, had taken on most of their work. Since her recent transfer, their projects had started slipping. Also, he hadn’t dismissed an unsuitable team leader named Chen after I told him to. He wasn’t working well with the watering deacon or keeping up with the work of watering newcomers. Seeing what Brother Liu had done to their work, I felt kind of guilty. The leader had reminded me to follow up and oversee his work, but I didn’t because I had too much confidence in him. I figured that since he was in place, he should have the right to work freely. I never thought it would turn out that way. I thought back on our interactions before. He didn’t seem to be the sort of person who’s all talk, but doesn’t do real work. Were there special circumstances holding him up? Just as I was puzzling over this, Brother Liu said, “Some of our brothers and sisters were arrested recently. Dealing with things after that has been hectic and I haven’t had time for everything.” Hearing what Brother Liu said, I thought, it was just like I said, that he wasn’t the sort of person who doesn’t do practical work. Managing all those post-arrest affairs took lots of his time and energy. He hadn’t gotten some things done well, but there were reasons for it. No one does a duty perfectly. So, I fellowshiped with him on the consequences of not doing practical work and told him to dismiss Chen right away. He said he would. But some time passed, and I heard that Chen was still doing that duty. I quickly sought out Brother Liu’s partner, Brother Li, to see what was going on. He said, “Every time you assign us work, Brother Liu fully agrees to it, but then I don’t see him implement any of it. I was just elected, so I’m not familiar with the specifics of the work, and he hasn’t helped me. When facing problems, I had to feel my way through by leaning on God.” I was stunned to hear this from him. How could it be that Brother Liu hadn’t gotten any real work done? He wasn’t like that before. I’d gathered with him during this time, so why hadn’t I noticed his issues? I had too much confidence in him, so I wasn’t supervising or looking into his work, which meant an unsuitable team leader stayed in place way too long and no one was overseeing the watering of newcomers. That delayed the work of God’s house and others’ life entry. I’d done evil.
When I saw Brother Liu after that, he said some people dealt with him a couple days before for not doing practical work and he felt really remorseful. He cried, saying he’d been irresponsible and muddling through his duty, that he was no good. I figured he’d learned about himself, so he must see how serious his problem was, and he’d change after that. I wanted to give him another chance to repent, to not dismiss him for now, and offer him more support. So I pointed out his problems and told him to correct his errors right away and dismiss that team leader. He was full of promises, but though he did dismiss Chen later on, overall the work wasn’t yielding results. Some brothers and sisters mentioned to me that they’d discovered some serious problems with him. When there were arrests, he didn’t protect church property right away, and didn’t cooperate proactively with projects, which meant nothing was accomplished. But most infuriating was that he didn’t handle evildoers being disruptive, but kept busy with his personal affairs, throwing church work into chaos. I saw that Brother Liu wasn’t doing any practical work and had no true repentance. I felt so guilty. I’d never imagined things would turn out like that. I had a part in his evil and committed transgressions before God. I also hated myself for being too trusting, not following up on his work sooner. That was so harmful for the church’s work. I went to talk to Brother Liu right away and listed out his problematic behaviors, and I dismissed him in the end.
Then a leader reproached me, “Why did you trust him so much? You entrusted him with such important work without any oversight. How could you be so hands off?” She also read some of God’s words for me. “False leaders will not look into supervisors who are not doing actual work, or who are neglecting their responsibilities. They think they just need to choose a supervisor and everything will be fine; afterward, the supervisor will handle all work matters, and all they need to do is hold assembly every so often, they won’t need to keep an eye on work or ask how it’s going, they can stay hands-off. If someone reports a problem with a supervisor, the false leader will say, ‘It’s just a minor problem, it’s fine. You can handle it yourself. Don’t ask me.’ The person who reports the issue says, ‘That supervisor is a lazy glutton. They do nothing but eat and entertain themselves, and they are bone idle. They don’t want to suffer even a little bit of hardship in their duty, and they always find ways to cheat and make up excuses to avoid their work and responsibilities. They are unqualified to be a supervisor.’ The false leader will answer, ‘They were fine when they were selected as supervisor. What you’re saying isn’t true, or even if it is, it’s just a temporary manifestation.’ The false leader doesn’t try and find out more about the supervisor’s situation, but judges and determines the matter based on their past impressions of the person. Regardless of who reports problems with the supervisor, the false leader ignores it. … False leaders also have a major failing: They are quick to trust people based on their own imaginings. And this is caused by not understanding the truth, is it not? How does God’s word reveal the states of corrupt humankind? Why should you trust in people when God doesn’t? Instead of judging people by appearances, God keeps a constant watch on their hearts—so why should people be so casual when they judge others and place their trust in them? False leaders are too conceited, are they not? What they think is, ‘I wasn’t wrong when I spotted this person. Nothing could go awry; they are definitely not someone who messes around, who likes to have fun and hates hard work. They are absolutely dependable and trustworthy. They will not change; if they did, that would mean I was wrong about them, wouldn’t it?’ What kind of logic is this? Are you some kind of expert? Do you have x-ray vision? Is this your special skill? You could live with this person for one or two years, but would you be able to see who they really are without a suitable environment to lay their nature and essence utterly bare? If they were not exposed by God, you could live side-by-side with them for three, or even five, years, and would still struggle to see just what kind of nature and essence they have. And how much more is that true when you rarely see them, are rarely with them? You blithely trust them based on a fleeting impression or someone else’s positive appraisal of them, and dare to entrust the work of the church to such people. In this, are you not being extremely blind? Are you not being impetuous? And when they work like this, are the false leaders not being extremely irresponsible?” (Identifying False Leaders). Then the leader said, “We can’t ever truly see a person’s essence, so we need to stay on top of their work. Then we can find mistakes and issues in their duty and change things in time. Brother Liu was about to bring the church’s work to its knees after just a few months. These are the consequences of putting too much trust in others and not checking up on their work. That is doing evil.” With God’s words’ revelations and the leader’s fellowship, I felt a sort of fear after the fact, and I was upset and guilty. I hated myself for not looking at things based on God’s words, but blindly trusting someone, which harmed the church’s work. Thinking back on Brother Liu’s issues, it wasn’t that I didn’t see his issues, but it was that every time I did, I stuck to my guns. I went by my previous experience with him to blindly determine that he was a responsible person with a burden for his duty who deserved to be trusted. Both the facts and God’s words finally showed me that putting on a good show and doing real work for a time doesn’t mean someone will always be that way. None of us have gained the truth, our life dispositions haven’t changed, we’re still controlled by our corrupt nature, we may still be careless and try to cheat God, and we’ll just do as we please sometimes, so we’re not worthy of trust. And you can’t really understand a person without a long period of interaction, and even then, you still might not entirely know them. You have to know the truth to see into a person’s essence. I’d just worked alongside Brother Liu for a short time, but I thought I knew him really well and wouldn’t misjudge him. I trusted him so much, I didn’t follow up on his work. God set up so many situations to reveal this and the leader brought it up repeatedly, but I just kept blindly trusting my own analysis. I saw I was really arrogant and conceited, and had no responsibility for my work. As a leader, I wasn’t doing practical work or upholding the work of God’s house. I wasn’t worthy of God’s commission. I was really regretful when I saw this and I didn’t want to keep being that way.
In my reflection later, I wondered why I’d trusted him so much without following up on his work. What was the root of this? One day, I read this in God’s words: “It’s safe to say most people consider the phrase ‘Do not doubt the people you employ, and do not employ the people you doubt’ as the truth, and they are deceived and bound by it. They are disturbed and influenced by it when selecting or appointing people, and even let it dictate their actions. As a result, many leaders and workers always have difficulties and misgivings whenever they check up on church work and promote and appoint people. Ultimately, all they can do is comfort themselves with the words ‘Do not doubt the people you employ, and do not employ the people you doubt.’ Whenever they inspect or inquire about the work, they think, ‘“Do not doubt the people you employ, and do not employ the people you doubt.” I should trust my brothers and sisters, and after all, the Holy Spirit observes people, so I shouldn’t always doubt and monitor others.’ They have been influenced by this phrase, haven’t they? What are the consequences brought about by the influence of this phrase? First of all, what you are loyal to is not God’s word, not God’s commission for you, and not God, it is satanic philosophy for living and satanic logic. You believe in God while blatantly betraying God and God’s word. This is a serious problem, isn’t it? Second, this is not merely a failure to keep to God’s word and your duties, this is taking Satan’s schemes and philosophy for living as if they were the truth, and following and practicing them. You are obeying Satan and living by a satanic philosophy, aren’t you? Doing this means you are not a person who obeys God, much less a person who abides by God’s words. You are a scoundrel. Putting God’s words aside, and instead taking a satanic phrase and practicing it as the truth, is betraying the truth and God! You work in God’s house, yet act by the satanic logic and philosophy for living, what kind of person are you? This is someone who rebels against God and someone who gravely shames God. What is the essence of this act? Openly condemning God and openly denying the truth. Isn’t that the essence of it? In addition to not following God’s will, you are allowing Satan’s fallacies and satanic philosophies for living to run rampant in the church. In doing this, you become Satan’s accomplice and aid Satan’s actions in the church. The essence of this problem is serious, isn’t it?” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Excursus One: What the Truth Is). God’s words revealed my state. I was living by the satanic philosophy of “Don’t doubt those you employ,” thinking that if I felt a person was okay and he was still in place, I had to trust him. That’s why I had so much confidence in Brother Liu and I didn’t follow up on his work. Even when his problems came to light and the leader reminded me to check on his work, I still thought nothing of it. I thought checking up on his work meant a lack of trust, and even though I found out he wasn’t doing practical work, when I saw him crying, talking about his real struggles and expressing regret, I decided to believe him and not dismiss him then, allowing him to hurt the church’s work and hurt brothers’ and sisters’ life entry so much. As a church leader, not only had I failed to protect the church’s work, but I’d acted as a shield for a false leader, becoming a stumbling block within God’s house. Those were the consequences of me treating people based on the satanic idea of not doubting those you use. Looking at it based on God’s words, I saw how absurd my perspective was. It was entirely opposed to God’s words and what He requires. God’s requirement that leaders keep an eye on work is based on corrupt mankind’s essence. It’s because we all have corrupt dispositions, so before we’ve gained the truth or changed our life dispositions, we’re unreliable and can’t be fully trusted. Even people with good humanity may go their own way and disrupt the work of God’s house because they don’t know the truth, aren’t principled in their actions, and have corrupt dispositions. No one can deny that. God’s house requires that leaders supervise work because God understands our essence. Checking up on work is helpful for our duties, and it benefits the work of God’s house. But that satanic idea, “Don’t doubt those you employ,” gets us to blindly trust others, thinking that handing a job over means we can let that person do whatever they want, and that checking up on their work represents a lack of trust. Sticking to that perspective, not following up on work in time, could only delay and harm the work of God’s house. Doing a duty but not going by God’s words or His requirements, instead going by satanic philosophies, upholding Satan’s fallacies as if they were the truth was denying the truth and betraying God. It was acting as Satan’s helper and disrupting the work of God’s house. I got more afraid as I thought about it. I saw I was lacking principles in my duty, that I wasn’t going by God’s words or demands. I unwittingly stepped onto the path of resisting God while serving Him. The consequences of not doing my duty based on principles of the truth are really scary!
I read a couple passages of God’s words: “Do you believe the phrase ‘Do not doubt the people you employ, and do not employ the people you doubt’ is correct? Is this phrase the truth? Why would someone use this phrase in the work of God’s house and in fulfilling their duty? What is the problem here? These are clearly the words of the unbelievers, words that come from Satan—so why do they treat them as the truth? Why can’t they tell if they’re right or wrong? These are patently the words of man, the words of corrupt humankind, they are simply not the truth, they are utterly at odds with the words of God, and should not serve as the criterion for people’s actions, conduct, and worship of God. So how should this phrase be approached? If you are truly capable of differentiation, what kind of criterion should you use in its place to serve as your principle for practice? The criterion should be to ‘perform your duty with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ Doing things with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind means that no matter what others think, this is your responsibility, your duty, so you should fulfill your responsibility, accomplish your duty, act according to principle, handle things how they ought to be handled, ask after what must be asked after, prune and deal with those who need it, and dismiss those who deserve it. Isn’t this the principle?” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Excursus One: What the Truth Is). “No matter what important work a leader or worker does, and what the nature of this work is, their number one priority is to be au fait with how work is getting on. They must be there in person to follow up on things and ask questions, getting their information first-hand. They must not simply keep an ear to the ground, or listen to other people’s reports; instead, they must observe with their own eyes how staff are doing, how work is progressing, and learn about what difficulties there are, whether any areas are at odds with requirements of the Above, whether the specialist tasks have violated principles, whether there exist any disturbances or disruption, whether there is a lack of necessary equipment, or instructional materials for a certain task—they must stay on top of all of this. No matter how many reports they listen to, or how much they get from keeping their ear to the ground, neither of these beats paying a personal visit. Seeing things with their own eyes is more accurate and reliable; once they are familiar with the situation, they will have a good idea of what’s going on. Even more important is a clear and accurate grasp of who is of good caliber and worthy of cultivation, which is crucial if leaders and workers are to do their work properly. Leaders and workers should have a path for how to nurture and train people of good caliber, they should have a good grasp and sound understanding of the various kinds of problems and difficulties that occur during work, and know how to solve these difficulties, and they should also have their own ideas and suggestions for how work is to progress, or its future prospects. If they are able to speak with clarity about such things with their eyes closed, without any doubt or misgivings, then this work will be much easier to carry out. And by doing this, a leader will be living up to their responsibilities, will they not? Leaders and workers must take all of this into account, they must bear all of this in mind, they must be constantly thinking about these things in their head. When they encounter difficulties, they must go back to everyone to fellowship and discuss these things, searching for the truth in order to remedy the issue. If their work is thus grounded in reality, there will be no difficulties that cannot be solved” (Identifying False Leaders). God’s words gave me the path of practice for doing practical work. You have to fulfill your responsibilities with your whole heart, your whole mind. No matter who it is, whether you know them or not, a leader with a true sense of responsibility will be constantly following up on the progress of work, resolving issues as they’re discovered. If someone isn’t suitable, they’ll transfer them right away. They cooperate with everyone on issues and seek the truth together to resolve them. This ensures church projects have orderly, proper progress. Thinking over God’s words, I saw why I knew I had to be responsible in my duty, but still clung to the satanic fallacy, “Don’t doubt those you employ.” I was holding on to an absurd idea, thinking that keeping watch over someone’s work was a lack of trust, that it was confining for them, like being a supervisor out in the world. Then I saw that God’s house requires that leaders supervise work not to hold anyone back or not trust them, but to find problems and fix them quickly. It’s to help brothers and sisters do their duty and protect the interests of God’s house. One of a leader’s tasks is to supervise and follow up on work, to promptly gain an understanding of each person’s approach to work, find problems quickly, and address them expediently. That can minimize losses due to mistakes arising from irresponsibility in people’s duties. That’s taking responsibility for others’ life entry, and for the work of God’s house.
After that, I went to look into each leader’s work in detail, and no matter how well I knew them, I earnestly looked into their progress in the projects they were handling. Through that actual check-up, I found a leader named Xia who wasn’t doing practical work or resolving real problems. He was also vicious and lashed out against others, which is essentially very mean, so we dismissed him right away. We found out about lots of other evil things he’d done later through others’ reports, and he still wouldn’t repent after lots of fellowship. We ultimately determined he was an antichrist and expelled him from the church. That made me feel afraid. Without going through all that with Brother Liu, which changed my mistaken idea, I wouldn’t have thought to look into Xia’s work. That antichrist would have kept hurting brothers and sisters in the church. The consequences of that would have been unthinkable. Putting this into practice showed me the importance of supervision over work. I finally felt that peace of mind that comes from doing practical work.
This experience showed me that doing a duty without following God’s words or practicing the truth, but upholding satanic logic and ideas, is resisting God and disrupting the work of the church. We have to follow God’s requirements on overseeing work to do a duty well and protect the work of God’s house. The judgment and revelations of God’s words turned my mistaken idea around. Thank God!