Coming to Know Myself Through Judgment

July 21, 2022

By Song Yu, Netherlands

In his life, if man wishes to be cleansed and achieve changes in his disposition, if he wishes to live out a life of meaning and fulfill his duty as a creature, then he must accept God’s chastisement and judgment, and must not allow God’s discipline and God’s smiting to depart from him, in order that he may free himself from the manipulation and influence of Satan, and live in the light of God. Know that God’s chastisement and judgment is the light, and the light of man’s salvation, and that there is no better blessing, grace or protection for man.

from “God’s Chastisement and Judgment Is the Light of Man’s Salvation” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs

Every time I sing this hymn, I think of an experience when I was new to the faith. At the time, the words of God, “God’s chastisement and judgment is the light, and the light of man’s salvation, and there is no better blessing, grace or protection for man,” weren’t totally clear for me. I felt like going through judgment and chastisement must be really painful, so why would God say that was protection and a blessing for mankind? Then later, I really experienced the judgment of God’s words, and I was pruned and dealt with so I came to personally understand this and felt how practical God’s words are.

I remember in late June 2015, I was elected to be a preacher serving five different churches. At first, I was nervous when I gathered with the leaders and deacons from those churches, worried that my understanding of the truth was too shallow, and I wouldn’t be helpful for others. So, I tried to prepare before every gathering, seriously considering God’s words to be discussed with a genuine burden. After fellowshiping on God’s words, I’d ask the others what difficulties they had. I was concerned they’d bring up issues I hadn’t experienced and I wouldn’t know how to answer, so I prayed, asking God to guide me to be an honest person and only fellowship on what I understood. If I didn’t understand it, I was frank with everyone that I didn’t have insight into it, then later I’d pray and do more seeking. After I practiced this way for a time, I gradually came to grasp some principles of the church’s work and I learned more about the job. I felt more motivated than I had at first, working really long hours. I wasn’t as intimidated in gatherings with church leaders anymore and I had some ideas for how to resolve issues. Sometimes when I heard brothers and sisters say I was so young, hadn’t been in the faith for long, but was so full of faith and so able to suffer and pay a price, that I pursued the truth, I felt really pleased with myself. Not long after that I managed some church elections. All the leaders and workers of the churches I was in charge of were selected, one after another. Seeing it turn out that way, I felt like I’d done alright in my work, so no wonder I’d been chosen as a preacher! It was because I had good caliber and I was a talented person in the church.

Then in late August of 2015, just when I felt like I was doing a pretty good job in my duty, an upper leader told me that because I was young, wasn’t mature in my humanity, and lacked life experience, I couldn’t resolve brothers’ and sisters’ actual problems, so based on the principles I wasn’t fit to serve as a preacher, and I should start training as a church leader. I didn’t dare say anything then, but I felt totally overwhelmed. I felt that even though my life experience was limited, I’d made fast progress since becoming a preacher and I’d learned quite a few principles of church work. I’d also managed some church elections on my own recently, and the others said I pursued the truth. I felt like having my duty adjusted that way wasn’t fair to me. Also, my understanding and caliber weren’t bad, and out of everyone I worked with, I was the quickest to respond and learn, so my potential for advancement had to be the greatest. Besides, out of several preachers I was the only one without family entanglements. I had wholehearted faith and was able to suffer and pay a price in my duty, so why was I transferred?

For several days, that was the only thing I could think about and I just couldn’t find any internal peace. I came before God and prayed, “God, I was transferred out of my duty. What’s the lesson I need to learn here? I can’t see my own problem—please guide me.” After that I read this passage of God’s words: “When confronting real-life problems, how should you know and understand God’s authority and His sovereignty? When you are faced with these problems and do not know how to understand, handle, and experience them, what attitude should you adopt to demonstrate your intention to submit, your desire to submit, and the reality of your submission to God’s sovereignty and arrangements? First you must learn to wait; then you must learn to seek; then you must learn to submit. ‘Waiting’ means waiting for the time of God, awaiting the people, events, and things that He has arranged for you, waiting for His will to reveal itself gradually to you. ‘Seeking’ means observing and understanding God’s thoughtful intentions for you through the people, events, and things that He has laid out, understanding the truth through them, understanding what humans must accomplish and the ways they must adhere to, understanding what results God means to achieve in humans and what accomplishments He means to attain in them. ‘Submitting,’ of course, refers to accepting the people, events, and things that God has orchestrated, accepting His sovereignty and, through it, coming to know how the Creator dictates man’s fate, how He supplies man with His life, how He works the truth within man” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I also realized that my duty had been changed, and though I didn’t understand God’s will or know the lesson I should learn, I should at least have an attitude of submission, and wait for and seek God’s will. If I stayed disgruntled the whole time, that wasn’t making things hard on others, but rebelling against God. Later, I prayed to God, ready to submit and do my best at being a church leader.

Then a couple months later, my partner, Sister Xu, told me churches were electing a preacher, and she heard the upper leader had nominated the candidates. Hearing her say this, I just couldn’t calm myself down. I immediately responded, “What? She nominated candidates? The principles for elections clearly state that no one is allowed to nominate candidates, and that’s the sort of thing Satan, the great red dragon does. Doing this is in violation of the principles.” My partner rushed to respond, “That’s something I heard, but I don’t know if it’s true. Don’t just go spread that around.” When she said that, I agreed verbally, but inside I kept on thinking about it. There’s no smoke without fire, so if the upper leader hadn’t done that, why would someone randomly fabricate it? She must have done it and been found out, which was why it was being talked about. I was a preacher before and she’d transferred me out of that position, and now she appointed candidates. She was really acting without principles. And so, I mentioned this to a leader in another church, Sister Lin. A little while later, Sister Lin told me that she’d come to an understanding of the issue in a co-workers’ meeting. The upper leader had chosen people for the election out of the slightly better church leaders. That wasn’t appointing candidates. The upper leader also said that by randomly spreading that rumor, I was disrupting church work. I felt really wronged when I heard that and felt like I didn’t have that sort of motive. I just briefly told Sister Lin about what I knew. How could I show my face after the upper leader said I had motives, and dissected me in front of everyone? I felt more wronged the more I thought about it, and I couldn’t hold my tears back. I was praying to God over and over, asking Him to guide me to learn a lesson. I was really depressed and miserable for a few days and I didn’t have energy in anything I did. Then in a gathering, I read a passage of God’s words in “A Warning to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth” that gave me some understanding of myself. God’s words say, “Those among brothers and sisters who are always giving vent to their negativity are lackeys of Satan, and they disturb the church. Such people must one day be expelled and eliminated. In their belief in God, if people do not have a heart of reverence for God, if they do not have a heart of obedience toward God, then not only will they be unable to do any work for Him, but on the contrary will become those who disturb His work and who defy Him. … People who genuinely believe in God always have Him in their hearts, and they always carry within them a God-revering heart, a God-loving heart. Those who believe in God should do things cautiously and prudently, and all that they do should be in accordance with God’s requirements and able to satisfy His heart. They should not be headstrong, doing whatever they please; that does not befit saintly propriety. People must not run amok, waving the flag of God all over the place while swaggering and swindling everywhere; this is the most rebellious sort of conduct. Families have their rules, and nations have their laws—and isn’t it even more so in the house of God? Aren’t the standards even stricter? Aren’t there even more administrative decrees? People are free to do what they want, but the administrative decrees of God cannot be altered at will. God is a God who does not tolerate offense from humans; He is a God who puts people to death. Do people really not know this already?” (The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words “lackeys of Satan” and “disturb the church” were so poignant and scary for me. Based on God’s words, telling Sister Lin the upper leader was appointing candidates without fully grasping the true situation was randomly spreading and sowing discord. Sister Xu clearly warned me that it was only something she had heard, and she didn’t know if it was true, but I just turned around and told Sister Lin about it. I wanted more people to think the upper leader wasn’t doing things by principle, that in something as important as an election, she was appointing candidates, doing things covertly so that people would become biased against her. Doing that was essentially undermining the upper leader, acting as Satan’s minion, disrupting the church’s work. I read another passage of God’s words later on. “Those who belong to Satan will be returned to Satan, while those who belong to God will surely go in search of the truth; this is decided by their natures. Let all those who follow Satan perish! No pity will be shown to such people. Let those who search for the truth be provided for, and may they take pleasure in God’s word to their hearts’ content. God is righteous; He would not show favoritism to anyone. If you are a devil, then you are incapable of practicing the truth; if you are someone who searches for the truth, then it is certain that you will not be taken captive by Satan. This is beyond all doubt” (“A Warning to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Reading God’s words, “Let all those who follow Satan perish,” I started to tremble in fear. If I didn’t repent, but kept doing things according to my own whims, acting as Satan’s minion, I’d end up exposed and cast out by God. And I pondered this: “Those who belong to Satan will be returned to Satan, while those who belong to God will surely go in search of the truth.” If I could seek the truth to address my transgressions and know myself, couldn’t I gain God’s mercy? Then I was wondering to myself why I had such a big reaction to Sister Xu telling me that the upper leader had appointed candidates. A couple months before that when my duty was changed, I was really unhappy about it and was really biased against the upper leader. So when I heard someone say that the upper leader was appointing candidates, I felt that she definitely wasn’t doing things according to principle, so I told Sister Lin about it, wanting to get her on my side and be biased against the upper leader, too. I was intentionally judging the upper leader and there was also an element of revenge. It was such a despicable, vicious motive! I was overcome with regret when I saw that ugly side of myself. If the upper leader hadn’t dissected the essence of my actions right away so everyone could see my real motives, once the fake news was spread to brothers and sisters, they would have felt biased against the upper leader and wouldn’t have been able to cooperate well with her. That would have directly impacted the church’s work. Afterward, I rushed to come before God to pray and repent. I said, “God, I’ve acted as Satan’s minion, disrupting and disturbing the work of God’s house. I don’t want to keep speaking and acting out of corruption. I want to understand my transgressions and evil deeds, and truly repent. Please guide me.”

I was praying and seeking before God during that time. Why was I so resistant to having my duty changed that once, even to the point that I was working for Satan, creating dissension among brothers and sisters, judging the upper leader? In my devotionals one day I read these words of God: “Those who hold themselves in high esteem in God’s presence are the most abject of men, while those who think themselves lowly are the most honored. And those who think they know the work of God and who are, moreover, capable of proclaiming the work of God to others with great fanfare even as they look directly at Him—these are the most ignorant of men. Such people are without the testimony of God, arrogant and full of conceit” (“All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “I exhort you all not to think yourselves more valuable than gold. If others can accept the judgment of God, why can’t you? How much higher do you stand above others? If others can bow their heads before the truth, why can’t you, too?” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words of judgment and revelation went straight to the heart for me. I was precisely that kind of arrogant and conceited person. I’d served as a preacher and learned some principles, so I felt like I had good caliber and I was a quick study, that I was a talented person in the church and should be cultivated. Hearing brothers and sisters praise me for being able to suffer, pay a price in my duty, and seeking the truth at such a young age, I started to think a lot of myself. I gave myself the label of a truth-seeker. The upper leader fellowshiped with me on the principles, and said that at the time my actual situation made me unsuitable to serve as a preacher, but I couldn’t accept that. I even felt that having my duty changed was the upper leader trying to make things hard for me, that she wasn’t following principles. I thought too much of myself, I thought I was great, without remotely seeing what I was really made of. I was also totally convinced that I was well-suited to being a preacher, but in fact, I hadn’t been a believer for long and didn’t have much real experience. Facing some practical problems, such as church leaders not collaborating well, I didn’t have the practical experience to help them. Two months after my duty was changed I still wasn’t happy about it, and didn’t have even the most basic acceptance of it. I was even covertly judging the upper leader’s actions as being contrary to the principles. I was arrogant beyond all reason. I couldn’t solve real problems using the truth and didn’t know how to experience God’s work. Also, I didn’t truly submit or learn lessons when facing issues. Just those things were enough to show that I didn’t have much practical experience, didn’t understand the truth, and had no knowledge of the corruption I displayed. How could I resolve the actual problems in those churches? When the upper leader changed my duty, she said I didn’t have much life experience and couldn’t solve real problems. Without reality revealing this, I never would have seen how arrogant I was.

Then I read this passage in God’s words after that: “Today God judges you, chastises you, and condemns you, but you must know that the point of your condemnation is for you to know yourself. He condemns, curses, judges, and chastises so that you might know yourself, so that your disposition might change, and, moreover, so that you might know your worth, and see that all of God’s actions are righteous and in accordance with His disposition and the requirements of His work, that He works in accordance with His plan for man’s salvation, and that He is the righteous God who loves, saves, judges, and chastises man” (“You Should Put Aside the Blessings of Status and Understand God’s Will to Bring Salvation to Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I was really moved after reading God’s words. My duty being changed was God’s love and protection for me. If that hadn’t happened, I still wouldn’t know just how arrogant I am. The upper leader exposing me, and God’s harsh judgment and revelation really cut to the quick for me, but helped me see my arrogance, my lack of reverence for God, that I was acting as Satan’s minion for my own status and benefit, and disrupting the church’s work. God stopped me in my evil tracks in time, allowing me to learn something about myself.

After that, I just did my best as a church leader. My partner, Sister Xu, was taking care of her family on top of doing her duty. I didn’t have those kinds of household responsibilities, so my time was a bit freer. When the brothers and sisters had difficulties, I went to fellowship and resolve things more often. At first, I was understanding and forgiving of Sister Xu, but after a while, I started to feel like I was more engaged than her. Sometimes I saw that when things cropped up in her family, she wouldn’t follow up on or handle church affairs right away, so I’d feel some disdain toward her. I felt she had too much affection for her family, and over time it would hold up the church’s work. Sometimes I shared fellowship with Sister Xu, but seeing her look a bit troubled, I’d take a tone of disdain and contempt toward her. Sister Xu felt constrained by me, afraid that if she did something wrong I’d be difficult with her. Since I didn’t have much understanding of my own arrogant disposition, my old problems started cropping up again before long.

Later on, Sister Xu became a candidate to be a preacher, and then was elected. That was hard for me to accept when I found out. I was thinking that I couldn’t be a candidate just because I was young, but how did I not match up to Sister Xu? I had better caliber than her, I had more energy in my duty, and I wasn’t wrapped up in family. Also, I’d recently been pruned and dealt with, I’d failed and been exposed, and I’d gained some understanding of myself. I was still showing some arrogance, but I’d already changed quite a bit. Now Sister Xu was elected as a preacher, responsible for the work of several churches, but I was only in charge of one church, so did that really mean I was that lacking? I was so young—wasn’t just staying in that church as a leader a waste of my talent? With my caliber, I could really only take charge of one church? Couldn’t I play an important role in God’s house? Why didn’t the upper leader see my progress and my change? A preacher, Sister Zhang, also pruned and dealt with me in gatherings several times in a row. She said, “In my past interactions with you, I felt like you had really good humanity. I’m surprised to see how arrogant and self-important you are. With a little caliber, you look down on others and constrain them at every turn. You’re constantly pulling a long face with people. Now I see you don’t have good humanity.” I was devastated to hear her say that. Why did she have to talk about my problems in every gathering? Why was she so hard on me? I’d just shown a bit of corruption, I’d been a little arrogant, but was it necessary to talk to me like that? When I really couldn’t take it, I’d run into the bathroom to cry in secret. I felt like a knife had been put through my heart. I was calling out to God in prayer every day, asking Him to guide me to learn a lesson.

During that time I read a lot of God’s words of judgment and revelation. One of those passages made a particularly deep impression on me. God’s words say, “It would be best for you to dedicate more effort to the truth of knowing the self. Why have you not found favor with God? Why is your disposition abominable to Him? Why does your speech arouse His loathing? As soon as you have demonstrated a bit of loyalty, you sing your own praises, and you demand a reward for a small contribution; you look down upon others when you have shown a modicum of obedience, and become contemptuous of God upon accomplishing some petty task. For receiving God, you ask for money, gifts, and compliments. It makes you heartsore to give a coin or two; when you give ten, you wish for blessings and to be treated with distinction. A humanity such as yours is positively offensive to speak or hear of. Is there anything praiseworthy in your words and actions? Those who perform their duty and those who do not; those who lead and those who follow; those who receive God and those who do not; those who donate and those who do not; those who preach and those who receive the word, and so on: all such men praise themselves. Do you not find this laughable? Knowing full well that you believe in God, you nevertheless cannot be compatible with God. Knowing full well that you are utterly without merit, you persist in boasting all the same. Do you not feel your sense has deteriorated to the point that you no longer have self-control? With sense like this, how are you fit to associate with God? Are you not afraid for yourselves at this juncture? Your disposition has already deteriorated to the point where you are incapable of compatibility with God. This being so, is your faith not laughable? Is your faith not preposterous? How are you going to approach your future? How are you going to choose which path to take?” (“Those Who Are Incompatible With Christ Are Surely Opponents of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words perfectly revealed my state. After learning some principles in my duty, I felt like I had great caliber, that I was talented. When I made some sacrifices and paid a bit of a price, I talked myself up, and felt like I pursued the truth. When Sister Xu and I were partnered in our duty, I did a tiny bit more work and felt like I pursued more than her, that I was better. Seeing Sister Xu held back by family affairs, I wasn’t understanding of her, but I devalued her and looked down on her, and I tended to give her dirty looks. I didn’t have any love for her at all, but always held her back. That was totally revealing an arrogant disposition, and it was disgusting to God. Even though Sister Xu did have family entanglements, she had good humanity and was solid in doing her duty. Also, her fellowship was really practical, and she could resolve others’ difficulties. Like during the busy seasons in farming, some people were late for gatherings or didn’t attend regularly. I’d fellowship with them that this is the critical time for pursuing the truth, they’d gain nothing from always being busy with the life of the flesh, and a fool will only ruin himself with his greed for comfort. I’d fellowship all those empty platitudes, and they’d all nod their heads in agreement, but afterward they’d stay busy with their farming work and keep showing up late for gatherings. But Sister Xu had some family entanglements, so she could understand their real-life struggles. She’d fellowship with the brothers and sisters on her experiences to help them. They’d listen and feel it was really practical, then usually go back to gathering regularly again. Both of us fellowshiped with the brothers and sisters. I couldn’t resolve their actual problems, but Sister Xu was able to get real results with her fellowship. From this it could be seen that she really did have some practical experience.

I read another passage of God’s words later on that helped me understand what reality is. God’s words say, “Holding up God’s words and being able to explain them unabashedly does not mean you are in possession of reality; things are not as simple as you imagine. Whether you are in possession of reality is not based on what you say; rather, it is based on what you live out. Only when God’s words become your life and your natural expression can you be said to have reality, and only then can you be counted as having gained true understanding and actual stature. You must be able to withstand examination over long periods of time, and you must be able to live out the likeness that is required by God. This must not be mere posturing; it must flow from you naturally. Only then will you truly possess reality, and only then will you have gained life. … Woe to those who are arrogant and haughty, and woe to those who have no knowledge of themselves; such people are adept at talking, yet fare the worst when putting their words into action. At the smallest sign of trouble, these people begin to have doubts, and the thought of quitting steals into their minds. They do not possess any reality; they merely have theories that are above religion, without any of the reality required now by God. I am most disgusted by those who only speak of theories without possessing any reality. They shout the loudest when carrying out their work, but as soon as they are faced with reality, they fall apart. Does this not show that these people have no reality? No matter how ferocious the wind and waves, if you can remain standing without allowing a shred of doubt to enter your mind, and can stand firm and remain free from denial, even when there is no one else left, then you will be counted as having true understanding and genuinely in possession of reality. If you turn whichever way the wind blows—if you follow the majority, and learn to parrot the speech of others—then no matter how eloquent you might be, it will not be proof that you possess reality. Therefore, I suggest that you not be premature in shouting out empty words. Do you know what God is going to do? Do not behave like another Peter, lest you bring shame upon yourself and lose the ability to hold your head high; that will not do anyone any good. Most people have no real stature. Though God has performed a great deal of work, He has not brought reality down upon people; to be more exact, He has never personally chastised anyone. Some people have been exposed by such trials, with their sinful hands reaching farther and farther out, thinking that it is easy to get the better of God, that they can do whatever they want. Since they are not able to withstand even this sort of trial, more challenging trials are out of the question for them, as is possession of reality. Are they not just trying to fool God? Possessing reality is not something that can be faked, nor is reality something that you can attain by knowing it. It depends on your actual stature, as well as whether or not you can withstand all trials. Do you understand?” (“Only Putting the Truth Into Practice Is Possessing Reality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words are perfectly clear. Whether a person possesses reality isn’t just about what they say, but it’s about whether they practice the truth, if they testify to God in what they live out. If you just understand doctrine and think that means you possess reality, that’s arrogant and lacking self-knowledge. I generally felt like I was full of faith, I’d handle the church’s work in a timely way, I was enthusiastic in my duty and I seemed to be able to submit to God, but after Sister Xu was elected to be a preacher I was thrown off balance. I felt like I was better than her, more capable, so why wasn’t I chosen? Complaints sprung up in my heart, and I felt it wasn’t fair to me. Based on what I displayed, I didn’t really know myself and I couldn’t submit to the situation God had set up. I didn’t possess the reality of the truth at all. I just had some enthusiasm in my duty and could spout some doctrine. I mistook those things for my actual stature, but in fact, I really didn’t understand the brothers’ and sisters’ actual difficulties and I couldn’t solve their real problems. Letting me serve as a church leader was already giving me a chance, but I didn’t know myself at all and wanted to fight to be a preacher. I was arrogant beyond all reason. I wanted to be particularly valued by God, which was impossible. God wouldn’t like someone who is out of control and is devoid of reason. Seeing I had an arrogant disposition and didn’t make any changes, and my behavior was disgusting and odious to God, I felt a lot of remorse. I felt like I was too numb and really didn’t know myself. If Sister Zhang hadn’t dealt with me, I still wouldn’t be able to see my problems. I felt so grateful to God for setting up that kind of situation for me.

After that, I read another passage of God’s words that helped me understand God’s will. God’s words say, “When you suffer a little constraint or hardship, it is good for you; if you were given an easy time of it you would be ruined, and then how could you be protected? Today, it is because you are chastised, judged, and cursed that you are given protection. It is because you have suffered much that you are protected. If not, you would have long since fallen into depravity. This is not making things difficult for you intentionally—man’s nature is hard to change, and it must be thus for their dispositions to be changed. Today, you do not even possess the conscience or sense that Paul possessed, nor do you even have his self-awareness. You always have to be pressured, and you always have to be chastised and judged in order to awaken your spirits. Chastisement and judgment are what is best for your life. And when necessary, there must also be the chastisement of the facts coming upon you; only then will you fully submit. Your natures are such that without chastisement and cursing, you would be unwilling to bow your heads, unwilling to submit. Without the facts before your eyes, there would be no effect. You are too lowly and worthless in character! Without chastisement and judgment, it would be difficult for you to be conquered, and hard for your unrighteousness and disobedience to be overcome. Your old nature is so deeply rooted. If you were placed upon the throne, you would have no idea of heaven’s height and earth’s depth, much less of where you were headed. You do not even know where you came from, so how could you know the Lord of creation? Without the timely chastisement and curses of today, your final day would have long since arrived. That is to say nothing of your fate—would not that be even more in imminent danger? Without this timely chastisement and judgment, who knows how arrogant you would grow, or how depraved you would become. This chastisement and judgment have brought you to today, and they have preserved your existence. If you were still ‘educated’ using the same methods as those of your ‘father,’ who knows what realm you would enter into! You have absolutely no ability to control and reflect upon yourselves. For people like you, if you just follow and obey without causing any interference or disruptions, My aims will be achieved. Should you not do better in accepting the chastisement and judgment of today? What other choices do you have?” (“Practice (6)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). While reading God’s words, scene after scene flashed through my mind, from being a preacher to having my duty changed. I could truly feel that God’s judgment and pruning were His protection for me. I was so arrogant that I didn’t know what was what, plus I was really stubborn and rebellious at heart. If the facts hadn’t come upon me over and over that way, I don’t know how far I would have gone in my arrogance. I also really felt how practical God’s love for mankind is. Over and over, God set up situations to warn me and help me come before Him to reflect on myself. His words guided me, they judged and revealed my rebelliousness and corruption, making me know myself and repent to God. God takes so much responsibility for people’s lives. He’s so lovely and is so worthy of our love. The real meaning of these words, “God’s chastisement and judgment is the light, and the light of man’s salvation, and there is no better blessing, grace or protection for man,” is something I’ve truly come to understand a bit. If people want their disposition to be cleansed and changed, that’s really inseparable from God’s judgment and chastisement. I made a prayer of submission to God, ready to really stay within that duty, and even if I was never promoted, I was ready and willing to submit to God’s arrangements.

A little while later, I got a letter from the upper leader telling me that I’d been promoted and would be doing a duty in another place. I’d never imagined that. I had so much gratitude toward God at the time and felt how lovely He is! The reality is that God wasn’t trying to get me stuck there, unable to do another duty, but I was just problematic and contrary about everything, so I needed God to set things up that way to cleanse and change me. I also really experienced God’s earnest intentions to save me. Thank God!

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