47. The Secrets Hidden Behind the Pursuit
Li Li Dezhou City, Shandong Province
Not long ago, I was uplifted by God and promoted to region worker. One day, when gathered with my co-workers, I couldn’t help but think to myself: I must do well. If I performed poorly, how would my leaders and co-workers see me? As a consequence, when we discussed a subject together, so long as I had just a little understanding of the subject, then I would try to be the first to say something, however when I had no understanding of the subject at hand and was unable to say anything, I found myself getting anxious. During those few days of meetings, I felt very tired and especially anxious, as though I was in some combat arena. Later, I brooded over what I revealed and I realized this type of situation was simply down to my own vanity and there was no real problem.
Then one day, the leaders notified me of a meeting, I felt particularly excited when I learned that the supervisor would convene the meeting, and I thought: It looks like I’m going to be trained up, if I do well and leave a good impression then maybe I’ll be promoted, and when my own responsibility is increased, then not only will my co-workers admire me but so will my brothers and sisters. So at the meeting, I spoke very tentatively, fearing that any inappropriate words would leave a poor impression on my leaders. When the meeting finally ended, I felt elated even though I was anxious and tired in the days prior, and I felt that future held a lot of promise. From that point onward, my “pursuit” had greatly increased in strength.
Until later, the above issued a sermon “Understanding Our Own Corrupted Essence Before We Are Capable of Getting on the Right Track of Belief in God,” of which I saw there is this to say: “When people tried to get to know themselves in the past, they only paid attention to what transgressions they had committed or what corruptions they had revealed, but neglected to dissect their every word and action to see which were Satan’s corruptions, which were the poisons of the great red dragon, which were mankind’s imaginings and conceptions, and which were falsehoods and deviations. Besides these things, people must also dissect their own attitudes and internal states, to grasp the things hidden deep in their hearts, and come before God to see through these things using the truth. Only then can a person know the reality of their own corruption and see the problem of their corrupt essence. Just because a person has not committed major transgressions does not mean there are no problems deep in their heart. Some hidden malice, dispositions and problems in a person’s nature are even more difficult to resolve. Small illnesses can’t kill people; only major illnesses take lives.” After reading this, I couldn’t help but think of my own psychology from the two previous meetings, and inwardly I thought: What nature dominated it? At that point, I started looking for the corresponding truths for my own situation so that I might examine and dissect it.
Under God’s guidance, I saw the word of God: “some people particularly idolize Paul: They like to give speeches and work outside. They like to meet together and speak; they like when people listen to them, worship them, surround them. They like to have stature in the minds of others and appreciate when others value their image. What do we discover about a man’s nature from this kind of behavior? Let us analyze his nature: What kind of nature does this type of person with this sort of behavior have? How could it be verbally summarized? Ordinary people cannot see through this but can only view the behavior. What is the relationship between the behavior and the person’s nature? What is his nature? You cannot identify it, can you? If he really behaves in this way, then that is enough to show that he is arrogant and conceited. He does not worship God at all; he seeks high status, and he wants to have authority over others, to possess them, to have stature in their minds. This is a classic image of Satan. What stands out about his nature is arrogance and conceit, unwillingness to worship God, and a desire for the worship of others. Is this not his nature? You can see clearly into his nature from these behaviors” (“How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks). I repeatedly tried to figure out God’s every word, and compared them with my own thoughts, words and deeds, only then did I see the truth. The reason why I was particularly nervous and subject to control at the meeting wasn’t to let others pay attention to me or attach value to me? Was it not just to get a higher status and have more people look up to me? When I felt leaders thought highly of me, I thought my own future was full of promise, and felt even more smug and energetic. From that I saw the nature of my own arrogance, I always wanted to stand higher, to govern people, to have a place in people’s hearts, I sought the same as Paul. In essence, what I pursued wasn’t to worship or satisfy God, but to use the status given by God to satisfy my own desires and ambitions. Wasn’t this exactly how the archangel expressed its arrogance? Didn’t I take the path of the antichrist?
Previously when I attended meetings I was easily constrained, but I just thought that I was too vain, and I didn’t dissect the things behind. Now after analysis I recognized that this was driven by an arrogant and conceited nature, behind which was personal scheming and arrogant ambitions. I was dominated by my own arrogance, and did much against God: I bustled around performing my duty and was desperate to express myself so as to gain a higher status and get the admiration of my brothers and sisters; when I laid myself bare in front of my brothers and sisters, I never really analyzed the things hidden deep inside, rather I talked about my external acts to exalt myself and bear witness to myself; when I ate and drank the word of God, it wasn’t to raise my understanding or to receive the truth, but to show off to my brothers and sisters. … When I thought of this I cringed: I was not serving God, I was completely engaged with my own affairs and resisted God. Now, if God hadn’t allowed me to realize my own arrogant nature, and see myself as the embodiment of Satan, then I would continue with my arrogant ways, and might do evil things that resist and betray God and thus be subject to God’s punishment.
I thank God for His timely enlightenment and guidance which led me to recognize the substance of my own arrogant nature, and allowed me to see that I was taking the road of the antichrist; this experience has especially made me realize that, in my experience not only should I pay attention to recognizing my own revelations and transgressions but comparing them to the truth and analyzing the things hidden deep inside to get a better understanding of my own nature and to make changes to my disposition. In the future, I would like to carefully dissect my own state of mind and internal condition, and understand my own corrupt essence, seek and get on the right track to God’s salvation.