Doing a Duty Requires Pursuing Truth
By Song Yu, Netherlands
A few years ago, I started to preach the gospel. I knew it was God’s exaltation that I could perform this duty. I thanked God from the bottom of my heart for giving me such an opportunity, and made up my mind that I would rely on God to perform this duty well. So, I spent a lot of time every day reading God’s words, equipping myself with the truth, and learning principles. If I didn’t understand something, I asked others about it. Soon, I was able to perform my duty on my own, and I was very grateful to God. During that time, I was extremely motivated in my duty, and the results got better and better. After a period of time, I was elected team leader. I was very happy, and thought, “I need to pay more of a price, redouble my efforts, and strive to bring more people to accept God’s work of the last days. Only this will show I am responsible, effective, and that I pursue the truth. That way, my brothers and sisters would definitely approve of and admire me.”
In those few months, I was busy with my duty almost as soon as I woke up. Sometimes I even forgot to eat. I also ignored devotionals and reading God’s word. I felt that devotionals, and reading God’s word took up time I needed for my duty, that this impacted the effectiveness of my duty. At meetings, as I listened to others read God’s words and fellowship on their experiences, I was thinking about my duty. I couldn’t calm my heart and focus on contemplating God’s word, much less listen to others share their experiences and understanding. Gradually, I stopped recognizing the corrupt dispositions I exposed every day. I became increasingly arrogant and couldn’t work well with others in my duty. When I saw that the work of my partner wasn’t done well, I looked down on her. I felt that she had spread the gospel for two years, yet she wasn’t as good as me, a novice. If I stayed for a while longer, I would definitely be better than her. Sometimes, when I thought I was right, I wanted to follow my own ideas, so I didn’t want to discuss things with her or even inform her. When she wanted to know the progress of my supervisory work, I didn’t want to tell her either. I thought, if I told her, when our leaders came to ask about the work, she would be the one to tell the progress and details of the work, and that would steal my limelight. I also always said in front of our leaders that my partner was irresponsible in her duty. Later, when the leaders learned about my state, they fellowshiped with me on harmonious cooperation, and said I didn’t discuss things with others, looked down on my partner, and focused on others’ deficiencies, which was a manifestation of arrogance. But I didn’t know myself at all. I still felt the reason why we couldn’t work well together was that she was irresponsible, so I looked down on her. Later, the leaders saw that I didn’t learn lessons when things happened to me, so they dealt with me for being too arrogant and unreasonable, and said this would affect my duty, so they asked me to reflect on myself. I felt very aggrieved at the time, thinking I stayed up very late every day to perform my duty, I could suffer, pay a price, and be effective in my duty. Why did it matter if I exposed a corrupt disposition? Why was I dealt with like this when I was so effective in my duty? This all made me feel miserable, so I went before God and prayed to ask God to guide me in understanding His will.
One day, during my devotionals, I read this passage of God’s word, “How should you evaluate whether a person pursues the truth? The primary thing to look at is what they expose and manifest in the performance of their duties and their actions. From this, you can see a person’s disposition. From their disposition, you can see whether they have achieved any change or gained any life entry. If someone exposes nothing but corrupt dispositions when they act and has none of the realities of the truth at all, they are definitely not someone who pursues the truth. Do those who do not pursue the truth have life entry? No, not at all. The things they do every day, their running around, expending, suffering, the price they pay, no matter what it is they do, it is all in service, and they are service-doers. No matter how many years a person has believed in God, what matters most is whether they love the truth. What a person loves and pursues can be seen from what they like to do the most. If most of the things a person does conform to the principles of truth and God’s requirements, then this is a person who loves and pursues the truth. If they can practice the truth, and the things they do every day are in the performance of their duty, then they have life entry, and possess the realities of truth. Their actions may be inappropriate in certain matters, or they may not grasp the principles of truth accurately, or they may have biases, or sometimes they may be arrogant and self-righteous, insist on their own views, and fail to accept the truth, but if they are able to repent later and practice the truth, this proves without a doubt that they have life entry and pursue the truth. If what someone displays in the course of performing their duty is nothing but corrupt dispositions, a mouth full of lies, an overbearing attitude, indulgence, overwhelming arrogance, that they are a law unto themselves, and that they do whatever they like, if, no matter how many years they believe in God or how many sermons they have heard, there isn’t the slightest change in these corrupt dispositions in the end, then this is certainly not someone who pursues the truth. There are many people who have believed in God for many years, who are not outwardly evildoers, and who do some good deeds. They believe in God quite passionately, but their life dispositions do not change at all, and they don’t have even a little experience or testimony to share. Aren’t such people pitiful? After so many years of belief in God, they lack even the slightest experience and testimony. This is purely a service-doer. They truly are pitiful!” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only in the Pursuit of the Truth Is There Life Entry). God’s word revealed that those who do not pursue the truth have no life entry. Every day, they expose nothing but corrupt dispositions. Even if they can exert effort, suffer, and pay a price, all they’re doing is rendering service. Such people won’t change no matter how many years they believe, and they are service-doers. When I saw that God says those who do not pursue the truth are service-doers, I felt very sad. I couldn’t stop my tears from flowing. I felt that I was the type of person revealed by God. I could suffer and pay a price in my duty, but I didn’t pursue the truth or focus on changing my dispositions. I felt devotionals, reading God’s word, and getting close to God were a waste of time. At meetings with my brothers and sisters, I couldn’t calm my heart and contemplate God’s word, nor did I listen to others share their experience and understanding of God’s word. When I showed an arrogant disposition in my duty, I didn’t come before God to seek the truth and resolve it. Instead, I focused my gaze on my partner, seized on her shortcomings, and didn’t understand myself at all. When my leaders pointed out my problems, I argued and defended myself. I even felt that since I did my duty effectively, if I exposed a corrupt disposition, the leaders shouldn’t deal with me. Looking at my actions, I saw no manifestations of pursuing the truth. I didn’t learn lessons when things happened to me, or seek the truth to solve my own corrupt dispositions. All that I exposed every day were corrupt dispositions. Even if I was effective in my duty, in God’s eyes, I was only expending effort and doing service. In the past, I thought those who pay the highest price and are most effective in their duty pursue the truth, and that God approves of them. I didn’t realize this was just my wishful thinking. God judges whether someone pursues the truth not based on their outward effort and expending, but instead whether they achieve change in their life disposition, whether they live according to God’s word and act by the principles of truth. If my corrupt dispositions remained unresolved, and I still got along with people through my arrogant disposition, and only performed my duty to pursue fame and status, God would definitely not approve of my actions. Recognizing this, I ate and drank the parts of God’s word on how to resolve my arrogant disposition, how to cooperate harmoniously, and how to escape fame and status. Through God’s word, I finally saw that my disposition was indeed too arrogant. I always compared my strengths with my partner’s weaknesses, so I always felt I was better than her and looked down on her. My unwillingness to tell my partner about work progress and my fondness for discussing her shortcomings in front of our leaders were both ways that I competed with her for fame and status. Once I realized this, I proactively opened up with my partner about my corruption. Gradually, my partner and I were able to work together harmoniously, and our work also progressed smoothly. I also realized that it was through God’s guidance that our work could be effective. I shouldn’t take this credit for myself to satisfy my own ambitions and desires. I should give this glory to God. After this experience, I was very grateful to God. Without my leaders dealing with me, I wouldn’t have reflected on myself at all, and I wouldn’t have realized the serious consequences of only working for fame and status and not focusing on life entry. If I had continued like that, I would only have become more arrogant. When I realized these things, I began to conscientiously focus on life entry, writing down what I displayed and thought every day in my duty, and read God’s word on the subject. After practicing like this for a while, I felt that my relationship with God was closer, I gained something each day in my duties, and I felt very fulfilled.
Later, I was elected a leader. I knew I had many shortcomings, a shallow understanding of truth, and little of its realities, so I feared I wouldn’t be able to fellowship on the truth to resolve problems, which could delay the others’ life entry. I frequently brought my problems and difficulties to God in prayer, sought the truth, and tried to know my corrupt dispositions, and find the principles of dealing with problems from God’s word. During that time, I felt I gained a lot in my duty. But later, I found out some leaders and workers had been severely dealt with for being irresponsible and ineffective in their duties, and there were continued dismissals of my co-workers and partners, all of them for not doing practical work, and when they were dismissed, everyone was told the reason. I was especially worried that, one day, if I didn’t do my job well, I would be dismissed and exposed by my brothers and sisters, so they would all know exactly what kind of person I was. That would be so embarrassing! How would I face my brothers and sisters in the future? I didn’t want to be embarrassed by being revealed and dismissed. From that moment, I realized that as a leader, the eyes of your brothers and sisters are always on you, and your partner is also monitoring you. Only by being effective in your duty can you last as a leader and gain everyone’s support and approval. If you are ineffective, it’s only a matter of time until you are revealed and replaced. So, I worked harder to do my duty. Once I woke up in the morning, I’d talk to my brothers and sisters about their work. I monitored their progress, I investigated any problems or deviations in each area of work, found where progress was slow, learned how to resolve problems, and so on. Gradually, I pushed reading God’s word, getting close to God, making devotional notes, and reflecting on my corrupt dispositions every day to the back of my mind. Sometimes I realized that I revealed some corrupt dispositions, and that I needed to come before God, read God’s word, and reflect on myself, but I knew reading God’s word, reflection, and contemplation took time, so to comfort myself, I told myself, “Corrupt dispositions are deeply rooted and can’t be resolved in just a few days. It is a long process. Leaving the corrupt dispositions I expose unresolved won’t affect my duties for now. Right now, performing my duty effectively is the most important thing. I’ll read God’s word to resolve the problem when I have time. There’s no rush for me to resolve the corrupt disposition right away.” And so, I was so busy with work every day, to the point that I didn’t take seriously the requirement of God’s house that leaders and workers write testimonial articles. I felt it wasn’t important. I did my work well and was effective, which itself was testimony. Besides, I was busy with my duty, and I didn’t have time to write articles. At times, I realized my state was incorrect, that I shouldn’t constantly be busy with work and leave my pursuit of truth and life entry to stagnate. If I had done so much work but gained no truth or made no progress in life entry, wouldn’t that be a shame? After that, I had a burst of energy. I maintained normal spiritual practice for a period of time, and ate and drank God’s word to resolve my corruption and problems. But after that period of time passed, when I saw that two of my partners were dismissed for not doing practical work and craving fleshly comfort, my heart was suddenly on tenterhooks again. I immediately started giving 120% at work. Whenever I noticed deviations or oversights in my duty, I began to work ceaselessly. That way, when my superiors asked about various tasks, I could answer in time and they would see I was doing practical work.
Because I was so busy with work, and didn’t focus on examining and resolving my corrupt dispositions, I became more and more arrogant, didn’t seek the truth when things happened, and did everything according to my own ideas. A supervisor in video production work I was responsible for often procrastinated and acted arbitrarily, so my superiors asked me to dismiss him according to principles. But I thought he had some gifts and caliber, and that replacing him would affect the progress and results of video work, so I didn’t dismiss him for a long time. As a result, the video they produced had to be modified repeatedly, which delayed the work of God’s house. In the end, my superiors directly dismissed him from his duty. When I saw that my arrogance and arbitrariness had directly affected the work God’s house, I finally gained a little awareness. Why could I be arrogant and insistent on my own way in such a major matter? Why didn’t I think to pray to God and seek principles? Then I thought about my state during this period. I was so busy working every day that I didn’t get close to God at all. I was half-hearted and careless about reading God’s word. I exposed corruption, but failed to seek the truth or resolve it in time, so when it came time to handle problems, I didn’t think to pray to God at all, and purely relied on my own subjective judgment to resolve things.
After finding myself in such a state again, I was very upset, but I didn’t know how to fix it. One day, I read in God’s word, “The greatest wisdom is to look to God and rely on God in all things” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Believers Must Begin by Seeing Through the World’s Evil Trends). It’s true. I could pray to God, rely on God, and ask Him to guide me in knowing myself. So, I often brought my difficulties to God to pray. I also constantly reflected and contemplated why this problem hadn’t been resolved. One day during my devotionals, I read in God’s word, “In the context of the work today, people will still do the same type of things as are represented by the words, ‘the temple is greater than God.’ For example, people see fulfilling their duty as their job; they see bearing witness to God and battling the great red dragon as political movements in defense of human rights, for democracy and freedom; they turn their duty to utilize their skills into careers, but they treat fearing God and shunning evil as nothing but a piece of religious doctrine to observe; and so on. Are not these behaviors essentially the same as ‘the temple is greater than God’? The difference is that, two thousand years ago, people were carrying out their personal business in the physical temple, but today, people carry out their personal business in intangible temples. Those people that value rules see rules as greater than God, those people that love status see status as greater than God, those that love their career see careers as greater than God, and so on—all their expressions lead Me to say: ‘People praise God as the greatest through their words, but in their eyes everything is greater than God.’ This is because as soon as people find an opportunity along their path of following God to display their own talents, or to carry out their own business or their own career, they distance themselves from God and throw themselves into their beloved career. As for what God has entrusted to them, and His will, those things have long since been discarded” (The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III). From God’s word, I understood the root cause of why I was so busy at work was that I had been pursuing fame and status. When I saw that some leaders and workers were dismissed for not doing practical work, I was afraid of ending up like them and didn’t want to go down their failed path. I thought that since they didn’t do practical work, I would do more practical work. That way, I wouldn’t be dismissed, I could preserve my position as leader, I wouldn’t be exposed and analyzed by the others. and I wouldn’t be embarrassed. I considered my reputation and status as more important than the pursuit of truth, so I was eager to perform more of my duty and work more. As long as the brothers and sisters saw that I monitored work and resolved problems, and that I was a good leader who could do practical work, everyone would definitely support and approve of me, and I could have a place in the church. As I ran wild in my pursuit of fame and status, I forgot God’s requirements. God requires people to pursue the truth and the life entry, but I didn’t take it seriously. I clung to what I thought was right, things like “Corrupt dispositions are deeply rooted,” “There is no rush to resolve corrupt dispositions,” and “This little bit of corruption won’t impact my duties, the results of my work matter most,” and “I’m too busy with my duty now, I don’t have time, I will read God’s word and pursue the truth when I have time.” I used these words as an excuse not to focus on pursuing life entry, and as my reason to work in pursuit of reputation and status. To protect my reputation and status, I pursued my own endeavor under the banner of performing my duty, and I spent all day thinking about working more and producing more results. I wanted to use this method to protect my status and interests, and satisfy my ambitions and desires. I was so despicable and shameful!
Later, I read a few more passages of God’s word that gave me some insight into my mistaken views on pursuit. God says, “After he had experienced the work of the Holy Spirit for so many years, the changes in Paul were close to non-existent. He still remained almost in his natural state, and he was still the Paul of before. It was merely that after enduring the hardship of many years of work, he had learned how to ‘work,’ and had learned endurance, but his old nature—his highly competitive and mercenary nature—still remained. After working for so many years, he did not know his corrupt disposition, nor had he rid himself of his old disposition, and it was still clearly visible in his work. In him there was merely more work experience, but such little experience alone was incapable of changing him and could not alter his views about existence or the significance of his pursuit. … Whether or not man can be saved does not depend on how much work he does, or how much he devotes, but is instead determined by whether or not he knows the work of the Holy Spirit, whether or not he can put the truth into practice, and whether or not his views toward pursuit are in conformity with the truth” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks). “If you did much work, and others gained your teachings, but you yourself did not change, and did not bear any testimony, or have any true experience, such that at the end of your life, still none of what you have done bears testimony, then are you someone who has changed? Are you someone who pursues the truth? At the time, the Holy Spirit used you, but when He used you, He used the part of you that could be used to work, and He did not use the part of you that could not be used. If you sought to change, then you would gradually be made perfect during the process of being used. Yet the Holy Spirit accepts no responsibility for whether or not you will ultimately be gained, and this depends on the manner of your pursuit. If there are no changes in your personal disposition, then that is because your viewpoint toward pursuit is wrong. If you are granted no reward, then that is your own problem, and because you yourself have not put the truth into practice and are unable to fulfill God’s desire. And so, nothing is of greater importance than your personal experiences, and nothing is more critical than your personal entry! Some people will end up saying, ‘I’ve done so much work for You, and though I may not have made any celebrated achievements, still I have been diligent in my efforts. Can’t You just let me into heaven to eat the fruit of life?’ You must know what kind of people I desire; those who are impure are not permitted to enter into the kingdom, those who are impure are not permitted to besmirch the holy ground. Though you may have done much work, and worked for many years, in the end if you are still deplorably filthy, then it will be intolerable to the law of Heaven that you wish to enter My kingdom! From the foundation of the world until today, never have I offered easy access to My kingdom to those who curry favor with Me. This is a heavenly rule, and no one can break it! You must seek life. Today, those who will be made perfect are the same kind as Peter: They are those who seek changes in their own disposition, and who are willing to bear testimony to God and perform their duty as a creature of God. Only people such as this will be made perfect. If you only look to rewards, and do not seek to change your own life disposition, then all your efforts will be in vain—this is an unalterable truth!” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks). “From the difference in the essences of Peter and Paul you should understand that all those who do not pursue life labor in vain! You believe in God and follow God, and so in your heart you must love God. You must cast aside your corrupt disposition, you must seek to fulfill God’s desire, and you must perform the duty of a creature of God. Since you believe in and follow God, you should offer everything to Him, and should not make personal choices or demands, and you should achieve the fulfillment of God’s desire. Since you were created, you should obey the Lord that created you, for you are inherently without dominion over yourself, and have no ability to control your own destiny. Since you are a person who believes in God, you should seek holiness and change. Since you are a creature of God, you should adhere to your duty, and keep your place, and you must not overstep your duty. This is not to constrain you, or to suppress you through doctrine, but is instead the path through which you can perform your duty, and it can be achieved—and should be achieved—by all those who do righteousness” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks). After reading God’s word, I finally realized my view of what to pursue in my belief was wrong. Whether someone gains God’s approval doesn’t depend on how much work they do or how high their status in the church is. It depends on whether they pursue the truth and achieve change in their life disposition. If you only work for reputation and status, even if you keep your status for a while, without genuine testimony of life experience, it is impossible to last in God’s house. Sooner or later, you will be eliminated. Consider Paul. He traveled and expended for years, suffered much, preached, and gained many people, but all his work was for the sake of fame, status, rewards, and crowns. He did not pursue the truth at all, his corrupt disposition did not change, he often spoke about his experience of suffering and imprisonment to exalt himself, and he wrote letters to the churches to show off once he gained a little enlightenment. He was also very competitive and did not submit to any of the other apostles. He always testified that he was above the other apostles, and was so arrogant he lost all reason. Paul never pursued changing his life disposition, and he didn’t have any understanding of his nature of resisting God. He also regarded his own work as capital to use in transacting with God. He became more and more arrogant, and even testified that he lived as Christ. Paul walked the antichrist’s path of resisting God. In the end, he offended God’s disposition, God sent him to hell to receive eternal punishment. I had always pursued fame and status, and I never focused on changing my life disposition. Wasn’t I walking the same path as Paul? When I saw my partners being dismissed one after another, I feared I would also be dismissed, so to maintain my reputation and status, I worked more and more. When my work produced some results, I felt I had done well, my disposition became more and more arrogant, and I performed my duty without seeking truth or principles. My superiors asked me to dismiss that supervisor according to principle, but I felt he could still contribute, so I didn’t want to dismiss him. As a result, because this unsuitable person was left in charge, the video was modified repeatedly, which delayed the progress of the work and the work of God’s house was damaged. I saw that my arrogance and insistence on my own views was directly related to my pursuit of fame and status and not focusing on life entry. The more I pursued fame and status, the less of a place I had for God in my heart. I didn’t seek the truth when things happened. I relied entirely on myself. In the past, I thought that if I did more practical work, I wouldn’t be dismissed. But now I realized that by purely focusing on work and protecting my reputation and status, and not resolving my corrupt dispositions, I could only become increasingly arrogant and resist God more. If I continued like this, just like Paul, I would be revealed and eliminated by God. God treats everyone fairly and justly. Those who can enter God’s kingdom are all people who pursue and practice the truth, and change their life disposition. If you believe in God for many years without the slightest change in life disposition, gaining the slightest knowledge of God, or gaining any testimony of life experience, and can only do service for God, such people cannot enter God’s kingdom. This is determined by God’s righteousness. I remember how, when I only focused on work to maintain my reputation and status, I often found reasons and excuses for not pursuing the truth, like “corrupt dispositions are deeply rooted and cannot be resolved overnight” and “this little bit of corruption won’t impact my duties, the results of my work matter most.” None of these reasons were in line with the truth. Corrupt dispositions are deeply ingrained and cannot be changed all at once, but they need to be dug out little by little, analyzed by applying God’s word, and then a path of practice must be found in God’s word. Only through experience can we gain the truth and resolve corruption. If our corrupt dispositions are not resolved, we can do things that disrupt the work of God’s house at any moment. How could they not impact our duty? Thanks to my arrogance and desire to do my duty according to my own ideas, my failure to promptly dismiss the supervisor who didn’t do real work caused great harm to the work. Also, I always used my duty as an excuse to not read God’s words or come before God to reflect on myself, but this excuse didn’t hold water at all. Performing one’s duty is actually the best way to experience God’s work. Life entry begins with performing one’s duty. The states revealed as you perform your duty, the ideas and viewpoints produced, can be brought before God to reflect, seek the truth, and learn lessons. I only focused on work, pursued fame and status, and didn’t pursue life entry. I was so blind and ignorant! So, I swore an oath before God that I would no longer work for fame and status, and I would pursue the truth and life entry more.
Later, I read another passage of God’s word and found some paths of practice. “When it comes to your faith in God, in addition to performing your duty properly, what is key is to understand the truth, enter the reality of the truth, and make more effort to enter into life. No matter what happens, there are lessons to be learned, so do not let it lightly pass you by. You should fellowship about it with each other, and then you will be enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit, and you will be able to understand the truth. Through fellowship, you will have a path of practice and know how to experience God’s work, and without you realizing it, some of your problems will be resolved, there will be fewer and fewer things you cannot see clearly, and you will understand more and more of the truth. In this way, your stature will grow without you realizing it. You must take the initiative to expend effort on the truth and put your heart into the truth. … Those who always speak empty words of doctrine, parrot slogans, say high-sounding things, follow rules, and never focus on practicing the truth gain nothing, no matter how many years they believe. Who are the people who gain something? Those who perform their duty sincerely and are willing to practice the truth, who treat what God has entrusted to them as their mission, who gladly spend their whole lives expending for God and do not scheme for their own sakes, whose feet are firmly on the ground and who obey God’s orchestrations. They are able to grasp the principles of the truth while performing their duty and try hard to do everything properly, allowing them to achieve the effect of testimony to God, and satisfy God’s will. When they encounter difficulties while performing their duty, they pray to God and try to fathom God’s will, they are able to obey the orchestrations and arrangements that come from God, and in all they do, they seek and practice the truth. They do not parrot slogans or say high-sounding things, but focus only on doing things with their feet firmly on the ground, and on meticulously following principle. They try hard in everything they do, and try hard to understand everything, and in many matters, they are able to practice the truth, after which they acquire knowledge and understanding, and they are able to learn lessons and truly gain something. And when they have incorrect thoughts, they pray to God and seek the truth to resolve them; no matter what truths they understand, they have an appreciation of them in their hearts, and are able to speak of their experiences and testimony. Such people ultimately gain the truth” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Entry Into Life Is Most Important to Faith in God). In God’s word, I found a path of practice to pursue the truth. When things happen, we must come before God to pray, reflect, seek the truth, and know ourselves. We must treat every matter sincerely, and learn lessons from them. At this time, God’s house asked leaders and workers to practice writing articles; if we don’t write articles, we can’t be useful. Even if we have status, sooner or later we will be eliminated. I understood more about God’s will. God’s house requires leaders and workers to pursue the truth and have life entry. Leaders who do not pursue the truth cannot last, and will be eliminated sooner or later. In the past, I was only busy with work, and didn’t focus on my own life entry. For years, I hadn’t even written a qualified testimonial article. In fact, I had gone through many setbacks, failures, and deviations in my duty, I had exposed many corrupt dispositions, and experienced some pruning and dealing. If I wanted to pursue the truth and focus on life entry, then I had to start by writing articles. So, I first selected the pruning and dealing which left the deepest impression on me and reflected on exactly why I was pruned and dealt with. Every day when I ate, did laundry, and before sleep, I pondered the background of what happened at that time, what corrupt dispositions I exposed, what parts of God’s word I ate and drank, what paths of practice I found in God’s word, what mistaken thoughts and viewpoints I came to recognize. The more I thought, the clearer my experience became, which made the lessons I should learn from the pruning and dealing clearer, and from God’s word, I gained more understanding of my corrupt dispositions. I also felt that by writing articles, I could calm myself before God and contemplate my state, ponder God’s word, and reflect on and know myself, all of which were incredibly helpful for my life entry. I used to be so ignorant. I felt pursuing life entry and writing articles would just waste my time and impact my effectiveness in my duty. Now, I see it doesn’t make me ineffective; instead, as I often contemplate my state and reflect on myself using God’s words, it helps me see my problem more clearly. In the past, I always worked for my reputation and status, often worried about losing it. I was afraid that if I made mistakes, my leaders would have a bad impression of me. If there were deviations and mistakes in my duty, after my leaders pointed out my problems or pruned and dealt with me, I admitted that pruning and dealing was done for my own good, to help me, but it always made my heart sink, and I was suspicious that my leaders would think I had no caliber, no competence to work and no ability to do anything useful, or if my leaders discovered too many problems, that would be the end of my duty. It always felt like I was carrying a heavy burden. When I focused on life entry and learning lessons from my environment every day, and at times my leaders found problems in my duty and fellowshiped with me, I realized I wasn’t as depressed as before, I wasn’t always worried about how my leaders saw me. I would feel remorse for things I did wrong, reflect on why I had deviations and which of my corrupt dispositions or fallacious views caused the mistake, and once I understood them, I could seek answers in God’s word and turn things around. When I practiced this way, my duty didn’t feel as tiring as before.
I also tasted the sweetness of focusing on life entry, so I went before God and prayed to say I would reflect on myself based on God’s word and pursue the truth more. Sometimes, when my duty is busy, and I don’t have time to read God’s word in the morning, at meals or before I go to bed, I contemplate the state I have been in recently, what corruption I expose, and what parts of God’s word I should read to reflect on myself. Once I think these things through, I read the relevant parts of God’s word when I have time. I don’t think as I used to, that it doesn’t matter if my corrupt dispositions are not resolved for the time being and that I can resolve them later when I have time. Now that some time has passed, I’ve become more sensitive to the thoughts I expose, I continue to see some deviations that appear in my duty, and I can find paths of practice in God’s word. More and more, I feel that pursuing the truth is important in my belief in God. We must experience God’s work in a grounded way and try hard to understand everything. As long as we try our best, bear our burden in life entry, and yearn for the truth, we will receive God’s guidance. We can also gain the truth and learn lessons from everything that happens around us.
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