The Principles That Should Guide One’s Conduct
Those who believe in God must walk the path of faith in accordance with God’s word and His requirements. Believers must conduct themselves according to the truth. If people do not have the truth and live by Satan’s philosophies, in the end they will not achieve a positive outcome or ending. Only God’s word is the eternal, unchanging truth. If a believer does not live by God’s word or conduct themselves according to the truth, then they are even blinder than the people of the world, hopelessly blind. Many people who achieve some success in a certain field in the secular world and become famous have their heads clouded by fame and fortune, and they start to think highly of themselves. In fact, the admiration, praise, affirmation, and recognition other people give you are only temporary honors. They do not represent life, nor do they in the slightest mean that one is walking the correct path. They are nothing more than temporary honors and glories. What are these glories? Are they real or empty? (Empty.) They are like shooting stars, they flash by and disappear. After people obtain such glories, honors, applause, laurels, and praise, they still have to return to real life and live as they ought to live. Some people are unable to see this and wish for these things to stay with them forever, which is unrealistic. People wish to live in this kind of environment and atmosphere on account of how it makes them feel; they want to enjoy this feeling forever. If they are unable to enjoy it, then they begin to take the wrong path. Some use various methods such as drinking and drug abuse to numb themselves: This is how humans living in Satan’s world approach fame and fortune. Once a person becomes famous and receives some glory, they are prone to losing their direction, and they do not know how they should act, nor what they should do. They have their head in the clouds and cannot come down—this is dangerous. Have you ever been in such a state or displayed such behavior? (Yes.) What causes this? It is because people have corrupt dispositions: They are too vain, too arrogant, they cannot withstand temptation or praise, and they do not pursue the truth or understand it. They think that they are unique simply because of a small achievement or glory that they receive; they think that they have become a great person or a superhero. They think it would be a crime not to think highly of themselves in the face of all this fame, fortune, and glory. People who do not understand the truth are liable to think highly of themselves at any time or place. When they start thinking too highly of themselves, is it easy for them to come back down again? (No.) People with a little sense don’t think highly of themselves for no reason. When they have yet to achieve anything, have nothing to offer, and no one in the group pays them any attention, they can’t think highly of themselves even if they wanted to. They may be a little arrogant and narcissistic, or they might feel they are somewhat talented, and better than others, but they are not liable to think highly of themselves. Under what circumstances do people think highly of themselves? When other people praise them for some achievement. They think that they are better than others, that other people are ordinary and unremarkable, that they alone are someone with status, and not in the same class or on the same level as other people, that they are higher than them. This is how they get above themselves. And they think themselves justified in their high opinion of themselves. How do they figure this? What they believe is, “I have unique strength, caliber, and brains, and I am willing to pursue the truth. I have accomplished something now—I have made a name for myself, and my reputation and worth are higher than other people’s. Therefore, I certainly stand out from the crowd, and am someone everyone looks up to, so it is right that I think highly of myself.” This is what they think in their minds, and it ultimately becomes a given and par for the course that they should think highly of themselves. They believe that this is unquestionably correct and logical. If they don’t think highly of themselves, they feel unbalanced, like they are selling themselves short, and not living up to other people’s approval; and so they think it is natural to think highly of themselves. What are the consequences of thinking so highly of themselves? (They will no longer work well with others, and want to do things their own way.) This is one aspect of their behavior. What else? (They are no longer grounded, they no longer seek advancement in their area of work, and they rely too heavily on what they already have to offer.) (They refuse to submit to situations they do not like.) Why do they refuse to submit? Could they before? (They did not have the wherewithal to be arrogant before, and were able to restrain and suppress themselves, so they could submit to some extent. But now they feel that they have the wherewithal and the qualifications, and that they are different from others, so they think they can dictate their own terms and refuse to submit.) They feel they are different from who they were before, that they have status, are well-known, and should not easily submit to others. If they did, it would not be fitting of their status, and they would not be living up to their name. They feel that they have the right to say “no” and the right to refuse to submit to others. What other behaviors do they exhibit? (If their case becomes severe, they may even become like Paul, saying, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:7-8), and begin to negotiate terms with God, forgetting that they are a created being.) They forget who they are. Do you think it is good for a person to think highly of themselves? (No.) No, then why do people think highly of themselves? (Because of the satanic disposition within them.) Having a satanic disposition is inevitable, and this is certainly the root of the problem. What other reasons are there? Let’s talk about the practical reasons. (People place too much emphasis on their achievements, treating them as life itself. Thus, they are always delighting in their success, leading to a state of complacency from which they cannot escape.) This is the crux of the matter. It concerns what people pursue and aspire to in their hearts, as well as the path they choose to take. Many people believe they have stature as long as they can perform certain routine tasks and fulfill certain duties requiring technical know-how. The more skillful, exceptional, and accomplished their work is, the more it proves that they possess reality, that they love God, and that they are obedient to Him. They consider this their life. As such, they certainly cherish it and pursue it as their life’s goal, but their goal and direction are wrong, as is their path. Moreover, at the root of it, people’s understanding of life, the pursuit of truth, and what it means to have the truth reality is flawed. When people’s understanding is flawed, their knowledge and ultimate estimation of something must also be flawed. If your understanding is flawed, what you pursue must also be flawed. As a result, the path you choose is bound to be problematic, and your life direction and goals will also be flawed.
Everyone knows it is not a good thing for a person to think highly of themselves simply because they were able to achieve certain results in their duty. So why do people still tend to think highly of themselves? One part of it is due to people’s arrogance and superficiality. Are there other reasons? (It is because people do not realize that it is God who leads them to achieve these results. They think they deserve all the credit, and possess the wherewithal, so they think highly of themselves. In fact, without God’s work, people are unable to do anything, but they cannot see it.) This statement is correct, and it’s also central to the issue. If people do not know God and do not have the Holy Spirit to enlighten them, they will always think themselves capable of anything. So if they possess the wherewithal, they can become arrogant and think highly of themselves. Are you able to sense the guidance of God and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit in the course of performing your duty? (Yes.) If you are able to sense the work of the Holy Spirit, yet still think highly of yourselves, and think you are possessed of reality, then what is going on here? (When our performance of our duty has borne some fruit, we think that half the credit belongs to God, and half belongs to us. We magnify our cooperation to an unlimited extent, thinking that nothing was more important than our cooperation, and that God’s enlightenment would not have been possible without it.) So why did God enlighten you? Can God enlighten other people as well? (Yes.) When God enlightens someone, it is by the grace of God. And what is that little bit of cooperation on your part? Is it something you are due credit for, or is it your duty and responsibility? (It is our duty and responsibility.) When you recognize that it is your duty and responsibility, then you have the right mindset, and will not think of trying to take credit for it. If you always think, “This is my contribution. Would God’s enlightenment have been possible without my cooperation? This task requires man’s cooperation; our cooperation accounts for the bulk of the accomplishment,” then you are wrong. How could you cooperate if the Holy Spirit had not enlightened you, and if no one had fellowshiped the truth principles to you? You would not know what God requires, nor would you know the path of practice. Even if you wanted to obey God and cooperate, you wouldn’t know how. Is this “cooperation” of yours not just empty words? Without true cooperation, you are only acting according to your own ideas—in which case, could the duty you perform be up to standard? Absolutely not, which indicates the issue at hand. What is the issue? No matter what duty a person performs, whether they achieve results, perform their duty up to standard, and gain God’s approval depends on God’s actions. Even if you fulfill your responsibilities and duty, if God does not work, if God does not enlighten and guide you, then you won’t know your path, your direction, or your goals. What ultimately comes of that? After toiling for all that time, you will not have performed your duty properly, nor will you have gained the truth and life—it will all have been in vain. Therefore, your duty being performed up to standard, edifying your brothers and sisters, and obtaining God’s approval all depends on God! People can only do those things that they are personally capable of, that they ought to do, and that are within their inherent capabilities—nothing more. Ultimately then, performing your duties in an effective manner depends on the guidance of God’s words and the enlightenment and leadership of the Holy Spirit; only then can you understand the truth, and complete God’s commission according to the path that God has given you and the principles He has set. This is God’s grace and blessing, and if people cannot see this, they are blind. Regardless of what manner of work the house of God does, what should be the result? One part of it should be to bear witness to God and spread God’s gospel, while another part of it should be to edify and bring benefit to brothers and sisters. The work of the house of God should achieve results in both areas. In the house of God, no matter what duty you perform, can you achieve results without God’s guidance? Absolutely not. It can be said that without God’s guidance, what you do is essentially useless. Over the years, as you go on fulfilling your duties, the more you fulfill these duties, the more you have drawn closer to God’s requirements, the more you have understood His intentions, and the more you have grasped the principles. How is all this achieved? (By God’s guidance.) Without God’s guidance and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, what are people actually able to “contribute”? One part of their “contribution” is human imaginings. Sometimes, people fulfill duties according to their own imaginings, thinking that by doing so, they can bear witness to God. However, the result is the opposite. What they produce not only fails to achieve the desired effect of witnessing to God, but instead appears unreal and impractical, a mere product of human imaginings and fabrication, which ultimately dishonors God. Another part of it is human notions. People like to act based on their own notions and believe that their notions align with the truth. When they act according to their notions, they think that they receive approval from others and are glorifying God. As a result, they do many things based on their own notions, and not only do they fail to achieve the desired effect of bearing witness to God; but rather, they mislead others into accepting these notions as truth. Not only does this prevent them from obeying God, but it also leads to misunderstandings, suspicions, condemnations, and blasphemy against God. These are the consequences of acting based on one’s own notions and of spreading these notions. When people lack an understanding of the truth, they rely on imaginings and notions to guide their actions. Apart from imaginings and notions, another aspect of what people “contribute” is human knowledge. After acquiring a rich array of knowledge in different fields, they use this knowledge to appraise God’s requirements, imagine what the truth is, and judge for themselves how to fulfill their duty and satisfy God’s intentions. What is the result of such actions? They surely contradict God’s intentions, because human knowledge contradicts the truth and is in opposition to it. When people fulfill their duty based on human knowledge, what kind of situation does it create in the church? People will begin to idolize knowledge and compare one with another to see who knows more, who has read more books, or who possesses higher academic qualifications. These are the kinds of things they like to compare. When such a situation arises within the church, does this have anything to do with people using human knowledge to serve and bear witness to God? Certainly, it does. What are the consequences of using knowledge to perform one’s duty and bear witness to God? This leads to a preference for human knowledge over love of the truth, diverting people onto a path of pursuing human knowledge. It is incorrect and causes one to deviate completely from the true way. Whether it is by using imaginings, notions, or human knowledge to bear witness to God and serve Him, none of these approaches can achieve the desired result of helping people know and obey God. Instead, they can easily hinder people from turning to God. Therefore, using imaginings, notions, or human knowledge to bear witness to God is all a kind of resistance against God. This disrupts and disturbs the work of God and He does not approve of such actions.
Human imaginings, notions, and knowledge are all aspects of the realm of thought. One thing human actions are based on is one’s own thoughts and viewpoints, while another is one’s corrupt disposition, which plays a crucial role. If people do not understand the truth, do not know themselves, do not accept the truth, do not practice the truth, and are incapable of submitting to God and the truth, then on what do they base the performance of their duty? They are acting based on their arrogance, deceitfulness, wickedness, viciousness, and intransigence, which are all aspects of their corrupt disposition. What are the consequences of performing their duty based on these corrupt dispositions? (People cannot cooperate harmoniously with others and can also disturb and disrupt the work of the church.) These consequences ought to be known. Everyone does as they please, not practicing the truth. Each person does their own thing, acting in disharmony, and causing a disruption and a disturbance. A job that could have been well-executed becomes chaotic and disorderly. This is not any different from how things are done among the unbelievers. In the camp of Satan, whether in society or in official circles, what is the prevailing atmosphere? What practices are popular? You ought to have some understanding of these. What are the principles and guidelines for their actions? Each is a law unto themselves; each goes their own way. They act in their own interests and do as they choose. Whoever has authority gets the final say. They do not give even a fleeting thought to others. They just do as they will, striving for fame, profit, and status, and acting entirely according to their own preferences. As soon as they receive power, they quickly exert this power over others. If you offend them, they wish to put you through the wringer, and you are unable to do anything but offer them gifts. They are as vicious as scorpions, willing to violate laws, government regulations, and even commit crimes. These are all things they are capable of. This is how dark and evil it is in Satan’s camp. Now, God has come to save humanity, to allow people to accept the truth, understand the truth, and break free from Satan’s bondage and power. If you don’t accept the truth and don’t practice the truth, aren’t you still living under Satan’s influence? In that case, what is the difference between your current state and that of the devil Satan? You would compete in the same way that unbelievers compete. You would fight in the same way that unbelievers fight. From morning to night, you would plot, scheme, envy, and engage in disputes. What is the root of this problem? It is because people have corrupt dispositions, and live according to these corrupt dispositions. The reign of corrupt dispositions is the reign of Satan; corrupted humanity dwells within a satanic disposition, and no one is an exception. So, you should not think that you are too good, too meek, or too honest to engage in struggles for power and profit. If you do not understand the truth and are not led by God, you are certainly not an exception, and in no way will you, on account of your guilelessness or kindness, or because of your youth, keep yourself from struggling for fame and profit. In fact, you will also seek fame, profit and status as long as you have the chance and circumstances permit. Grasping for fame and profit is the signature behavior of humans who have the evil nature of Satan. No one is an exception. All corrupt mankind lives for fame, profit and status, and they will pay any price in their struggle for these things. It is so with all who live under Satan’s power. Therefore, one who does not accept or understand the truth, who cannot act according to the principles, is one who is living amidst a satanic disposition. A satanic disposition has already come to dominate your thoughts and control your behavior; Satan has gotten you entirely under its control and bondage, and if you do not accept the truth and forsake Satan, you will not be able to escape. Now, as you fulfill your duty in God’s house, you are somewhat obedient, somewhat resilient of heart, somewhat serious, have something of a sense of responsibility, can set aside concern for your own status, are often able to resist competitiveness, are capable of yielding to others, are able to cooperate harmoniously with others, and can seek and wait when you meet with things you do not understand. How did you achieve this attitude and behavior? This is directly related to God’s provision, guidance, and watering. All of this is the result of the numerous words which God has spoken. Otherwise, even if a person has good qualities, they cannot discover the truth or understand the truth. If God had not come to express these truths, where would people go to find the truth? From childhood, people receive an education and go to school for many years, but have they learned the truth? Not at all. People admire celebrities and great figures, and extol cultural knowledge, but have they learned the truth? They have not. Even after reading many, many books, they have not learned the truth. In fact, there is no truth at all in the world. Only after God came and brought the truth and the way to eternal life, and after they have read God’s word for several years, do people finally discover the truth. Only then do they realize the value and preciousness of the truth. At this point, people come to recognize that in the past, their words, actions, and comportment were based on imaginings, notions, and human knowledge. Apart from these things, they were driven by their corrupt disposition. The notions, human knowledge, and imaginings that fill people’s hearts are not the truth. Therefore, people tend to live out various aspects of Satan’s corrupt disposition. They cannot live out human likeness or refrain from lying even if they wanted to, and it is hard for them to do even a few good things. Those who live according to Satan’s disposition naturally manifest the image of Satan. Their words, actions, and behavior are all influenced by Satan’s disposition, and none of them can escape from it. If you are able to recognize this point, then in the process of performing your duty, whether you achieve certain results, make certain contributions, exhibit good behavior, or experience certain changes, what mindset should you have? (One of thankfulness to God.) You should thank God. All the glory belongs to God. It is God who did this, and there is nothing for people to boast about. Each person possesses different degrees of aptitude. For example, some people are naturally sensitive to the rhythm and melody of music, while others excel in dance. Regardless of the natural talents people possess, they are all given by God, and there is nothing for people to boast about. They definitely did not get these inherent talents from their parents because parents may not possess these talents themselves, and even if they do, they cannot give their talents to their children; parents cannot teach talents to their children if the children do not already have a natural ability. Therefore, the talents and gifts that people possess have nothing to do with their parents. Of course, these talents are not something that can be acquired through learning. The gifts and abilities that people are born with are bestowed by God. They were predetermined by God long ago. If God made you foolish, then there is meaning in your foolishness; if He made you bright, then there is meaning in your brightness. Whatever talents God gives you, whatever your strengths, however high your IQ, they all have a purpose for God. All these things were preordained by God. The role you play in your life and the duty you fulfill were ordained by God long ago. Some people see that others possess strengths they do not and are discontent. They want to change things by learning more, seeing more, and being more diligent. But there is a limit to what their diligence can achieve, and they cannot surpass those with gifts and expertise. No matter how much you fight, it is useless. God has ordained what you will be, and there is nothing anyone can do to change it. Whatever you are good at, that is where you should make an effort. Whatever duty you are suited to is the duty you should perform. Do not try to force yourself into areas outside your skillset and do not envy others. Everyone has their function. Do not think that you can do everything well, or that you are more perfect or better than others, always desiring to replace others and put yourself on display. This is a corrupt disposition. There are those who think that they cannot do anything well, and that they have no skills at all. If that is the case, you should just be a person who listens and obeys in a down-to-earth manner. Do what you can and do it well, with all your strength. That is enough. God will be satisfied. Do not always think about surpassing everyone, doing everything better than others, and standing out from the crowd in every way. What kind of disposition is that? (An arrogant disposition.) People always possess an arrogant disposition, and even if they want to strive for the truth and satisfy God, they fall short. Being controlled by an arrogant disposition makes people the most liable to go astray. For example, there are some people who always want to show off by expressing their good intentions in place of God’s requirements. Would God praise that kind of expression of good intentions? To be mindful of God’s will, you must follow God’s requirements, and to perform your duty, you must submit to God’s arrangements. People who express good intentions are not mindful of God’s will, but are instead always trying to play out new tricks and speaking lofty-sounding words. God does not ask that you be mindful in this way. Some people say that this is them being competitive. In and of itself, being competitive is something negative. It is a revelation—a manifestation—of the arrogant disposition of Satan. When you have a disposition like that, you are always trying to keep others down, always trying to get ahead of them, always jockeying, always trying to take from people. You are highly envious, you don’t yield to anyone, and you are always trying to distinguish yourself from the crowd. This spells trouble; this is how Satan acts. If you truly wish to be an acceptable creature of God, then do not pursue your own dreams. Trying to be superior and more capable than you are in order to achieve your aims is bad. You should learn to submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, and not get above your station; only this demonstrates sense.
What are your principles for conducting yourselves? You should conduct yourselves according to your station, find the right place for you, and perform the duty that you ought to; only this is someone with sense. By way of example, there are people who are adept at certain professional skills and have a grasp of principles, and they should take on the responsibility and make the final checks in that area; there are people who can provide ideas and insights, inspiring others and helping them to perform their duties better—then they should provide ideas. If you can find the right place for you and work in harmony with your brothers and sisters, you will be fulfilling your duty, and you will be conducting yourself according to your station. Originally, you may only be able to provide some ideas, but if you try to offer something else, and you end up trying very hard to do so, yet are still unable; and then, when others provide those things, you are uncomfortable, and do not wish to listen, and your heart is pained and constrained, and you blame God and say God is unjust—then this is ambition. What disposition is it that engenders ambition in a person? An arrogant disposition engenders ambition. These states can certainly arise in you at any time, and if you do not seek the truth to resolve them, and have no life entry, and cannot change in this regard, then the level of qualification and purity with which you perform your duties will be low, and the results will also not be very good. This is not performing your duty satisfactorily and means that God has not attained glory from you. God has given every person different talents and gifts. Some people have talents in two or three areas, some have talent in one area, and some have no talents at all—if you can approach these matters correctly, then you have reason. A person with reason will be able to find their place, conduct themselves according to their stations and perform their duties well. A person who can never find their place is a person who always has ambition. They always pursue status and profits. They are never satisfied with what they have. To get more profits, they try to take as much as they can; they always hope to satisfy their extravagant desires. They think that if they have gifts and are of a good caliber, they should enjoy more of God’s grace, and that having some extravagant desires is not a mistake. Does this kind of person have reason? Is it not shameless to always have extravagant desires? People who have a conscience and sense can feel that it is shameless. People who understand the truth will not do these foolish things. If you hope to fulfill your duty loyally so as to repay God’s love, this is not an extravagant desire. This is in line with the conscience and reason of normal humanity. This makes God happy. If you truly wish to perform your duty well, you must first find the right station for you, and then do what you can with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your strength, and do your very best. This is satisfactory, and such performance of duty has a measure of purity. This is what a real created being should do. First, you must understand what a real created being is: A real created being is not a superhuman, but a person who lives straightforwardly and practically on the earth; they are not at all extraordinary, and not in the least bit exceptional, but the same as any ordinary person. If you wish to always surpass others, to be ranked above others, then this is brought about by your arrogant, satanic disposition, and it is a delusion caused by your ambition. You cannot, in fact, achieve this, and it is impossible for you to do so. God did not give you such a talent or skill, nor did He give you such an essence. Do not forget that you are an ordinary member of mankind, in no way different from others, though your appearance, family, and upbringing may be different, and there may be some differences in your talents and gifts. But do not forget this: No matter how unique you are, it is only in these small ways, and your corrupt disposition is the same as others’. The attitude you should have and the principles to which you must adhere in the performance of your duty are identical to others’. It is merely in their strengths and gifts that people differ. In the church, some people can play the guitar, some can play the erhu, and some can play the drums. If you have an interest in any of these areas, you can learn. Regardless of which specific skill or technology it is, as long as you enjoy learning and are adroit, you can learn. Once you have learned a new skill, you can use it to perform an additional duty, not only pleasing people but also pleasing God. It is a most blessed thing to acquire more skills and contribute more to the work of God’s house. There is nothing wrong with learning new things while one is young and has a good memory. There is only benefit in this and no harm. It is advantageous to the performance of duties and the work of God’s house. Focusing on learning various new things while fulfilling one’s duty means one is diligent and responsible; they are much better than those people who are not committed to their work. However, if you have been learning something for a while and still have no understanding, it indicates that you do not possess an aptitude in that area. Just like some people who are able to dance well but sing off-key or lack musicality, this is innate and cannot be changed. Such a situation ought to be approached with the right attitude. If you can dance, then dance well. If you have a heart of praise for God, even if you sing off-key, God does not mind. As long as you have joy in your heart, that is sufficient. Regardless of where your personal talents lie, so long as you utilize them, it is a good thing. Perform your duties conscientiously, and that is what it means to conduct yourselves according to your station.
Let no person think of themselves as perfect, distinguished, noble, or distinct from others; all this is brought about by man’s arrogant disposition and ignorance. Always thinking of oneself as set apart—this is caused by an arrogant disposition; never being able to accept their shortcomings, and never being able to confront their mistakes and failures—this is caused by an arrogant disposition; never permitting others to be higher than themselves, or to be better than themselves—this is caused by an arrogant disposition; never permitting others to be superior or better than them—this is caused by an arrogant disposition; never permitting others to have better thoughts, suggestions, and views than themselves, and, when they discover that others are better than themselves, becoming negative, not wishing to speak, feeling distressed and dejected, and becoming upset—all of this is caused by an arrogant disposition. An arrogant disposition can make you protective of your reputation, unable to accept others’ corrections, unable to confront your shortcomings, and unable to accept your own failures and mistakes. More than that, when someone is better than you, it can cause hatred and jealousy to emerge in your heart, and you can feel constrained, such that you do not wish to do your duty and become perfunctory in performing it. An arrogant disposition can cause these behaviors and practices to emerge in you. If you are able, little by little, to dig deeper into all these details, achieve breakthroughs, and gain an understanding of them; and if you are then able gradually to forsake these thoughts, to forsake these erroneous notions, views and even behaviors, and are not constrained by them; and if, in performing your duty, you are able to find the right station for you, and act according to principles, and perform the duty you can and should perform; then, over time, you will be able to perform your duties better. This constitutes entry into the truth reality. If you can enter into the truth reality, you will appear to have a human likeness, and people will say, “This person conducts themselves according to their station, and they are fulfilling their duty in a grounded way. They do not rely on naturalness, on hot-headedness, or on their corrupt, satanic disposition to fulfill their duty. They act with restraint, they have a heart that reveres God, they have love for the truth, and their behavior and expressions reveal that they have forsaken their own flesh and preferences.” How wonderful it is to conduct oneself in such a way! On occasions when others bring up your shortcomings, you are not only able to accept them, but are optimistic, facing your shortcomings and flaws with poise. Your state of mind is quite normal, free of extremes, free of hot-headedness. Is this not what it is to have a human likeness? Only such people have sense.
What kind of disposition is it when people always put up a front, always whitewash themselves, always put on airs so that others think highly of them, and cannot see their faults or shortcomings, when they always try to present their best side to people? This is arrogance, fakery, hypocrisy, it is the disposition of Satan, it is something evil. Take members of the satanic regime: No matter how much they fight, feud, or kill in the dark, no one is allowed to report or expose them. They are afraid that people will see their demonic face, and they do everything they can to cover it up. In public, they do their utmost to whitewash themselves, saying how much they love the people, how great, glorious and infallible they are. This is the nature of Satan. The most prominent feature of Satan’s nature is trickery and deception. And what is the aim of this trickery and deception? To hoodwink people, to stop them from seeing its essence and true colors, and thus achieve the aim of prolonging its rule. Ordinary people may lack such power and status, but they, too, wish to make others hold a favorable view of them, and for people to have a high estimation of them, and elevate them to a high status in their hearts. This is a corrupt disposition, and if people do not understand the truth, they are incapable of recognizing this. Corrupt dispositions are the hardest of all to recognize: Recognizing your own faults and shortcomings is easy, but recognizing your own corrupt disposition is not. People who do not know themselves never talk about their corrupt states—they always think that they are okay. And without realizing it, they start to show off: “Through all my years of faith, I have undergone so much persecution and suffered so much hardship. Do you know how I overcame it all?” Is this an arrogant disposition? What is the motivation behind putting themselves on display? (To make people think highly of them.) What is their motive in making people think highly of them? (To be given status in such people’s minds.) When you are given status in the mind of someone else, then when they are in your company, they are deferential toward you, and especially polite when they talk to you. They always look up to you, they always let you go first in all things, they give way to you, and they flatter and obey you. In all things, they seek you out and let you make decisions. And you get a sense of enjoyment from this—you feel that you are stronger and better than anyone else. Everyone likes this feeling. This is the feeling of having status in someone’s heart; people wish to indulge in this. This is why people vie for status, and all wish to be given status in others’ hearts, to be esteemed and worshiped by others. If they could not derive such enjoyment from it, they would not pursue status. For example, if you do not have status in someone’s mind, they would engage with you on an equal footing, treating you as an equal. They would contradict you when necessary, they would not be courteous or respectful toward you, and might even leave before you have finished speaking. Would you feel put out? You do not like it when people treat you like this; you like it when they flatter you, look up to you, and worship you at every moment. You like it when you are the center of everything, everything revolves around you, and everyone listens to you, looks up to you, and submits to your direction. Is this not a desire to reign as a king, to have power? Your words and actions are driven by the pursuit and acquisition of status, and you contend, grasp, and compete with others for it. Your goal is to seize a position, and have God’s chosen people listen to you, support you, and worship you. Once you have taken hold of that position, you have then acquired power and can enjoy the benefits of status, admiration from others, and all other advantages that come with that position. People are always disguising themselves, showing off in front of others, putting on appearances, putting up a front, and embellishing themselves to make others think they are perfect. Their aim in this is to gain status, so they can enjoy the trappings of status. If you don’t believe this, think it over carefully: Why do you always want to make people think highly of you? You want to make them worship you and look up to you, so you can eventually take power and enjoy the trappings of status. The status that you so desperately seek will bring you many benefits, and these benefits are precisely what others envy and desire. When people get a taste of the many benefits status confers, it intoxicates them, and they indulge in that luxurious life. People think only this is a life that has not been squandered. Corrupted humanity delights in indulging in these things. Therefore, once a person attains a certain position and begins to enjoy the various benefits it brings, they will relentlessly lust after these sinful pleasures, even to the point of never letting them go. In essence, the pursuit of fame and status is driven by the desire to bask in the advantages that come with a certain position, to reign as a king, to exert control over God’s chosen people, to have dominion over everything, and to establish an independent kingdom where they can luxuriate in the privileges of their position and indulge in sinful pleasures. Satan uses methods of all kinds to deceive people, dupe them, and play them for fools, giving them false impressions. It even uses intimidation and threats to make people admire and fear it, with the ultimate goal of making them submit to it and worship it. This is what pleases Satan; this is also its goal in competing with God to win people over. So, when you fight for status and reputation among other people, what are you fighting for? Is it really for renown? No. You are actually fighting for the benefits that renown brings you. If you always want to enjoy those benefits, then you will have to fight for them. But if you do not value those benefits and say, “It doesn’t matter how people treat me. I am just an ordinary person. I am not worthy of such good treatment, nor do I desire to worship a person. God is the only One I should truly worship and fear. Only He is my God and my Lord. No matter how good someone may be, how great their abilities, how vast their talent, or how magnificent or perfect their image, they are not the object of my reverence because they are not the truth. They are not the Creator; they are not the Savior, and they cannot orchestrate or reign sovereign over man’s destiny. They are not the object of my worship. No human person deserves my worship,” is this not in accordance with the truth? Conversely, if you do not worship others, how should you treat them if they begin to worship you? You must find a way to stop them from doing so, and help them break free from such a mentality. You must find a way to show them your true face, and let them see your ugliness and true nature. The key is to make people understand that no matter how good your qualities are, how highly you are educated, how knowledgeable you are, or how intelligent, you are still just an ordinary person. You are not an object of admiration or worship for anyone. First and foremost, you must stand firm in your position, and not withdraw after making mistakes or embarrassing yourself. If, after making mistakes or embarrassing yourself, you not only fail to acknowledge it, but also use deception to conceal or sugarcoat it, then you compound your error and make yourself appear even more ugly. Your ambition becomes even more apparent. Corrupt human beings are good at disguising themselves. No matter what they do or what corruption they put on display, they always have to disguise themselves. If something goes wrong or they do something wrong, they want to put the blame on others. They want credit for good things to go to themselves, and blame for bad things to go to others. Is there not a lot of disguising like this in real life? There is too much. Making mistakes or disguising oneself: which of these relates to disposition? Disguising is a matter of disposition, it involves an arrogant disposition, evil, and treachery; it is especially disdained by God. In fact, when you disguise yourself, everyone understands what is happening, but you think others do not see it, and you try your best to argue and justify yourself in an effort to save face and make everyone think you did nothing wrong. Is this not stupid? What do others think about this? How do they feel? Sick and disgusted. If, having made a mistake, you can treat it correctly, and can allow everyone else to talk about it, permitting their commentary and discernment about it, and you can open up about it and analyze it, what will everyone’s opinion of you be? They will say you are an honest person, for your heart is open to God. Through your actions and behavior, they will be able to see your heart. But if you try to disguise yourself and deceive everyone, people will think little of you, and say you are a fool and an unwise person. If you do not try to put on a pretense or justify yourself, if you can admit your mistakes, everyone will say you are honest and wise. And what makes you wise? Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has faults and flaws. And actually, everyone has the same corrupt disposition. Do not think yourself more noble, perfect, and kind than others; that is being utterly unreasonable. Once people’s corrupt dispositions and the essence and true face of their corruption are clear to you, you will not try to cover up your own mistakes, nor will you hold other people’s mistakes against them—you will be able to face both correctly. Only then will you become insightful and not do foolish things, which will make you wise. Those who are not wise are foolish people, and they always dwell on their minor mistakes while sneaking around behind the scenes. It is disgusting to witness. In fact, what you are doing is immediately obvious to other people, yet you are still blatantly putting on a show. To others, it has the appearance of a clownish performance. Is this not foolish? It really is. Foolish people do not have any wisdom. No matter how many sermons they hear, they still do not understand the truth or see anything for what it really is. They never get off their high horse, thinking they are different from everyone else and more respectable; this is arrogance and self-righteousness, this is foolishness. Fools do not have spiritual understanding, do they? The matters in which you are foolish and unwise are the matters in which you have no spiritual understanding, and cannot easily understand the truth. This is the reality of the matter.
The transformation of a corrupt disposition does not happen overnight. One must continually reflect and examine themselves in all matters. They must examine their actions and behaviors in light of God’s words, try to understand themselves, and find the path of practicing the truth. This is the way to address a corrupt disposition. It is necessary to reflect upon and explore corrupt dispositions which manifest themselves in daily life, to practice analysis and discernment based on one’s understanding of the truth, and to gradually break through, so that one is able to practice the truth and align all one’s actions with the truth. Through such pursuit, practice, and self-understanding, these corrupt manifestations begin to diminish, and there is hope that one’s disposition will eventually be transformed. This is the path. The transformation of one’s disposition is a matter of growth in their life. One must grasp the truth and practice it. Only by practicing the truth can they address the problem of a corrupt disposition. If a corrupt disposition continues to constantly manifest itself, even to the point of manifesting itself in every action and word, it means one’s disposition has not been transformed. Any matters related to a corrupt disposition should be earnestly dissected and explored. One should seek the truth in order to unearth and address the root causes of a corrupt disposition. This is the only way to completely resolve the problem of a corrupt disposition. Once you have found this path, there is hope for a transformation in your disposition. These are not hollow matters; they are relevant to real life. The key lies in whether individuals can wholeheartedly and diligently apply themselves to the truth realities, and whether they can practice the truth. As long as they are able to practice the truth, they can gradually begin to shed their corrupt disposition. Then they can conduct themselves according to God’s requirements and according to their station. By finding their place, standing firm in their role as a created being, and becoming a person who truly worships and submits to God, they will be commended by God.
February 20, 2020