229 Self-Reflection Opens the Way Forward
1 Never, on the path of following God, did I focus on practicing the truth. Many times, I failed and was disciplined—and I was awoken as if from a dream. I was judged, and I reflected upon myself, and only then did I discover how profound was my corruption. Living with this satanic disposition, I often lied and cheated; I was ever slapdash and careless in performing my duty; I did as I pleased in all things; I did not seek the principles of the truth; I did nothing but preach doctrine and adhere to rules, believing myself to be in possession of the reality of the truth. I was a hypocrite, pure and simple. I was not, at all, someone who obeyed God; I worked only for status and prestige, and my entry into life was so shallow. I examined what it was to have the spirit of Peter, but it was beyond me and I was ashamed beyond words.
2 Trials and tribulations showed that I was not loyal to God nor, moreover, did I love God. I cared only for the prospects of the flesh, I was utterly heedless of God’s heart, and whilst performing my duty I was constantly afraid that I would be arrested, that I would be unable to stand the torture, and become a Judas. I craved life and feared death, eking out an ignominious existence, and so I did not perform my duty properly. Only when the facts were made clear did I discover how pitiful I was. Lacking the reality of the truth, I was bound to betray God; if my heart did not love God, how could I truly obey and be loyal to God? I regretted that, throughout years of faith in God, I had only performed a little of my duty in order to be blessed. If I did not practice the truth, how could I bear resounding testimony? I sensed, profoundly, that I had long been living on the brink of danger.
3 Why, after believing in God for all these years, have I not lived out a shred of the reality of truth? It is entirely because I did not love the truth, and only pursued fortune, prestige, and blessings. Even today I have no fear of God, nor do I truly obey Him. Reflecting on myself, I realize what a sorry figure I am for having believed in God for so many years without pursuing the truth: Mine is still the face of Satan, I still wish to be blessed and enter the kingdom of heaven, and I am foolish in the extreme. God’s disposition is righteous and holy—how could He tolerate those who are corrupt to enter His kingdom? If I continue to not pursue the truth, I will surely be forsaken by God. I am indebted to God for His grace, for His painstaking efforts, and I resolve to emulate Peter, to seek to love God and bear resounding testimony to Him.