I cared very much about my vanity and face and I always wanted people to obey me; even if what I said was not right, I would not have others refute me in public.
Once at a small-group meeting, when we talked about the gospel work, I asked a sister, “Have you made any progress in these few days with that clue you found?” “No,” she answered. I continued, “Did you preach according to our fellowship? Have you inquired about that man’s weak point and fatal spot? Have you ever thought how to talk with him?” She said impatiently, “Is it possible to talk to him about God’s word now? Besides, can he tell us his difficulties and fatal spot? You do not preach the gospel, so you don’t know how difficult it is to preach the gospel.” When I heard these words, my face flushed swiftly and I felt very bad. I thought, “How can you be like this? I do not preach the gospel, so I don’t know? Is there anything I don’t know? I think you’re purely opposing me. I just asked you some questions but you should talk to me this way. Do you think I like to be a church leader very much? From now on, I simply won’t speak to you anymore and you may do whatever you want. No matter what I speak, you won’t listen, and none of you will be convinced in me. I know I’m incapable of doing anything. You may just listen to whoever you think is capable.” As I was thinking, I wanted to give up my duty. For several days I was in a passive state. I could in no way quiet my heart, could not read the word of God, and had no words to say when praying. I just waited for the leader to come and dismiss me.
Once, when eating and drinking the word of God, I read these words: “To love God, you have to seek God’s will in everything, and whatever thing you encounter, you should strike roots and seek God’s will deep within to see what is God’s will in this thing, what God requires you to achieve, and how you should care for God’s will. … When you encounter something, big or small, you should drop yourself first and consider your flesh as a lowest thing.” God’s words inspired me, and my head that had been turned by resentment suddenly became sober. I saw that I had never sought God’s will in whatever I did, nor had I ever done anything according to God’s will, let alone cared for God’s will. I only thought of how to keep myself from losing face and how to make others obey me, always regarding my fleshly face as more important than anything else. I had never dropped myself, even less regarded my flesh as a most debased thing. I did not have any element of loving God! I received such a small blow and I wanted to refuse the commission and rebel against God. I treasured my worthless face too much! Then I read these words in The Summary of Christ’s Preachings and Conversations: “How should one treat God’s commission? This is a serious matter! If you cannot complete the commission God gives you, you don’t deserve to live before God and should receive punishment. God’s commission to man is that which man should complete obligatorily. This is man’s highest responsibility and is as important as his life. If you treat God’s commission lightly, then you rebel against God most seriously.” When I read here, I could not continue reading. With a remorseful heart, I bowed down before God: O God, I am really too blind. I did not regard the commission you give to me as so sacred, and even less did I regard failing to complete your commission or even giving up your commission as so serious; on the contrary, I saw my vanity and face as more important than anything else. I thought that since I was the leader and what I fellowshipped about was right, the brothers and sisters should not refuse me, and even less criticize me. When they rebuked me publicly, I thought they were purposely making me embarrassed. Because of that, I even became angry and red-faced and wanted to give up my duty. My such behavior was serious rebellion against you indeed. It is your uplifting of me that you have given me such a commission today, but I, a numb and obtuse person, took your commission as a trifling matter. I really deserve to receive your punishment. O God, thank you for your inspiration! It has enabled me to understand that believing in you is not to pursue to win others’ appreciation or admiration, but to pursue loving you, satisfying you, and fulfilling the duty of a created being. I am also grateful that your words have awakened me and made me see my deficiencies and even more understand how I as a created being should treat my duty and the commission you give to me. From now on, I will no longer care for my flesh and no longer live for my face.
Pingdingshan City, Henan Province