Through eating and drinking God’s word, I got to know that God likes honest, simple and open people. I thought to myself, “Since God likes such people, I’ll pay more attention to the practice in this regard.” So, whomever I was with and on whatever occasion, I talked about my notions about God and my opinions of others without any reservation. However, what puzzled me was that, after I “opened” to several people, they all became passive. Then I was very confused: I practiced according to God’s requirement; how come it has caused such a consequence? Could it be that my doing so was not after God’s heart? I had no choice but to come before God to seek.
One day, in The Replies to the Questions from the Churches in Various Places (1), I read this passage: “Being simple and open is God’s requirement for man as well as a manifestation of being an honest person. Being simple and open mainly means that one does not speak in a roundabout way, does not cover up the true facts, and can speak his mind and speak truthful words. Speaking in a proper way and according to the occasion means that under whatever background one speaks, he can consider if his words can edify and benefit the life of the brothers and sisters and if his words will cause damage to the work of the church. … Being simple and open and speaking in a proper way and according to the occasion—this is the being honest and wise required by God. If one does not consider the background or the occasion but merely opens himself blindly, then it will bring harm to others and also bring losses to the church, which consequences are caused by his foolishness. Therefore, while being simple and open, we should also learn to speak according to the occasion, in a proper way, and in wisdom. This is very important and this is also what all of us, who expend ourselves for God and perform duties, should live up to.”
Having read this, I was suddenly enlightened. When God requires man to be open, he does not mean to let man only keep an outward practice of being open. The true simplicity and openness means that one speaks and acts in a practical and realistic way and does not cover up the true facts, and at the same time can consider if his words and actions are beneficial to others’ life.
I examined myself: When someone told me his prejudices against and ill opinions of the leader, I did not fellowship with him about the truth, but I also spoke out my ill opinions of the leader; as a result, his prejudices against the leader were deepened. When I saw someone was aggressive and achieved results in his work and I thus became jealous, I told him all the corruption within me, dampening his enthusiasm unintentionally. When I was with some brother or sister, no matter what kind of person the other party was, I pointed out his or her deficiencies altogether without caring about the way I spoke; as a result, the other party wrote himself or herself off and lived in a passive state. When I saw someone was passive because of a certain matter and I also had weakness in that aspect, I poured out all my weakness to him, which caused him to live in a state of being submissive to himself….
Recalling my actions and behavior, I came to see that I was too foolish and ignorant and did not at all understand the internal meaning of God’s word. I only observed a regulation and kept an outward practice, but without considering my influence on others. I released my notions and ideas without any concealment, yet I thought that I was being simple and open and acting according to God’s requirement. I understood too little about God’s intention and knew too little of myself. How could my foolish openness not bring harm to others and cause them to be passive? Only then did I understand why the brothers and sisters all became passive after I “opened” to them.
O God, thanks for your inspiration and leading. It has made me see that I was too foolish and ignorant and understood the truth in a too absurd way. From now on, when I practice the truth concerning being simple and open, I will consider more the interests of the church and of the brothers and sisters, and learn to speak in a proper way, according to the occasion and the background, and in wisdom, so that I can soon reach the standard you require.
Jining City, Shandong Province