45. What Is Truly Accepting Truth?
By Xiaohe, Henan Province
In the past, every time I read the words revealed by God about how people do not accept truth, I didn’t believe those words applied to me. I enjoyed reading the word of God and communicating God’s word, and I was able to accept and acknowledge everything God has said as truth—regardless of how much it pricked my heart or didn’t conform with my notions. Moreover, regardless of how many imperfections my brothers and sisters would point out, I could acknowledge it and accept it. I didn’t seek to justify myself, so I thought that I was a person who surely accepted truth. In my opinion, only people who were especially arrogant and conceited, and who had notions about the word of God and wouldn’t acknowledge that God’s word is truth were the ones who wouldn’t accept truth. It wasn’t until one day when I was listening to a sermon that I understood what it meant to truly accept truth.
It says: “It is not enough to merely acknowledge that God’s word is truth, you must accept it in your heart and allow truth to have place in your heart and wield power. It must take root in your heart and become your life. This is the true expression of accepting truth. … What does it mean to accept it in your heart? Your heart acknowledges that this sentence is truth and has a true recognition of the substance of truth. Then you must completely accept this truth and allow it to have place in your heart and take root. Afterward, you must live by this truth and see things according to this truth. This is accepting truth. … Eating and drinking the word of God and acknowledging that God’s word is truth does not mean that a person has accepted truth. Rather, it is thoroughly recognizing the substance of truth in God’s word and accepting it in your heart. It is completely denying your notions of God and former misconceptions you have held on to in order to accept God’s word as truth and live according to God’s word. This is truly accepting truth” (“How to Know Christ Is the Truth, the Way, and the Life” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life II). When I heard this, my heart was instantly shocked. So, that was not what I thought about accepting truth. I carefully listened to it one more time, and through pondering and seeking, I finally understood what it meant to accept truth. Being able to verbally acknowledge that God’s word is truth or being able to accept imperfections mentioned by other people was not truly accepting truth as I had thought. Truly accepting truth means not only acknowledging that God’s word is truth, it is also recognizing the substance of truth and completely accepting it into your heart. It is completely denying your former notions, misconceptions, and satanic poisons. It is allowing truth to take root in your heart and being able to live by truth. This is truly accepting truth.
After understanding all this, I began to reflect on myself: I believe I am a person who accepts truth, but have I accepted God’s word in my heart? Does truth wield power in my heart? Have I denied the past notions and misconceptions that have existed in my heart? After carefully examining myself, I realized that I had not done any of this. For example: God has revealed that there is no true love among mankind, and they all take advantage of each other. Even though I verbally acknowledged the truth that God has spoken, I always felt in my heart that my wife and parents and I all had true love for each other. My lips acknowledged the truth that God does not perfect mankind based on their status, but rather according to whether or not they have truth; but my heart still held on to my personal viewpoints that in the church the higher my status was the more God would perfect me, the higher my status was the more brothers and sisters would look up to me. I thought God would also take delight in me. Therefore, I always worried about my status, and I always felt uneasy about it. I acknowledged with my mouth that God said hardships and refinements, and dealing and pruning are the love of God, are most beneficial for man’s life. But when God used people, matters, and things that were not in line with my notions to refine me and deal with me, I was not willing to accept it, even to the point that I would complain against God. I knew that God’s requirement for us to be honest people is very important for our salvation, but I didn’t emphasize putting it into practice or entering into it. I would frequently lie and deceive for my own dignity. After which, I wasn’t willing to open up to others. When encountering trouble that would require physical hardship while performing my duties, I would start to work perfunctorily and couldn’t devote myself to my duties. With my words, I accepted God’s requirement to seek His will in all things and to act according to His desires, but in real life when I faced matters, I did things as I preferred and according to my own will. I completely put God at the back of my mind. Also, when other people pointed out my imperfections, saying I was too arrogant and that I would do things my own way, my heart wouldn’t accept their criticisms. But I was afraid that others would say that I didn’t accept truth, so I would nod and acknowledge it against my will. But in reality, I did not take their criticisms into consideration. There were many things about me that showed that I had not accepted truth. But when I saw that God’s word reveals that all people do not accept truth, I did not accept God’s word as truth, and did not try to understand the substance of God’s word and examine myself. Instead, I imagined that I was an exception to God’s word and considered myself to be someone who had accepted truth. Was this not the most obvious expression of not accepting truth? At that time, I saw that I was someone who did not accept truth in any way. My so-called displays of accepting truth were completely external actions, and they were a false disguise that did not even scratch the surface of accepting truth, but I lacked self-awareness. I truly did not know myself! After becoming aware of this, I couldn’t help but feel afraid. I knew that I had believed in God all these years yet had lived outside of His words. I had truly not accepted God’s judgment and chastisement. I was simply an unbeliever, without God in my heart and without truth in life. If I continued to believe like this, God’s word would never be able to become my life. I would never be able to break away from Satan’s influence and be saved and made perfect. On the contrary, I would be condemned by God, and would fall into God’s punishment.
Praise God for guiding me and allowing me to understand what it means to truly accept truth; for allowing me to see that my past knowledge and practices were too absurd and were not in line with God’s will. I make up my mind to start anew and concentrate my efforts on accepting the substance of truth into my heart in all that God has said and implementing it into my practice. I want to be able to live by God’s word, to become a person who truly accepts truth.