1 People’s knowledge of their own nature is too superficial, and is very far removed from God’s words of judgment and revelation. People do not have a fundamental or substantial understanding of themselves; instead, they focus on and devote their energy to their actions and outward expressions. Even if someone occasionally said something about understanding himself, it would not be very profound. No one has ever thought that he is this type of person or has this type of nature due to having done this type of thing or having revealed something. God has revealed the nature and substance of humanity, but humans understand that their way of doing things and their way of speaking are flawed and defective; therefore, it is a strenuous task for people to put truth into practice.
2 People think that their mistakes are merely momentary manifestations that are revealed carelessly rather than being revelations of their nature. People that regard themselves this way are not able to put truth into practice, because they are not able to accept truth as truth and do not thirst after truth; therefore, when putting truth into practice, they only perfunctorily follow the rules. People do not view their own nature as being too corrupt, and believe that they are not so bad that they should be destroyed or punished. They think that it is not a big deal to lie occasionally, and consider themselves to be much better than they were in the past; in fact, however, according to the standards, there is a big difference in this, because people only have some actions that do not outwardly violate truth, when they are not actually putting truth into practice.
Adapted from “Understanding Nature and Putting Truth Into Practice” in Records of Christ’s Talks