11. The Essence of Personal Revenge
Zhou Li Xintai City, Shandong Province
Some time ago, we needed to plot out districts within our area, and based on our principles for the selection of leaders, there was one brother who was a relatively suitable candidate. I prepared to promote him to district leader. One day when I was chatting with this brother, he mentioned that he felt I was overbearing in my work, too intense, and that in a gathering with me there wasn’t much enjoyment…. When I heard this, I felt that I had been belittled. I felt terrible; I immediately developed a certain opinion of this brother, and no longer planned to promote him to district leader.
When I returned to my host family, I was still stewing and I could not calm down. At that time, I thought of something from “Reckless Leaders Who Do Not Carry Out Their Proper Work Must Be Dismissed” in the man’s fellowship: “How leaders treat brothers and sisters who they find disagreeable, who oppose them, who hold completely different views than them—this is a very serious issue and should be handled with caution. If they do not enter into the truth, they will certainly discriminate and strike against this person when met with this kind of issue. This type of action is precisely revealing the nature of the great red dragon resisting and betraying God. If the leader is someone who pursues the truth, who possesses a conscience, and sense, they will seek the truth and handle it correctly. … As people, we need to be just and fair. As leaders, we must handle things according to God’s words in order to stand witness. If we do things according to our own will, giving free rein to our own corrupt disposition, then that will be a terrible failure.” I couldn’t help but compare my two entirely different attitudes from before and after my chat with that brother. I was originally prepared to promote him to district leader, but he said some things that caused me to lose face when I spoke with him, so I immediately changed my opinion of him and no longer planned to make that promotion. Wasn’t this exploiting my power to take personal revenge? What’s the difference between this and the great red dragon discriminating and striking against those who dissent? Isn’t this type of action despicable? The church is not the same as society. The church needs every level of its leaders to be people with humanity, who love the truth, and can accept the truth. It does not need people who are sycophants, who do not recognize the truth. But what I was doing was entirely contrary to God’s will. When selecting a candidate I only thought of my own interest and as soon as the other person didn’t support me, when he said something disagreeable to me, I discriminated against and resented him. Wasn’t my acting like this precisely revealing the nature of the great red dragon resisting and betraying God? Wasn’t it precisely an exposure of the disposition of Satan, “Those who submit will prosper; those who resist shall perish”? Wasn’t behaving this way being a servant of Satan, disrupting God’s work and being His enemy? Isn’t my heart so wicked? The church was about to select someone for a position, and that brother was a suitable candidate for district leader. His assessment of me was disagreeable to me; I should have sought out the truth on this matter and accepted his opinion. I should have examined myself and known myself, and made up for the deficiencies in my work. However, not only did I not look for the reason within myself, but I gave free rein to the nature of Satan in me to discriminate against him and take revenge on him. I am so arrogant, so lacking in humanity! This disposition of mine is so disgusting to God! If I had continued giving free rein to this type of corrupt nature, I would eventually have gone to my ruin as an arrogant servant of evil who is blind to God. I truly was in peril. At that time I couldn’t help but shudder at my thoughts and actions, seeing myself full of the poison of the great red dragon, that what was exposed was all enmity against God. God truly hates this, and is disgusted by it.
Oh God, thank You for Your quick enlightenment, for preventing my discriminatory behavior, for allowing me to better see my own evil nature and my face of Satan acting as Your enemy. From this day forward, I am willing to pursue a change in disposition, and when I encounter people or things that are disagreeable to me, I will learn to put myself aside, to forsake the flesh, and in all things safeguard the interests of the church, to do my utmost to fulfill my duties.