46. The Principles of Offering Apologies
1. If you hurt or attack brothers and sisters resulting in them becoming negative, you must proactively offer them an apology and ask their forgiveness;
2. Offering apologies must be principled—never offer an apology to antichrists, evil people or evil spirits, so as to avoid shaming God;
3. Your apologies to others must be genuine. You must not be false and say a few perfunctory words, you should make them perceive your sincerity;
4. You must recognize your corruption according to God’s words, and dissect your own satanic nature for the other person, so that they may derive benefit and edification.
Relevant Words of God:
Against a certain background or in a certain environment, you felt it was wise, or that there was a good reason to do so, or that you had ample reasons to do so, and ultimately acted, after which you felt you were fully justified in doing so, and had nothing to be remorseful of. When evening came and you reflected upon what you did, or else one day when you gained enlightenment or were reproached, you then felt that the reason for saying those words at that time was not a reason, and that you should have behaved in another way. How should you practice at such times? For example, you did something to someone, you cheated them, or you spoke words that were either inaccurate or contained your own motivations, and so you should go and find that person to dissect what you did, and say: “The words I said at that time contained my personal motivations. If you can accept my apology, please forgive me.” Thus you dissect yourself, and lay yourself bare. It takes courage when you dissect yourself and lay yourself bare.
from “To Be Honest, You Should Lay Yourself Open to Others” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Some people only ever submit blindly, they always know themselves and always use their ways of conducting themselves when dealing with new matters, or use “wisdom” to deal with trivial matters that are unworthy of mention, those are people who are devoid of discernment, as if they by nature were to resign themselves to adversity, always being the same, never changing; this is a fool with no discernment whatsoever. They never suit measures to the circumstances or to different people. Such people do not have experience. I see that some people know themselves to a certain point that when confronted with those who have the work of the evil spirit they even lower their heads and admit guilt, not daring to stand up and condemn them. When faced with the obvious work of the Holy Spirit, they do not dare obey, either, believing that evil spirits are also in the hands of God, and not in the slightest do they dare to rise in resistance. These are people who do not have the dignity of God, and they are definitely unable to bear heavy burdens for God. Such muddled people do not differentiate. This way of experience ought therefore to be abandoned as it is untenable in the eyes of God.
from “On Experience” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Yet if you have to lay yourself bare to another person, you may lose your courage, and you may lose your resolve to do so, because you can’t take down your front, you can’t remove the facade, and so it is very difficult to put these things into practice. … This is the inability to face your corrupt substance, deceitfulness, and insidiousness properly; your state is always one of evasiveness, your condition is always evasive, you always forgive yourself, and are incapable of suffering or paying a price in this matter. … When God asks that people put every truth into practice, they are required to pay a price, and to really and literally act, practice, and experience…. In “sharing and communing experiences,” sharing means speaking of every thought in your heart, your state, your experiences and knowledge of God’s words, as well as the corrupt disposition within you—and after that, others differentiate, and accept the positive and recognize that which is negative. Only this is sharing, and only this is truly communing.
from “To Be Honest, You Should Lay Yourself Open to Others” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The Man’s Fellowship:
Regardless in what aspect we have violated truth, what principles we have violated in our actions, what harm we have brought to God’s chosen people, we must waste no time in admitting our errors. We must make formal apologies to people, and express repentance. This is authentic submission. Being able to accept pruning and being dealt with is true submission. Consider a person who does not accept pruning or being dealt with. No matter how correct what you say is, he does not submit, and even wishes his own errors on other people. This kind of person has no humanity. He does not accept it, no matter how closely your words match the facts, no matter how well your words conform to the truth. This is called being impervious to reason. A person who is impervious to reason is a person who has no humanity, and he is a beast, a wild animal, and a fiend. No words would be too strong.
from “True Entry Into Submission to God” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (VII)
When a person who loves truth has heard truth, and has heard the words of God, no matter how much he understands, he immediately carries it out accordingly. For example, a person makes a mistake in his work. He deals with a sister without having understood the facts. Later, he understands through inquiring that he dealt with her wrongly. What should be done? He wastes no time in apologizing, saying to the sister: “It was wrong of me to deal with you. I did not investigate the matter. I listened to what others told me and thought you acted this way. I am sorry. Any way you reprove me is acceptable. Next time I will not do such a thing.” Would you all say that this kind of person is someone who is willing to put the truth into practice? As soon as he has understood something about the truth, he put his understanding into practice. He suffers a setback or failure, and he corrects it. This kind of person can achieve understanding of truth and entry into reality. Notice some people, when they make a mistake and other people point out the mistake, they stand there shamelessly defending themselves anyway. Even if they had to die, they would not admit it. Can this sort of person put truth into practice? Because he cannot admit a mistake, and he cannot accept truth. Though he clearly has done something wrong, still he does not admit it. What brings this about? He has a particular nature: He tries to preserve his face despite great cost to himself. He will say that something is true even if it is not, just to preserve his face. Though something is wrong, he says it is right. Isn’t this the devilish nature of Satan? Isn’t this the nature of the great red dragon? So, if we people who believe in God make a mistake, what should we do about it? We must be able to declare it openly, and have the courage to admit the mistake. One is one, and two is two. “I made a mistake, and that was wrong. At the time I had such-and-such intention and so it caused me to make the mistake. I will not make the same mistake in this kind of matter in the future.” This is a person who is willing to put truth into practice.
from “Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word ‘Only Those Who Focus on Practice Can Be Perfected’” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (VII)
Some people obey the rules, and they are very good at obeying the rules. Yet there is treachery in the heart of this person, there is deception, and there are evil motives. Though his mouth does not say it, his heart is at work. His intention has not changed; he remains in a state of corruption. Though he may go on obeying the rules, he is not an honest person. Some people put on a false smile while saying something. The mouth says things that are pleasing to the ear, but the heart is not in it. What is this about? This is a contradiction between the inside and the outside. So, is this putting the truth into practice? It is clear that his heart has not attained purity, and his heart is not right. Practice of truth is from one’s inner being. Only when the heart calls you to carry out the truth can this truth be put into practice. The mouth cannot control the heart. You say to others, “I desire to put truth into practice.” In your heart, however, you don’t want to practice the truth. Will it be possible to put it into practice? For example, you do something that is unfair to another person. Your mouth says, “I shall make a formal apology to him.” If your heart is not convinced, however, this formal apology is simply words that come out of the mouth. In fact, it is not sincere. Isn’t this treachery and deception? Isn’t this selling someone a lie? To give falsehood to others, and hide the truth, is this not deception? So, in the matter of becoming an honest person, if you have the principles of practice, your intentions are correct and your practice of becoming an honest person comes from your heart, it will be easier to practice the truth.
from “The Value and Meaning of Pursuing the Truth” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (V)
What does it mean to truly know oneself? Talk about your current greatest transgressions, talk about the mistakes that God’s chosen ones care about most, the mistakes you ought to admit to. If you come to know yourself in such matters, and earnestly apologize to God’s chosen ones, then you are truly knowing yourself. Truly knowing yourself does not depend on how much you say. You might do it in just a few words, but if you speak of false self-knowledge, then you could say a hundred words but they would be of no use, no one would listen. When what you say is real—if you say, “Just now it was unfair to treat you like that, I was wrong, I apologize to you”—then a single sentence is enough, the problem is solved, and you need say nothing more. True self-knowledge only requires a few words. What’s the use in saying so much?
from “What Kind of Person Will Be Perfected by God” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (VII)