I was very hypocritical and had too much outward practice. I always thought that while believing in God, I just needed to run around every day without being passive, and that by so doing I was loving God.
In the past, I required myself to attend at least two meetings in each small group per week, not for other things but to make others see that I was not negligent of my duty. Every morning, I grabbed a bite to eat and then hurried to a meeting place. Even at scorching noon, I never stopped doing the same, and much less did I feel hot. Once, I remember, it was raining hard and I rode in the rain to a place more than seven miles away to attend a small-group meeting. On the route there was a stretch of road covered with deep water, and so I waded through it pushing my bicycle. When seeing me, the brothers and sisters said, “Well! We thought you, so far away, would not come. Even we didn’t want to come!” Hearing this, I was very pleased. When it snowed, I could not bicycle, and so I went on foot. Once it took me two hours to walk to a meeting place. Usually, when something happened, I ran the most for it. In my mind I always thought, “Since I am a leader, I should act like this and can’t let others see me slack. Only thus can I be after God’s heart and be a good leader, and can my heart feel assured.”
Thus, I went through wind and rain for four or five years. On the path that I thought was approved by God, I had been appreciating myself and walking, never feeling anything amiss.
Once, I read God’s words by chance: “So, if you want to love God, you have to pay a high price and have to undergo suffering, and you do not have to be zealous and endure hardships outwardly, reading God’s word more or running around more, but you should be able to drop the things within you: your extravagant desires and your own interests, intentions, notions, and intents. This is God’s will.” I was dumbfounded: Is this directed at me? Are all my doings outward practices? I dared not think further. I quieted my heart and calmly checked every step I had taken. Under what intent did I have the zealousness? Suddenly, I discovered that I spared no pains to run around and expend myself completely under the sway of a kind of extravagant desire. On the one hand, I thought that only by performing my duty like this could I be faithful to God and eventually be gained by God and enter the good destination. On the other hand, I intended to satisfy my desire for position, to make my leader appreciate me and praise me for being able to bear hardships, and at the same time to make the brothers and sisters regard me highly, praise me for being capable, and have a place for me in their heart. These extravagant ideas have lurked in the depths of my heart for so long, but I have never discovered them. However, God has early seen them clearly. Now I have known that in all my doings I was not being faithful to God but was resisting and deceiving God. I attempted to cover up my inner ugliness with my outward practice, so as to win God’s favor and gain men’s praise. I was too hypocritical! I was too devoid of sense and too arrogant!
Through the disclosure of God’s words, I have seen my ugly self clearly and also seen God’s righteousness. Recalling my past ways and doings, I really feel terribly ashamed. I will examine my intents at all times in my future performing duty, rebel against these things, and perform my duty toward God.
Zhengzhou City, Henan Province