What’s Really Behind Careless Work
By Xinche, South Korea
A while ago, the sister who reviewed the videos pointed out that the quality of the ones I’d made lately hadn’t been great, and she’d found a lot of issues with them. She said if I were more attentive while making videos, I could pick up on some of them, and then they’d not need to be fixed later. She told me to be more careful and attentive in doing my duty. I said yes, but thought to myself, “I was not sure whether they were substantial problems. What if I ended up spending my time and energy to fix a few tiny errors? That would be so unproductive. My skills are already lacking, now to fix these problems I’ll have to do research, and there’s no guarantee I’ll figure them out, so why try? Besides, I still have so many videos to make, where will I find the time to fix all of those problems perfectly? You guys are skilled and better than me at noticing problems, can’t I just fix the problems when you find them? It’s not that much trouble.” Just like that, I brushed off my sister’s warnings. After that, every time I encountered a problem I was uncertain about, I wouldn’t want to spend time or energy to think about it or seek out principles. I’d always just leave them to the reviewer to solve. Sometimes I’d feel a little uneasy, “Am I being perfunctory by performing my duty like this?” But I quickly repressed these reproaches of my conscience with excuses: “I’m doing this to help move the work along. If my skills are lacking, then I’ll let others take a look. I don’t want to dawdle and blindly waste my time on these problems.” After that, the reviewer would tell me now and again that the videos I’d made were unpolished, and had a lot of issues. When I heard this, I just said yes without meaning it. Deep down, I hadn’t really accepted it.
It wasn’t until the group leader explicitly said, “There are too many problems with your videos, you don’t fix the ones you’re clearly able to fix, you just push the work onto the sister reviewing them. You’re being careless and irresponsible in how you perform your duty. Normally, it didn’t take long to review one video, but because your work has been so unpolished and you don’t solve even some really obvious issues, it takes twice as long or even longer to review your videos. Don’t you think this is disturbance?” The group leader also fellowshiped: “To do a job well you must be careful and meticulous, and try your best while performing your duty. If everyone is irresponsible, and just pushed every problem onto someone else, it’ll put pressure on them, and will also delay the overall progress of the work.” At first, I still tried to make excuses for myself, but inwardly, I realized that the group leader pointing this out was permitted by God. I thought about how the sister reviewing the videos had cautioned me several times, but I’d never taken it to heart. This kind of careless attitude of mine really was problematic.
Later, I read a testimony essay, and some passages of God’s word quoted in it really stirred me. Almighty God says, “What does it mean to be sick of the truth? It is when faced with anything connected to positive things, and to the truth, and what God asks, and God’s will, people are uninterested; sometimes they have an aversion to these things, sometimes they are aloof to them, sometimes they have an attitude of irreverence and indifference, and treat them as unimportant, and are insincere and cursory toward them, or take no responsibility for them” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only Knowledge of the Six Kinds of Corrupt Disposition Is True Self-Knowledge). “God does not hate people’s poor caliber, He does not hate their foolishness, and He does not hate that they have corrupt dispositions. What is it that God most loathes in people? It is when they are sick of the truth. If you are sick of the truth, then because of that alone, God will never find delight in you. This is set in stone. If you are sick of the truth, if you do not love the truth, if your attitude toward the truth is uncaring, contemptuous, and proud, or even repulsed, resistant, and rejective—if you have these behaviors, then God despises you utterly, and you are dead in the water, beyond saving. If you really do love the truth in your heart, yet are of somewhat low caliber and lacking in insight, and a bit foolish; if you sometimes make mistakes, but do not intend to do evil, and have simply done a few foolish things; if you are willing at heart to hear God’s fellowship about the truth, and you long at heart for the truth; if the attitude you take in your treatment of the truth and God’s words is one of sincerity and longing, and you can treasure and cherish God’s words—this is enough. God likes such people. Even though you may be a bit foolish at times, God still likes you. God loves your heart, which longs for the truth, and He loves your sincere attitude toward the truth. So, God has mercy on you and is always showing you favor. He does not consider your poor caliber or your foolishness, nor does He consider your transgressions. Because your attitude toward the truth is sincere and eager, and your heart is true, then, as your heart and attitude are what God values, He shall be ever merciful toward you, and the Holy Spirit shall work on you, and you shall have hope of salvation. On the other hand, if you are hard of heart and self-indulgent, if you are sick of the truth, are never heedful of God’s words and everything that involves the truth, and are antagonistic and scornful from the depths of your heart, then what is God’s attitude toward you? Disgust, revulsion, and unceasing wrath” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. To Fulfill One’s Duty Well, Understanding the Truth Is Most Crucial). When I read God’s word, I understood why in principle I recognized that I was being inattentive and careless in my duty, but never took it seriously. It turns out that I was fed up with the truth and had an intransigent disposition. My sister had warned me several times that my videos were unpolished and I needed to be more careful. This was a good thing; she was helping me. I recognized what she said verbally, but I never took it to heart. I was even always making excuses for myself in my head. This irreverent attitude showed that I was sick of the truth, and this was abhorrent to God. If I was always treating the people and things around me with this irreverent and scornful attitude, then no matter how many times someone tried to warn or help me, I wouldn’t grow or gain anything from it. God’s words are very clear. Ignorance, poor caliber and corrupt dispositions are not deadly diseases, but if you have an intransigent heart, are sick of the truth, always treat the situations arranged by God with an irreverent and resistant attitude, and don’t seek the truth or learn lessons, there is no way you can attain the truth or be saved by God. If I didn’t repent or mend my ways, not only would I be doing my duty poorly, in the end, I would be cast out by God. It was only when I realized these things that I felt scared. I couldn’t use this kind of careless attitude in my duty anymore. I had to hurry and self-reflect, and repent to God. Over those few days, I often prayed to God, asking Him to enlighten me and help me to know myself. I’d also consciously eat and drink the words of God on this subject.
One day, I read these words of God. “The truth is, it is not very hard to do your duty well. It is just a matter of having conscience and reason, of being upright and diligent. There are many unbelievers who work earnestly and become successful as a result. They do not know anything about the principles of truth, so how do they do so well? It is because they’re deliberate and diligent, so they can work earnestly, be meticulous, and get things done easily. None of the duties of God’s house are very difficult. As long as you put your whole heart into it and try your best, you can do a good job. If you are not upright, and are not diligent in anything you do, if you are always trying to save yourself trouble, if you are always perfunctory and muddle through everything, if you don’t do your duty well, make a mess of things and bring harm to God’s house as a result, that means that you are doing evil, and it will become a transgression that disgusts God. During the key moments of spreading the gospel, if you don’t achieve good results in your duty and don’t play a positive role, or if you cause disruptions and disturbances, naturally you will disgust God and be cast out and lose your chance at salvation. This will be an eternal regret of yours! God exalting you for doing your duty is your only chance at salvation. If you are irresponsible, treat it lightly and muddle through it, that is the attitude with which you are treating the truth and God. If you are not the least bit sincere or obedient, how can you obtain God’s salvation? Time is so precious right now; every day and every second are crucial. If you do not pursue the truth, if you do not focus on life entry, and if you muddle through and deceive God in your duty, that is truly senseless and dangerous! As soon as you disgust God and are cast out, the Holy Spirit will no longer work in you, and there is no coming back from that” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). “What kind of person does God save? You could say that they all have conscience and reason and can accept the truth, because only those with conscience and reason are able to accept and love the truth, and so long as they understand the truth, they can practice it. Those unconscientious and unreasonable people are ones that lack humanity; in the vernacular we say they lack virtue. What is the nature of lacking virtue? It is a nature without humanity, unworthy of being called human. As the saying goes, you can lack anything except virtue; without it you are done for, and you are no longer human. Look at those demons and devil kings who do their best to rebel against God and harm His chosen people. Are they not lacking virtue? They are; they truly lack it” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). Though I’d seen these passages of God’s word in the past, I’d never seriously used them to reflect on myself. Reading them again, I was really stirred. Yes, God doesn’t ask much of me or push me beyond my abilities, God isn’t expecting me to make completely flawless videos, just to be diligent, meticulous and do my best. Even though my skills are limited, and there are some problems I can’t really pick up on, if I just do my best, then I’ve fulfilled my responsibility. But what was I doing? There were some problems that I could clearly have picked up on. I just needed to think carefully and spend a little time to fix them, but I didn’t want to put the effort in. To save trouble for myself, I’d foist the work onto others. That way, I didn’t have to suffer or be troubled and could still get the work done. I was too good at being perfunctory and slacking off. It appeared as though I’d made a certain number of videos, and the work was efficient, but in reality, it was others putting in the effort to fix these problems. I was just lazing around. I really was the kind of person God described, lacking in virtue and humanity. Nominally, I had made those videos, but in reality, I didn’t know how much time I’d made others spend on them. It should only take an hour to check a video, but it took others twice as long or longer to check my videos. The others were already busy with their own duties, when I added so much work on top of that and slowed down the progress of the overall work. What I was doing was really harming others to benefit myself. My sister had reminded me multiple times to take my duty more seriously and to be more careful, but I never took her seriously, and even made excuses for acting so perfunctorily. I said that I was doing it for the sake of productivity and work efficiency. I really was being so irresponsible! There actually were some issues that I wasn’t skilled enough to solve, but I could have discussed them with my brothers and sisters and fixed part of them that way. Then I wouldn’t be foisting all of my problems onto other people. But I wasn’t even willing to pay that price, I really lacked humanity! Then, I read more of God’s words: “No matter what work some people do or what duty they perform, they are incapable of succeeding at it, it is too much for them, they are incapable of fulfilling any of the obligations or responsibilities that people ought to. Are they not trash? Are they still worthy of being called people? With the exception of simpletons, the mentally handicapped, and those who suffer from physical impairments, is there anyone alive who ought not to perform their duties and fulfill their responsibilities? But this kind of person is always conniving and playing dirty, and does not wish to fulfill their responsibilities; the implication is that they do not wish to conduct themselves like a proper person. God gave them caliber and gifts, He gave them the opportunity to be a human being, yet they cannot use these in performing their duty. They do nothing, but wish to enjoy everything. Is such a person fit to be called a human being? No matter what work is given to them—whether it be important or ordinary, difficult or simple—they are always careless and perfunctory, always lazy and slippery. When problems arise, they try to push responsibility for them onto other people; they take no responsibility, wishing to keep living their parasitic lives. Are they not useless trash? In society, who does not have to depend on themselves for survival? Once a person is grown, they must provide for themselves. Their parents have fulfilled their responsibility. Even if their parents were willing to support them, they would be uneasy with it, and ought to be able to recognize, ‘My parents have finished their job of raising children. I’m an adult, and I’m able-bodied—I should be able to live independently.’ Is this not the minimum sense that an adult ought to have? If someone truly has sense, they could not continue mooching off their parents; they would be afraid of others’ laughter, of being shamed. So, does an idle loafer have sense? (No.) They always want something for nothing, they never want to take responsibility, they are looking for a free lunch, they want three square meals a day—and for someone to wait on them, and for the food to be delicious—without doing any work. Is this not the mindset of a parasite? And do people who are parasites have conscience and sense? Do they have dignity and integrity? Absolutely not; they are all freeloading good-for-nothings, all beasts without conscience or reason. None of them are fit to remain in God’s house” (The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers). When I read God’s words, my face flushed with heat. In life, every person has responsibilities, a duty they must perform. If we can’t even take care of our own responsibilities, we are truly a good-for-nothing, useless person. Wasn’t that what I was? I was responsible for making those videos, and should have done everything I could to get them made properly. That was my responsibility. I couldn’t do this carelessly just because there was someone reviewing them. By doing that I was being perfunctory, slacking off, trying to shirk my responsibilities, and looking for excuses to pass these responsibilities on to others. I asked myself, “I’ve pushed these responsibilities onto others, so what role am I actually performing? My caliber has always been average, and my skills have their limits. If I don’t work hard and don’t want to pay a price, then how can I do my duty properly?” In all these years I’d believed in God, I’d enjoyed so much grace from Him. Now I was not even doing the duties that I was able to properly, I really had no conscience or sense, I completely lacked humanity! People who have humanity, who have character, know they must show consideration for God’s will, do their duties properly, and repay His love. Even if they don’t understand much about the truth and can’t do any great work, they can at least carry out their obligations, and earnestly fulfill their proper function as one of God’s creations. But to save trouble for myself, I was perfunctory in doing my duty. The work obviously wasn’t very difficult, but I still took whatever chance I got to slack off. I really was a slippery person with no dignity or integrity. After reflecting on this, I felt very remorseful, and didn’t want to keep being perfunctory like this. I only wished to perform my duty attentively, and take care of my responsibilities.
Then I read some of God’s words. “There are some people who are unwilling to suffer at all in their duties, who always complain whenever they encounter a problem and refuse to pay a price. What kind of attitude is that? It is a perfunctory one. What is the result of performing your duty perfunctorily, and treating it lightly? It is the poor performance of your duty, though you are capable of performing it well—your performance will not be up to standard, and God will not be satisfied with your attitude toward your duty. If you could have prayed to God, sought the truth, and put your whole heart and mind into it, if you could have been capable of such cooperation, then God would have prepared all for you in advance, so that everything would fit into place when you did it, and the results would be good. You do not need to exert much strength; when you spare no effort in cooperating, God will have already arranged everything for you. If you are wily and treacherous, if you are indifferent toward your duty, and always go astray, then God will not act; you will lose this opportunity, and God will say, ‘You are not good enough; you are useless. Go stand off to the side. You like being wily and treacherous, no? You like being lazy, and taking it easy, do you not? Well then, take it easy forevermore!’ God will give this grace and opportunity to someone else. What do you say: Is this a loss or a win? (A loss.) It is an enormous loss!” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). When I encountered issues during the video making process and felt unsure about them, if I were diligent and paid a price, if I prayed and searched, God would have enlightened me and led me to understand the crux of the problem. Then I would have kept improving in my duty, and have been able to make up for my shortcomings. I would have made gains and progress in both my skills and life entry. I thought about how when I encountered a problem, I’d try to push it onto other people. In the end, they’d gain something from this through searching and pondering, they’d keep improving at their duties, and making progress in their lives, whereas I was just completing tasks, without gaining anything. Wasn’t I being really foolish? In the end it was me who lost out. Moreover, God is disgusted by and hates that attitude with which I treated my duty, so He wouldn’t enlighten and illuminate me. Because of this, I was blind and I couldn’t see through any problems. If I didn’t repent, not only would my life disposition not change at all, I’d never make progress in my duties. If no one had reviewed and checked my work and I just did it all poorly, didn’t that make me a good-for-nothing? After considering this I understood that by being perfunctory and slacking off, not only was I deceiving God and delaying the church’s work, I was also deceiving myself and bringing myself to ruin. That thought made me very unhappy, I only wanted to do my duty attentively and take care of my responsibilities in the future, and to no longer look for excuses to slack off or act perfunctorily. Later, I read the word of God. “When people have a corrupt disposition, they are often perfunctory and careless when they perform their duty. This is one of the most serious problems of all. If people are to perform their duty properly, they must first address this problem of perfunctoriness and carelessness. As long as they have such a perfunctory and careless attitude, they will not be able to perform their duty properly, which means that solving the problem of perfunctoriness and carelessness is extremely important. So how should they practice? Firstly, they must solve the problem of their state of mind; they must approach their duty correctly, and do things with seriousness and a sense of responsibility, without being deceitful or perfunctory. One’s duty is performed for God, not any one person; if people are able to accept God’s scrutiny, they will have the correct state of mind. What’s more, after doing something, people must examine it, and reflect on it, and if they have any doubts in their heart, and after detailed inspection, they discover there really is a problem, then they must make changes; once these changes have been made, they will no longer have any doubts in their heart. When people have doubts, this proves there is a problem, and they must diligently examine what they have done, especially at key stages. This is a responsible attitude toward performing one’s duty. When one can be serious, take responsibility, and give all their heart and strength, the work will be done properly. Sometimes you are in the wrong state of mind, and cannot find or discover a mistake that is clear as day. If you were in the right state of mind, then, with the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit, you would be able to identify the issue. If the Holy Spirit guided you and gave you an awareness, allowing you to feel clarity at heart and to know where the error lies, you would then be able to correct the deviation and strive for the truth. If you were in the wrong state of mind, and were absent-minded and careless, would you be able to notice the mistake? You would not. What is seen from this? This shows that to perform their duties well, it is very important that people cooperate; their frames of mind are very important, and where they direct their thoughts and intentions is very important. God scrutinizes and can see what state of mind people are in as they perform their duty, and how much energy they exert. It is crucial that people put all their heart and strength into what they do. Cooperation is a crucial component. Only if people strive to have no regrets about the duties they have completed and the things they have done, and not to be in debt to God, will they be acting with all their heart and strength” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). “Suppose God’s house gives you a job to do, and you say, ‘Whether the job is a chance to stand out or not—since it’s been given to me, I’ll do it well. I will take on this responsibility. If I’m assigned to reception, I’ll give my all to doing that work well; I’ll look after the brothers and sisters well, and I won’t let problems come up. If I’m assigned to spread the gospel, I’ll equip myself with the truth and lovingly spread the gospel and perform my duty well. If I’m assigned to learn a foreign language, I’ll study it diligently and work hard at it, and learn it well as quickly as possible, within a year or two, so that I can testify of God to foreigners. If I’m assigned to write articles, I’ll conscientiously train myself to do so; I’ll learn about language, and though I may not be able to write articles with beautiful prose, I’ll at least be able to put things clearly, to fellowship comprehensibly about the truth, and to give true testimony for God, such that when people read my articles, they’re edified and benefited. Whatever job the church assigns me, I’ll take it up with all my heart and strength, and if there’s something I don’t understand or a problem comes up, I’ll seek the truth, pray to God, understand the principles of the truth, and do the thing well. Whatever my duty, I’ll use everything I have to perform it well and satisfy God. For whatever I can achieve, I will do my best to take on all the responsibility that is mine to bear, and at the least, I will not go against my conscience and reason, or be careless and perfunctory, or be wily and truant, or enjoy the fruits of others’ labor. Nothing I do will be beneath the standards of conscience.’ This is the minimum standard of human comportment, and one who performs their duty in such a way may qualify as a conscientious, reasonable person. You must at least be clear of conscience in performing your duty, and you must feel at least that you earn your three meals a day and are not scrounging for them. This is called a sense of responsibility. Whether your caliber is high or low, and whether or not you understand the truth, you must have this attitude: ‘Since this work was given me to do, I must treat it seriously; I must make it my concern and do it well, with all my heart and strength. As for whether I can do it perfectly well, I can’t presume to offer a guarantee, but my attitude is that I’ll do my best to see it done well, and I certainly won’t be careless and perfunctory about it. If a problem arises, I should take responsibility then, and ensure I draw a lesson from it and perform my duty well.’ This is the right attitude. Do you have such an attitude?” (The Word, Vol. 5. The Responsibilities of Leaders and Workers). By reading God’s word, I found a path of practice. I needed to keep an earnest and responsible heart while doing my duty, and put care into making each video. If I felt unsure about something, I needed to examine and consider it more carefully. Though sometimes I wouldn’t be able to figure it out by myself, I could find some skilled brothers and sisters to discuss it together, and then do everything I could to resolve the problems. Only by performing my duty like this could I obtain God’s enlightenment. After considering this, I consciously carried out this path of practice. When I encountered some difficult problems and wanted to slack off and foist them onto others again, I’d pray and no longer want to be perfunctory in my duty. I knew I had to take care of the responsibilities that I could. I couldn’t do something that disgusted God again. So I’d take the problems I couldn’t figure out and discuss them with the others, and by fellowshiping with everyone, I was able to resolve some of the problems and I learned a lot. When I encountered a problem before, I wouldn’t carefully ponder it and just push it onto someone else. Whenever others talked to me about an issue, I’d just follow their lead, I didn’t have any ideas of my own, and when I finished a video, I’d not have gained anything. But when others pointed out a problem I’d pondered over carefully, I’d feel like I was gaining a lot. After practicing like this for some time, my skills had improved a little, and there were fewer problems with my videos than before. I was also slightly more efficient in my duty. Only now do I feel that so long as I’m doing my duty attentively and taking care of my responsibilities, I’ll feel calm and at ease and I’ll gain a lot and make progress. Life entry really does begin with doing our duty diligently. Thank God!
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