What Is a Genuine Practice of the Truth?
By Hengxin, Hunan Province
Not too long ago, after listening to some sermons, I started to understand that only those who practice the truth can obtain the truth and ultimately become ones who possess the truth and humanity thus attaining God’s approval. From then on, I made a conscious effort to forsake my flesh and practice the truth in my daily life. Some time later, I happily discovered that I could practice some truths. For example, in the past, after I revealed corruption, I was afraid to show my dark side to others. Now I was consciously open with my brothers and sisters, dissecting my corrupt disposition. Before, when I was pruned and dealt with, I would always make excuses and shirk responsibility. Now I made a conscious effort to deny myself instead of trying to justify my bad behavior. In the past, when I experienced friction with the brothers and sisters that I was partnered with, I was narrow-minded, petty and prone to sulking. Now when I encountered those situations I would forsake my flesh and consciously exercise tolerance and patience with others. Every time I thought of my “results” in practicing the truth, I would feel extremely happy. I thought that my ability to practice some truths meant that I was a genuine practitioner of the truth. And so, in this way I unknowingly came to live in a state of complacency and self-admiration.
One day, I came upon the following words of God: “Some people say: ‘I feel that I am able to put some truths into practice now, it’s not that I can’t put any truth into practice. In some environments, I can do things in accordance with truth, which means I count as a person who puts truth into practice, and I count as a person who has the truth.’ Actually, in contrast with the states of the past, or in contrast with when you first believed in God, there is a little transformation. In the past, you didn’t understand anything, and you didn’t know what the truth was or what a corrupt disposition was. Now you know some things and you are able to have some good practices, but this is only a small part of the transformation; it is not truly a transformation of your disposition, because you are unable to carry out advanced and deep truths that involve your nature. In contrast to your past, you indeed have some transformation, but this transformation is only a small transformation of your humanity; when compared with the highest state of truth, you are way off the mark. This is to say that you have not hit the mark when putting truth into practice” (“Understanding Nature and Putting Truth Into Practice” in Records of Christ’s Talks). After reading these words, I could not help but be stunned. All I have accomplished were just a few good behaviors? I’m still far from genuinely practicing the truth? Well then, what does it mean to genuinely practice the truth? I began to look for truths related to this question. Later, I read a sermon that says: “Those who willingly practice the truth can afford the price and are willing to accept the hardships involved. Obviously, their hearts are filled with happiness and enjoyment. Those willing to practice the truth will never just go through the motions, because they are not just doing it for show, but because they possess the conscience and reason of a normal humanity, and are performing their duty as God’s creatures. To them, practicing the truth is fundamental to being human, and it is a quality one with normal humanity should possess” (The Fellowship From the Above). After reading this, I finally understood: Genuine practitioners of the truth can practice the truth because they understand the purpose of doing so. They know that practicing the truth is both the foundation and the reality of being a person, and it is a quality that humans should have. Therefore, they don’t do it for show; they see it as their duty. They are willing to endure hardships and pay the price; they are devoid of personal intentions and desires. But how did I practice the truth? After revealing my corrupt dispositions, I may have been forthright and laid them bare to my brothers and sisters, but in my heart I was thinking, “See how I practice the truth! I’m able to lay open my own corrupt dispositions to you. That makes me better than you guys, huh?” When I was pruned and dealt with, I may not have made excuses out loud, but inside I was saying, “See? I no longer make excuses. I’ve improved so much. I probably qualify as someone who is willing to accept the truth now, huh?” When I had friction with the brothers and sisters I partnered with, I may have consciously tried to restrain myself and avoid any outbursts, but in my heart I was thinking, “See? I’m not like I was before, petty and narrow-minded. I’ve changed, huh?” … When I thought of my mindset when I practiced the truth, I finally admitted that I wasn’t really practicing the truth. I was full of my own motives and desires. I was doing it for show. I wanted other people to admire me and compliment me, leaving them a good impression. I had not been practicing the truth because I understood its significance or because I was willing to satisfy God, but instead I did it simply to satisfy myself and to show off to others. I had been tricking and cheating God, and the essence of my actions was a betrayal of the truth. My so-called “practicing of the truth” was just following the rules. It was just an exercise of self-restraint relying on willpower, and just keeping certain bad behaviors in check. It was only a false appearance. I was still quite far from meeting the standards required of a truth practitioner. However, not only did I shamelessly think that I was a practitioner of the truth, I even became self-congratulatory as a result. My behavior was truly beyond the pale!
Thank God for His enlightenment and guidance. Thank Him for showing me that I was not a true practitioner of the truth and that my implementation of the truth did not meet God’s standards, and for allowing me to find the correct path to practicing the truth. From this day forward, I’m willing to examine my own intentions and make demands of myself according to the standards of practicing the truth. I will rid myself of impurities and become a genuine practitioner of the truth.
The Holy Spirit Works in a Principled Way
There is a principle behind the Holy Spirit’s work on man. Man himself must have a yearning, seeking heart to be able to positively and actively work with God. Only then can the Holy Spirit work on man and enlighten and illuminate man’s understanding of God’s will, causing them to understand the truth in His words.
A Battle of Life and Death
“When you forsake the flesh, inevitably there will be a battle inside. Satan wants you to follow the notions of the flesh, to protect the interests of the flesh. However, God’s word still enlightens and illuminates you within, moves you from within and works from the inside. At this point, it is up to you whom you will follow. Every time truth is practiced and every time people practice loving God, there is an enormous battle behind that. So every time you practice the truth, deep inside there is a battle of life and death. Victory will only be determined after fierce fighting, with so many tears of sadness shed behind that”
After Losing My Status
Every time I saw or heard of someone having been replaced and them feeling down, weak or sulky, and not wanting to follow anymore, then I looked down on them. I thought it was nothing more than different people having different functions within the church, that there was no distinction between high or low, that we were all God’s creations and there was nothing to feel down about.
Why Engage in Trickery When Serving God?
“For example, if you have arrogance and conceit inside you, it will be impossible to not defy God, but instead you would be made to defy Him. You wouldn’t do it on purpose; you would do it under the domination of your arrogant and conceited nature. Your arrogance and conceit would make you look down on God, it would make you see God as being of no account …” (“Only by Seeking the Truth Can You Obtain Changes in Your Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks).