39. Using God’s Word as a Mirror
Wu Xia Linyi City, Shandong Province
After accepting this work and eating and drinking the word of God, it became obvious to me that it is very important that I understand myself. Consequently, while eating and drinking the word of God, I made sure to cross-check myself against the word by which God exposes man. In most cases, I was able to recognize my deficiencies and inadequacies. I felt that I would really come to understand myself. Yet, it was only through a revelation from God that I was able to see that I did not truly understand myself according to God’s word.
One day, I went somewhere with a district leader to withdraw some money. When the amount of money was confirmed and the receipt was written, we had a disagreement, and for a while, neither of us would back down. At the time, the district leader suddenly blurted out: “If you destroy the last receipt, then there would be no evidence. What if you just keep the money to yourself?” I didn’t know what to feel after hearing this, but it certainly felt like a big insult to my integrity; it was very difficult for me to swallow. I thought: What kind of person do you think I am? I have followed God all these years and am a good person. How could I do something like that? Besides, I have taken charge of this work for so many years and have never made a mistake with the finances, so why would I steal the church’s money? In what way did I resemble Judas? … The more I thought about it, the angrier I became. The more I thought about it, the more I felt that she looked down on me and bossed me around. I was so hurt that it nearly brought me to tears.
In my pain, I suddenly remembered God’s words, “The environment around us as well as the people, matters and objects, all are permitted by His throne.” I then thought: Why would God create a situation where this sister would say such a thing? What is God teaching me? While pondering this, my heart began to feel peace. My mind started to question the painful reactions I just had toward the sister’s comment: Was she wrong when she said “What if you just keep the money to yourself?” God said that man will betray righteousness and distance themselves from God at any time and in any place. No one is truly trustworthy. Am I an exception? Besides, how much has my disposition changed? How much truth have I obtained? If I have not obtained truth nor changed much in disposition, why shouldn’t I allow others to see me that way and on what basis should I see myself as noble and pure? And why should I be so confident that I would never steal the offering? God once said: “Man’s nature brims with the nature of Satan, they’re entirely self-centered, selfish, greedy, and extravagant” (“People Make Too Many Demands of God” in Records of Christ’s Talks). Does this only apply to others and not to myself? Everyone is greedy by nature, am I an exception? Is what the sister said inconsistent with the facts? When I usually eat and drink God’s word, I seem to be able to consciously examine myself in the light of God’s revelation. However, when the sister, without being emotional, told the truth based on God’s revelation on the nature of man, I had become so angry. Doesn’t this reveal that I don’t know myself according to God’s word? Does this not signify that I don’t have a true understanding of the nature of Satan within me? Not until then did I realize that my knowing myself by eating and drinking the word of God was nothing more than theoretical recognition and superficial understanding. I was not paying special attention to understanding my true nature through the revelation of God’s word. Therefore, this situation had to happen to me: When I communicate, it is common to speak as if I understand myself; I nod my head and agree with the word by which God exposes man, but when faced with the facts, I would die before admitting to being that person God shows to me. Reflecting on the past: How many times I’ve declared that I lack human sense, but when other people say I lack human sense, I immediately deny it and defend myself to the death. How many times my lips have uttered that I perform my duty perfunctorily, yet when other people point out that I perform my duty perfunctorily, I always think of every possible way to defend myself and to justify myself so as to exonerate myself. How many times I have recognized in front of others that I am nothing, worse than a maggot, yet when others say I don’t do anything right, I become downhearted and so negative that I can’t cheer up. How many times I have declared I have a poor caliber and lack capacity to work, yet when I hear others say that I am of poor caliber and that I would never make a good leader, I throw in the towel and slack off. … It is clear that I am a hypocrite. When I say to myself that I am corrupt, then it is fine, but when others say something about me, I cannot accept it, and I resist it. This adequately shows that my understanding of myself only goes as far as my mouth. It deceives others and is hypocritical. Since I have never been able to really dissect and understand my true self-nature through the revelation of God’s words, I have not yet truly entered into understanding of myself and my disposition has not changed.
At that time, I reflected on my own narcissistic attitude and found it to be really shameful. God’s revelations have truly convinced me and allowed me to clearly see that I do not truly understand myself. From now on, I am willing to recognize my corrupt substance through the word by which God exposes man; I am willing to courageously face the facts and truly understand myself so that I can soon change my disposition.