Question (8) In real life, I can’t experience or practice the word of God, nor can I ponder the word of God. I am unclear about what kind of progress I am really making, and what I am still lacking, and I can’t search my soul and get to know myself. I just spend my days in bewilderment like this, and so my entry into life is quite poor and my disposition is not transformed. In my heart, I feel unhappiness and pain. How can I grab hold of my everyday experiences and do self-reflection to make faster progress in my life?
The answer is as follows: To achieve quick understanding of truth, you have to be someone who really pursues truth, and there are several aspects you must pay attention to. First, you have to expend some effort on eating and drinking God’s word. You will gain some understanding of your personal shortcomings, corruption, or areas where there are still problems in you. You will realize your outlook on things is problematic and you don’t practice obedience. These things, for the most part, are made clear and understood through eating and drinking the word of God. Getting to know yourself, achieving true repentance, achieving a transformation in your outlook, achieving a change to your life disposition—this means to truly enter into reality. Trying to enter into reality by paying attention to only one segment will not do. In eating and drinking the word of God, you really have to earnestly ponder. You need to know how to eat and drink the word of God, and do so according to the principles of eating and drinking the word of God to achieve an understanding of truth. This is the first segment. Secondly, when performing your duties, you often examine yourself: While doing your duties have you followed the rules? Have you just gone through the motions? Have you sought truth and practiced truth? Have you been considerate of God’s will? Have you been willing to perform your duty as a created being? By reflecting on yourself in this manner you will be clear on your own corruption that revealed, your true stature, what you are truly lacking, and how pitiful you are. As such, you will have achieved this result—seeing clearly and knowing well about yourself. Do you think this is important to making progress in life? It’s extremely important. The implementation of this second point is crucial. Thirdly, it is better to have leaders and workers to prune and deal with you. This is of great value. Not having someone to prune and deal with you won’t work. Being pruned and dealt with is being shown favor. The things you cannot obtain as you examine yourself, and as you eat and drink the word of God are obtained through pruning and dealing. This is being shown favor. This is the most critical link. So you may have shortcomings in some aspects, you may have some corruption, you may be disobedient, or do not have reality—you recognize it and are conscious of it, but can your change and progress be fast? Furthermore, is your consciousness and understanding deep enough? Certainly it is not deep enough. Certainly your progress is slow. If you have someone who will strictly prune you and deal with you in this regard, which makes you do self-reflection and pray before God, then your understanding of it will become deeper, and you will realize it in one go—this way, isn’t your personal progress a bit faster? Have you ever experienced this? Would you say your progress is faster through your own introspection or through pruning and dealing? But people are not willing to accept pruning and dealing, always thinking it is too embarrassing, and never able to endure the bitterness. So they just like to take their time, gradually doing soul-searching, gradually entering with no sense of urgency. You can make progress this way, but it’s slow, isn’t it? I am afraid the results you could obtain in three days of pruning and dealing would take half a year of personal examination, don’t you think? So those of you who truly want to pursue the truth, are you willing to accept pruning and dealing? Pruning and dealing of course has no consideration for anyone’s sensibilities. It doesn’t make arguments. It’s efficient. It slaps you right in the face. One burst of words and you’re awake. When you use cool water to wash your face, you feel stimulated. This takes a whole basin of cold water and splashes it in your face so that even if you were dead it would revive you. Which effect do you think is best? When I prune and deal with people, I pour cold water—a basin of cold water right in their face. Sometimes they can’t breathe, continuously blubbering. Five or six days later they stand, much more clear-headed than before. Self-examination is like taking a little bit of medicine and slowly being cured. Pruning and dealing is like a major operation, but after several days all is better. Are you clear on how to enter life more quickly?