The Truth Showed Her the Way to Get Along With Others (Part 3)
Soon after, as the duty became more difficult, the four people in Jiandan’s group came across a new problem. While they were checking the articles, they would often come across some issues they didn’t thoroughly understand and sometimes they would get quite worried. When they discussed the issues together, if one person suggested a solution and the other two were all of the same opinion, they would not wait for the fourth person to have their say. Jiandan felt that if the majority held the same view then it should be right, and that by doing this they could be considered to be performing their duty in accordance with principles.
At that time, Song Yang hadn’t long been in the group and she was not yet familiar with this kind of professional work, and she was normally quite slow whenever she did anything.
Some time went by and Jiandan realized that Song Yang was still working very slowly; it took her longer than all three of the others to check one article and she was the last to express her views every time, therefore Jiandan felt that Song Yang had a poor caliber and that her work efficiency was too low. In particular, whenever Song Yang had a different opinion about the problems with their work, Jiandan didn’t listen to them as much as she had done in the beginning, and she didn’t pay any attention to whether or not what Song Yang said accorded with the principles of the truth. Sometimes, so as to save time, she simply didn’t give Song Yang any opportunity to voice her suggestions, and the other three members of the group had the final say.
One day, the person in charge asked Song Yang to go to church to take care of some things, and Jiandan couldn’t help but start to grumble in her heart: “Our work is so busy right now, how can she be sent off to do something else?” But then she thought: “Song Yang doesn’t have much of an effect on our work here anyway. We three can cope with it, and it saves us from having to wait for her to voice her opinion. Maybe we will work more efficiently now that Song Yang has gone.”
After Song Yang had left the following day, Jiandan and the other two sisters carried on checking articles. During the morning, they read several articles one after another but they all came up with differing suggestions. As a result, not only had they not made a decision on even one of them, but they were in a terrible fix.
Jiandan slouched before the desk, her head drooping, and she looked at the pile of articles before her with a forlorn expression.
Thinking of how they were making such slow progress in their work, Jiandan felt very irritable. She couldn’t stop from thinking about Song Yang; Song Yang was somewhat deficient in her professional work, but she normally paid attention to reading God’s words and to establishing a normal relationship with God. Whenever they encountered any problems that they couldn’t get to grips with, Song Yang was able to be quiet before God and seek the truth, take a comparatively comprehensive and rigorous view on problems, and she would come up with rather pertinent suggestions. Especially when Jiandan and the other two had differing ideas, Song Yang would always seek and try to figure it out in a calm, relaxed way, and would come up with quite a suitable or compromising suggestion. Ultimately, everyone would agree and their work would carry on without a hitch. Thinking of this, Jiandan suddenly understood that Song Yang wasn’t the good-for-nothing she had thought she was, and that Song Yang’s strength was precisely what she lacked and was what she should learn. For a moment, self-reproach, indebtedness and remorse flooded Jiandan’s heart, and all of a sudden God’s words came to mind, so she found them and began to read: “God lifts the needy from the dust and the humble must be made high. I will use My wisdom in all its forms to govern the universal church, to govern all nations and all peoples, so that they are all within Me, and so that all of you in the church might submit to Me. Those who did not obey before must now be obedient before Me, must submit to each other, forbear with each other, have interconnected lives, and love one another, all drawing on others’ strong points to offset their own weaknesses, serving in coordination. In this way will the church be built, and Satan will have no opportunity to exploit. Only then will My management plan not have failed. … The functions are not the same. There is one body. Each does his duty, each in his place and doing his very best—for each spark there is one flash of light—and seeking maturity in life. Thus will I be satisfied” (“The Twenty-first Utterance” in). “The Holy Spirit not only works in certain men who are used by God, but even more in the church. He could be working in anyone. He may work in you for the present, and when you have experienced it, He may work in someone else next. Make haste to follow; the more closely you follow the present light, the more your life can mature and grow. No matter what manner of man he may be, so long as the Holy Spirit works in him, make sure to follow. Take in his experiences through your own, and you will receive even higher things. In so doing you will progress more quickly. This is the path of perfection for man and a way through which life grows. The path to being made perfect is reached through your obedience to the work of the Holy Spirit. You do not know through what kind of person God will work to perfect you, nor through what person, occurrence, or thing He will enable you to enter into possession and to gain some insight. If you are able to walk onto this right track, it shows that there is great hope for you to be perfected by God. If you are unable to do so, it shows that your future is bleak and devoid of light” (“Those Who With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After reading God’s words, Jiandan felt much moved. Only now did she realize that she had no knowledge of the work of the Holy Spirit. She had only seen Song Yang’s shortcomings and none of her strengths, and she had paid no attention to looking out for and obeying the enlightenment and illumination Song Yang received from the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, she had mistakenly believed that as long as she and the other two sisters in the group reached a consensus, then there was no need to consider or accept Song Yang’s opinions. But actually, even though the three of them could reach a consensus on a solution, if it was not from the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit they would not achieve good results anyway. Only by submitting to those among the brothers and sisters who were possessed of the work of the Holy Spirit could they act in conformity with, and God would bless them and guide them as they performed their duty. The more Jiandan thought about it, the more she felt how arrogant and conceited she was. Only through careful contemplation of these words of God did she come to understand that when brothers and sisters perform their duty together, each person has their own strengths. God arranges people together so that every individual brings into play their own strengths, becomes of one mind and makes up for what each other lacks; only then can they perform their duty better and better.
Jiandan felt so ashamed. Only now had she discovered that due to not understanding the truth, when she encountered a practical problem, she did not have necessary principles in handling it. She really lacked so much! She couldn’t help but come before God to pray: “Oh, God! I’m so blind and ignorant and I don’t know Your work. Your good intentions are behind arranging us all together to perform our duty and You did it so as to make us draw on each other’s strengths and make up for what we lack, and wanted us to obey You and obey the truth in performing our duties. Oh, God! I will no longer hold myself in high esteem and belittle my sisters. May You guide me to learn how to submit to the work of the Holy Spirit done in other people, so that we are able to truly work together and serve You. Amen!”
Jiandan waited at home, expecting Song Yang to come back early. When she did see her coming back, she had mixed feelings. She felt an inexpressible excitement as well as a feeling of indebtedness, and she didn’t know what to say.
At last it was evening and, when everyone was about to go to bed, Jiandan roughly estimated that Song Yang’s work had also been finished, so she took a deep breath and, knocking lightly on Song Yang’s door, she entered her bedroom.
“Sister Song, I have something to say to you,” said Jiandan, feeling a little uneasy.
“Come in,” said Song Yang as she amiably pulled Jiandan inside.
Jiandan sat on a chair with her head raised, looking at Song Yang’s smiling face, and she plucked up her courage and went on:
“I’m going to be open with you and reveal all my ugliness. Don’t laugh at me!” Jiandan was afraid that her hard-won courage would evaporate, so she didn’t wait for Song Yang to respond, and all her words tumbled out of her:
“Our group has been working together for a while now and I’ve always thought how slowly you check articles, and yet I didn’t draw on your strengths. I failed to realize how important you are when you do your duty in this group. After you left recently, the rest of us had been constantly knocking our heads against walls and getting stuck. Only this made me think of your strengths, and I realized that God placed us together so that we can make up for what each other lacks, and each one of us is essential. It’s all been because I’m so arrogant….”
“Thanks be to God! I knew that I wasn’t working very efficiently and I was afraid that you would all laugh at me. But hearing you say this now, I’m relieved. I have to be fair to myself—we all have our shortcomings and we all have our strengths. Performing my duty together with you allows me to draw on your strengths and make up for what I lack!” said Song Yang, as she warmly held Jiandan’s hand, and the more the two of them talked, the more excited they became …
Undergoing this judgment and chastisement, Jiandan came to vividly appreciate that this environment was meticulously orchestrated and arranged by God so as to perfect her and enable her to enter into the truth; God used facts to judge her inner unrighteousness, whilst at the same time enabling her to understand many of the principles of practice of how to associate with other people, and in her heart Jiandan continually offered up her thanks and praise to God.
Afterward, whenever Jiandan performed her duty, no matter who in her group raised a different opinion, she could think it over and seek in earnest, heeding the work of the Holy Spirit, and unconsciously she became much more keen in her spirit. In particular, whenever they encountered thorny problems, they would seek the answers together. Someone would perhaps communicate some of their understanding, and this would enlighten others, and they would find the way to resolve the problem. By practicing and experiencing in this way, Jiandan discovered that they were now handling problems much more accurately than they had done before, and everyone had made some progress. Therefore, their efficiency in their work thereupon increased and they soon managed to get through the backlog of articles.
Jiandan knew very well that this result was achieved through the judgment and chastisement of God, which was also God’s mercy and grace for her. Through her experiences, she had come to appreciate deeply the profound significance of seeking the truth in all things and handling matters according to principle!
Thank God for His leading! All the glory be to!