I Have Realized That a “Benign and Uncontentious Person” Is Not a Truly Good Person
Since childhood, I had paid special attention to others’ opinions and evaluations of me. In order for others to compliment me, when I encountered things, I never disputed with others lest my good image in their minds be destroyed. After I accepted God’s end-time work, I still conducted myself this way, and in everything I preserved my image in the brothers’ and sisters’ minds. While I was in charge of the work, our leader often pointed out that my behavior was a mark of a “benign and uncontentious person who is indifferent to matters of principle” and was a mark of not practicing the truth. But I never took his words to heart; on the contrary, I felt gratified by being a “nice person” in the eyes of others.
One day, in The Manual of the Principles for the Church Work, I read this passage: “If one believes in God but does not pursue the truth, even if he commits no transgressions outwardly, he is not a truly good person. He who does not pursue the truth surely has no sense of justice, and he cannot love what God loves and hate what God hates, and can never stand on God’s side, let alone be in harmony with God. How can one who has no sense of justice be called a good person? A ‘benign and uncontentious person’ called by worldly people has neither a sense of justice nor a goal in life and is just one who tries never to offend anybody. What value does such a person have? A truly good person refers to one who loves positive things and pursues the truth and righteousness, who can discern between good and evil in his heart, and who has a right goal in life. Only this kind of person is one loved by God.”
After reading these words, I suddenly woke up. A good person is not one who can have friendly intercourse with the worldly people without disputing or quarreling with them and who can cause the brothers and sisters to have a good impression and a good opinion of him, as is the concept of mine. A truly good person refers to one who loves positive things and pursues the truth and righteousness, who has a true goal in life and a sense of justice, who can discern between good and evil and love what God loves and hate what God hates, who is willing to spend his all for God, and who has the will and courage to dedicate himself to the truth and righteousness.
I examined my actions. Do I have any sense of justice? Whenever the brothers and sisters came back from preaching the gospel and complained that it was difficult, I also resisted it and murmured inwardly in spite of myself, thinking that to preach the gospel was indeed not easy and was really too hard. Thus, I unconsciously stood on the side of their flesh and did not want to fellowship about anything more to mobilize them. When I saw in the church an occurrence of someone causing disturbance such as spreading notions, if it was serious I solved it by fellowshipping with words of exhortation, and if it was not serious I turned a blind eye, for fear that I could not fellowship well and the other party would have a bad opinion of me. When I saw that my assistant did some things unrelated to the truth or cared nothing about the circumstances, I wanted to point it out to her, but then I thought, “Can she bear it if I point it out? It’s not worthwhile to let such a small matter affect our good relationship. I’d better tell her next time.” So I found an excuse for myself and dodged the matter.
Only then did I see that I merely match up to the standard of a nice person as thought of by satan and devils. I am a “benign and uncontentious person” in the eyes of the world, a person who tries never to offend anybody, and not at all a good person who is pleasing to God and who loves positive things, pursues the truth, and has a sense of justice. I regard giving others a good impression as more important than gaining the truth, and I am satisfied as long as I can cause others to compliment me. Am I a person who has a right goal in life? Can others’ compliments of me mean that I have gained the truth? Can others’ good opinions of me mean that I have life? While believing in God, I do not pursue the truth and righteousness and do not pursue the transformation of my nature, but always pursue for the sake of my reputation and face. Is there any value in my following God like this? What can I gain even if I follow to the end? I am a creature most deeply corrupted; if I am really regarded highly by all people and occupy a place in their heart, won’t I become the archangel that scrambles for God’s position? Won’t I become a thorough enemy of God? Isn’t such a person, in God’s eyes, one who is criminal and wicked in the extreme? Those God saves and perfects are the truly good persons who pursue the truth and righteousness, not the muddle-headed ones who are unable to tell good from evil, who are not clear about what to love and what to hate, and who do not have a sense of justice, much less the wicked ones who care only about their reputation and act against God. If I still take a “nice person” in the eyes of the world as the standard of conducting myself, I will be doomed to be one eliminated and punished by God.
O God, thank you for your leading and inspiration. It has made me gain a little knowledge of what a truly good person is. At the same time, it has also made me see my absurdness and ignorance, and realize my disobedience and resistance. O God! From now on, I will take “pursue the truth and have a sense of justice” as the standard of conducting myself. I will pursue to enter further into the truth, pursue the transformation of my nature, and strive to soon become a truly good person who is clear about what to love and what to hate and who has a sense of justice.
Linyi City, Shandong Province