One major thing which shows you that you are not opinionated is that you simply follow the brothers. This is not so easy, especially if you are older than the other brothers. It is also not easy for many of the sisters to follow the brothers. Some sisters may say that God is not fair, because the woman must always be under the man (1 Cor. 11:3). Even after they get saved and come into the church, they still hold this opinion.
There was a co-worker among us many years ago who was very opinionated. Brother Nee once said to me, “This brother is a very good brother. Whenever you ask him to go west, he will go east.” The brothers got to know this peculiarity in this brother’s character, so when they wanted him to go west, they would ask him to go east. Then he would go west. This kind of nature is still in our blood. We are not so willing to follow others.
At the time Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, everybody knew that he was a leading one. If such a leading one proposes something to you, you should take his proposal. At that time Paul had a heavy burden for the church in Corinth. Some there were saying that they were of Apollos. Surely if Apollos would have gone there, his going would have been a great help. I believe Paul explained this to him when he advised him to go to see them, but Apollos refused to go. In principle Apollos should have gone even out of politeness, but he was so strong to say that he would go at another time. He did not want to go at Paul’s proposal but at his convenience. This was his opinion.
There are a number of ways to take from Anaheim to the airport in Los Angeles. Sometimes the brothers may have different opinions about which way to take. The more they discuss which way to take, however, the more time they waste. It is better to let the driver of the car make the decision, and not express any opinion.
Throughout the years I have seen the damage caused by opinions. When I was on mainland China with Brother Nee, he was like a big umbrella taking the lead. All the troubles from opinions went to him. Then the Lord brought me out of China and put me in the Western world, where I had to take the lead. I saw the damage caused by different opinions. Very rarely did I adjust these opinions, because I do not like to make an issue of anything.
Now that you are in the full-time training, you have to learn how to take the regulations. Regulations do not give you any ground for opinion. When you drive a car, you have your choice, but when you get on a train, you do not have any choice. Now that you are in the training, you are on the train. That means you are under the regulations. The training gives you the regulations to help you grow in life, and these regulations spontaneously kill your opinion.
I have seen many of the Lord’s servants through the years. The most useful ones are the ones without opinions. They do not care for their opinions. They care for only one thing—the main goal. They stick themselves to the main goal, which is the carrying out of God’s purpose. If a driver’s main purpose is to get to the airport in Los Angeles, what way we take to get there does not really matter. To debate about which way to take is to waste time. You have to learn how to stick yourself to the main goal. Forget about different ways to express your opinion. You young saints who are learning how to serve must learn this one thing.
The thirty items of a proper character, to which I referred in the previous message, are very helpful to us. But in another sense, each of these items is your enemy. Each item is your enemy because each item regulates you. This regulation is a killing. Each of the thirty items of a proper character kills your opinion. Your problem in serving the Lord is your opinion.
One trainee told us that the rooms in which the trainees stayed were too small. Every opinionated person is a good-hearted one. If you did not have a heart for anything, you would have no opinion. A piece of stone has no opinion, but because your heart is strong and good, you have an opinion. If you did not have a heart for others, you would have no opinion. Because this trainee has a good heart for the other trainees, his opinion came out. When you come to a new place and do not express any opinion, that is wonderful.
(Opening Word to the Full-Time Trainees Concerning Regulations and Opinions, An, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)