59. The Experience of Practicing the Truth
Hengxin Zhuzhou City, Hunan Province
Not too long ago, I heard “Sermons and Fellowship On Entry Into Life,” which led me 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 truth. For example, in the past I was afraid to show my darker side to others. Now I was consciously open with brothers and sisters, dissecting my corrupt disposition. Before, when I was pruned and dealt with, I would make excuses and shirk responsibility. Now I made a conscious effort to repudiate myself instead of trying to justify my bad behavior. In the past, when I experienced friction with my working partners, I was narrow-minded, petty and prone to sulking. Now when I encountered those situations I would forsake my flesh and exercise tolerance and patience with others. … Every time I thought of my progress in practicing the truth, I would feel extremely happy. I thought that my ability to practice some truth meant that I was a genuine practitioner of the truth. In this way, I unknowingly became haughty and self-congratulatory.
One day, I was flipping through “Records of Christ’s Talks” and stumbled upon the following words of God: “Some people say: I feel that I am able to put some truth 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 don’t carry out advanced and deep truths that involve your nature. If there is some transformation, it is in contrast to your past, and this transformation is only a small transformation of your humanity. However, 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.” After reading these words, I could not help but be stunned. All I have accomplished were a few good behaviors? I’m still far from genuinely practicing the truth? Well then, I thought, what does it mean to genuinely practice the truth? I started to explore the real answer to this question. Later, in the man’s fellowship, I saw the following words: “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. The conscience and reason they possess as normal human beings compel them to do their part as God’s creations. To them, practicing the truth is the essence of being human; 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 what it means to be human, 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? When 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. 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 my working partners, 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 how I had been practicing the truth, I finally realized 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. How could I say I was practicing the truth because I understood the significance of it? How was I doing this to satisfy my God? I was doing it to satisfy myself and show off to others. I was tricking and cheating God. In reality, I was betraying the truth. My so-called “practicing of the truth” was just following the rules. It was an exercise of restraint, a cessation of certain bad behaviors. It was only an external change. I was and am 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!
God, thank You for Your enlightenment and guidance. Thank You for showing me that I was not a true practitioner of the truth and that my implementation of the truth did not meet Your standards. From this day forward, I’m willing to examine my own intentions and hold myself to the standards required to practice the truth. I will rid myself of impurities and become a genuine practitioner of the truth.