KNOWING AND KEEPING OUR POSITION
In the church life no one is solely a younger one or solely an older one; rather, everyone is a younger one and an older one as well. In spite of this, everyone still has to know his position and keep his place. In the work, in the church, and even when we all gather together, the younger ones should behave as younger ones, and the older ones should behave as older ones. Each one should firmly keep his proper position and pay the price to learn this.
Every matter in the universe has certain principles. For example, no one who loses his proper position can be blessed. Anyone who leaves his position will surely lose the blessing that rightfully belongs to him. In the family, the more the children conduct themselves properly as children, the more firmly they stand in their position as children, and the more the parents conduct themselves properly as parents, the more firmly they stand in their position as parents. The same is true in the church—the more the saints grow in a normal way, the more firmly they keep their position. The Bible says that the younger ones should be subject to the older ones (1 Pet. 5:5) and that the older ones should take care of the younger ones (cf. vv. 1-3). We all should know our position without waiting for others to give commands or depending on others to make arrangements. We should always keep our position, paying the price to learn this lesson.
Every person should know his position clearly. For example, a person who has truly learned this lesson and knows his position would not dare to say anything about the food placed in front of him, regardless of how bad the food is. Even if the food is poisonous, all he would do is refrain from eating it. He cannot say whatever pleases him because he does not have the position to say anything, nor is it the proper time to say anything. A person who has truly learned this lesson will make every effort to speak when it is the proper time to speak. However, if it is not the proper time to speak, he will keep silent. A person who has truly learned this lesson always keeps his position. When it is the proper time to discuss something in a meeting, he speaks. However, outside of the meeting after the discussion is over, he refuses to speak. Knowing our position and keeping our position—this is to pay the price to learn this lesson.
We must always learn to pay the price because only then can we be useful in the Lord’s hand. When we all come together, the position of the younger ones and the position of the older ones should be clearly manifested. The more evident this situation is, the more blessing there will be. In the church the more evident the order is, the stronger the church is. The younger ones should not feel ashamed, and the older ones should not feel proud. We should not think that those who correct us are ill-treating us. We should realize that the younger ones’ being able to listen to the older ones is a very glorious and sweet thing. Our position is to obey the more advanced brothers and the elderly sisters, whether they are right or wrong. We have no position to say anything before them. Once we say anything in a loose way, we lose the blessing.
Noah committed a grave mistake when he became drunk and uncovered himself. However, when Ham, the father of Canaan, spoke about it, he lost the blessing (Gen. 9:20-27). When there is loose talk in the church, the blessing is lost. Do not think that speaking a few words is a small thing; actually, a small spark can cause a great fire. In our daily life we need to learn the lesson of knowing our position. This requires us to pay a considerable price.
(How to Be Useful to the Lord, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)