My Heart Was More Insidious than the Ancient Serpent
God says: “Your lips are kinder than doves, but your heart is more sinister than the ancient serpent. Your lips are even as beautiful as the daughters of Lebanon, but your heart is not as kind as theirs or as beautiful as that of the Canaanites. Your heart is too crafty.” Every time I read this passage, I did not relate it to myself. I always thought that I had a good humanity and was a good person. However, I, the “good person,” was thoroughly exposed by God.
Last spring, the leader told us several clerks to meet with her. During the meeting, a sister suddenly fell ill, and that very seriously. Judging from her condition, she could not get well in a day or two. Then, a trace of secret pleasure flickered across my mind: You are ill. This month you’ll not surpass me in the result of the gospel work. In the past you always outdid me and made me unable to lift up my head. This month, watch me! After the meeting, the leader said to me, “This meeting is very important, and many work arrangements urgently need to be carried out. XX is so ill; would you please go and help implement them in the work of her area?” “OK! That’s also work of God’s family.” I promised readily. But in my heart I had my own calculation: I won’t go there until I have implemented them well in the work of my area.
Thus, I returned to my working area, and I immediately called the small-district leaders together and fellowshipped with them for three days with a great burden. Not until I considered all my works were arranged properly did I go to Sister XX’s working area. When I met with the small-district leaders there, a thought came to my mind suddenly: Let me have a casual fellowship with you. Anyway I’ve come, and if the leader asks I can give her a report. Besides, even if I have a good fellowship with you and thus you get a good result, I won’t be given credit. If you outdo us again this month, where shall I hide my face? When I was thinking about this, the Holy Spirit rebuked me within: How can you think so? You know you are one in charge of the work! The rebuke of the Holy Spirit made me realize that I should not have this thought, but satan’s ideas still disturbed me within and I just wanted to go through the motions. I sat there knowing not where to begin to talk, feeling really oppressed inside. I had to pray to God silently: O God, isn’t it very malicious and selfish of me to have this thought? I want to drop my wrong intent, but I can’t overcome. May you lead me so that I can overcome satan’s temptation. Today I come here to implement the work arrangements, and this is a duty I should perform. I’m willing to satisfy you in this matter. If I have any perfunctory and slipshold expression, curse me! After the prayer, I was much relieved….
After implementing the work arrangements, when I ate and drank God’s word together with them, I happened to read this passage: “Your lips are kinder than doves…. Your heart is too crafty.” Facing the disclosure of God’s words, I reddened at the thought that I promised with nice words but my heart was full of malice. Am I not an insidious and crafty person? They are both works of God’s family, but I treated them differently. I did not consider the interests of God’s family at all but scrambled for fame and position for myself. Wasn’t this the behavior of satan? When the sister fell ill, I not only did not care for and help her or worry that the work of God’s family would suffer a loss, but I gloated over her illness. Wasn’t my heart more malicious than the ancient serpent? O God! Thank you for arranging the circumstances for me so that I have known my malicious inherent nature and understood that what your word discloses are all the substantive things in man. But I always measured myself by my appearances, thinking myself to be a good person. Today, in your exposing, I have clearly seen my true self—I am more insidious than the ancient serpent.
Suqian City, Jiangsu Province