I am a church leader. I always thought: If one has a higher position, takes charge of a larger working area, and experiences more things, then he will gain more truths. Especially when the small-district leader’s talk about her experiences gave me quite a lot of help, I even more believed that she gained more truths than I did because she had a higher position and a larger working area than I did. Thus, I always felt that my working area was small and the things I experienced were not many and so I had gained only a few truths. And I expected that one day I could also do a work of a larger working area so that I could gain more truths.
One day, during my spiritual devotions, I chanced upon this passage in The Replies to the Questions from Churches in Various Places (3): “Whether one can gain the truth mainly depends on whether he loves the truth and pursues the truth, and it has nothing to do with his position being high or low or with his working area being large or small. One’s taking charge of a larger working area only means that he does more works, but it does not represent that he has gained more truths. One’s having gained the truth … means that he has made God’s word his own reality and life through practicing and experiencing it. Only when he can live by God’s word in everything he does can it be said that he has gained the truth. If it were as people think that ‘only by doing big works can one gain more truths,’ then the brothers and sisters who do not do big works could not gain the truth, and only those who are big leaders and who do big works could gain the truth and be perfected by God. Isn’t this absurd? Then why have some big leaders not gained the truth but been expelled instead? The renowned Paul did the work of large area and had a high position, but why had he not gained the truth and is still being punished by God even now? … In fact, whatever duty one performs and whatever circumstance he is in, he can gain the truth and be perfected by God as long as he pursues the truth and pursues to get transformed.”
Reading these words, I felt enlightened all at once. Actually, whether or not one can gain the truth has nothing to do with his high or low position or with his big or small working area, but it mainly depends on whether or not he loves the truth and pursues the truth. But I thought that if one was a big leader and took charge of a large working area, he could gain more truths, and otherwise he would gain fewer truths. This is totally my erroneous viewpoint. Although my position and my working area are different from my leader’s, the truths for us to enter into are the same. If I am a person who loves and pursues the truth, then no matter what duty I perform and how large my working area is, I can gain the truth as long as I seek the truth, try to enter into the truth and live out the reality of God’s word in the things I encounter every day. On the contrary, if I do not love the truth and do not pay attention to pursuing the truth at ordinary times, I cannot gain the truth, even if I have a high position or take charge of a large working area or experience many things. And in the end I will, like Paul, only know to work but have not entered into any truth and thus be eliminated by God. Only then did I understand that my leader could talk about some experiences and the knowledge of the truth not because her working area was large, but because she had a heart to pursue the truth and paid attention to her life entering. But I always thought erroneously that she had some experiences and the knowledge of the truth simply because she had a large working area. And so I always hoped that I could also do a work of a larger area, but never paid attention to entering into the truth in my daily life. My viewpoint was really too erroneous and too ridiculous!
Thank God for his timely inspiration, which has corrected my absurd viewpoint. From now on, I will no longer expect to have a high position and do a work of a large area. I only wish to perform my present duty faithfully, walk the path of pursuing the truth in a down-to-earth manner, and pursue to live by God’s word in everything, so that I can gain more truths and be perfected by God.
Zhuanghe City, Liaoning Province