When I first served as a church leader, I always wanted to make the brothers and sisters be satisfied with and approve of everything I did, thinking that only thus could I be a “good leader” for long. So, I always cared for the flesh of the brothers and sisters and maintained my relationship with them by human goodness.
Once the small-district leader came to have a meeting with the deacons of our church, and I hastened to say: “The deacons in our church all have vegetable greenhouses and they are very busy all day, so we need to see when they have time.” The leader patiently fellowshipped with me: “Your managing the work this way is not after God’s heart. If you go on like this, the brothers’ and sisters’ life will suffer loss….” But I disagreed with her and always thought that I arranged properly.
After I worked “hard” in that way for some time, the brothers and sisters not only were slack, but they were also full of complaints about me. They said that I managed the work inefficiently and arranged the church’s affairs improperly, and that I was unable to show them the way in my fellowship, and so on. On hearing these, I felt greatly wronged and complained inwardly: I always think about you and care for you, but you… I always felt that my “good intentions” did not get me a “good reward.” I became dispirited and fell into passivity. When I sank deeper and deeper and couldn’t extricate myself, God’s words enlightened me: “If you do not have a normal relationship with God, regardless of how you maintain your relationship with people, however hard you try and however much effort you make, it is practicing human philosophies of life, and you are maintaining your position among people according to human viewpoints and by human philosophies so that they will compliment you, but not building a normal relationship with them according to God’s word. If you do not pay attention to your relationship with people but maintain a normal relationship with God, being willing to give your heart to God and learning to obey God, naturally your relationship with all people will be normal.” The inspiration of God’s words made me know this: Actually I had been maintaining my relationship with the brothers and sisters by the philosophy of life, wanting to make them all praise me and support me, by which I attempted to keep my position. How could such intent of mine not be loathed by God? Without the normal relationship with God, how could my relationship with men be normal? How could the brothers and sisters have no complaints and criticisms about me? God gave me the commission in order for me to care for God’s burden and lead the brothers and sisters before God and into the reality of God’s word. But I always cared for the flesh of the brothers and sisters, without considering their life at all. Wasn’t I disrupting God’s work and pushing the people into the pit of hell? When I clearly saw my mean intent and the serious consequences brought by it, I couldn’t help feeling a rush of fear. I bowed down before God and prayed to him: O God, I am willing to change my wrong intent and cooperate with you to lead the brothers and sisters into the reality of experiencing your word, no longer maintaining my relationship with men. I only desire to act by caring for your burden to make your heart satisfied!
Heze City, Shandong Province