How have you been recently? I was in distress lately because of some questions. So, I would like to seek how to figure them out. Thetaught us, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Mat 5:37). I feel miserable and distressed that I cannot practice the Lord’s teachings. I know that the Lord Jesus loves the honest, and I ever resolved to become an honest man. However, in real life, I find that if anything touches on my personal interests, I often cannot but tell a lie or cheat, and even use various means to cover up the truth. I feel more regretful especially when I see the Lord Jesus’ words say, “And said, Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 18:3). I always ask myself: Why can’t I be simple and open? Why can’t I become an honest person? If this continues, how can I gain the praise of the Lord? How can I enter into the kingdom of heaven? Yanzi, I don’t know how to practice being an honest person. Could you fellowship with me?
Thank the Lord’s grace. I am good. After reading your letter, I have deep experience of your problem. I used to feel remorse and self-blame that I told a lie and could not practice the Lord’s teachings. I was also afraid that I could not enter the kingdom of heaven if I continued like this. Did I believe in the Lord in vain for life? About this question, I sought out several brothers and sisters. But I still had no path toward resolution. I merely committed sins and then made confession in a constant cycle. Afterward, by the Lord’s grace, I knew Sister Wen on Facebook and gained many benefits from her. Now I am glad to share with you.
Why Cannot We Become the Honest?
In the past, I was distressed that I could not become an honest person according to the requirements of God, and even wanted to give up being an honest person. However, I never knew why I could not practice being an honest person. Later, through Sister Wen’s fellowship, I came to know why I could tell a lie and be deceitful in spite of myself. Sister Hongxin, let us see two passages first, “Man’s corrupt disposition stems from his being poisoned and trampled upon by Satan, from the egregious harm that Satan has inflicted upon his thinking, morality, insight, and sense. It is precisely because these fundamental things of man have been corrupted by Satan, and are utterly unlike how God originally created them, that man opposes God and does not understand the truth” (“To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God”). “People often live in the corrupt satanic disposition, do not put the truth into practice, and betray the truth. They frequently live within a selfish and despicable corrupt satanic disposition, protect their own image, their own reputation, status, and interests. They have not gained the truth. So you are distressed, troubled, and bound too much…” (“The Key to Entering Into Life Must Start From Fulfilling Your Duty”).
From these words, we can see that the reason why we cannot become the honest is that we have been corrupted by Satan and our hearts are full of Satan’s various poisons and philosophies of life. For example, “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” “As a tree lives on its bark, a man lives on his face,” “Keeping silent on the faults of good friends makes a long and good friendship,” “Never slap others on their faces or scold them for their shortcomings,” “Speak good words in harmony with others’ feelings and reason, as being frank annoys others.” These erroneous thoughts and viewpoints have become our lives so that we always live by them when things happen to us. No matter what we said and did is to protect our own face, status and profits. We are directed and bound by Satan’s viewpoints, so it is difficult for us to practice being an honest person according to the Lord’s teachings.
Sometimes, when there occur deviations or flaws in our work, we will hide the truth in order to avoid being looked down on by our leaders and colleagues, or being subject to compensation, or being fired by the company, and so on. Sometimes, we speak against our will to curry favor with our leaders and colleagues before them for the sake of protecting our personal profits and interpersonal relationships. Sometimes, when seeing some pastors and elders’ words and actions are against the Lord’s teachings, we turn a blind eye for fear of offending them, without a sense of righteousness … Clearly, when we live by Satan’s poisons and life principles, there is no place for God in our hearts, so that we tell lies against our conscience and deceive those above and below us in spite of ourselves. We gradually become more sly and cunning and lose man’s original simplicity and honesty when God first created him. Though we know the Lord requires us to practice being an honest man, we are often against the Lord’s teachings and cannot put them into practice.
How Can We Practice Being an Honest Person?
Now we know why we cannot become the honest, then how can we pursue being an honest person? Let us read several passages together,
“Honesty means to give your heart to God; never to play Him false in anything; to be open with Him in all things, never hiding the truth; never to do that which deceives those above and deludes those below; and never to do that which merely ingratiates yourself with God. In short, to be honest is to refrain from impurity in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man” (“Three Admonitions”).
“Behaving like a normal human being is to speak with coherence. Yes means yes, no means no. Be true to the facts and speak appropriately. Don’t cheat, don’t lie” (“Improving Caliber Is For Receiving God’s Salvation”).
“To be a believer in God means that all you do must be brought before Him and made subject to His observation. … All that you do, every action, every intent, and every reaction must be brought before God. Even your daily spiritual life—your prayers, your closeness with God, eating and drinking of, fellowship with your brothers and sisters, living the life of the church, and your service in partnership—must be brought before God and observed by Him. It is such practice that will help you mature in life. The process of accepting God’s observation is the process of purification. The more you accept God’s observation, the more you are purified, and the more you are in accord with , so that you will not hear the call of debauchery and dissipation, and your heart will live in His presence. The more you accept His observation, the more ashamed Satan is and the more you are able to forsake the flesh. So, the acceptance of God’s observation is a path people must practice. … Only if you bring all you do before God and accept God’s observation can you be someone who lives in the presence of God” (“God Perfects Those After His Own Heart”).
From these words, we can see that we should be innocent and open before God first. No matter what difficulties or secrets we have, we can conceal nothing from God. Even though we dare not say something to others, we must speak the truth to God when praying. We should confess our sins to God and repent after sinning, becoming a man who thinks and acts in the same way before God. Second, we should seek truth from facts, make our words fit the reality, and speak the undiluted truth. But when we get along with others, we often say something against our conscience to explain ourselves in order to protect our face, status and profits. So, we should always come before God and reflect on whether we have any hidden intentions or mixed up reasons. If there emerge those that are incorrect, we must pray to God hurriedly and turn our backs on them, not allowing us to be controlled by them. We should have the courage to face the facts, right our own problems and acknowledge our mistakes if we find we told lies. We are embarking on the path of being an honest person when our words correspond exactly to the facts. Third, we should give our hearts to God, with a heart that reveres God. We must accept God’s observation in everything and practice being an honest person according to His word. When we have the will to be an honest person that God likes, He will raise up the people, things, and matters around us to examine us, observing in secret our every word and action, how our thoughts change. If we often accept God’s observation, pray to Him, we will have a God-fearing heart. As a result, we will no longer do things that are loathed by and hurtful to God because of fearing Him. If we often practice in this way, we will empty out things inside of us and become an honest person under God’s guidance. Then we will feel a great release in our hearts, with the difficulties of being the honest solved.
Being an Honest Person Is Great
Sister Hongxin, I would like to share my recent experience with you. One day, I accidentally broke the fax machine when I worked in our company. At that time, I really wanted to tell the truth to my manager and take responsibility, but then I thought: I just came to this company; If I confessed to my manager, he would probably give me a talking-to and think that I was stupid; It would be difficult to stay in the company once I made a bad impression on my manager; I would lose face if my colleagues knew it was me that had broken the fax machine. Thinking it over and over, I finally decided not to tell the truth to my manager. To stop the truth from being exposed, I began to ponder in my heart: No one knew that thing, but if my manager asked about the fax machine, how should I shirk responsibility? When thinking like this, I felt uneasy in my heart and my conscience suffered blame. Nevertheless, I had indeed no courage to acknowledge this mistake. I felt extreme pain in my heart, so I poured out my bitterness to Sister Wen. Afterward, she sent me two passages, “You ought to know that God likes an honest man. God has the substance of faithfulness, and so His word can always be trusted. Furthermore, His actions are faultless and unquestionable. This is why God likes those who are absolutely honest with Him” (“Three Admonitions”). “You must be honest, and must pray in order to rid yourself of the craftiness in your heart. As you use prayer to purify yourself whenever needed, and use it to be touched by the Spirit of God, your disposition will gradually change” (“Concerning the Practice of Prayer”).
Pondering these words carefully, my heart was very enlightened. God’s substance is faithful. He hopes we can become the honest and deceive neither God nor man, and that we can usually come before God, praying to and relying on Him, behave and do things according to His will. Thinking of this, I prayed to God then, “God! I know You like the honest, and the ones who have courage to take responsibilities. But I will betray Your teachings for protecting my good image in other’s hearts. Oh God! I’m willing to repent and forsake my selfish desires, practice according to Your words, living out the likeness of an honest person to glorify You.”
After praying, I was at peace in my heart and knew how to practice being an honest man. Moreover, I had faith to betray my flesh and practice being an honest person. The next day, when seeing the manager, I was still timid and dared not face it as soon as I thought of whether the manager woud scold me and there were some other consequences. But then I thought: God observes everything. Since I have made a resolution before God, how can I cheat Him again? Telling a lie and deceiving are behaviors of the devil. Thinking about this, I prayed to God again, asking Him to give me faith and courage. Later, I told my manager the whole things about the fax machine and was willing to compensate him for it. To my surprise, the manager did not make it hard for me but instead comforted me, “The fax machine is old. If it can be repaired, you just pay its repair costs, and if not, just forget it. You don’t need to compensate.”
After hearing his words, I was very excited. And I was released and free in my spirit. It was great to be an honest person! Living like this is living in peace, straightforwardly and honestly. What’s more, my colleagues did not laugh at me after knowing that. On the contrary, they felt I was a sincere person. Thank God! It was alland grace.
Sister Hongxin, all the above are my experiences and knowledge about how to become an honest person, and I hope they will be beneficial to you. May God lead us to seek the truth together and practice according to His words so that we can become the honest praised by the Lord. All the glory be to God!
You may be interested in this article: 4 Tips to Be Honest, Not Hard to Enter the Kingdom of Heaven!