I was a crafty person. When I read in God’s word that a crafty person could not be saved by God and that only by being an honest person could one be approved by God, I then pursued to be an honest person. I consciously exercised speaking accurate words and reporting problems objectively and realistically, talked about anything in the church as it stood, reported to my leader all about the deviations or loopholes in my work, and also consciously dissected and bared my corruptions…. Whenever I reviewed my entering in being an honest person, I felt that I had gained some transformation and was an honest person in some ways.
Recently, at a co-worker meeting, when we fellowshipped about the topic that one serving God must learn to discern various kinds of people, the leader asked me, “Which kind of people do you think you belong to, XX?” I thought to myself, “I’ve recently gained some transformation and can be considered a relatively simple and open person. I feel I am not so evil as to have a bad humanity. Yet I can’t say I have every element of a good humanity. At least, I feel I am rather simple and honest and have no heart to harm others.” So, I replied, “Relatively speaking, I belong to the kind with good humanity.” The leader said, “You think you are a man of good humanity; aren’t you devoid of sense and devoid of knowledge of yourself? You think yourself rather simple and honest; do you really dare to open and bare everything in you? Do you really have no doubt about God? Do you really dare to say you speak and do things completely for God and without your own intents and purposes?” Hearing these words, I did not agree with her in my heart. I justified myself by saying, “The above says that a good person also has corrupt nature and may display corruptions. Isn’t this comparative?” I just did not want to deny my view.
Afterward, I pondered carefully over the words the leader said. Do I really dare to lay bare everything in me? No. What I opened were merely some insignificant matters that did not touch my fame and gain, and the corruptions I opened were the corrupt manifestations which everyone had. As to the ugly and dirty things deep in my heart, I never dared to open and bare them. Do I really have no doubt about God? No. When my work was fruitless and I was weak, I had misunderstanding about God and thought that I was a serving one and it was in vain no matter how I pursued. What’s more, I did not fully believe God’s word and God’s nature; I did not believe that God would reward or punish people according to his word, and so I often tested God’s nature. Do I speak or do things completely for God and without my own intents and purposes? No. Today I ran around and did some work, but I was making a deal with God; my purpose was to receive blessings and escape disasters in the future, not to fulfill my bounden duty as a created being. Although I had some good outward behavior, I performed it for others to see, in order to make a good impression on them….
Aren’t these expressions of mine marks of a crafty person? However, I thought myself to be a rather simple and honest person. Wasn’t I too ignorant of myself? I remembered God’s words: “What people know about their nature is always far from what God exposes about it. This is not because God has exposed it wrongly but because they have not known it deep enough. In knowing themselves, people do not know the root or the substance, but they put effort into knowing their doings or their outward expressions. Even though some people can sometimes speak some words of knowing themselves, they are not very deep. No one has ever thought that since he can do a certain kind of thing or has a certain kind of expression, he is that kind of person and has that kind of nature. What God exposes about is people’s nature and their substance, but what people know about are the mistakes or flaws in their deeds or words. … People think that their mistake is merely an accidental behavior, and is a careless expression, rather than an expression of their nature. …when they practice the truth, they observe a regulation superficially. In people’s own eyes, their nature is not too wicked…. Actually, they are still far below the standard, because they have only had some practices that are not against the truth outwardly, but they have not practiced the truth.” Through the inspiration of God’s words, I saw that my knowledge of myself was too shallow. I knew myself in my own mind and notion, but I did not check myself against God’s word and know my corrupt nature in it. I considered myself simple and honest and my humanity not bad merely on the ground that outwardly I did no things that seriously offend God’s nature. In practicing being an honest person, I stayed merely in outward practices, thinking that since I could speak some honest words and do some honest things, I had reached the standard of an honest person. I was too arrogant and too ignorant of myself! Little did I know that I do not at all have the substance of an honest person; I fall far short of the standards God speaks about of a good humanity and of an honest person. Then I remembered that Peter knew himself in the word of God. According to every word by which God exposed man, he examined himself strictly. Thus, of all people, he was the one who knew himself best, and the one who experienced most successfully. I, however, after having followed God for several years, still did not know how to know myself. My entering was really too poor. I really feel ashamed.
Thank God for his inspiration and guidance. It has made me see my poorness and pitifulness, and also made me understand that only in God’s word can I know myself objectively and realistically. From now on, I will know myself in the word of God. I will examine myself strictly according to every word by which God exposes man’s corrupt nature, and no longer measure myself with my own viewpoints. I will pursue the transformation of my nature and be a real honest person to comfort God’s heart.
Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province