A Proper Attitude Toward One’s Duty
By Milan, the Philippines
I was really upset after that. I just couldn’t accept it, especially when I saw more people accepting God’s work of the last days, and urgently requiring watering. Having my duty changed just then made me wonder if I had been cast out. I worried what the others would think of me when they found out, that they’d think I lacked caliber and could only do drudge work, odd jobs and didn’t have a future. I was watering new believers along with everyone else at first, but now that I was handling general affairs, just little chores, what was the point in that sort of duty? No matter how well I did, I’d just be a service-doer and end up cast out. But I didn’t seek God’s will at the time, and I got more and more upset about it. I wasn’t completing my tasks well, but was content to just go through the motions without putting my heart into it. Sometimes there were a lot of things to do in the evening, but I’d start nodding off really early. Then a sister in charge of watering sent me a message, asking me to help put together some work documents from before. I felt really resistant when I read that. I wasn’t watering newcomers anymore, so I wasn’t responsible for those things. Why would she ask me to do that? I couldn’t refuse, though, so I reluctantly agreed to do it. But the next day another watering sister asked me to help with something. I was thinking that general affairs really are just odd jobs, and anyone can tell me what to do. It wasn’t really my realm, so why would she have me help? I didn’t want to agree, but if I didn’t, I was afraid she’d think I wasn’t supporting the church’s work. Hands tied, I told her I would do it.
For a few days, I didn’t have any understanding of myself at all. I wasn’t able to accept that duty change from God and was resistant to the leader, feeling she was making things hard for me. I said to a sister I partnered with before, sort of on purpose, “I never had an idle moment in my watering work and did everything I was supposed to. The leader never helped me when problems came up, but she dismissed me at the drop of a hat. Whatever. Since I was dismissed, there must be a lesson in it for me.” After hearing that, she also felt like the leader wasn’t fair with me. But at the time, thinking about handling general affairs and losing others’ esteem made me feel wronged. Why was I assigned to handle general affairs? Was I only capable of doing odd jobs? Was I not worth cultivating? I felt like I’d just be useless from then on, and even if I kept my faith till the end, I’d be cast out. These thoughts made me more and more miserable. I realized my state wasn’t right so I came before God in prayer. “God, what’s wrong with me? This is a duty too, so why am I this unsatisfied with handling general affairs? God, please enlighten and guide me to understand myself and stop living in corruption.”
After praying I thought of God’s words about antichrists’ attitude toward a change in duty. God’s words say, “What duty is appropriate to you should be based on your own strengths. If sometimes the duty arranged for you by the church is not something you are good at or is not something you wish to do, you can raise the issue and resolve it through communication. But if you can perform the duty, and it is a duty you should perform, and you don’t want to do it just because you fear suffering, then there is a problem with you as a person. If you are willing to obey and can forsake your flesh, then you can be said to be reasonable. However, if you always try to calculate which duties are more prestigious, and you assume certain duties will make others look down on you, this proves you have a corrupt disposition. Why are you so prejudiced in your understanding of duties? Could it be that you can perform a duty well if it is one you chose based on your own ideas? That isn’t necessarily true. What matters most here is resolving your corrupt disposition, and if you don’t, you won’t be able to perform your duty well, even if it’s one you enjoy. Some people perform their duties without principles, and their performance of their duty is always based on their own preferences, so they are never able to resolve difficulties, they always muddle through every duty they perform, and eventually they are cast out. Can people like this be saved? … Evildoers and antichrists never have the correct attitude toward their duties. What do they think when they are transferred? ‘Do you think I’m just a service-doer, someone who serves at your command, who you can just send away when you’re done with me? Well, I won’t let myself be treated like this! I want to be a leader or worker, because that’s the only respectable job around here. If you won’t let me be a leader or worker and you still want me to contribute, you can just forget about it!’ What kind of attitude is this? Is it one of obedience? What drives this attitude toward being transferred in their duty? Impetuousness, their own ideas, and their corrupt disposition, right? And what are the consequences of approaching it this way? First of all, will they be able to be devoted and sincere in their next duty? No, they won’t. Will they have a positive attitude? What sort of state will they be in? (A state of dejection.) What is the essence of dejection? It’s resistance. And what is the ultimate result of a resistant and dejected mood? Can someone who feels that way do their duty well? (No.) If someone is always negative and resistant, are they fit to perform a duty? No matter what duty they perform, they can’t perform it well. This is a vicious cycle, and will not end well. Why is that? Such people are not on a good path; they do not seek the truth, they are not obedient, and they cannot properly understand the family of God’s attitude and approach toward them. This is trouble, is it not? It was a perfectly appropriate change in duty, but antichrists say it’s being done to torment them, that they are not being treated like a human being, that the family of God lacks love, that they are being treated like a machine, called upon when they’re needed, then kicked aside when they’re not. Isn’t that twisting logic? Does someone who says that sort of thing have a conscience or reason? They have no humanity! They distort a perfectly reasonable matter; they twist a totally appropriate practice into something negative—is this not the evil of an antichrist? Can someone who is this evil understand the truth? Absolutely not. This is an antichrist’s problem; they will twist the logic of whatever happens to them. Why do they think in a twisted way? Because they are extremely evil by nature, evil in essence. An antichrist’s nature and essence are primarily evil, followed by their viciousness, and these are their main characteristics. Antichrists’ evil nature prevents them from correctly comprehending anything, and instead they distort and misinterpret everything, they go to extremes, they split hairs, and they cannot handle things properly or seek the truth. Next, they actively resist things and seek revenge, or even spread their own notions and negativity, inciting and roping in the others to disrupt the work of God’s house. They secretly spread around some grievances, judge how people are treated in God’s house, the rules for its administration, how certain leaders do things, and condemn these leaders. What sort of disposition is this? It is vicious” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Want to Retreat When There Is No Position and No Hope of Gaining Blessings). I saw from God’s words that in the face of anything, antichrists can’t properly understand God’s will, but always take things wrong. They approach a simple change in duty with an evil perspective, thinking they’re being demoted, that things are being made difficult for them. They even feel like God’s house is ordering them around like robots. They get negative and resistant, and might abandon their duty at any time, disregarding the work of God’s house. Antichrists have such an evil, vicious nature! But I saw I was acting the exact same way. I should have reflected on how I’d failed after being dismissed and treasured this chance at a new duty. But I didn’t even reflect. I felt like it was the leader being hard on me, that handling general affairs was lower status and embarrassing, that I was doing odd jobs, a service-doer, and wasn’t worth cultivating, so I didn’t have a future. I simply couldn’t submit to it, but even felt I’d suffered a great wrong, and was very resistant to this duty. I was always slacking off, going through the motions, just drifting along. I was pitting myself against God and using this kind of negativity to go up against God. I didn’t want to cooperate when the watering sisters came to me for help, but was full of grievances. I thought they were ordering me around, making me toil and do odd jobs. I was being so absurd and evil! I wanted to vent my feelings of being wronged, so I aired my grievances to my former partner, complaining about the leader. That affected her and she ended up feeling biased against the leader. That change in duty fully exposed me. I did my duty entirely based on personal preference, only wanting one that made me look good. With a lower status, I felt others wouldn’t look up to me and I had no hope of blessings, so I was negative and dragged my feet, going up against God, even venting my anger in my duty. I spread my own biases and notions, and got another person over on my side to fight for me. How was that any different from an antichrist? In my reflection I saw that I really didn’t have any humanity or reason, that I had a very vicious nature.
Then I read some of God’s words. “Some people do not perform their duty properly, they are always careless and perfunctory, causing disruptions or disturbances, and ultimately, they are replaced. They are not, however, expelled from the church, which is them being given a chance to repent. Everyone has corrupt dispositions, and everyone has times when they are bewildered or confused, times when they are of small stature. The aim of giving you a chance is so that you can turn all this around. And how can you turn it around? You must reflect on and come to know your past mistakes; don’t make excuses, and don’t go about spreading notions. If you misunderstand God and blithely pass on these misunderstandings to others, so that they, too, misinterpret God with you, and if you have notions and go around spreading them, so that everyone has notions with you, and tries to reason with God alongside you, is this not rabble-rousing? Is this not opposing God? And can anything good come from opposing God? Can you still be saved? You hope that God will save you, but you resist and oppose God; could God still save you? Forget these hopes. When you made a mistake, God did not hold you accountable, nor did He cast you out because of this single error. God’s house gave you a chance, and allowed you to continue to perform a duty, and to repent, which is the opportunity given to you by God; if you have conscience and sense, you should treasure this. Some people are always careless and perfunctory when they perform their duty, and they are replaced; some are transferred. Does this mean they have been cast out? If God has not said that, you still have a chance. So what should you do? You should reflect on and come to know yourself, and attain true repentance; this is the path. But that is not what some people do. They fight back, and go all about saying, ‘I wasn’t allowed to perform this duty because I said the wrong thing and offended someone.’ They don’t look for the problem in themselves, they don’t reflect, they don’t seek the truth, they don’t obey the arrangements and orchestrations of God, and they oppose God by spreading notions. Have they not become Satan? When you do the things that Satan does, you are no longer a follower of God. You have become an enemy of God—could God save His enemy? No. God saves people with corrupt dispositions, real people—not devils, not His enemies. When you go against God, and complain about God, and misinterpret God, and pass judgment on God, spreading notions about God, then you are wholly against God; you are raising an outcry against God” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Seeking the Principles of the Truth Can One Perform Their Duty Well). Reading God’s words was touching for me. I’d lost that duty, but God wasn’t stripping me of the chance to perform a duty. He didn’t say I couldn’t pursue the truth, that I’d be cast out. I’d been arranged to take on another duty, giving me a chance to really self-reflect and understand myself. But not understanding God’s will, I thought that this change was losing status, losing face, and I wouldn’t have a future. I was negative and went against God. I was so rebellious and unreasonable! When I was watering new believers, since I didn’t have good caliber, I couldn’t clearly fellowship on various truths of visions and their questions weren’t resolved. But afraid others would look down on me, I just put on an act and didn’t open up and seek help about difficulties I encountered. The leader fellowshiped with me on principles and methods for that duty, but I was content to just know about them, and afterward I didn’t think about how to practice and apply them. So I didn’t grasp a lot of principles after plenty of fellowship and my watering work never had good results. I not only had poor caliber, but I was extremely arrogant and didn’t have a will to seek the truth. I wasn’t really improving my skills, and there was no progress in the work I was responsible for. So I needed to be dismissed. But I wouldn’t acknowledge my corruption and faults. I was indignant about my dismissal and refused to accept it. I even misunderstood that God was exposing me, making me look bad, casting me out. That was absurd and completely unreasonable of me. With my poor caliber and my lack of accomplishments in watering newcomers, I always felt constrained and inadequate, and I was depressed a lot. If I’d kept on doing that duty, it not only would have hurt my own life, but also held up the work of God’s house. Based on my caliber and strengths, the leader gave me a duty I could do, that I was up to completing. That was following principle, and being responsible toward my life. But I didn’t know what was good for me. I didn’t self-reflect to know myself, but made a counterattack, judging the leader behind her back, spreading negativity. It looked like I was just finding fault with her, but in fact I was opposing God, going up against Him. Being exposed this way, I saw that I didn’t just lack caliber, but I also had a seriously corrupt disposition. If I didn’t submit like I should and earnestly do my duty, I’d be exposed and cast out.
In my reflection, I also discovered a mistaken view I held. I thought duties had different ranks, that there were lowly and lofty ones, and only being a leader or a waterer is a real duty, while the menial tasks and work of general affairs don’t count. I thought that was lowbrow work, and was doing service at best, then I’d end up cast out. So hearing I was being assigned to handle general affairs made me feel less than, that I was being treated like a machine. I was really resistant to it and didn’t even have the drive to do my duty. But in God’s house, all duties are for God’s management plan of saving mankind. Whether it’s being a leader, a waterer, or handling general affairs, it’s all God’s commission, and we need to cooperate. It’s just like a machine, every single part has its purpose, so there’s no great or small, high or low, noble or base in duties, just different functions. No matter what duty they’re doing, everyone has lessons to learn, truths they should enter into. As long as we pursue the truth, we can all be saved by God. But I was always thinking about things wrong. I felt like handling general affairs was just labor, odd jobs, and doing service. I applied that skewed, evil perspective to my duty being changed and misunderstood God’s will. That’s disgusting and odious to God!
That reminded me of some of God’s words. “God’s wish is for every person to be made perfect, to be ultimately gained by Him, to be completely cleansed by Him, and to become people He loves. It matters not whether I say you are backward or of poor caliber—this is all fact. My saying this does not prove that I intend to forsake you, that I have lost hope in you, much less that I am unwilling to save you. Today I have come to do the work of your salvation, which is to say that the work I do is a continuation of the work of salvation. Every person has the chance to be made perfect: Provided that you are willing, provided that you pursue, in the end you will be able to achieve this result, and not one of you will be forsaken. If you are of poor caliber, My requirements of you will be in accordance with your poor caliber; if you are of high caliber, My requirements of you will be in accordance with your high caliber; if you are ignorant and illiterate, My requirements of you will be in accordance with your illiteracy; if you are literate, My requirements of you will be in accordance with the fact that you are literate; if you are elderly, My requirements of you will be in accordance with your age; if you are capable of providing hospitality, My requirements of you will be in accordance with this capability; if you say you cannot offer hospitality, and can only perform a certain function, whether it be spreading the gospel, or taking care of the church, or attending to other general affairs, My perfection of you will be in accordance with the function that you perform” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination). I was really moved, but also ashamed at the same time. I misunderstood and blamed God without understanding His will. In fact, God has never said He won’t save people with poor caliber, and their caliber or what duty they do, doesn’t determine how He treats them. He looks at whether they love and pursue the truth. That’s what’s key for whether they can be saved. I thought of an evildoer expelled by God’s house before. She seemed to have caliber and her duty inspired admiration, but she always pursued status, oppressed others and excluded those with different views. She was pruned and dealt with repeatedly, but didn’t repent. She was eventually expelled. And the false leaders and antichrists who have been exposed and cast out in recent years mostly seemed to have caliber and gifts, but they didn’t pursue the truth. They always pursued name and status, and were on a path against God. No matter how great someone’s caliber may seem, how high their status may be, if they don’t pursue the truth, being exposed and cast out by God is a matter of time. I also thought about some brothers and sisters of average caliber whose duties aren’t remarkable, but they put their heart into it, taking the place of a created being. When they reveal corruption, they come before God to pray and seek, to self-reflect and know themselves through God’s words. Their corrupt dispositions can change over time. I could feel how righteous God’s disposition is when I thought about that. God doesn’t treat anyone unfairly. Regardless of the quality of our caliber, whatever duty we do, God nurtures and waters everyone equally, and sets up situations for us to experience God’s words and enter into the reality of the truth. God’s work to save man is so practical! After understanding God’s will, I wasn’t so resistant to my current duty, but wanted to submit and perform it.
I read some of God’s words later on. “Today, when you perform a duty in the house of God, whether it be big or small, whether it involves physical labor or using your brain, whether it is done outside or inside the church, the duty you perform is no accident. How is this your choice? It is directed by God. It is only because of God’s commission that you are moved, and have this sense of mission and responsibility, and are able to perform this duty. Among the unbelievers, there are many who are attractive, intelligent, or capable. But does God favor them? No, God did not choose them, God only favors you, this group of people. He makes you undertake every kind of role, carry out every kind of duty and responsibility in His work of management, and when, ultimately, God’s management plan comes to an end and is completed, what a glory and honor this will be! And so when, while performing their duty today, people suffer a little hardship, when they give things up and expend themselves, when they pay a price, when they lose status, fame and fortune in the world, when they no longer have those things, it seems as if God has taken those things away from them—but they have gained something more precious and valuable. What have they gained from God? It is through performing a duty that people gain the truth and life. Only when you have performed your duty well, when you have completed God’s commission for you, when you live your whole life for your mission and your God-given commission, when you have beautiful testimony and live a worthwhile life—only then are you a real person! And why do I say you are a real person? Because God has chosen you, He has allowed you to perform the duty of a creature of God in His management, and there can be no greater value or meaning to your life” (The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days). “God does not look at what you say or promise when before God. God looks at what you do, but God does not care how high, mysterious, or mighty your actions are; even if you do something small, if God sees sincerity in your actions, God shall say, ‘This person sincerely believes in Me. They have never exaggerated. They conduct themselves according to their station. And although they may not have made a great contribution to God’s house, and are of poor caliber, they are steadfast in all they do; they have sincerity.’ What does this ‘sincerity’ include? It includes fear and obedience to God, as well as true faith and love; it includes everything God wishes to see. To others, such people may be unremarkable, this could well be a person who makes food or does the cleaning up, someone who performs an ordinary duty. Such people are unremarkable to others, they haven’t achieved anything great, and they have nothing estimable, admirable or enviable about them—they are just ordinary people. And yet, all that God wants is found in them, it is all lived out in them, and they give it all to God. What more do you think God wants? God is satisfied” (The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days). God’s words showed me that no matter what duty I get, it’s from God’s rule and arrangements. I should submit and approach it with my heart. No matter what my caliber is or how much I’m able to do, I should put in everything I have, give it my all. That’s God’s will, and that is what doing my duty really is.
After handling general affairs for a while, I saw that it wasn’t the drudgery I’d imagined at all. There are lots of principles to grasp and enter into in that duty, and it requires a genuine, truth-seeking heart in the course of performing it. I gained a lot from handling general affairs after getting some practice in it. I learned some skills and came to understand some principles, and I also experienced how practical God’s salvation of mankind is! This duty change shifted the incorrect perspective I’d had toward duties and I became willing to submit to God’s arrangements and do my best in my duty. Thanks be to God!
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