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The Experience of a Thirteen-Year-Old Christian – Return to God
By Haohao, Australia
I remember, in my childhood, I was very obedient to my mom and was quite diligent. Especially when I went to my maternal grandma’s home and saw her squatting down and doing the laundry, I would get a stool for her quickly. And, at the age of eight or nine, my maternal grandpa was paralyzed in bed. I saw that maternal grandma not only took care of my maternal grandpa but also family every day. She was worn out so I would do all I could to help her with the household chores. That’s why, since my childhood, I had been an obedient girl in the eyes of my maternal grandparents and parents, and had been the best in their hearts at whatever I did. After I started school, I was outstanding in every aspect and had the class monitor title every year, so I became all the more favorite of my parents and teachers.
However, as I grew up and came into contact with more and more classmates, I got into more and more bad habits and became even more willful. To my mind, no matter what my parents did for me it was deserved. So while at home, I just didn’t want to do anything; moreover, if what my mom did displeased me, I would lose my temper with her and barely talk to her all day. Even when my dad tried to persuade me, I would still scream and cry. One time, a classmate showed off his new cup before us, saying, “This cup’s very miraculous. Once you pour the boiled water in, the cup will cool it soon.” On hearing that, I was immediately fascinated by it. So on returning home, I kept pestering my mom to buy one but she just ignored my childish behavior. Then I went to ask my grandma for it and she refused too; thus, I rolled on the ground, crying and shouting. At last, they had no choice but to get me one. … Since then, they must buy me whatever I liked; otherwise, I would get angry and lose control of my emotions. I just took all these for granted because that was the way all my classmates did, which is the “privilege” of generation 00s. Our generation is absolutely willful.
My mom said that I had grown less sensible, and I would always retort upon her with the words I learned from my classmates, saying, “I’m going through the rebellious stage.” Then she said, “There’s no such a thing as ‘rebellious stage’. You’re talking nonsense.” Then we quarreled. Later, every time we visited my maternal grandma’s, my mom would tell her, “The kid’s so big, yet just sits around waiting to be served.” Whenever I heard this, I would become very angry, resenting her for ruining my image of an obedient girl in the eyes of my maternal grandma who would thereby no longer like me, whereupon I vented my spleen on her.
In 2014, my mom accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. Then she often read Selected Records of the Three Stages of God’s Work together with me, and told me the stories of how God created Adam, Eve, and the heavens and earth and all things, and how Satan corrupts mankind. Gradually, I came to understand that both my getting angry at my mom and being willful were manifestations of my corruption by Satan, in which God took no delight. Also, she showed me the video The Growth of a Seven-year-old Little Christian, where I found that the little sister, though younger than me, was so sensible, and moreover, whatever she encountered, she wouldand gain His protection. I was very ashamed of myself, feeling that I was far inferior to her and it was too ugly that I was so self-willed at home. Meanwhile, I envied her so much. How I wished to change back into the obedient girl I had always been! Thus, in the days that followed, I read more of God’s words, prayed more, and learned more hymns, striving hard to break my bad habits off. Whereas, I found that it was not so easy for me to have a true change as a result of my deep corruption by Satan.
Once, my mom and I were sitting on the sofa watching TV with my maternal grandma. Suddenly, we saw a news report on a small girl. When she was seven or eight, her father was paralyzed, and her mother, who detested them because the family was poor, had run away with what little money they had. Nevertheless, the girl was so filial that she looked after her dad alone and undertook all the housework. While watching, my mom said to me, “See, the girl’s so young but so filial. Then look at you. At your age, you don’t even know how to wash clothes but only know to answer me back …”As soon as I heard it, I got so annoyed that I rose instantly, frowned, and roared at her with staring eyes, “Aw, why don’t you get off my back? How do you know I can’t? I didn’t do it before you; does that mean I don’t know how to do it?” Hearing that, she sighed helplessly without another word.
As such a thing occurred frequently between us, she had got used to it. But when I saw her helpless and silent look, I felt awfully bad, realizing that I was in the wrong in acting like this, and thinking that my maternal grandma would thereby even more dislike me when she heard me roaring at my mom this way. Now that I’ve already been a little Christian and often read God’s words, I should be more sensible than those children who don’t believe in God. So should I make an apology to mom? Isn’t that too humiliating? But if I don’t, what if both mom and grandma don’t like me anymore? After much consideration, I finally left quietly because I cared too much about my face.
A few days later, in a meeting with brothers and sisters, I told them my state, and in light of it, they showed me a passage of God’s word, “But young people make a fuss about anything they can do and they puff themselves up; it is as if the whole world is beneath them. Sometimes they get so excited that they can’t wait to fly off the earth and go and stay on the moon. This is what is meant by brashness and arrogance. Their main characteristics are that they have no idea of the size and complexity of the universe, they don’t know what is dangerous, what things are real, and they don’t know or understand what people need or what they should do to live. This is like what people often say: ‘You don’t yet understand the matters of human life.’ In this age group, since people have this kind of disposition, they will easily express these things. When some young people are talking, they don’t look straight at the person they are talking to, they have no respect for anyone, and everything they say is filled with a note of disdain. If you have a word with them but it’s not to their liking, they will just ignore you. It is rather hard to be a parent nowadays and very hard to get to know the mentality of young people. If they say one wrong word, their child will throw a tantrum and storm off, and it is very difficult for them to communicate with adults. This is to say that there are problems with the thinking of many young people today, and that the things of normal humanity are becoming fewer and fewer. …Why is it now so hard for parents to manage and educate their children? Is it because the parents today have a low level of knowledge and education? That they haven’t studied psychology, that they don’t understand the mentality of young people? What problem is this? The thinking of young people today is strange, so it is rather difficult to be a parent; it isn’t easy. And some parents especially study the psychology of adolescents. Nowadays there are many cases of strange illnesses in children, such as autism or depression, and terms such as ‘rebel mentality,’ ‘adolescent phase’ and ‘rebellious phase’ have been created. Why didn’t generations in the past have these kinds of terms? Is it that science is now more developed? How have these strange terms been created? It is because mankind becomes more and more degenerate. So you must cherish your time spent performing your duties, and strive during this time to firmly lay a foundation. In this way, you will be safe, and will not easily be carried away by these evil trends. Once someone has become fixed by the gaze of an evil trend, then they will easily be carried away. Once you have been carried away by an evil trend for a second time, will God still want you? He won’t! He has given you a chance and now He won’t want you again. If God doesn’t want you, you will then be in danger, and will be capable of anything” (“Young People Should See Through the Evil Trends of the World”).
God’s word made me understand: Nowadays, we young people become more and more spoiled and self-indulgent, self-righteous, and unreasonable because we have been corrupted by Satan’s evil trends. Through the influence of society and people around us, Satan plants erroneous viewpoints inside us, so that we become increasingly arrogant, willful, and self-centered in everything. And if slightly dissatisfied, we will freak out. After that, it lets us use such words as rebellious psychology, puberty, the rebellious stage to conceal our mistakes, and to serve us as reasons or excuses. Only then did I come to realize that my changing from an obedient girl in my parents’ hearts into a child with many faults was completely the result of being crazy adolescence after my corruption by Satan. Yet, I argued irrationally, saying that I was in a rebellious stage , which is in effect made up by Satan and is completely its trick to corrupt and devour man. And with these words that Satan invented, I talked back to my mom time after time before, which rendered her speechless; am I not the real Satan? Does my living out have any likeness of a Christian? In thinking about this, I felt so guilty that I hence made a firm resolution in my heart: I must put God’s words into action, strive to have myself changed, and cease to be so self-willed any longer. And later, no matter what my classmates talk about the worldly evil trends, I will judge their words based on truths, never to wallow in the mire with them any longer.
Afterward, I read another passage of God’s word, which says, “If your words are riddled with excuses and valueless justifications, then I say that you are one who is very unwilling to practice the truth. If you have many unspeakable confidences and are very unwilling to lay bare your secrets—your difficulties—to others so as to seek the way of the light, then I say that you are one for whom salvation will not be easily received and who will not easily emerge from the darkness” (“Three Admonitions”).
After reading this, I couldn’t help remembering the scenes of the past that I answered my mom back each time her words broke my face, and only then did I truly realize my mistake. As a matter of fact, I just didn’t want her to expose my faults, and didn’t want my corruption to be brought out or changed. In this way, I would never be able to transform. So I went to apologize to her, saying, “Mom, it’s my fault to get angry at you every time you accused me before grandma. In fact, the problems you pointed out were all facts; still, I just felt a lack of face and was afraid that she would thus dislike me. So I was unwilling to acknowledge them and sought to justify myself. …” After hearing this, she said with a smile, “On this matter, actually, there’s also something wrong within myself. I shouldn’t have found fault with you before your grandma, but should lead you into the words of God because they are the truths and only they can change us.” Since then, when she put her finger on my bad deeds, I would listen patiently till she finished her words, after which I would read God’s words with her to know and then change myself.
After a period of time, I have broken off many bad habits. I am no longer so willful and do not get angry easily, thus becoming an obedient girl in my parents’ eyes again. They and the relatives around me all praised that I am much more sensible than my peers. I am so happy and because I know that this is all God’s salvation for me. But for that, I cannot but become more and more willful and fallen, and finally be devoured by the evil trends of the world. It is Almighty God’s salvation coming upon me that enables me to overcome those corrupt habits from Satan and grow up healthily. By experiencing these environments arranged by God, I become all the more confident that so long as I pursue the truth properly, I will be able to live out the likeness that is well-pleasing to God. I am willing to give all the glory and authority to the almighty and one true God!
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