By Li Jing
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. Hence, if we want to enter into the kingdom of heaven, we must become honest like a little child. Then how can we do it? Now, let me fellowship three principles for practicing being an honest person.
1. Speaking Sincere Words With an Honest Heart When Praying to God
God said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). “Whilst praying, your heart must be at peace before God, and it must be sincere. You are truly communing and praying with God; you must not deceive God using nice-sounding words. Prayer is centered around that which God wishes to complete today. Ask God to bring you greater enlightenment and illumination, and bring your actual state and troubles before God to pray, and make resolution before God. Prayer is not the following of procedure, but the seeking of God using your true heart” (“Concerning the Practice of Prayer”). According to God’s words, when praying, our heart must be honest and at peace before God and we should say what is really in our heart, that is, we should say what we think in our heart and call a spade a spade. Moreover, we can pray to God in our heart anytime and anywhere, asking Him to enlighten and guide us so that we can understand His will and attain the ability to act according to His requirements, as long as our heart and spirit have needs or we run into problems in our life or in serving the Lord. There is no need to deliberately follow ceremony. If we have words without a heart, if we speak some high-sounding words or great things to be seen by others, if we just 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.
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). When we get along with our brothers and sisters, sometimes we will deceive them using lies for safeguarding our own interests. Hence, we have to examine ourselves in our every word. Then when finding we have told lies and deceived them, we should have courage to correct our lies, and to admit our faults, and ask their forgiveness.
Moreover, we should treat brothers and sisters sincerely, 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). That is to say, we should present our true selves to others, which 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 resolve it together. In this case, brothers and sisters will be able to support each other and provide to each other. Living in this environment, everyone will feel relaxed and released.
3. Giving Our Heart to God and Obeying All of His Sovereignty and Arrangements
That we should give our heart to God and obey His sovereignty and arrangements is the practice of being an honest person. God doesn’t care how nice-sounding our words are. Instead, what He cares about is whether we can obey from our heart His orchestration and arrangements in our family life, work and in serving Him. The Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” If we can give our heart to God, be faithful to Him and never suspect or complain Him no matter what environment He arranges for us, then we can truly obey His sovereignty and arrangements. At that point, we will see His deeds.
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: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). When he was laughed at by his wife, he could answer, “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 believed everything God does is for the best. So he could give his heart to God, give his life to God, obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and praise God’s righteousness. Thus Job gained the approval of God and afterward received double blessings of God. This shows: 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.
I believe that, as long as we abide by all these three principles for practicing being an honest person, we will certainly be an honest person who delights God.
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