17. The Bitter Fruit of Arrogance
Hu Qing Suzhou City, Anhui Province
When I saw God’s words saying: “Those of you who serve as leaders always want to have greater ingenuity, to be head and shoulders above the rest, to find new tricks so that God can see how capable you really are. … You always want to show off; isn’t this precisely the revelation of an arrogant nature?” (“Without the Truth It Is Easy to Offend God” in Records of Christ’s Talks), I thought to myself: Who has such nerve to try to find ingenious new tricks? Who doesn’t know that God’s disposition does not tolerate man’s offense? I certainly wouldn’t dare! I personally believed that I had a heart of reverence for God, and in my work I didn’t dare to try to find tricks. However, it was only in God’s revelation of the facts that I realized that trying to find new tricks wasn’t what someone dares or doesn’t dare to do—it is entirely determined by an arrogant nature.
Not long ago, I discovered that there was a church with a leader who was not adequate. She slept during gatherings and didn’t have a kind nature, while her partner had many responsibilities. So, I wanted to replace this church leader and allow her partner to perform the church leader’s work. However, I was concerned that this would make the church leader negative, weak, and stop her faith, or that she would disrupt things in the church. After much pondering, I thought of a “clever plan.” I would secretly get her partner to take on the full scope of work; everything arranged by the church would be taken care of by her partner, and the church leader would be nothing but a figurehead. So I had neither sought God nor looked at the work arrangements and principles of the work. I had carried this out only after notifying the district leader’s partner and the district preacher. After that, I was very self-congratulatory, believing that I was very clever and really had wisdom in my work. I thought: If the leader knew about this, he would certainly say that I am capable in my work, and maybe he’d even end up promoting me. But I had not imagined that when I told the leader about this, he would say: “This is you trying to find new tricks. Where in the work arrangements did it say that you could do this? An inadequate leader can be replaced, but we cannot carry out work according to our own will and put aside the principles of the church. This is serious resistance against God. …” After hearing this communication from the leader, I was shocked. I absolutely had never imagined that I would unwittingly try to find new tricks. What I had believed to be a “clever plan” was actually serious resistance against God, and I was truly ashamed when faced with the facts. At that time, I couldn’t help but think of God’s utterances: “For example, if you have arrogance and conceit inside you, it will be impossible to not defy God, but instead you would be made to defy Him. You wouldn’t do it on purpose; you would do it under the domination of your arrogant and conceited nature. Your arrogance and conceit would make you look down on God, it would make you see God as being of no account …” (“Only by Seeking the Truth Can You Obtain Changes in Your Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks). It was true. When faced with this issue I had not sought God, nor had I considered it through the principles of the church. I had just acted according to my own will. I saw my arrogant and conceited nature, that I did not have a heart of reverence for God, and that God did not hold a position in my heart. Only at that time did I realize that finding new tricks wasn’t something I dared or did not dare to do, but it was something determined by my own arrogant nature. If I did not recognize my own arrogant nature, I would never seize hold of myself. I might one day even do something to resist God that would make Him feel disgust and hatred. Only at that time did I realize that serving God is not a simple thing. If I do not have the truth, if there is no change in disposition, if I do not recognize my own arrogant nature, I could unwittingly offend God’s disposition. That really is too dangerous! Thanks to God’s enlightenment, I understood from this incident why God’s household has time and time again required us to work according to the work arrangements and principles. It is because mankind’s nature is always arrogant and we all seek to show off, to “bring to light” our own abilities for God to see, so we frequently resist God and offend His disposition. Only by faithfully working according to the work arrangements can we protect ourselves.
Oh God! Thank You for revealing my arrogant and conceited nature. From this day forward, I will certainly take this as a warning and put more effort into knowing my own nature. I will work strictly according to the work arrangements. I will truly be a person who has reason, adheres to principles, and has a heart of reverence for You.