By Yinghua, United States
The Lord Jesus said, “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). The Lord clearly told us that if we want to enter into the kingdom of heaven, we must turn around and become as little children who are pure and honest. So in my life, I’ve always tried my best to follow this teaching of the Lord. Yet, sometimes I felt it really hard and even impracticable to be honest. My recent experiences, however, greatly countered my thoughts.
Here is the thing:
One day two of my roommates said to me smilingly, “Hi, Yinghua! Could you do us a favor and sign us in tomorrow?”
In our college we sign in with our phones. Each of us has one account and can sign in once at each time. If I want to sign in for someone else, I have to log out my account, and then log in his account to sign him in. As doing the sign-in for others was a very common occurrence on the campus, I felt it was no big deal to help them once.
So I agreed readily, saying, “OK. What’re your accounts? Input them into my phone.”
The next day, while the teacher was giving a lecture on the platform, I surreptitiously did the sign-in for my roommates below. But when I finished that, I was surprised to find I had missed a key point of this lesson, which directly affected my study. I could do nothing but keep comforting myself in my heart: Since I’ve made a promise to my roommates, I must keep it. A little influence on my study is OK. Later, however, things got to the point that they asked me to sign in for them in almost every class. As it had greatly interfered with my study, I grew increasingly reluctant to help them. Many times when I saw my roommates, I really wanted to tell them my thoughts, yet when the words came to my lips, I swallowed them for fear that they would say I was too mean to do them a little favor. I thought: We are both classmates and roommates, and will inevitably meet each other every day. If our relationship breaks up, or if they talk about me behind my back, that will be so bad! Ugh, forget it!
One day I saw the Bible say, “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). It’s true, I thought. The Lord likes honest people and He hopes I can be an honest person. Only honest people can enter into God’s kingdom and become His children. When I thought of what had happened these days, I felt somewhat blamed in my heart. Although signing in for other classmates was very commonplace in our college, my doing so was still an act of cheating the teachers and the college—after all my roommates were indeed absent from the class. This was not being honest! The more I thought about this, the more I felt upset. But at the thought of the possible consequences of being frank with my roommates, I became worried—what if they no longer talked to me? Struggling, I prayed to the Lord, “O Lord! I know You like honest people, but I’m reluctant to be honest because I fear my relationship with my roommates will break down. Lord! Please lead me to find the way.” After praying, I gained some faith and strength. I flipped through the Bible and saw these words of the Lord, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Then I understood. The Lord hopes that I can have a heart of repentance. No matter when I realize I have done something wrong, I must immediately repent and correct my mistakes—this is in accordance with the Lord’s will. So I made up my mind to have a good talk with my roommates about what I was thinking.
That night I frankly told my roommates that I couldn’t help them anymore, and the results far exceeded my expectations. Not only did they not get angry, but they also thanked me for helping them those days and said that they would attend class as often as they could. And much to my surprise, they even offered to treat me to dinner!
After this experience, my resolution to be an honest person was strengthened. But what happened to me recently made me waver again.
As the new term began, we had a new course—economics. Being a non-native English speaker, I found it so hard to follow the teacher because he spoke too fast in the class and there were always some parts of the lesson I couldn’t understand. After we completed one module of the course, the teacher said he would give us a test. This really worried me. I barely know anything about this course, I thought, so I will definitely goof up this exam! Having no other choice, I could only put all my heart into learning the courseware.
Soon came the day of the examination. When I was wrestling with the questions on the paper, I caught some students secretly transmit images of the exam to people outside the classroom who would then provide them with the answers. Seeing this, I thought, “I’m a believer in the Lord. I cannot act like them. Cheating in the exam is a serious deceitful behavior, which is loathed by the Lord. I must keep the Lord’s teaching and be honest, and just answer the questions as well as I can.” So I lowered my head and focused my attention on the paper.
A few days later, the test results were released, and those students who cheated in the exam got higher grades than me. Because of their good grades, they won the teacher’s praise and other students’ admiration. Seeing this, I felt very disappointed and thought, “Maybe I should join them in the next exam. It’s not that I didn’t study hard. It’s just that I really couldn’t get what the teacher said. Cheating once is no big deal.” Just then a clear thought popped into my mind: “Don’t try to be clever. This is not something an honest person should do!” Yes, I thought. I cannot cheat in order to gain good grades. The Lord doesn’t like it.
So in the following days, I listened attentively in class and reviewed as hard as I could. Although my grades didn’t improve noticeably in the following three examinations, I felt peace and at ease because I finished them all by myself. In the final examination, those students who cheated were caught by the invigilators, and they failed this course. Although I just got a C, which might not be very good, I managed to pass the exam. It really was thanks to the Lord.
The Lord Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The Lord is faithful and His words are for us to practice. The Lord requires that we should be honest people, so as long as we practice in accordance with His words, we will not lose our direction and will gain His approval.