Finally Seeing My Craftiness
By Xiaoqian, Hong Kong
Last year, I was watering new believers in the church. Meanwhile, I had to choose some people who could be cultivated and spend my time and energy on supporting them. That was really tough for me. For one thing, I didn’t know which people to train based on their actual situations, and just arrogantly decided they weren’t good enough. Plus, I didn’t want to put in all that mental energy and pay such a price. I felt like it was really taxing. So, I never managed to train any newcomers.
But if I didn’t train them, my supervisor might say I expected too much of them and didn’t pay heed to cultivating them, or that I was incompetent and couldn’t get them trained. I was between a rock and a hard place, and didn’t know what to do. I felt like maybe I should ask my supervisor and let her decide. Then if it didn’t go well, it wouldn’t be entirely my responsibility and I wouldn’t be dealt with if I made mistakes in my decisions. So when I got in touch with my supervisor, I didn’t directly tell her that I wasn’t a good judge of people and didn’t know what to do, instead I went on and on about those newcomers’ situations and struggles: So-and-so has a poor internet connection and is hard to contact, so-and-so is busy with work, and so-and-so doesn’t talk much in gatherings…. Then, afraid she’d say I was delimiting people, I beat around the bush, saying, “But they’re active in gatherings and in their pursuit, so I’ll try my best to cultivate them.” At first I thought she’d tell me what to do, say they weren’t worth the effort to train, so it would be her decision and I wouldn’t be responsible, or have to spend all that time on them. But I was surprised when she didn’t give me an answer, but just said sternly, “What are you trying to say? Listening to you talk in such a roundabout way is exhausting. You always report newcomers’ situations like this. You said they had certain problems, so it sounded like they weren’t worth cultivating, and then you said you’d do your best with them. I can’t tell what you actually think.” I was pretty upset. I thought, “Is she saying I’m talking like a snake? The snake never travels in a straight line, and it zigzags all over. Am I really that bad?” At that time I didn’t know myself at all, I just suspected she might have been venting at me. I did know that was the wrong way to think about it, that she wouldn’t say that for no reason at all, that it must reflect her actual experience with me. God made her deal with me to let me learn a lesson and I couldn’t see my own corruption, so her pointing it out was helpful for me. So I told her, “I don’t really see the problems you’re describing, but I want to accept this and reflect on myself.”
Afterwards, I kept thinking of what she’d said, and I prayed and asked God to guide me to know myself. I remembered something in the Bible, that Jehovah God asked Satan: “‘From where come you?’ Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, ‘From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it’” (Job 1:7). Then I read God’s analysis of Satan’s answer. God says “So, how then do you feel when you see Satan answering in this way? (We feel that Satan is being absurd, but also deceitful.) Can you tell what I am feeling? Every time I see these words of Satan, I feel disgusted, because Satan talks, and yet its words contain no substance. Did Satan answer God’s question? No, the words Satan spoke were not an answer, they did not yield anything. They were not an answer to God’s question. ‘From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.’ What is your understanding of these words? Just where does Satan come from? Have you received an answer to this question? (No.) This is the ‘genius’ of Satan’s cunning schemes—not letting anyone discover what it is actually saying. Having heard these words you still cannot discern what it has said, even though it has finished answering. Yet Satan believes it has answered perfectly. How then do you feel? Disgusted? (Yes.) Now you begin to feel disgust in response to these words. Satan’s words have a certain characteristic: What Satan says leaves you scratching your head, unable to perceive the source of its words. Sometimes Satan has motives and speaks deliberately, and sometimes governed by its nature, such words emerge spontaneously, and come straight out of Satan’s mouth. Satan does not spend a long time weighing such words; rather, they are expressed without thinking. When God asked where it came from, Satan answered with a few ambiguous words. You feel very puzzled, never knowing exactly where Satan is from. Are there any among you who speak like this? What kind of way is this to speak? (It is ambiguous and does not give a certain answer.) What kind of words should we use to describe this way of speaking? It is diversionary and misleading, is it not? Suppose someone does not want to let others know what they did yesterday. You ask them: ‘I saw you yesterday. Where were you going?’ They do not tell you directly where they went. Rather, they say: ‘What a day it was yesterday. It was so tiring!’ Did they answer your question? They did, but they did not give the answer you wanted. This is the ‘genius’ within the artifice of man’s speech. You can never discover what they mean, nor perceive the source or intention of their words. You do not know what they are trying to avoid because in their heart they have their own story—this is insidious. Are there any among you who also often speak in this way? (Yes.) What then is your purpose? Is it sometimes to protect your own interests, sometimes to maintain your own pride, position, and image, to protect the secrets of your private life? Whatever the purpose, it is inseparable from your interests, linked to your interests. Is this not the nature of man?” (“God Himself, the Unique IV” in). I saw from that Satan always harbors motives and tricks in its words, so to conceal its shameful intentions, it beats around the bush and equivocates. This is puzzling, and people don’t know what it’s getting at. I realized I tended to speak with brothers and sisters the way Satan does, beating around the bush and confusing others. Like when they asked me how many newcomers were trainable in the church I oversaw and what their situations were, I could answer with a few simple sentences, describe how many there were and their situations. But I didn’t just give a straightforward answer. I’d start out by talking about the newcomers’ problems and give some reasons so others wouldn’t think I wasn’t focused on training newcomers, but that they were problematic and not worth it. Then after giving all those excuses, I changed my tune and wrapped up by saying that we needed to cultivate newcomers and I’d do my best with them. I talked for a while about how they were problematic, then said I’d work on them. That wasn’t a straightforward response, and was so snake-like nobody knew what I meant. God says that the reason Satan speaks in a roundabout way and it always has some motive and goal is to protect its own interests. Then I asked myself what purpose I had in mind by speaking that way to the brothers and sisters. Giving it careful thought, I saw I always started out talking about problems so others wouldn’t think that I wasn’t focused on cultivating people, but that they weren’t good candidates, for various reasons. Then I’d end up saying that I’d stay on top of things and see, so that others would think I had a burden for cultivating newcomers and a positive attitude. Then they wouldn’t say I was delimiting people and not willing to pay a price. I was really roundabout, and had awful motives behind that. And I was indirect, wanting others to guess what I meant and decide if those new believers could be cultivated, so it would turn out well for me no matter what. If anyone followed up on why I hadn’t cultivated them, I could very easily blame it on the brothers and sisters, saying they told me not to. If the newcomers did progress, then everyone would see I could even cultivate such people, they’d think I was competent, and I’d look good. The way I spoke was exactly how God describes Satan’s words, very snake-like, totally concealing my own motives and goals, so I could achieve my own aims without others knowing what was going on. I was just like Satan, incredibly insidious and crafty. Just like when asking my supervisor about which newcomers I should cultivate, I skirted around things, mentioning a bunch of newcomers’ problems, wanting her to decide so if the newcomers weren’t progressing, that wouldn’t be my fault, instead it would be on her shoulders. Thinking back on this, I realized my indirect approach seemed like I was asking for advice, but in fact, I was leading others to decide for me, and wanted to shirk responsibility. It was so insidious of me. If a normal person asks questions, they just want to learn principles so they can do things in a principled way and better cultivate others to benefit the work of God’s house. But I wanted to fob off responsibility, to protect my own interests, reputation and status. How could I be so devious? The supervisor called me out that way because I was always being calculating and never self-reflecting. It was disgusting to God, and annoying to other people. Realizing that, I prayed and swore to God that from that moment on, I’d really think about my motives in speaking and practice being honest. Later, when others asked me about new believers, sometimes I wanted to start off with their problems again so they’d look unviable and I wouldn’t be responsible. But when I realized I had the wrong motive and was being crafty again, I consciously prayed, forsook myself, and talked about them fairly and objectively. But just a few days later, I was back to my old ways.
One day, the supervisor said a new believer I’d watered was attending Sister Zhang’s gatherings, and he liked her fellowship. I was thinking that that newcomer was arrogant, had lots of notions, and liked secular trends. He wasn’t regularly participating in my gatherings, and watering him was really tiring, so I figured I’d have less on my plate if Sister Zhang could water. But I was supposed to be the one watering him, so if I just transferred him to Sister Zhang, the supervisor might say I was being wily, and wanted to hand off new believers who were hard to water. If the supervisor suggested transferring him, I could just naturally rid myself of that baggage. So, I asked her a bit of a leading question about that newcomer preferring Sister Zhang’s fellowship. She confirmed that. I quickly followed up, saying since that was the case, maybe we should go with what he liked. Anyway, he wasn’t attending my gatherings regularly. I asked her what she thought. I was waiting for her to say he should be transferred. But she didn’t decide right away. Later on, I felt uneasy and a little guilty, thinking I was speaking with ulterior motives again. Why did I always have these shameful intentions? Why couldn’t I just clearly and directly share my ideas and tell her straight up I didn’t have a great impression of this new believer, that he was too much trouble and I wanted him transferred?
After that I looked for words from God relevant to my state, and found a passage of His words. “Some people speak with a very confusing method. Sometimes their sentences have a beginning but no end, sometimes an end but no beginning. You can’t tell at all what they mean to say, nothing they say makes any sense to you, and if you ask them to explain clearly, they can’t. They often use pronouns in their speech. For example, if they report something, they only say, ‘Well, that sister….’ Can you understand what this means? There is no content here, only someone’s name. Is this grammatically correct? No. They continue to say, ‘Then, she wanted that. Afterward, the brothers and sisters weren’t quite that, well, which is to say….’ They swallow the main point of every sentence. Why do they swallow it? Because they don’t want you to understand what they mean, they want you to guess. If they tell you directly, you’ll realize what they’re saying and see right through them, won’t you? They don’t want that. What do they want? They want you to guess on your own, and they are happy to let you believe what you guess is true—in that case, they didn’t say it, so they don’t bear any responsibility. Beyond that, what do they gain when you tell them your guess at what their meaning is? (They don’t take responsibility.) This is not a case of them not taking responsibility. Your guess is exactly what they want to hear, and it tells them your ideas and views on the matter. From there, they can speak selectively, choosing what to say and what not to say, and how to say it, and then take the next step in their plan. They will follow up by saying, ‘Anyway, that sister is a little, well, you know, that thing with the other brothers and sisters….’ At that, you will be utterly frustrated, ‘A little what? What thing? These words are totally ambiguous.’ Are there not traps everywhere? (Yes.) Every sentence ends with a trap, and as you listen to them, if you keep asking follow-up questions, you will have completely fallen into the trap. Is it tiring for them to always speak like this? Not for them, because this is what they do. It’s completely natural for them. Why do they want to create these traps for you? Because they can’t see your views clearly, and they fear that you will see through them. At the same time they are trying to stop you from understanding them, they are trying to understand you. They want to elicit your views, ideas, and methods out of you. If they succeed, then their traps have worked. Some people stall by often saying ‘hmm’; they don’t express a specific point of view. Others stall by saying ‘like, well,’ covering up what they’re really thinking, using this in place of what they actually want to say. There are many useless function words, adverbs, and auxiliary verbs in every sentence. If you were to record their words, you would discover that none of them reveal their views or attitudes on the matter. All of their words contain hidden traps, tests, and temptations. So, what is this person’s disposition? (Evil.) Very evil. Is there duplicity involved? These traps, tests, and temptations they create are called duplicity. This is a common characteristic of people with the evil essence of antichrists. How does this common characteristic manifest? They report the good news but not the bad, they exclusively speak in pleasing terms, they speak haltingly, they partially hide their true meaning, they speak confusingly, they speak vaguely, and their words carry tests. All of these things are traps, and all of them are means of duplicity” (“They Are Evil, Insidious, and Deceitful (Part Two)” in Exposing Antichrists).
God tells us that antichrists never speak directly, and their words are ambiguous and confusing to others, that they always test the waters, trying to entrap others to achieve their personal goals, without taking any responsibility themselves. It’s just like Satan telling Eve she wouldn’t necessarily die if she ate that fruit. Satan’s words were full of testing and temptation, not directly revealing its goals, but leading others to sin without it having responsibility. Just like God has said: “Today, everyone has within them the disposition of Satan, all humans have within them Satan’s poisons that tempt God and seduce man. Sometimes, when people speak, they speak in the tones of Satan, with the intention of tempting and seducing. The thoughts and ideas that fill people brim with the poisons of Satan; the very manner they bear is a thing of Satan—and sometimes even a simple wink or gesture carries a whiff of temptation and seduction” (“Those Who Have Lost the Holy Spirit’s Work Are Most at Risk” in The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days). I was the same, always speaking in a roundabout way, spying and tempting with my own vile motives. When the supervisor mentioned that new believer, who I had some ideas about, had been going to other gatherings, I didn’t want to spend my time and energy supporting him, and wanted to use that chance to get rid of him. But I didn’t want the supervisor to know I’d delimited and rejected him. To maintain my image of being responsible and loving to newcomers, I cagily suggested to her that we should consider his feelings and do what he wanted, trying to lead her to suggest he be transferred to those gatherings so I could achieve my own aims. The way I was speaking was just what God describes: “If you were to record their words, you would discover that none of them reveal their views or attitudes on the matter. All of their words contain hidden traps, tests, and temptations. So, what is this person’s disposition? (Evil.) Very evil” (“They Are Evil, Insidious, and Deceitful (Part Two)” in Exposing Antichrists). Not a single honest word came out of my mouth in those situations, but all those misleading things came straight out. I saw I really did have an evil nature. I preferred beating around the bush, not letting people see my true face. I thought it would be dumb to say some things directly, I’d be shooting myself in the foot, and only idiots would do that. I mistook being crafty for being clever, and thought I was skilled, had a good head on my shoulders, and was always one step ahead, so this way my personal interests wouldn’t suffer. I made being crafty my personal principle for life, and totally disregarded the positive things God tells us about being honest people and transparent in word and deed. I felt I’d be at a disadvantage. I was way too shrewd and saw things in a twisted way, seeing satanic rules for life as my own personal standards, always being slippery and ready to cheat and play games. This realization left me feeling kind of afraid, seeing how crafty and evil I was. I saw Satan really had corrupted me and I had no human likeness. Once, I remembered really liking a designer handbag my aunt bought. I didn’t want to spend all that money on it and I was embarrassed to ask for it, so I said, pretending to be really sweet, “Look at this bag that you’re not even using, what a waste! You’ve already got bags of that brand, why did you buy this one?” I took this tone with my aunt so she’d think I was being caring and didn’t want her wasting her money, but what I really meant was that she had no personal use for that bag, so it was wasted on her. Her response was, “I bought it because it looked nice and was on sale. I like bags of that brand, but you can have this one.” With just a few words, I got her to offer that bag to me. I was always like that. I wouldn’t directly say what I wanted, but got others to infer it, then offer it to me. Looking back on all that, I just didn’t know how I could be so cunning. I really wished I could turn back time and never have said such sickening things. At that point I realized that the way antichrists speak and act and their evil disposition, as described by God, I had in spades. I’d been that way all those years. Sometimes without really thinking about it, something crafty just came out of my mouth. I really did have an evil disposition of antichrists. It would be really dangerous if I didn’t address it and change.
I read another passage of God’s words. “That God asks for people to be honest proves that He truly loathes those who are deceitful, and that He does not like deceitful people. God’s dislike of deceitful people is a dislike of their way of doing things, their dispositions, their motives, and their methods of deceit; God dislikes all of these things. If deceitful people are able to accept the truth, recognize their deceitful dispositions, and are willing to accept God’s salvation, then they too have a hope of being saved, for God treats all people equally, and the truth treats all people equally. And so, if we wish to become those who are beloved of God, the first thing we must do is change the principles of our being: No longer can we live according to the philosophies of Satan, no longer can we get by on lies and deceit, we must leave behind all lies and become honest, and in this way God’s view of us will change. Previously, people always relied on lies, pretense, and trickery to live among people, and used satanic philosophies as the existential basis, life, and foundation by which they conducted themselves. This was something that God despised. Among unbelievers, if you speak frankly, tell the truth, and be an honest person, you will be slandered, judged, and rejected, so you follow worldly trends, live by satanic philosophies, become more and more skilled at lying, and more and more deceitful. You also learn to use insidious means to achieve your goals and protect yourself. You become more and more prosperous in Satan’s world, and as a result, you sink deeper and deeper into sin until you cannot extricate yourself. Things are precisely the opposite in God’s house. The more you lie and play tricks, the more God’s chosen people will tire of you and reject you. If you refuse to repent and still cling to satanic philosophies and logic, and use conspiracies and elaborate schemes to disguise yourself and put up a front, then you are very likely to be revealed and cast out. This is because God hates deceitful people, only honest people can prosper in God’s house, and deceitful people will eventually be rejected and cast out. All of this is preordained by God. Only honest people can have a share in the kingdom of heaven, so if you do not try to be an honest person, and if you don’t experience and practice in the direction of pursuing the truth, if you don’t expose your own ugliness, and don’t show your true face, then you will never be able to receive the Holy Spirit’s work and gain God’s approval” (“The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person” in The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days). God’s words taught me that He likes honest people and is disgusted by those who are crafty. Only honest people can gain His salvation, while crafty ones will be exposed and eliminated. During my years of faith, I’ve seen that of those who were kicked out of the church, some were always muddling through and dishonest in their duties, and some were always being fake in an effort to maintain their name and status, always exalting and testifying to themselves. They’d be devious and cunning to achieve their own goals, and some people would be taken in by them temporarily. But God sees everything, so He’d set up situations to expose them. When I was cultivating and watering new believers, I’d find all sorts of excuses to play games and be deceptive, to cover up my corruption and faults, and I didn’t seek change, which led to more and more transgressions. That could only end up with me eliminated by God. And looking at those brothers and sisters who were simple and honest, there was plenty they didn’t understand in their duties, and they had oversights, but they didn’t play games to divest themselves of responsibility to protect their status or think about how things would impact their own interests. They considered how to learn the truth and principles to do their duties well, and as a result they gained God’s enlightenment and guidance. They might have had average caliber, even been a little ignorant, or had problems in their duty, but God would still guide them and help them gradually learn principles of the truth, experience God’s leadership, and grow in life day by day. Then I realized that being honest and having people see me clearly isn’t a bad thing. It may be a little embarrassing at the time, but I’d feel good about it, and God likes it. Plus, brothers and sisters never look down on me when I really open up about my problems. They help me with them and lead me to enter into the principles, and that kind of practice won’t do any harm in my duty. God’s kingdom gospel is expanding so quickly now, and we need many new believers to spread it with us. I had hardly cultivated any new believers, so wasn’t I working as Satan’s minion, standing in the way of God’s work? I had been working against God! God says: “The more you lie and play tricks, the more God’s chosen people will tire of you and reject you. If you refuse to repent and still cling to satanic philosophies and logic, and use conspiracies and elaborate schemes to disguise yourself and put up a front, then you are very likely to be revealed and cast out. This is because God hates deceitful people, only honest people can prosper in God’s house, and deceitful people will eventually be rejected and cast out. All of this is preordained by God. Only honest people can have a share in the kingdom of heaven….” God’s words are so clear. Whatever path one chooses, the person they seek to be is directly related to their outcome, their fate. God set up all these situations, large and small, but I just blundered through them without seeking the truth or self-reflecting, just living by my satanic nature. I didn’t even enter into the most basic truth of being an honest person, or make any changes in my life dispositions. I remained a cunning person who belonged to Satan. How could I be saved that way? Living as an honest person is the only right path.
I kept seeking the truth on this after that, and found more clarity on the path to becoming an honest person.
God’s words say, “When people engage in deceit, what intentions stem from this? And what is the aim? Without exception, it is in order to gain status and prestige; in a nutshell, it is for the sake of their own interests. And what lies at the root of the pursuit of interests? It is that people see their own interests as being more important than everything else. They engage in deceit in order to benefit themselves, and their deceitful dispositions are thereby revealed. How should this problem be resolved? First you must identify and know what interests are, what they bring to people, and what the consequences of pursuing them are. If you can’t figure this out, then forsaking them will be easier said than done. If people don’t understand the truth, then nothing is harder to give up than their own interests. That’s because their life philosophies are ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost’ and ‘Get rich or die trying.’ Clearly, they only live for their own interests. People think that without their own interests—if they lose their interests—they won’t be able to survive, it’s as if their survival is inseparable from their own interests, and so most people are blind to all but their own interests. They see them as higher than anything else, they live only for their own interests, and getting them to give up their own interests is like asking them to give up their own lives. So what can be done? They must accept the truth. Only when people understand the truth can they see through to the essence of their own interests; only then can they learn to relinquish, forsake, and bear suffering, and be able to endure the pain of letting go of that which they love so much. And when you can do so, and forsake your own interests, you will feel more at ease and more at peace in your heart, and in so doing you will prevail over the flesh. If you cling to your interests and are not in the least bit accepting of the truth—if, in your heart, you say, ‘What’s wrong with seeking my own interests and refusing to suffer any loss? God hasn’t punished me, and what can people do to me?’—then no one will do anything to you. But if this is your faith in God, you will ultimately fail to gain the truth and the life, and will be punished by God; this is what ultimately comes from pursuing your own interests. If people only pursue status and prestige—if they only pursue their own interests—then they will never gain the truth and the life, and they will be the ones who suffer loss. God saves those who pursue the truth. If you do not accept the truth, and if you are incapable of reflecting upon and knowing your own corrupt disposition, then you will not truly repent, and will have no entry into life. Accepting the truth and knowing yourself is the path to your life’s growth and to salvation, it is the chance for you to come before God to accept God’s scrutiny and to accept the judgment and chastisement of God and gain the life and the truth. If you give up on pursuing the truth for the sake of pursuing status and prestige and your own interests, this is tantamount to giving up on the opportunity of receiving God’s judgment and chastisement and attaining salvation. You choose to pursue status and prestige and your own interests, but what you give up is the truth, and what you lose is the life, and the chance to be saved. Which means more? If you choose your own interests and forsake the truth, are you not stupid? To put it bluntly, this is a great loss for a small advantage. Prestige, status, money, and interests: these are all ephemeral, whereas the truth and the life are eternal and immutable. If people resolve their corrupt disposition of pursuing status and prestige, then they have hope of attaining salvation. Moreover, the truth people gain is eternal; Satan cannot take it away from them, nor can anyone else. You have relinquished your interests but what you have gained are the truth and salvation; these results belong to you. You gained them for yourself. If people choose to practice the truth, then even if they have lost their interests, they are gaining God’s salvation and eternal life. Those people are the smartest ones. If people benefit at the expense of the truth, then what they lose are life and God’s salvation; those people are the stupidest. As for what a person ultimately will choose—interests or the truth—this reveals a person more than any other. Those who love the truth will choose the truth; they will choose to submit before God, and follow Him. They would rather abandon their own interests than pursue the truth. No matter how much they have to suffer, they are determined to stand testimony to satisfy God. This is the fundamental route of practicing the truth and entering the reality of the truth” (“Knowing One’s Disposition Is the Foundation of Changing It” in The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days).
“Do lies contain motivations? So first, don’t tell the lies that contain motivations. Is that easy to achieve? For instance, you feel these words contain motivations, that they’re tainted, that they’re lies—you are aware of this as you’re speaking, right? So first keep quiet. Take these lies before God to include in your prayers and lay bare; first put this into practice. After doing so for a while, you should pray to God and ask that He discipline and reproach you if you ever lie again, after which you should gradually bring your lies before your brothers and sisters to be dissected. In this way, bit-by-bit, your lies will become ever fewer. Today you’ll tell ten lies, tomorrow you might tell nine, the day after that you’ll say eight, after which you’ll only say two or three. You’ll tell the truth more and more. Being honest, you’ll come closer to God’s will, His requirements, and His standards ever more—and how good that will be! To practice being honest, you must have a path, and you must have an aim. First resolve the problem of speaking lies. You must know the essence behind your speaking these lies. You must dissect what motives drive you to speak these lies, why you are possessed of such motivations, and what the essence of them is. If you carry on putting this into practice, there will surely be an outcome. One day you’ll say: ‘It’s easy being honest. Being deceitful is so tiring! I don’t want to be deceitful ever again. There’s too much going on in my heart, and my mind always has to think things over. I always have to think what to say to trick people, to bluff my way through, I always have to think over these things; my words can’t be too light-hearted, but neither can they be too solemn—and in my heart I’m unable to bear this pressure, I don’t want to live like this ever again, living like this is too exhausting!’ At this time, you’ll have hope of being truly honest, and it proves that you have begun to make progress toward being honest. This is a breakthrough. Of course, there may be some of you who, at the start, after speaking honest words and laying bare yourselves, will feel: ‘It was mortifying, my face went red, it was so embarrassing!’ When you meet others, you think to yourself, ‘Others find out the secret things I did and the lies I told to trick them. It’s all over! I used to think I was alright, and that I gave people a good impression—but now that I have dissected and exposed myself, no one thinks I’m any good. What do I do?’ You have to pray about this before God, saying: ‘God, I want to be honest. Today I’m putting being honest into practice. I beg You to let me enter more deeply, I beg You to allow me to put aside my pride, and allow me to not be governed and constrained by these deceitful motivations. I want to live in the light, I don’t want to live under Satan’s domain and be constrained by Satan, I don’t want to be bridled, controlled, constrained by the corrupt satanic disposition, or to even be harmed by it.’ When you pray in this way, there will be ever more brightness within your heart, and you will say to yourself: ‘It’s good to put this into practice. Today I have put the truth into practice. I feel that only now am I living as a real person.’ And as you pray like this, has God not enlightened you? God has begun to work in your heart, He has touched you, allowing you to appreciate how it feels to be a real person. This is how the truth must be put into practice. At the very start you have no path, but through seeking the truth you find a path. When people begin seeking the truth, they don’t necessarily have faith. Not having a path is hard for people, but once they understand the truth and have a path to practice, their hearts find enjoyment. If they are able to practice the truth and act according to principle, their hearts will find comfort, and they will gain release and freedom” (“The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person” in The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days).
After reading God’s words, I could see that to be honest, first and foremost we must let go of personal interests. That’s so important. The goal behind lying is to protect your own interests and achieve your aims, and when people pursue that kind of thing, controlled by their satanic disposition, they’ll lie and play tricks. So it’s critical to let go of personal interests, which makes it easier to resolve being cunning. Also, it’s important to self-reflect often, and consciously practice telling the truth and being honest, to allow God to inspect our every word and action. When we want to be crafty in what we say or do, we must ask ourselves what we’re trying to achieve, and if it is something cunning or something evil expressing itself, we have to pray to God and turn back right away, learn to open up to others, to reveal our thoughts, perspectives, corruption and faults, and seek the truth to resolve them. That’s the only way a crafty, evil satanic disposition can gradually change. Afterwards, I opened up to my supervisor about my opinions on newcomers, admitted my underhanded motives, and apologized to her. I was really surprised that she didn’t look down on me, and instead discussed some problems in our duties with me. I felt so good after doing that. I stopped being secretive, and felt really at peace. I’m not entirely free of my crafty, evil satanic disposition, but I have the faith and will to be an honest person who brings God joy, to focus on being honest and accepting God’s scrutiny in every single thing I do in my life.