I Now Know the Benefits of Writing Experiential Testimony Articles

May 22, 2024

By Guang Chun, China

In 2020, I was a church leader. I saw that some brothers and sisters wrote a few good experiential testimony articles, and I envied them. However, I didn’t place much importance on writing these articles, always thinking that only people with caliber and writing skills could write good ones. My caliber was poor, and my understanding of the truth was shallow. For me, writing articles was a waste of time, and I might as well use that time to do a bit more work. If I didn’t do good work, it would look like I didn’t have a sense of burden, and the brothers and sisters would think poorly of me. On top of that, writing articles was a personal matter, and it was up to me whether or not I did it. I was better off working and gathering a bit more so that the brothers and sisters would praise my sense of burden. Therefore, I didn’t want to take the time to write articles. I went on like this, each day only focusing on doing work and gathering with the brothers and sisters. When things happened to me, I rarely self-reflected. Sometimes, I was able to recognize what kind of corrupt disposition I had revealed, but I didn’t seek the truth to resolve it. The brothers and sisters I was partnered with pointed out that I didn’t focus on life entry, yet I still reasoned with them and was unaccepting. Afterward, although I was busy with gatherings every day, since I didn’t put importance on self-reflecting, self-understanding, or seeking the truth, I didn’t have any life entry, and during gatherings, I could only speak some doctrines or words of exhortation and encouragement, unable to resolve actual issues. One time, a supervisor said that he couldn’t do actual work, that he was living in a negative state and didn’t want to do supervising duties. I couldn’t see the root cause of his negativity clearly and didn’t know how to resolve it. It was only resolved when the sister I was partnered with went to fellowship with him later on. Back then, I didn’t reflect on my state and still thought that running about and gathering more meant that I had a sense of burden. After a period of time, my heart grew empty, and I had no gains whatsoever.

One time, a sister asked me whether I had written experiential testimony articles. She fellowshipped with me, saying that writing articles could impel us to quiet our hearts and seek the truth, achieving life entry. Later, I read a passage of God’s words which reversed my attitude on writing testimony articles. God says: “What you have received is not merely My truth, My way, and My life, but a vision and revelation greater than that of John. You understand many more mysteries, and have also looked upon My true countenance; you have accepted more of My judgment and know more of My righteous disposition. And so, though you were born in the last days, your understanding is that of the former and the past, and you have also experienced the things of today, and this was all personally done by Me. What I ask of you is not excessive, for I have given you so much, and you have seen much in Me. Thus, I ask you to bear witness for Me to the saints of ages past, and this is My heart’s only desire(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. What Do You Know of Faith?). In these few years of believing in God, I had come to understand some truths, gained some knowledge about my corrupt dispositions, and transformed my views on some things. This was the result of God doing work on me. In writing about what I’d gained, I would be testifying to God; it was my responsibility, not to mention my duty. I should treat it as an obligation; that would be in line with God’s intention. However, I had never treated writing experiential testimony as a duty. Instead, I thought of it as something optional, and regarded it with an attitude of great indifference. I was not proactive at all. I had experienced God’s work; if I didn’t write down my experiences and testify to God, I would be covering up His grace and blessings and would lack a conscience and reason.

After this, I had a vague awareness that my unwillingness to write experiential articles and testify to God was a manifestation of not loving the truth. At the time, I thought of a passage of God’s words, which I then found and read. Almighty God says: “The most obvious state of people who are averse to the truth is that they are not interested in the truth and positive things, they are even repulsed by them and loathe them, and they especially like to follow trends. They do not accept in their hearts the things that God loves and what God requires people to do. Instead, they are dismissive and indifferent toward them, and some people even often despise the standards and principles that God requires of man. They are repulsed by positive things, and they always feel resistant, opposed, and full of contempt toward them in their hearts. This is the primary manifestation of being averse to the truth. … There are many people who believe in God who like to do work for Him and run around enthusiastically for Him, and when it comes to putting their gifts and strengths to use, indulging their preferences and showing off, they have boundless energy. But if you ask them to practice the truth and act according to the truth 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. Why is it that they have energy for showing off? And why is it that they have no energy for practicing the truth? What is the problem here? People all like to distinguish themselves; they all covet empty glory. Everyone has inexhaustible energy when it comes to believing in God for the sake of gaining blessings and rewards, so why do they grow listless, why are they despondent when it comes to practicing the truth and rebelling against the flesh? Why does this happen? It proves that people’s hearts are adulterated. They believe in God entirely for the sake of gaining blessings—to put it plainly, they do so in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. Without blessings or benefits to pursue, people grow listless and despondent, and have no enthusiasm. This is all caused by a corrupt disposition that is averse to the truth. When controlled by this disposition, people are unwilling to choose the path of pursuing the truth, they go their own way, and they choose the incorrect path—they know full well that it is wrong to pursue fame, gain, and status and yet still cannot bear to do without these things or to put them aside, and they still pursue them, walking the path of Satan. In this case, they are not following God, but following Satan. Everything they do is in service of Satan, and they are servants of Satan(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). God exposed that people who are averse to the truth like negative things rather than positive things. This was how I was. If I could run around and do more work to show the brothers and sisters that I had a sense of burden, or if I could show myself off and get the superior leader to think highly of me, I would put unlimited effort toward it, not hesitating to spend any amount of time or energy. Meanwhile, when it came to writing experiential testimony articles, although I knew all too well that it was in line with God’s intention and beneficial to my life entry, I thought it would delay my work, and I was particularly opposed to it. I would also find reasons and make excuses, saying I was busy with work and had no time to write. In reality, it wasn’t that I didn’t have time, but that my nature was averse to the truth. I didn’t want to write articles, nor did I want to put effort into pursuing the truth. I saw that my attitude toward the truth was very cold, and that I was repulsed by, opposed to, and averse to positive things. I was walking a mistaken path that went against God’s demands. Understanding this, I was scared, and I wanted to reverse course and change.

I also reflected and understood that my unwillingness to write articles was influenced by a fallacious view of mine; I thought that I wasn’t a skilled writer and couldn’t write good testimony articles. Looking at it now, this was a false view. When writing articles, it doesn’t matter how good of a writer one is. Someone can’t write a good testimony article just because they use flowery language. What’s important is whether someone has real experience and understanding. Without experience, one can only write empty doctrines regardless of their writing skills. Understanding this, my mentality changed quite a bit, and I came before God and prayed to Him, “God, I’ve always placed importance on outwardly rushing around and doing work, and I haven’t come before You to quietly ponder Your words. I’ve wasted so much time not pursuing the truth. From now on, I’m willing to quiet myself in front of You and seek the truth and resolve problems.”

Then, I read more of God’s words: “Regarding work, man believes that work is to run around for God, preach everywhere, and expend for His sake. Though this belief is correct, it is too one-sided; what God asks of man is not solely to run around for Him; beyond just this, this work is concerned with ministry and provision within the spirit. Many brothers and sisters, even after all these years of experience, have never thought about working for God, because work as conceived by man is incongruous with what God asks. Therefore, man has no interest whatsoever in the matter of work, and this is precisely the reason why the entry of man is also quite one-sided. All of you should begin your entry with working for God, so that you may better undergo every aspect of experience. This is what you should enter into. Work refers not to running around for God, but to whether the life of man and what man lives out are able to give God enjoyment. Work refers to people using their devotion to God and their knowledge of God to testify about God, and also to minister to man. This is man’s responsibility and this is what all men should understand. One could say that your entry is your work, and that you are seeking to enter during the course of working for God. Experiencing God’s work does not merely mean that you know how to eat and drink of His word; more importantly, you must know how to testify about God and be able to serve God and be able to minister to and provide for man. This is work, and it is also your entry; this is what every person should accomplish. There are many who only focus on running around for God and preaching everywhere, yet overlook their individual experience and neglect their entry into the spiritual life. This is what has led those who serve God to become those who resist God(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Work and Entry (2)). After reading God’s words, I understood that one must have life experience to truly perform the church’s work. Only when one fellowships on the truth and resolves actual problems are they doing actual work, and only when one produces results in their work are they truly doing their duty. In the past, I believed that if I ran around and gathered more with brothers and sisters, that meant I was doing actual work. This is an incorrect view that does not comply with God’s words at all. Thinking back on all the times that I gathered and fellowshipped with the brothers and sisters, I was always unable to see through to the root cause of the problem when dealing with their states and difficulties. I couldn’t point out the crux of the issue, only speaking some words and doctrines to exhort them or giving them some regulations for how to act, totally unable to show the path to practice. No matter how much I fellowshipped, this was impractical and wouldn’t resolve the brothers and sisters’ problems. The brothers and sisters didn’t know how to experience God’s work, and they lived inside their corrupt dispositions when encountering difficulties. They couldn’t stop themselves from being negative and weak, and the problems in their work went on existing all the same. How could this be called doing my duty? I was fooling and cheating both God and the brothers and sisters. Only at this time did I finally see clearly that a superficial sense of burden is not a true sense of burden. Working and running about more does not mean that one is loyally doing their duty, much less that they are doing actual work. Having a true sense of burden toward one’s duty does not mean running around everywhere. Rather, it means spiritual supply in life, focusing on experiencing God’s work in one’s duty and seeking the truth when things happen, and trying to recognize what one lacks and find the principles of practice, then using one’s experiential knowledge to resolve the brothers and sisters’ actual difficulties and issues. Only this enables one to achieve a good result in their duty, and only this is edifying and beneficial to others’ life entry. I also came to understand that writing experiential testimony articles could impel me to quiet my heart, ponder God’s words, and self-reflect. Only if I understood more truths and gained knowledge about my corrupt dispositions while learning how to resolve them could I see clearly and resolve the brothers and sisters’ states and problems. To do my duty well, I had to place importance on life entry, and writing articles was a great path to pursuing the truth. Especially as a leader, I had to put an even greater focus on pursuing the truth and take the initiative to write articles testifying to God. Only then could I do my duty well. Seeing that writing testimony articles was not an optional matter, I had no excuse not to write them.

I thought of another passage of God’s words: “No matter how many people a church has, the leader is the head. So what role does this leader play among the members? They lead all of God’s chosen people in the church. So what effect do they have throughout the whole church? If this leader takes the wrong path, all those in the church will follow them down the wrong path, which will have a huge impact on all of God’s chosen people in the church. Take Paul for example. He led many of the churches he founded and God’s chosen people. When Paul went astray, the churches and God’s chosen people he led also went astray. So, when leaders go their own way, they are not the only ones who are impacted, the churches and God’s chosen people they lead are impacted as well. If a leader is a right person, one who is walking the right path and pursues and practices the truth, then the people they lead will eat and drink God’s words properly and pursue the truth properly, and, at the same time, the leader’s life experience and progress will be visible to others, and will impact others. So, what is the correct path that a leader should walk? It is being able to lead others to an understanding of the truth and an entry into the truth, and to lead others before God(The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item One: They Try to Win People Over). Reading God’s words, I truly understood deeply that as a leader and worker, the path I followed was very important. If I didn’t focus on pursuing the truth in my duty and only pursued getting people to think highly of me, rushing around and busying myself for the sake of reputation and status and relying on my intellect and gifts to work and preach, then the brothers and sisters I led wouldn’t place importance on life entry either and would only live in a state of doing work. As a leader, not having life entry wasn’t just a personal matter; it would also affect and harm the lives of many brothers and sisters. Understanding this, I felt self-reproachful and sad, and I prayed to God, “God, I don’t pursue the truth, and I’m walking an incorrect path. I’ve been neglectful and failed in my work as a leader. I’m indebted to the brothers and sisters, and I’m ashamed at how I’ve handled Your commission. God! I’m willing to reverse course; please guide me to walk the path toward pursuing the truth.”

Afterward, I fellowshipped with the brothers and sisters about God’s intention, and also about my own experience and understanding. Later, the brothers and sisters’ states saw some improvement. Some of them began to self-reflect and try to know themselves when they ran into problems and difficulties in their duties, learning to find a path from God’s words and not live inside a state of negativity. They gradually came to achieve some results in their duties. Seeing such an outcome, I felt that this was the work and guidance of the Holy Spirit, that it was the result of practicing according to God’s words. I also came to understand that if one wants to do their duty well, focusing on pursuing the truth and having life entry are extremely important. From then on, I began to place importance on seeking the truth. Whenever I experienced and understood something, I would practice writing about it. Later on, I wrote several experiential testimony articles and felt that I’d made some gains. In some articles, I targeted a fallacious viewpoint and sought the truth to understand it. When I quieted myself before God and pondered His words, I was able to understand what was wrong with this fallacious view. At the same time, I could clearly see that this fallacious view was blocking me from practicing the truth and affecting the work. In other articles, I self-reflected on a corrupt disposition I had revealed with regard to a particular matter. From what God’s words exposed, I saw that I was selfish and despicable and didn’t live like a true human, and I felt I’d been too deeply corrupted by Satan. Also, in the past, I hadn’t focused on life entry and couldn’t resolve the brothers and sisters’ problems. However, after I practiced writing articles for a period of time, I gradually came to understand some truths. There were some problems that I could see more clearly, and it was beneficial for the brothers and sisters when I fellowshipped about them.

Through reflecting on my attitude toward writing testimony articles, I saw that I wasn’t someone who pursued the truth, that I didn’t place importance on my life entry, and that I had many incorrect views keeping me from pursuing the truth. All this led to me only focusing on doing work when performing my duty, and I was walking the path of rendering service. Doing this, I wouldn’t gain the truth no matter how busy I was on the surface. I also came to understand what it means to truly perform one’s duty and how to practice in order to have a true sense of burden in my duty. I understood too that writing experiential testimony articles was a great path to pursuing the truth. That I can now have these understandings and gains is all due to God’s work and guidance.

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