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


On the other hand, do not be suspicious about others. We are not “ordained spies.” All the spies learn to be suspicious and they would not believe anyone. I would even say to the faithful ones in the Lord’s recovery that they should not learn to be spies. Learn to trust people. Your suspicion sometimes causes turmoil. Otherwise, we would now be in a “country of policemen.” This is just like a communist country. Everywhere that we go we dare not say anything or do anything; otherwise, we would be caught. You must give people the liberty, the right, the freedom, the ease, and the peaceful feeling to say anything or do anything. Let people do things and do not be suspicious.

Truthfully speaking, some elders are suspicious all the time. They are suspicious of New York, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Anaheim, Miami, and other localities. You may feel that others may damage you or have an intention to put you out. You may also feel that even if such a thing is not present, at least the danger is there. We must realize, however, that we are in the Lord’s hand and that we are under His hand. If you did not like to keep a position, you would not have to be so suspicious. If I do not want a position, I do not need to send out spies and I do not need to be suspicious about others. If the Lord wants me to work in this ministry, He does it through me. If the Lord wants me to be an elder, He does it. It is not up to me. This is why when information came to me, I did not look at the information first. I first looked at the informer’s intention. In other words, I always ask why this person is reporting this matter to me. Even if something is being reported which is seemingly very much in my favor, I do not care for that. This is also a test. I always check the intention in the spirit of the reporter of this kind of information. In other words, what is behind your suspicion?

Let me relate a story to illustrate what I mean. In 1958 I went to visit England. We brothers in Taiwan firstly invited Brother T. Austin-Sparks to come to visit us in 1955. That was a marvelous time. Then we invited him to come a second time in 1957. At this time, Brother Sparks began to touch the matter of the church ground and did his best to annul this truth. During his two visits he invited me to visit them in England. Immediately after his second visit to Taiwan, there was turmoil in the churches in Taiwan. At least eight to ten saints were influenced by him. Therefore, I felt that I had to go to his place in London to see the real situation. Then I would have the ground to come back to render the help to these young influenced ones. Some of these young ones were even saved and raised up through my ministry.

I then wrote Brother Sparks and told him that I would come to visit him at his previous invitation. He answered my letter positively and he welcomed me. Despite his warm welcome, he checked with a British sister who had been with him for years—“Why is Brother Lee coming?” This shows that even with such a great minister who had a great ministry, politics was there. Do not think that what you do can be hidden. This British sister who had been close to Brother Sparks was actually closer to me at that time, and she told me that Brother Sparks checked with her as to my reason for going to see him. He was suspicious about my reason for going there. He was correct in thinking that there was a reason. However, the reason was not to undermine his work but to go to see what the real situation was there.

Human beings are human beings. If you have that much suspicion about so many things and about every one around you, this would cause others to consider why you are so suspicious. If you have no trust in people in the Lord’s recovery, then I would surely begin to consider where you are. Therefore, do not be so suspicious.

Sometimes I was blamed for over trusting. Some saints said to me, “Brother Lee, the only problem with you is that you are over trusting. You trust in people too much.” My children advised me not to trust that much. Sometimes I used Brother Nee’s illustration concerning Judas. The Lord Jesus trusted in Judas. Did not the Lord know that Judas was stealing money from the money box (John 12:6)? The Lord was omniscient, yet He still trusted Judas. This is another principle—trust in people. Do not exercise suspicion.

(Elders' Training, Book 04: Other Crucial Matters Concerning the Practice of the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)