The Practical Expression of the Church, by Witness Lee


How can we help these two brothers? Suppose the black one continually loses his temper and is so rough with the brothers and sisters. What shall we do? Most people will try to convince him that he is wrong. They will condemn him, and if he is slightly convinced, they will rebuke him. Sometimes they will rebuke him to death. Finally, they will ask him to correct and change his attitude—“Brother, you know that in the church we must have a life of love. You should not behave yourself in such a poor way. You must conduct yourself in love and learn to love others.” This is what most people do, but it is absolutely wrong.

Suppose such a brother comes to you, what would you do? According to my experience, the best way is not to condemn and adjust him but to minister life to him. Pray-read a part of the Word with him, and bring him into the presence of the Lord. After a certain amount of pray-reading and contacting the Lord, you may say something to him in a positive way. “Brother, we are all sinners. Good does not mean anything to the Lord—even our best does not mean anything to Him. What the Lord wants is just Himself as our life.” By saying this, you are not political, and you are not vindicating or condemning. You are out of the world of good and evil, and in another world, another sphere, another realm, which can help him to realize Christ. He is so concerned about being right or wrong, but you must stay in the other realm to help him to realize that neither good nor evil mean anything to God. You have to bring him out of the sphere of good and evil and into the sphere of Christ, which is the sphere of life. Of course, it will take time. You will have to contact him again and again, but always in the principle of bringing him out of the sphere of good and evil and into Christ as life.

Gradually and daily in this way, you will feed this brother with Christ. You must feed him little by little and never condemn or rebuke him. Simply feed him with Christ as life. Whenever he comes to you, you should never speak of who is right or who is wrong, who is proud or who is humble. You must give him the impression that you do not care for this. To act nicely or poorly means nothing, but Christ as life means everything. Gradually you will bring him into the full realization of life. Then he will realize that it is unnecessary to fight against his bad temper and disposition. He will forget about this. He will turn to the spirit to contact and enjoy the Lord.


Eventually, this black brother will be transformed. He may be transformed into a transparent black stone. He may still be black, but transparent. Have you never seen a precious stone which is black, but transparent? It is a beautiful stone. I do like to see the black brothers transformed. They are black, but transformed. I have also seen some white brothers transformed to be so crystally transparent.

Do not think that those of a quick disposition are better than those of a slow disposition, or visa versa. They are all the same. Some precious stones are white, and some are black. The color of some you cannot tell—you do not know whether to call them white, black, blue, or some other color; yet they are beautiful, precious stones. Some of the brothers are just like this. They are not so quick, and they are not so slow. They are just something of beauty. We do not need to be changed, but we all need to be transformed. Do not try to change others. They are God’s creation; why do you want to change them? We do not like to have a church with everyone uniform—so nice, and in a sense so humble, yet so dull. We need a variety of colors in different kinds of people. This is the beauty of the church.

Some brothers and sisters are so simple and easy to handle. Others, however, are so complicated and difficult to manage—many times I simply do not have patience with them. But I have learned to see the beauty. We all must realize that the church is not something to correct, to rebuke, or to change. No, the church is the very means to minister Christ to all kinds of people so that they may be transformed with Him as life.

Let me use another illustration. Suppose a sister simply cannot go along with her husband. The other sisters realize that she is a problem in the church life because she has a problem with her husband. What is the proper way to help her? The regular way in Christianity is to show love to her and convince her that she is wrong by the teaching in Ephesians 5. First, you should love her, and then you should try in a nice way to convince her from Ephesians 5 that she is wrong in her relationship with her husband. This is the usual way. It is not bad, but as far as Christ as life is concerned, it is wrong. If you have such a sister among you, you must learn the real lesson of life. It is not submission that pleases God, but it is Christ as life expressed in submission. This is what God is seeking. If you have learned this lesson, you cannot expect to be through quickly with this sister. You must care for her day by day, little by little. You must continually give her something of life till she is brought to the full realization that what she needs is not a kind of submission but Christ as life expressed in her submission to her husband. Then she will know that it is not a problem of being submissive but of experiencing Christ as life. The sisters should not try to change or correct this sister but minister Christ as life to her.

(The Practical Expression of the Church, Chapter 19, by Witness Lee)