Every time I contacted and fellowshipped with the brothers and sisters, when they disagreed with me and my opinion was not accepted, I would get angry and speak in an irritable tone, trying to force the other party to follow my opinion. Thus, many times we ended up parting unhappily. Seeing that I always behaved like this, my leader fellowshipped with me, saying, “You always lose your temper, always hold to your own opinions, and always think you are most correct. This is a display of arrogance and self-rightness. You should learn to drop yourself and pursue transformation.” At the leader’s words, I only nodded and admitted that in so doing I was somewhat arrogant, but I thought to myself, “I just lose my temper easily, don’t I? If I try to change my hot temper, speak in a lower voice and softer tone, and be gentler when contacting others, won’t I be transformed?” However, though I tried to restrain myself, whenever I encountered that kind of situation, my words involuntarily had a strong smell of gunpowder again. And when I realized it, it was too late to help it. Because of this, I felt very puzzled: I’ve tried to restrain myself, but how come I have not gained any transformation?
One day, in The Replies to the Questions from the Churches in Various Places (1), I read this passage: “Man has an arrogant nature, so he is bound to display it in his working. To solve it, however, man cannot only restrain himself by his willpower. Rather, he has to know himself more deeply, see the degree to which he has been corrupted by satan, and know his arrogant nature being contemptible and ugly. Only thus can he loathe and hate and forsake it. Actually, when one’s arrogant nature is transformed, it is not, as we have imagined, that outwardly he becomes meeker than before, does not get impetuous or lose his temper, and can always be patient, humble, and obedient, but that because of having understood the truth, he can discern certain things, knows in what position he should stand, and is quite clear about what to say and what not to say; in other words, he has had rather sound sense.”
After reading this fellowship, I somewhat woke up. I did not know myself in God’s word and dissect myself to see what nature causes me to lose my temper easily. Instead, I simply put it down to my bad temper and impetuous character. I thought that I could be transformed as long as I restrained myself by willpower and spoke mildly. I was really too foolish and ignorant! In retrospect, what I displayed was utterly the ugly self of satan. Although I had nothing and had not the slightest truth, I tried to force others to follow my opinions. Was I not too arrogant and too ignorant of myself? Only God’s word is the truth; whatever is from my own will comes from satan. However, I tried to impose my knowledge and views on others. Isn’t this totally an archangelic nature? Isn’t it too loathsome and hateful to God?
Thank God for his inspiration. Now I have known that it was altogether governed by my arrogant and self-right nature that I often lost my temper. Only if I know my nature, see my ugliness and lowness, hate my nature, and practice according to God’s word, can I gain transformation; I can never gain transformation through restraining myself by willpower and changing my bad temper. From now on, I will eat and drink God’s word more, exert more effort to know my nature, and forsake my arrogant nature, so that my satanic nature can be transformed soon.
Linyi City, Shandong Province