Chapter 82. The Path of Practice to Resolve Willfulness
What’s up with someone when they love to give excuses? What’s the root cause? They are being willful. Willful people do not easily accept the truth; they’re disobedient, and when they hear one word that does not conform with their own ideas, viewpoints, likes, feelings or emotions, then they don’t accept it; they say, “I don’t care whether it’s right or wrong, who said it, in what context it was said, or whether it has anything to do with my responsibilities and duties; I don’t regard these things. Satisfying my own feelings is a matter of importance.” Is this not being willful? What does willfulness cause people to lose in the end? It makes it hard for them to gain the truth. Not accepting the truth is brought about by man’s corrupt disposition, but in the end, you will find it hard to gain the truth. The things that people are made to live out and naturally reveal by their natures, their essences and their instincts—what they do, what they think, what attitude they have and what their states are, the things that are naturally exposed—are all contrary to the truth. That is, they do not wish to accept the truth, they pay no heed to the rights or wrongs of the truth, and the things they think of and do bear no relation to the truth. They always want to do things in accordance with their own ideas and desires, and in accordance with their likes. These are the instincts of man and they are the natural expressions of his corrupt disposition. But if you are not willful, if you mature a little, are a little humble, if you do not expose your naturalness when something happens to you, but are calm and pray, and you allow God to deal with you and you associate with God in your heart, if you are able to be quiet before God, if you accept the truth—if you have this kind of state of mind in your actions, in how you get along with people, in the doing of your duties and listening to fellowships—if you always have this kind of state of mind and if your heart is always correct before God, then it doesn’t matter how many corrupt dispositions you possess and it doesn’t matter how deeply corrupted you are. Your heart is correct, you won’t expose your naturalness when things happen to you and you won’t act relying on your own will. You will accept the things which are correct and, once you have accepted them, you will slowly assimilate them over time. At that point, you may have some conflicting emotions, or you may feel a little uncomfortable. But you have such a correct state, you accept them, then in secret you gradually pray-read, contemplate and fellowship. The things that you conflict with or that you find hard to accept will be assimilated bit by bit, over some time, you will understand and accept the truth within them and it will become your life. When it becomes your life, you will finally be living out the reality of the truth. You will be able to live out the reality of the truth and, during this time, you will gain experience and appreciation of the reality of the truth; so won’t you be able to fellowship about the reality of the truth? And what if you are willful? “The brother above speaks wrongly, God speaks wrongly, so-and-so speaks wrongly, so I don’t have to listen, and I have an excuse not to listen.” Is this not being willful? Your rebellious disposition comes out and you always give excuses. You don’t know what other people are saying at that time or what aspect of the truth they’re talking about, then afterward you don’t practice the truth of obedience, and you don’t study or enter into the lesson of how to obey the truth. In the end, you can never gain the truth, you are never in a normal state, those things inside you are always so superficial and your life is always so immature. So, what is the final result? (Our lives cannot mature.) And what is the key point? Your fault of willfulness can never be changed. You depend on your own self-restraint, and maybe today you are in good health, your states are pretty good and, as far as you’re concerned, all your conditions are suitable, and it seems as though you are not willful. But the second something happens that involves your willfulness, it comes out again and it cannot be changed. Relying on your own self-restraint—subduing your body—is taking control by depending on your own strength, and so you will not succeed; you will not even be able to subdue such a small fault. But if you learn obedience and become quiet before God, then these faults, these corrupt dispositions, will be resolved bit by bit from the root up, and you will no longer need to exercise self-restraint. You have to first learn how to practice, and how to enter onto and practice the path that resolves problems related to this aspect. You will then slowly come to understand the truth and slowly enter into the reality of the truth. Resolving your corrupt disposition is similar to an ant gnawing on a bone. You begin with your states and resolve them little by little; once they are resolved, this fault of yours will in fact also be resolved little by little; and once this fault is resolved, your corrupt disposition will in fact, little by little, be changed.