The Economy of God and the Mystery of the Transmission of the Divine Trinity, Chap 12, Section 1 of 5




Besides pursuing the growth in life and being equipped in the truth, as mentioned in the preceding chapter, we also need to build up several other things if we want to be useful vessels in the Lord’s hand.


Third, we must develop a habit and build up a life of praying every day, fellowshipping with the Lord all the time, confessing our sins to the Lord constantly, and enjoying the infilling of the Holy Spirit at every moment. We must build up these things in our Christian life. Prayer is a daily necessity; it should not be skipped even for one day. This refers not to prayers in the meetings but to prayers in private. Every day we must pray, fellowship with the Lord, and confess our sins, not allowing any barrier to remain between us and the Lord. If we have a negative feeling toward someone who coordinates or serves with us, we do not need to disclose it to him lest we give the devil an opportunity to damage the work. We should, however, still go to the Lord to deal with this matter, saying, “Lord, I have a bad feeling toward him. I am tired of him and do not approve of what he says. Please forgive me and transform me.”

In hospitals, doctors and nurses contact all kinds of patients every day and are contaminated by different kinds of germs. The best way for them to be protected is by continually washing their hands. Every time after they contact a patient, they wash their hands so that no germs remain on them. Our confession and repentance must be like this. In addition, we need to fellowship with the Lord and receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit constantly. We should not analyze too much in our mind, but we should just practice this every day. [452]


Fourth, a person who serves the Lord should not be light in speech or loose in behavior. We need to cultivate our human character and disposition in order to build up our Christian character. Do not be frivolous or loose but instead be grave and dignified. This is not simply to give ourselves an air of solemnity but to be sober as is fitting for Christians. The sisters, in particular, should conduct themselves with gravity. It is an unchanging principle that there should be a distinction between males and females. Women should not have any casual physical contact with men, talk with them in a frivolous way, or be so loose as to hold hands with them or put their arm around their shoulders. Sisters, if you do any of these things, you depreciate yourselves. Of course, you may not have any intention to do anything evil, but others will despise your behavior. Similarly, the brothers should not be playful or light. Instead, you should be grave and proper. This is to build up your character. Do not open your mouth if there is no need for you to say anything. If you do say something, however, you should mean what you say. If you say something wrong, confess it right away. Moreover, whenever you say something, you should keep your word. Do everything properly and seriously. If you have an appointment with someone, you should be on time. You should also do whatever you have promised others that you will do, even if it causes you to suffer a loss. If we build up this kind of character, surely we will be weighty.

Two people can do the same thing, but the weightiness of the action does not depend on the action itself but on the person who is doing it. Therefore, we need to build up our character. This includes our clothing and adornment. The sisters like to adorn their face and hair. The way you comb your hair and present your face reveals what kind of person you are; it depicts your character to the uttermost. Of course, there are no outward laws telling us what to do. I believe, however, that we all understand what Paul meant when he said, “That women adorn themselves in proper clothing with modesty and sobriety” (1 Tim. 2:9). Although it is hard to say what kind of clothing is “proper,” all people who are upright, not only Christians but even non-Christians, know the kind of clothing that is considered proper. Even non-Christians, if they are upright, know that clothes that expose the chest and arms are improper and inappropriate. [453]

The purpose of clothing is not only to protect us from the cold, but even more to cover our body. The reason that human beings need to wear clothing is because man sinned and as a result gained a sense of shame toward his nakedness. Originally, man did not have to wear clothes because he did not have sin or know sin and thus did not have the sense of shame. But since the day that sin entered into man due to the fall, man began to have a sense of shame. Thus, man started to feel that it was wrong to be naked and that he needed to be covered. Hence, clothing in the Bible is not primarily for protecting us from the cold but for covering our body to remove our shame of nakedness. Today, however, the clothes that are in fashion all violate this principle. People think that the more they expose their body, the better. Therefore, nearly all the clothes that are in style are against the principle of morality. There are two ways that the human body can be exposed: one way is to be completely naked and without the covering of any clothes; another way is to be clothed in a way that exposes the shape of one’s body. Both are against the biblical principle.

For this reason we should not find it strange that since the ancient times, people who fear God, whether Jews or Arabs, Catholics or Episcopalians, males or females, priests or nuns, all wear clothes that completely cover their body. This does not mean that all of our clothing has to be old-fashioned and peculiar. Nonetheless, according to the principle, first, we should cover our body; second, we should not overexpose our figure. This matter has very much to do with our character, our personality, our gravity, and our dignity. We must not forget that we are doing the King’s business. We are just like the imperial officials and special envoys. Therefore, when we go to visit people, we must dress properly so that when people look at our clothing and our manner, they cannot but welcome and respect us. Hence, we must cultivate and build up this matter.

The effectiveness of our work and the weightiness of our words all depend on the way we dress ourselves. The Chinese have a saying: “Words from a person of little significance carry little weight.” How then can we be people who are weighty instead of being people of little significance? It all depends upon our character, our speech, our appearance, and our clothing and adornment. Suppose we were to wear a strange garment that is very colorful with two red stripes in the front and two yellow stripes on the shoulders. When people [454] see us, surely they will say that we are probably circus performers. How can they believe that we are preaching Jesus and teaching the truth?

© Living Stream Ministry, 2021, used by permission