Only an Honest Person Can Live Out True Human Likeness

God’s requirement that people be honest is the most significant thing. Sadly, many do not understand this and ignore this matter of being an honest person. If people truly understood God’s work, they would know that after He completes His work of judgment in the last days, only those honest people who have been purified of their corrupt dispositions, and who have cast off their deceit and lies, will obtain His salvation and be qualified to enter His kingdom. If, after many years of believing in God, people are still full of lies and deception; if they cannot sincerely expend themselves for God, and always perform their duties in a perfunctory way, they will certainly be spurned by Him. What will be their outcome? They will certainly be cleared out from the church and cast out. Today, seeing God’s work reach this step, one is reminded of how He has consistently called upon man to be honest. This holds great significance. It is not just said casually and that’s the end of it—it is directly related to whether or not one can attain salvation and survive, and to each person’s outcome and destination. Therefore, it can be said with certainty that it is only by casting off one’s deceitful disposition and becoming an honest person that one can live out normal humanity and attain salvation. Those who have believed in God for many years but who are still deceitful are destined to be cast out.

All God’s chosen people are now practicing performing their duties, and God makes use of people’s performance of their duties to perfect one group of people and cast another out. So, it is the performance of duty that reveals each sort of person, and each sort of deceitful person, nonbeliever, and evil person is revealed and cast out in the performance of their duty. Those who perform their duties loyally are honest people; those who are consistently perfunctory are deceitful, shrewd people, and they are nonbelievers; and those who cause disruptions and disturbances in performing their duties are evil people and antichrists. Right now, a wide range of problems still exist in many of those who perform duties. Some people are always very passive in their duties, always sitting and waiting and relying on others. What sort of attitude is that? It is irresponsibility. God’s house has arranged for you to do a duty, yet you ponder on it for days without getting any concrete work done. You are nowhere to be seen at the workplace, and people cannot find you when they have problems that need resolving. You do not bear a burden for this work. If a leader inquires about the work, what will you tell them? You are not doing any kind of work right now. You are well aware that this work is your responsibility, but you do not do it. What on earth are you thinking? Do you not do any work because you are incapable of it? Or are you just greedy for comfort? What attitude do you have toward your duty? You only talk about words and doctrines, and you only say pleasant-sounding things, but you do not do any practical work. If you do not wish to perform your duty, you should resign. Do not hold your position and not do anything there. Is doing so not inflicting harm on God’s chosen people and compromising the work of the church? In the way you talk, you seem to understand all manner of doctrine, but when asked to perform a duty, you are perfunctory, and not conscientious in the least. Is that expending yourself sincerely for God? You are not sincere when it comes to God, yet you feign sincerity. Are you capable of deceiving Him? In the way you usually talk, there seems to be such great faith; you would like to be the pillar of the church and its rock. But when you perform a duty, you are less useful than a matchstick. Is this not deceiving God with your eyes wide open? Do you know what will come of you trying to deceive God? He will spurn you and cast you out! All people are revealed in performing their duties—just set a person to a duty, and it will not take long before it is revealed whether they are an honest person or a deceitful person, and whether or not they are a lover of the truth. Those who love the truth can perform their duties sincerely and uphold the work of God’s house; those who do not love the truth do not uphold the work of God’s house in the least, and they are irresponsible in performing their duties. This is immediately clear to those who are clear-sighted. No one who performs their duty poorly is a lover of the truth or an honest person; such people will all be revealed and cast out. To perform their duties well, people must have a sense of responsibility and a sense of burden. This way, the work will definitely be done properly. It is only worrying when someone does not have a sense of burden or responsibility, when they have to be prompted to do everything, when they’re always perfunctory, and they try to shift the blame when problems arise, leading to delays in their resolution. Can the work still be done well then? Can their performance of their duty yield any results? They do not wish to do any of the tasks that are arranged for them, and when they see others who need help with their work, they ignore them. They only do a bit of work when ordered, only when push comes to shove and they have no choice. This is not performing a duty—this is hired labor! A hired laborer works for an employer, doing a day’s work for a day’s pay, an hour’s work for an hour’s pay; they’re waiting to get paid. They’re afraid of doing any work their boss doesn’t see, they’re afraid of not being rewarded for anything they do, they only ever work for appearances’ sake—which means they have no loyalty. Much of the time, you are unable to reply when asked about work issues. Some of you have gotten involved in the work, but you have never asked how the work is going or carefully thought about this. Given your caliber and knowledge, you ought to know something at least, because all of you have taken part in this work. So why do most people say nothing? It is possible that you really don’t know what to say—that you don’t know whether or not things are going well. There are two reasons for this: One is that you are totally indifferent, and have never cared about these things, and have only ever treated them as a task to be completed. The other is that you are irresponsible and are unwilling to care about these things. If you truly cared, and were really engaged, you would have a view and perspective on everything. Having no perspective or view often comes from being indifferent and apathetic, and not taking any responsibility. You are not diligent toward the duty you perform, you do not take any responsibility, you are not willing to pay a price or get involved. You do not take any pains, nor are you willing to expend any greater energy; you merely wish to be an underling, which is no different from how an unbeliever works for their boss. This kind of performance of a duty is disliked by God and it does not please Him. It cannot meet with His approval.

The Lord Jesus once said, “For whoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that he has” (Matthew 13:12). What is the meaning of these words? What they mean is that if you don’t even carry out or dedicate yourself to your own duty or job, God shall take away what was once yours. What does it mean to “take away”? How does that make people feel? It could be that you fail to attain that which your caliber and gifts could have allowed you to, and you feel nothing, and are just like an unbeliever. That is what it is to have everything taken away by God. If, in your duty, you are remiss, and do not pay a price, and you are not sincere, God shall take away what was once yours, He shall take back your right to perform your duty, He shall not give you this right. Because God gave you gifts and caliber, but you did not perform your duty properly, expend yourself for God, or pay a price, and you did not put your heart into it, not only will God not bless you, He will also take away what you once had. God bestows gifts on people, giving them special skills as well as intelligence and wisdom. How should people use these things? You must dedicate your special skills, your gifts, your intelligence and wisdom to your duty. You must use your heart and apply everything you know, everything you understand, and everything you can achieve to your duty. By doing so, you will be blessed. What does it mean to be blessed by God? What does this make people feel? That they have been enlightened and guided by God, and that they have a path when they perform their duty. To other people it may seem that your caliber and the things you have learned couldn’t enable you to get things done—but if God works and enlightens you, you will not only be able to understand and do those things, but also to do them well. In the end, you will even wonder to yourself, “I didn’t use to be that skilled, but now there are so many more good things inside me—all of them positive. I never studied those things, but now I understand them all of a sudden. How did I suddenly become so smart? How are there so many things that I can do now?” You will not be able to explain it. This is the enlightenment and blessing of God; this is how God blesses people. If you do not feel this when performing your duty or doing your job, then you have not been blessed by God. If doing your duty always feels meaningless to you, if it feels like there is nothing to be done, and you cannot bring yourself to contribute, if you never receive enlightenment, and feel that you don’t have any intelligence or wisdom to put to use, then this means trouble. It shows that you do not have the right motive or the right path for performing your duty, and God does not approve, and your state is abnormal. You must examine yourself: “Why do I lack a path in my duty? I’ve studied this field, and it’s within my scope of specialization—I’m good at it, even. Why is it that when I try to apply my knowledge, I can’t? Why can’t I utilize it? What is going on?” Is this an accident? There is a problem here. When God blesses someone, they become intelligent and wise, clear-sighted on all matters, as well as keen, alert and especially skillful; they will have the knack and be inspired with everything they do, and they will think everything they do is so easy and that no difficulty can obstruct them—they are blessed by God. If somebody finds everything very difficult, and they are clumsy, prone to distortions, and clueless no matter what it is they are doing, if they don’t understand anything that is said to them, then what does this mean? It means they do not have God’s guidance and they do not have God’s blessing. Some people say, “I’ve applied myself, so why is it that I don’t see God’s blessings?” If you just apply and exert yourself but do not seek to act according to the truth principles, then you are going through the motions in your duty. How could you possibly see God’s blessings? If you are always careless in performing your duty and never conscientious, you will not be enlightened or illuminated by the Holy Spirit, and you will not have God’s guidance or His work, and your actions will bear no fruit. It is very hard to perform a duty well or handle a matter well by relying on human strength and learning. Everyone thinks they know a thing or two, that they have some know-how, but they do things poorly, and things always go awry, eliciting comments and laughter. This is a problem. Someone may clearly not be much of anything yet think they have know-how, and not yield to anyone. This has to do with a problem in man’s nature. Those who do not know themselves are all this way. Can such people fulfill their duties well? Not only are they unable to fulfill their duties well, they are liable to fail miserably. Some people cannot do any duty well, yet they still always try to take on superior roles and boss other people around. Such people accomplish nothing—they are not even capable of spreading the gospel or testifying to others and they do not have even a single word of fellowship to share on the truth. Such people are stark naked, impoverished and pathetic! All who do not pursue the truth perform their duties with a mindset lacking in responsibility. “If someone leads, I follow; wherever they lead, I go. I’ll do whatever they’d have me do. As for taking on responsibility and concern, or taking more trouble to do something, doing something with all my heart and strength—I’m not up for that.” These people are unwilling to pay the price. They are only willing to exert themselves, not to take on responsibility. This is not the attitude with which one truly performs a duty. One must learn to put their heart into their performance of their duty, and a person with a conscience can accomplish this. If one never puts their heart into the performance of their duty, that means they have no conscience, and those without a conscience cannot gain the truth. Why do I say they cannot gain the truth? They do not know how to pray to God and seek the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, nor how to show consideration for God’s will, nor how to put their heart into contemplating God’s words, nor do they know how to seek the truth, how to seek to understand God’s requirements and His will. This is what it is to not be able to seek the truth. Do you experience states where, no matter what happens, or what sort of duty you perform, you are able to frequently quiet yourself before God, and to put your heart into contemplating His words, and into seeking the truth, and into considering how you must perform that duty to accord with God’s will, and which truths you should possess in order to perform that duty satisfactorily? Are there many times in which you seek the truth in this way? (No.) Putting your heart into your duty and being able to take on responsibility require you to suffer and to pay a price—it is not enough simply to talk about these things. If you do not put your heart into your duty, always wanting to labor instead, then your duty will certainly not be done well. You will simply go through the motions and nothing more, and you will not know whether you have done your duty well or not. If you put your heart into it, you will gradually come to understand the truth; if you do not, then you will not. When you put your heart into performing your duty and pursuing the truth, you will gradually come to understand God’s will, to discover your own corruption and deficiencies, and to master all your various states. When your only focus is on exerting effort, and you do not put your heart into reflecting on yourself, you will be unable to discover the true states in your heart and the myriad reactions and the revelations of corruption that you have in different environments. If you do not know what the consequences will be when problems go unresolved, then you’re in a lot of trouble. This is why it’s no good to believe in God in a confused way. You must live before God at all times, in all places; whatever befalls you, you must always seek the truth, and while you do, you must also reflect on yourself and know what problems there are in your state, seeking the truth at once to resolve them. Only thus can you perform your duty well and avoid delaying the work. Not only will you be able to perform your duty well, what’s most important is that you will also have life entry and be able to resolve your corrupt dispositions. Only thus can you enter the truth reality. If what you often ponder in your heart is not matters related to your duty, or matters that have to do with the truth, and instead, you are entangled in external things, with your thoughts on affairs of the flesh, will you be able to understand the truth? Will you be able to perform your duty well and live before God? Certainly not. A person like that cannot be saved.

To believe in God is to walk the right path in life, and one must pursue the truth. This is a matter of the spirit and of life, and it is a different thing from unbelievers’ pursuit of wealth and glory, of making an eternal name for themselves. These are separate paths. In their jobs, unbelievers think about how they can do less work and make more money, of the dubious tricks they could play to earn more. They think all day long about how to get rich and build up their family fortune, and they even come up with unscrupulous means to achieve their goals. This is the path of evil, the path of Satan, and it is the path that unbelievers walk. The path walked by believers in God is that of pursuing the truth and gaining life; it is the path of following God and gaining the truth. How should you practice to gain the truth? You must diligently read, practice and experience God’s words—only after doing so will you understand the truth. And when you understand the truth, you must consider how to perform your duty well so that you may do things in accordance with the principles, and how you may come to submit to God. This requires practicing the truth. Practicing the truth is no easy matter: Not only must you seek the truth, you must also reflect and recognize whether you have erroneous ideas and notions, and if problems exist, you must fellowship about the truth to resolve them. When you understand the principles of practicing the truth, you can then practice the truth. And only by practicing the truth can you enter into the truth reality and become someone who submits to God. By practicing and experiencing in this way, you will change your dispositions and attain the truth without even realizing it. Unbelievers are always striving for fame, gain, and status. As a result, they walk the path of evil, becoming more and more depraved, more and more shrewd and deceitful, and more and more calculating and conspiratorial; their hearts become more and more evil, and they become more and more unfathomable and enigmatic—this is the path of unbelievers. The path of those who believe in God is just the opposite of this. Believers in God want to separate themselves from this evil world and from evil mankind; they want to pursue the truth and purify their corruption. Their hearts are only steady and at peace when they live out human likeness; they want to know God, fear God, shun evil, and gain His approval and blessing. This is what those who believe in God seek. If you have believed in God for many years, truly understand the truth, and have changed, the more that others interact with you, the more they will feel that you are honest—honest in your speech and honest in the performance of your duty—someone who is completely open, with nothing to hide, and who speaks and acts in a transparent way. Through the things you say, the views you express, the things you do, the duty you perform, and through your honest attitude when conversing with others, people can see through to your heart, and see how you conduct yourself, what your preferences are, and what goals you pursue. They can clearly see that you are a good and honest person, and that you are walking the right path. This shows you have changed. If you have believed in God and performed a duty for a long time, but the people you interact with always feel that you are not transparent in what you say, that your views are unclear, and they cannot clearly see your heart in your actions, if they constantly feel that you have things hidden deep within your heart, this shows that you are a secretive person who knows how to conceal, disguise, and package themselves. If, even after several years of interacting with you, others are unable to fully comprehend your heart, and all they see is your temperament and character rather than your disposition or your essence, it demonstrates that you are still living according to your satanic disposition. The shrewder you are, the more it demonstrates that you are not a good person, that you lack humanity, and that you belong to devils and Satan. If you do not gain any truth, and your corrupt dispositions are not purified no matter how many years you believe in God, then it will be very difficult for a person like you to attain salvation. And if, despite your ability to prevaricate, your way with words, your cleverness, quick reactions, and how skilled you are at handling things, those who interact with you always feel uneasy, and can sense that you are unreliable, untrustworthy, and unfathomable, then you are in trouble. This indicates that you have not changed at all while believing in God, and that you do not truly believe in Him. Have you experienced any real change in your belief in God until now? Do you interact with others with an attitude of honesty? Do others feel that you are sincere? (When it comes to things that are of immediate benefit to me, I can lie and deceive; but when they are not of immediate benefit to me, I can speak the truth and open my heart a little.) (I am selective in the things I say—some things I speak openly, but the things hidden deep inside my heart remain concealed. When interacting with others, I still tend to package and disguise myself.) This is a case of living in one’s corrupt dispositions. If one does not pursue the truth and resolve their corrupt dispositions, how can one change? You are all people who perform duties. At the very least, you must have an honest heart and allow God to see that you are sincere—only then can you attain God’s enlightenment, illumination, and guidance. The crucial thing is that you accept God’s scrutiny. No matter what barriers there are between you and other people, how much you value your own vanity and reputation, and what intentions you harbor that you cannot open up about in a simple manner, all of these things must gradually change. Step by step, each individual must free themselves from these corrupt dispositions and difficulties, and overcome the obstacles their corrupt dispositions pose. Before you pass through these obstacles, is your heart truly honest with God? Do you hide and conceal things from Him or put up a false front and deceive Him? You should be clear about this in your heart. If you have these things in your heart, you should accept God’s scrutiny. Do not leave things to chance and say, “I do not want to expend my whole life for God. I want to start a family and live my own life. Hopefully, God won’t scrutinize me and condemn me.” If you hide all these things from God—that is, the intentions, objectives, plans, and life goals that you harbor deep within your heart—and if you hide your views on many things and beliefs about faith in God, then you will be in trouble. If you hide these worthless things and do not seek the truth to resolve them, it shows that you do not love the truth, and that it is hard for you to accept and gain the truth. You can hide things from other people, but you cannot hide them from God. If you don’t trust God, then why do you believe in Him? If you have some secrets, and you worry that people will look down on you if you open up about them, and you lack the courage to speak out, then you can simply open up to God. You should pray to God, confessing the vile intentions that you harbor in your belief in Him, the things you have done for the sake of your future and destiny, and how you have strived for fame and gain. Lay all of these before God and reveal them to Him; do not hide them from Him. No matter how many people your heart is closed off to, do not close your heart to God—you must open your heart to Him. That is the least degree of sincerity that those who believe in Him should have. If you have a heart that is open to God and not closed off to Him, and can accept His scrutiny, how will He view you? Even though you may not open up to others, if you can open up to God, He will see you as an honest person with an honest heart. If your honest heart can accept His scrutiny, then it is precious in His eyes, and He surely has work to do in you. For example, if you have done something deceitful toward God, He will discipline you. Then you must accept His discipline, quickly repent and confess before Him, and acknowledge your mistakes; you must acknowledge your rebelliousness and corruption, accept God’s chastisement and judgment, know your corrupt dispositions, practice according to His words, and genuinely repent. This is evidence of your sincere belief in God, and your genuine faith in Him.

To practice being an honest person, you first need to learn to open your heart to God and say heartfelt words to Him in prayer every day. For example, if you told a lie today that went unnoticed by other people, but you lacked the courage to open up to everyone, at the very least, you should bring the mistakes that you have examined and discovered and the lies you have told before God for reflection, and say: “Oh God, I have lied again to protect my own interests, and I was wrong. Please discipline me if I lie again.” God is pleased with such an attitude and He will remember it. It may require strenuous effort for you to resolve this corrupt disposition of telling lies, but don’t worry, God is by your side. He will guide you and help you to overcome this recurring difficulty, giving you the courage to go from never acknowledging your lies to acknowledging your lies and being able to openly reveal yourself. Not only will you acknowledge your lies, but you will also be able to openly reveal why you lie, and the intent and motives behind your lies. When you have the courage to break through this barrier, break through Satan’s cage and control, and progressively reach a point where you no longer lie, you will gradually come to live in the light, under God’s guidance and blessing. When you break through the barrier of fleshly constraints, and are able to submit to the truth, openly reveal yourself, publicly declare your stance, and have no reservations, you will be liberated and free. When you live this way, not only will people like you, but God will also be pleased. Although you may sometimes still make mistakes and tell lies, and you may sometimes still have personal intentions, ulterior motives, or selfish and despicable behaviors and thoughts, you will be able to accept God’s scrutiny, revealing your intentions, actual state, and corrupt dispositions before Him and seeking the truth from Him. When you have understood the truth, you will then have a path of practice. When your path of practice is correct, and you move in the right direction, your future will be beautiful and bright. In this way, you will live with your heart at peace, your spirit will be nourished, and you will feel fulfilled and gratified. If you cannot break free from the constraints of the flesh, if you are constantly constrained by feelings, personal interests, and satanic philosophies, speak and act in a secretive manner, and always hide in the shadows, then you are living under Satan’s power. However, if you understand the truth, break free from the constraints of the flesh, and practice the truth, you will gradually come to possess human likeness. You will be frank and straightforward in your words and deeds, and you will be able to reveal your opinions, ideas, and the mistakes you have made, allowing everyone to see them clearly. In the end, people will recognize you as a transparent person. What is a transparent person? It is someone who speaks with exceptional honesty, whose words everyone believes to be true. Even if they unintentionally lie or say something wrong, people are able to forgive them, knowing that it was unintentional. If they realize they have lied or said something wrong, they apologize and correct themselves. This is a transparent person. Such a person is liked and trusted by everyone. You need to reach this level to gain God’s trust and the trust of others. This is not a simple task—it is the highest level of dignity that a person can possess. A person like this has self-respect. If you are unable to gain the trust of other people, how can you expect to earn the trust of God? There are individuals who lead dishonorable lives, constantly fabricating lies and approaching tasks in a perfunctory way. They don’t have the slightest sense of responsibility, they reject being pruned, they always resort to specious arguments and are disliked by everyone who encounters them. They live without any sense of shame. Can they truly be regarded as human beings? People who are perceived as vexing and unreliable by others have completely lost their humanity. If others cannot place their trust in them, can God trust them? If others harbor dislike toward them, can God like them? God dislikes such people, He abhors them, and they will inevitably be cast out. As a human being, one must be honest and honor one’s commitments. Whether performing deeds for others or for God, one must keep their word. When one has earned people’s trust and can satisfy and assure God, they are then a relatively honest person. If you are trustworthy in your actions, not only will others like you, but God will also surely like you. By being an honest individual, you can please God and live with dignity. Therefore, honesty should be the starting point of one’s conduct.

What is the most important practice for an honest individual? It is the act of opening up one’s heart to God. But what does it mean to open up? It means sharing your thoughts, intent, and the things you are governed by with Him, and then seeking the truth from Him. God sees everything with exceptional clarity, regardless of what you disclose. If you can express your feelings to God, open up to Him about the things you hide from others, clearly stating them without hiding anything, and expressing your thoughts as they are, without any intent, then this is openness. Sometimes, speaking honestly may hurt or offend others. In such instances, would anyone say, “You speak with too much honesty, it’s too hurtful, and I can’t accept it”? No, they would not. Even if you occasionally say something that does hurt others, if you open up and apologize, acknowledging that your words lacked wisdom and that you were unsympathetic to their weakness, they will recognize your lack of ill-intent. They will understand that you are an honest person who simply communicates in a straightforward and tactless manner. They will not argue with you, and in their hearts, they will like you. In this way, can there be barriers between you? If there are no barriers, conflicts can be avoided, and problems can be swiftly resolved, allowing you to live in a state of liberation and relaxation. This is the meaning of “only honest people can live happily.” The most important part of being an honest person is opening up to God first and then learning to open up to others. Speak honestly, sincerely, and from the heart. Strive to be a person of dignity, character, and integrity, avoid speaking in empty pleasantries or in a deceitful manner, and refrain from speaking in a deceptive or misleading way. Another aspect of being an honest person is performing your duty with an honest attitude and an honest heart. At the very least, rely on your conscience to guide your actions, strive to adhere to the truth principles, and strive to meet God’s requirements. It is not enough to merely acknowledge these things verbally, and simply adopting a certain attitude does not mean you are practicing the truth. Where is the reality of being an honest person in that? Merely chanting slogans without having the reality is not enough. When God scrutinizes individuals, He observes not only their hearts, but also their actions, behaviors, and practices. If you claim that you wish to be an honest person but when anything befalls you, you are still able to lie and deceive, is this the behavior of an honest person? No, it is not; it is saying one thing but meaning another. You say one thing and do another, glibly deceiving others and acting sanctimoniously. You are just like the Pharisees who could recite all the scriptures forward and backward while explaining them to people, but failed to practice according to the scriptures when anything befell them. They were constantly driven by a desire for the benefits of status, unwilling to relinquish their fame, gain, and status. The Pharisees were hypocritical in this way. They did not walk the correct path, their path was not the right path, and God detests their kind. Can such individuals be trusted by other people? (No.) Do you know how high God’s level of trust in you is right now? Have you attained God’s trust? (No.) Have you gained other people’s trust? (No.) Are you living with dignity if you have not gained God’s and other people’s trust? (No.) What a pitiful way to live! A human being’s deepest sorrow is living without dignity and being unable to earn the trust of others and God. If someone were to ask you, “What do others think of you? Can they trust you? If they entrust you with a task, do they believe you will do it well?” you might feel that nobody places that level of trust in you. If you believe that you possess a sincere heart, yet people still do not trust you, it indicates that your sincerity is still lacking and impure. Can trust be built if others cannot see your sincerity? Merely believing in your own sincerity is not sufficient; you must practice and demonstrate your sincerity for others to witness. If nobody trusts you, then you are certainly not an honest person. Considering that others can see through your lack of honesty, and God scrutinizes the innermost depths of people’s hearts with a hundred times or a thousand times more clarity than any human being—do you really believe that God will trust you? If you find yourself feeling wronged by God because of His lack of trust in you, you should reflect on yourself and assess the degree and depth of your sincerity. You ponder this: “God scrutinizes the depths of people’s hearts and should know what I think. If I were to rate myself based on my behaviors, I would not give myself a high rating. It is normal for God not to trust me.” If you have not earned the trust of God or others, what should be your course of action? You must enter into the truth of being an honest person, regardless of the challenges it may present. If you are unable to do so, you will be unable to attain salvation.

God’s demand for honesty is extremely important. What should you do if you experience many failures in the course of practicing honesty and find it exceedingly difficult? Should you become negative and shrink back, and abandon your practice of the truth? This is the clearest indication of whether a person loves the truth or not. After practicing honesty for a certain period, some individuals think, “Being honest is too difficult—I can’t stand the damage it’s doing to my vanity, pride, and reputation!” As a result, they no longer want to be honest. In reality, this is where the challenge of being an honest person lies, and most individuals find themselves stuck at this point and unable to experience it. So, what does it take to practice being an honest person? What kind of person is able to practice the truth? First and foremost, one must love the truth. One has to be a person who loves the truth—that is certain. Some people truly achieve results after several years experiencing the practice of honesty. They gradually reduce their lies and deception, and indeed become fundamentally honest people. Could it be that during their experience of practicing honesty, they didn’t face difficulties or suffer along the way? They most certainly endured a great deal of suffering. It was because they loved the truth that they were able to suffer to practice it, to persist in speaking truthfully and doing practical things, to be honest people, and to finally gain God’s blessing. To be an honest person, one must love the truth and possess a heart of submission to God. These two factors are of the utmost importance. All those who love the truth have God-loving hearts. And those who love God find it especially easy to practice the truth, and they can endure any form of suffering in order to satisfy God. If someone has a God-loving heart, when their practice of the truth meets with humiliation or setbacks and failures, they will be able to endure humiliation and suffering to satisfy God, as long as God is pleased. Therefore, they are able to put the truth into practice. Of course, practicing any aspect of the truth comes with a certain degree of difficulty, and being an honest person is even more difficult. The greatest difficulty is the obstacle of one’s corrupt dispositions. All humans have corrupt dispositions and live according to satanic philosophies. Take for instance, the sayings “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost” or “No great feats can be accomplished without telling lies.” These are examples of a satanic philosophy and a corrupt disposition. People resort to telling lies to get things done, gain personal advantages, and accomplish their goals. It is not easy to be an honest person when one possesses this kind of corrupt disposition. One must pray to God and rely on Him, and frequently self-reflect and come to know oneself, in order to gradually rebel against the flesh, forsake one’s personal interests, and relinquish one’s vanity and pride. Furthermore, one must endure various kinds of defamation and judgment before being able to become an honest person who can speak the truth and refrain from telling lies. During the period where one practices being an honest person, encountering many failures and moments where one’s corruption is revealed is inevitable. There may be times when one’s words and thoughts don’t align, or moments of pretense and deceit. However, regardless of what befalls you, if you want to tell the truth and be an honest person, you must be able to let go of your pride and vanity. When you don’t understand something, say that you don’t understand; when you are unclear about something, say you are unclear. Do not be afraid of others looking down on you or thinking less of you. By consistently speaking from the heart and telling the truth in this way, you will find joy, peace, and a sense of freedom and liberation in your heart, and vanity and pride will no longer constrain you. No matter who you interact with, if you can express what you truly think, open your heart to others, and not pretend to know things you don’t, then that is an honest attitude. Sometimes, people may look down on you and call you foolish because you always tell the truth. What should you do in such a situation? You should say, “Even if everyone calls me foolish, I resolve to be an honest person, and not a deceitful one. I will speak truthfully and according to the facts. Although I am filthy, corrupt, and worthless before God, I will still tell the truth without pretense or disguise.” If you speak in this way, your heart will be steady and at peace. To be an honest person, you must let go of your vanity and pride, and in order to speak the truth and express your true feelings, you should not fear the ridicule and contempt of others. Even if others treat you like a fool, you should not argue or defend yourself. If you can practice the truth in this way, you can become an honest person. If you cannot let go of fleshly preferences and vanity and pride, if you constantly seek approval from others, pretending to know what you don’t, and living for the sake of vanity and pride, then you cannot become an honest person—this is a practical difficulty. If your heart is always constrained by vanity and pride, you will be likely to tell lies and put on facades. Furthermore, when others belittle you or expose your true self, you will have difficulty accepting it, and you will feel that you have suffered a great disgrace—your face will flush, your heart will race, and you will feel agitated and ill at ease. To resolve this problem, it will be necessary for you to endure a little more pain and undergo a few more refinements. You will need to understand where the root of the problem lies, and once you see through these matters, you will be able to alleviate some of your pain. When you have thoroughly understood these corrupt dispositions and are able to relinquish your vanity and pride, it will be easier for you to become an honest person. You won’t mind if other people mock you when you tell the truth and speak your mind, and no matter how others judge or treat you, you will be able to bear it and respond correctly. You will then be free of suffering, and your heart will always be peaceful and joyful, and you will achieve freedom and liberation. In this way, you will cast off corruption and live out a human likeness.

In their everyday lives, people often talk nonsense, tell lies, and say things that are ignorant, foolish, and defensive. Most of these things are said for the sake of vanity and pride, to satisfy their own egos. Speaking such falsehoods reveals their corrupt dispositions. If you were to resolve these corrupt elements, your heart would be purified, and you would gradually become purer and more honest. In reality, people all know why they lie. For the sake of personal gain and pride, or for vanity and status, they try to compete with others and pass themselves off as something that they’re not. However, their lies are eventually revealed and exposed by others, and they end up losing face, as well as their dignity and character. This is all caused by an excessive amount of lies. Your lies have become too numerous. Every word you say is adulterated and insincere, and not a single one can be considered true or honest. Even though you don’t feel that you’ve lost face when you tell lies, deep down, you feel disgraced. Your conscience blames you, and you hold a low opinion of yourself, thinking, “Why am I living such a pitiful life? Is it so difficult to speak the truth? Must I resort to lies for the sake of my pride? Why is my life so exhausting?” You don’t have to live an exhausting life. If you can practice being an honest person, you will be able to live a relaxed, free, and liberated life. However, you have chosen to uphold your pride and vanity by telling lies. Consequently, you live a tiresome and miserable existence, which is self-inflicted. One may gain a sense of pride by telling lies, but what is that sense of pride? It is just an empty thing, and it is completely worthless. Telling lies means selling out one’s character and dignity. It strips away one’s dignity and one’s character; it displeases God, and He detests it. Is this worthwhile? It is not. Is this the correct path? No, it is not. People who frequently lie live according to their satanic dispositions; they live under Satan’s power. They do not live in the light, nor do they live in the presence of God. You constantly think about how to lie and then after you lie, you have to think about how to cover up that lie. And when you do not cover up the lie well enough and it is exposed, you have to rack your brain to try and straighten out the contradictions and make it plausible. Is it not tiring to live in this way? Exhausting. Is it worth it? No, it is not worth it. Racking one’s brain to tell lies and then to cover them up, all for the sake of pride, vanity, and status, what meaning is there in that? Finally, you reflect and think to yourself, “What’s the point? It’s too exhausting to tell lies and to have to cover them up. Conducting myself in this manner won’t work; it’d be easier if I just became an honest person.” You desire to become an honest person, but you cannot let go of your pride, vanity, and personal interests. Therefore, you can only resort to telling lies to uphold these things. If you are someone who loves the truth, you will endure various hardships in order to practice the truth. Even if it means sacrificing your reputation, status, and enduring ridicule and humiliation from others, you won’t mind—as long as you are able to practice the truth and satisfy God, it is enough. Those who love the truth choose to practice it and be honest. This is the correct path and it is blessed by God. If a person does not love the truth, what do they choose? They choose to use lies to uphold their reputation, status, dignity, and character. They would rather be deceitful, and be detested and rejected by God. Such people reject the truth and reject God. They choose their own reputation and status; they want to be deceitful. They do not care about whether God is pleased or if He will save them. Can such people still be saved by God? Certainly not, because they have chosen the wrong path. They can only live by lying and cheating; they can only live painful lives of telling lies and covering them up and racking their brains to defend themselves every day. If you think that lies can uphold the reputation, status, vanity, and pride you desire, you are completely mistaken. In reality, by telling lies, not only do you fail to maintain your vanity and pride, and your dignity and character, more grievously, you miss the opportunity to practice the truth and be an honest person. Even if you manage to protect your reputation, status, vanity, and pride at that moment, you have sacrificed the truth and betrayed God. This means you have completely lost your chance for Him to save and perfect you, which is the greatest loss and a lifelong regret. Those who are deceitful will never understand this.

Right now, do you have a path to being honest? You must examine your every utterance and action in life so that you can detect more lies and deceit, and recognize your own deceitful disposition. Then you must look at how honest people practice and experience, and learn some lessons. You must also practice accepting God’s scrutiny in all things, and come before God often to pray and fellowship with God. Say you’ve just told a lie: You immediately realize that, “A couple of the things I just said weren’t accurate—I must quickly admit to this and put it right, letting everyone know that I just told a lie.” You correct yourself there and then. If you always correct yourself like this, and if practicing in this way becomes a habit, then when you ever tell a lie and don’t correct it, you will feel uneasy, and God will help keep watch over you. Practicing and experiencing thus for a while, you will begin to lie less, there will be fewer and fewer impurities in your words, and your actions will become less and less tainted, and increasingly pure—and in this you will have been cleansed. Such is the path to being honest. You must change gradually, little by little. The more you change, the better you will become; the more you change, the more honest your words will become, and you will cease to lie—which is the right state. Corrupt people all share the same problem: They are all born capable of lying, and find it exceedingly difficult to share their innermost thoughts or to speak truthfully. Even if they want to tell the truth, they just cannot bring themselves to do so. People all believe that being honest is stupid and foolish—they think that only idiots speak frankly, and that a person is most likely to suffer losses if they are completely transparent with other people and always speak their mind, and that others will not want to interact with them, and will disdain them instead. Would you disdain this kind of person? Do you harbor this view? (Before I came to believe in God, I would disdain them, but now I admire such people and think it is better to live a simple and honest life. Living in this way, one puts less of a burden on one’s heart. Otherwise, after I lie to someone, I have to cover it up, and I end up digging myself a bigger and bigger hole, and eventually the lie will be exposed.) Lying and engaging in deceit are both foolish behaviors and it is much wiser to just tell the truth and to speak from the heart. People all have an understanding of this issue now—if anyone still thinks that lying and engaging in deceit is a sign of having caliber and being shrewd, then they are incredibly foolish, stubbornly ignorant, and they lack even the slightest bit of the truth. Any person that is already getting on in years who still believes that deceitful people are the smartest, and that honest people are all fools, is an absurd type who cannot see through to anything. Everyone lives their own lives—some people who practice being honest every day are happy and unstressed, and feel free and liberated in their hearts. They lack for nothing and live more comfortable lives. Everybody enjoys interacting with people like this, and they should really be the subject of everybody’s envy—such people have come to understand life’s meaning. There are some foolish people who think: “That person always tells the truth and he got pruned, didn’t he? Well, that’s what he deserved! Look at me—I keep my intentions close to my chest, and I don’t talk about them or reveal them, so I haven’t been pruned, or suffered any losses, or embarrassed myself in front of everyone. It’s wonderful! People who conceal their intentions, do not speak honestly with anyone, and prevent others from knowing what they’re thinking are the superior and highly intelligent ones.” Yet everyone can see that these people are the most deceitful and shrewd; other people are always on their guard around them and keep their distance from them. No one wants to be friends with deceitful people. Are these not the facts? If a person is guileless, and often tells the truth, if they are able to lay their heart bare to others, and they harbor no harmful intentions toward other people, though they may occasionally seem ignorant and act foolishly, they will generally be acknowledged as being a good person and everyone will be quite willing to interact with them. It is a commonly acknowledged fact that people enjoy benefits and a sense of security when interacting with honest, good people. Believers in God who are honest and pursue the truth are not only loved by others in the church, but also by God Himself. As soon as they gain the truth, they possess real testimony and are able to receive God’s approval—does this not make them the most blessed of all people? Those that understand a bit of the truth will see this matter clearly. In your comportment, you should try to be a good and honest person who possesses the truth; in this way, not only will you be loved by others, you will also attain God’s blessings. No matter how good the behavior of someone who follows worldly trends may be, they are still not a good person. Those that do not understand this are fools who still do not comprehend the truth. Those that truly comprehend the truth choose to walk the right path in life, to be honest people, and to follow God. Only by doing these things can one attain salvation. These are the smartest of all people.

To believe in God and walk the right path in life, at the very least you must live with dignity and human likeness, you must be worthy of people’s trust and be regarded as valuable, people must feel that there is substance to your character and integrity, that you follow through with everything that you say, and keep to your word. People must appraise you like this: They should say that you are certain to honor your words, that you are certain to do what you promise to, that you are certain to carry out what is entrusted to you dutifully and with all your heart, and to the complete satisfaction of the person who entrusted the task to you. Isn’t this a person of their word? Don’t people like this live with dignity? (Yes.) There are some people who nobody ever dares to entrust anything to. Even when others do entrust things to them, it’s because they can’t find someone more appropriate, and they’re the only option, and someone still has to be arranged to watch over them. What kind of person is this? Is it a person who has dignity? (No.) You have to analyze and examine everything they say, you have to second guess it, and you have to pay attention to their tone, and seek confirmation and verification from the people around you. When they make some statement or talk about something, their level of trustworthiness is close to zero. The thing they’re talking about may exist, but they’ll either be exaggerating or minimizing it, or it may not exist at all and they’re just making it up. And why do they make things up? Because they want to deceive people, to make people see them as brilliant and capable; that is their goal. Do other people like individuals like this? (No.) How much do they dislike them? People abhor and look down upon such individuals—and may even feel it would be better to have never met them. When people are with such individuals, they don’t trust anything they say or take it seriously; they just make some small talk and go through the motions by casually talking about some external matters. Even when these individuals tell the truth, other people don’t trust them. This kind of person is totally worthless and lowly; no one regards them as having value. When a person’s behavior has reached this point, do they have any dignity? (No.) No one entrusts them with anything, no one trusts them, no one lays their heart bare to them, no one believes what they say; other people just listen, and nothing more. When these individuals say, “I’m telling the truth this time,” no one believes them or pays them any attention, even if what they’re saying is true. When they say, “Not everything I say is false, right?” people reply, “I don’t care to analyze whether what you said is true or false. It’s so exhausting listening to you speak; I have to analyze and examine your motives and intentions, and it’s just too much trouble. The time I spent doing that could be used to ponder over a passage of God’s words or to learn to sing a hymn and I would actually gain some benefits from doing those things. I cannot gain anything at all from speaking to you. Not a single word you say is truthful and I don’t want anything to do with you.” They abandon such people in this way. Nowadays you will often hear unbelievers saying, “Do you want to hear the truth or would you rather hear a lie?” No one wants to hear lies. So, those that always tell lies and prevaricate are the lowliest of people; they are worthless. No one wants to pay them any attention, no one wants to associate with them, much less lay their heart bare to them or be friends with them. Do such people have any character or dignity? (No.) Everyone who meets people like this will abhor them; they are totally untrustworthy in their words, actions, character, and integrity—such individuals have no substance at all. Would people like and respect them if they were gifted and talented? (No.) And so, what do people need in order to get along with each other? They need character, integrity, dignity, and to be someone that others can lay their hearts bare to. People with dignity all have a bit of personality, they sometimes don’t get along with others, but they are honest, and there is no falseness or trickery to them. Others ultimately hold them in high esteem, because they are able to practice the truth, they are honest, they have dignity, integrity, and character, they never take advantage of others, they help people when they’re in trouble, they treat people with conscience and reason, and never make snap judgments about them. When assessing or discussing other people, everything these individuals say is accurate, they say what they know and don’t run their mouths about what they don’t, they don’t embellish, and their words can serve as evidence or reference. When they speak and act, people who possess integrity are relatively practical and trustworthy. No one regards people who lack integrity as valuable, no one pays any attention to what they say and do, or treats their words and actions as important, and no one trusts them. This is because they tell too many lies and speak too few honest words, it is because they lack sincerity when they interact with people or do anything for them, they try to trick and fool everyone, and no one likes them. Have you found anyone who, in your eyes, is trustworthy? Do you think yourselves worthy of other people’s trust? Can other people trust you? If someone asks you about another person’s situation, you should not appraise and judge that person according to your own will, your words must be objective, accurate, and in line with the facts. You should speak about whatever you do understand, and not talk about things that you lack insight into. You must be just and fair toward that person. That is the responsible way to act. If you have only observed a surface-level phenomenon, and what you want to say is just your own judgment about that person, then you must not blindly pass a verdict on that person, and you certainly must not judge them. You must preface what you say with, “This is just my own judgment,” or “This is just how I feel.” That way, your words will be relatively objective, and after hearing what you said, the other person will be able to sense the honesty of your words and your fair attitude, and they will be able to trust you. Are you sure that you can accomplish this? (No.) This proves that you are not honest enough toward others, and that you lack sincerity and an honest attitude in the way you conduct yourselves and handle affairs. Say that someone asks you, “I trust you: What do you think about that person?” And you reply, “They’re okay.” They ask, “Can you go into more detail?” And you say, “They’re well-behaved, they are willing to pay a price when they perform their duty, and they get on with people.” Is there practical evidence for any of these three statements? Are they enough to serve as proof of that person’s character? No. Are you trustworthy? (No.) None of these three statements include any details, they are just sweeping, empty, perfunctory words. If you had just met that person and were saying that they were okay based on appearances, then that would be normal. But you’d been in contact with them for some time, and you should have been able to discover some substantial problems with them. People want to hear what your estimation and view of that person is in the depths of your heart, but you say nothing real, or critical, or key, so people won’t trust you, and they will no longer want to interact with you.

When interacting with the brothers and sisters, you must lay your heart bare to them and confide in them in order for it to benefit you. When performing your duty, it is even more important to lay your heart bare and confide in people; only then will you work well together. But if someone doesn’t lay their heart bare to you, if they are not someone who accepts the truth, if they are instead a very deceitful person, then it would be foolish for you to lay your heart bare to them, and doing so could easily lead to trouble. There should be principles to how you interact with the brothers and sisters; you should only lay your heart bare and simply open up to people who truly believe in God and are able to accept the truth. If you lay your heart bare to evil people and nonbelievers, then you are foolish and ignorant, and lacking in wisdom. You must only lay your heart bare to brothers and sisters who truly believe in God and are able to accept the truth. Deceitful people, muddled-headed people, evil people, and nonbelievers—people who are devoid of any acceptance of the truth—are not brothers and sisters; whatever you do, do not lay your heart bare to them, laying your heart bare to them is laying your heart bare to devils, and ultimately likely to lead to you falling prey to their schemes and traps. There are false leaders and false workers among the leaders and workers, and false believers and nonbelievers among the believers. None of these people are brothers and sisters, so whatever you do, do not treat them as if they were. Only those who are kindhearted and love the truth, who can accept the truth and put it into practice, are brothers and sisters, and when you interact with these true brothers and sisters, you must lay your heart bare to them, you must simply open up to them, and only then will it be possible for you to love one another, and to cooperate harmoniously while performing your duties well. Sometimes, when two people interact, their personalities clash, or their family environments, backgrounds or economic conditions do not match. Yet if those two people can lay their hearts bare to each other and be entirely open about their issues, and communicate without any lies or deceit, and are able to show their hearts to each other, then, in this way, they will be able to become genuine friends, which means to become intimate friends. Perhaps, when the other person has a difficulty, they will look for you and no one else, and they will trust only you to be able to help them. Even if you give them a telling-off, they don’t argue back, because they know you are an honest person with a sincere heart. They trust you, so no matter what you say or how you treat them, they will be able to understand. Can you be such people? Are you such people? If not, then you are not honest people. When you interact with others, you must first have them perceive your true heart and sincerity. If, in speaking and working together and making contact with others, someone’s words are perfunctory, grandiloquent, pleasantries, flattery, irresponsible, and imaginary, or if they simply speak to seek the other’s favor, then their words lack all credibility, and they are not sincere in the least. This is their mode of interaction with others, no matter who those others are. Such a person does not have an honest heart. This is not an honest person. Say someone is in a negative state, and they say to you sincerely: “Tell me why, exactly, I’m so negative. I just can’t figure it out!” And suppose you do, in fact, understand their problem in your heart, but you do not tell them, instead saying: “It’s nothing. You’re not being negative; I get that way, too.” These words are a great consolation to that person, but your attitude is not sincere. You are being perfunctory with them; so as to make them feel more comfortable and consoled, you have refrained from speaking honestly with them. You are not helping them in earnest and putting their problem plainly, so that they can leave their negativity behind. You have not done what an honest person should. All for the sake of trying to console them and make sure there is no estrangement or conflict between you, you have been perfunctory with them—and this is not what it is to be an honest person. So, to be an honest person, what should you do when encountering this kind of situation? You need to tell them what you have seen and identified: “I will tell you what I have seen and what I have experienced. You decide whether what I say is right or wrong. If it’s wrong, you don’t have to accept it. If it’s right, I hope you will. If I say something that is hard for you to hear and hurts you, I hope you can accept it from God. My intention and purpose is to help you. I see the issue clearly: Because you feel that you have been humiliated, and no one feeds your ego, and you think everyone else looks down on you, that you are being attacked, and that you have never been so wronged, you can’t accept it and become negative. What do you think—is this what’s really going on?” And, hearing this, they feel it is indeed the case. This is what is actually in your heart, but if you are not an honest person, you will not say it. You will say, “I often get negative, too,” and when the other person hears that everyone gets negative, they think it is normal for them to be negative, and, in the end, they do not leave their negativity behind. If you are an honest person and you help them with an honest attitude and an honest heart, you can help them understand the truth and leave their negativity behind.

Practicing honesty covers many aspects. In other words, the standard for being honest is not merely achieved through one regard; you must be up to standard in many regards before you can be honest. Some people always think that they need only manage not to lie in order to be honest. Is this view correct? Does being honest merely involve not lying? No—it also relates to several other aspects. Firstly, no matter what you are faced with, be it something you have seen with your own eyes or something someone else has told you, be it interacting with people or sorting out a problem, be it the duty you ought to be performing or something that God has entrusted to you, you must always approach it with an honest heart. How should one practice approaching things with an honest heart? Say what you think and speak honestly; do not speak empty, pompous, or pleasant-sounding words, do not say flattering or hypocritical false things, but speak the words that are in your heart. This is being someone honest. Expressing the true thoughts and views that are in your heart—this is what honest people are supposed to do. If you never say what you think, and the words fester in your heart, and what you say is always at odds with what you think, that is not what an honest person does. For example, suppose that you do not perform your duty well, and when people ask what is going on, you say, “I want to do my duty well, but for various reasons, I have not.” Actually, you know in your heart that you were not diligent, but you do not tell the truth. Instead you find all kinds of reasons, justifications, and excuses to cover up the facts and to avoid responsibility. Is that what an honest person does? (No.) You fool people and muddle through by saying these things. But the essence of what is inside you, of the intentions within you, is a corrupt disposition. If you cannot bring the things and intentions within you out into the open and dissect them, they cannot be purified—and that is no small matter! You must speak truthfully, “I’ve been procrastinating a bit in doing my duty. I have been perfunctory and inattentive. When I’m in a good mood, I can give a little effort. When I’m in a bad mood, I slack off and don’t want to put in the effort, and covet the comforts of the flesh. So, my attempts to do my duty are ineffective. The situation has been turning around these past few days, and I’m trying to give my all, improve my efficiency, and perform my duty well.” This is speaking from the heart. The other way of speaking was not from the heart. Due to your fear of being pruned, of people discovering your problems, and of people holding you accountable, you found all kinds of reasons, justifications, and excuses to cover up the facts, first getting other people to stop talking about the situation, then shifting responsibility, in order to avoid being pruned. This is the source of your lies. No matter how much liars talk, some of what they say is sure to be truth and factual. But some key things they say will contain a bit of falsity and a bit of their motive. So, it is very important to discern and differentiate what is true and what is false. This is not easy to do, however. Some of what they say will be tainted and embellished, some of what they say will accord with the facts, and some of what they say will contradict the facts; with fact and fiction thus muddled, it is hard to distinguish the true from the false. This is the most deceitful kind of person, and the most difficult to identify. If they cannot accept the truth or practice honesty, they will definitely be cast out. Which is the path that people should choose, then? Which one is the way to practice honesty? You should learn to speak the truth and be able to fellowship openly about your real states and problems. That is how honest people practice, and such practice is correct. People who possess conscience and reason are all willing to strive to be honest. Only honest people feel truly joyful and at ease, and only by practicing the truth to achieve submission to God can one enjoy real happiness.

Many practical problems arise as people experience being honest. Sometimes they speak without thinking, they slip up momentarily and tell a lie because they are governed by a wrong motive or aim, or vanity and pride, and as a result, they have to keep telling more and more lies to cover it up. In the end, they do not feel at ease in their hearts, but they can’t take those lies back, they lack the courage to correct their mistakes, to admit that they told lies, and in this way, their mistakes go on and on. After this, it is always like there is a rock pressing on their hearts; they always want to find an opportunity to come clean, to admit their mistake and repent, but they never put this into practice. Ultimately, they think it over and say to themselves, “I’ll make up for it when I perform my duty in the future.” They always say they’ll make up for it, but they never do. It is not as simple as just apologizing after telling a lie—can you make up for the harm and consequences of telling lies and engaging in deception? If, amidst great self-hatred, you are able to practice repentance, and never do that kind of thing again, then you might receive God’s tolerance and mercy. If you speak honeyed words and say that you’ll make up for your lies in the future, but do not truly repent, and later continue to lie and deceive, then you are extremely stubborn in your refusal to repent, and you are sure to be cast out. This should be recognized by people who are possessed of conscience and reason. After telling lies and engaging in deception, it is not enough to only think about making amends; what matters most is that you must truly repent. If you wish to be honest, then you must resolve the problem of lying and deception. You must tell the truth and do practical things. Sometimes telling the truth will result in you losing face and being pruned, but you will have practiced the truth, and submitting to and satisfying God in that one instance will be worth it, and it will be something that brings you comfort. In any case, you will have finally been able to practice being honest, you will have finally been able to say what’s in your heart, without trying to defend or vindicate yourself, and this is true growth. Regardless of whether you are pruned or replaced, you will feel steadfast in your heart, for you did not lie; you will feel that since you didn’t do your duty properly, it was right for you to be pruned, and for you to take responsibility for it. This is a positive mental state. And yet, what will the consequences be if you engage in deception? After you engage in deception, how will you feel in your heart? Uneasy; you will always feel that there is guilt and corruption in your heart, you will always feel accused: “How could I tell lies? How could I have engaged in deception yet again? Why am I like this?” You will feel like you cannot lift your head high, like you are too ashamed to face God. In particular, when people are blessed by God, when they receive God’s grace, mercy, and tolerance, they feel even more that it is shameful to deceive God, and in their hearts, they have a stronger sense of reproach, and less peace and joy. What problem does this demonstrate? That deceiving people is a revelation of a corrupt disposition, it is to rebel against and resist God, and so it will bring you pain. When you lie and deceive, you may feel that you have spoken very cleverly and tactfully, and that you haven’t given any small clues of your deception away—but later, you will feel a sense of reproach and accusation, which may follow you around your whole life. If you intentionally and deliberately lie and deceive, and a day comes when you realize the gravity of this, it will pierce you through your heart like a knife, and you will always be looking for a chance to make amends. And that is what you ought to do, unless you have no conscience, and have never lived by your conscience, and have no humanity, and no character or dignity. If you have a little character and dignity, and some awareness of conscience, when you realize that you are lying and engaging in deception, you will feel this behavior of yours to be shameful, to be disgraceful and low; you will despise and detest yourself, and you will abandon the path of lies and deception. The ilk of Satan lack the conscience and reason of normal humanity; they remain oblivious of and unbothered by all the lies they tell, and they even have a theoretical basis for their lying, which is that no great feats can be accomplished without telling lies, and so they stubbornly refuse to repent. People with conscience and reason are different. These people have only undergone the corruption of Satan, and although they reveal corrupt dispositions, they are not evil people, they have the awareness of conscience, they have the needs of normal humanity, and the instincts and needs of a love for good, just, and positive things. Therefore, when they feel accused by their conscience, they are able to reflect on themselves and truly repent. Satan is a thing of extreme evil. It does not like positive things, it does not like good things, and within its nature there are only dark and evil things, there’s nothing but corrupt and malicious things; it has no humanity, it does not have the needs of normal humanity, and it has no awareness of conscience. But people are different. People were created by God, they have conscience and reason; people with conscience have awareness in their hearts, they can feel the accusation and reproach of their consciences when they try to deceive God or other people, and this reproach and accusation pains them. When a person feels this pain, when they feel this accusation and reproach, their conscience begins to have awareness: They realize that people should be honest, and that they should walk the path of pursuing the truth. When they have this need, that is a good thing. Right now, do you feel any sense of reproach when you lie and deceive? (Yes.) That you feel reproach proves that you have some of the awareness of conscience and that there is still some hope for you; this is the bare minimum level of awareness and kind of behavior you must possess in order to attain salvation. If your conscience doesn’t feel any reproach, this is problematic, and it means that you do not have humanity. Now, do you know to repent after lying to and deceiving others? If you stubbornly refuse to repent, what will be the consequence? You will be irredeemable. You can now all see that God will save those who possess conscience, reason, the needs of normal humanity, the ability to discern good from evil, a love of positive things and good things, a hatred of evil, and the ability to accept the truth. Such people can be saved.

November 30, 2017

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