Reflections After Resisting Supervision
By Mi Hui, China
In 2021, I was in charge of watering work in the church. During that time, our leader would often ask about our work progress to supervise and keep up to date on our work. The leader would also ask me if there were any problems in the work. At first, I’d actively respond, but after a while, I began to become impatient. I thought: “It’s such a bother to have to keep updating the leader on our progress and it’s wasting a lot of time. Won’t my work performance be affected? If I have poor work performance, won’t the leader dismiss me?” Realizing this, I became very resistant to the leader’s supervision of our work.
One time, the leader sent me a letter asking how the work was going. He asked how many people had accepted the gospel that month, how many members were not gathering regularly and why, what religious notions they held, and how we resolved them through fellowship. Faced with all these questions, I felt a bit uneasy. There was so much content to cover and I’d have to discuss and go over it all with the watering workers. This would delay our work too much, and I felt resistant: “You’re asking for so much detail with these questions—how long will this delay us? If we don’t produce results in our watering work, are you going to say I don’t do practical work and am not competent?” When I noticed that the sisters I was partnered with were also having misgivings, I thought to myself: “If they also think this will cause a delay, maybe we can propose a suggestion together, and then the leader won’t ask such detailed questions when keeping up with the work. That way the inadequacies in my work won’t be exposed as much.” So, I half-jokingly said: “The leader must really be concerned for us with all these detailed questions he’s asking.” As soon as I said that, Sister Li agreed, saying: “It’s like a cross-examination!” As soon as I heard that Sister Li agreed with me, I laughingly replied: “We’re already busy enough as it is. Having to answer such detailed questions is just too much of a bother. Won’t it influence our watering work results?” The other sisters nodded their heads in agreement. I secretly rejoiced: “Looks like I’m not the only one opposed to this. We can put our suggestions to the leader together, then that way he won’t always be asking for updates on our work.” With my incitement, whenever the leader came to get updated on our work, my partners would make a face and even when they did respond, they just made a few perfunctory comments. They didn’t give detailed reports of the issues and problems in our work and, as a result, the leader couldn’t get a grasp on the issues we were having and the watering work failed to improve.
Another time, the leader noticed that we weren’t focusing on cultivating watering workers, and so he sent a letter to us fellowshiping on the importance of this aspect of the work and gave us a few paths of practice. He also pointed out that we weren’t bearing responsibility for this project, were dragging our feet and were ineffective. As a result, the newcomers weren’t getting trained and this was directly influencing the watering work. He asked us to start focusing on this issue. He also demanded that our results must improve in the following month and we need train up some newcomers as waterers quickly. I felt a bit resistant when I saw the letter: “This is asking way too much. These newcomers have just started in their duties—it’s not that easy to cultivate them! You have a lot of experience cultivating people, you can’t hold us to your own standard!” But then I thought, “If I complain directly, won’t he think I’m not a competent worker? That won’t do! I’ve got to show him that our entire team is incapable of meeting these demands, that way he’ll have no choice but to relent and I won’t be singularly held accountable.” So I furrowed my brow and, in an apprehensive tone, said: “The leader’s demands are a bit too high. We don’t have as much experience as him.” The other sisters immediately nodded their heads and agreed. One of them said: “The leader has good caliber and is highly efficient in his work, how can we possibly compare with him?” Another said: “The leader is asking too much of us. How are we supposed to complete this work?” I was overjoyed to see that everyone was on the same page. The leader would have no choice but to relent. After all, he couldn’t dismiss the whole team! The next day, I responded to the leader’s letter and described the problems we had in our work to try to give him an idea of our current situation. At the end, I added a line, saying: “This is our optimal work output for the time being. It would be hard to increase it any further,” and I made sure to stress the word “our” in the letter so that the leader knew this was our collective opinion. This way the leader wouldn’t hold us to such a high standard. However, to my surprise, during the next gathering, the leader dealt with and exposed me, saying I didn’t bear a burden in my duty, wasn’t motivated to improve, spread negative ideas amongst the brothers and sisters, formed cliques and provoked the others to resist the leader together with me. He also said I was dragging my feet on cultivating newcomers, disrupting the church’s work and not playing any part in the work of the team. I was ultimately dismissed after that.
After being dismissed, I felt quite guilty and upset. I knew that I had made trouble, done evil and offended God. I hadn’t sought the truth when problems arose and had even spread notions which led to everyone living in a state of negativity and passivity. I really had obstructed the church’s work. Later on, while reflecting, I came upon this passage of: “Because, in their hearts, antichrists always doubt the divine essence of Christ, and always have a disobedient disposition, when Christ entrusts them to do things, they always scrutinize and discuss them, and ask people to determine whether they are right or wrong. This is a grievous problem, is it not? (Yes.) They are not approaching these things from the perspective of obedience to the truth; instead, they approach them in opposition to God. This is the disposition of the antichrists. When they hear the commands and work arrangements of Christ, they do not accept and obey them, but start to discuss. And what is it they discuss? They discuss whether the words and commands of Christ are right or wrong, and examine whether or not they should be carried out. Is their attitude one of actually wanting to carry these things out? No—they want to encourage more people to be like them, to not do these things. And is not doing them practicing the truth of obedience? Obviously not. So what are they doing? (Rebelling.) Not only are they themselves rebelling against God, they’re looking for collective rebellion, too. This is the nature of their actions, is it not? Collective rebellion: making everyone the same as them, making everyone think the same as them, say the same as them, decide the same as them, collectively opposing Christ’s decision and commands. This is the modus operandi of the antichrists. The antichrists’ belief is, ‘It’s not a crime if everyone does it,’ and so they urge others to rebel against God, thinking that with this being the case, there’ll be nothing the house of God can do to them. Isn’t this stupid? The antichrists’ own ability to fight against God is extremely limited, they’re all alone. So they try to recruit people to collectively oppose God, thinking in their hearts that ‘I’ll gull a group of people, and make them think and act in the same way I do. Together, we will reject the words of Christ, and impede the words of God, and stop them coming to fruition. And when someone comes to check my work, I’ll say that everyone decided to do it like this—and then we’ll see how You handle that. I’m not going to do it for You, I’m not going to carry this out—and let’s see what You do to me!’ … Are these things that are manifested in the antichrists not hateful? (They are extremely hateful.) And what makes them hateful? These antichrists wish to seize power in the house of God, the words of Christ are not carried out where they are, they will not carry them out. Of course, another kind of situation could also be involved when people are unable to obey Christ’s words: Some people are of poor caliber, they can’t understand God’s words when they hear them, and do not know how to carry them out; even if you teach them how to, they still can’t. This is a different matter. The topic we’re fellowshiping right now is the essence of antichrists, which doesn’t relate to whether people are capable of doing things, or what their caliber is like; it relates to the disposition and essence of the antichrists. They are completely against Christ, the work arrangements of the house of God, and the principles of the truth. They have no obedience, only opposition. This is what an antichrist is” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Ten (Part Four)). God’s words really cut to the quick. I hadn’t realized that what I’d done was such a serious offense. I was particularly struck by God’s exposition of how antichrists have a rebellious disposition, are not the least bit accepting or willing to submit to God’s requests and the work arrangements of God’s house, are full of resistance and protest and even deceive others into resisting with them. Thinking back on what’d happened, I had also displayed that kind of behavior. When the leader wanted to go over our work progress in detail, I became annoyed and worried that it would delay me in my duty and influence my work output, so I just couldn’t accept it and spread biased ideas about the leader, and rallied the other sisters to rise up and rebel against him with me. When the leader pointed out that our progress was too slow and we weren’t getting results, and shared how to improve our work efficiency, I was resistant, argued and wouldn’t submit. I thought the leader was holding us to too high of a standard and didn’t understand our actual issues. When the leader fellowshiped on ways to improve our efficiency, I wouldn’t listen. To make the leader relent and lower his standards for us, and to make sure he knew the poor results in our work were not due to me alone, I spread the idea among the others that the leader’s demands were too high, goading them into believing the leader was pushing us too far and inciting them to resist with me so I wouldn’t be held solely accountable. I was just so conniving and I spoke with hidden motives and satanic treachery. All I could think of was how to use other people to achieve my motives. The leader asked for the details of our work in order to find out and rectify issues we were having in a timely fashion, help us increase our work efficiency and train newcomers to do their duty as soon as possible. He was just working according to God’s demands and the arrangements of the church, but I wouldn’t submit and resisted. This wasn’t a disagreement with my leader, this was resistance to the church’s work and God’s demands. I was acting in complete opposition to God. I deceived and instigated everyone into standing on my side, so that we’d all have the same beliefs and the same story in our opposition to God. I had displayed an antichrist’s disposition and was acting as Satan’s lackey. I spoke negatively to deceive the brothers and sisters, causing them to lose their drive to improve, be willing to settle for their current level and just muddle along perfunctorily in their work. As a result, the watering work continually failed to produce results. This obstruction and resistance to the training of newcomers was an act of evil! Having realized this, I felt a bit afraid. If I kept on in that way, I would only do even more evil and would ultimately become an antichrist and be exposed and cast out. The church’s dismissal of me was a sign of God’s righteousness and protection. I came before God in prayer: “Dear God, my dismissal was a sign of Your righteousness. Through being exposed and judged by Your words, I’ve come to recognize my antichrist disposition. You were protecting and saving me through this dismissal and I thank You!”
After that, I found another two passages of God’s words which revealed this kind of corrupt disposition: “Antichrists often spread theories to dupe people. No matter what piece of work the antichrists are carrying out, they always have to have the final say. They are in complete contravention of the principles of the truth. So judging by what is manifested in the antichrists, just what is the disposition of the antichrists? Do they love positive things, do they love the truth? Do they have true obedience to God? (No.) Their essence is one of weariness and hatred of the truth. What’s more, they are so arrogant that they have lost all reason, and lack even the minimum conscience and sense; they are not fit to be called people. All that can be said is that they are of the same ilk as Satan—they are demons. All who have no acceptance of the truth are demons, of which there is no doubt” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Ten (Part Four)). “In the hearts of the antichrists, what is their attitude toward practicing the truth and obeying Christ? One word: opposition. They keep opposing. And what is the disposition contained within this opposition? What gives rise to it? Disobedience is what gives rise to it. In terms of disposition, this is weariness of the truth, it is having disobedience in their hearts, it is them not wanting to obey. And so, what do the antichrists think, in their hearts, when the house of God asks that leaders and workers learn to work together in harmony, instead of one person calling all the shots, that they learn how to discuss things? ‘It’s too much trouble discussing everything with people! I can make the decisions about these things. Working with others, talking it over with them, doing things according to principle—how stupid and embarrassing!’ The antichrists think that they understand the truth, that everything is clear to them, that they have their own insights and ways of doing things, and so they are incapable of working with others, they don’t discuss anything with people, they do everything their own way, and don’t listen to anyone else! Although the mouths of the antichrists say they are willing to obey, and are willing to work with others, no matter how good their answers appear on the outside, how nice-sounding their words, they are unable to change their rebellious state, are unable to change their satanic dispositions. Inside, however, they are ferociously rebellious—to what extent? If explained in the language of knowledge, this is a phenomenon that occurs when two things of different natures are put together: rejection, which we can interpret as ‘resistance.’ This is precisely the disposition of antichrists: opposition to the Above. They like to oppose the Above and they obey no one” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Ten (Part Four)). God’s words were like a knife through my heart. God says that antichrists’ nature and substance are truth-hating and God-resisting. I realized that my disposition was just the same as an antichrist’s. I was annoyed by and resistant to the leader’s supervision, thinking it would delay my work and I thought he was asking too much of us to demand we increase our output, so I wouldn’t submit and continually clamored and protested. In reality, I should have been receptive to the leader pointing out problems in our work and dutifully reflected on why we failed to get results in our work, whether it was because we were too casual in our duty, or we lacked insight and were incapable of using the truth to resolve the brothers and sisters’ problems. After identifying the issue, I should have moved fast to rectify it and improve. But I didn’t accept the truth or reflect at all, nor did I blame myself or feel guilty for not doing my duty well. To avoid being dismissed, I went to great pains to goad the others into resisting the leader along with me. It was a positive thing and God’s demand that the leader follow up on and supervise the work, but I resisted and protested. Outwardly, I was butting heads with the leader, but in essence, I was sick of the truth and hated positive things. I had disrupted and disturbed the church’s work. Seeing how I was sick of the truth and even rebelled against God, I was horrified by my satanic disposition. I thought back to certain antichrists who had been expelled from the church. When people criticized, assisted, pruned and dealt with them, they would never accept the truth or reflect on themselves. If people supervised their work or gave them suggestions, they’d be shamed into anger and would take those people as their enemies. They’d stubbornly and vocally protest and resist to the very end. Even when they committed evils that caused serious damage to the church’s work, they still wouldn’t repent and were ultimately expelled from the church. This was all due to their antichrist disposition, which was sick of and hated the truth. Wasn’t the disposition that I displayed just like that of the antichrists? If I didn’t repent, I would eventually be exposed and cast out.
Later on, I also pondered over why I’d instigated the others to resist the leader. What was the root cause lying behind all this? During my seeking, I came upon this passage of God’s words.says, “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 emotions? 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 has become people’s lives. No matter what people pursue after, they do it 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, the true portrait of corrupt mankind’s satanic nature, and 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. Everything that Satan does is for the sake of its own appetite, ambitions, and aims; it wishes to surpass God, to break free of God, and to seize control of all things created by God. Today, such is the extent that people have been corrupted by Satan: They all have satanic natures, they all try to deny and oppose God, they want to control their own fates and try to oppose the orchestrations and arrangements of God—their ambitions and appetites are exactly the same as Satan’s. Therefore, man’s nature is Satan’s nature” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Walk the Path of Peter). After reading God’s words I realized my being capable of committing such a gravely God-resisting act was not simply a display of my corrupt disposition, but was rather due to my satanic nature and satanic disposition. As a result, I was capable of resisting God at any time. I saw how I had been profoundly corrupted by Satan. I lived by the satanic philosophy of “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost” and had become incredibly selfish and deceitful. Everything I did and said was all in order to protect myself and maintain my interests. When the leader discovered issues and problems in my work while supervising, because I worried that the leader would say I was incompetent and dismiss me, I connived and plotted, sowing dissatisfaction with the leader and roping in and inciting the others to stand with me in unified opposition, to protest against the leader’s supervision and let him know that I wasn’t the only one working inefficiently, that this was a problem we all shared. In order to maintain my status, I devised an elaborate scheme to take on the leader and protect myself. This caused serious damage to the church’s work. The more I reflected, the more I saw how selfish, despicable and shameless I had been. To be able to do something so sinister—I clearly was utterly lacking in humanity! I felt deeply remorseful and prayed to God: “Dear God! I have committed evil and disturbed the church’s work. I am ready to fully repent, accept my leader’s supervision and guidance, and earnestly perform my duty as a created being.”
After that, I read a couple passages of God’s words that showed me the right attitude to have towards the leader’s supervision and guidance. Almighty God says, “Although, today, many people perform a duty, there are only a few who pursue the truth. Rarely do people pursue the truth and enter the reality of the truth as they perform their duty; for most, there are still no principles to the way they do things, they are still not people who truly obey God; their mouths merely say that they love the truth, and are willing to pursue the truth, and are willing to strive for the truth, yet it is still unknown how long their resolve will last. People who do not pursue the truth are liable to have outpourings of a corrupt disposition at any time or place. People who do not pursue the truth are devoid of any sense of responsibility toward their duty, they are often careless and perfunctory, they act as they wish, and are even incapable of accepting pruning and dealing. As soon as they become negative and weak, people who do not pursue the truth are liable to throw in the towel—this happens often, nothing is more common; such is the way all who do not pursue the truth behave. And so, when people have yet to gain the truth, they are unreliable and untrustworthy. What does it mean that they are untrustworthy? It means that when they encounter difficulties or setbacks, they are likely to fall down, and to become negative and weak. Is someone who is often negative and weak someone who is trustworthy? Definitely not. But people who understand the truth are different. People who truly understand the truth are bound to have a heart that fears God, and a heart that obeys God, and only people with a heart that fears God are trustworthy people; people without a heart that fears God are not trustworthy. How should people without a heart that fears God be approached? They should, of course, be given loving assistance and support. They should be checked up on more as they perform their duty, and given more help and guidance; only then can they be guaranteed to perform their duty effectively. And what is the aim of doing this? The chief aim is to uphold the work of God’s house. Secondary to this is in order to promptly identify problems, to promptly provide to them, support them, and deal with and prune them, setting right their deviations, and making up for their shortcomings and deficiencies. This is beneficial to people; there is nothing malicious about it. Supervising people, keeping an eye on them, finding out more about what they’re doing—this is all in order to help them enter the right track of faith in God, to enable them to perform their duty as God asks and according to principle, so that they do not cause any disturbance or disruption, so that they are not wasting time. The aim of doing this is entirely born of responsibility to them and to the work of God’s house; there is no malice to it” (The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers). “The house of God supervises, observes, and checks up on those who perform a duty. Are you able to accept this principle of the house of God? (Yes.) It is a wonderful thing if you can allow God’s house to supervise, observe, and check up on you. It is of help to you in performing your duty, in coming to perform your duty satisfactorily and satisfying God’s will. It benefits and helps people, without any downside at all. Once someone has understood the principles in this regard, should they or should they not then no longer have any feelings of resistance or defensiveness against the supervision of leaders, workers, and God’s chosen people? You may be checked up on and observed at times, and your work may be monitored, but this is not something to take personally. Why is that so? Because the tasks that are now yours, the duty you perform, and any work that you do are not the private affairs or personal job of any one person; they touch on the work of God’s house and relate to one part of that work. Therefore, when anyone spends a little time monitoring or observing you, or asks you in-depth questions, trying to have a heart-to-heart with you and find out what your state has been like during this time, and even sometimes when their attitude is a little harsher, and they deal with and prune you a little, and discipline you, and reproach you, this is all because they have a conscientious and responsible attitude toward the work of the house of God. You should not have negative thoughts or feelings toward this. What does it mean if you can accept others’ oversight, observation, and questioning? That, in your heart, you accept the scrutiny of God. If you do not accept people’s oversight, observation, and questioning of you—if you push back against all this—are you able to accept the scrutiny of God? The scrutiny of God is more detailed, in-depth, and accurate than people’s questioning; what God asks is more specific, exacting, and in-depth than this. So if you cannot accept being monitored by God’s chosen ones, are your claims that you can accept God’s scrutiny not empty words? For you to be able to accept God’s scrutiny and examination, you must first be able to accept monitoring by the house of God, the leaders and workers, and the brothers and sisters” (The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers). Through God’s words I realized that because satanic, corrupt dispositions exist within us, we often act willfully in our work. What’s more, due to our scummy and indolent nature, we are often perfunctory in our duties and don’t seek to produce good results. Also, we go against principle in many ways, so we need leaders and workers to supervise and check in to ensure that the church’s work progresses smoothly. This is what God demands of the leaders and workers and it is an important aspect of their work. So I should submit to and accept the leaders and workers’ supervision and guidance. What’s more, I entertained an incorrect notion, thinking that the leader’s supervision and check-ins would delay me in my duty and influence my work performance. But actually, the leaders look into the details of our work to find problems, help us resolve our issues and rectify problems. This actually improves our work performance—it doesn’t delay our progress. For instance, one time when the leader was checking in on our work, he noticed that we weren’t watering the newcomers with love and patience and our demands of them were too high. This led some newcomers to become negative and not do their duties. Only through the leader’s fellowship were we able to recognize the issues existing in our work. After that, we fellowshiped with the newcomers using God’s words to address their problems, informed them of the meaning of doing their duties and assigned work to the newcomers based on their actual stature. After that, their states improved and they were able to do their duties normally. I saw that the leader’s supervision and guidance would not only not negatively influence our work, but would allow me to have a better grasp of principles in my duty. These were all the benefits of accepting the leader’s supervision and guidance of our work. I came to understand that accepting the leader’s supervision is an attitude of responsibility towards the church’s work and is a principle of practice one must have in one’s duty.
Some time later, the leader assigned me to continue watering newcomers and I felt incredibly grateful to God. After that, when the leader checked in on and guided us in our work, I didn’t feel as resistant and was able to take note of the issues the leader found and actively discuss and summarize the problems in our duties with my partners. As we became increasingly clear about the issues existing in our work, our work performance gradually started to turn around. I genuinely felt that only by accepting the leaders’ supervision and guidance in our duties, having an attitude of acceptance towards the truth and carrying out work according to principles, can we produce good results in our duties. Thank God!