When I first came to Australia, because of the language barrier I met lots of failures in finding a job: Sometimes, I received no reply after my interview; sometimes, I was turned down directly on the phone. … Faced with such a situation, I felt rather worried: If I failed to find a job, how could I continue living in this unfamiliar country? Because of this, I often couldn’t fall asleep at night, and shed many tears in secret. Later, a Chinese businesswoman who ran a cleaning service gave me a trial, and a week later formally employed me. Cherishing the job very much, I worked pretty hard all day long.
My boss has been in the business in Australia for over ten years. Most of her clients are regular ones, who have strict requirements about the cleaning. My boss is serious and ill-tempered: She always speaks to her employees in a harsh tone of voice, and if employees do something wrong, she curses them without hesitation. So, for fear of being abused or dismissed, I was constantly in a state of high-level anxiety and focused all my attention on my tasks every day.
One day, my boss took us to a rich man’s house to do the cleaning. Before entering the house, we were exhorted by the boss to be careful in our work because each piece of furniture in there was pretty delicate and expensive. Seeing her serious face, I became nervous. So in each room, I wiped every corner and dusted every item with great caution for fear of breaking anything I couldn’t afford to pay for. However, what I feared most happened: When I was wiping a switch on the wall, its glass cover suddenly dropped off. I hurried to catch it, but failed. I looked on dumbfounded and broke out in a cold sweat, thinking that I was done for. To my surprise, when I picked up the cover, I found that it was actually intact. At the time, I felt very relieved and thought, “The quality of this cover must be really good. It’s still undamaged, even after falling from such a height.” Then, I put it back cautiously. Seeing it looked just as it had been, I felt very happy and then continued my work.
The next week, we went to the house again at the appointed time and left after finishing the cleaning. On the way to the next client’s, my boss said in confusion, “That’s weird. He always pays us every other week; why didn’t he pay us this time. I’ll give him a call.” Not long after she got through to him, they started quarreling on the phone. When I vaguely heard them quarreling about something broken, my heart suddenly clenched and I thought: “Are they talking about the glass cover? But wasn’t it intact when I picked it up? Oh, if it really is the cover, then I’m in big trouble.” Hearing my boss’s indignant voice, I felt very frightened, not daring to say a word. Later, the client sent a picture to my boss. At the sight of the picture, I was stunned because it was the cover, and it was terribly cracked. Thinking the client was extorting money from her, my boss began to yell on the phone. In light of the circumstances, I was rather frightened and my mind was churning with thoughts: “It’s my fault. Shall I tell the truth or not? If I don’t tell the truth, I’ll be hated by God, and won’t have peace; moreover, perhaps my boss will lose this client and lose money. But, if I tell the truth, my ill-tempered boss will definitely dismiss me at once.” At the thought of this, I became very upset and was unable to figure out what to do.
When we arrived at the next client’s, my boss was still quarreling with the previous client. Guilty and distressed, I went upstairs afraid. And then, I prayed to God, “God! I’m very fearful and feel responsible, because it was I who broke the cover. I should tell the truth to the boss. But I’m worried I’ll be dismissed and won’t be able to make a living if I tell the truth. Besides, I’m afraid if the boss keeps quarreling with the client, she will get herself into big trouble and could even end up in a lawsuit. God! Now I feel very frightened and weak. What should I do?”
After praying to God, all of a sudden, I thought of a passage 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. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men and the interference of men. Behind every step of work that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle. … Thus, in everything you encounter there is a battle, and when there is a battle within you, thanks to your actual cooperation and actual suffering, God works within you. Ultimately, you are able to put the matter aside inside of you and the anger is naturally extinguished. Such is the effect of your cooperation with God. Everything people do requires them to pay a certain price in their efforts. Without actual hardship, they cannot satisfy God; they do not even come close to satisfying God, and they are just spouting empty slogans! Can these empty slogans satisfy God? When God and Satan do battle in the spiritual realm, how should you satisfy God, and how should you stand firm in your testimony to Him? You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony.”
Pondering God’s words and thinking of what had happened to me I realized it was God testing me. I was faced with the choice between my own interests and the truth that God required me to practice, and God was observing my attitude and choice and so was Satan. Reflecting on my thoughts and ideas about this matter, I found that I, driven by my selfish nature, was always protecting my own interests. I was afraid that if I told the truth, I’d be abused by the boss and lose face in front of the others, or even be dismissed and lose my source of income. Driven by those fears, when seeing the boss quarreling with the client to prove her innocence I didn’t have the courage to admit my mistake. I was really very selfish and despicable. Through failing to stand firm for God, I was left in darkness, couldn’t see God’s face, and felt reproached and chastised in my heart. This was God’s righteous disposition affecting me.
At that time, these words popped into my mind clearly, “You must … act honestly and straightforwardly, speak and act in accordance with the facts, and be someone who is open and aboveboard.” Thank God for His enlightenment and guidance, which allowed me to understand this: God hopes we can be open and aboveboard, and act honestly and straightforwardly. Only people who are open and upright and feel at ease and peaceful inside can be blessed by God. Through this circumstance, God was to cleanse and change my corrupt disposition and allow me to enter the truth of being an honest person. So, I had to put aside my interests, stop worrying about face, and take responsibility. Even though my boss would dismiss me, I had to tell the truth. Thinking of this, I took a deep breath and called on God silently in my heart: “May You give me faith and strength. May You grant me the words I should speak.”
Then, I went to the boss. Seeing her angry face, I still felt a bit afraid. But through praying to God again for strength, I got the courage and said to her, “Boss, it was I who broke the cover. When it fell, I thought it must be broken but it was still intact when I picked it up. So I put it back and went on working without telling you. I never thought it was broken. I’m sorry to have put you to all this bother. I’m willing to pay for the damage.” After saying this, I felt pretty relaxed and waited for her angry response.
To my surprise, my boss didn’t get mad at me but breathed a sigh of relief, and then said to me, “Fang, it was you all along! The cover didn’t break at once because of its good quality, and it was designed to crack gradually. Well, all right. I’ll make an apology to the client and see how to deal with the matter. Go back to work and just be more careful from now on.” After hearing this, I just couldn’t believe my ears. I thought that I would be abused by her as usual, and would at least have to pay for the cover even if she didn’t dismiss me. Then I realized it was God who did all of this. Seeing God’s deeds, I was very excited and felt the happiness, steadiness, and peace brought by practicing being an honest person. Then I silently offered thanks and praise to God in my heart.
Not long after, my boss took us to that house to do the cleaning as usual. After having made that mistake, I worked more carefully than before: I handled valuables more gently, and often reminded myself, “I mustn’t make trouble for my boss again.” Yet unexpectedly, I was wiping a delicate desk lamp when the lampshade and bulb somehow fell to the floor from the desk, and the bulb broke into pieces. Seeing this, I was stunned: “What happened last time has just blown over and now I’ve made the same mistake. How can I face my boss? Will she forgive me again?” I was very nervous and bewildered, and didn’t know what to do. All of a sudden, I thought of the previous experience and realized that there was God’s will in this matter. So I immediately cried out to God, “Dear God! Today, the same thing happened to me. How should I deal with it?”
After praying, I thought of God’s words, “In actual fact, however, this matter was a lesson you should study—a lesson on how to fear God and how to shun evil. Moreover, what you should be even more concerned with is knowing what God is doing when this matter arises to face you. God is right by your side, observing your every word and action, and watching everything you do and what changes take place in your thoughts—this is God’s work. … Whenever God arranges a situation for you, He is watching in secret, looking upon your heart, observing your thoughts and deliberations, watching how you think, and waiting to see how you will act.”
Pondering God’s words, I realized this: In every situation I encounter, be it great or small, good or bad, I should practice the truth. Last time, when I didn’t practice the truth at first, I fell victim to Satan’s trickery and felt continually distressed. When the same thing happened again I started to worry about face and my own interests again. God observes everything. He is looking upon my thoughts and considerations and my every action, looking at whether I can put aside my desire for face and my interests to practice the truth of being an honest person.
Then, I thought of how the Lord Jesus once 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). God is holy, so only those who are simple and honest can enter into His kingdom. However, because we’ve been corrupted by Satan we are so selfish and crafty; to defend our own interests, we daren’t even speak a word of the truth. How can people like us be qualified to inherit what God has promised and enter His kingdom?
Thank God! Having understood God’s will, I seemed to gain a surge of infinite power to face my mistake bravely. I knew that practicing the truth was not just about admitting mistakes but also about transforming my corrupt disposition and living like an honest person. So regardless of the result, I was willing to take responsibility for the matter. Then, I went to my boss and frankly admitted my mistake. To my surprise, she said to me gently, “That’s all right, Fang. The lamp stand and lampshade were already broken, which I didn’t tell you in advance. So, we just need to buy a new bulb some other day and put it in. I’ll tell the house-owner. Go ahead and clean up the pieces.” I was astonished at her words, but soon calmed down. At that moment, I experienced a sudden revelation: This is a test for me. All things serve one another in order to benefit people who love God; God arranged these circumstances to allow me to gain the truth of being an honest person. Thinking of this, I was filled with gratitude to God in my heart.
More miraculously, after these two events occurred, my hot-tempered boss no longer abused me. Instead, she assigned me to do the lightest work and raised my salary. Moreover, what gratified me most was that the relationship between us became more than that between employee and employer: She now regarded me as her bosom friend. She often sought me out to have a heart-to-heart with me, pouring out her worries and difficulties to me. What’s more, she taught me how to interact with the locals and how to adapt to life in Australia. Even my co-workers said to me, “Fang, our boss is so nice to you. We are really envious.” Hearing their words, I thanked God silently in my heart. I knew it was because of practicing being an honest person according to God’s words that I could win the trust of my boss. This was all God’s grace and blessing. Thank God!