The Happy Experience of Putting the Truth Into Practice
In the Autumn of 2014. I was forced to leave home to escape from the Chinese Communist Party Government’s fierce persecution of Christians. My uncle recommended me a temporary job in a restaurant. I worked as a desk clerk. I thought that as a Christian, I should work hard regardless of how long I stayed here so that I would live up to my own conscience and not shame the name of God. So, I dutifully worked in the restaurant as if I worked in my home. The boss thought I was trustworthy, and treated me very well.
However, there was an aunt who worked in the kitchen and often found fault with me in nothing but some trifles. It troubled me a lot. At first, I could be patient with her. This was because from God’s words I knew that we had been deeply corrupted by Satan, and therefore it was difficult to avoid infighting when we interacted with each other. She didn’t believe in God, so it was normal for her to envy me when she found the boss treated me well. But later, she kept on finding faults with me, and sometimes she even ridiculed me, saying that I earned a living not through my ability but through my connection. Faced with this situation, I was friendly with her superficially, but in my heart, I really hated her and was not willing to talk to her. Sometimes when she asked me something, I would pretend not to hear her and intentionally talked with other colleagues. Sometimes when I had enough of it, I really wanted to complain to the boss about her mockery. One day, when I really was going to do that, I suddenly remembered God’s words, which says: “Be more patient and tolerant, practice conceding more, be generous and open with people, and learn from the ‘spirit of the prime minister.’ When you have thoughts that are not good, practice forsaking the flesh more. … When your hand of sin reaches out, pull it back and don’t let it extend so far. It’s useless! What you get from God is nothing but curses; be careful. Let your heart take pity on others and don’t always strike out with weapons in hand” (“Focus More on Reality”). God’s words tell us how to be a created being. We should be generous and open with people and be tolerant, which is the very least that one with conscience and reason should do. But taking a look at myself, when the aunt attacked me, I only wanted to take an eye for an eye by telling on her handles to the boss, and even could hardly wait to see the boss fire her, which would erase the hatred in my heart. Wasn’t I pursuing Satan’s principle that “Those who submit will prosper; those who resist shall perish”? It was the judgment of God’s words that made me realize that my thoughts came out of a corrupt disposition, which was at odds with God’s will. I can’t be obstinate, doing whatever I want. I should live by God’s words and live out normal humanity. I don’t want to be laughed at by those who don’t believe in God, and I mustn’t shame the name of God. Therefore, I dropped the idea of telling on her to the boss.
But in my heart, I really didn’t want to face her because I was fed up with her contemptuous face. Every time I was annoyed with her, I would miss the brothers and sisters in the church very much. I didn’t need to be wary of them when I stayed with them. Even though I revealed my corrupt disposition, they would tolerate and be patient with me. And no one would ridicule or exclude me. When I thought about this, I didn’t want to stay here any longer. But if I returned home now, I would be in the danger of being arrested by the CCP Government. Therefore, I prayed in my heart: “O God, if it is Your will that I stay here, I’m willing to be obedient and experience Your work. However, my stature is too small. Please give me the courage to face the hard situation and difficulty, so that when I meet the persons and things that I don’t like, I can quiet before You and figure out Your will in Your words and live by Your words.”
One day, when I was cleaning the wall, I found a stain on a piece of tile. The stain had been there since the restaurant was decorated. It could not be removed no matter how hard I tried. The aunt then saw it and murmured: “How can’t she do such a work. It’s so bad.” Hearing her words, I felt so aggrieved and thought: The hygiene has been improved a lot since I came here. The boss has praised me for several times. You are an employee, too. For what are you always reproving me? No, I will not tolerate you, otherwise, you will think I am easily bullied. At worst, I will quit my job after quarrelling with you. It’s no big deal! Thinking of this, I got ready to argue with her. But when I was about to say something, I suddenly remembered God’s words, which say: “You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony. Externally, they might not seem like a big deal, but when these things happen they show whether or not you love God. If you do, you will be able to stand firm in your testimony to Him, and if you have not put the love of Him into practice, this shows you are not someone who puts the truth into practice, that you are without the truth, and without life, that you are chaff! Everything that happens to people is when God needs them to stand firm in their testimony to Him. Nothing major has happened to you at the moment, and you do not bear great testimony, but every detail of your daily life relates to the testimony to God. If you can win the admiration of your brothers and sisters, your family members, and everyone around you; if, one day, the unbelievers come, and admire all that you do, and see that all that God does is wonderful, then you will have borne testimony” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words calmed me down a lot. Yes, I am a believer and all issues that I encounter is allowed by God. God arranged such an environment for me not only to make a living by work, but also to have the order of saints and the normal humanity. Although people around me are not believers in God and they don’t know I am a believer, yet God keeps watch over all and expects me to bear testimony to God to shame Satan. However, whenever I meet something unsatisfactory or someone I don’t like, I will take “an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth.” Thus, what’s the difference between me and those who didn’t believe in God? After reflecting upon myself, I found that my heart calmed down completely.
Later, whenever the aunt found faults with me, I would consciouslyand begged Him to help me practice the truth. Once, after the prayer, a passage in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life occurred to me: “If someone intentionally attacks you and maliciously finds faults with you, but what he says is right, then how will you treat him? He is actually like a mirror that reveals ourselves. This is indeed the case. If nobody finds faults with us, we won’t know what mistakes we have made. But if there is somebody finding faults with us, the more faults they pick out, the better we will become. As it is beneficial for our change of disposition and for entry into life. So, if someone finds fault with us, this will be a good thing. It is arranged by God for the sake of edifying and perfecting us. So, we should submit to God’s work. And if you can treat people in this way, your attitude is absolutely right. What does this show? It shows that you are becoming a person in possession of humanity. And what you live out is the likeness of a real person.” These words say that others are just like a mirror that reveals ourselves. I thought of what the aunt did, which showed she was haughty and had a conceited and arrogant disposition. Is she the mirror that reveals me? Am I a person like that? With bewilderment, again I sought and prayed to God, begging Him to guide me and help me know myself.
After praying, I calmed down and thought of the scenes in which I got along with my brothers and sisters. At that time, I would often show a negative facial expression when I found that what others said or did wasn’t in line with me. At times, I even reproached others. When my brothers and sisters had problems to fellowship with me, I looked down upon them instead of helping them with a loving heart. And I didn’t consider others’ feelings in the words I said and the things I did. Now, I remained the same when I got along with the aunt. Every time she found faults with me, I wanted to revenge her. My corrupt disposition didn’t change at all. My words and actions were actually the same with the aunt’s. Now I finally realized that God manipulated me into working in the restaurant through the CCP Government’s persecution to change me, and He arranged for this aunt who didn’t believe in God to prune me. God did this to make me know myself through the actual experiences. After seeing the aunt’s deeds, I began to compare myself with them, which made me reflect on myself and recognize my nature was arrogance and venom. I was too numb before to know myself, and just enjoyed brother and sister’s forbearance and patience toward me. It was true that I was possessed of no normal humanity at all. The more I thought about that, the more remorseful I was. I prayed to God silently: “God! You truly put in a lot of thought and consideration for my. I must put the truth into practice and seek to change my disposition. I won’t be arrogant and won’t hold any grudge against others any longer. Instead, I will learn to treat people correctly and live out a human likeness to shame Satan so that You don’t need to worry about me anymore.”
Before long, during the work, the aunt said that I didn’t wash the mop clean enough. For the first time, I sincerely said to her: “Yes, you are right. I didn’t realize that until you pointed out. Otherwise, I still think I did very well. In future, please just tell me my mistake if you see it. I will certainly correct it.” The aunt didn’t say anything when she heard my words. Another time, she pointed out again that I didn’t wipe the wall clean enough, and I calmly explained to her: “Yep, I see the awkward stain, but it was left during the decoration. It really can’t be wiped off.” My humility surprised her. She never expected that I didn’t argue or rebut her words arrogantly. She found it hard to believe my reactions and asked, “I’m always criticizing you like this. Don’t you resent me?” I sincerely said, “To tell you the truth, at first, I was very angry. I also got in a huff and tried to ignore you. But when I thought it over, I knew that you just wanted me to do my job well. In fact, as long as it is within my duty, I should accept whatever you or the boss tells me, no matter whether it is right or not, to see if I have done something wrong. So, if you find anything that I do wrong, please tell me.” When I finished these words, I was surprised to see that the aunt began to tell me what was in her mind. She said, “That’s the way I am. I always say whatever is in my head. In fact, you are doing a good job, but I don’t know why I can’t help criticizing you.” Hearing her words, I believed even more firmly that the environment was arranged by God for me. How the aunt treated me was permitted by God. God used the people, events and things around me to purify and transform my corrupt disposition. Having realized God’s will, I was more confident of pursuing putting the truth into practice and seeking a change in my disposition From then on, when the aunt pointed out to me the mistakes in my work, I would admit my shortcomings. Moreover, I gradually learned to think from the perspective of others. When I practiced in this way, I didn’t see the aunt’s shortcomings, but mine. Also, I found it not that difficult to relinquish myself. Gradually, the aunt was not as mean towards me as before. We associated with each other more harmoniously. Once, the boss bought us some fruits and distributed them in the kitchen. I was busy serving customers, and didn’t fetch my share in time. Unexpectedly, the aunt reserved a big red apple for me and gave it to me in my free time. It made me feel warm, though it was just a small thing. From this thing, I deeply perceived that when we practice the truth and live by God’s words, we can have entry into life, live out the propriety of saints, glorify God and bear testimony to God in associating with others in daily life. That is the duty of us believers.
One day, the boss told me: “Xiaojing, all the people at front desk and in the kitchen think highly of you. They say that you are trustworthy at work and that it’s comfortable to associate with you. Since I opened this restaurant, I’ve never seen someone has a better reputation than you, nor have I seen the front desk and the kitchen are so harmonious. If you have any difficulties, turn to me. You are the friend I want to make with.” Hearing her words, I felt shocked because I still had a lot of corrupt dispositions and had a long way to go according to God’s requirements. I just put a little truth into practice. I never thought I was a good person in others’ eyes. My heart was clear that it was the effect Almighty God’s work achieves. I will keep on making my efforts to put the truth into practice to transform more of my corrupt dispositions, live out a human likeness and become a created being that God is satisfied with.
Later, the boss let me take care of the front desk and the accounts of the restaurant. Sometimes, she even didn’t appear in the restaurant. She said she was assured to leave the restaurant to me. I was getting along with my colleges better and better. At times, people in the kitchen would come to help me serve the customers when I was too busy. Seeing the scene, I thanked and praised God from the bottom of my heart! Experiencing God’s work, I really tasted the preciousness of the truth. The pleasure in the heart coming from often living in accordance with God’s words and putting the truth into practice in daily life is true happiness.
Half a year later, I left the restaurant for some personal things. After my resignation, the boss and the colleagues often contacted me and told me what was in their minds. The aunt contacted me the most. We often chatted on WeChat and she often asked me to go back to the restaurant to visit them when I had time, because everybody was missing me so much. Recalling the experience now, I feel immeasurably grateful to God in my heart. It is God’s words that teach me how to get along with others and how to live out the normal humanity. God’s words are the beacon that guides my way and the only standard in my life. In future, I will read more of God’s words, practice God’s words and pursue living out the likeness of man to comfort God’s heart. All the glory be to Almighty God!