27. What Lies Behind Lies
Xiaojing Heze City, Shandong Province
Each time I saw God’s words calling on us to be honest people and to speak accurately, I thought, “I have no problem with speaking accurately. Isn’t it just calling a spade a spade and telling things as they are? Isn’t that easy? What had always most annoyed me in this world were people who embellished when they spoke.” Because of this, I felt super confident, and I believed that I could easily practice the truth of being an honest person and speaking accurately. But only through God’s revelation did I discover that, without entering into the truth or changing one’s disposition, one can in no way speak accurately.
One time, I saw that XX lacked care and consideration toward other people’s physical well-being, so I said they had no compassion. Afterward, only through fellowship did I understand that our true love for one another is primarily embodied in the mutual support and help that we bring into our life entry. Another time, when I saw XX overspending a few yuan in the course of their duty, I said that this person had a nature that was too greedy. Only later did I recognize that there is a difference between people displaying a little corrupt disposition and being of that kind of nature. Then there was another time when my leader asked me about a sister’s situation. Because I had some preconceptions about this sister, even though I knew then that I should make an impartial report, I still couldn’t help but severely talk up the corruption she had displayed, and not say one word about her good points. When there occurred deviations or flaws in my own work, I would always report the situation to the leaders secretively, hiding the truth of the facts in order to protect my own face and status.
Facing such circumstances, I felt completely puzzled: Why was it that my heart was willing to speak the truth, to speak accurately, but when I opened my mouth I could never speak objectively or accurately? With this question, I went before God to pray and to seek guidance. Afterward, I read this in a sermon: “Why can people never speak accurately? There are three primary reasons: One reason is because of people’s mistaken presumptions. The way they look at things is wrong, so they also speak inaccurately. The second reason is that their caliber is too lacking. They do things carelessly without any practical investigation and they like to listen to hearsay, with the result that they end up adding many embellishments. There is another reason, which is that people have bad dispositions. They use a mix of personal intentions when they speak and, in order to achieve their own objectives, they make up lies to cheat others and deliberately distort the truth to deceive people. This situation is man-made, and must be resolved by the pursuit of truth and by recognizing one’s own nature” (“To Be an Honest Person, You Must Speak Accurately and Act Conscientiously” in The Fellowship From the Above). Once I saw these words I suddenly saw the light. Now I saw that to speak accurately was not as easy as I had thought. Without the truth, people’s outlook is thus absurd, and people’s corrupt dispositions cannot be changed—both these things can cause people to speak inaccurately. As for what I myself had shown, when I saw others appearing to do things in a way not in keeping with my own thoughts, I was too quick to judge them as having no compassion. When I saw others expressing a little corrupt disposition, I belittled and looked down upon them in my heart and I reached conclusions about them. When I had an opinion on another person and reported their situation, I would exaggerate the facts and add embellishments. When there occurred deviations or flaws in my duty, for the sake of my own reputation and status, I would cheat others and trick God. … Weren’t these circumstances and expressions all brought about because I hadn’t entered into the truth, because my point of view was mistakenly presumptuous, because there had been no change in my disposition? Only now do I understand: Only when one understands the truth, enters the truth and changes one’s disposition can one speak accurately and treat everything that they encounter fairly and impartially.
Oh God! I give thanks for Your enlightenment and guidance that made me recognize that I was being so naive and preposterous to hold the view that I could speak accurately by relying on my own naturalness and depending on my own perseverance. That I could boast in such an arrogant, ignorant way exposes how completely I didn’t recognize how deeply I had been corrupted by Satan. From today, I wish to put much more effort into seeking the truth, to spare no effort in pursuing change in my disposition, to practice seeing people and things in accordance with God’s words, and to strive to soon be an honest person who both speaks accurately and works in earnest.