Letting Go of Myself I Live Out a Little Like a Human
I am a mechanical engineer in charge of mechanical design and maintenance in a local heavy machinery company. I’ve been working there since I graduated from college. In no time at all, half a year had passed, and my work was coming along quite well. No matter what difficulties I met at work, I was able to solve them easily with my skills and professional techniques, so the manager was very satisfied with my performance and praised me. He said that I was doing a good job, even a perfect job. Receiving such high marks from my manager, I immediately felt that I was a rare talent.
One day, the manager asked me to his office and said, “Because we haven’t found qualified people, I want you to take charge of some different types of heavy machinery. You are going to have twice the workload and will have to work longer hours. In order to ease your burden, our company will give you ten subordinates and you’ll be responsible for them. What do you think?” Being entrusted with such an important task by the manager, I couldn’t restrain my feelings of excitement. I thought: “With all the things I learned during my university years and the solid expertise I mastered in the internship, I am quite qualified for the work.” So, I accepted the challenge confidently.
After taking over the work, I tried assigning my subordinates some tasks to see how they would do them, with the intention of making further plans according to their performances. However, I was surprised to find that though they had years of working experience, their caliber wasn’t that great. What’s more, they were rigid and inflexible. When machines went wrong while being operated, they would turn to me for help if they failed to find a solution in the manuals. I thought: “How dull these people are! They don’t know how to be flexible even after working here so many years.” Having no choice, I had to tell them what to do. However, it really frustrated me that they didn’t understand after I explained an operating process because they weren’t well-educated—they only finished junior high school. I was growing impatient and thought: “How come the manager arranged for such a group of workers to be my subordinates? Is this helping me or troubling me? They are so dull. I really wonder how they’ve muddled along during the past six or seven years. I would rather do it myself than make the effort to teach them.” Afterward, considering their poor caliber and low level of education, I was wary about assigning work to them in case something would go wrong, because I, as the leader, would be responsible for it. Therefore, I only assigned unimportant tasks which were irrelevant to the company’s operations to them. As for those related to the company’s operations or those that they needed to use their heads for, I attended to them everything personally and learned about them all by myself from start to finish.
I’d been in the job for less than two weeks when a new machine began to act up. What I’d mastered was all theoretical knowledge, so I didn’t know how to solve problems appearing in actual operations in a new machine. When thinking of the trust the company’s leaders had placed in me, I felt great pressure. In order to master the correct techniques, I often worked overtime and stayed up late to study the operation manual of the machinery by myself. After over a month, I was seriously sleep-deprived, and felt washed out at work. Moreover, I would get very nervous as soon as I heard the manager wanted to see me. One morning, the machine suddenly stopped operating. My subordinates and I spent a long time trying to repair it, but failed. Consequently, it was unable to operate all that morning, which seriously delayed the progress of the company’s operations. The manager scolded me and mocked me by saying “University students nowadays really don’t have much ability. What good is all your learning now?” Hearing his sarcasm, I felt very defiant: Wasn’t it just because I lacked experience? What was the big deal? I just needed to master some new skills and then I would definitely not make such a mistake again.
At the end of the month, the manager held a work meeting. In order to show them my capability, I eloquently explained my suggestion using some professional knowledge. Just when I was expressing my ideas excitedly, two relatively experienced subordinates pointed out the shortcomings of my suggestion on the spot, which irritated me. I thought: “How many years of education did you receive? You’ve simply worked a few years longer than me. What qualifies you to give me advice? What’s more, the manager chose me for the position. That proves that I am not less capable than you.” So I argued with them. To put them down, I couldn’t help raising my voice, and used some abstruse words and theories which they didn’t understand. Finally, they were reduced to silence because they thought I was a real professional and that they should listen to me. Seeing what I said was clear and logical, the manager also accepted my suggestion.
In order to show everybody my management ability, I started to be tough on my subordinates. Each time I saw them loafing on the job, or working half-heartedly, I would come down on them like a ton of bricks so that they did not dare to raise their heads. One day, when I saw a subordinate on Facebook during working hours, I got very angry. I thought: “You’re irresponsible. You have the audacity to play on your cell phone while the work isn’t finished.” When I saw colleagues from other departments nearby, I felt even more my dignity was being challenged: My subordinates’ behaviors represented me and he was so undisciplined! How would the other departments see me? They would definitely laugh at my incompetence! Thus, I scolded my subordinates loudly, “You must keep my rules if you work under me. Don’t play on your phones or answer personal calls at work. Anyone who breaks the rules will be out.” Being rebuked by me, that particular subordinate didn’t dare to raise his head. At that moment, I wondered if I’d said too much, but once I remembered I was their leader, and it was my duty to manage them and make them behave themselves, I felt it was okay to do so.
A few months later, a sister preached theof the kingdom of Almighty God to me. Through the sister’s fellowship, I came to know that since we humans were corrupted by Satan, there is corrupt satanic disposition within us. We live in dependence on our corrupt satanic disposition, thus increasingly having no human likeness. Almighty God is now incarnated and expresses the truth in the last days to save and purify us. Only if we accept God’s new work, and practice according to His words, can we be free from our corrupt disposition and live out the likeness of normal human beings. The sister often shared her experience of God’s work with me. I felt her fellowship was very practical and I liked communicating with her very much.
One evening, when I was chatting with the sister online, she noticed that I had a hoarse voice, so she asked what the matter was. I said, “I gave my subordinates a good scolding today. They were absent-minded and dilatory at work. They often made mistakes, which put me in the manager’s bad books.” After hearing my complaint, she said, “In God’s eyes we are all created beings. We are equal; it’s just that we have different jobs and duties. As a leader, you should try caring for them instead of just being angry with them and scolding them. What you exposed were arrogance, conceit, and lack of love.” Hearing her words, I felt awkward, and didn’t say a word. Seeing this, the sister sent me a passage of God’s words: “Once a man has status, he will often find it difficult to control his mood, and so he will enjoy seizing upon opportunities to express his dissatisfaction and vent his emotions; he will often flare up in rage for no apparent reason, so as to reveal his ability and let others know that his status and identity are different from those of ordinary people. Of course, corrupt people without any status also often lose control. Their anger is frequently caused by damage to their private interests. In order to protect their own status and dignity, corrupt mankind will frequently vent their emotions and reveal their arrogant nature. Man will flare up in anger and vent his emotions in order to defend and uphold the existence of sin, and these actions are the ways in which man expresses his dissatisfaction; they brim with impurities, with schemes and intrigues, with man’s corruption and evil, and more than anything else, they brim with man’s wild ambitions and desires.” She then fellowshiped, “After we were corrupted by Satan, our nature became arrogant. Especially, when we have status, we feel even more that we are different from others. Therefore, our arrogant disposition becomes more expanded. When we meet something unsatisfying, we will vent our dissatisfaction by anger. Actually, by doing so, we just want others to notice our status and be obedient to us. When our interests are damaged, we can’t help losing our temper to defend our dignity and to make others fear us. Regardless of what situation, it is because of the arrogant disposition that we flare up into rage in order to defend our own status, benefits and dignity.”
Hearing the sister’s fellowship, I thought: “In order to defend my status and dignity as their leader, I got angry to make my subordinates, and staff from other departments, see my authority. And when discussing plans with my subordinates, if someone opposed my plans and my dignity felt challenged, I would argue with him loudly, with the intention of letting other subordinates know that arguing with me would only make them lose face. I always thought that as a leader, I should show a leader’s dignity and make the subordinates listen to me. It turns out that my actions were the revelation of a kind of corrupt disposition, merely to maintain my status and dignity.”
Then the sister read a passage of God’s words for me: “God created man, breathed life into him, and also gave him some of His intelligence, His abilities, and what He has and is. After God gave man all of these things, man was able to do some things independently and think on his own. If what man comes up with and does is good in the eyes of God, then God accepts it and does not interfere. If what man does is right, God will let it stand. So, what does the phrase ‘whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof’ indicate? It indicates that God did not see fit to alter any of the names given to the various living creatures. Whatever name Adam called a creature, God would say ‘So it is,’ affirming the creature’s name. Did God express any opinion on the matter? No, He certainly did not. So, what do you gather from this? God gave man intelligence and man used his God-given intelligence to do things. If what man does is positive in the eyes of God, then it is affirmed, acknowledged, and accepted by God without any judgment or criticism. … Would a human being, a corrupted person, or Satan permit anyone else to do something in their name, right under their nose? Of course not! Would they fight over this position with that other person or other force that is different from them? Of course they would! If it were a corrupted person or Satan who was with Adam at that time, they would have certainly repudiated what Adam was doing. To prove that they have the ability to think independently and have their own unique insights, they would have absolutely denied everything Adam did: ‘You want to call it this? Well, I’m not going to call it this, I’m going to call it that; you called it Tom but I’m going to call it Harry. I have to show how clever I am.’ What kind of nature is this? Is it not wildly arrogant? And what of God? Does He have such a disposition? Did God have any unusual objections to what Adam was doing? The answer is unequivocally no! Of the disposition God reveals, there is not the slightest hint of argumentativeness, arrogance, or self-righteousness. That much is clear here.”
The sister then fellowshiped, “God is supreme, and His position and identity are honorable, but from the revelation of God’s disposition, we can see His humility and adorableness. There is no arrogance in God’s disposition. As long as what man does is according to, He will accept it and won’t change or deny it. Comparing the revelation of God’s disposition with our attitudes to subordinates, we can see the corrupt disposition we expose. We are too arrogant, self-righteous and self-important, and God’s disposition is so beautiful, which makes us feel ashamed.” Her fellowship made me feel so ashamed of myself that I couldn’t show my face. I thought: “I am a corrupt person. Once I got high status in the company, I started to do what I like, and use my power to oppress others. Comparing my arrogance with God’s humility and hiddenness I felt very ashamed. At that moment, I made up my mind to apologize to my subordinates and bravely admit my mistakes.
The next morning, thinking of my commitment to God the night before, I felt a little regretful: Did I really need to apologize to my subordinates? Yes, they usually loved to gossip, but if I really apologized to them, and they told the other departments, then how would I look in their eyes? I thought it over and over again, but still felt embarrassed to do so. The third evening after work, the sister sent me a message and asked me whether I had apologized to my subordinates. I made an excuse by saying that I’d forgotten to do so because I had been too busy at work. The sister said, “That’s just an excuse. You’re avoiding the apology, aren’t you?” I felt ashamed and said, “No, I’m not. I’ll apologize to them tomorrow.”
When I was about to go to work the next day, the sister sent a message to remind me to practice the truth. I felt under pressure, but I knew I shouldn’t avoid it anymore, otherwise I would have no credibility left. After arriving at the company, I looked at my watch: The subordinates would be coming in a few minutes. I was anxious, and couldn’t sit still. The very thought of apologizing to them caused me great suffering. I still couldn’t practice it, and really wanted to give up the idea at that moment: I really couldn’t do that, so I would have to lie to the sister and say that I’d apologized. I thought maybe it was OK to tell a lie once. But soon I gave up this idea, because if I did lie, I would feel more uneasy and it would compound my mistake. I didn’t know what to do. Just then, God’s words occurred to me: “While practicing the truth, it is inevitable that one will suffer inside; if, when they put the truth into practice, everything within people were right, then they would not need to be made perfect by God, and there would be no battle, and they would not suffer. It is because there are many things within people that are not fit for use by God, and because there is much of the rebellious disposition of the flesh, that people need to learn the lesson of rebelling against the flesh more profoundly. This is what God calls the suffering that He asked man to undergo with Him.” From God’s words I realized that I was deeply corrupted by Satan, which made it so difficult for me to practice the truth and live out proper humanity. At that time, I realized that we greatly need God’s salvation and understood that today God created such a situation not to humiliate me, but to save me from the bondage of Satan and help me live out the likeness of a normal person. Therefore, in my heart I prayed to God silently for strength and courage, with which I could practice the truth to testify for God. After praying, I gradually calmed down. All the subordinates were at work by then, and so I asked them to come to the meeting room. I first said sorry to them and then laid myself open to them, confessing I had done things that hurt them before, and asking for their forgiveness. After the apology, it felt like a very heavy weight had been lifted from me and I felt relaxed. They were surprised by my behavior, but they all showed understanding for the great pressure I had as a leader. Seeing they were so reasonable, I felt ashamed: They were really good people, but I’d treated them so badly. I was so corrupt.
From then on, I often had meals with them, and asked if there was anything they didn’t understand at work. I helped them as much as possible. They also talked with me about their families and work. After interacting with them for some time, I came to see that they were all very kind, just like my older relatives. Our relationship became harmonious.
Because a lot of the work was done by myself, I often felt physically and mentally exhausted. Once in a meeting, the brothers and sisters asked how I’d been recently. I told them my opinions on my subordinates and the pressure I faced at work. Then a sister said, “Actually, all things of God’s creation are perfect. Everyone has their strengths. If we often think we are better than others, it shows that we are too arrogant. Let’s read two passages of God’s words: ‘Among all things of creation, from the great to the small, from the small to the microscopic, there was none which was not created by the authority and power of the Creator, and there was a unique and inherent necessity and value to the existence of each creature. Regardless of the differences in their shape and structure, they had but to be made by the Creator to exist under the authority of the Creator.’ ‘Do not be self-righteous; take the strengths of others to offset your own deficiencies…. If you regard others as less than you, you are self-righteous, conceited, and of benefit to no one.’” After reading God’s words, the sister continued to fellowship this: “God is righteous. Though He gives each of us different calibers and capabilities, there is value in the existence of each creature. Our feelings of being superior to others and looking down upon others result from our arrogant and self-righteous disposition, which leads us to compare our advantages with others’ disadvantages. Thus we don’t treat others fairly, much less let them fulfill their duties. You’d be better trying to help them find their own level at work and bring out the best in them, and thus they will do the work well. At the same time, you can learn from others’ strong points to make up your own deficiencies, and enhance your own work performance in return.”
After listening to the sister’s fellowship, I felt somewhat enlightened: I always exalted myself and belittled others because of my college degree and the expertise I’d mastered. It turns out this resulted from my arrogant and conceited nature. Even people who don’tall say that “Everybody can do something,” but why couldn’t I see others’ strengths? If they were really good for nothing, how could they have worked in the company for so long? Maybe I was wrong. I should try to give full play to their strengths, and cooperate with them to do the work. At that moment, I felt a little relieved. The next day, I gradually began to assign them tasks.
One evening several days later, I had something else to do, so I had to get off work early. However, there were still some problems to work out. When I was worrying about what to do, I suddenly remembered the sister once fellowshiped that each person had his or her own strengths, and that we should trust others and not underestimate them. So I let go and entrusted it to my subordinates, and offered several possible solutions for their reference. The next day, the manager asked me to go to his office. I felt nervous: Was there anything wrong with the work I let my subordinates do yesterday? When I walked into the manager’s office and saw his serious expression, I felt even more nervous, thinking: “There must be something wrong with yesterday’s work. This time I will definitely be scolded by him again.” I was just looking around and didn’t know what to do when the manager suddenly stretched out his hand to shake hands with me. Before I realized what was happening, the manager shook my hand and smiled at me, “The customer called this morning and said that our team did great. All their problems were solved efficiently. It’s all down to you.” I was very surprised to hear his words. I knew my subordinates should take credit for that rather than I. So I honestly told the manager, “I assigned the work to my subordinates yesterday and left early because I had something else to deal with. It’s all down to them.” However, the manager said, “This is because you exercised good leadership.” I hadn’t expected that the manager would praise me, and it made me very happy. But what made me more excited was that I truly saw God’s deeds and experienced that His words are the truth. As long as I practiced according to God’s words, I would see the authority of His words. Thank God!
After this, I rearranged my management technique. First, I chose two men from the ten as team leaders. As for the subordinates with inferior capabilities, I asked them to learn what they could from the leaders. I was in charge of training the leaders. Thus, I would have more time to do my own things. After implementing this arrangement, I found they each brought their own merits into play. Some were experienced and could get the key points to the problems, and solve them. Some worked slowly, but they were careful and steady, so they seldom made mistakes. Some liked to study, so when they met a problem that they didn’t understand, they would search the internet and watch videos to find solutions. More to the point, when my subordinates were busy at work, they would no longer play on their cell phones. Seeing these results, I was moved very much. I realized that I had been very ignorant and foolish in the past. If I had trained them earlier, I wouldn’t have been that tired. How harmful the arrogant and self-righteous corrupt disposition was!
Once in a meeting, a sister fellowshiped this with us, “After we were corrupted by Satan, it instilled all kinds of satanic poisons into our heart. As we live with these satanic poisons in us, everything we reveal is a corrupt disposition. For example, when we live by the satanic poisonous idea of ‘I am my own lord,’ our disposition is filled with arrogance and conceit. In everything, we are self-centered, always trying to make others obey us, and we are unable to accept others’ suggestions easily. Therefore, if we want to solve the corrupt disposition of being arrogant and conceited, we must accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s word, reflect on our corrupt disposition and then practice the truth and live by God’s words.”
From her fellowship, I realized that the corrupt disposition of arrogance and conceit is deeply rooted in each of us and it dominates our every word and deed. It is a satanic disposition which needs solving urgently. Knowing this, afterward when I was with others, I learned to put myself aside. When discussing the work, I would give each worker the chance to voice their opinions. And when we disagreed with each other, I would no longer insist on my own opinions, but put the matter to a vote to decide which plan was better for the company. When I did this, I found that though my subordinates’ suggestions were conventional, they were worth listening to. Combining their suggestions with my proposals often made perfect sense.
One day, I read God’s words: “In his life, if man wishes to be cleansed and achieve changes in his disposition, if he wishes to live out a life of meaning and fulfill his duty as a creature, then he must accept God’s chastisement and judgment, and must not allow God’s discipline and God’s smiting to depart from him, in order that he may free himself from the manipulation and influence of Satan, and live in the light of God. Know that God’s chastisement and judgment is the light, and the light of man’s salvation, and that there is no better blessing, grace or protection for man.” Pondering God’s words, I recalled my previous experience. I was an arrogant and self-righteous person, who didn’t know how to respect and be considerate toward others, and had no love for others. Through the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, I came to know my arrogant corrupt disposition gradually. When I practiced according to God’s words, learning to put myself aside and no longer treating others relying on my arrogant disposition, I gained the praise and respect of my colleagues and my heart obtained true release. I deeply felt that God’s judgment and chastisement is the light, the indeed greatest blessing and protection for us humans. Only His judgment and chastisement can enable me to know my corrupt disposition, and to cast it off and live out proper humanity. I am willing to accept more of His judgment and chastisement, and live as a genuine person to comfort His heart. All glory be to Almighty God!