Just as I was sinking into negativity and complacency, some lyrics from a hymn of God’s word sounded in my heart: “We should have one resolution: No matter how intense of an environment or what difficulties we are facing, no matter how weak and negative we are, we cannot lose our confidence in changing our disposition, nor can we lose confidence in the words of God. God has given mankind a promise, and He requires that man have resolution, and that they have the perseverance to receive. God does not like cowards, God likes people who have resolution. Even if you displayed much corruption, even if you walked many winding paths, or have committed many transgressions along the way; if you have resisted God, or if some of you have blasphemed against God in your heart; or if you have murmured, or have had conflicts, God will not look upon this. God only looks to see if you will change. Just as a mother understands her own child, God understands each and every person. He understands all the difficulties, weaknesses and requirements people have. Furthermore, He understands the difficulties, weaknesses and failures one will encounter throughout the process of undergoing transformation in one’s disposition. God understands this the best, which is why I said God searches the heart and examines the mind. Regardless of your weaknesses, as long as you don’t forsake the name of God, don’t leave God and don’t leave His way, then you will always have the opportunity to transform your disposition. If we have opportunities to change our disposition, then we have hope to continue on. If we have hope to continue on, then we have hope to be saved by God” (“God Likes People Who Have Resolution” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). These words from God really moved me; in them I saw God’s hopes and I understood that a change in disposition is not a simple thing. Becoming an honest person isn’t something that happens overnight, but it requires me to unceasingly pursue the truth and to have an unshakable resolution. At the same time I also saw that if I only relied on my own will to control and restrain myself to not tell lies, I wouldn’t be able to meet the standard of an honest person. I had to continue to recognize my satanic nature in God’s words, and in all things focus on dissecting my own intentions, even more so at the time of speaking or acting for the sake of reputation or status. Then, I could gradually practice these and through this persistent practice I would be able to achieve change. Thanks to God’s enlightenment and leading I have a path for putting that into practice, and I have the confidence and the resolution to continue to seek to be an honest person.
Before long, in order to change and purify me, God once again set up an environment to test me, to make me perfect. The leader of our church was my best friend, and we had a very close relationship. There was a time that she gave me incredible help in my life, but at that time her own situation was very difficult, and she ended up making a mess of the work in the church. Brothers and sisters met with her in fellowship on this many times, but there was no change. After I heard about that I wanted to go seek her in fellowship, but then driven by my nature, I was afraid to offend her and I made excuses to myself: We’re not performing our duties together right now so I don’t need to pay any mind to this. If she really isn’t suitable to act as a church leader, our brothers and sisters will help to expose that. When I had that thought, God’s words of judgment immediately came upon me: “There have been many times I have advised the brothers and sisters who are with Me that they should believe in God from their own hearts and not protect their own interest, that they should be considerate of His will” (“The Path … (5)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Have a clear understanding of everything that God does, see things according to God’s word and see things by standing on the side of God. This way your viewpoints will be correct. Therefore, to build a good relationship with God is a top priority for anyone believing in God; everyone should treat it as the most important task and as their major life event. Everything you do should be weighed against whether or not you have a normal relationship with God. If your relationship with God is normal and your intentions are correct, then do it. In order to maintain a normal relationship with God, you can’t be afraid of losing out on personal interests, you can’t allow Satan to prevail, you can’t allow Satan to have a handle on you, and you can’t allow Satan to make you into a laughing stock” (“How Is Your Relationship With God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). The judgment in God’s words made me recognize that if I continued to protect the benefits of the flesh, I would be an accomplice of Satan, and I would thoroughly disappoint and disgust God. God had paid an immeasurable price for me, and at the critical moment I would always hurt Him for the sake of the flesh. Was I a human being? Why couldn’t I care about His will? God had given me endless grace and countless blessings, so why couldn’t I repay Him? Maintaining the work of the church is one of the most basic things of my work as a person who believes in God, and establishing a proper relationship with Him is most critical for me as a believer. I had to satisfy His will; I could no longer live for my own reputation and status, and wound His heart. So, I decided to go and engage in fellowship with her, and through that fellowship I learned that she was in a terrible situation, and she did not at all have a heart of seeking the truth. I knew that in principle she should be replaced and that I should notify the church of her situation, but as soon as I thought of how she had helped me, I hesitated and wasn’t willing to offend her. This was really agonizing for me. If I didn’t bring up her situation, I wouldn’t be able to face God. If I did bring up her situation, my heart wouldn’t be able to bear it. I brought this to God and prayed many times, and He enlightened me that I should give my heart over to God, and not deceive those above me or delude those below me. Under the leadership of God, I finally understood that I couldn’t disregard the work of the church for the sake of maintaining my relationships with others, and that actually reporting her issue to the church would be helpful to her, and it would be beneficial for her own self-reflection. Just like before, if I hadn’t undergone being replaced and scrutinized by that sister, I probably never would have known myself, and I wouldn’t have been able to enter in in my life. So I mustered my courage and wrote out the situation as I understood it to give to my superior in the church. She was quickly relieved of her position. Once I had done that, I felt very pleased for acting as an honest person that time. My heart suddenly opened up and I experienced the joy from putting the truth into practice and satisfying God’s heart. Starting then, my confidence in the practice of being an honest person grew. In the past I was always afraid that if my brothers and sisters knew about negative things in my life, they would think less of me. I was always concealing things, but by then I didn’t feel that there was a need to hide these things, so in the meeting I frankly told my brothers and sisters why I was replaced, how many terrible things I had done that were contrary to the truth and why I had been deceitful to God as well as my brothers and sisters. When I said all of this I was trembling and my face was hot, but what I hadn’t imagined was that after my brothers and sisters heard me out, there was not a single person who was repulsed by or looked down on me. One sister said to me: “In the past I didn’t want to have as much to do with you because I felt that I wouldn’t be able to get close to you. The feeling I got from you was that you had never experienced any corruption, so I kept a respectful distance and wasn’t willing to interact with you. When replacing this sister, I thought that because you have such a good relationship with her, you wouldn’t stand on the side of the truth, but that you would certainly be on her side and speak for her. I hadn’t imagined that you would expose and speak about her. The work of God truly can change people, and through you I can see that God truly is the Savior of mankind!” I felt both ashamed and moved by my sister’s words. In the past, I had always thought that I didn’t reveal my dark side to my brothers and sisters, and that I could maintain my positive image. But in fact, under God’s leadership they had long been able to distinguish good from evil, and the more I put on false pretenses, the more they disliked it and were disgusted by it. The more I opened myself up, not only was I able to gain God’s enlightenment and illumination, but I could also become truly closer to my brothers and sisters. I truly experienced that only an honest person is a true human being, and a person who God and humans like. My heart felt a release as never before. Because I was willing to put into practice being an honest person, when some important work came up for the church, the church leader would arrange for me to go take care of it. Through this type of work, not only did I do some things that were beneficial to the church and the brothers and sisters, but from that I also understood some truth and learned some lessons. I felt at ease and I enjoyed it; I felt very free, and that living that way was very meaningful.
But in my practical life I was not only interacting with my brothers and sisters. I still had to face my family, relatives, and friends who did not believe in God, and this once again presented difficulties for me. I didn’t know how to be an honest person among them, particularly as soon as I thought of when I had just started to accept the work of Almighty God, none of my classmates, relatives or friends could understand me. They avoided me, and I also avoided them because I was afraid they would make fun of me. When I did encounter them, I wouldn’t speak to them from the heart, but would find an excuse or tell a lie to deal with them. I kept far away from them, and I believed that an honest person couldn’t get along with those who didn’t believe in God. I even believed that if I didn’t lie, I wouldn’t be able to continue to function in this world. Later, I saw these words from God: “Living in this world, living under the influence of Satan’s corruption, it is impossible for people to be honest, but can we, having become honest, exist in this society and this world? Can we be segregated by them? No—we’ll live as before, because we don’t rely on treachery to eat food, or breathe air. Instead, we rely on the breath and the life given by God to live; it’s just that, today, the principles of our existence, the direction and aims of our existence, and the basis of our lives must all change. It’s just that we are changing our method and the way we live in order to satisfy God and seek salvation, and this is totally unrelated to the food, clothing, and habitation of the flesh. This is our spiritual need. Is it not so?” (“To Be Honest, You Should Lay Yourself Open to Others” in Records of Christ’s Talks). God’s words once again solidified my confidence in my pursuit of being an honest person, and they rid me of my concerns. No matter how they see my belief in God, I am willing to face them with a generous heart, to do my best to put into practice being an honest person according to God’s requirements, to no longer live in falsehoods as in the past. After that, I no longer avoid them, but I interact with them normally. When I see that they are experiencing difficulties, I help as much as I possibly can. When I interacted with them in the past I was always carefully observing their reactions, afraid that I would offend someone with something that I said and hurt my own interests or impact their image of me. Now I put this into practice according to God’s requirements and I no longer hope to gain any benefits from them. Instead, I interact with them out of love and according to the truth. Whatever extreme things they say or lines they cross, I dare to criticize them for, to use the truth to respond to their erroneous views. After a period of time, I discovered that those relatives and friends who kept their distance because I believed in God were willing to interact with me, and they all believed that I was in a higher realm than them. When they encountered difficulties they were happy to talk with me, and I was also able to preach God’s gospel of the last days to them. Through my experience I deeply understood that the words of Almighty God really are the truth, the way, and the life. The work of purifying and changing people that He is doing in the last days is practical and real, and though from the outside it doesn’t seem to be earth-shaking, it has actually made us aware of how to live, how to be human beings, and it has ended up changing us, making us gradually shake off Satan’s corrupt disposition and live as human beings, to live freely, happily, and at ease. In the past, I could never connect God’s work of saving mankind with my own practical life. But now, through my experience, I can deeply feel that God’s work of judgment and purification in the last days is what all corrupt humans require. Only if people undergo this type of work and accept God’s salvation can they live as human beings, and have a happy and promising life.
I give thanks to God’s judgment and chastisement, allowing me to finally break free of the bonds of the forces of darkness, so that I am no longer hiding myself because of the restraints of reputation and status, and I could step on solid ground in the house of God and fulfill my duty as a creation. Having walked this path, I have deeply experienced that God’s work of judgment and chastisement in the last days truly is to save mankind. Although I experienced some suffering in the midst of His judgment and chastisement, in my heart I am very happy, and I feel that I am able to accept His judgment and chastisement and live out the life of a human being. This is my good fortune, and it is also my greatest comfort. Even though I still fall far short of God’s requirements for an honest person, I will continue to work hard to be a truly honest person who will bring God joy!