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In regard to subjectivity, a further point should be noted: Our subjectivity must be dealt with by God before we will be fit to deal with others. God will lead us to deal with other men only when we ourselves are first dealt with. He will not commit anything to a subjective man. God cannot trust such a man. A subjective person cannot do God's will, and he has no way to lead others to do His will. If a subjective person is put into God's work to instruct others in the way of God, his own will comes out ten times stronger than does the Lord's. A subjective person wants everyone to listen to him. Unless a person is brought to the point where he has lost all interest in gaining a following, he cannot be used by the Lord. We should allow ourselves to be broken and smashed to the degree that we no longer crave obedience from others. We should not interfere with others' freedom, personal lives, or personal judgments. We have no interest in other people's life or affairs. As servants of the Lord, we must be dealt with by the Lord to such an extent. Only then can we be used by Him to speak as His deputy authority. Otherwise, there is a real threat of our usurping God's authority to carry out our own will, through which we would become a ruler, teacher, or father over God's children. The Lord said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them...It shall not be so among you" (Matt. 20:25-26). If a man has never been broken by the Lord, if he secretly cherishes his own ideas, demands, and hobbies, God cannot use him because he is untrustworthy. If God entrusts His flock to such a person, he will lead the flock to his own house. Many people are not worthy of God's trust; God cannot entrust anyone into their hands. If a man is interested only in his own ways, he cannot lead others into God's way. Our brother Paul was very pliable. He was single, and he knew that it was better to remain single than to be married. Yet he never criticized marriage. Brothers and sisters, how exercised was our brother before the Lord. If a man is subjective and if his subjectivity is never broken, he will surely insist on everyone being a virgin and remaining unmarried. He will surely condemn every marriage. A subjective man can easily do this. But here was a man who was different. He could stand for what he did; he knew the value of what he was doing. Yet at the same time, he gave others the freedom to make their own choice. He wished that others would be spared of all sufferings of the flesh, yet he agreed that others should be married. Here was a man who was firm in the Lord, yet at the same time, he was soft and tender. In discussing the matter of marriage, he was still able to declare that the teaching of abstinence was a teaching of demons, even though he was a single man.
Brothers and sisters, we have to learn to take such a stand. We can never overemphasize a truth just because we feel that way, nor can we shut our mouth to a truth just because we feel differently. Once we give up trying to influence God's truth according to our feelings, we are qualified to work and to lead others according to the Lord's leading. A basic requirement for us to be in the work is to be broken and to have our subjectivity dealt with. If our subjectivity still dominates us, we will lead God's work astray as soon as it is put into our hands. This is terrible. It is a terrible thing for a person to act rashly and speak carelessly. We should learn to stop interfering with other people's business. We should never dictate the lives or affairs of others with our own subjectivity. God does not interfere with man's free will. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was placed in the garden of Eden. God told man not to eat of it, but He did not keep man away from it with a fiery sword. If the fiery sword in chapter three had been used in chapter two to guard the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, man would never have sinned. It would have been easy for God to do this. But He did not do this. Instead, He said, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17). If man insisted on eating it, that was his own business.
We have to learn to not dominate others with our own thought. When others do not want to hear our word, we should turn away; we should not force them to listen to it. If we have a burden before the Lord, we should tell the brothers and sisters about it. It is good if they take our word. But if they do not take it, we should be happy to turn away. We should never impose our thought upon others. God has never done this, and neither should we. If a man chooses to rebel against God, He allows him to take his way. If others do not want to take our way, why should we insist? We have to learn to give up our insistence. We have to allow others to turn away from our advice. If we have learned the proper lessons before the Lord, we will gladly allow others to take their own way. We should not force others to listen to us or to take our way. We should not force others to receive our help. We may be clear about our function, but we should not force others to accept our function. God never forces anyone, and we should not force anyone either. None of us can be subjective in the work of God. None of us should try to make others listen to us. Let us learn to be attentive before Him. The more others listen to us, the greater is our responsibility before the Lord. How great a responsibility we have to bear if we say a wrong word to others! Do not rejoice at others taking our word. We have to remember the tremendous responsibility that is upon our shoulders. It is too great a thing for others to listen to us. If others listen to us when our way is crooked and we are not clear about God's will, we are truly the blind leading the blind. Not only will the blind who follow us fall into the pit, but both who are blind, ourselves and our followers, will fall into the pit (Luke 6:39). Never think that only followers fall and that leaders perhaps can escape the fall. When the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit. We should not think that it is easy to speak, easy to teach, and easy to advise others. We should not think that it is a simple thing to say, "You should do this," or "You should do that." If we become teachers to many, instructing them to do this and that, there is the danger that both we and they will end up in the pit. Hence, we have to learn to fear God. We should realize that the more others listen to us, the more we should hear God's word in fear and trembling. Even when we are one hundred twenty percent sure of something, we should only say it with seventy to eighty percent assurance. We should be afraid of making mistakes. The easier it is for a man to speak weighty words, the less weighty he is before the Lord. The more confidence a person has, the less trustworthy he is. We should never think that as long as others listen to us, everything will be fine. Everything is not fine when others listen to us. What will we do to these obedient ones? Where will we lead them? We have to realize the seriousness of our responsibility. This is why we have to learn to not be subjective. One problem with subjectivity is a craving for others' ears. A subjective person likes to have others listen to him. He wants his ideas to be a source of direction for others and his opinions to be a source of light for others. But we have to realize that our opinions are not a source of light and our ideas are not a source of direction. We must learn to not lead others by the hand, learn to not force others to go our way, and learn to not impose obedience to God upon others. If the brothers and sisters are happy to go along with us, we should thank the Lord. If they want to choose their own ways, let them make their own choices. We should not try to drag others along with us. We should allow others to come and go as they wish. One characteristic of a man who knows God is a hesitation to force anyone to listen to him.
A subjective man can never do this. He cannot listen to what others have to say, and he cannot receive guidance from the Lord. He does not feel that he has to learn anything from anyone; therefore, God cannot trust him with any work. If we have made all the decisions already before we come to God, we will not find out God's decision. Only a pliable person can find out God's decision. We must drop many things before we can sense God's will. If a man has never learned to deny his subjectivity, and if he is full of his own opinions, ways, ideas, and reasons, the church will be split as soon as God's work is placed into his hands. Division in the church results from man's subjectivity. Many people can only work individually; they cannot participate in the work of the church. They can only have individual service, not Body service. Many people have never touched the matter of authority. As a result, they can never be an authority. From the first day that many people began to work, they have never submitted to anyone. Surely God cannot make them an authority over others. Brothers and sisters, we should pay special attention to this matter. When a young brother joins the work, we must first test him. A subjective person always considers himself to be the head, and he always wants to assume leadership over others. He always tries to impose his idea upon others. A man who is dealt with by the Lord is always faithful and always willing to speak, yet he will never try to impose his will upon others. He will never try to subject others to his will. On the one hand, he becomes stable through God. On the other hand, he is not subjective and does not impose anything upon others unilaterally. Everyone is free to obey God or disobey Him. We cannot force anyone to do anything. A man bears his own responsibility before God. We should always allow others to have the opportunity to choose for themselves. May we all be pliable, always giving others the freedom to choose and always asking others what they would like to do. Our work is just to present the ways before men. What they choose is up to them. In everything we should give others the freedom to make their own choice. We should try our best not to make a choice for them.