By Liu Qiang, Germany
I was a tradeswoman. I did business honestly and treated the customers with complete sincerity. This was my way of doing business. Because I always did business in good faith, my shop got a favorable reputation from lots of customers and wholesalers and was highly spoken of them. So my business was brisker and brisker.
Once I came back after stocking my shop with goods, I found the wholesaler had given me an extra bag of goods, which was worth about over eight hundred yuan. I thought: The wholesaler must make a mistake in the rush. So I made a phone call to him. On that day, it happened that he was not at home, and his driver answered the telephone. He said, “Next time I go to your shop, I’ll take the goods back.” When the driver came to my shop, the goods had already been sold. Therefore, I gave money to him, but he only accepted half of the money and said, “It’s finished. If you receive some extra goods next time, don’t call my boss. You need only tell me.” After that, he went away. Seeing the four hundred yuan in my hand, I thought: This money is not earned through my effort. Even if I keep it, I feel uneasy in my heart. If there is a chance, I’ll return it.
Later on, after knowing this matter, my elder brother said to me, “You see that the driver is smarter than you. The wholesaler gave you extra goods, but you actually called and told him. You could take advantage of him but you didn’t. Aren’t you foolish? ‘Every man for himself, and the devil takes the hindmost.’ Anyhow, it’s not you who carried the goods to your truck. Since he gave them to you, you should just take them. Next time he gives you extra goods, just keep them. If he doesn’t give you a ring, then you just feign ignorance. You are too stupid! No wonder others make more money than you. With such a brain, can you do the business well?” Hearing his words, I thought: What he said is the fact. Since I began to do business, I haven’t earned much. Nowadays, who doesn’t think of ways and rack his brain to make money? Who would return the money which he has gotten? In addition, the wholesaler didn’t gain the money I returned, and instead, the driver got it. No wonder my brother said that I’m too stupid, not knowing how to do business. If I do business in this way, when can I be prosperous? How many goods shall I sell to get eight hundred yuan? Next time, I don’t want to be such a chump! …
Before long, we drove to stock up the shop. When we went back to our shop and unloaded the goods from our truck, I found there was an extra bag of goods. At that time, I did not ring the wholesaler up immediately. I was at sixes and sevens and my heart thumped because I was afraid that when he discovered the truth, he would telephone to ask me. If so, not only would I lose face, but also my shop’s reputation would be ruined. Moreover, he wouldn’t trust me. Therefore, I racked my brains and eventually I came up with a good idea that would serve a double purpose: Not only could it help me save my image in his heart, but I could also keep the extra goods with reason. So I called him on purpose, saying, “Have you delivered all the goods I ordered? Examine carefully whether you’ve sent all the goods to me according to the list.” He was confused by my words, and said hurriedly, “What’s wrong? I still haven’t delivered the so-and-so goods to you? I’m sorry. I’m so busy that I’ve forgotten this. I’ll arrange to send them to you right now.” Hearing his words, I took a deep breath. It turned out that he did not know that he had delivered an extra bag of goods to me, and instead, he would deliver another one to me. In this way, I would get two more bags of goods. Wouldn’t I take more advantage? With happiness, I still felt somewhat unassured. However, thinking that I would get two bags of goods worthy of more than one thousand yuan, I gave up telling him the truth. At this time, the wholesaler rang me again to tell me that he had delivered my goods to me, and then he apologized to me for delaying my sale and said that next time when he came to my shop, he would invite me to dinner…. In this way, I received the extra goods he delivered to me. Later on, as such matter happened too often, I grew used to it. Though I made some money, I couldn’t feel happy in my heart. On the contrary, I felt depressed and empty, fearing that, someday the cat was out of the bag, and then my business would not go on. So I lived in trepidation and guardedness all day long, feeling that it was too painful and tiring to live such a life …
Afterward, a good friend of mine preached God’s kingdom gospel to me. I read a passage of God’s word, “In the past, when the words of God have not become people’s lives, it was Satan’s nature that took charge and dominated within them. What specific things were within that nature? For example, why are you selfish? … Why do you love those unjust things, and why do you love those evils? What is the root of these things? Where do they come from? Why are you so happy to accept these things? Right now you all have understood that this is mainly because of Satan’s poison contained within. What Satan’s poison is can be fully expressed with words. For example, if you ask some evildoers: ‘Why do you do that?’ They will answer: ‘Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.’ This one phrase expresses the root of the problem: The logic of Satan has become people’s lives, and no matter what they do, whether it’s for some purpose or other, they are only doing it for themselves. People all think that ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,’ that this is just the way it is, so everyone should live only for themselves.”
Through God’s words, I understood why I became so selfish and greedy. It was because the erroneous ideas and viewpoints had already deeply taken root in me, such as “Every man for himself, and the devil takes the hindmost,” “He who can take advantage of others but does not is a bastard,” and so on. They made me wrongly think: If I did business honestly, I would hardly earn any money. Only by cheating or playing tricks could I be rich. As long as I was able to earn money, it was my ability and skills. Therefore, in order to make more money, I used any means. I became more and more crafty, having already lost my original conscience and sense. When I just started to do business, I could be honest and treat people with sincerity. Even if others delivered the extra goods to me, I would return to them and not get a little bit of extra dirty money. However, when I saw the people around me all hid the facts and played tricks to make more money for the sake of their own interests, I gradually approved these viewpoints. For the sake of earning more money, I practiced deceit and received the extra goods that were given by the wholesalers. I even desired them to deliver such goods to me every time, and thus, I could earn more money. However, although I achieved this goal, I was very depressed and miserable inside. I lived in a state of anxiety every day, deeply fearful that if and when my cover was blown, my shop’s reputation would be damaged and the business would be bad. No matter how much money I made, it could not make up for the fear and pain of my spirit. Thank God! Without the guidance of God’s words, I would have never known the truth that I had been corrupted and would have never found the source of the problem. After understanding this, I developed a secret ambition: I will be upright in my business dealings, no longer earning ill-gotten money.
Once my husband and I drove to stock our shop with goods. When we loaded the goods into our truck, I saw clearly that the wholesaler put the goods which we didn’t order into our truck. I wanted to tell him the truth. However, when I saw that they were expensive and were worth about two thousand yuan, my selfish and greedy nature rose again. I thought: Since he loaded them into our truck, I just take them. Anyway, it wasn’t me who loaded them into our truck. Thinking that two thousand yuan was within my reach, I gave up telling the truth to him …
After returning home, I couldn’t be assured in my heart. I opened the book of God’s word and read, “God has the substance of faithfulness, and so His word can always be trusted. Furthermore, His actions are faultless and unquestionable. This is why God likes those who are absolutely honest with Him. 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.”
From God’s words, I understood: The essence of God is faithful. God likes honest people. Such kind of people call a spade a spade and behave and do things in an aboveboard way. However, for the sake of my own interests, I knew very well that I didn’t order the goods, but I did not speak honest words. Wasn’t I hiding the truth and deceiving God? I hid the truth and practiced deceit for the sake of my own interests time and again. Weren’t these behaviors exactly in opposition to God’s demands? I should not any longer go on taking advantage of others or being a mean person who forgot all moral principles for the sake of profit. On the contrary, I should practice according to God’s words and be an honest person who is beloved by God. After understanding God’s will, I prayed to God and then called the wholesaler to tell him about the extra goods. At that moment, he was moved and said, “It’s hard to find the good people like you these days. Tomorrow I’ll drive to your shop to bring them back. I like doing business with honest people like you.” Hearing this praise, I had an unspeakable comfort in my heart. I knew that it was not that I was good but that God’s words changed me. I tasted the sweetness of practicing the truth and felt an earnestness, a release and a peace in my heart I had never felt before.
In a twinkling of an eye, the Lunar New Year was near. Because during this period the business was better than usual, I intended to stock up with more goods for welcoming the New Year. A friend of mine telephoned me, saying, “A store will be closed and it has lots of stock; some are close to the expiration date and some past the expiration date. As it is easy to do business at the end of the year, if you like, the stock will be sold to you at a discount.” After I heard these words, my heart was slightly shaken: I wanted to buy them because they were too cheap. If I sold them out at the end of the year, I would earn a large amount of money. At the time, I thought of God’s words, “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to 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.”
God’s words made me suddenly see the light: The thing I encounter is actually a spiritual battle. God is watching and Satan is also seeing what choice I will make and if I can live by God’s words. Although I could earn more money by selling the food past the expiration date, this behavior is too harmful to people, and the money earned is dirty money which will burden my conscience. As I am a believer in God, I should practice according to God’s words in everything and be an honest person who is beloved by God. I shouldn’t do things which deceive God and man anymore. Therefore, I resolutely refused the cheap goods.
Shortly afterward, I learned that the goods were bought by the shopkeeper whose store was opposite mine. Though he sold them and earned the money, he was reported and fined ten thousand yuan because he sold too much food past the expiration date. After knowing this matter, I thanked God for His protection from my heart. If I had not been led by God’s words, a greedy person like me couldn’t have overcome such temptation. If that had happened, not only would I have been fined, but I would also have lost my reputation. I read God’s words, “The more you put the truth into practice, the more you are possessed of the truth; the more you put the truth into practice, the more you possess God’s love; and the more you put the truth into practice, the more you are blessed by God. If you always practice in this way, you will gradually see God’s love in you.” I uttered praise to God from my heart. Thank God for protecting me.
Having experienced God’s judgment and chastisement time after time, I came to understand: If we live by the life view that comes from Satan, we can only become more and more corrupted and evil, further from God’s requirements, and head for destruction in the end. Only by living by God’s words will we have the way to follow, will our way become brighter and will we live liberated and free. So I set my determination in the presence of God: From now on, I’ll try my best to pursue the truth, be an honest person beloved by God and follow God on the correct path of life, no longer living by Satan’s views on existence. Only living in this way is valuable and meaningful. Thank God! All the glory goes to God!