Elders' Training, Book 04: Other Crucial Matters Concerning the Practice of the Lord's Recovery, by Witness Lee


When the elders who are taking care of the church deal with some sinning ones, they should not condemn his family. If this sinning one is a brother, we should only deal with him. Do not consider his entire family as victims. Rather, when we deal with a sinning brother, we must love his wife and love his children. If this brother would not repent after a long, long period of patience on the elders’ side and if he would not give up his sinning life, this would force the church to remove him. Do not include his wife or his children in your dealing. Rather, you must love the wife and the children even more. It is not so easy or simple to take care of the church.


Do not think that you should be able to fully trust in your helpers. When the Lord Jesus selected the twelve, He selected Judas. I believe that one of the lessons indicated by the Lord here is that we should not hope to have helpers in whom we can fully trust. We always have to put our trust in the Lord (Jer. 17:5, 7). Romans three also indicates that no one is trustworthy and that only God is true and faithful (v. 4). Only God is faithful because all of us human beings are weak and selfish. You may trust me very much, and your trusting in me always makes me happy. However, you cannot make me happy all the time. Something will eventually happen that will make me unhappy with you. Once this happens, that might become a factor in me. This little factor could grow and grow and eventually the unhappiness will increase.

This shows us that we should not trust in man, but trust in the Lord. This will avoid a lot of damaging issues. This will not only protect you, but also protect the one in whom you trust. Even though we have all been regenerated and a number among us have been greatly transformed, we are still human and still in the old creation. We all have our weak points. I would not want any of you to trust in me fully. I am not that perfect, able, or capable. If you trust in me fully and completely with no reservation, you will delay yourself. Also, you will destroy me, you will destroy yourself, and you will destroy the entire situation. You have to consider that I am merely a man. I might be a little more capable than you are, but I am not almighty. I may be a good brother, but I am not absolutely perfect.

Therefore, we all must exercise some kind of caution and some kind of discernment. We should love each other and we should trust in each other, yet we have to realize that we are all still human. Overtrusting really damages. Not to trust is wrong, but to trust in full is also wrong. Not trusting in full does not mean that you do not trust. In the church life we should always have caution and consideration, but this does not give you the ground to be suspicious. There are always two sides to everything.

(Elders' Training, Book 04: Other Crucial Matters Concerning the Practice of the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)