46. The Principles of Reflecting on Whether One’s Disposition Has Changed

(1) Reflect on whether your attempts to be an honest person have been effective, on whether lies and deceit still remain in you, on whether you are loyal while performing your duty, and on whether you can act according to the principles;

(2) Reflect on whether your points of view on things, your outlook on life, and your values accord with the truth; on how many of satanic philosophies and laws you have purged from yourself; and on whether or not you have undergone a transformation;

(3) Reflect on whether you are possessed of Job’s faith, able to fear God and shun evil, and on whether you know and love God truly;

(4) Reflect on whether you are one who practices the truth and genuinely submits to God, and on whether, amid trials, you are capable of overcoming Satan, standing firm in your testimony, and satisfying God.

Relevant Words of God:

What does a transformation in disposition mean? It happens when a lover of the truth, while experiencing God’s work, accepts the judgment and chastisement of His words and undergoes all manner of suffering and refinement. Such a person is cleansed of the satanic poisons within him, and completely breaks free of his corrupt dispositions, so that he can submit to God’s words and all of His orchestrations and arrangements, never again to rebel against Him or resist Him. This is a transformation in disposition. … A transformation in disposition means that a person, because he loves and can accept the truth, finally comes to know his disobedient nature that is in opposition to God; he understands that man is corrupted too deeply, he recognizes man’s absurdness and deceitfulness, he recognizes man’s poorness and pitifulness, and finally comes to understand man’s nature and essence. Knowing all this, he becomes able to deny and forsake himself completely, live by God’s word, and practice the truth in all things. This is someone who knows God; this is someone whose disposition has transformed.

Excerpted from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Transformation in disposition mainly refers to the transformation of a person’s nature. The things of a person’s nature cannot be seen from external behaviors; they are directly related to the worth and significance of his existence. That is, they directly involve a person’s outlook on life and his values, the things in the depths of his soul, and his essence. If a person cannot accept the truth, he will undergo no transformation in these aspects. Only by experiencing God’s work, fully entering the truth, changing one’s values and one’s outlooks on existence and life, aligning one’s views with God’s, and becoming capable of completely submitting to and being devoted to God, can one’s disposition be said to have transformed. You may appear to put forth some effort, you may be resilient in the face of hardship, you may be able to carry out work arrangements from the above, or you may be able to go wherever you are told to go, but these are but minor changes of behavior and are not enough to count as the transformation of your disposition. You may be able to run down many paths, suffer many hardships, and endure great humiliation; you may feel very close to God, and the Holy Spirit may do some work on you. However, when God asks you to do something that does not conform to your notions, you still might not submit; rather, you might look for excuses, rebelling against and resisting God, even to the point that you criticize and protest against Him. This would be a serious problem! It would show that you still have a nature that resists God, and that you have not undergone any transformation whatsoever.

Excerpted from “What Should Be Known About Transforming One’s Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Transformation in one’s disposition is not a change in behavior, nor is it a feigned outward change or a temporary alteration made out of zeal; rather, it is a genuine transformation of disposition that brings about a change in behavior. Such a change in behavior is not the same as changes exhibited in a person’s outward behavior and actions. Transformation of disposition means that you have understood and experienced the truth, and that the truth has become your life. In the past, you understood the truth of this matter, but you were unable to put it into practice; truth was merely a doctrine to you that did not stick. Now that your disposition has transformed, you not only understand truth, but you also practice in accordance with it. You are now able to let go of the things you were fond of in the past, the things you used to be willing to do, your imaginings, and your notions. You are now able to let go of the things you were not able to let go of in the past. This is transformation of disposition, and it is also the process of transforming your disposition.

Excerpted from “What Should Be Known About Transforming One’s Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Achieving transformation in one’s disposition is not a simple matter; it does not mean just having a few changes in behavior, gaining some knowledge of the truth, being able to talk a bit about one’s experience with every aspect of the truth, or being able to put aside some things and submit somewhat after being reproached by the Holy Spirit in certain matters. These things do not constitute transformation in one’s life disposition. Why do I say this? Though you may be able to put a few things aside, what you are practicing has not yet reached the level of truly putting the truth into practice. Or, perhaps because you are in a suitable environment for a while, and a favorable situation, or your current circumstances have compelled you, you behave in this way. In addition, when your state of mind is stable and the Holy Spirit is at work, you are able to practice. If you were undergoing trials, and suffering through them like Job did, or like Peter whom God asked to die, would you be able to say, “Even if I died after getting to know You, it would be alright”? Transformation in disposition does not happen overnight, and once you understand the truth you cannot necessarily put it into practice within every environment. This involves man’s nature. Sometimes it might seem as though you are putting the truth into practice, but in reality, the nature of your actions does not show that you are doing so. Many people have certain ways of behaving outwardly, such as being able to cast aside their families and careers in order to fulfill their duties, and therefore believe they have practiced the truth. However, God does not recognize that they are practicing the truth. If everything you do has a personal motive behind it and is adulterated, then you are not practicing the truth; you are simply exhibiting superficial conduct. Strictly speaking, your conduct will probably be condemned by God; it will not be praised or remembered by Him. Dissecting this further, you are doing evil and your conduct is in opposition to God. From the outside, you are not interrupting or disturbing anything and you have not done real damage or violated any truth. It appears to be logical and reasonable, yet the essence of your actions pertains to doing evil and resisting God. Therefore, you should determine whether there has been a change in your disposition and whether you are putting the truth into practice by looking at the motives behind your actions in light of God’s words. It does not depend on a human view of whether your actions conform to the human imagination and human intentions, or whether they are suited to your taste; such things are not important. Rather, it depends on God saying whether or not you are conforming to His will, whether or not your actions possess the reality of the truth, and whether or not they meet His requirements and standards. Only measuring yourself against God’s requirements is accurate. Transformation in disposition and putting the truth into practice are not as simple and easy as people imagine. Do you understand this now? Do you have any experience with this? When it comes to a problem’s essence, you might not understand it; your entry has been overly superficial. You run about all day long, from dawn until dusk, rising early and going to bed late, yet you have not achieved transformation in your life disposition, and you cannot grasp what such a transformation involves. This means your entry is too shallow, does it not? Regardless of how long you have believed in God, you might not sense the essence and deep things to do with achieving transformation in disposition.

Excerpted from “What Should Be Known About Transforming One’s Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks

People can behave well, but that does not necessarily mean they are possessed of the truth. Having fervor can only make them abide by doctrine and follow rules; those who are without the truth have no way of resolving substantive problems, nor can doctrine take the truth’s place. People who have experienced a change in their dispositions are different; they have understood the truth, they are discerning on all issues, they know how to act in accordance with God’s will, how to act in accordance with the principles of the truth, and how to act to satisfy God, and they understand the nature of the corruption they exhibit. When their own ideas and notions are revealed, they are able to be discerning and forsake the flesh. This is how a change in disposition is expressed. The main thing about people who have undergone a change in disposition is that they have come to clearly understand the truth, and when carrying things out, they put the truth into practice with relative accuracy and they do not exhibit corruption as often. Generally, those whose dispositions have transformed appear to be particularly reasonable and discerning, and due to their understanding of the truth, they do not exhibit as much self-righteousness or arrogance. They can see through and discern much of the corruption that has been revealed in them, so they do not give rise to arrogance. They are able to have a measured grasp on what man’s place is, on how to behave reasonably, on how to be dutiful, on what to say and what not to say, and on what to say and what to do to which people. This is why it is said that people like these are relatively reasonable. Those who have undergone a change in their dispositions truly live out a human likeness, and they possess the truth. They are always able to speak and see things in accordance with the truth, and they are principled in everything they do; they are not subject to the influence of any person, matter, or thing, and they all have their own views and can uphold the principles of the truth. Their dispositions are relatively stable, they do not blow hot and cold, and no matter what their circumstances, they understand how to do their duties properly and how to behave to God’s satisfaction. Those whose dispositions have actually changed are not focused on what to do to make themselves look good on a superficial level; they have gained internal clarity on what to do to satisfy God. Therefore, from the outside, they may not seem to be so enthusiastic or to have done anything very great, but everything they do is meaningful, is valuable, and yields practical results. Those whose dispositions have changed are certain to possess a lot of truth, and this can be confirmed by their perspectives on things and their principled actions. Those who do not possess the truth have absolutely not achieved any change in disposition. A change in disposition does not mean having a mature and seasoned humanity; it primarily refers to instances in which some of the satanic poisons within a person’s nature change as a result of attaining knowledge of God and an understanding of the truth. That is to say, those satanic poisons are cleansed, and the truth expressed by God takes root within such people, becomes their life, and becomes the very foundation of their existence. Only then do they become new people and, as such, experience a transformation of disposition. A transformation in disposition does not mean that people’s outer dispositions are meeker than before, that they used to be arrogant but now can communicate reasonably, or that they used to listen to no one but now can listen to others; such external changes cannot be said to be transformations in disposition. Of course, transformations in disposition do include such states and expressions, but the most crucial ingredient is that internally, their life has changed. The truth expressed by God becomes their very life, the satanic poisons within have been eliminated, and their perspectives have completely changed—and none of them is in line with that of the world. These people can see the schemes and poisons of the great red dragon clearly for what they are; they have grasped the true essence of life. Thus, their life values have changed, and this is the most fundamental sort of transformation, as well as the essence of a change in disposition.

Excerpted from “The Difference Between External Changes and Changes in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks

What was the basis on which people used to live? All people live for themselves. Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost—this is the summation of human nature. People believe in God for their own sakes; they abandon things, expend themselves for Him, and are faithful to Him, but still they do all these things for their own sakes. In sum, it is all done for the purpose of gaining blessings for themselves. In society, everything is done for personal benefit; believing in God is solely done to gain blessings. It is for the sake of gaining blessings that people forsake everything and can withstand much suffering: This is all empirical evidence of man’s corrupt nature. However, those who have undergone a change in disposition are different; they believe that how to live meaningfully, how to fulfill a person’s duties in order to be worthy of being called human, how to worship God, and how to satisfy and submit to God—all of this—is the foundation of what it means to be human, and is an obligation that is in accord with the unalterable principles of Heaven and earth. Otherwise, they would not be worthy of being called human; their lives would be empty and meaningless. They feel that people should live in order to satisfy God, to perform their duties well, and to live lives of meaning, so that even when it is their time to die, they will feel content and not have the slightest regret, and that they have not lived in vain. In comparing these two different situations, one can see that the latter is one of a person whose disposition has transformed, and because his life disposition has transformed, his outlook on life has certainly changed, too. Now having different values, he will never again live for himself, and he will never again believe in God for the purpose of gaining blessings. Such a person will be able to say, “If I die after having gotten to know God, then what is death to me? If I can know God, then I will be able to live a meaningful life, and then I will not have lived in vain, nor will I die with any regrets; I will have no complaints.” Is this not a changed outlook on life? Therefore, the main cause of a change in one’s life disposition is possessing the truth within and having knowledge of God; one’s outlook on life is therefore changed, and one’s values are different from before. The transformation starts from within, and from one’s life; it is certainly not a mere external change.

Excerpted from “The Difference Between External Changes and Changes in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks

In the pursuit of change in one’s life disposition, the path of practice is simple. If, in your practical experience, you are able to follow the current words of the Holy Spirit and experience God’s work, then your disposition is capable of change. If you follow whatever the Holy Spirit says, and seek whatever the Holy Spirit says, then you are someone who obeys Him, and there will be a change in your disposition. People’s dispositions change with the current words of the Holy Spirit; if you always cling to your old experiences and rules of the past, then your disposition cannot change. If the Holy Spirit’s words of today ask that all people enter into a life of normal humanity but you remain fixated on external things, and are confused about reality and do not take it seriously, then you are someone who has failed to keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, someone who has not entered upon the path of the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Whether or not your disposition can change depends upon whether or not you keep up with the Holy Spirit’s current words and whether or not you have true knowledge. This is unlike what you understood before. The change in your disposition that you understood before was that you, who are quick to judge, have ceased to speak thoughtlessly through God’s discipline; but that is just one aspect of the change. Right now, the most critical point is following the guidance of the Holy Spirit: Follow whatever God says, and obey whatever He says. People cannot change their own disposition; they must undergo the judgment and chastisement, and suffering and refinement, of God’s words, or being dealt with, disciplined, and pruned by His words. Only then can they achieve obedience and faithfulness to God, and no longer be perfunctory toward Him. It is under the refinement of God’s words that people’s dispositions change. Only through the exposure, judgment, discipline, and dealing of His words will they no longer dare to act rashly but instead will become steady and composed. The most important point is that they are able to submit to God’s current words, and to His work, even if it is not in line with human notions, they are able to put these notions aside and willingly submit. In the past, talk of changes in disposition mainly referred to being able to forsake oneself, to allowing the flesh to suffer, disciplining one’s body, and ridding oneself of fleshly preferences—which is one kind of change in disposition. Today, everyone knows that the real expression of change in disposition is obeying the current words of God and truly knowing His new work. In this way, people’s prior understanding of God, which was colored by their own notions, can be expunged, and they can attain true knowledge of and obedience to God—only this is a genuine expression of a change in disposition.

Excerpted from “People Whose Dispositions Have Changed Are Those Who Have Entered Into the Reality of God’s Words” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The transformation of the disposition of man is achieved through many different kinds of God’s work; without such changes in his disposition, man would be unable to bear testimony to God and to be after God’s heart. The transformation of man’s disposition signifies that man has freed himself from Satan’s bondage and from the influence of darkness, and has truly become a model and specimen of God’s work, a witness of God, and one who is after God’s heart. Today, God incarnate has come to do His work on earth, and He requires that man achieve knowledge of Him, obedience to Him, testimony to Him, to know His practical and normal work, to obey all of His words and work which do not accord with the notions of man, and to bear testimony to all the work He does to save man, as well as all the deeds He accomplishes to conquer man. Those who bear testimony to God must have knowledge of God; only this kind of testimony is accurate and real, and only this kind of testimony can shame Satan. God uses those who have come to know Him through undergoing His judgment and chastisement, dealing and pruning, to bear testimony to Him. He uses those who have been corrupted by Satan to bear testimony to Him, and so too does He use those whose disposition has changed, and who have thus gained His blessings, to bear testimony to Him. He does not need man to praise Him with his mouth, nor does He need the praise and testimony of the ilk of Satan, who have not been saved by Him. Only those who know God are qualified to bear testimony to Him, and only those who have been transformed in their disposition are qualified to bear testimony to Him. God will not allow man intentionally to bring shame upon His name.

Excerpted from “Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Changes in disposition have a characteristic. That is, being able to submit to what is right and in line with the truth. No matter who gives you suggestions—whether they are young or old, whether you get along well, and whether the relationship between you is good or bad—as long as they say something that is correct and in line with the truth, and beneficial to the work of God’s family, then you can listen, adopt it, and accept it, and not be impacted by any other factors. This is the first aspect of that characteristic. First you can accept the truth, as well as things that are correct and in line with the truth. Another is being able to seek the truth whenever you encounter a problem. You not only can accept the truth; you must also be able to seek it. For example, if you encounter a new problem that no one can fathom, you can seek the truth, see what you should do or practice to make the matter in line with the principles of the truth, and meet God’s requirements. Yet another aspect is gaining the ability to be considerate of God’s will. How should you be considerate of His will? This depends on what duty you are performing and what requirements God has of your duty. You must grasp this principle: Carry out your duty according to what God requires, and carry it out to satisfy God. You must also understand the will of God, and what the desired result of your duty is, and you must be able to act with responsibility and faithfulness. All of these are ways to be considerate of God’s will. If you do not know how to be considerate of God’s will in the thing you are doing, you must do some seeking in order to accomplish that and to satisfy Him. If you can put these three principles into practice, measure the way you actually are living by them, and find a path of practice, then you will be handling affairs in a principled manner.

Excerpted from “Only by Putting the Truth Into Practice Can You Cast off the Binds of a Corrupt Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks

If you wish to be purified of corruption and undergo a change in your life disposition, then you must have a love for the truth and the ability to accept the truth. What does it mean to accept the truth? Accepting the truth indicates that no matter what sort of corrupt disposition you have, or which of the great red dragon’s poisons are in your nature, you acknowledge it when it is revealed by God’s words, and submit to these words; you accept them unconditionally, without making any excuses or trying to pick and choose, and you come to know yourself based on what He says. This is what it means to accept God’s words. No matter what He says, no matter how much His utterances might pierce your heart, and no matter what words He uses, you can accept them as long as what He says is the truth, and you can acknowledge them as long as they conform to reality. You can submit to God’s words regardless of how deeply you understand them, and you accept and submit to the light that is revealed by the Holy Spirit and fellowshiped by your brothers and sisters. When such a person has pursued the truth to a certain point, he can obtain the truth and achieve a transformation of his disposition.

Excerpted from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Changing man’s disposition starts with knowledge of his substance and through changes in his thinking, nature, and mental outlook—through fundamental changes. Only in this way will true changes be achieved in the disposition of man. Man’s corrupt disposition stems from his being poisoned and trampled upon by Satan, from the egregious harm that Satan has inflicted upon his thinking, morality, insight, and sense. It is precisely because the fundamental things of man have been corrupted by Satan, and are utterly unlike how God originally created them, that man opposes God and does not understand the truth. Thus, changes in man’s disposition should begin with changes in his thinking, insight, and sense that will change his knowledge of God and his knowledge of the truth.

Excerpted from “To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

In believing in God, if people desire transformation of their disposition, then they must not detach themselves from real life. In real life, you must know yourself, forsake yourself, practice the truth, as well as learn the principles, common sense, and rules of self-conduct in all things before you are able to achieve gradual transformation. If you only focus on the theoretical knowledge and only live among religious ceremonies without going deep into reality, without entering into real life, then you will never enter into reality, you will never know yourself, the truth, or God, and you will forever be blind and ignorant. … To enter into reality, one must turn everything toward real life. If, in believing in God, people cannot come to know themselves through entry into real life, and if they cannot live out normal humanity in real life, then they will become failures. Those who disobey God are all people who cannot enter into real life. They are all people who speak of humanity, but live out the nature of demons. They are all people who speak of the truth, but live out doctrines instead. Those who cannot live out the truth in real life are those who believe in God, but are detested and rejected by Him. You have to practice your entry in real life, know your own deficiencies, disobedience, and ignorance, and know your abnormal humanity and weaknesses. That way, your knowledge will be integrated into your actual condition and difficulties. Only this kind of knowledge is real and can allow you to truly grasp your own condition and achieve dispositional transformation.

Excerpted from “Discussing Church Life and Real Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

When people experience until the day their outlook on life and the meaning, the basis of their existence have entirely changed, when they have been altered to their very bones and have become someone else, is this not incredible? This is a great change, an earth-shattering change. Only when you become disinterested in the fame and fortune, status, money, pleasure, power and glory of the world, and can easily forgo them, will you have the likeness of a human being. Those who will ultimately be made complete are a group such as this; they live for the truth, live for God, and live for that which is just. This is the likeness of a true human being.

Excerpted from “One Must Understand That There Are Similarities and Differences Among People’s Natures” in Records of Christ’s Talks

Previous: 45. The Principles of Reflecting on Transgressions

Next: 47. The Principles of Real Self-Knowledge

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