The Word Conquers All Lies
By Ye Qiu, China
This June, I was elected to be the deacon of watering. One day, Sister Cheng Lin and I went to hold a newcomers’ gathering. New believers have a lot of notions. I was afraid my fellowship would be unclear and their problems wouldn’t be solved, so I asked the leader beforehand to help me find some passages of God’s words about their notions. The day of the gathering, as I fellowshiped on the words of God I’d prepared in advance about new believers’ notions, I felt the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and guidance and their notions were resolved. When we were about to wrap up, Cheng Lin asked me, “Your responses to newcomers’ questions were really detailed today. Did you fellowship with the leader in advance?” Hearing this, my mind started racing. Since I was new to that duty, did she suspect today’s performance didn’t reflect my true level? But I was afraid if I was truthful, Cheng Lin would see my true stature and think I wasn’t a capable worker. If she saw I’d gotten most of the fellowship from the leader, would she still look up to me? I thought to myself that I couldn’t tell her the truth. So, I said, “No.” As soon as I said that, I felt like I’d gone against my conscience. Of course the leader and I had already fellowshiped on this, but I looked her in the eye and said no. Wasn’t I knowingly lying? If the leader came by someday and Cheng Lin asked about it, my lie would be exposed—how humiliating! They would all say to me that I was really deceitful. I felt more uneasy the more I thought about it. That night I lay in bed, sleeping fitfully. The next day I got ready to go open up to her, but the words got to the tip of my tongue, and I couldn’t get them out. I was afraid that Cheng Lin would look down on me if I told her, and think I was unskilled, overly focused on recognition and status. She might say I was truly devious to lie over such a small thing. I didn’t say anything after considering all that. I thought of God’s words on the way home: “You ought to know that God likes those who are honest” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Three Admonitions). I felt even guiltier. I couldn’t say just one honest thing. How could I be an honest person that God likes? I felt like a great weight was crushing my heart—I felt awful. I asked myself: I know very well that God hates treacherous liars, so why is it so hard to tell the truth?
While reflecting it occurred to me that I hadn’t just lied about one thing. I was often the same way with other things. Once, the leader asked us how many newcomers we could water each month. I was new to the job and didn’t fully understand the principles for it, so I couldn’t take on very many. But if I told the truth, I was afraid the leader would say I was lacking, and wasn’t up to the job. So, I inflated my number a little bit. My number was high enough, but I still wasn’t at ease. I was afraid that later, it would show that I lacked self-awareness or, more seriously, it could delay new believers’ life entry. But I’d already said it, and I was embarrassed to be open with the leader. I had to bite the bullet and keep on going. And a few days before, the leader asked me how long it had taken me to resolve a newcomer’s problem. I hadn’t fully understood that newcomer’s notion at first, so I’d fellowshiped quite a few times. When the leader asked about it, I was afraid if I told the truth, the leader would say I was lacking caliber. Such a small issue needing multiple fellowships might make me look unskilled and inefficient. To protect my image, I lied and said it was resolved with one fellowship. I felt unsettled afterward, afraid that one day I would be exposed. Looking back on my behavior, I saw I lied a lot in my efforts to protect my image and give people a good impression. I was living in darkness and pain, so far from God’s standards for being an honest person. I thought of the brothers and sisters working to become honest people and resolve deceitful natures. Some had even written personal testimonials. But after years in the faith, I was still lying so much, totally lacking in honesty. If I kept on that way in my faith, I was sure to be cast out by God. I quickly said a prayer: “God, I’ve believed in You for years. Even now, I still lie and cheat when my interests are involved, which disgusts You. I don’t want to continue on this way. Please guide me to resolve my lying problem.”
There was a passage I read in my devotionals. “In their everyday lives, people say much that is pointless, untrue, ignorant, stupid, and justificative. At root, they say these things for the sake of their own pride, to satisfy their own vanity. Their utterance of these falsehoods is the outpouring of their corrupt dispositions. Resolving this corruption will cleanse your heart, and thus make you ever more pure and ever more honest. In fact, people all know why they tell lies: It is for the sake of their interests, face, vanity, and status. And in comparing themselves with others, they punch too far above their own weight. As a result, their lies are exposed and seen through by others, resulting instead in lost face, lost character, and lost dignity. This is the result of too many lies. When you lie too much, every word you say is contaminated. It is all false, and none of it can be true or factual. Although you may not lose face when you lie, you already feel disgraced inside. You will feel blamed by your conscience, and you will despise and look down on yourself. ‘Why do I live so pitifully? Is it really so hard to say one honest thing? Do I need to tell these lies just for face? Why is it so tiring to live this way?’ You can live in a way that is not tiring. If you practice being an honest person, you can live easily and freely, but when you choose to lie to protect your face and vanity, your life is very tiring and painful, which means this is self-inflicted pain. What is the face you gain from telling lies? It is something empty, something totally worthless. When you lie, you are betraying your own character and dignity. These lies cost people their dignity, they cost them their character, and God finds them displeasing and hateful. Are they worth it? Not at all. Is this the right path? No. Those who often lie live trapped in their satanic dispositions and under Satan’s dominion, not in the light or before God. You often need to think about how to tell a lie, and after you lie, you need to think about how to cover it up, and if you don’t cover it up well enough the lie will come out, so you need to rack your brains for a cover. Isn’t this a tiring way to live? It’s too tiring. Is it worth it? Not at all. What’s the point of racking your brains to lie and cover it up just for the sake of vanity and status? In the end, you will think about it and say to yourself, ‘Why put myself through this? It’s too tiring to lie and cover it up. Doing things this way won’t work. It’s easier to be an honest person.’ You want to be an honest person, but you can’t let go of your face, vanity, and interests. You can only lie and use lies to defend these things. … You may think that using lies can protect your desired reputation, status, and vanity, but this is a big mistake. Lies not only fail to protect your vanity and personal dignity, but, more seriously, also cause you to miss chances to practice the truth and be an honest person. Even if you defend your reputation and vanity at the time, what you lose is the truth, and you betray God, which means you completely lose the opportunity to gain God’s salvation and be perfected. This is the greatest loss and an eternal regret” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Being Honest Can One Live as a True Human Being). All of God’s words described my actual state. I was always lying and deceiving to protect my vanity and pride. I was putting on a show, which was an exhausting way to live that left me miserable. When I first started watering new believers, Cheng Lin saw my fellowship was not bad and asked me if I’d fellowshiped with the leader. That was a really normal question. I could’ve answered with a simple “Yes.” But I was afraid she’d look down on me if I told the truth. With my reputation in mind, I knowingly told a lie. Also, when the leader asked us how many newcomers we could water each month, I didn’t answer based on my actual capability. I was afraid the leader would say I was incompetent if I gave a low number, so I intentionally inflated it. Then I was worried I wouldn’t be able to handle it—the stress in my duty was exhausting. I was that way watering new believers, too. With my shallow understanding of the truth, I needed multiple fellowships to resolve the newcomer’s issue. But I was thinking about what the leader would think of me, so I said it only took me one fellowship. I’d lied and deceived time after time to protect my vanity and pride, so others would approve of me. I was so devious and fake! I thought if I didn’t tell the truth, the others and the leader wouldn’t know my true skill level, and I could protect my image. But God sees all. I can fool other people, but never God. After a while, everyone would gain discernment over me. They’d see I was someone who lacked the reality of the truth and constantly lied. I actually felt terrible after telling a lie. I was afraid of the day my lie would be exposed and I’d be shown for what I was. Not only would I lose face, but the others definitely wouldn’t trust me anymore. Over the long term, the worrying and unease tormented me. It was exhausting. I was in darkness and pain. By continually lying and cheating, not practicing the truth or being an honest person, not only did my own life suffer, but I was living without any dignity, which disgusts God. I thought of what the Lord Jesus said: “Let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). God likes honest people and hates the deceitful. I should have spoken and acted according to God’s words, calling a spade a spade. Yes means yes, and no means no. But I lied over and over in order to protect my own image. How is that different from the devil, Satan? The devil always lies—it never has anything truthful to say. I’d also lied quite a bit by then. If I didn’t repent, I was sure to be cast out by God. I’d been racking my brains for my lies and false fronts to protect my image and enjoy some immediate gains. But as a result, God was disgusted, people were repelled, and I was suffering. It was idiotic.
I kept on self-reflecting, and read something in God’s words. “When people engage in deceit, what intentions stem from this? And what is the aim? Without exception, it is in order to gain status and prestige; in a nutshell, it is for the sake of their own interests. And what lies at the root of the pursuit of interests? It is that people see their own interests as being more important than everything else. They engage in deceit in order to benefit themselves, and their deceitful dispositions are thereby revealed. How should this problem be resolved? First you must identify and know what interests are, what they bring to people, and what the consequences of pursuing them are. If you can’t figure this out, then forsaking them will be easier said than done. If people don’t understand the truth, then nothing is harder to give up than their own interests. That’s because their life philosophies are ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost’ and ‘Get rich or die trying.’ Clearly, they only live for their own interests. People think that without their own interests—if they lose their interests—they won’t be able to survive, it’s as if their survival is inseparable from their own interests, and so most people are blind to all but their own interests. They see them as higher than anything else, they live only for their own interests, and getting them to give up their own interests is like asking them to give up their own lives” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Knowing One’s Disposition Is the Foundation of Changing It). “A deceitful person may be aware that they are crafty, that they are fond of lying and dislike telling the truth, and that they’re always trying to hide what they’re doing from other people, but they will nevertheless revel in this, thinking to themselves, ‘Living like this is great. I’m constantly pulling the wool over other people’s eyes, but they can’t do the same to me. I’m nearly always satisfied as far as my own interests, pride, status, and vanity go. Things go according to my plans, flawlessly, seamlessly, and no one can see through them.’ Is that sort of person willing to be honest? They aren’t. This person believes deceitfulness and crookedness to be intelligence and wisdom, to be positive things. They treasure these things and cannot bear to do without them. ‘This is the perfect way to behave, and a comfortable way to live,’ they think. ‘Only in this way does life have value, and only in this way will others envy and look up to me. It would be foolish and idiotic for me not to live by satanic philosophies. I’d always be suffering losses—getting bullied, discriminated against, and treated like a lackey. There’s no value in living like that. I’ll never be an honest person!’ Will this kind of person give up their deceitful disposition and practice being honest? Absolutely not. … They have no love for positive things, they do not yearn for the light, and they do not love the way of God or the truth. They like to follow worldly trends, they are enamored with status and prestige, they love excelling among others, they are proponents of status and prestige, they venerate the great and famous, but in actual fact they venerate demons and Satan. In their hearts, they do not pursue the truth, or positive things, but advocate learning. In their hearts, they do not approve of those who pursue the truth and testify to God; instead, they approve of and admire people who have special talents and gifts. They do not walk the path of faith in God and pursuing the truth, but pursue status, prestige, and power, they strive to be someone inscrutable and wily, they try to integrate themselves into the upper echelons of society to become some well-known figure. They want to be greeted with adoration and welcome wherever they go; they want to be an idol to people. That’s the kind of person they want to be. What sort of way is this? This is the way of demons, the path of evil. It is not the way taken by a believer. In order to con people out of their personal trust, to make them worship and follow them, they use Satan’s philosophies, its logic, they use its every ploy, every ruse, in every setting. This is not the path that ought to be walked by people who believe in God; not only will such people not be saved, they will also meet with God’s punishment—of this there cannot be the slightest doubt” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. One Cannot Be Saved by Faith in Religion or Engaging in Religious Ceremony). God’s words showed me why I was able to lie and deceive over and over, and why I never dared open up and be an honest person. It’s because I have a deceitful nature. I was sick of the truth and didn’t love positive things. I hadn’t prioritized seeking to gain the truth, being someone who brings God joy. Instead, I valued satanic philosophies like “Every man for himself,” “As a tree lives for its bark, a man lives for his face,” and “No great feats can be accomplished without the telling of lies,” as well as my own image and interests. When I was little, I had a relative who just had a middle school education, but said he was a college graduate. When he clearly didn’t have some skill, he’d talk himself up, saying he’d studied it. When he lied and put on an act that way, not only did people not look down on him, but they looked up to him and admired him. I was influenced by that. Without realizing it, in my heart I approved of those satanic approaches. I felt that sometimes a lie really could resolve a matter. Not only could you gain admiration, but you might get what you want. So I kept living by this view after coming to God’s house. If anything involved my image or interests, I couldn’t help but lie, cheat, and put on an act. Even when I felt guilty after lying, I still didn’t dare open up to everyone, afraid that if I were forthright, they would see right through me and think poorly of me. The thought of being embarrassed like that—you may as well kill me! I preferred living in darkness and misery over uttering a true word, becoming increasingly fake and deceitful. The Communist Party is just like that. No matter how many scandalous, evil things it does, it never brings them into the light, but deludes the world with its lies. It puts on an image of being great, glorious, and correct to mislead people, to fool the common people. It’s so despicable and evil. Wasn’t my lying and deceit essentially the same as the Communist Party’s? It reminded me of God’s words: “What sort of way is this? This is the way of demons, the path of evil. It is not the way taken by a believer. In order to con people out of their personal trust, to make them worship and follow them, they use Satan’s philosophies, its logic, they use its every ploy, every ruse, in every setting. This is not the path that ought to be walked by people who believe in God; not only will such people not be saved, they will also meet with God’s punishment—of this there cannot be the slightest doubt.” God is faithful. God requires us to be honest people to gain His salvation in the end. But Satan uses all sorts of philosophies and fallacies to mislead and corrupt people, getting us to constantly lie and cheat for our own reputation and status, become more and more false and deceitful. Ultimately, we’ll descend into hell and be punished along with it. At that point I clearly saw Satan’s cunning and vicious motive. I hated it from the bottom of my heart and was willing to try being an honest person.
I read something else in God’s words later. “That God asks for people to be honest proves that He truly loathes and dislikes deceitful people. God’s dislike of deceitful people is a dislike of their way of doing things, their dispositions, their intents and their methods of trickery; God dislikes all of these things. If deceitful people are able to accept the truth, recognize their deceitful dispositions, and are willing to accept God’s salvation, then they too have a hope of being saved, for God treats all people equally, as does the truth. And so, if we wish to become those who please God, the first thing we must do is change our principles of comportment: No longer can we live according to satanic philosophies, no longer can we get by on lies and trickery, we must cast off all our lies and become honest people, then God’s view of us will change. Previously, people always relied on lies, pretense, and trickery while living among others, and used satanic philosophies as the basis of their existence, their lives, and the foundation for human comportment. This was something that God despised. Among unbelievers, if you speak frankly, tell the truth, and are an honest person, you will be slandered, judged, and forsaken. So you follow worldly trends, live by satanic philosophies, become more and more skilled at lying, and more and more deceitful. You also learn to use insidious means to achieve your goals and protect yourself. You become more and more prosperous in Satan’s world, and as a result, you sink deeper and deeper into sin until you cannot extricate yourself. Things are precisely the opposite in God’s house. The more you lie and play deceitful games, the more God’s chosen people will become sick of you and forsake you. If you refuse to repent and still cling to satanic philosophies and logic, if you use ploys and elaborate schemes to disguise and cover yourself up, then you are very likely to be revealed and cast out. This is because God hates deceitful people. Only honest people can prosper in God’s house, and deceitful people will eventually be forsaken and cast out. All of this is preordained by God” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person). “Accepting the truth and knowing yourself is the path to your life’s growth and to salvation, it is the chance for you to come before God to accept God’s scrutiny and to accept the judgment and chastisement of God and gain the life and the truth. If you give up on pursuing the truth for the sake of pursuing status and prestige and your own interests, this is tantamount to giving up on the opportunity of receiving God’s judgment and chastisement and attaining salvation. You choose status and prestige and your own interests, but what you give up is the truth, and what you lose is life, and the chance to be saved. Which means more? If you choose your own interests and forsake the truth, are you not stupid? To put it bluntly, this is a great loss for a small advantage. Prestige, status, money, and interest are all temporary, they are all ephemeral, whereas the truth and the life are eternal and immutable. If people resolve their corrupt disposition that causes them to pursue status and prestige, then they have hope of attaining salvation. Moreover, the truth people gain is eternal; Satan cannot take it away from them, nor can anyone else. You have relinquished your interests but what you have gained are the truth and salvation; these results belong to you. You gained them for yourself. If people choose to practice the truth, then even if they have lost their interests, they are gaining God’s salvation and eternal life. Those people are the smartest ones. If people benefit at the expense of the truth, then what they lose are life and God’s salvation; those people are the stupidest” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Knowing One’s Disposition Is the Foundation of Changing It). God’s words reminded me that only an honest person can be saved and enter the kingdom of heaven. Deceitful people just end up exposed and cast out by God. Which path someone chooses and what sort of person they are directly impacts their final destination. But I used to be so blind. Instead of loving the truth, I just focused on maintaining my image, to the point of lying repeatedly and putting on an act. After the fact, I didn’t have the courage to open up, and I still hadn’t addressed even the most fundamental lies. I hadn’t changed my disposition one iota. If I kept on in my faith this way, how could I be saved by God? I saw that caring about reputation and pursuing personal gain have no value. You may gain others’ admiration and support that way, but disgusting God with constant lying and losing the chance to be saved isn’t worth it.
In my search for the path to become an honest person, I saw this in God’s words: “You must seek the truth to resolve any problem that arises, no matter what it is, and by no means disguise yourself or put on a false face for others. Your shortcomings, your deficiencies, your faults, your corrupt dispositions—be completely open about them all, and fellowship about them all. Do not keep them inside. Learning how to open yourself up is the first step toward entering into life, and it is the first hurdle, which is the most difficult to overcome. Once you have overcome it, entering the truth is easy. What does taking this step signify? It means that you are opening your heart and showing everything you have, good or bad, positive or negative; baring yourself for others and for God to see; hiding nothing from God, concealing nothing, disguising nothing, free of deceit and trickery, and being likewise open and honest with other people. In this way, you live in the light, and not only will God scrutinize you, but other people, too, will also be able to see that you act with principle and a degree of transparency. You do not need to use any methods to protect your reputation, image, and status, nor do you need to cover up or disguise your mistakes. You do not need to engage in these useless efforts. If you can let these things go, you will be very relaxed, you will live without shackles or pain, and you will live entirely in the light” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). From God’s words I learned that to be an honest person and speak truthfully, when something involves my pride or interests, I should first pray and accept God’s scrutiny. No matter what flaws or shortcomings I have, or what corruption I show, I can’t hide or disguise it. Only showing my true self and seeking the truth can resolve this problem of lying, bit by bit. Whatever corruption I show, and whatever flaws and shortcomings I have, God can actually see perfectly clearly, so I can’t cover them up with lies and pretense. Even if other people don’t know me well in the beginning, with time, everyone will see me clearly. And though I was responsible for watering work, I was new to that duty and still had a lot of flaws. When I didn’t have a good grasp of a newcomer’s notions or issues, or I couldn’t fellowship clearly on a truth I didn’t know well, seeking a leader’s help was a normal approach, not embarrassing at all. I needed to openly face my shortcomings and be brave enough to tell the truth, practice the truth, and be an honest person. That is the right way forward. My heart brightened when I thought about this. I prayed and repented to God. I would stop speaking and acting for my reputation and interests, and practice according to God’s words instead. I saw Sister Cheng Lin later and told her all about my issues with lying. I felt really relaxed and free. I knew I was very image-conscious, and I always cared what people think of me. When things came up I tended to protect my reputation and interests, and couldn’t help but lie. I kept praying to God, asking Him to watch over my heart, so I would be aware when I was about to lie, and could quickly change course, becoming an open and honest person.
Once in a gathering with a leader, he asked everyone to share their opinion on a new believer’s issue. I felt incredibly nervous. There was a leader present. He knew more of the truth and the principles than me. It would be clear in an instant whether I could identify the problem, if I was right or wrong, and if there were deviations. If I couldn’t see the heart of the issue or resolve it, what would the leader think of me? I got more wound up as I thought about it, and just couldn’t calm down and think it over. Then I thought of God’s words: “You do not need to use any methods to protect your reputation, image, and status, nor do you need to cover up or disguise your mistakes. You do not need to engage in these useless efforts. If you can let these things go, you will be very relaxed, you will live without shackles or pain, and you will live entirely in the light” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three). I thought: “That’s true. I should be an honest person, and tell the truth. Whether or not I can see the problem or I’m mistaken on anything, I should still be forthright, not covering up, disguising or pretending, or thinking of the leader’s opinion of me. All that matters is practicing the truth and being an honest person before God.” These thoughts allowed me to calm down. Then, I was able to share my opinion. After listening, the leader added his own fellowship on the things we’d missed. I gained a lot from this type of exchange. During watering after that, when I encountered problems I didn’t understand, I sought out the leader, who helped me based on what I was lacking. I learned so much more from this.
Through this experience, I felt how wonderful it is to tell the truth, like God tells us to. It’s so relaxing and freeing. I’m not living in the uneasiness and pain of lies anymore. I’m so grateful to God! If I hadn’t been exposed in these situations, or judged and revealed by God’s words, I’d never have such understanding and change.
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