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Gospel Reader

Judging by Appearances Is Just Absurd

22

By Yifan, Henan Province

In the past, I often judged people by their appearances, holding charming, erudite and eloquent people in especially high regard. I believed such people were sensible, good at understanding others and generally good and kind. Only recently, as the reality revealed itself, have I come to correct this absurd way of thinking.

Judging by Appearances Is Just Absurd

One night near dusk, as soon as I had returned to my host family, I saw a young man wearing a suit and leather shoes sitting in the room. He wore a finely wrought pair of spectacles, which accentuated his cultured and scholarly manner. My hostess was an elderly sister who informed me that the young man was her son and that he was currently working as an official in the municipal government of a large city. He dressed so smartly, was so cultured in how he spoke and comported himself, and was reputed to be a college graduate, and he had a decent job in the municipal government—because I had had to quit school early due to my family’s poor financial situation, all this made me incredibly envious. It was truly the first time I had seen someone with such charm and scholarliness. I thought to myself: “Someone so cultured and of such high status and cultivation will certainly be a good person who is amiable, humane and rational.” With that thought in mind, I began trying to discuss matters of faith with him, but his reaction was quite contrary to my expectations. He rose to his feet in a clamor and slammed his fist down on the table yelling, “Get out of here right now! If you don’t leave this instant I’ll call the police!” Having spoken, he immediately took out his cell phone and began dialing 110. I was utterly dumbfounded and didn’t know what to do next. It was nearly 10 p.m., if I left now where would I go? Just then, the elderly sister quickly came forward and tried to talk her son down, saying, “It’s already late, she can leave tomorrow.” As soon as he saw that I would spend the night there, he became furious, literally pushing and shoving me out the door, and in the process yelling, “The CCP government is an atheist government that does not allow people to believe in God. How could I, a cadre of the government and beneficiary of public funds, allow a missionary to stay in my home? Get out of here now!” With that, he furiously picked up my bicycle and threw it right at me and then shoved me and my bike right out the door. The elderly sister went after me with the intent of taking me to another host family’s house, but her son wouldn’t allow it, pulling her back inside and locking the door. I heard her crying, “Where do you expect a girl to go late at night all by herself?” “Let her go where she goes—with her God’s protection she has nothing to fear, right?” He yelled in reply, tearing her back inside.

Staring blankly at the blinking stars of the night sky and the cars roaring by on the highway, I felt sad and heavy hearted: “If you don’t want me living in your house then fine, but there’s no reason to stop the elderly sister from taking me to another host family. How could you be so inhumane, so vicious! Even a beggar should not be treated in this way! I have no idea where another host family is and I’m stranded with no place to go in the dead of night. What am I supposed to do?” With these thoughts rattling through my head, tears came to my eyes. At that moment, the fine impression I had of the elderly sister’s son’s charm, knowledge and cultivation was thoroughly wiped away. Only then did I think of the following words of God: “It is a truism that ‘there are no righteous upon this earth, the righteous are not in this world.’” (“The Wicked Must Be Punished” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I also thought of a sermon, “How could we call those who resist or persecute God truly good people? Ever since man was corrupted by Satan, he has become an expert in disguise and in covering himself with life philosophy. On the outside, he looks like a person, but when someone begins to testify to God, his demonic nature is revealed. Not many people realize this, so they are often blinded and fooled by the platitudes and niceties of others. God’s words and work can best expose man. Those without the truth are merely hypocrites. Those who understand the truth will see clearly with regard to this issue. Those who do not understand the truth fail to see anything clearly and as a result their viewpoints are absurd” (“A Fundamental Change in Viewpoints Is a Sign of Truly Understanding the Truth” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life). These words made me come to my senses. Indeed, God said there are no truly good people in the secular world: This couldn’t be more true. For only God can see through to the essence of man. God’s word reveals the true circumstance of corrupt humanity. I, however, didn’t believe in God’s word, didn’t view people according to God’s word, but rather used my own imagining and secular worldview to judge people. I always thought that those with knowledge, status and cultivation were invariably humane, rational and understanding of others. My viewpoint could not have been more absurd! Little did I know, on the outside some may look cultured and charming, but on the inside they are sick of the truth and hate the truth, and the moment someone mentions God or faith in God, an unrestrained fury surges forth from them as though they are enemies, and they are willing to follow in the CCP’s wake, defying God and persecuting God’s chosen people. This government official that I met was a perfect example. On the surface, he had charm, eloquence, and culture, but as soon as I brought up matters of faith, he completely lost it. He condemned, expelled and threatened people who believed in God, and he completely revealed his satanic nature that is hostile to God. In the face of these facts, I realized that there are no good people among corrupted men. Only those who experience God’s work, who accept God’s judgment and chastisement and whose dispositions have changed can possess normal humanity and reason, can truly worship and obey God, and can be counted as genuine people. Mankind has been so deeply corrupted by Satan that their corrupt dispositions fill the marrow of their bones. If a person lacks truth, no matter how much knowledge, status, charm or cultivation he has, he is not a genuinely good person.

Through this experience, I see that I have not been judging people by their essence, but by their superficial caliber, and that my outlook has been so absurd. This experience has also revealed that I have been following God for many years without having understood the truth; my outlook on things has not undergone a true transformation, and I don’t know how to discern people, I don’t understand things thoroughly and my stature is pitifully immature. In the future I must correct all of my absurd viewpoints, learn to see people and things according to God’s word, and do my utmost to pursue the truth and seek to become compatible with God.