What Is a Genuine Practice of the Truth?
By Hengxin, Hunan Province
Not too long ago, after listening to some sermons, I started to understand that only those who practice the truth can obtain the truth and ultimately become ones who possess the truth and humanity thus attaining God’s approval. From then on, I made a conscious effort to forsake my flesh and practice the truth in my daily life. Some time later, I happily discovered that I could practice some truths. For example, in the past, after I revealed corruption, I was afraid to show my dark side to others. Now I was consciously open with my brothers and sisters, dissecting my corrupt disposition. Before, when I was pruned and dealt with, I would always make excuses and shirk responsibility. Now I made a conscious effort to deny myself instead of trying to justify my bad behavior. In the past, when I experienced friction with the brothers and sisters that I was partnered with, I was narrow-minded, petty and prone to sulking. Now when I encountered those situations I would forsake my flesh and consciously exercise tolerance and patience with others. Every time I thought of my “results” in practicing the truth, I would feel extremely happy. I thought that my ability to practice some truths meant that I was a genuine practitioner of the truth. And so, in this way I unknowingly came to live in a state of complacency and self-admiration.
One day, I came upon the following words of God: “Some people say: ‘I feel that I am able to put some truths into practice now, it’s not that I can’t put any truth into practice. In some environments, I can do things in accordance with truth, which means I count as a person who puts truth into practice, and I count as a person who has the truth.’ Actually, in contrast with the states of the past, or in contrast with when you first believed in God, there is a little transformation. In the past, you didn’t understand anything, and you didn’t know what the truth was or what a corrupt disposition was. Now you know some things and you are able to have some good practices, but this is only a small part of the transformation; it is not truly a transformation of your disposition, because you are unable to carry out advanced and deep truths that involve your nature. In contrast to your past, you indeed have some transformation, but this transformation is only a small transformation of your humanity; when compared with the highest state of truth, you are way off the mark. This is to say that you have not hit the mark when putting truth into practice” (“Understanding Nature and Putting Truth Into Practice” in Records of Christ’s Talks). After reading these words, I could not help but be stunned. All I have accomplished were just a few good behaviors? I’m still far from genuinely practicing the truth? Well then, what does it mean to genuinely practice the truth? I began to look for truths related to this question. Later, I read a sermon that says: “Those who willingly practice the truth can afford the price and are willing to accept the hardships involved. Obviously, their hearts are filled with happiness and enjoyment. Those willing to practice the truth will never just go through the motions, because they are not just doing it for show, but because they possess the conscience and reason of a normal humanity, and are performing their duty as God’s creatures. To them, practicing the truth is fundamental to being human, and it is a quality one with normal humanity should possess” (The Fellowship From the Above). After reading this, I finally understood: Genuine practitioners of the truth can practice the truth because they understand the purpose of doing so. They know that practicing the truth is both the foundation and the reality of being a person, and it is a quality that humans should have. Therefore, they don’t do it for show; they see it as their duty. They are willing to endure hardships and pay the price; they are devoid of personal intentions and desires. But how did I practice the truth? After revealing my corrupt dispositions, I may have been forthright and laid them bare to my brothers and sisters, but in my heart I was thinking, “See how I practice the truth! I’m able to lay open my own corrupt dispositions to you. That makes me better than you guys, huh?” When I was pruned and dealt with, I may not have made excuses out loud, but inside I was saying, “See? I no longer make excuses. I’ve improved so much. I probably qualify as someone who is willing to accept the truth now, huh?” When I had friction with the brothers and sisters I partnered with, I may have consciously tried to restrain myself and avoid any outbursts, but in my heart I was thinking, “See? I’m not like I was before, petty and narrow-minded. I’ve changed, huh?” … When I thought of my mindset when I practiced the truth, I finally admitted that I wasn’t really practicing the truth. I was full of my own motives and desires. I was doing it for show. I wanted other people to admire me and compliment me, leaving them a good impression. I had not been practicing the truth because I understood its significance or because I was willing to satisfy God, but instead I did it simply to satisfy myself and to show off to others. I had been tricking and cheating God, and the essence of my actions was a betrayal of the truth. My so-called “practicing of the truth” was just following the rules. It was just an exercise of self-restraint relying on willpower, and just keeping certain bad behaviors in check. It was only a false appearance. I was still quite far from meeting the standards required of a truth practitioner. However, not only did I shamelessly think that I was a practitioner of the truth, I even became self-congratulatory as a result. My behavior was truly beyond the pale!
Thank God for His enlightenment and guidance. Thank Him for showing me that I was not a true practitioner of the truth and that my implementation of the truth did not meet God’s standards, and for allowing me to find the correct path to practicing the truth. From this day forward, I’m willing to examine my own intentions and make demands of myself according to the standards of practicing the truth. I will rid myself of impurities and become a genuine practitioner of the truth.
I Was Not Following Peter’s Path
At this point, I fell down before God: Oh God! Thank You for timely salvation, which made me up from my stupor, realize my real situation, and see that I was still walking the path of Paul the Pharisee. My work and the fulfilling of my duty was exactly the same as the Pharisees, which must have disgusted You.
A Haughty Spirit Before a Fall
In the Bible, the Book of Proverbs says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Just as I was diving head-first into my work with very high hopes, I felt that, in my heart, I was losing touch with God. Not only did my work fail to fall into place, but also the effectiveness of our gospel work went from soaring to taking a nosedive. I fell into an extremely painful position, but wasn’t sure what I did wrong.
God’s Words Led Me Out of the Woods
God uses these difficulties to allow us to taste the hardships of His own work, to allow us to see with our own eyes His will to save mankind to the greatest extent possible, thus recognizing God’s kindness and beauty. God’s work truly is so wise, so wonderful!
A Bit of Understanding of Being Saved
“Only Those Who Gain the Truth and Enter Into Reality Are Truly Saved”: “Being saved by God is not as simple as people imagine. We must rely on the judgment and chastisement as well as the trials and refinement from God’s word in every step of our experiences.”