In God’s family, I perform the duty of transferring letters of introduction. I thought: Performing this duty is not like serving as a leader, which is directly related to the life entering of the brothers and sisters, nor is it like preaching the gospel, which is to save souls every day. It is just to transfer letters of introduction. The ones that meet the requirements I deliver, and the ones with unclear information I return. I just do this transference and it is of little importance. Under the sway of this thought, I was always half-hearted about the duty and never sought to enter into the truth, and even less did I treat this duty seriously as my sacred responsibility. Lately, through a matter, my attitude and view have changed.
One day, I received a returned letter of introduction, with the words: “The three new believers don’t want to believe anymore because they have notions. Hope that the introducer will come and have a further talk with them.” After reading, I, according to custom, immediately returned it to the small district to which the introducer belonged. A few days later, unexpectedly, this letter came back to me, marked with “Address unclear, the village of the introducer can’t be found.” I, numb, did not try to find out the cause, but muttered: “The letter came originally from your small district, so the introducer must be in your small district. Couldn’t you spend more time looking for her? You sent it back to me for the unclear address; what can I do about it? You can’t ask me to look for her!” Then I returned it once again. But some days later the same letter was again sent back to me. At sight of it I got irritated. I went home in anger and said to a sister, “The three new believers don’t want to believe, and it would be senseless to transfer the letter of introduction. As it can’t be returned, let me burn it.” The sister took the letter, read it, and then said, “Is there really no way to find the introducer? If there is a chance of restoring the new believers but it is missed because the introducer is not informed, won’t they three be ruined? Besides, if they really do not want to believe anymore but the books of God’s word in their hands have not yet been taken back, then won’t the property of God’s family suffer loss?” What the sister said made me feel terribly ashamed. Throughout this matter, I had never cared for God’s heart, and even less had I thought that the life of the brothers and sisters and the property of God’s family would suffer loss.
Seeing me silent, the sister opened The Replies to the Questions from the Churches in Various Places (1) and read: “No matter what duty we perform, it is not as simple as just doing something…. Through our cooperation, God is testified so that God can enjoy glory among all created beings. Also, through our cooperation, more brothers and sisters are brought before God from the power of darkness, from the bondage of their notions, and from their painful struggles, so that they can be released and see the light again. Therefore, all the duties we perform are the works related to people’s lives and to the saving of people’s souls. What sacred responsibilities they are. … The true performing duty is that one does all he should and does his best, without sparing any effort; and that whatever work he does, he racks his brains, pondering and considering, so as to achieve the best result.”
Having heard this passage, I felt all the more ashamed. At the same time, I realized that the duty I perform is not merely to transfer the letters of introduction, but directly involves the saving of the life of the new believers. If I can transfer away every letter quickly and accurately, the new believers will be able to return to God’s family early to be watered and shepherded. This is indeed a sacred responsibility. However, the blind I disdained and belittled this duty, and even erroneously thought that transferring the letters of introduction was not like serving as a leader, which is directly related to people’s life entering, nor was it like preaching the gospel, which is to save people’s souls. Thus, in performing this duty, I never took it seriously or did it conscientiously. When the returned letter failed again and again to be sent to the introducer because the address is not clear, I did not examine myself and find out the error and seek a remedy for it, but instead I was full of complaints and shirked the responsibility, and even unscrupulously wanted to give up the letter. My conscience is really rotten to the core! God is burning with anxiety, expecting more people to return to his family; he does not want any soul to be lost. Besides, those brothers and sisters who preached the gospel expended much effort to cooperate with the gospel work and brought them three before God with difficulty. However, I rashly wanted to push them out. I have really disappointed God as well as the brothers and sisters.
At that moment, God’s words rang in my ears: “How should one treat God’s commission? This is really a serious matter! If you cannot complete the commission God has given you, you don’t deserve to live before God and should receive punishment. God’s commission to man should naturally be completed. This is man’s highest responsibility, which is as important as life. If you take God’s commission lightly, then you rebel against God most seriously, and you are more pitiable than Judas and should be cursed….”
I was scared. A strong sense of responsibility for souls came upon me at once. I dared not delay any longer and hastened to examine the letter seriously. I carefully checked the address against the map and finally found out where the problem was. I had miswritten a key word in the address; no wonder the brothers and sisters could not find the introducer. Then, I quickly returned the letter with the corrected address to that small district. A few days later, I learned that the brothers and sisters had found the introducer according to this address, and thus my anxious heart was put at ease.
Through this matter, I deeply realized that none of the works of God’s family is as simple as I thought, and they all involve the important matter of saving people’s lives and souls and call for our serious treatment and all-out cooperation. Since then, I have never belittled the duty of transferring the letters of introduction. Instead, I treat every letter seriously to ensure its accuracy, and try to perform my duty faithfully.
Nanyang City, Henan Province