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Thesaid, “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). God is faithful, so He loves the honest. If we want to enter into the kingdom of heaven, we must become honest first. Then how can we become honest like a little child? Now, let me share three principles for practicing being an honest person.
1. Speaking Honest Words When Praying to God
The Lord Jesus taught us: “And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men” (Matthew 6:5). “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). According to the Lord’s requirements, we should speak only the words that we have, and say what we think in our heart when praying, that is, we should speak the words of our true hearts and call a spade a spade. If we have nothing to pray from our heart but force ourselves to speak high-sounding words, empty praise, or great things to the Lord, if we pick out nice sounding words to say to Him for achieving our own aims, or if we make empty promises to Him, these kind of prayers are prayers that cheat Him. He doesn’t approve such prayers, much less listen to them.
In truth, we can innocently pray to God in our heart anytime and anywhere, as long as our heart and sprit have needs or we run into problems in life and in serving the Lord. There is no need to deliberately follow ceremony. But we can’t pray to the Lord with our own intentions and goals, unreasonably requiring Him to satisfy our selfish hearts and desires. If we do so, our prayers aren’t honest words no matter how sweet they are. However, if we pray to seek the truth and to grasp the will of God with a heart of singleness, He will hear us. Furthermore, if we understand how to do to be after His will and are able to act according to His words, then God will be pleased with us, perform work to lead us, and enlighten us to understand the truth that we should practice and enter into. At that time, we will feel especially free in our spirits.
2. Treating Others and Dealing With Things Without Lies in Mouth or Cunning in Heart
The Lord Jesus taught us, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). In life, everyone will speak and work with others. Being corrupted by Satan, we frequently lie and deceive for safeguarding our own interests. Hence, if we wish to put being honest into practice and attain a state of not telling lies or practicing deceit, we must make strict demands of ourselves. First, we have to check, in our every word, whether our motivation is right and whether there is something impure from individuals. Then when finding our words contain impurities, falsehoods, or wrong purposes, aiming at safeguarding our desires, position, interests, we must be able to rebel against our mistaken intentions and not live for our own will or selfish desires. Likewise, once we tell lies to deceive others or do anyone any wrong in secret, we should have courage to lay ourselves open to others, to correct our lies, and to admit our faults, and we should respect the fact, seek the truth and correct our mistakes according to God’s requirements.
Moreover, we should treat brothers and sisters sincerely, present our true selves to them and not disguise ourselves. Also, we should follow the examples of the words of Job, “My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly” (Job 33:3). If we only project our good side to brothers and sisters while hide our corrupt and hypocritical side, then we, like hypocritical Pharisees, want people to look up to us and worship us. We are cheating people, and we are even more cheating the Lord. Consequently, we should present our true selves to others. Only in this way can we interact with others normally. In addition, it helps to increase mutual understanding between us and others. For example, whoever has problems, we can help him with a loving heart together; whoever reveals corruption, we can remind him in time and seek the truth to solve problems together. In this case, brothers and sisters will have a true spiritual interconnection, and be able to support each other and provide to each other. Living in this environment, everyone will feel relaxed and released.
Providing that we take our every word and action seriously, do not lie or deceive when speaking and acting, and treat people equally and fairly this way, we will have a normal relationship with others. Step by step, through practicing like this, we will begin to live out the likeness of an honest person in treating others and dealing with things.
3. Give Your Heart to God and Obey His Sovereignty and Arrangement
That we should give our heart to God and obey His sovereignty and arrangement is the practice of going deeper into the truth of being an honest person. The Lord Jesus said, “This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15: 8-9). “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22: 37-38). From the words of the Lord, we can see God doesn’t care how many praises of Him come from our mouth or how many letters and doctrines we can speak. Instead, what He cares about most is whether we can completely open up our heart to Him and whether we can worship and love Him with our heart, for our actions are controlled by our heart. The Proverbs says, “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). The process of our heart opening up to God is the process of giving ourselves into His hands and submitting to His sovereignty and arrangement. Therefore, no matter what environment God arranges for us, we should come before the Lord to seek His will and obey His arrangement. And we should hand over to Him our service, life, work, marriage, and family and so on. We believe He will arrange everything for us according to our need.
We are familiar with the story of Job. After his property was stolen and calamity befell his children, he still said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). When he was laughed at by his wife, he answered, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). Job did not guard against or question God. He simply and honestly believed God’s heart is most kind and everything God does is good. He thought his duty was to give his heart to God, give his life to God, obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement, and praise God’s righteousness. Thus Job gained the approval of God and afterward received double blessings of God. This shows: During the time of God’s salvation of us, if we pursue the truth, then the environments God arranges for us are not to punish us or put us to death but to test our faith and cleanse our corruption. So, however great sufferings and trials we will experience, we should be an honest person, give our heart to God and hold on to our faith and obedience to Him. And then we will receive His blessings and grace for sure.
We believe that, as long as we abide by all these three principles for practicing being an honest person, we will certainly receive the guidance of God, progress deeper into various aspects of the truth, and enter the path of being saved, of being raptured.