I Have Known What Is Being Perfunctory and Slipshod
Once at a meeting the leader asked me: “How often do you have a meeting with the brothers and sisters? And what issues do you talk about?” I replied, “I have a meeting with the brothers and sisters as often as you do with us. What I talk about is the content of your fellowship with us, and after you have a meeting with us, I lose no time in meeting with them and convey to them the content of the fellowship between you and us.” I was speaking complacently, thinking that the leader would appreciate my working in this way. Unexpectedly, the leader said: “Can a regulation-observing meeting achieve results? To hold a meeting without a true burden, without seeking results, and without being able to satisfy God, is something irrelevant to the truth.” At this word, I was quite unconvinced in my heart: How can my holding meetings for the brothers and sisters be something irrelevant to the truth?
Seeing that I had no knowledge of that, the leader took out The Summary of Christ’s Preachings and Conversations, and read these words with me: “All things that are not of practicing the truth are things unrelated to the truth and things of observing regulations, including the things of only outward practices. Take performing duty for example. If one always performs his duty in a perfunctory and slipshod way without any results, can this be regarded as performing duty? Such a thing of deceiving God does not measure up to the standard performing duty. Isn’t it equal to doing things irrelevant to the truth?” Reading the words in the fellowship, I checked the scenes of my holding meetings for the brothers and sisters: Every time the leader had just had a meeting with me, I went to the church to hold a meeting with the brothers and sisters. Whatever the leader talked about, I parroted it in the church; with the notebook in my hand, I “conveyed” to the brothers and sisters exactly the things I had written down at the meeting. Sometimes I talked myself parched in the mouth, and sometimes I talked the brothers and sisters sleepy. After I had a meeting with each small group, I became empty within again and just waited for the leader to have a meeting with me the next time. As to what problems and difficulties there were in the church and what states the brothers and sisters were in, I never cared to inquire or to hear about them. Nor had I ever sought how to fellowship about the truth directed at the states of the brothers and sisters in the church, how to lead them into the reality of God’s word, and what to do to achieve results. I just, like a mouthpiece, conveyed the leader’s fellowship, making an issue of the outward practice. My holding meetings only as a regulation and without seeking results, was in substance being perfunctory and slipshod and deceiving and resisting God. Wasn’t it a thing unrelated to the truth?
Now I have understood that having a meeting is not necessarily doing something related to the truth; my purposeless mechanical practice of paying attention only to the meeting form but not to the result, however much I do it and however well I keep it, has nothing to do with the truth. From now on, I will pursue to be transformed, and never again be perfunctory or go through the formality in working. I will have a true burden in this commission, seek God’s will in doing anything, act according to God’s requirements, and spend efforts to achieve results, so as to satisfy God’s heart’s desire.
Heze City, Shandong Province