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28. The Principles of Being an Honest Person

Practice and Exercises for Principled Behavior

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28. The Principles of Being an Honest Person

1. You must give your heart to God and allow God to take charge, act in accordance with the truth in all things, accept God’s scrutiny and examination, and live in the light;

2. During prayer, you must have real association with God, you must open your heart to God and say the words in your heart, and maintain and uphold a normal relationship with God;

3. Ensure that there are no lies tainted in your speech and that there is no treachery or deceit in your heart; be purely open and wise, and have normal interpersonal relationships with others;

4. You must handle matters with principle and in conformity with the truth, act honestly and straightforwardly, speak and act in accordance with the facts, and be someone who is open and aboveboard.

Relevant Words of God:

For the sake of your fate, you ought to seek to be approved by God. That is to say, since you acknowledge that you are numbered among the house of God, you ought then to bring peace of mind to God and satisfy Him in all things. In other words, you must be principled in your actions and conform to the truth in them. If this lies beyond your ability, then you shall be detested and rejected by God and spurned by every man. Once you have fallen into such a predicament, you cannot then be counted among the house of God. This is what it is meant by not being approved by God.

... Honesty means to give your heart to God; never to play Him false in anything; to be open with Him in all things, never hiding the truth; never to do that which deceives those above and deludes those below; and never to do that which merely ingratiates yourself with God. In short, to be honest is to refrain from impurity in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man. ... If you have many confidences that you are reluctant to share, and if you are very unwilling to lay bare your secrets—that is to say, your difficulties—before others so as to seek the way of the light, then I say that you are one who will not receive salvation easily and who will not easily emerge from the darkness. If seeking the way of the truth pleases you well, then you are one who dwells always in the light. If you are very glad to be a service-doer in the house of God, working diligently and conscientiously in obscurity, always giving and never taking, then I say that you are a loyal saint, because you seek no reward and are simply being an honest man. If you are willing to be candid, if you are willing to expend your all, if you are able to sacrifice your life for God and stand witness, if you are honest to the point where you know only to satisfy God and not to consider yourself or take for yourself, then I say that these people are those who are nourished in the light and who shall live forever in the kingdom. You should know whether there is true faith and true loyalty within you, whether you have a record of suffering for God, and whether you have wholly submitted to God. If you lack these, then there remains within you disobedience, deceit, greed, and complaint. As your heart is far from honest, you have never received positive recognition from God and never lived in the light.

from “Three Admonitions” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

No matter whether it’s when you pray, when you speak and fellowship with your brothers and sisters, or when you perform your duty and handle your business, you must lay your heart before God. When you fulfill your function, God is with you, and so long as your intent is correct and is for the work of God’s house, He will accept all you do, so you should earnestly devote yourself to fulfilling your function. When you pray, if you have love for God in your heart and seek God’s care, protection, and observation, if these are your intent, your prayers will be effective. For example, when you pray at meetings, if you open your heart and pray to God and tell Him what is in your heart without speaking falsehoods—then your prayers will be effective. …

... All that you do, every action, every intent, and every reaction must be brought before God. Even your daily spiritual life—your prayers, your closeness with God, eating and drinking of God’s words, fellowship with your brothers and sisters, living the life of the church, and your service in partnership—must be brought before God and observed by Him. It is such practice that will help you mature in life. The process of accepting God’s observation is the process of purification. The more you accept God’s observation, the more you are purified, and the more you are in accord with God’s will, so that you will not hear the call of debauchery and dissipation, and your heart will live in His presence. The more you accept His observation, the more ashamed Satan is and the more you are able to forsake the flesh. So, the acceptance of God’s observation is a path people must practice. No matter what you do, even during fellowship with your brothers and sisters, if you bring your acts before God and seek His observation, and if your intent is to obey God Himself, what you practice will be much more correct. Only if you bring all you do before God and accept God’s observation can you be someone who lives in the presence of God.

from “God Perfects Those After His Own Heart” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

What does it mean to truly pray? It means speaking the words within your heart to God, and communing with God having grasped His will and based upon His words; it means feeling particularly close to God, feeling that He is in front of you, and that you have something to say to Him; and it means being especially radiant within your heart, and feeling that God is especially lovely. …

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Whilst praying, your heart must be at peace before God, and it must be sincere. You are truly communing and praying with God; you must not deceive God using nice-sounding words. Prayer is centered around that which God wishes to complete today. Ask God to bring you greater enlightenment and illumination, and bring your actual state and troubles before God to pray, and make resolution before God. Prayer is not the following of procedure, but the seeking of God using your true heart. Ask that God protect your heart, making it able to often be at peace before God, making you able to know yourself, and despise yourself, and forsake yourself in the environment that God has set for you, thus allowing you to have a normal relationship with God and making you someone who truly loves God.

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The lowest standard that God requires of people is that they be able to open their hearts to Him. If man gives his true heart to God and says what is really within his heart to God, then God is willing to work in man; God does not want the twisted heart of man, but his pure and honest heart. If man does not truly speak his heart to God, then God does not touch man’s heart, or work within him. Thus, the most crucial thing about praying is to speak the words of your true heart to God, telling God of your flaws or rebellious disposition and completely opening yourself up to God. Only then will God be interested in your prayers; if not, then God will hide His face from you. The minimum criterion for prayer is that you must be able to keep your heart at peace before God, and it must not depart from God. Perhaps, during this period, you have not gained a newer or higher view, but you must use prayer to keep things as they are—you cannot regress. This is the very least that you must achieve. …

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You must be honest, and must pray in order to rid yourself of the craftiness in your heart. As you use prayer to purify yourself whenever needed, and use it to be touched by the Spirit of God, your disposition will gradually change.

from “Concerning the Practice of Prayer” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The more you live a spiritual life, the more your heart will be occupied by the words of God, always concerned with these matters and always bearing this burden. After that, you can reveal your innermost truth to God through your spiritual life, tell Him what you want to do, what you’ve been thinking about, your understanding of and your own way of seeing God’s word. Don’t hold back anything, not even a little bit! Practice speaking the words within your heart to God, tell Him the truth, and don’t hesitate to speak what’s in your heart. The more you do this, the more you will feel God’s loveliness, and your heart will be pulled more and more toward God. When this happens, you will feel that God is dearer to you than anyone else. You will never leave God’s side, no matter what. If you practice this kind of spiritual devotional on a daily basis and do not put it out of your mind, but treat it as your calling in life, then God’s word will occupy your heart. This is what it means to be touched by the Holy Spirit. It will be as if your heart has always been possessed by God, as if there has always been love in your heart. No one can take that away from you. When this happens, God will truly live inside you and have a place within your heart.

from “A Normal Spiritual Life Leads People Onto the Right Track” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Behaving like a normal human being is to speak with coherence. Yes means yes, no means no. Be true to the facts and speak appropriately. Don’t cheat, don’t lie.

from “Improving Caliber Is for Receiving God’s Salvation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

I very much appreciate those who harbor no suspicion about others and I also very much like those who readily accept the truth; to these two kinds of men I show great care, for in My eyes they are honest men. If you are very deceitful, then you will have a guarded heart and thoughts of suspicion regarding all matters and all men. For this reason, your faith in Me is built upon a foundation of suspicion. This manner of faith is one I shall never acknowledge.

from “How to Know the God on Earth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

In the dispositions of normal people there is no crookedness or deceitfulness, people have a normal relationship with each other, they do not stand alone, and their lives are neither mediocre nor decadent. So, too, is God exalted among all, His words permeate among man, people live in peace with one another and under the care and protection of God, the earth is filled with harmony, without the interference of Satan, and the glory of God holds the utmost importance among man. Such people are like angels: pure, vibrant, never complaining about God, and devoting all their efforts solely to God’s glory on earth.

from “Interpretation of the Sixteenth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

If people have no verbal or spiritual communication, there is no possibility of intimacy between them, and they can’t provide to each other or help one another. Do you have such a feeling? If your friend says everything to you, saying all of what they’re thinking in their heart, and what suffering or happiness they have in their heart, then do you not feel particularly intimate with them? That they are willing to tell these things to you is because you have also spoken of the words in your heart to them—you are especially close, and it is because of this that you are able to get along with them and help each other out. Without this among the brothers and sisters in the church, there would never be harmony among the brothers and sisters, which is one of the requisites of being honest. … To be honest, you must first lay your heart bare, so that everyone can see it, and all that you are thinking, and can see your true face; you must not pretend or package yourself. Only then will people trust you and consider you honest. This is the most fundamental practice of being honest, and it is a precondition. You are always pretending, always feigning holiness, virtuousness, greatness, and loftiness, and do not let people see your corruption and your failings. You present a false image to people, so that they believe you are upstanding, mighty, self-denying, impartial, and selfless. Don’t pretend, don’t package yourself; instead, lay yourself bare, lay your heart bare for others to see. If you can lay your heart bare for others to see, and lay bare all that you think and plan to do in your heart—regardless of whether it is positive or negative—then are you not being honest? If you are able to lay yourself bare for others to see, God will also see you, and say: “You have laid yourself bare for others to see, and so before Me you are surely honest, too.” If you only lay yourself bare to God out of view of others, and always pretend to be mighty and virtuous or just and selfless before them, then what will God think? And what will God say? God will say: “You are genuinely crafty and hypocritical, you are petty, and you are not honest.” God will condemn you thus. If you wish to be honest, then regardless of what you do before God or people, you are able to reveal your heart to others.

from “To Be Honest, You Should Lay Yourself Open to Others” in Records of Christ’s Talks

As long as you are able to eat and drink the words of God, as long as everything you do is presentable before God, everything you do is just and honorable, as long as you do not do shameful things, do not do things that would harm the lives of people, as long as you live in the light, and are not exploited by Satan, then your relationship with God will be put right.

from “How Is Your Relationship With God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

When your relationship with God has become normal, then you will also have a normal relationship with people. Everything is established on the foundation of God’s words. Through eating and drinking the words of God, practice in accordance with God’s requirements, put your viewpoints right, and do not do things that resist God or disturb the church. Do not do things that do not benefit the lives of the brothers and sisters, do not say things that do not contribute to other people, do not do shameful things. Be just and honorable when doing all things and make them presentable before God. Even though the flesh is weak sometimes, you are able to attach the highest importance to benefiting God’s family, not covet your own benefits, and carry out righteousness. If you can practice in this way, your relationship with God will be normal.

from “How Is Your Relationship With God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Regardless of whether you act behind people, or in front of them, you are able to gain the joy of God before God, you are able to stand firm before God, and regardless of how other people treat you, you always walk your own path, and give every care to God’s burden.…they are able to take God’s heart as their own, and God’s burden as their own, and they give no consideration to whether they gain or lose prospect: Even when they have no prospects, and they will gain nothing, they will always believe in God with a loving heart.

from “How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

I have a lot of wishes. I wish you can conduct yourselves in a proper and well-behaved manner, be faithful to fulfill your duty, have truth and humanity, be someone who can give up everything and give up their lives for God, and so forth. All of these hopes stem from your insufficiencies and your corruption and disobedience.

from “Transgressions Will Take Man to Hell” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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