What I Gained From Writing My Testimony

October 17, 2022

By Chengxin, South Korea

Recently I noticed lots of brothers and sisters writing testimonies about their experiences and I wanted the practice of writing one, too. I’d been a believer for years, enjoyed so much of God’s sustenance and had some experiences. I wanted to use some of my devotionals time to write an article, but every time I wrote an opening, I didn’t know what to say next. I thought I’d been through a number of dismissals, failures, and slip-ups, and had been dealt with a lot. To a certain degree, I’d had some experiences. Why did my mind go blank as soon as I was about to write? When I wrote about my understanding of God’s words, using God’s words to dissect and understand myself, what paths of practice I found in God’s words, then how I repented and changed, I got really stuck on these parts. A month or two went by this way, and in the end I never got an article written. I felt like it was too difficult. Also the leader knew I was lacking caliber and ideas. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. There were lots of things I had to deal with every day, and I couldn’t settle myself to ponder God’s words. Besides, some brothers and sisters with good caliber and experiences could write. It was fine to have them write articles—there was no need for me to write. So I totally gave up on the idea of writing an article. Sometimes the brothers and sisters reminded me that I could write one, but I would get annoyed and didn’t even want to respond to their messages. After a while, my devotionals weren’t going well. I read God’s words but didn’t have the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, and couldn’t feel God. There were lots of problems in work that I couldn’t understand or resolve, and one cropped up after another. I felt a lot of pressure, and I was really in pain. I prayed to God, asking Him to enlighten and guide me, to allow me to understand my issues.

One day in my devotionals, I read this in God’s words: “Pursuing the truth is voluntary; if you love the truth, the Holy Spirit works. When, in your heart, you love the truth—when, no matter what persecution or tribulation befalls you, you pray to God and depend on God, and reflect on yourself, and try to know yourself—when, if you discover a problem, you actively seek the truth for a resolution—then you will be capable of standing firm in your testimony. These manifestations are all a natural product of people loving the truth, and they all occur voluntarily, gladly, and without coercion, and so, too, are they utterly unconditional. If people can follow God in this way, what they gain in the end is the truth and the life, what they enter is the reality of the truth, and what they live out is the image of man. … If you have not gained the truth, then none of the reasons or excuses you come out with will hold water; God does not care about your reasons. Try to reason as you like; tie yourself in knots as you please—does God care? Would God converse with you? Would He debate and confer with you? Would He consult with you? What is the answer? No. He absolutely would not. Your reason is invalid, however sound it is. You must not misunderstand God’s will, thinking you can offer all sorts of reasons and excuses for not pursuing the truth. God would have you seek the truth in all environments and in every matter that comes your way, eventually achieving entry into the reality of the truth and gaining the truth. Regardless of what circumstances God has arranged for you, what people and events you encounter, and what environment you find yourself in, you should pray to God and seek the truth in order to face. They are precisely the lessons you should learn in pursuing the truth. If you look always to give excuses, to be evasive, to refuse, to resist, then God will give up on you. It will be useless for you to be intractable, or difficult, or to give your reasoning. If God does not concern Himself with you, you will lose your chance at salvation. For God, there is no problem that cannot be solved; He has made arrangements for each and every person, and has a way of handling them. God will not discuss with you whether your reasons and excuses are justifiable or listen to whether your defense makes sense. All He asks you is, ‘Are God’s words the truth? Do you have a corrupt disposition? Ought you to pursue the truth?’ You just need to be clear about one fact: God is the truth, you are one of corrupt mankind, and so you should take it upon yourself to seek the truth. No problem or difficulty, or reason or excuse, is justifiable; if you do not accept the truth, you shall perish” (The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth. What It Is to Pursue the Truth (1)). God’s words were immediately awakening for me. Pursuing the truth is a personal, voluntary thing. I shouldn’t search for every reason, every excuse not to write an article or pursue the truth. God doesn’t care how proper the reasons are. God wants us to listen to His words and submit to His requirements in every situation, for everything that happens. That’s what I should do. God also said, “The duty of your faith in Me is to bear witness to Me, to be loyal to Me and none other, and to be obedient to the end” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. What Do You Know of Faith?). Bearing witness to God is what He requires, and it’s a duty each one of us should do who has experienced God’s work. No matter how deep or shallow my understanding of the truth, I can’t bury the work He’s done in me, but I should write out what I’ve gained from my faith to bear witness to God. I ran into lots of difficulties while writing the article, but those issues were precisely my corruption and flaws that I hadn’t understood, where I really needed to quiet myself, ponder God’s words, and seek the truth. But instead, I didn’t try to seek the truth or put effort into pondering God’s words. I found all sorts of excuses to reject and resist writing an article. I kept saying I lacked caliber, and I didn’t have time because I was too busy with work. I thought not writing an article was normal. Sometimes when the others told me I should write one, I’d get annoyed and make excuses. I didn’t even want to respond to their messages. But now quietly thinking about it, even though I had to keep up with every aspect of my work as a leader, not all issues needed to be addressed urgently—I could make time for lots of things. Also, some of the routine tasks didn’t take that much time to get done. I wasn’t so busy that I didn’t have any time to write an article. Those were just excuses I found. I felt like doing those routine tasks was smooth and easy, and didn’t require too much mental effort, but writing wasn’t my strong suit, so I wanted to avoid it. I even used the reason that the leader knew I was lacking caliber and ideas. I was really able to distort things and come up with fallacies. In fact, writing a testimony article can spur us to put effort into pursuing the truth. By thinking over God’s words and seeking the truth, we can resolve our corruption, do things with principles, and perform our duty better. Writing articles bearing witness to God is our duty, and there are no excuses not to. God says, “God is the truth, you are one of corrupt mankind, and so you should take it upon yourself to seek the truth. No problem or difficulty, or reason or excuse, is justifiable; if you do not accept the truth, you shall perish.” Then I realized that being stuck in my excuses, not seeking or accepting the truth would utterly destroy me, and my ultimate outcome would be destruction. What a scary state to be in! So I rushed to say a prayer: “God! I’ve just realized that I’m not someone who accepts the truth. I’ve read so much of Your word, listened to so many sermons, but I have none of the reality of the truth and I’m not willing to practice writing a testimony article. It’s really shameful. Now I’ve seen my shortcomings, my flaws. I want to change this incorrect state and strive to do what You say.”

Later, I prayed to God, seeking: What was the real reason I wasn’t pursuing the truth and didn’t want to write my testimony? In my reflection, I read something in God’s words. Almighty God says, “In their faith in God, many people only focus on working for God, and are satisfied with merely suffering and paying a price. They do not pursue the truth at all, however. And the result? After believing in God for ten years, twenty years, thirty years, they still lack true knowledge of God’s work, and can’t speak about any experiences or knowledge of the truth or God’s words. During assembly, when they try to speak a little testimony, they have nothing to say; whether they will be saved or not is a complete unknown to them. What is the problem here? This is how people who do not pursue the truth are. No matter how many years they have been a believer, they are incapable of understanding the truth, much less practicing the truth. How could someone who is utterly unreceptive to the truth enter the reality of the truth? There are people who can’t see this problem, who believe that if those who parrot words of doctrines practice the truth, they can enter the reality of the truth. Is this correct? People who parrot words of doctrines are inherently incapable of understanding the truth—so how could they practice the truth? Even though what they practice appears not to violate the truth, and to be a good deed, good behavior, are such good deeds and good behavior fit to be called the reality of the truth? People who do not understand the truth do not understand what the reality of the truth is; they consider people’s good deeds and good behavior to be them practicing the truth. This is absurd, is it not? How is this any different from the ideological views of religious people? And how can such problems of skewed understanding be resolved? People must first understand the will of God from God’s words, and be aware of what understanding the truth is, and what practicing the truth is, in order to be able to look at people and tell them for what they really are, and be able to tell whether or not they possess the reality of the truth. God’s work of saving man means making people understand and practice the truth; only then will people be able to shed their corrupt dispositions, and be able to act according to principle, and enter the reality of the truth. If you do not pursue the truth, and are merely satisfied with expending, suffering, and paying a price for God as per your own notions and imaginings, will everything you do represent you practicing the truth and submitting to God? Can it prove that there have been changes in your life disposition? Can it represent you having the true knowledge of God? No. And so what will everything you do represent? It can only represent your own personal inclinations, understanding, and wishful thinking, it is the things you like to do and are willing to do; everything you do is merely the satisfaction of your own desires, wants, and ideals. Clearly, this is not pursuing the truth. Nothing you do bears any relation to the truth, nor to what God asks. Everything you do is for yourself; you are only working, fighting, and running about for the sake of your own ideals, reputation and status—which is no different from Paul” (The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth. What It Is to Pursue the Truth (2)). God’s words of judgment and revelation left me with nowhere to hide, feeling uneasy and upset. I’d been a believer all those years, had read so much of God’s word, and had some failures and falls, been pruned and dealt with, but I hadn’t written any testimony. I couldn’t express my experiences and understanding of the truth, either, because I didn’t pursue the truth. I was content to just look like I could suffer and pay a price, to do the work I was responsible for without any mistakes or oversights. I had things both large and small to handle in my daily work, and if I put off doing something, I was afraid the others would say I didn’t do practical work or resolve real issues. Then what if the leader found out and dismissed me? At that thought, I gave up on writing an article and on pondering God’s words, and I even gave up on my morning devotionals. I felt that writing an article would delay my work progress. Sometimes I got up and wanted to do some morning devotionals, but when I turned on my computer and saw all sorts of messages that needed a response, I’d give up on devotionals and start responding, handling all the issues. But actually, not everything needed handling right away. If I responded when I could make some time, nothing would be delayed. But since I was busy with that stuff, I gave up my time to eat and drink, and ponder God’s words. I even thought I was being responsible in my duty, taking on a burden, and I could do real work, but in fact, I wanted to use my superficial suffering and efforts to gain admiration. How was that doing a duty? I wanted to use my duty to protect my name and status, to fulfill my personal ambitions. I was on a path against God. I knew the process of writing an article was the process of seeking the truth, but I didn’t pursue the truth and I didn’t want to write an article to bear witness. I was busy with things every day, and even when I could make time, I found every sort of excuse not to write. Wasn’t I just doing service? I wasn’t putting effort into pursuing the truth, but just focused on work, which meant the brothers and sisters weren’t focused on life entry in their duties. They weren’t self-reflecting when faced with problems, or learning about themselves through God’s words. I was leading others away from God’s will. I thought of God’s words: “Nothing you do bears any relation to the truth, nor to what God asks. Everything you do is for yourself; you are only working, fighting, and running about for the sake of your own ideals, reputation and status—which is no different from Paul.” I reflected that I was taking the path of Paul. I was always concerned with doing things, doing what I liked, what came easily to me, but as for the work required by God that involves the truth, I not only didn’t seek the truth, but I got sick of and avoided it. I was just working to satisfy my desire for status. I was on a path of being an enemy to God. If that went on, no matter how much work I did, I’d end up cast out by God. Realizing this scared me, and I wanted to change this situation right away.

I read some of God’s words in my devotionals one day. “The most obvious state for people who are sick of the truth is that they are not interested in the truth and positive things, even being revolted and repulsed by them, and they especially like to follow worldly trends. Their hearts do not accept the things that God loves and what God requires people to do. Instead, they are dismissive and indifferent, and some people even often despise the standards and principles God requires of people. They are repelled by positive things, and they always feel a sense of resistance, confrontation, and contempt toward them. This is the primary manifestation of being sick of the truth. In church life, reading God’s word, praying, fellowship on the truth, performing duties, and resolving problems with the truth are all positive things. They are pleasing to God, but some people are disgusted with these positive things, don’t care for them, and are indifferent to them. … Isn’t this disposition being sick of the truth? Isn’t this exposing a corrupt disposition? There are many people who believe in God who like to do work for God and run around zealously. In exerting their gifts and strengths, in showing off, in indulging their preferences, they have boundless energy—but if you ask them to practice the truth and act according to its principles, it takes the wind from their sails, and they lose their enthusiasm. If they are not allowed to show off, they grow listless and despondent. How is it they have energy for showing off? And how is it they have no energy for practicing the truth? What is the problem here? People all like to distinguish themselves; they all lust for vainglory. Everyone has inexhaustible energy when believing in God for the sake of blessings and rewards, so why do they grow listless, why are they despondent when practicing the truth and forsaking the flesh? Why does this happen? It goes to show that people’s hearts are adulterated. They believe in God entirely for blessings’ sake—to put it plainly, they are out to enter the kingdom of heaven. Without blessings or benefits to pursue, people grow listless and despondent, and have no enthusiasm. These things are all caused by a corrupt disposition that is sick of the truth” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). God’s words were enlightening for me. I was avoiding writing an article and didn’t want to work on pursuing the truth entirely because of my satanic disposition of being sick of the truth. I knew well that God requires us to write articles bearing witness, and if not something profound, I could write something simpler. As long as it’s practical, there’s experience and understanding, and it’s edifying, that’s fine. Writing an article is bearing witness to what God’s work has achieved in us, how God cleanses and saves people with His words, and how these words resolve various difficulties and corruptions in people. God really treasures people’s testimonies, and a good one most comforts His heart. So, God hopes that we’ll write our experiences and gains as articles to bear witness to Him. But instead of putting effort into what God requires, I found reasons to dodge that, to decline. I was showing a satanic disposition of being sick of the truth.

Then what does God think of the disposition of being sick of the truth? I read this passage of God’s words in my devotionals: “What kind of people are those who are sick of the truth? Are they those who resist and oppose God? They might not openly resist God, but their nature and essence is to deny and resist God, which is tantamount to openly telling God, ‘I do not like hearing what You say, I do not accept it, and because I do not accept that Your words are the truth, I do not believe in You. I believe in whoever is profitable and beneficial to me.’ Is this the attitude of unbelievers? If this is your attitude toward the truth, are you not being openly hostile to God? And if you are openly hostile to God, will God save you? He won’t. Such is the reason for God’s wrath toward all who deny and resist God. … A person’s being sick of the truth is fatal to their attaining salvation; this is not something that can or cannot be forgiven, it is not a form of behavior, or something that is fleetingly revealed in them; it is the nature and essence of a person, and God is most fed up with such people. If you have occasional outpourings of corruption, you must reflect, based on God’s words, on whether these outpourings come from an aversion to the truth or from a lack of understanding of the truth. This requires a search, and it requires God’s enlightenment and help. If you have the sort of nature and essence that is sick of the truth, and you never accept the truth, and are particularly averse and hostile to it, then there is trouble. You are assuredly an evil person, and God will not save you” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. To Fulfill One’s Duty Well, Understanding the Truth Is Most Crucial). God’s words pierced me right in the heart. Being sick of the truth is openly resisting God, openly being His enemy. I was claiming that I believed in Almighty God, I was praying in His name, eating and drinking the truths He’s expressed, in every gathering fellowshiping on God’s words, and preaching them to the brothers and sisters. But the way I was acting, the way I was living wasn’t in line with God’s words, and I wasn’t following God’s requirements. Instead I was feeling sick of the truth. How could I accept and practice the truth like that? The only way to be saved as a believer is to accept the truth. But I didn’t love the truths that God has expressed. Deep in my heart, I was against God. Just that satanic disposition of being sick of the truth could ruin me. At that point I saw that a disposition of being sick of the truth is really scary, it’s an Achilles’ heel for salvation. Then I came before God to repent: “Oh God! I’m sick of the truth, I’m not focused on writing an article or on trying to pursue the truth, and now I’ve seen that a disposition of being sick of the truth disgusts You. I want to repent and pursue the truth well—please guide me.”

I read more of God’s words after that. “If you really do love the truth in your heart, yet are of somewhat low caliber and lacking in insight, and a bit foolish; if you sometimes make mistakes, but do not intend to do evil, and have simply done a few foolish things; if you are willing at heart to hear God’s fellowship about the truth, and you long at heart for the truth; if the attitude you take in your treatment of the truth and God’s words is one of sincerity and longing, and you can treasure and cherish God’s words—this is enough. God likes such people. Even though you may be a bit foolish at times, God still likes you. God loves your heart, which longs for the truth, and He loves your sincere attitude toward the truth. So, God has mercy on you and is always showing you favor. He does not consider your poor caliber or your foolishness, nor does He consider your transgressions. Because your attitude toward the truth is sincere and eager, and your heart is true, then, as your heart and attitude are what God values, He shall be ever merciful toward you, and the Holy Spirit shall work on you, and you shall have hope of salvation” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. To Fulfill One’s Duty Well, Understanding the Truth Is Most Crucial). God’s words awakened me and gave me a path of practice. My heart brightened and I felt a sense of release. God doesn’t mind people’s poor caliber or their ignorance. As long as they thirst for the truth and treat the truth with an attitude of sincerity, they will have God’s mercy. I noticed that there were other brothers and sisters with average caliber who thirsted for God’s words, and intently pondered and sought the truth when things came up. With a sincere attitude toward God’s words, they had God’s mercy and guidance. They ended up able to write really moving essays about their experiences to bear witness to God. And some who joined the faith not long ago don’t run away no matter what difficulties they face in their duty, but they submit to God’s rule and arrangements, and lean on God to seek the truth and overcome hardship. Ultimately they bear moving testimonies. And some new believers work to seek the truth when they reveal corruption. They read God’s words and self-reflect. The understanding they share is really genuine and practical. God doesn’t care how long someone has had faith, if they’re ignorant or with poor caliber, but just about whether they pursue the truth, love the truth, thirst for the truth, and whether or not they approach God’s words with a sincere heart. Poor caliber isn’t fatal. What’s key is whether we have a heart that loves the truth, whether we can accept and practice the truth. God is faithful and just, and He doesn’t care whether someone’s caliber is good or poor. As long as we thirst for and strive for the truth, and we implement what we know, we can gain the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, and our understanding and insight will improve. I shouldn’t be held back by having poor caliber or find excuses to avoid writing an article. I wanted to genuinely eat, drink, and experience God’s words, to put my experiences into an article to bear witness to God.

I read a passage of God’s words later that clarified God’s will for me. “No path to achieving salvation is more real or practical than accepting and pursuing the truth. If you cannot gain the truth, your belief in God is empty. 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 or mistaken states, 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. Those heartless people never think about how to practice the truth. They only focus on exerting effort and doing things, and on exhibiting themselves and showing off, but they never seek how to practice the truth, which makes it difficult for them to obtain the truth. Think about it, what kind of people can enter into the realities of truth? (Those with their feet on the ground, who are pragmatic and put their heart into things.) People with their feet on the ground, who put their heart into things, and have a heart: such people pay more attention to reality and to the usage of the principles of truth when they act. Also, in all things they pay attention to practicalities, they are pragmatic, and they like positive things, the truth, and practical things. It is people like this who ultimately understand and gain the truth” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. In Believing in God, What Is Most Important Is to Practice and Experience His Words). I learned from God’s words that those who pursue the truth focus on God’s words, often ponder God’s words and put them into practice. They can seek the truth and learn lessons from the people, things, and events around them, and reap rewards from their experiences. Writing an article is one of the best ways to prompt us to come before God and ponder His words, which is God’s will. Once I understood God’s will I felt a burden, and I felt motivated to write an article. I felt I should do that duty to comfort God’s heart. Writing an article to bear witness can benefit even more people. It’s a meaningful, valuable thing and also a responsibility of mine.

After that I started planning out every day’s work, and determining what time I’d use for which issue, according to its urgency. Whenever I had time I’d eat and drink God’s words and work on an article. When I first started writing, I’d just write out a full account of something. I couldn’t clearly write my understanding of God’s words and it was pretty superficial. I wanted to give up and stop writing at that point, and I didn’t want to ponder God’s words anymore. So I prayed to God, “God! I don’t want to give up. I want to put thought into Your words, to write as much as I know for now, then keep writing as my experience grows. I don’t want to live by my corrupt disposition. I want to write about Your work in me to bear witness to You.” I felt a lot calmer after that prayer. When I settled down and thought about my own state and God’s words, I could make a note of any enlightenment I had. So, I thought about God’s words and wrote out my understanding when I had time. When I was done, and I saw some parts weren’t too clear, I did my best to edit them. The more I wrote the more clarity I had, and the better I saw my own state. I also gained a more and more practical understanding of the truth. I felt really fulfilled with this kind of practice. This experience showed me the importance of pursuing the truth. In all things, we have to seriously seek the truth, reflect on and know ourselves, and practice God’s words, then we can reap the rewards. Writing a personal testimony, pursuing the truth and pursuing a change in life disposition is crucial, it’s so important.

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