Xunqiu Nanyang City, Henan Province
I used to think that God judged and chastised man only when He revealed man’s inherent corruption or conveyed harsh words that judged the end of man. It was only much later that an incidence led me to realize that even God’s gentle words were also His judgment and chastisement. I realized that every word God said was His judgment of man.
Recently, the senior sister of the host family got caught up in fleshly emotions, and as a result she suffered greatly. I communed with her several times, but it seemed to be in vain. She remained the same. Gradually I became impatient, thinking to myself, “I have talked with you quite a few times, but you haven’t changed. You probably have no interest in the truth. I will never commune with you again.” After that, I no longer felt inclined to associate with her and was seldom concerned about her. One day, another sister with whom I partnered suggested that we should pray with that senior sister. Upon hearing that, I felt disgust, “Why? It would be a waste of time to stay with her, and our prayers would be fruitless.” Actually I knew this revealed my arrogance, which was the disposition of Satan. I was giving others the cold shoulder and showing no love for others. However, I just could not stop this. When we prayed together, I still found it hard to let go of my inner thoughts and feelings so much so that I sank into spiritual darkness and could not feel God was with me. Besides, I felt suffocated inside as if my heart was blocked and could not be released. Later, I prayed in front of God about my predicament, “God, I was aware of my arrogance and inhumanity. I showed neither consideration nor sympathy for the senior sister. But I just failed to change myself. God, I beseech You to enlighten me about the truth and to know better of myself.” As I offered that prayer, I vaguely recalled some words of God. Immediately I opened the book of God’s word and found the following statements: “Why is it said that the extent of your resolve to love God, and whether you have truly renounced the flesh, depends on whether you are prejudiced toward your brothers and sisters, and on whether, if you are, you can push such prejudices aside. Which is to say, when your relationship with your brothers and sisters is normal, then your circumstances before God are also normal. When one of your brothers and sisters are weak, you will not loathe them, despise them, make fun of them, or give them the cold shoulder. If you are able to be of service to them, you will commune with them…. If you feel you are unable to provide to them, then you can pay them a visit. This doesn’t have to be done by the church leader—it is the responsibility of every brother and sister to do this work. If you see that a brother or sister is in a bad state, you should pay them a visit. This is the responsibility of every one of you” (“The Work of the Holy Spirit and the Work of Satan” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading God’s words, the admonishment that “when your relationship with your brothers and sisters is normal, then your circumstances before God are also normal” was imprinted on my mind in a particularly clear manner. I was seeking while contemplating hard on this statement. Through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, I felt this seemingly plain statement actually embodied majesty and judgment, and it pierced my heart like a sword. God had always clearly told man that only on the basis of God’s words could humankind establish normal relationships among brothers and sisters, and that man’s relationship with God would be normal as long as their relationships with brothers and sisters were normal. When I got along with others, all that I manifested was the corrupt disposition of Satan, mainly in disdain and rejection of others. I didn’t have a normal relationship with people, so how could I enjoy a normal relationship with God? It was the immutable responsibility of man to visit and serve brothers and sisters who were passive and weak. It was the life to be lived by people who sought to love God; the conduct of brothers and sisters who loved one another. Contrastingly, I didn’t care at all when I learned of the senior sister’s bad situation. Although I appeared to commune with her, deep inside I didn’t do so with a heart that loved God. I didn’t try my best to help and support her. I didn’t commune with her patiently with a kind heart or the understanding of a man who had suffered—a man who had lived in darkness—to help her out of a negative situation. I even decided that the senior sister had no intention to seek the truth, and therefore I disdained her and shunned her. Thus I lost a healthy relationship with God and fell subject to His chastisement. I suffered from spiritual darkness. Wasn’t it the case that God’s disposition had come to me? The more I thought about it, the more strongly I felt that this very statement was God’s face-to-face judgment of me. I was ashamed and deeply remorseful. I realized that I was a cold-blooded animal without a speck of humanity. Then, however, my reverence for God arose spontaneously and simultaneously. I realized that God’s disposition is one of majesty and wrath. I realized that God is indeed supremely righteous and holy. God could scour through each and every thought, so there was no escape from His judgment.
The judgment of God’s words helped me let go of my prejudice against the senior sister. Thus, I found the willingness to commune with her in a spirit of love and kindness. Unexpectedly, though, before I communed with her again, the senior sister had received enlightenment from God and walked out of her negative predicament by praying and listening to the hymns of God’s word. At that moment, I felt gratified that her situation had improved. I was grateful that God had led us, as He always will. I also felt ashamed of the poor behavior I had exhibited.
I thanked God! Despite the fact that I had shown only rebellion and corruption during this experience, I learned that God’s less stern words are also His judgment of and chastisement of man, and that every word from Him is meant for the judgment of humankind. I will never again regard God’s words in my own conception. I will accept God’s judgment and chastisement in words with absolute submission. I will apprehend and receive more truths in order to transform my disposition as soon as possible.