Now I Know How to Collaborate in My Duty

January 17, 2022

By Yiling, China

It was November 2019, I was working on leadership duties with Sister Zhou. To complete the work better and more efficiently, the upper leaders divided the work responsibilities between us. I was mainly responsible for watering newcomers, while she was to follow up on video work. At the time, I could see that watering the newcomers wasn’t going so well, I felt a lot of pressure and feared I couldn’t shoulder the task. But then I remembered that this was crucial work, and if I could achieve some success in this difficult task, then the upper leaders would acknowledge my capability, and the brothers and sisters would also view me with newfound respect, so I agreed to the work. Later, I often met with those who watered newcomers, helping them solve problems in the performance of their duties, focusing on watering and nurturing those who I could see were of good quality. After a while, the watering work began to improve. One day, a sister reported to me that there were not enough people to produce videos, so they were having trouble, which needed to be solved right away. I thought to myself: “This problem must be solved as soon as possible, but right now the work of watering must also be followed up on, and if I spend all this time on the video work and newcomers’ problems can’t be resolved in a timely manner, and they leave, then the watering work would be affected. If that happened, would the upper leaders say I’m not capable? Also, the video work is for Sister Zhou to follow up on, so if I helped her deal with the matter she’d get the credit, while I wouldn’t show my face.” Considering this, I didn’t attend to the details of the work, I just said a few hasty words and left. Upon returning, I brought the matter up with Sister Zhou, but she couldn’t think of a suitable person, and it was a tough call for her. Then the work was delayed because personnel were not in place. At the time, I still didn’t concern myself with this matter, and still thought that it was Sister Zhou’s responsibility, and had no direct relationship to me. One day, Sister Zhou said to me: “I notice you only focus on what you’re responsible for, and don’t concern yourself with other work.” Hearing her say this, I thought to myself: “If I were to do the work that you’re responsible for, you’d get all the credit, then only you would be noticed, not me, so why should I go to such lengths?” When she brought this up, I didn’t take it seriously.

Not long later, our leader said to me: “There’ve been some problems with the video work, and none of the problems have been resolved. I remember you’ve made videos in the past, and you have some strengths in this area. I’d like you to be responsible for the video work; Sister Zhou will take on the watering work.” Hearing this, I felt a little upset: I’d put much effort, thought and consideration on the watering work, it hadn’t been easy to make improvements. Now that I was to be responsible for the video work, she’d enjoy the fruits of my labor. Also, making good videos is pretty tough. If I didn’t do a good job, what would others think of me? Would they see me as incapable? But then I thought about it again: “The watering work didn’t have good results at the first either. Through my ceaseless efforts, didn’t the results improve? If I also improve the video work, won’t that demonstrate my work capability?” And so, I agreed to the task. I then poured my heart and soul into the video work, tracking down new people for the work. When the brothers or sisters had problems, I spent time patiently fellowshiping on solutions with them. After a while, the video work also began to improve, and everyone’s enthusiasm for their duties also increased. During this time, some brothers and sisters asked me about watering newcomers. I felt that this work wasn’t in the scope of my responsibility. Even if I resolved these matters, I wouldn’t receive credit, and so I just gave perfunctory responses. One day, Sister Zhou told me there were some problems in the watering work that she didn’t know how to resolve. Then I realized that I’d encountered these problems before. I’d intended to tell her how to resolve them, but then I thought that if she did so, then she’d get the credit, not me. I told her that I’d resolve the matter when I had time, but then I got busy and forgot about it. The issue went unresolved, and as a result the watering work was affected.

One day, the upper leaders came to learn about our work, and found that I’d only focused on my own work and not that of others. They dealt with me harshly, saying that a church leader only being concerned with their own main tasks while disregarding the other church work was doing one’s own business, it was selfish, contemptible, and bad humanity. At hearing this I felt very upset, as well as wronged. I thought to myself: “I’ve spent so much time and effort on my duties every day, I’ve worked hard and never slacked off. It would’ve been fine if they hadn’t praised me, but how could they say that I was selfish, contemptible and of bad humanity?” When I got home, I broke down in tears. In my pain I prayed to God: “Oh, God! In the face of such pruning and dealing, I feel upset and wronged, I do not understand Your intentions, please lead me to know myself.”

One day, I saw the words of God that said: “Conscience and reason should both be components of a person’s humanity. These are both most fundamental and most important. What kind of person is one who lacks conscience and does not have the reason of normal humanity? Generally speaking, he is a person who lacks humanity, a person of extremely poor humanity. Going into more detail, what manifestations of lost humanity does this person exhibit such that people say he has no humanity? Have a go at analyzing what characteristics are found in such people and what specific manifestations do they present. (They are selfish and mean.) Selfishness is one, and so is meanness. What is manifested, furthermore, in what they do? Such people are perfunctory in their actions and stand aloof from anything that does not concern them personally. They do not consider the interests of God’s house, nor do they show consideration for God’s will. They take on no burden of testifying for God or performing their duties, and they have no sense of responsibility. What is it that they think about whenever they do something? Their first consideration is, ‘Will God know if I do this? Is it visible to other people? If other people don’t see that I expend all this effort and work industriously, and if God doesn’t see it either, then there is no use for my expending such effort or suffering for this.’ Is this not selfishness? At the same time, it is also a very base sort of intent. When they think and act in this way, is conscience playing any role? Is there any part of conscience in this? No. There are even people who, upon seeing a problem in the performance of their duty, remain silent. They see that others are causing interruptions and disturbances, yet say nothing, and do nothing to stop them. They do not consider the interests of God’s house in the least, nor do they at all think about their own duties or responsibilities. They speak, act, stand out, put forth effort, and expend energy only for their own vanity, prestige, position, interests, and honor. The actions and intents of someone like that are clear to everyone: They pop out whenever there is an opportunity for honor or to enjoy some blessing. But, when there is not an opportunity for honor, or as soon as there is a time of suffering, they vanish from sight like a tortoise retracting its head. Does this kind of person have conscience and reason? Does a person without conscience and reason who behaves in this way feel self-reproach? (No.) Such people have no sense of reproach; the conscience of this kind of person serves no purpose. They have never felt self-reproach, so can they feel the reproach or discipline of the Holy Spirit? No, they cannot” (“Give Your True Heart to God, and You Can Obtain the Truth” in The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days). “In Satan’s camp, be it in a small office or a large organization, among the masses or in governmental capacities, what is the atmosphere in which they act? What are the principles and guidelines for their actions? Each is a law unto themselves; each goes their own way. They act in their own interests and fend for themselves. Whoever has authority gets the final say. They do not give a thought to others; as long as it does not violate national laws or government stipulations, they do as they will, striving for fame, fortune, and status. If you neither understand the truth nor put it into practice, would you, in a situation where you have not been provided with God’s words, be any different from them? Absolutely not—you would be absolutely the same as them. You would fight in the same way that unbelievers fight. You would struggle in the same way that unbelievers struggle. From morning to night, you would envy and dispute, plotting and scheming. What is the root of this problem? It is all because people are controlled by corrupt dispositions. The reign of corrupt dispositions is the reign of Satan; corrupted humanity dwells within a satanic disposition, without exception” (“The Principles That Should Guide One’s Conduct” in The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days). From God’s words, I saw that I had been selfish and self-interested. I knew that the division of labor was for efficiency, not to make us independent. If there are problems with my co-worker, it’s my job to help resolve them, but I’d only concerned myself with my work at hand, doing things for my reputation and status. I’d paid no attention to other work, even if I could see there were problems. I’d been very selfish and contemptible. When I was responsible for watering work, I knew it was hard to find people for the video work, but I felt that if I resolved these difficulties, the credit wouldn’t be mine. I just inquired into it in a perfunctory manner and didn’t take it seriously. So there weren’t enough people for the video team, and the work suffered losses. When I was responsible for the video work, Sister Zhou told me there were problems with the watering work. I could have told her straight out how to deal with it, but I worried that if she resolved these problems, she’d steal my credit, so I didn’t fellowship with her. As a result, the problems went unresolved, and the work was delayed. In doing my own work well I would gain everyone’s approval, and therefore I’d work my very hardest. Sister Zhou encountered problems in her work and needed help, but I wasn’t concerned with these things, so the work of God’s house suffered. I’d been truly selfish and lacking in humanity. If the upper leaders hadn’t harshly pruned and dealt with me, I still wouldn’t have noticed how I’d been behaving, and would’ve still thought that as long as I did my own work well, then I’d be shouldering my burden and carrying out my duty loyally. I would not truly know myself.

Later, I read a passage from the word of God which made me understand my problem more deeply. God’s word says, “Regardless of what work they undertake, the kind of person who is an antichrist never gives any thought to the interests of the house of God. They only consider whether their own interests will be affected, think only of tasks that are right in front of their nose. The work of the house of God and the church is just something they do in their spare time, and they have to be prompted to do everything. The protection of their own interests is their real vocation, the things they like doing the real business. In their eyes, anything arranged by the house of God or relating to the life entry of God’s chosen ones is of no importance. No matter what difficulties other people have in their work, what issues they identify, how sincere their words are, the antichrists pay no heed, they do not get involved, it’s as if this has nothing to do with them. They are utterly indifferent to the affairs of the church, no matter how major these affairs are. Even when the problem is right in front of them, they only address it reluctantly, and perfunctorily. Only when they are directly dealt with by the Above and ordered to sort out a problem will they grudgingly do a little real work and give the Above something to see; soon after, they will continue with their own business. Toward the work of the church, toward the important things of the wider context, they are disinterested, oblivious. They even ignore the problems they discover, being evasive when asked, only addressing them with great reluctance. This is the manifestation of selfishness and vileness, is it not? What’s more, no matter what duty they are performing, all they think about is whether it will raise their profile; as long as it will boost their reputation, they rack their brains to come up with a way to learn how to do it, to carry it out; all they care about is whether it will set them apart. No matter what they do or think, they are only thinking for themselves. In a group, no matter what duty they are performing, they only compete over who is higher or lower, who wins and who loses, who has the bigger reputation. They only care about how many people look up to them, how many people obey them, and how many followers they have. They never fellowship the truth or solve real problems, they never talk about how to do things according to principle when performing one’s duty, whether they have been faithful, have fulfilled their responsibilities, have been deviant. They pay not the slightest attention to what the house of God asks, and what the will of God is. They act only for the sake of their own status and prestige” (“Excursus Four: Summarizing the Character of Antichrists and the Essence of Their Disposition (Part One)” in Exposing Antichrists). God revealed that antichrists are particularly selfish and contemptible. They only consider their own interests in their duties, and only say or do things for their own reputation and status. They never consider the church’s overall work or have even the slightest conscience. I saw that the principles of what I’d done and my viewpoint were the same as an antichrist’s. I’d thought doing the work I was responsible for well and protecting my own interests was justified, and that involving myself in the work of others was doing them favors. I’d thought that putting aside my own work to help someone else and doing work without credit was foolish. So, when Sister Zhou and I divided the duties, I never put any thought into the difficulties Sister Zhou mentioned or considered how to resolve them. I only ever thought of doing my own work well, and gaining approval and acknowledgment. Looking back, was I actually practicing the truth and performing my duties? I was just managing my own status and running my own business. I’d just lived by the satanic philosophies of “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” and “Let things drift if they do not affect one personally.” I was very selfish and contemptible. I took the division of work as a chance to show my own strengths, sparing no pains or efforts in the work I was responsible for, without considering the overall interests of God’s house, nor considering myself as a part of God’s house, or collaborating harmoniously with my sister. This obstructed and interrupted the work of God’s house. I saw I was acting satanically, and everything I did lacked humanity! Actually, credit doesn’t matter in the performance of duty in God’s house. You should do what you’re responsible for well, this is your own duty. Even if it’s not something you’re responsible for, you should look into and resolve it when you see it, for you’re a member of the house of God. I’m a church leader, all of the church’s work is a part of my job, this is my responsibility and duty. Whatever work has not been done well all relates directly to me. But I’d only considered my own reputation and status, and run my own business. I’d been walking a path of antichrists that opposes God, which only leads to rejection and elimination by God. Being aware of this, I truly felt from my heart that God had used the leaders to point out my problems; this was the love and salvation of God!

Later, I read a passage of God’s words, and saw a path of practice. Almighty God says, “Getting people to relinquish their own interests is the hardest thing to do. Most people seek nothing but profit; people’s interests are their life, and making them relinquish those things is tantamount to forcing them to give up their lives. So, what should you do? You must learn to relinquish, to forsake, to suffer, and to endure the pain of letting go of the interests you love. Once you have endured this pain and relinquished a few of your interests, you will feel a little relieved and a bit liberated, and in this way, you will overcome your flesh. However, if you cling to your interests and fail to let go of them, saying, ‘I’ve been deceitful, but so what? God has not punished me, so what can people do to me? I won’t relinquish anything!’ When you do not relinquish anything, no one else suffers any losses; it is you yourself who ultimately loses out. When you recognize your own corrupt disposition, this is, in fact, an opportunity for you to enter, to progress, and to change; it is a chance for you to come before God and accept His scrutiny and His judgment and chastisement. This is, moreover, an opportunity for you to attain salvation. If you give up on seeking the truth, then that is tantamount to giving up an opportunity to attain salvation and to accept judgment and chastisement” (“Knowing One’s Disposition Is the Foundation of Changing It” in The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days). “When you are not thinking of your own selfish desires or considering your own interests in the things you do, and are instead giving constant consideration to the work of God’s house, bearing its interests in mind, and performing your duty well, then you will be accumulating good deeds before God. People who perform these good deeds are the ones who possess the reality of the truth; as such, they have borne testimony” (“Give Your True Heart to God, and You Can Obtain the Truth” in The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days). After reading God’s words I understood that if people only hold onto their own interests and don’t practice the truth at all, then eventually they’ll lose the chance to gain the truth and be saved by God. On the other hand, if you can renounce personal interests and help others, and offer some of your strength to the overall work of God’s house, this is not foolishness, it’s a good deed, and is praised by God. Moving forward, whether or not it’s my main work, I must try my best in my duties. Only in this way can I show consideration for God’s will. Later, when I saw a problem with my partner’s work, I practically discussed with her how to resolve it, shared good suggestions and plans, and whenever I saw the sister I was working with having trouble, I did my utmost to fellowship with her on a solution, and saw all the work of God’s house as my own responsibility and duty. When practicing in this way, I felt a sense of peace and calm. Sometimes I’d still show selfishness and want to spend more time on my own work, and care less about my partner’s work. Then I’d pray to God, forsaking my incorrect intentions. After all, God’s house is a whole, and cannot be divided. When I help my sister resolve a problem in her duty, this isn’t extra work, much less is it outside my remit, this is my responsibility and duty. With these things in mind, I could set aside my own interests and proactively work with my sister. Later, we were of one mind in working together, and all of the church’s work was effective. There were more and more newcomers, and we founded two new churches. I thanked God from my heart for His leadership.

Through this experience I truly realized that in collaborating, if we can set aside our selfish desires, disregard our own personal interests, act together with one heart, and safeguard the work of God’s house together, we’ll attain God’s guidance and blessings. It’s all thanks to the judgment and chastisement of God’s word that I can understand this, change, practice the truth, and live a bit of human likeness. Thanks be to God!

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