18. There Is a Way to Resolve Arrogance
Xiaochen Zhengzhou City, Henan Province
Arrogance is my fatal flaw. I used to frequently reveal my arrogant disposition, always thinking that I was better than other people. Especially when I amended articles or communicated about work with a partner, I was always opinionated and did not modestly listen to other opinions. My inability to cooperate harmoniously with my partners often caused problems for work. Brothers and sisters raised this issue with me many times, and I also regularly read about God exposing people’s arrogant nature. But since I still had not achieved true understanding of my own nature and essence and also could not truly hate it, whenever I encountered a suitable environment I would lose control. Afterward, I would also feel quite disgusted, but since what’s done has been done, all I could do was to keep trying to understand it. And so it happened again and again. This made me feel very embarrassed and helpless.
I once saw the following words of God when practicing spiritual devotion: “How do you resolve your nature? Firstly, you must know your nature and you must also understand both the word and the will of God. How then can you ensure, to the greatest extent, that you avoid committing wrongful acts, only doing that which conforms to the truth? If you wish to make a change, then you must deliberate on this. In terms of your flawed nature, what sorts of corruption it constitutes and which manner of acts it is capable of, what approach can then be adopted and how may it be practiced in order to control it—this is the crucial question. … Lin Zexu was quick to anger. Based on his own weakness he wrote down the following motto in his room: ‘Bridle Your Temper.’ This is man’s approach, however it truly does work. Each individual has his or her own principles to follow, so you should also set principles with respect to your own nature. These principles are necessary, not having them is out of the question. This should also be your motto for believing in God and your code of conduct” (“Resolving Nature and Practicing Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks). God’s words gave me an immediate path I could take. I understood: To change a rebellious disposition, on the one hand you must often eat and drink words about God exposing man’s corrupt essence, and on the other you have to focus on a motto for controlling your nature so you can consciously control revelations of your nature and thus forsake yourself to practice the truth. Hence, in accordance with aspects of my corruption such as my arrogant nature, self-righteousness, and unwillingness to listen to the opinions of partners, I formulated a motto: “There’s nothing for a handful of dung can be arrogant about except for a bit of stench.” Whenever I communicated on a question with my partners, I would first use this motto to warn myself, remembering firmly that my essence is dung and that my entire body is covered in stench. I would also remember how I had caused too many problems for work because of my arrogance and ego, and that there was nothing to be arrogant about. That way, I wouldn’t maintain that I was always absolutely right, and it would also give me a sliver of a seeking heart, making me willing to humble myself and listen to the opinions of others. I sometimes still wanted to refute others’ views, but as soon as I thought of the motto, I would consciously forsake myself and practice the truth of harmonious coordination.
After a while, I surprisingly discovered that, when I humbled myself, I would receive some of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and illumination from my partners’ communication, and see some of the absurd aspects in my receiving of the truth. At the same time, I also discovered some of the strengths of others, and I was willing to draw on them to complement myself. I also did not think I was better than other people at everything and lowered my conceited head too. Betraying myself did not feel as painful as it did before, and I felt from the heart that humbling myself and modestly listening to the opinions of my partners was quite nice, not only benefiting the progression of my own life but also improving the results of our work through making up for each other’s deficiencies and coming together as one.
Through this experience, I tasted the sweetness of practicing the truth and saw that formulating a motto could make myself consciously control revelations of my corruption, not only reducing my transgressions but also earning more opportunities to understand the truth. At the same time, I also realized that the past revelations of my arrogant nature were too ugly and disgusting. Thank God for leading me to know these things. From now on, I will formulate corresponding mottos to the various aspects of my corruption and restrain myself so I can practice the truth. I will also often read God’s word to know the essence of my own nature so that I can truly hate myself and get rid of my corruption as soon as possible to satisfy God.