So Happy to Be Honest People: The Change of a Young Christian

By Haohao, Australia

My name is Haohao. I am 13. When I was 10 years old, my mother accepted the gospel of kingdom. After that, my mother would tell me about believing in God whenever she had free time. Gradually, I came to know that the heavens and earth and all things were created by God. In the beginning, Adam and Eve led a carefree life in the Garden of Eden. However, after Eve succumbed to the snake’s temptation, we humans have committed sins, becoming increasingly corrupt and depraved. Nowadays, Almighty God carries out the work of saving and cleansing man by expressing His words, so that we can attain a transformation in our corrupt disposition, reach a state of listening to and obeying God, and then return to the beautiful life in the Garden of Eden man lived in the beginning. I yearned for that kind of life that my mother told me, so I was more and more interested in faith in God. Afterward, I often listened to hymns and read God’s words with my mother.

a schoolbag

In November 2016, with great joy, I formally began to attend meetings and fellowship about God’s words with my brothers and sisters of the church. Before I believed in God, I would search for the answers on the smartphone or copy my classmates’ answers when facing the problems in my homework that I was unable to solve. I felt doing in this way saved a lot of trouble and my homework was well-done, and thus I made a habit of it. After believing in God, through reading God’s words, I had known that God likes honest people, He doesn’t like those who lie and cheat, so I copied much less. I thought I had changed, but in real life, I found it wasn’t so simple to break this bad habit.

When I was in Grade 7, I was bored of doing math homework because of my bad math marks. One weekend, my teacher assigned lots of homework. But until Sunday morning, I still didn’t begin to do it, so I was quite anxious and thought: This is not OK! I will be unable to finish it on time, if I still don’t start in homework. Then, I rolled my eyes and hit upon an idea: Why don’t I copy others’ homework? Not only are others’ answers more accurate than mine, but the teacher will praise for my homework. This will kill two birds with one stone. So I immediately made an excuse and said to my mom: “Mom, my teacher set us the task of writing a handwritten newspaper through group cooperation this weekend. I will go to my team member’s home.” On hearing that it was my teacher’s request, my mother agreed. At my classmate’s home, I was embarrassed to directly say that I wanted to copy their homework, so I equivocally asked, “Have you finished your mathematics homework?” It was unexpected that they all didn’t do their homework, either. I thought: It’s over. We all don’t finish our homework. Won’t I be blamed by the teacher? Hence, we called another classmate and it happened that she had finished her homework. So we asked her to bring her homework to us, and then we copied it. On my way home, when I thought that I had finally finished my homework and played all day, I was secretly pleased with myself. However, when it was bedtime, I abruptly felt somewhat unsteadfast, feeling that it was wrong to copy others’ answers, that I shouldn’t have done this as a believer in God, and that God won’t like me doing this. However, once I thought that if the accuracy of my math homework was improved, the teacher would commend me for this, my pride was even greater than the uneasy feeling.

The next day, when we were having a math class, the teacher suddenly called my name and said I copied from others in front of the whole class. At that time, with my face burning, I just wanted to explain myself, but before I could start to talk, the teacher said, “Don’t try to come the innocent with me. You write angle 1 and angle 2 in your answer, but they didn’t exist on your drawing. Where did these two angles come from?” The teacher’s question left me speechless because I indeed copied the answers. At that moment, I felt the classmates around were looking at me with jeer. It was the most unendurable class for me. After class, it suddenly occurred to me: That’s so weird. In addition to me, there are two or three students copying the same answers. Why did the teacher only discover me and blame me? Can it be that the other three told on me before the teacher? … Thinking this, I decided to go and settle things with them. Yet when I was about to do that angrily, they suddenly came to say, “In fact, we had discovered those problems early that the teacher pointed out, but we simply forgot to tell you.” I just wanted to blame them, but then I thought: Just forget about it! Having been blamed before so many people, I am disgraceful enough. If I blame others for this, won’t I even more be laughed at by others? So I controlled my anger and said nothing.

After returning home, I dared not tell my mother this thing for fear that she would scold me. In a gathering, when I told this thing to my brothers and sisters, they fellowshiped about God’s will to me and read these words of Almighty God, “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). “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” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

After reading God’s words, I suddenly saw the light: The people, events, and things that we encounter on a daily basis are with God’s permission. God’s will was to let me break the bad habit of copying through this thing. Otherwise, the next time when facing difficult questions, I might still copy others’ answers, and thereby my academic record would never truly improve and in God’s eyes, I would have no testimony either. In addition, it was wrong of me to copy others’ homework, but I still complained against the teacher and my classmates. Was I not complaining about the people, events, and things God arranged? God likes honest people. Especially God’s words say, “To be honest is to refrain from impurity in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man.” I undertood to be honest is to call a spade a spade, to seek the truth from facts, and not to give the watered-down version of the story in our actions and words, but I have done none of these. Thinking of this, I quickly repented and apologized to God, praying, “Oh, God! I have known I was wrong. It was wrong of me to copy others’ homework. I wasn’t an honest man, but I still shirked my responsibility and complained of the teacher criticizing me. I have known this is all in Your hands and I shouldn’t have complained. Please forgive me! I am willing to make efforts to transform myself in the future. Amen! Thanks be to God!” After the prayer, I resolved in secret: I will never do such things that deceive man and God, and instead I will genuinely pursue being an honest person. When unable to do my homework, I will ask my teachers or classmates, but no longer copy. Thank God for letting me understand these. In the future, I will conduct myself steadily and honestly, walking one step at a time.

pray to God

Afterward, the teacher also assigned lots of homework many times, but I didn’t search for the answers on the mobile phone any more, nor did I copy others’ answers. Instead, when faced with the questions that I couldn’t solve, I prayed to God first, and then seriously pondered and analyzed them. I found that when I solved these questions on my own, I was very proud because I was practicing being an honest man.

After I acted this way for a period of time, my math grade continually improved. In a test, I got 115 marks in math. Because of this, my teacher and parents were thrilled and commended me, but I knew this was God’s blessing for me. Though I haven’t believed in God for very long, when I practiced according to God’s words, I have tasted the sweetness of God’s word. I reminded myself: I must often thank God in my heart. I believe, as long as I continue diligently pursuing the truth and practicing God’s words, I must be able to live out the likeness of an honest man required by God.

All the glory, authority, and praise be to God!

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You might be interested in: Relying on God in Exams, I Can Finally Be an Honest Man

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