I Will No Longer Feel Inferior Because of My Clumsy Speech

March 2, 2024

By Kerry, the Philippines

From a young age, I was relatively introverted and expressed myself poorly. When interacting with strangers, I didn’t have much courage to speak, and when I was around a lot of people, I felt very nervous. I was always afraid that I wouldn’t express myself clearly and would make a fool of myself. Because of this, I often felt inferior to others. In August of 2023, the church arranged for me to water newcomers. Doing this duty required me to frequently gather with newcomers, and I also had to communicate with the other watering personnel. Facing such situations, I frequently felt nervous, and feared that when it was my turn to fellowship, I wouldn’t speak clearly, and then what would the brothers and sisters think of me?

One time, Stacy, the sister I was partnered with, took me to gather with newcomers. There were as many as 40 or 50 people there. When I saw this scene, I couldn’t help but get nervous. There were way too many people. How disgraceful would it be to fellowship poorly in front of this crowd? They would think, “If you’re like this, not even speaking understandably, can you really water us?” Wouldn’t they look down on me? Thinking of this, I couldn’t calm down, and my heart was very agitated. Especially when I saw that in Stacy’s fellowship, her thinking was clear and the content was practical, I was very envious. I was also very upset, and I feared that with so many people there, as soon as I got nervous, my mind would go blank and I wouldn’t be able to fellowship. How embarrassing would that be? What would the newcomers think of me? Thinking of this, I decided that I wasn’t going to speak. I would just play the role of auditor! So, the whole gathering passed without my saying a single word. When I gathered together with other watering personnel, I was also like this. Seeing that all of them were relatively good at expressing themselves, I became envious. Thinking that my self-expression was unsatisfactory and unpresentable to the public, I was even less confident with my speaking. I was very depressed, and thought, “We are all doing watering duties, so how can the gap between us be so big? I never say anything; won’t they think that I cannot fellowship at all and that I’m a real disappointment?” I was somewhat negative, and even thought, “Back when it was arranged for me to do watering duties, wasn’t that a mistake? To do this duty, one must fellowship on the truth and be good at expressing themselves. I’m so ineloquent that I’m afraid I can’t do this duty.” But I thought then that which duty someone does at which stage is determined by God, and I didn’t want to be unworthy of His thoughtfulness. But I would often have to speak in front of many people in the future; what should I do? For those few days, every day I was living in suffering, and I couldn’t escape from this mood.

One day, I talked to a sister about my state, and she had me read a passage of God’s words: “If you often have a sense of accusation in your life, if your heart can find no rest, if you are without peace or joy, and are often beset by worry and anxiety about all kinds of things, what does this demonstrate? Merely that you do not practice the truth, do not stand firm in your testimony to God. When you live amid the disposition of Satan, you are liable to often fail to practice the truth, to turn your back on the truth, to be selfish and vile; you only uphold your image, your name and status, and your interests. Always living for yourself brings you great pain. You have so many selfish desires, entanglements, fetters, misgivings, and vexations that you do not have the least peace or joy. To live for the sake of corrupted flesh is to suffer excessively. Those who pursue the truth are different. The more they understand the truth, the more free and liberated they become; the more they practice the truth, the more they have peace and joy. When they obtain the truth, they will live completely in the light, enjoy God’s blessings, and have no pain at all(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Life Entry Begins With the Performance of Duty). God’s words had exposed my true state, and I understood why I had been in such pain during this time. It was because I was always living in a state of vanity and pride and not practicing the truth. No matter whether I was gathering with newcomers or communicating with watering personnel, I didn’t dare to truly express myself, and was always afraid that others would look down on me if I fellowshiped poorly. I thought over and over and was full of worries about my own vanity and pride, and all I thought about was my pride and my interests. I was only in unbearable pain because I spent all day living inside my corrupt disposition. By reading God’s words, I gained some understanding of my problem.

A few days later, the person in charge said that from then on, we would take turns leading the communication between watering personnel. Hearing these words, I couldn’t help but get nervous again, thinking, “Now, I’m facing the brothers and sisters who do the same duty as me. There are 11 of them altogether. My fellowshiping on truths regarding vision is already not as good as theirs, and now I’ll even be in charge of gatherings. With my inability to express myself, if I get nervous when it comes time to fellowship and I stammer and stutter and my thinking is unclear, then what will everyone think of me?” A few days later, it was the day of a gathering, and the person in charge called me and urged me to participate. Even though I wasn’t leading the gathering, I still struggled internally. I was afraid that if I went and was asked to fellowship, I wouldn’t say anything, and that it would be the greatest humiliation. I didn’t have the courage to participate. For several days after that, I felt like I had a rock stuck in my heart and couldn’t breathe. Even though I had avoided that day, would I be able to keep avoiding forever? I thought that maybe I truly was not suited to do watering duties, but when I thought of giving up, I reproached myself, and felt that I owed God. Only when I read these words of God did my state reverse course. God’s words say: “Some people have been introverted since childhood, not fond of talking, and struggle to socialize. Even as adults in their thirties or forties, they still can’t overcome this personality: They aren’t adept at speech or conversation, nor are they good at interaction. After they become a leader, this personality trait becomes a certain limitation and hindrance in their work and often causes them distress and frustration, so that they feel constrained. Introversion and reluctance to speak are manifestations of normal humanity. Since they are manifestations of normal humanity, are they considered transgressions to God? No, they are not transgressions, and God will handle them correctly. Regardless of your problems, shortcomings, or flaws, none of these are issues in God’s eyes. God looks at how you practice the truth, seek the truth, act according to the truth principles, and follow God’s way under your existing normal human conditions—these are what God looks at. Therefore, do not let the basic conditions such as normal human caliber, abilities, instincts, personality, habits, living patterns, etc., restrict you. Of course, do not invest your energy and time in trying to overcome these basic conditions either, nor attempt to change them. … Whatever your original personality has been, that remains your personality. Do not try to change your personality for the sake of attaining salvation; this is a human fallacious idea—your personality is an objective fact that you cannot change. Objectively speaking, the result that God wants to achieve in His work has nothing to do with your personality. Whether you can attain salvation is also unrelated to your personality. In addition, whether you are a person who practices the truth and has the truth reality has nothing to do with your personality. Therefore, do not try to change your personality because you are doing certain duties or in charge of certain tasks—this is an erroneous idea. What should you do then? Regardless of your personality or inherent conditions, you should adhere to and practice the truth principles. Ultimately, God does not assess whether you follow His way or can attain salvation based on your personality. God does not consider what inherent caliber, abilities, talents, gifts, or skills you possess, and He also does not evaluate how much you have restrained your bodily instincts and needs. Instead, God looks at whether, while following God and doing your duties, you are practicing His words, whether you have the intention and aspiration to pursue the truth, and ultimately, whether you have achieved practicing the truth and following God’s way. This is what God looks at. Do you understand this? (Yes, I understand.)” (The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth II. How to Pursue the Truth (3)). Reading God’s words, I was very touched, and I felt somewhat liberated. I understood that God didn’t want to change people’s instincts and personalities, but rather their corrupt dispositions. Personality defects are manifestations of normal humanity which God does not condemn. I had always had a certain view; I thought that I was introverted and bad at expressing myself, and that I wasn’t suited to do watering duties. Whenever I encountered extroverted people who expressed themselves well, it would feel like I was being constrained, and I was always afraid of what people would think of me if I expressed myself poorly. I felt inferior and was shy, feeling even more that I could not do this duty. It turns out that this was a paranoid view of mine. My being introverted and not expressing myself well did not affect my performance of my duty. Thinking of when I did other duties in the past, at the time, I had diligently tried to ponder God’s words, and when diligently doing my duty, I could achieve some results. When gathering and fellowshiping, I also gained some enlightenment and illumination. Even though I couldn’t express myself as well as others, it wasn’t that I couldn’t express anything clearly at all. In fact, what God had given me was enough. It was mainly that I had been constrained by vanity and pride, and feared that if I fellowshiped poorly, I’d make a fool of myself. I also always used my introversion and being bad with words as an excuse, and didn’t contemplate how I should resolve these difficulties in my duty, let alone reflect on my corrupt disposition. I lived inside my vanity and pride, unable to escape. God’s words made me understand that my approach to resolving problems was wrong, and I shouldn’t always feel inferior and negative because I was introverted and not good at expressing myself, because one’s personality is determined by God and cannot be changed, and it is not a corrupt disposition. All I could do was pursue the truth, resolve my corrupt disposition, and no longer be constrained by vanity and pride. This way, I would be relaxed and free. Later, I practiced according to God’s words, and acknowledged and faced my personality defects. In areas in which I was up to the task, I did my best to take action, and in those in which I wasn’t up to par, I worked with the sisters I was partnered with and learned from them to make up for my weaknesses. I no longer felt inferior and sad because I was introverted and not good with words.

Later, when I talked about my state with a sister, she had me read a passage of God’s words. Almighty God says: “Antichrists’ cherishment of their reputation and status goes beyond that of normal people, and is something within their disposition and essence; it is not a temporary interest, or the transient effect of their surroundings—it is something within their life, their bones, and so it is their essence. This is to say that in everything antichrists do, their first consideration is their own reputation and status, nothing else. For antichrists, reputation and status are their life, and their lifelong goal. In all they do, their first consideration is: ‘What will happen to my status? And to my reputation? Will doing this give me a good reputation? Will it elevate my status in people’s minds?’ That is the first thing they think about, which is ample proof that they have the disposition and essence of antichrists; they would not consider these problems otherwise. It can be said that for antichrists, reputation and status are not some additional requirement, much less something extraneous that they could do without. They are part of the nature of antichrists, they are in their bones, in their blood, they are innate to them. Antichrists are not indifferent toward whether they possess reputation and status; this is not their attitude. Then, what is their attitude? Reputation and status are intimately connected to their daily lives, to their daily state, to what they strive for on a daily basis. And so for antichrists, status and reputation are their life. No matter how they live, no matter what environment they live in, no matter what work they do, no matter what they strive for, what their goals are, what their life’s direction is, it all revolves around having a good reputation and a high status. And this aim does not change; they can never put aside such things. This is the true face of antichrists, and their essence(The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine (Part Three)). God exposed that what antichrists care about most is their reputation and status. They see reputation and status as even more important than their own lives. Thinking back, I also had this kind of state. In reality, when gathering with the newcomers, all I had to do was attentively ponder God’s words and fellowship on the parts that I was able to understand. However, I didn’t do this. When I saw the newcomers, I wasn’t concentrating on pondering God’s words or on how to resolve the newcomers’ problems, but rather on how to fellowship so that I left a good image of myself in their hearts. When I thought of what others would think of me if I expressed myself and fellowshiped poorly, my heart became constrained and I didn’t dare to go fellowship. It was also like this when I gathered and communicated with the watering personnel. When I saw that they all expressed themselves better than I did, I didn’t think about learning from and communicating with them to make up for my weaknesses, but rather I thought of what they’d think of me when I expressed myself and fellowshiped poorly. When I didn’t say anything, I was also worried about what they’d think of me. Once I was constrained by the shackles of vanity and pride to a certain extent, I didn’t quickly seek the truth to resolve matters, but rather feared being seen through by others. I would have rather not done this duty than have people call me a good-for-nothing. This way, at least I could preserve my last shred of dignity. I saw that no matter whether I was speaking or silent, and no matter which group of people I was with, wherever I was, I was only considering my own vanity and pride. The pain, negativity, and inferiority that I felt today, was all because of my vanity and pride. It was caused by my inability to show my face around people, and I even wanted to give up on my duty because I couldn’t satisfy my pride. I thought of how when I was young, my parents would often tell me that “Face is priceless.” Being influenced by this sort of satanic poison, no matter who I was interacting with, I always wanted to make a good impression on them, and if I didn’t get them to think highly of me, I at least couldn’t let them look down on me. I was like this whether I was with people from school, from work, or from doing my duty, and when my need for reputation and status could not be satisfied, it was like I had lost my life. I saw that what I had revealed was the disposition of antichrists. Recognizing this much, I also understood that there was God’s thoughtfulness behind His determining this kind of personality for me. I read these words of God: “After being corrupted by Satan, people possess Satan’s corrupt disposition as their life’s essence; that is, they live by their corrupt disposition, and their lives are governed by that corrupt disposition. Therefore, when someone possesses a corrupt disposition and combines it with good caliber, extraordinary caliber, and overall complete, perfect, and wonderful abilities, it only amplifies their corrupt disposition, and leads to the rampant escalation of that corrupt disposition, making it uncontrollable. As a result, they become more arrogant, intransigent, deceitful, and wicked. The difficulty of their accepting the truth increases, and there is no way to resolve their corrupt disposition(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth II. How to Pursue the Truth (7)). Reading God’s words, I understood that if I was articulate, very good at expressing myself, and able to easily control all sorts of situations, being the center of attention and held in esteem by others, then I would certainly be pleased with myself and delirious with joy. Because I am not skilled at expressing myself, I am able to rely on and look to God in the midst of difficulties, as well as see my own weaknesses and incompetencies, my insignificance and ineloquence, and therefore, I don’t dare to be too haughty. I was so obsessed with reputation and status, yet I was inarticulate and bad at expressing myself. I had such great flaws but cared so much about what others thought of me. If I were a smooth talker, I would only become increasingly arrogant, and think that I was better than everyone, like Satan. God hugely protected me by not giving me the skill of being a good talker!

Later, I read more of God’s words: “Pursuing the truth is the most important thing, no matter from which perspective you view it. You can avoid the flaws and shortcomings of humanity, but you can never evade the path of pursuing the truth. Regardless of how perfect or noble your humanity may be, or whether you have fewer flaws and defects, and possess more strengths, than other people, this does not signify that you understand the truth, nor can it replace your pursuit of the truth. On the contrary, if you pursue the truth, understand a lot of the truth, and have an adequately deep and practical understanding of it, this will compensate for many deficiencies and problems in your humanity(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth II. How to Pursue the Truth (3)). “If everything you think about during your available hours each day has to do with how to resolve your corrupt disposition, how to practice the truth, and how to understand the truth principles, then you will learn to use the truth to resolve your problems according to God’s words. You will thus gain the ability to live independently, you will have life entry, you will face no great difficulties in following God, and gradually, you will enter into the truth reality. If, in your heart, you are still fixated on prestige and status, still preoccupied with showing off and making others look up to you, then you are not someone who pursues the truth, and you are walking down the wrong path. What you pursue is not the truth, nor is it the life, but the things that you love, it is reputation, profit, and status—in which case, nothing you do relates to the truth, it is all evildoing, and rendering service. If, in your heart, you love the truth, and always strive for the truth, if you pursue dispositional change, are able to achieve true obedience to God, and can fear God and shun evil, and if you are restrained in everything you do, and are able to accept God’s scrutiny, then your state will keep improving, and you will be someone who lives before God(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Good Behavior Does Not Mean One’s Disposition Has Changed). From God’s words, I understood that those who do not pursue the truth, no matter how well they express themselves, how great their personality is, how smooth a talker they are, or how many people think highly of them, will not be approved of by God. God does not look at what people’s deficiencies are, but rather at whether they can pursue the truth, submit to Him, and fear Him. In my performance of the duty of watering newcomers, God’s intention was for me to pursue the truth while doing my duty, for me to fulfill my responsibility regardless of whether I was facing the newcomers or the watering personnel, and at the same time, for me to seek how I ought to resolve the newcomers’ difficulties and issues in order for them to lay down a foundation on the true way and do their duties as created beings sooner. However, when I came before the newcomers and the watering personnel, what I thought of every day was my own vanity and status. This was the complete opposite of the path God speaks of that people who pursue and love the truth walk. This way, I would only grow increasingly further from God’s demands, and He would ultimately cast me out. From then on, according to what God’s words said, I began to consciously train myself to put my heart into my duty and into resolving my own corrupt disposition, focusing on seeking the truth principles and doing my duty well. After this, when we took turns being in charge of gatherings, I no longer chose to evade. I knew that by leading the gatherings, I could train and improve my self-expression, make up for what I lacked, and do my duty well, and so I asked God to give me faith and strength. I wouldn’t focus on what others thought of me; it would be enough for me to give free rein to what God gave me originally, and to what I can achieve myself. When it was my turn to fellowship, I calmly fellowshiped on what I understood, and also expressed some things that I hadn’t prepared to; I was no longer constrained by my pride.

Experiencing this, I knew that it was not being ineloquent that made me depressed and in pain, but rather my pursuit of reputation and status. Being inarticulate and expressing oneself poorly is a shortcoming of humanity, but it is not a deadly illness. Putting one’s heart into pursuing the truth and seeking the truth principles when encountering problems or difficulties in the performance of one’s duty; this is the most crucial thing.

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