1. How I Remedied My Lying
By Marinette, France
In the past I would lie and curry favor with people without a second thought, because I was afraid of disappointing or offending people by telling the truth. I accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days in November 2018, and I learned from His words that He hates dishonest and deceitful people and likes pure and honest people. I decided to put God’s words into practice and be an honest person, and after some practice, I became able to speak honestly most of the time. For example, when I was supposed to pay more than €50 for my medication but the pharmacist miscounted and took only half of that, I pointed out the mistake without even thinking. But it was harder to be honest when something impacted my reputation or personal interests.
One afternoon just as I was about to take a nap, my partner, Sister Susan, suddenly sent me a message telling me she wanted to chat about our work. I wasn’t too happy to see her message because I was very busy, hadn’t slept enough, was tired, and didn’t want to discuss anything. I couldn’t think about anything at the time except wanting to have a rest, but I didn’t dare say that outright to Susan because I was afraid she would think that I was lazy and too concerned with physical comfort, and that she’d get a bad impression of me. So for the sake of my image, I just told her, “Sorry, I have an important appointment. I need to go see the doctor.” The lie just came out without me even thinking about it. After lying to Susan, I felt so guilty that I didn’t get any rest at all, and felt terrible all the time. God likes honest people. How could I lie so casually? Then how could I be trusted? I knew lying for my own physical comfort wasn’t right, that God wouldn’t like that, and that I should put the church’s work first. I reached out to Susan right away. She asked me if I was already back from my appointment. I didn’t want to look bad in front of her and make her think I was a deceitful person, so I didn’t tell her the truth and just kept lying, saying: “My doctor canceled in the end, she had to go to the vaccine clinic.” Our conversation turned to work after that, but I felt a sense of accusation. I’d lied to her, then I didn’t admit it, but kept lying. I saw how serious my satanic disposition was and I felt ashamed of myself. I could hardly look her in the eyes. So I hurried before God to reflect on myself, and in my reflection, I realized I was slippery a lot in my life. One time a leader asked me if I’d let Sister Joey know about a gathering that evening. I then realized I hadn’t, but I didn’t tell the leader the truth, wanting to protect her image of me. I lied, saying I’d just let her know a moment ago. Then I immediately sent Joey a message telling her about the gathering. Also, I generally went out to do grocery shopping every Friday morning, so I wouldn’t have been able to join any last-minute gatherings then. But I didn’t tell the truth, and told my leader that I had another gathering, or an appointment, and that was why I couldn’t go. I was twisting things, being devious and deceptive just to protect her good image of me and make the leader think I was busy with my duty all the time. I saw I was nowhere near God’s requirements for honesty. So I prayed, “Almighty God, I really regret my lying and deceit. I just can’t stop lying to safeguard others’ good image of me. I’m not an honest person at all. God, please guide me and help me understand the truth, to be freed from this corruption.”
One day, I read this passage of God’s words: “In their everyday lives, people say much that is pointless, untrue, ignorant, stupid, and justificative. At root, they say these things for the sake of their own pride, to satisfy their own vanity. Their utterance of these falsehoods is the outpouring of their corrupt dispositions. Resolving this corruption will cleanse your heart, and thus make you ever more pure and ever more honest. In fact, people all know why they tell lies: It is for the sake of their interests, face, vanity, and status. And in comparing themselves with others, they punch too far above their own weight. As a result, their lies are exposed and seen through by others, resulting instead in lost face, lost character, and lost dignity. This is the result of too many lies. When you lie too much, every word you say is contaminated. It is all false, and none of it can be true or factual. Although you may not lose face when you lie, you already feel disgraced inside. You will feel blamed by your conscience, and you will despise and look down on yourself. ‘Why do I live so pitifully? Is it really so hard to say one honest thing? Do I need to tell these lies just for face? Why is it so tiring to live this way?’ You can live in a way that is not tiring. If you practice being an honest person, you can live easily and freely, but when you choose to lie to protect your face and vanity, your life is very tiring and painful, which means this is self-inflicted pain. What is the face you gain from telling lies? It is something empty, something totally worthless. When you lie, you are betraying your own character and dignity. These lies cost people their dignity, they cost them their character, and God finds them displeasing and hateful. Are they worth it? Not at all. Is this the right path? No. Those who often lie live trapped in their satanic dispositions and under Satan’s dominion, not in the light or before God. You often need to think about how to tell a lie, and after you lie, you need to think about how to cover it up, and if you don’t cover it up well enough the lie will come out, so you need to rack your brains for a cover. Isn’t this a tiring way to live? It’s too tiring. Is it worth it? Not at all. What’s the point of racking your brains to lie and cover it up just for the sake of vanity and status? In the end, you will think about it and say to yourself, ‘Why put myself through this? It’s too tiring to lie and cover it up. Doing things this way won’t work. It’s easier to be an honest person.’ You want to be an honest person, but you can’t let go of your face, vanity, and interests. You can only lie and use lies to defend these things. … You may think that using lies can protect your desired reputation, status, and vanity, but this is a big mistake. Lies not only fail to protect your vanity and personal dignity, but, more seriously, also cause you to miss chances to practice the truth and be an honest person. Even if you defend your reputation and vanity at the time, what you lose is the truth, and you betray God, which means you completely lose the opportunity to gain God’s salvation and be perfected. This is the greatest loss and an eternal regret” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Being Honest Can One Live as a True Human Being). God’s words described my state perfectly. I saw that I was being crooked and deceitful. When I just wanted to rest, I couldn’t tell the truth about something so small. I didn’t directly tell Susan that I needed a nap and that I would talk with her a little later, and I chose to lie instead. My motivation was to protect my face and status, to protect other people’s image of me. God hates that kind of behavior, and I felt guilty about it. Just like God’s words say, “Although you may not lose face when you lie, you already feel disgraced inside. You will feel blamed by your conscience, and you will despise and look down on yourself. ‘Why do I live so pitifully? Is it really so hard to say one honest thing? Do I need to tell these lies just for face? Why is it so tiring to live this way?’” I really identified with these words from God. Telling lies to protect my reputation was an exhausting way to live. I had to keep telling lies to cover up my initial lie. My conscience felt really accused after I lied, I regretted it and wept, and I felt ashamed of my lying. But then after the fact, I couldn’t help but keep telling more lies. It was so corrupt and shameful of me! Lying had already become my very nature. I remembered something the Lord Jesus said: “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). It was true. My constant lying showed that I belonged to the devil, and I was doing it just to protect my own image and reputation. But that took away all my character and dignity. It was so foolish of me! God was hoping I would practice the truth and be an honest person, to bear witness for Him and shame Satan, but I was falling for Satan’s tricks, lying for the sake of my own vanity and reputation, deceiving the brothers and sisters, and becoming Satan’s laughingstock. My behavior disappointed God so much and wounded His heart. I wasn’t an honest person, and I was deceitful by nature.
Later, I read this in a passage of God’s words: “You ought to know that God likes those who are honest. In essence, God is faithful, and so His words can always be trusted; His actions, furthermore, are faultless and unquestionable, which is why God likes those who are absolutely honest with Him. Honesty means giving your heart to God, being genuine with God in all things, being open with Him in all things, never hiding the facts, not trying to deceive those above and below you, and not doing things only to curry favor with God. In short, to be honest is to be pure in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Three Admonitions). I saw that being honest means having no deceit in your heart, no lies on your tongue, and never cheating God or man in anything. I had often been devious and deceptive to protect my own image and interests. I was tired and wanted to take a nap, so I didn’t want to discuss church work with Susan right then, but to protect her image of me I lied to get out of the meeting. Even after I realized my mistake, I didn’t admit it right away, but instead kept lying. There was clearly some work I had not done but when my leader asked, I lied about just having done it. I told so many lies to protect my vanity and reputation and I saw I had a really crafty, deceitful nature. I couldn’t tell the truth even about the most basic things. I was so deeply corrupted by Satan. I wasn’t a remotely honest person.
There was another passage of God’s words that I read later on: “Only if people seek to be honest can they know how deeply corrupted they are, whether or not they really have any human likeness, and clearly take their own measure or see their shortcomings. Only when they are practicing honesty can they become aware of how many lies they tell and how deeply hidden their deceit and dishonesty are. Only while having the experience of practicing being honest can people gradually come to know the truth of their own corruption and recognize their own nature and essence, and only then can their corrupt dispositions be constantly purified. Only in the course of their corrupt dispositions being constantly purified will people be able to gain the truth. Take your time experiencing these words. God does not perfect those who are deceitful. If your heart is not honest—if you are not an honest person—then you will not be gained by God. Likewise, you will not gain the truth, and will also be incapable of gaining God. What does it mean if you do not gain God? If you do not gain God and you have not understood the truth, then you will not know God, and so there will be no way you can be compatible with God, in which case you are the enemy of God. If you are incompatible with God, God is not your God; and if God is not your God, you cannot be saved. If you do not seek to attain salvation, why do you believe in God? If you cannot attain salvation, you will forever be a bitter enemy of God, and your outcome will be set. Thus, if people wish to be saved, then they must start by being honest. There is a sign that marks those who shall ultimately be gained by God. Do you know what it is? It is written in Revelation, in the Bible: ‘And in their mouth was found no lie; they are without blemish’ (Revelation 14:5). Who are ‘they’? They are those who are saved, perfected and gained by God. How does God describe these people? What are the characteristics and the expressions of their actions? They are without blemish. They speak no lies. You can probably all understand and grasp what speaking no lies means: It means being honest. ‘Without blemish’: what does this refer to? It means doing no evil. And what foundation is doing no evil built on? Without any doubt, it is built upon the foundation of fearing God. To be unblemished, therefore, means to fear God and shun evil. How does God define someone without blemish? In God’s eyes, only those who fear God and shun evil are perfect; thus, people who are unblemished are those who fear God and shun evil, and only those who are perfect are unblemished. This is totally correct” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Six Indicators of Life Growth). Thinking this over really scared me because God says: “If you are not an honest person—then you will not be gained by God. Likewise, you will not gain the truth, and will also be incapable of gaining God,” and “If you cannot attain salvation, you will forever be a bitter enemy of God, and your outcome will be set.” It’s true that God doesn’t save deceitful people. I knew that if I didn’t repent, I’d end up cast out by God. Thanks to the exposure of God’s words, I finally got a real understanding of myself and knew that lies come from the devil. In the world controlled by Satan, one’s family upbringing and the influence of society make people more and more deceitful and evil. From a young age, my mom had always told me that no matter how awful someone’s hair or clothing might look, I still had to say nice things so I didn’t hurt their feelings. Otherwise, they would reject me when I needed help. With the influence of that sort of education, I didn’t have the courage to be honest. I only ever spoke fake words that sounded nice, so people would think I was kind and compassionate. But in fact, I ended up being a fake and deceitful person. It reminded me of Job 1:7 in the Bible: “And Jehovah said to Satan, From where come you? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Satan’s words were cunning and indirect. By lying all the time, wasn’t I being cunning, just like Satan? I saw that I had the same kind of nature as Satan, that I was living under Satan’s power, and that I wasn’t free of the bonds of my satanic disposition at all. How could I be compatible with Christ or gain God’s approval that way? I came before God to repent, and asked Him to forgive me. I really hated myself and I felt so guilty. God’s disposition is righteous, and I knew I couldn’t keep lying and offending Him.
I continued to reflect and I read a passage of God’s word: “There is a sign that marks those who shall ultimately be gained by God. Do you know what it is? It is written in Revelation, in the Bible: ‘And in their mouth was found no lie; they are without blemish’ (Revelation 14:5). Who are ‘they’? They are those who are saved, perfected and gained by God” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Six Indicators of Life Growth). I thought about God’s words and realized that God values those who are honest, and dishonest people won’t have a chance to enter His kingdom. I really wanted to become an honest person and stop lying and being deceitful, but I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed to seek God’s help to keep me from falling into Satan’s trap again. Even though telling the truth might be embarrassing sometimes, I wanted to stop telling lies. Then I reread “122. The Principles of Being an Honest Person” in 170 Principles of Practicing the Truth: “(1) In training oneself to be an honest person, it is necessary to rely on God. Give your heart over to Him, and accept His scrutiny. Only thus can one, over time, cast off their lies and deceit; (2) It is necessary to accept the truth and reflect on one’s every word and deed. Dissect the origin and essence of the corruption that is revealed in you, and come to really know yourself; (3) It is necessary to investigate in which matters one lies and harbors deceptiveness. Dare to dissect yourself and lay yourself bare, and apologize to others and make amends.” I decided that I had to open up to Susan about my corruption and my motivations. I couldn’t hide the facts and cheat her anymore. I had to tell the truth and be an honest person, no matter what. I knew that God was watching me and waiting for me to repent. After praying quite a few more times, I mustered up the courage to lay myself bare to Susan. I told her in detail all about how I’d deceived her and that I’d sincerely repented before God. I felt like a great weight had been lifted from me, and I was much more relaxed.
I knew that my lying was not a problem that could be fixed in one go, so after that I started coming before God in prayer all the time, asking Him to scrutinize my heart. When I revealed some sort of devious intention, or if I wanted to lie or be deceitful, I prayed to God, saying: “God, I’ve run into a problem, and I feel like I can’t get through it without lying. Please enlighten me to understand the truth, and give me the strength to forsake the flesh. Oh God, I want to practice the truth and be an honest person. Please help me.”
One time after a gathering, a leader asked me what I’d thought of it. I’d actually noticed that he was being imperious in his fellowship, and that there were a few other problems. But I was afraid of injuring his pride with the truth, and that he would then have a poor view of me. To protect his image of me, I lied and said, “It was all great.” I felt awful as soon as I said that. I realized I’d lied, so I prayed to God and asked Him to guide me to be an honest person and tell the truth. So then I went and talked to the leader about the problems with the gathering, and I felt much more at peace. The results of our next gatherings that we held were much better than before. I did notice that after some time, I was gradually changing. I’d always lied before to protect my face and status. But when I gave my heart to God, asking Him to watch over my heart, I saw my own state more clearly. I was able to consciously rely on God to forsake my flesh, practice the truth, and be an honest person. Even if sometimes I may be embarrassed or offend somebody, being an honest person before God is more important to me.
Now, I’m focused on speaking truthfully and being an honest person in my daily life. I’m really grateful to God. His words have helped me see my corruption and ugliness and undergo some changes. I know that resolving the problem of lying requires God to set up more situations for me to experience. I have to stay alert and reflect on myself more before God, so that I don’t tell a lie that disgusts God. The most important thing is to accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, and to pray to and rely on Him to truly be freed from a tendency to lie. May God guide me to be an honest person.