Good Behavior Does Not Mean One's Disposition Has Changed (Part One)

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 rebel against 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: fame, gain, 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 rebel against 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 reveal? It is a satanic disposition. Are there many people like this? Everyone is like this. On the outside, they stick to all the regulations, they are able to suffer a little, and are somewhat willing to expend 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 God-fearing 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, submitting to 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 submit to 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 exposes 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 expose him like you have. I must console him, not hurt him, and I would tell him the mistake isn’t a big deal. If any of you exposes him and gives him a hard time again, 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 worldly dealings.) 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 just way to act. Is he not just using this guise of justice 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 doctrines, you are aware that you lack the truth, and that it is really fellowshipping 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 have a God-fearing 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 worldly dealings, 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 rebellious 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 revelations 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 doctrines; distorted, 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 mislead ignorant people by talking about those doctrines, so isn’t it devoid of reason 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 reason. They are truly arrogant and ignorant people.

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