Why I Didn’t Dare Supervise Work

September 28, 2022

By Song Yu, Netherlands

Two years ago, when I began serving as a church leader, several of my partners had believed in God longer than me. I thought they understood the truth better than me and had more work experience than me, so I didn’t dare ask too much about some of the work of the church. I feared they might say I had just become a leader, so I was interfering in all the work and attempting to involve myself despite not knowing anything. On some matters of principle, I didn’t dare stand up for my own views and opinions. I was afraid others would say I was too arrogant and had no self-knowledge, so I always held myself back in my duty.

At the time, I saw that some church work was progressing too slowly, the brothers and sisters did their duties without grasping principles, and progress was delayed because they were often stuck on trivial things. Sister Zhang had been supervising this work for nearly two years, but she still didn’t understand the profession and couldn’t solve practical problems. She wasn’t suitable as a leader. Because Sister Zhang was under the responsibility of Sister Li, I reported the matter to Sister Li and suggested that she dismiss Sister Zhang, but she said Sister Zhang could still do some work for the time being, and that she couldn’t find a suitable replacement for her, so she wanted to retain her for now. When I heard what Sister Li said, in my mind, I disagreed, “Sister Zhang has been the leader for nearly two years, but she hasn’t even solved some basic problems, which has affected the progress of the work. How can you let her stay? Since we know she isn’t suitable for the job, we should stop using her here, and cultivate someone with good caliber.” I wanted to tell Sister Li that we had to act according to principles, but then I thought, “She already said she can’t find a suitable replacement for now. If I keep asking her to transfer Sister Zhang, will she feel that I’m over-reaching and interfering with her work? I just started working at the church, so if I leave this impression on Sister Li, how can we be partners after that? Forget it, I’d better leave it alone.”

I later found that Sister Chen, who supervised video work, didn’t do practical work. The video project she was in charge of hadn’t produced videos that were up to standard for three months. She didn’t know about the state of the people in her group or the problems and difficulties they faced in making videos, and they often had to rework their videos during that time, which delayed progress. I discussed how to deal with this matter with my co-workers. They all thought that Sister Chen had decent humanity, and she had been in charge of video work for a while and was familiar with the profession, so since there were no suitable candidates for the moment, she could remain in charge. When I heard that, I didn’t agree, thinking, “You can’t keep her just because her humanity is not bad and she’s familiar with the job. What matters is whether she does practical work and solves practical problems. Sister Chen can’t solve the problems in video work at all. It’s not appropriate to keep her in the position. She needs to be replaced.” I have concerns, “Sister Liu’s main responsibility is video work, and they all feel Sister Chen is suitable, so if I disagree, will they think I’m taking too much control? Before, I wanted to transfer Sister Zhang, and now I want to dismiss Sister Chen. Will my co-workers think I’m too arrogant, that I want to replace anyone I find unsuitable without giving a chance to repent and that I’m too heartless?” So, when the words were on the tip of my tongue, I swallowed them.

After more than a month, Sister Zhang and Sister Chen were both dismissed for not doing practical work. At the same time, my upper-level leaders found me to be an irresponsible leader, as I didn’t replace leaders I knew to be unsuitable in time, which delayed the work of the church. They dealt with me harshly for not doing practical work and analyzed me, saying I lived by the satanic philosophy of being a people-pleaser, didn’t practice the truth, and didn’t uphold the church’s work. They said I was unsuitable to be a leader, and I was dismissed. My leaders’ pruning and dealing was like a blow to the head. It didn’t occur to me that my problem was so serious that it merited dismissal. It made me very sad. I felt like all I left behind in my duty was regret and indebtedness to God. I genuinely hated myself. Why couldn’t I practice the truth and uphold the work of the church? Why did I always live by satanic philosophies? I prayed to God, asking God to lead me in understanding my problems.

During my spiritual devotionals, I read some of God’s words, “What disposition is it when people take no responsibility toward their duty, do it in a careless and perfunctory manner, act like yes-men, and do not defend the interests of the house of God? This is cunning, it is the disposition of Satan. The most striking item in man’s philosophies for living is cunning. People think that if they are not cunning, they will be liable to offend others and unable to protect themselves; they think they must be cunning enough not to hurt or offend anyone, thereby keeping themselves safe, protecting their livelihoods, and gaining a firm foothold among the masses. Unbelievers all live by Satan’s philosophy. They are all yes-men and do not offend anyone. You have come to the house of God, read the word of God, and listened to sermons of God’s house. So why are you always a yes-man? Yes-men only protect their own interests, and not the interests of the church. When they see someone do evil and harm the church’s interests, they ignore it. They like to be yes-men, and do not offend anyone. This is irresponsible, and that kind of person is too cunning and untrustworthy. To protect their own vanity and reputation, and maintain their good name and status, some people are happy to help others and sacrifice for their friends no matter the cost. But when they need to protect the interests of the house of God, the truth, and justice, they harbor no such good intentions, which have completely disappeared. When they should practice the truth, they do not. What is going on? To protect their own dignity and reputation, they will pay any price and suffer anything. But when they need to do real work, protect positive things, and protect and provide for God’s chosen people, why do they no longer have the strength to pay any price and suffer anything? That is inconceivable. Actually, they have a kind of disposition that is sick of the truth. Why say that their disposition is sick of the truth? Because whenever something involves bearing witness for God, practicing the truth, protecting God’s chosen people, fighting against Satan’s deceptions, or protecting positive things, they flee and hide, and don’t do what is proper” (The Word, Vol. 2. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Knowing One’s Disposition Is the Foundation of Changing It). “When you see a problem and do nothing to intercept it, and do not fellowship about it, and do not try to limit it, and aside from that, you do not report it to those above you, but play the part of a ‘nice person,’ is that a sign of disloyalty? Are those who are nice people loyal to God? Not even a little. Such a person is not just disloyal to God—they are acting as Satan’s accomplice, its attendant and follower. They are faithless in their duty and responsibility, but to Satan, they are quite loyal. Herein lies the essence of the problem” (The Word, Vol. 2. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Proper Fulfillment of Duty Requires Harmonious Cooperation). God’s word reveals that cunning people do everything to protect their own interests. To maintain their own reputation, when they get along with people, they practice worldly philosophies and offend no one. If they need to practice the truth to safeguard the church’s work, they shrink back. I was just such a cunning person. After becoming a leader, I saw co-workers who believed in God longer and had more work experience than me, so I felt like I had to have self-knowledge. If it wasn’t the work I was responsible for, I didn’t worry about it or ask any more, to avoid making them think I was a busybody and making a bad impression. To maintain a good relationship with my co-workers, to keep a firm footing among them, I became cunning and deceitful, and always acted as a people-pleaser. When I saw there were false leaders in the church, I didn’t dismiss them in time. Even within the scope of my responsibility, I didn’t dare ask too much. I feared doing too much would make others say I was going beyond my scope. I lived by “Keeping silent on the faults of good friends makes for a long and good friendship,” “When you know something is wrong, it is better to say less,” “Silence is golden, and he who talks a lot errs a lot,” “Protect yourself, seek only to escape blame,” and other satanic philosophies. In all things, I maintained my relationship with people and my image in my co-workers’ eyes. I followed and echoed their views without taking into account whether the church’s work would suffer. I saw problems, but I didn’t dare bring them up. I knew I should practice the truth, yet I protected myself and followed the crowd. Not only was I cunning and deceitful, I was weary of the truth. I thought it was smart to stay silent about the faults of others. This way, I could maintain the relationship between me and my co-workers and gain a firm foothold among the leaders and workers. I didn’t expect that I would be revealed and dismissed so quickly. I saw unsuitable leaders, but I didn’t dare uphold principles and dismiss them in time. Instead, I let them continue to delay and harm the work in the church. I was protecting false leaders, and in essence, I was acting as Satan’s accomplice. I was doing evil and resisting God. When I thought of this, I felt remorse. If I had upheld principles and dismissed the two false leaders earlier, it wouldn’t have delayed the work of the church for so long.

I also reflected on myself. Why did I always feel that expressing more of my own opinions or doing more work was over-involving myself? By reading God’s word on what duty is, I realized that this view was utterly absurd. God’s words say, “Just what is duty? It is a commission entrusted by God to people, it is part of the work of God’s house, and it is a responsibility and obligation that should be borne by every one of God’s chosen people. Is duty a kind of endeavor? Is it a personal family matter? Is it fair to say that once you have been given a duty, this duty becomes your personal business? That is absolutely not the case. So how should you fulfill your duty? By acting in accordance with God’s requirements, words, and standards, and by basing your behavior on the principles of the truth rather than on human subjective desires. Some people say, ‘Once a duty has been given to me, is it not my own business? My duty is my charge, and is what I am charged with not my own business? If I handle my duty as my own business, doesn’t that mean I will do it properly? Would I do it well if I didn’t treat it like my own business?’ Are these words right or wrong? They are wrong; they are at odds with the truth. Duty is not your own personal business, it is God’s business, it is part of God’s work, and you must do as God asks; only by performing your duty with a heart of obedience to God can you be up to standard. If you always perform your duty according to your own notions and imaginings, and according to your own inclinations, then you will never meet the standard. Only ever performing your duty as you wish is not performing your duty, because what you are doing is not within the scope of God’s management, it is not the work of the house of God; you are, instead, running your own operation, carrying out your own tasks, and so this is not remembered by God” (The Word, Vol. 2. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Seeking the Principles of the Truth Can One Perform One’s Duty Well). God’s word clearly explains the definition of duty. A duty is God’s entrustment and commission for people. When we accept a duty, we accept a responsibility and an obligation. In the process of doing our duties, we should seek God’s will and do our duties according to the principles of truth. Only in this way are we practicing in accordance with God’s will. As a church leader, all aspects of the church’s work, including the arrangement or transfer of personnel, follow-up and solving various problems in the work, and overseeing the work of other co-workers were within my sphere of responsibility and things I should have done. But I interpreted doing my job well as over-reaching. I thought taking care of my work and taking more responsibility was doing too much, would offend people, and would affect my relationship with my co-workers. I didn’t regard fulfilling my duty and practicing the truth as a positive thing. On the contrary, I felt that by practicing the truth, I would harm my own interests. My idea was so ridiculous. I was at the mercy of this erroneous view, unable to treat my duty properly, and not at all considerate of God’s will. When I saw false leaders in the church, I didn’t dare to say it or mention it, and I didn’t dare follow up on the work I should have. I was maintaining my relationship with my co-workers and my leadership position. I wasn’t doing my duty at all! It was because my intention in my duty was wrong that practicing the truth became over-reaching in my mind, and I used this as an excuse to not do practical work. I was so cunning!

I also realized that when judging whether Sister Chen was suitable to be a supervisor, I worried that if I proposed dismissing her, my co-workers would think I was too arrogant, and that I wanted to replace anyone I found unsuitable without giving a chance to repent. In this matter, I not only lived by satanic philosophies, I couldn’t distinguish between arrogance and adherence to the principles of truth. In God’s word, I read, “If, whenever you have an idea or opinion, you blindly assert that it is correct, and what must be done, then you are being arrogant and self-righteous. If you have an idea or opinion that you feel is correct, but you don’t have complete faith in yourself, and you can make sure by searching and fellowshiping, then this is not being self-righteous. Gaining everyone’s consent and approval before carrying it out is the rational way to act” (The Word, Vol. 2. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Often Living Before God Can One Have a Normal Relationship With Him). “If you are sure that something you have found is a problem, and that speaking up about it would be of benefit to the work, yet you dare not adhere to the principles, what problem is at play? If you understood something to be a problem, why would you be afraid to adhere to the principles? This is an issue of a serious character, and it touches on whether you love the truth and whether you have a sense of righteousness. You should give voice to your opinion, even if you do not know if it is correct. If you have an opinion or idea, you should say it, and let the others assess it. There will be benefits for you in doing so, and it will go some way toward solving the problem. If you think to yourself, ‘I’m not getting involved. If what I say is right, I won’t get the credit, and if it’s wrong, I’ll be dealt with. It’s not worth it,’ is that not selfish and contemptible of you? Man is always considering their own interests, and unable to practice the truth. That is the most difficult thing about people. Do all of you not have a great many such philosophies for living and schemes inside you? There are quite a few items of Satan’s philosophies in all of you, and you have long since been overrun by them. It is no wonder, then, that people listen to sermons for years without understanding the truth, and that their entry into the reality of the truth is slow, and their stature remains always so small. The reason is that such corrupted things are hindering and disturbing them. By what does man live when they need to practice the truth? They live by these corrupt dispositions, by notions, imaginings, and philosophies for living, as well as by gifts. Living by these things, it is very hard for man to come before God, as their load is too great and their yoke too heavy. Man’s living by these things is so far divided from the truth. These things keep you from understanding the truth and from practicing the truth. If you do not understand the truth, your faith in God will certainly not increase, let alone your knowledge of Him. This is a very lamentable and scary thing” (The Word, Vol. 2. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. What Is It, Exactly, on Which People Rely to Live?). I understood from God’s word that if you have an idea or point of view, but don’t seek the principles of truth, don’t fellowship and discuss it with everyone, blindly decide your idea is right, and want others to listen to you, this is arrogance. If the views you hold are wrong, absurd, and do not conform to the principles of truth, but you always think you are right, and don’t listen to anyone else’s opinions, this is also arrogance. But if you seek the truth and determine your views and deeds are in line with truth and that you are safeguarding the work of the church, if you can uphold principles without being constrained by others, it is a manifestation of a sense of justice and loyalty to God. This is not arrogance. Also, if you are unsure if your thinking is correct, there is also a principle of practice, which is to say what you think, so that everyone can fellowship, discern, and find out how to do things properly. Sister Zhang and Sister Chen weren’t new leaders, with minor deviations in their duties who deserve chances, help, and support. They had been leaders for a long time. Moreover, their caliber was poor, they did no practical work, and they couldn’t solve any of the problems in their work. Such people are false leaders. Identifying false leaders and replacing them in time is upholding the church’s work and acting in line with principles. It is not arrogance, nor is it ruthlessly denying them a chance. I clearly saw that there were problems with the two leaders, but because I feared my co-workers would say I was arrogant, I didn’t dare uphold my views. I lived by satanic philosophies, was a people-pleaser, didn’t practice the truth, watched helplessly as work was delayed, and did nothing about it. I held the title of leader, but didn’t do actual work. I was an authentic false leader. God hates and detests what I did. My dismissal was entirely God’s righteousness, and it was also God’s salvation for me. I was very grateful to God in my heart, and I deeply regretted what I did. I prayed to God, “God, I used to live by satanic philosophies. Again and again, I betrayed the truth, and I didn’t live up to Your will. I wish to repent. Please guide me in practicing truth and protecting the church’s work.” Unexpectedly, once my attitude changed, my brothers and sisters again chose me as leader, and encouraged me to do my duty well. I was very moved, and I was very grateful that God gave me another chance.

Later, I searched for a path of practice for my own problems, and I read a passage of God’s words, “If you have the motivations and perspective of a ‘nice person,’ then, in all matters, you will be incapable of practicing the truth and abiding by principle, and you will always fail and fall down. If you do not awaken and do not ever seek the truth, then you are a nonbeliever, and you will never gain the truth and the life. What, then, should you do? When faced with such things, you must call out to God in prayer, begging for salvation, and asking that God give you more faith and strength, to enable you to abide by principle, do what you should do, handle things according to principle, stand your ground, protect the interests of God’s house, and prevent any harm from coming to the work of God’s house. If you are able to forsake your self-interests, reputation, and the standpoint of a ‘nice person,’ and if you do what you should do with an honest, undivided heart, then you will have defeated Satan, and will have gained this aspect of the truth. If you always live by the philosophy of Satan, maintaining your relationships with others and never practicing the truth, not daring to abide by principle, then will you be able to practice the truth in other matters? You will have no faith, no strength. If you are never able to seek or accept the truth, then will such faith in God allow you to obtain the truth? (No.) And if you cannot obtain the truth, can you be saved? You cannot. If you always live by the philosophy of Satan, utterly devoid of the reality of the truth, then you can never be saved. It should be clear to you that obtaining the truth is a necessary condition for salvation. How, then, can you obtain the truth? If you are able to practice the truth, if you can live by the truth, and the truth becomes the basis of your life, then you will gain the truth and have life, and so you will be one of those who is saved” (The Word, Vol. 2. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only Self-Knowledge Is of Aid in Pursuing the Truth). From God’s word I understood that in being a people-pleaser, maintaining my relationship with others, and not daring to uphold the principles of truth and safeguard the church’s work, the essence of my actions was protecting personal interests at the expense of the church’s interests. This was an offense against God and a betrayal of God. If I didn’t repent and seek the truth to resolve my problems, in the end, I would definitely be rejected and cast out by God. At the same time, I also found a path of practice. When things happen and we want to protect our interests, we should pray and rely on God, ask God to give us strength, forsake the flesh, uphold the principles of truth, and focus on the interests of the church. In the process of practicing like this, with the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, we understand more of the truth, our determination to practice the truth grows, and our corrupt dispositions cannot bind us, so we can live a little more freely. I made up my mind that in my duty from now on, I would no longer maintain my relationship with others, and in matters of principle, I must practice the truth to safeguard the church’s work.

After some time, I found watering results at the church Sister Wang supervised were poor and attendance at many newcomer gatherings was irregular. I learned that Sister Wang didn’t do practical work. She rarely solved the problems and difficulties of newcomers, and she seldom followed up on and learned about the work of the watering staff. There were also a few watering staff with bad humanity, who habitually muddled through, played tricks, and were cunning in their duties, and she didn’t dismiss them in a timely manner. I knew very well that Sister Wang could no longer be the supervisor. But then I thought, “Sister Wang used to be my partner. If she learns that I investigated her and want to dismiss her, what will she think of me? Will she think I do things too heartlessly?” I realized that I wanted to maintain my relationship with people again. I prayed to God, asking Him to give me strength so I could uphold the principles of truth and safeguard the church’s work. After that, I told the co-workers about my idea to dismiss Sister Wang. Sister Liu said, “Sister Wang has supervised watering work for a while and has some work experience. If you dismiss her, it will be hard to find a suitable replacement right away.” But this time, I stuck to my point of view and didn’t compromise. At the same time, I reported this matter to the upper-level leaders, and after their fellowship and analysis, they dismissed Sister Wang from her position. Through my experience, I realized that people who live by satanic philosophies can only become despicable and mean. Not only do they harm the church’s work, they make God hate and detest them. Practicing the truth and God’s words can bring us true spiritual release and freedom.

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