Good Behavior Does Not Mean One’s Disposition Has Changed
Now, there are some people who work from dawn until dusk and forget to eat or sleep when they perform their duty, they are able to subdue the flesh, to ignore physical hardship, even to work when they are sick. Though they have these redeeming qualities and are good and right people, there are still things in their hearts that they are not able to put aside: prestige, profit, status, and vanity. If they never put these things aside, are they people who pursue the truth? The answer is self-evident. The hardest part of believing in God is achieving a change in disposition. Perhaps you can remain unmarried your whole life, or never eat rich food or wear nice clothes; some people even say, “It doesn’t matter if I suffer all my life, or if I’m lonely all my life, I can endure it—with God by my side, these things mean nothing.” It is easy to overcome and resolve this kind of physical pain and hardship. What is not easy to overcome? Man’s corrupt dispositions. Corrupt dispositions cannot be resolved through mere self-restraint. People can endure physical suffering in order to perform their duties properly, to satisfy the will of God, and to enter the kingdom in the future—but does being able to suffer and pay a price mean that their dispositions have changed? It does not. To measure if there has been a change in someone’s disposition, do not look at how much suffering they can endure or how much good behavior they engage in on the surface. The only way of accurately measuring if a person’s disposition has changed is to look at the aims, motives, and intents behind their actions, the principles by which they conduct themselves and handle affairs, and their attitude toward the truth.
After coming to believe in God, some people no longer pursue worldly trends or pay attention to their clothes and appearance. They are able to suffer and work hard, and to subdue and forsake the flesh. But when they are performing their duty and interacting with others and handling things, they are rarely honest. They do not like being honest, they always want to stand out and distinguish themselves, and there is intent behind everything they say and do. They make painstaking, meticulous calculations in order to show people how good they are, to win people’s hearts, and to get people to favor and worship them, to the extent that people will come and seek from them whenever something befalls them. By doing this, they are showing off. What disposition is it that they pour forth? It is a satanic disposition. Are there many people like this? Everyone is like this. On the outside, they stick to all the rules, they are able to suffer a little, and are somewhat willing to expend of themselves. They are able to let go of a few worldly things, they have a bit of resolve and willingness to pursue the truth, and they have laid a foundation on the path of belief in God. It is just that their corrupt disposition remains intact. They have not changed at all. Even if they understand the truth, they cannot put it into practice. That is what it means to have not changed at all. Acting willfully in all things is the way that those who live within satanic dispositions behave. When the intent behind their actions is wrong, they do not pray to God, or deny their own will, they do not seek the truth principles, nor do they seek from others or fellowship with them. They do whatever they want, whatever they happen to desire; they act recklessly and without restraint. They may not outwardly do evil, but they do not practice the truth, either. They follow their own will in their actions and live within a satanic disposition. This means that they do not have love for the truth or fear of God in their hearts, and they do not live before God. Some of them may even understand God’s words and the truth, but they cannot put them into practice. This is because they cannot overcome their own desires and ambitions. They clearly know that what they are doing is wrong, that it is a disruption and disturbance, that it is loathsome to God, yet they do it over and over again, thinking, “Isn’t believing in God about gaining blessings? What’s wrong with me pursuing blessings? I’ve suffered quite a lot in the years I’ve believed in God; I’ve let go of my job and abandoned my prospects in the world in order to gain God’s approval and blessings. Just based on all the suffering I’ve endured, God should remember me. He should bless me and endow me with good fortune.” These words suit human tastes. Everyone who believes in God thinks like this—they feel that being a bit contaminated by the intent to gain blessings is not such a big problem. But if you consider these words carefully, are any of them in line with the truth or part of the truth reality? All this forsaking and suffering are just kinds of good human behaviors. These actions are governed by the intent to gain blessings, and they are not the practice of the truth. If one were to use the moral standards of man to measure these people’s behavior, they would be deemed industrious and frugal, hardworking and tough. At times they are so wrapped up in their work that they forget to eat and sleep, and some of them are even willing to return lost items to their owners, to be helpful and charitable, to treat others with understanding and generosity, to not be miserly or persnickety, and to even give away the things they love most to others. All these behaviors are praised by man, and they are recognized as good people. Such people seem glorious, admirable, and deserving of approval; in their actions, they are scrupulously moral, fair and reasonable. They repay the kindnesses of others and care about brotherhood, so much so that they would sacrifice themselves for any one of their friends, and would endure suffering and go to the ends of the earth for those closest to them. Though many people may have praise for this sort of good person, can these people really accept the truth and practice it? Would they really lay down their life to exalt and testify for God? Not necessarily. Can they be called a good person, then? If you are trying to judge whether someone fears God and shuns evil, or if they have the truth reality, would it be accurate to always evaluate them based on human notions, imaginings, ethics and morality? Would it be in line with the truth? If human notions, imaginings, ethics and morality were the truth, then God would not need to express the truth, nor would He need to do the work of judgment and chastisement. You must see clearly that the world and mankind are dark and evil, that they are completely devoid of the truth, and that corrupt mankind needs God’s salvation. You must see clearly that God alone is the truth, that only His words can cleanse man, that only He can save man, and that however good a person’s behavior is, it is not the truth reality, and falls even further short of the truth itself. Though these good behaviors have become widespread and recognized among people, they are not the truth, and never will be, and they cannot change anything. Could you get a person who would sacrifice themselves for their friends and go to the ends of the earth for them to accept God and the truth? Absolutely not, as that person is an atheist. Could you get a person who is filled with notions and imaginings about God to achieve true submission to Him? Absolutely not, as when one is filled with notions, it is very hard for them to accept and submit to the truth. Can any amount of good behavior make a person able to truly submit to God? Can they truly love Him? Can they exalt Him and testify to Him? They absolutely cannot. Can you guarantee that everyone who preaches and works for the Lord will become a true lover of God? That would be absolutely impossible. So, no matter how many good behaviors a person engages in, it does not mean that they have truly repented and changed, and less still does it mean that their life disposition has changed.
You must learn to discern what is good behavior, and what is practicing the truth and achieving a change in your disposition. Changing your disposition involves practicing the truth, listening to God’s words, obeying Him, and living by His words. So what should a person do in order to practice and live according to God’s words? Say, for example, there are two people who are very good friends. They’ve helped each other in the past, they’ve gotten through difficult times together, and they would lay down their lives to save one another. Is that practicing the truth? That is brotherhood, that is sacrificing yourself for others, that is good behavior, but it is absolutely not practicing the truth. Practicing the truth is about acting in accordance with God’s words and demands; it is to obey and satisfy God. Good behavior is all about fulfilling relationships of the flesh and preserving emotional ties. Therefore, brotherhood, protecting relationships, helping, tolerating and satisfying one another, these are all private, personal matters and have nothing to do with practicing the truth. So how does God demand people treat others? (God demands that we treat each other with principles. If another person does something wrong, something that is not in line with the truth principles, then we cannot listen to them, even if it is our own mother or father. We must cling to the truth principles and protect the interests of the house of God.) (God demands that brothers and sisters help one another. If we see that another person has a problem, we must point it out, fellowship on it, and seek the truth principles together to resolve it. Only by doing this are we truly helping them.) He wants people’s behavior toward each other to be built on the foundation of the truth principles, no matter what their relationship is. Anything outside of these principles does not count as practicing the truth. For example, a person does something that harms the church’s work that everyone calls out and objects to. His friend says, “You don’t have to expose him just because he made a mistake! I’m his friend; before all else, I must be understanding toward him; I must be tolerant toward him and help him. I can’t call him out like you have. I must console him, not hurt him, and I would tell him the mistake isn’t a big deal. Any of you calls him out and gives him a hard time again, and you’ll have me to deal with. None of you is closer to him than me. We are good friends. I’ll stick up for him if I have to.” Is this practicing the truth? (No, this is a philosophy for living.) The person’s mentality is based on another theoretical foundation, too: He believes that “My friend helped me out during the hardest, most painful time in my life. Everyone else had abandoned me, only he took care of me and helped me. Now he’s in trouble, and it is my turn to help him—I feel that this is what it means to have a conscience and have humanity. How can you call yourself human if you believe in God but don’t even have this small amount of conscience? Doesn’t that make empty words of your faith in God and practicing of the truth?” These words sound as though they are right. Most people can’t tell them for what they really are—not even the person who said them, who thinks that the motive behind his actions accords with the truth. But are his actions right? Actually, they are not. Look closer, every word he says is born of human ethics, morality, and conscience. If one were to judge him based on human ethics, he has a conscience and he is a loyal person. Sticking up for his friend like this makes him a good person. But does anyone know what disposition and essence is concealed behind this “good person”? He is not a true believer in God. First of all, when something happens, he does not view the situation according to God’s words. He does not search for the truth in God’s words, but instead chooses to view the matter according to the morality and ethics and life maxims of unbelievers. He takes Satan’s heresies and fallacies as the truth, and pushes God’s words to the side, ignoring what is said in God’s words. By doing this, he is scoffing at the truth. This shows that he does not love the truth. He replaces the truth with satanic life maxims and the notions, ethics, and morality of man, and he acts according to satanic philosophies. He even says with confidence that this is practicing the truth and satisfying God’s will, that this is the righteous way to act. Is he not just using this guise of righteousness to violate the truth? Isn’t this kind of situation common when it comes to how people conduct themselves and handle affairs? When you always speak the words and phrases of doctrine, you are aware that you lack the truth, and that it is really fellowshiping on the truth that has value, and you also know that in this dark and evil world, only the lives of those who have obtained the truth have hope and value. And yet, when a major event happens that requires you to face up to it and make choices, you will feel that it is Satan’s philosophies, morality and ethics that are the truth and are useful. At that time, the truth in God’s words, which you wish to pursue, is not useful. What problem is this? If you can acknowledge that God’s word is the truth, why can’t you put it into practice? Why don’t you dare put the truth into practice? What is it that you’re afraid of? You’re afraid of the slander and judgment of other people, of losing your worldly prospects, and of damaging your personal interests. When you don’t practice the truth, when you become a deserter, and deny the value of the truth in God’s words at a crucial juncture, this is sufficient to prove that you are not someone who loves the truth, and that you love Satan’s philosophies, heresies, and fallacies instead, that you pursue worldly prospects, the interests of your flesh, and your reputation and status. And yet you claim to love the truth—this is hypocrisy. All this is enough to demonstrate that you have never accepted the truth or put the truth into practice in your belief in God. In that case, do you revere God in your heart? Is there a place for God in your heart? For all that you normally acknowledge that God’s words are the truth, once something happens, God will not be in your heart and you will esteem yourself above all, and you will treat human relationships, philosophies for living, ethical rules and precepts, and the standards of conscience and morality as the truth. These things, which belong to Satan, have already become substitutes for the truth in your heart—so haven’t you degenerated? You have now completely betrayed God and you have fallen entirely into darkness.
A lot of people have been so busy in the many years that they have believed in God, so why don’t they have the truth reality? In fact, the root of the problem is that those people do not love the truth. If you say to them that they don’t love the truth, they will feel aggrieved, but in reality, is their indignation reasonable? No, it is not. No matter how many sermons those people have heard or how many doctrines they have understood, they don’t practice the truth when the time comes; they don’t act, handle matters, or approach the people, events, and things around them according to the truth principles, and they always have their own opinions. When someone is talking to Me, these people always say, “Listen to me, let me express my point of view; this is my point of view, this is what I mean,” and, “I want to act in this way, will You listen to me?” I know what you mean without you saying it; you don’t have to always talk about what you mean, it is not the truth, and stating it clearly won’t make it the truth. If you believe that you’ve possessed the truth since birth, why do you still believe in God? If you can intuitively understand all of the truths that God has expressed—as though you can comprehend all truths and you yourself are the truth and can solve all problems—then why do you still believe in God? Some people say, “Why are You always right and get to make all the decisions? Why don’t You listen to me?” What kind of words are these? After listening to you for so many years, I haven’t heard a single word that is right or that accords with the truth, so why should I listen to you? I would like to hear some relatively correct views from man. It would save Me some thought and energy, but I don’t hear any. All I hear are fallacies and disobedient words, grumbling and negative talk; it’s all contrary to the truth, so why should I listen to it? If everyone was made to listen to you, they’d rebel against God, resist God, and oppose Heaven, they’d all follow Satan and ultimately perish. If you listen to My words and ponder on My words, you will understand the truth, be able to come before God, and embark on the road to salvation. Only God’s words can save people, and only by understanding the truth, practicing the truth, and achieving submission to God can people attain God’s salvation. It’s not easy for people to accept the truth. When I’m around people, I want to hear how the brothers and sisters have entered into the truth recently; what progress they’ve made in discerning people, events, and things and in putting the truth into practice; what their conditions are like; whether they’ve reversed and changed their incorrect states; how much knowledge they have of their corrupt dispositions; how much understanding they have gained of themselves from the outpourings of their corrupt dispositions; how many of their misunderstandings about God have been dispelled; and how much their knowledge of God has increased. I would like to hear about these experiences and knowledge, but unfortunately most people cannot produce this kind of experiential testimony. They lack the truth reality, and they only speak the empty words and phrases of doctrine; absurd, erroneous, and prejudiced words, and complaints; or else words that attempt to show themselves off and to claim credit and seek rewards. How do you think I feel when I hear them? Will they put Me in a good mood? (No.) Very seldom do people say anything about their practical experience of and insight into the truth, words that make people feel better after hearing them, and without those kinds of words, what people say is either taking credit and seeking a reward, or irrelevant, empty words. Do you need to speak to Me about those hollow doctrines? You’re barely able to deceive ignorant people by talking about those doctrines, so isn’t it devoid of sense to speak about them to Me? When some people chat with Me, they always talk about false spiritual doctrines, and when discussing some matter, they always say, “Everything is in God’s hands, it’s all ordained by God.” They think that speaking about external affairs isn’t spiritual and that only knowing how to talk about spiritual doctrines is spiritual. When I speak some practical words to them and talk to them about the details of living, they don’t take it in; they only want to hear high-sounding sermons and grand spiritual doctrines. Do people like this possess reality? They not only lack reality, they are also utterly lacking in sense. They are truly arrogant and ignorant people.
Pursuing a change of disposition requires first understanding which things are unrelated to dispositional change, and do not fall within the scope of dispositional change, but are instead outward good behaviors, as well as what the dispositional change that God speaks of refers to, and what God wants to change in man—people must understand these matters. What man thinks of as dispositional change is only a change in behavior, and that is a different thing and a different path from the dispositional change that God speaks of. Can what man thinks of as dispositional change ensure that people will not disobey, oppose, or betray God? Can it make them ultimately stand firm in their witness and satisfy God’s will? The dispositional change that God speaks of means that through practicing the truth, through experiencing His judgment and chastisement, and by being dealt with and pruned, and tested and refined by Him, people achieve an understanding of God’s will and the truth principles, and then live according to the truth principles, obtaining hearts that obey and fear God, without any misunderstandings of God, and possessing true knowledge and true worship of God. What God speaks of is a change in a person’s disposition, but what does the dispositional change that man speaks of refer to? It refers to improved behavior, to appearing well-behaved and calm, and to not being arrogant; it means speaking in a refined and disciplined way, not being naughty and mischievous, and possessing conscience, reason, and moral standards in one’s speech and behavior. Is there any difference between the change of disposition that man speaks of and the change of disposition that God requires? What is the difference? The change of disposition that man speaks of is a change in outward behavior, a change that conforms to human notions and imaginings. The change of disposition that God requires is stripping away one’s corrupt disposition, it is a change in life disposition brought about by understanding the truth, a change in one’s perspective on things, a change in one’s life outlook and values. There is a difference. No matter whether you are dealing with people or things, your motives, the principles of your actions, and your standard of measurement must all be in accordance with the truth, and you must seek the truth principles; this is the only way to achieve a change of disposition. If you always measure yourself by behavioral standards, if you always focus on changes in your outward behavior, and you think that you are living out human likeness and have God’s approval just because you possess a little good behavior, that is completely wrong. Because you have corrupt dispositions, and can oppose God, and are at risk of betraying God, if you do not seek the truth to solve your own corrupt disposition, no matter how good your outward behavior may be, you will not be able to achieve true obedience to God, and you will not be able to fear God and shun evil. Can mere outward good behavior produce a heart that fears God? Can it make a person fear God and shun evil? If people cannot fear God and shun evil, then no amount of good behavior signifies that they have true obedience to God. Therefore, no amount of good behavior signifies a change in disposition. Some people speak in a very refined way, never using foul language, like scholars—words even flow from their mouths as if from the pens of masters, like litterateurs or orators. Looking at these surface-level behaviors and manifestations, no problems can be seen, but how can you discover if there are problems in their disposition? How can you measure whether there has been any change in their disposition? What can this be seen through? (By looking at their attitude toward the truth.) This is one indicator for gauging this. Are there any others? (Look at their principles for doing things, and their views on things.) That grasps the crux of it. You mustn’t look at their manner of speech, whether it is elegant or vulgar, or intellectual language—don’t look at the surface. Some people speak in a very long-winded way, don’t know how to express themselves, and fidget when they’re anxious—does this relate to their disposition? (No.) This is just outward behavior, at most it relates to their personal character or family upbringing, it doesn’t relate to their disposition. So how can you see what kind of disposition they have, whether their disposition has changed, and whether they’re people who practice the truth? By looking at the content of their speech. If their every word is true, and comes from the depths of their hearts, without any desire or ambition, and there are no intentions behind their speech, if they only speak frank and honest words, and they are able to open up to others about their own difficulties and weakness, and communicate and share the light and enlightenment that they receive with others, if they are truthful about whatever they want to do, laying their whole selves bare and open, then are these not pursuers of the truth? Let’s not talk for now about whether or not their disposition has changed, or how much it has changed, but judging from these revelations and manifestations, these are people who practice the truth. Now, let’s look at the way they treat other people. They are able to treat people fairly and not suppress them, they support and help weak brothers and sisters, and they don’t make fun of them. Furthermore, they are devoted and considerate of God’s will in their duties, and regardless of what difficulties they encounter, they don’t throw in the towel, and they are able to defend the interests of God’s house. Are these not manifestations of people who practice the truth? (Yes.) Such people are relatively upright and love the truth to a comparatively high degree. Someone may speak in a very refined way, dress very properly, and look very devout on the outside, but what is the content of their speech? They say, “I used to be paired with so-and-so leader, and he had speech defect, so I had to talk more during fellowship at gatherings—the capable must always do more work, right? As a result, the brothers and sisters started to idolize me, I couldn’t help that they did so, I had to continue fellowshiping. After being watered by me personally, many brothers and sisters became quite close to me, so when any of them had a problem, I could usually solve it. When some people became weak, I just had to fellowship with them, and they regained their strength. I have no other flaws, my biggest fault is my soft heart. I’m not able to watch others suffer; whenever anyone is suffering, it makes me anxious, and I wish that I could suffer in their stead.” What is the meaning of these words? These words don’t sound problematic, but is there a problem with the motives of their speech? (Yes, they are exalting and testifying to themselves.) What is the disposition of such a person? Their disposition is arrogant and deceitful, they want to use this method and use all of these words to produce an effect, to imply a bit of something else, to make others look up to them and worship them. This is the intention and purpose of their words. Muddled people who lack discernment will listen to them and think, “This person is really great, no wonder he’s a leader, he’s better than us, he’s leadership material.” This is the thinking of a muddled person who cannot see through to things. Those with discernment will understand: “He talked so much about how good he is, how hard he works and the services he’s performed, about how he’s benefitted and helped the brothers and sisters, so that people will look up to him, all the while saying that he doesn’t want people to look up to him. In fact, he tirelessly rushes and bustles around just so that people will look up to and worship him. He’s not only arrogant but also very deceitful! He wants to win people’s hearts, to vie with God for status, and he uses this method to mislead people. Isn’t he just like Paul? He is a devil! He talked for so long without mentioning any of his own errors or shortcomings, as if he has no corrupt dispositions; the faults that he talked about make people envy and admire him enormously, and feel inadequate. Although he doesn’t directly make people worship and exalt him, the effect his words have is to make people exalt and worship him; he wins over and steals people’s hearts, and he misleads muddled people and those who are ignorant and have immature stature. Isn’t that deceiving people? The motives behind his words are so insidious and too sinister! This person fits in the category of antichrists, it’s easy to discern this.” There is a clear difference between these two kinds of people. One kind of person speaks in a very plain and ordinary way, but they are genuine, and they speak truthfully and from the heart; no matter what they say, people will not worship them, but will only favor them in their hearts. This kind of person won’t steal people’s hearts or occupy a space in their hearts, and they can treat people as their equals; people will not be constrained by them, manipulated or controlled by them. This is a truly good person. Nothing in their speech, in the way they conduct themselves and handle matters, reveals any ambitions or desires, or shows that they wish to control people or occupy a space in people’s hearts; they do not have that disposition, they are a person with humanity. People who are evil, who are always ambitious and want to control others, really revere power and status, so they often say things that show themselves off and bear witness to themselves, and do things that mislead and control people. This is a clearly satanic disposition; these are people without humanity. Some people have no talent, no strengths, and no abilities, and they outwardly appear well-behaved and simple. They seem to be bullied and ostracized in groups of people, and they work diligently and in obscurity. Does this mean that they are pursuers of the truth? Do they have ambitions? (Yes.) Why do we say that this kind of person also has ambitions? (Because all people have corrupt dispositions.) That’s right, they have a corrupt disposition, so they have ambitions, but they simply have no place to carry out these ambitions. No one gives them the opportunity, and they can’t find an opportunity, so their ambitions are hidden. Once this kind of person gets the opportunity to carry their ambitions out, in a suitable context, at a suitable time, their ambitions will be exposed. At that time you will discover that this well-behaved and simple person, who can hardly say anything clearly, is not free of a corrupt disposition. You will see that they are not without ambition, and much less do they have good humanity or less corruption. If I had not shed light on this matter, that kind of person would still think, “I’m a good person, I don’t need to change my disposition, I understand the truth, I’m a person who obeys God, I’ve had the truth reality for a long time already. You all have corrupt dispositions, you need to be judged, chastised, pruned, and dealt with because you’re deeply corrupt, you all have caliber, and are especially arrogant.” Isn’t this justification that they find fallacious? This is another kind of arrogance. People have corrupt dispositions, and arrogance is manifested in many different ways and forms, which makes it difficult for people to discern, and almost impossible for them to guard against. Do those good-for-nothings and slow-witted people not have arrogant dispositions? Do they not have corrupt dispositions? They also have these dispositions; even fools are arrogant. Those with a little knowledge are not only arrogant, but also have learned how to disguise themselves, and are better at deceiving people; this is not easy to discern. When unbelievers discern others, they only distinguish between good and bad people according to the moral standards of traditional culture, and pass verdicts about this merely on the basis of a person’s behavior and manifestations. Does this allow them to see through to that person’s nature essence? (No.) Then how can you discern people, exactly? On what basis can you discern people accurately and see through to them? Without a doubt, people can only be accurately discerned based on the truth and the word of God, this is absolutely certain. Some people discern others only by comparing their behavior to human notions and imaginings and traditional morality; is it possible to see through to people in this way? Absolutely not. It is essential to observe the thoughts, viewpoints, and intentions that people reveal, based on the word of God; it is essential to look at the motives and purposes of people’s words and actions—that is the only way to discover what their corrupt dispositions and nature actually are. Regardless of who the person is, as long as they reveal many views on things, and are able to express their own opinions on all matters, it is very easy to discern their corrupt disposition and their nature essence. If their views and opinions are completely out of line with the truth, then isn’t their corrupt disposition and satanic nature thoroughly exposed? Therefore, so long as you discern people according to the word of God and the truth, you will be able to see that all people have corrupt dispositions and a satanic nature, and that they all need God’s salvation.
Those who understand the truth can easily see through to things and discern people. Do you know how to discern people? Do you know how to observe all kinds of people, events, and things in your life? If you don’t, this shows that you still don’t really understand the truth. In order to be able to discern people, you must first be able to discern whether what you say accords with the truth and whether what you do has principles. When you know how to discern your own words and actions, and can perceive problems and solve them, you will be able to discern people. Knowing how to discern all kinds of people, events, and things is not an easy matter; it’s not something that can be achieved just by knowing how to speak a few words and phrases of doctrine. You must experience many things, and at least experience many failures and setbacks. Only then will you be able to know yourself. Begin practicing by coming to know yourself, and you will slowly learn to discern all kinds of people, events, and things. Learning first to discern yourself, being able to clearly discern your own behavior and your own corrupt disposition, as well as your own deviations, states, and inadequacies, and being able to see through to the essence of these things—this is what it means to have discernment. If you can thoroughly discern yourself, you will also be able to discern others; if you cannot thoroughly discern your own matters, your discernment of others will not necessarily be accurate. Some people can discern the problems of others very clearly, but don’t admit they have problems when they make the same mistakes. What is the problem here? Isn’t this a problem with their disposition? Under normal circumstances, discerning others is, in fact, the same as discerning yourself. If you can thoroughly discern others but don’t reflect on and know yourself, and even think you’re stronger than others, then you’re in trouble—you have improper intentions and there is a problem with your disposition. Some people are brilliant at discerning others, and everything they say is clear and makes sense, but they can’t discern their own problems. Is this true? This is a facade, this is deceitful. In fact, it’s not that these people lack caliber; they have discernment of themselves, but they don’t speak truthfully about it. They know in their hearts what’s going on, but they don’t put it into words. This kind of person is double-tongued and very dishonest; a person who speaks dishonestly is not an honest person, but a crooked and deceitful person, a person who tells lies. If someone can discern themselves clearly, and can dissect and lay themselves bare for the benefit of others, this is a person who truly understands the truth, whose character is upright and honest, and who opens up in a pure way. This is no simple matter; this kind of person can put the truth into practice as soon as they understand it, and they are definitely a person who pursues the truth, and a person who God delights in. In order to put the truth into practice as soon as you understand it, you must first of all be of good character, and be an honest person. Although everyone is willing to pursue the truth, entering into the truth reality is no simple matter. The key is to focus on seeking the truth and putting the truth into practice. You have to ponder on these things in your heart every day. No matter what problems or difficulties you encounter, do not give up on practicing the truth; you must learn how to seek the truth and reflect on yourself, and ultimately practice the truth. This is the most crucial thing of all. You absolutely must not try to protect your own interests, and if you put your own interests first, you will not be able to practice the truth. Look at those self-seeking people—which of them can practice the truth? Not one of them. Those who practice the truth are all honest, lovers of the truth, and kind-hearted people. They are all people with conscience and sense, who can let go of their own interests, vanity, and pride, who can forsake the flesh. These are the people who can put the truth into practice. The first thing you need to resolve in order to practice the truth is your own selfishness and your self-seeking disposition; once this problem is solved, you will not have any major difficulties. As long as you can accept the truth, know your own corrupt disposition, and seek the truth to resolve it, you will be able to practice the truth. If you do not accept the truth, you will not be able to resolve the problem of your corrupt disposition, and in this way, you will not be able to practice the truth. The greatest difficulty in practicing the truth is a corrupt disposition, mainly a selfish, despicable, and self-seeking disposition. As long as the problem of your corrupt disposition is solved, other difficulties will not pose any problem for you at all. Of course, the reason why some people cannot practice the truth is because one kind of corrupt disposition still exists within them, that is, the arrogant and self-righteous disposition. Always being conceited, and always thinking their own views are right, always wanting to do things their own way, this is arrogance and self-righteousness and not being able to accept the truth. This is the greatest difficulty that these people face in practicing the truth. If they can seek the truth to solve this difficulty, they will have no major problems practicing the truth. As for other problems, as long as they can reflect on themselves, know their own states, seek the truth, and find some relevant passages of God’s word to ponder and fellowship on, any problem can be solved easily. Those who pursue the truth must ponder and seek the truth to solve their problems every day, because apart from doing their duties, people can encounter several things that directly relate to practicing the truth every day; even if they don’t go outside or come into contact with other people, it is possible that some matters of practicing the truth will be touched on. For example, how you are living that day, what the main focus of your life should be on that day, how you should arrange it, what duties you should fulfil, how you should seek the truth to resolve difficulties you encounter in your duty, what corrupt things exist in your heart that you need to reflect on, understand, and solve—all these things touch on aspects of the truth, and if you don’t seek the truth to resolve them, you may not be able to fulfil your duty well that day, and isn’t that a real problem? If everything you think about during your available hours each day has to do with how to resolve your corrupt disposition, how to practice the truth, and how to understand the truth principles, then you will learn to use the truth to resolve your problems according to God’s words. You will thus gain the ability to live independently, you will have entered into life, you will face no great difficulties in following God, and gradually, you will enter into the truth reality. If, in your heart, you are still fixated on prestige and status, still preoccupied with showing off and making others look up to you, then you are not someone who pursues the truth, and you are walking down the wrong path. What you pursue is not the truth, nor is it the life, but the things that you love, it is reputation, profit, and status—in which case, nothing you do relates to the truth, it is all evildoing, and rendering service. If, in your heart, you love the truth, and always strive for the truth, if you pursue dispositional change, are able to achieve true obedience to God, and can fear God and shun evil, and if you are restrained in everything you do, and are able to accept God’s scrutiny, then your state will keep improving, and you will be someone who lives before God. People who love the truth walk a different path from those who don’t: People who don’t love the truth always focus on living by the philosophies of Satan, they are satisfied merely with outward displays of good behavior and piousness, but in their hearts there are still ambitions and desires, and they still pursue reputation, profit, and status, still wish to be blessed and to enter the kingdom—but because they do not pursue the truth, and their corrupt dispositions have not been cast off, they always live under the power of Satan. Those who love the truth seek it in all things, they reflect on themselves and try to know themselves, they focus on practicing the truth, and they always have obedience to God and fear of God in their hearts. If any notions or misunderstandings of God arise in them, they pray to God right away and seek the truth to resolve them. They focus on performing their duties well, such that God’s will is satisfied; and they strive toward the truth and pursue knowledge of God, coming to fear Him in their hearts and shunning all evil deeds. These are people who always live before God.
February 1, 2018