DEALING WITH OUR CHARACTER ACCORDING TO
THE INNER REGULATION OF THE DIVINE LIFE
We do not always live by the divine life, in the fellowship of life, and in the light of life. In our daily life, we may respond merely to outward regulations or to others who are observing us, but we have to realize that the Lord is observing us more closely than anyone. Throughout the years I have been learning to adjust my character according to the inner regulation of the divine life. To some extent I have been trained in my character, so that it is now very difficult for me to be disorderly. Thirty percent of our character is what we have received by birth, and seventy percent of our character is by habit. Hence, character is composed of our nature and our habit. If you were to take a Chinese boy of Chinese parents, put him into an American family’s home, and raise him in that family for a number of years, he would grow up with an American character.
Over the years I have noticed that many people have a part of their character in which they exaggerate in their speaking. One time in Shanghai many years ago, a sister came to me and reported that the rain was leaking into the meeting hall through a large hole. I asked the sister two or three times how large the hole was. Each time I asked, the size of the hole became smaller and smaller. Finally, it was determined that the "large" hole was actually a small hole. This sister’s first report concerning the hole in the meeting hall was inaccurate and exaggerated.
Our character can spoil, destroy, and kill our usefulness to the Lord. In 1965 I visited the Philippines and took along with me an American brother, who at that time was one of my co-workers. Upon my arrival I introduced this brother to the saints as one of my young co-workers. As a result of my word, they respected him very much. The saints gave him a very good room next to my room. On one of the mornings of our stay, some sisters went into his room in order to clean it. They found that one of the brother’s socks was in a cup on a piece of furniture and that the other sock was on top of his pillow. When they told me this, I went into the room and found it exactly as the sisters had said. This brother’s usefulness to the Lord was annulled by his character.
BEING RESTRICTED IN THE FELLOWSHIP OF LIFE,
THE LIGHT OF LIFE, AND THE SENSE OF LIFE
I love America very much, but there is one big defect in American society: males and females do not have the proper knowledge and feeling concerning their masculinity and femininity. This is the reason that there is a great deal of fornication in this country. Deuteronomy 22:5 prohibits a woman from putting on men’s clothing and a man from putting on women’s clothing. For this reason, I do not like to see sisters wearing pants. For a woman to wear men’s clothing and for a man to put on women’s dressing are an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. As females the sisters should be feminine in their attitude, voice, and greeting of others. They should also keep a proper distance between themselves and the brothers. In the same way, the brothers should keep a proper distance between themselves and the sisters. Whenever a sister comes up to me after a meeting, I practice to keep a little distance between us. I am always mindful that we are still in the flesh and that I must behave myself in a proper way.
If you live a life according to the divine life with the fellowship of life, the light of life, and the sense of life, you will realize the restrictions in the divine life. If you live in the fellowship of life, it will bring you into the light. In this light, you will see that you need to be adjusted. You may have to change your way of caring for your hair. Your hair may be too short if you are a female or too long if you are a male. The divine life will correct you in everything. You must learn how to live in the divine life—in the fellowship of life, in the light of life, and in the sense of life.
(The Triune God to Be Life to the Tripartite Man, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)