518 Understanding the Truth Is No Simple Matter
1 Once people truly understand the truth, they can discern their states of being, see to the bottom of complicated matters, and know the appropriate way to practice. If you do not understand the truth, you will not be able to discern your state of being. You will want to rebel against yourself but will have no idea how to do it or what you are rebelling against. You will want to abandon your self-will, but if you think that your self-will conforms to the truth, then how can you abandon it? Thus, when people are not in possession of the truth, they are very liable to think that human impurities, good intentions, muddleheaded love and human practices—all of which arise from their self-will—are correct, and that they conform to the truth. How, then, can you rebel against these things?
2 If you do not understand the truth or know what it means to put the truth into practice, and if your eyes are clouded and you have no idea which way to turn and can therefore only do things based on what you think is right, then you will commit certain acts that will be off-track and erroneous, some that will be in keeping with the rules, some that will arise from enthusiasm, and some that will have originated with Satan and that will cause disturbances. People who do not possess the truth act like this: a little to the left, and then a little to the right; correct one minute, and then deviating the next; with no accuracy at all. Those who do not possess the truth look at things all the wrong way. As such, how can they handle matters properly? How can they resolve any problems?
3 Understanding the truth is not an easy thing to do. Being able to comprehend God’s words depends on understanding the truth, and the truth that people are capable of understanding has its limits. Their understanding of God’s words will still be limited even if they believe in Him for their entire lives. Even those who are relatively experienced can, at best, get to where they can stop doing things that obviously resist God, and stop doing things that are obviously evil. It is not possible for them to attain a state that has none of their self-will mixed in. However, the key is to discern the parts of self-will that go against God’s words, against the truth, and against enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. You must therefore make an effort to know God’s words, and only by understanding the truth can you have discernment.
Adapted from “Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days