Daily Words of God: Entry Into Life | Excerpt 383
Transformation in one’s disposition is not a change in behavior, nor is it a feigned outward change or a temporary alteration made out of zeal; rather, it is a genuine transformation of disposition that brings about a change in behavior. Such a change in behavior is not the same as changes exhibited in a person’s outward behavior and actions. Transformation of disposition means that you have understood and experienced the truth, and that the truth has become your life. In the past, you understood the truth of this matter, but you were unable to put it into practice; truth was merely a doctrine to you that did not stick. Now that your disposition has transformed, you not only understand truth, but you also practice in accordance with it. You are now able to let go of the things you were fond of in the past, the things you used to be willing to do, your imaginings, and your notions. You are now able to let go of the things you were not able to let go of in the past. This is transformation of disposition, and it is also the process of transforming your disposition. It might sound quite simple, but in fact, someone who is in the midst of this process must suffer many hardships, overcome his body, and forsake aspects of the flesh that are part of his nature. Such a person must also undergo dealing and pruning, chastisement and judgment, and trials and refinement. Only after experiencing all of this can a person somewhat understand his own nature. Having some understanding of it, though, does not mean that one is able to change immediately; one must endure hardships in the process. Likewise, can you just begin practicing straightaway after gaining some understanding of a matter? You cannot begin practicing immediately. While you are possessed of understanding, others prune you and deal with you, and then your environment compels you and forces you to act in accordance with the truth principles. Sometimes people are unwilling to go through this, saying, “Why can’t I do it that way? Do I have to do it this way?” Others say, “If you believe in God, then you should do it this way. Doing it this way is in accordance with truth.” When people reach a certain point at which they have experienced some trials and ended up understanding God’s will and some truths, then they will be somewhat happy and willing to act in accordance with the truth principles. At the outset, people are reluctant to practice the truth. Take devotedly fulfilling one’s duties as an example: You have some understanding of fulfilling your duties and being devoted to God, and you also understand the related truths, but when will you be able to completely devote yourself to God? When will you be able to fulfill your duties in both name and deed? This will require a process. During this process, you could suffer many hardships. Some people might deal with you, and others might criticize you. Everyone’s eyes will be fixed on you, and only then will you begin to realize that you are in the wrong and that you are actually the one who has done poorly, that lacking devotion in the fulfillment of your duty is unacceptable, and that you must not be careless or perfunctory. The Holy Spirit will enlighten you from within, and reproach you when you make a mistake. During this process, you will understand some things about yourself, and will know that you are too impure, you harbor too many personal motives, and have too many immoderate desires when fulfilling your duties. Once you have understood the essence of these things, you can come before God in prayer and truly repent; in this way, you can be cleansed of those impurities. If, in this manner, you frequently seek the truth to resolve your own practical problems, you will gradually set foot upon the right path of faith. The more someone’s corrupt disposition is purified, the more their life disposition will transform.
In essence, how much are you now genuinely fulfilling your duty? How much are you fulfilling your duty in accordance with the truth after your disposition has been transformed? By examining this, you can know how much your disposition has actually been transformed. Achieving transformation in one’s disposition is not a simple matter; it does not mean just having a few changes in behavior, gaining some knowledge of the truth, being able to talk a bit about one’s experience with every aspect of the truth, or changing some or becoming a little obedient after being disciplined. These things do not constitute transformation in one’s life disposition. Why do I say this? Though you may be able to put a few things aside, what you are practicing has not yet reached the level of truly putting the truth into practice. Or, perhaps because you are in a suitable environment for a while, and a favorable situation, or your current circumstances have compelled you, you behave in this way. In addition, when your state of mind is stable and the Holy Spirit is at work, you are able to practice. If you were undergoing trials, and suffering through them like Job did, or like Peter whom God asked to die, would you be able to say, “Even if I died after getting to know You, it would be alright”? Transformation in disposition does not happen overnight, and once you understand the truth you cannot necessarily put it into practice within every environment. This involves man’s nature. Sometimes it might seem as though you are putting the truth into practice, but in reality, the nature of your actions does not show that you are doing so. Many people have certain outward behaviors, such as being able to cast aside their families and careers and fulfill their duties, and therefore they believe they are practicing the truth. However, God does not recognize that they are practicing the truth. If everything you do has a personal motive behind it and is adulterated, then you are not practicing the truth; you are simply exhibiting superficial conduct. Strictly speaking, your conduct will probably be condemned by God; it will not be praised or remembered by Him. Dissecting this further, you are doing evil and your conduct is in opposition to God. From the outside, you are not interrupting or disturbing anything and you have not done real damage or violated any truth. It appears to be logical and reasonable, yet the essence of your actions pertains to doing evil and resisting God. Therefore, you should determine whether there has been a change in your disposition and whether you are putting the truth into practice by looking at the motives behind your actions in light of. It does not depend on a human view of whether your actions conform to the human imagination and human intentions, or whether they are suited to your taste; such things are not important. Rather, it depends on God saying whether or not you are conforming to His will, whether or not your actions possess truth reality, and whether or not they meet His requirements and standards. Only measuring yourself against God’s requirements is accurate. Transformation in disposition and putting the truth into practice are not as simple and easy as people imagine. Do you understand this now? Do you have any experience with this? When it comes to a problem’s essence, you might not understand it; your entry has been overly superficial. You run about all day long, from dawn until dusk, rising early and going to bed late, yet you have not achieved transformation in your life disposition, and you cannot grasp what such a transformation involves. This means your entry is too shallow, does it not? Regardless of how long you have believed in God, you might not sense the essence and deep things to do with achieving transformation in disposition. How do you know whether God praises you or not? At the very least, you will feel exceptionally steadfast regarding everything that you do, and you will feel the Holy Spirit guiding and enlightening you and working in you while you are fulfilling your duties, doing any work in God’s house, or ordinarily. Your conduct will fit hand-in-hand with God’s words, and once you have gained a certain degree of experience, you will feel that how you acted in the past was relatively suitable. If, however, after gaining experience for a period of time, you feel that some of the things you did in the past were not suitable, and you are dissatisfied with them, and feel that indeed there was no truth in the things you did, then this proves that everything you did was done in resistance to God. It is evidence that your service was full of rebelliousness, resistance, and human ways of acting.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. What Should Be Known About Transforming One’s Disposition