Struggling to Work for Money
In my family, we three brothers and sisters all did well in our studies from childhood, and both my brother and my sister went to college. But when I was about to take exams for entrance into senior high school, my family had been so poor that I had to drop out. As I reached the marriage age, I just wanted to marry an able husband to live a better life in the future. Unfortunately, after I got married, I found my husband was a gambling addict, who was not only able to make no money but ran into debt instead. Despite being in disappointment, I thought I had the skill of making clothes, and so was unafraid to make money. Then I entrusted my two-year-old boy to my mother and went alone to the south of China to earn money.
I worked in a large clothing factory with production line. We were paid by the piece, and could regularly make one hundred and seventy or eighty yuan a day. Figuring it out in this way, I could earn a monthly salary of five thousand yuan in general, seven thousand yuan plus overtime pay, and sometimes eight thousand yuan during the peak season. At this rate, I thought, I could accumulate seventy to eighty thousand yuan a year (excluding my personal consumption), and afford a house in two years. In order to realize my desire, I raced against the clock to work hard every day for two years and then, I bought a house as I had wished and lived a better-off life. My relatives, neighbors, and friends all admired me, giving me their thumbs-up to praise my abilities. I thought: Having plenty of money is indeed a good thing, and with it, I can live by holding my head high, and feel proud and elated among people around me. I calculated in my head: If I continued to work for another two years in this way, I could buy a car, which would then make me feel more proud. The more I thought about it, the happier I became; the harder I worked, the more energized I felt. So I continued working night and day for another year.
Unexpectedly, frequently working overtime caused me to suffer cervical spondylosis, nervous headache, periostitis of left hand, and have rheumatism in my right hand. The doctor told me to stay in hospital for treatment, and he also said that if I went on working like this, my arms would become disabled, and it could even lead to encephalasthenia. I thought to myself: Hospitalization for treatment will stop me from making money; without money I will not live a life of being highly regarded and admired by others. I calculated and decided to go on working while receiving treatment, letting go of neither. So, I only bought some medicine and then got started again like a working machine. For lack of rest for a long period of time, coupled with heavy manual work, my headache became more serious, even to the point that I knocked my head against the wall sometimes. I wanted to ask for leave and return to my hometown for treatment, but then I had a second thought: This job is well-paid. If I give it up to go home for treatment, it won’t be so easy to find such a job when I come back. This thought urged me to bear the pain to keep on working. Later, whenever my head ached terribly, I would take more medicine; whenever my arms ached severely, I would take pain killers to ease the pain. Gradually, I injured my stomach by taking too much medicine so that my condition got worse and worse. I could no longer continue my work. Helpless, I had to ask for leave and went home for treatment.
In Misery and Confusion, I Accepted God’s Gospel
After I returned home, my mother persuaded me heartily, “Zhifu, you can never make enough money. Not focus on making money, take care of yourself. The wealth one can own has long since been predetermined by God. Now you’ve been in such a bad condition for the sake of money, and if you go on like this, your health will be ruined. When that day comes, the money you have made, no matter how much, would do nothing to save your life. Come to believe in God to commit everything to God and obey His sovereignty and arrangement; only then will you get real happiness.” Hearing her words, I thought: Believing in God is good, but without money, I wouldn’t live a better life. Now it’s more important for me to make money before I reach old age. I should work for some more years to make more money, and until when I can live a better life, it will still not be late to believe in God. After that, I just turned a deaf ear to what my mother said with regard to belief in God. A few days later, I refused to obey my mother’s exhortation and went back to the factory with medicine on me and a patch on my left hand.
One day in May, I suddenly couldn’t bend the middle finger of my right hand while making clothes. So I had no other choice but to reluctantly quit my job and go back home. One time later on, I helped my father with a bag of fertilizer. We had barely lifted it up when I couldn’t hold my right hand out straight or bend it, or even feed myself with it. Only then was I aware how serious my illness had become, so I went to see a doctor again. The doctor said to me, “Your illness is caused by overwork, and if you go on working like this, your arm will be ruined forever….” At his words, I slumped into a chair there, thinking: Since my husband gambled all day and neglected our family, if my arm is really ruined, how can I live on then?
I came home sadly, and told my mother about my illness in tears. Seeing me in such great pain, she comforted me, “Do not weep. Come and believe in God, OK? Only God is our reliance and only He can resolve all of our difficulties.” Then she read to me a passage of God’s words: “The Almighty has mercy on these people who have suffered deeply; at the same time, He is fed up with these people who lack consciousness, as He has had to wait too long for an answer from humanity. He wishes to seek, to seek your heart and your spirit, to bring you water and food and to awaken you, that you may no longer be thirsty and hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel something of the bleak desolation of this world, do not be lost, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival at any time” (“The Sighing of the Almighty”). God’s words flowed into my heart like a warm current. I was like a lost child who had returned to my mother’s bosom, finding hope and a reliance all at once. My mother fellowshiped with me, “None of us is responsible with our own life, because we only live for making money, as well as for getting fame and fortune. As a result, we become more and more miserable. Only God has been watching over and protecting us. He doesn’t have the heart to let us live under the domain of Satan and suffer its extreme affliction. He hopes that we return before Him and submit to His sovereignty and arrangement. Only in this way can we throw off the miserable life….” Hearing my mother’s fellowship, I saw God’s motherly heart and His love that never leaves or forsakes me. This kind of love is not possessed by man, it is God’s mercy and salvation to man. In retrospect, I struggled to earn money in order to live a life of being highly regarded by others, and though I did have earned some money, I ended up with lots of illness, living in unspeakable misery. Before, when my mother preached to me the gospel, she urged me that, instead of casting off God’s sovereignty by my own effort, I should submit to His sovereignty and arrangement, and that only then could I live in peace and happiness. But I refused to listen and still held that making money was most important—“money makes the mare go,” so I continued to rely on my own hands to build a beautiful home until my body was subjected to more serious affliction. In distress and helplessness, God used my mother once more to preach the gospel and read His words to me. I felt from what God says that every word was conveying God’s love to me so that my rigid heart was melted. How could I reject God’s love and salvation again? Thinking of this, I willingly accepted God’s kingdom gospel with a heart of gratitude and guilt.
With the Precious Truth, I Discerned Good From Evil
Since then, I lived the church life. I gathered with brothers and sisters to fellowship about God’s words, and we loved one another. I felt a sense of happiness that I had never enjoyed before and my illness got far better. One day, I read God’s words: “‘Money makes the world go round’ is a philosophy of Satan, and it prevails among the whole of mankind, in every human society. You could say that it is a trend because it has been instilled in the heart of every single person. From the very beginning, people did not accept this saying, but then they gave it tacit acceptance when they came into contact with real life, and began to feel that these words were in fact true. Is this not a process of Satan corrupting man? Perhaps people do not understand this saying to the same degree, but everyone has different degrees of interpretation and acknowledgment of this saying based on things that have happened around them and on their own personal experiences. Is that not the case? Regardless of how much experience someone has with this saying, what is the negative effect that it can have on someone’s heart? Something is revealed through the human disposition of the people in this world, including each and every one of you. How is this thing that is revealed to be interpreted? It is the worship of money. Is it hard to remove this from someone’s heart? It is very hard! It seems that Satan’s corruption of man is deep indeed! So after Satan uses this trend to corrupt people, how is it manifested in them? Do you feel that you could not survive in this world without any money, that even one day without money would be impossible? People’s status is based on how much money they have, as is the respect they command. The backs of the poor are bent in shame, while the rich enjoy their high status. They stand tall and proud, speaking loudly and living arrogantly. What does this saying and trend bring to people? Is it not true that many people make any sacrifice in the pursuit of money? Do many people not lose their dignity and integrity in the pursuit of more money? Moreover, do many people not lose the opportunity to perform their duty and follow God for the sake of money? Is this not a loss for people? (Yes.) Is Satan not sinister to use this method and this saying to corrupt man to such a degree? Is this not a malicious trick? As you progress from objecting to this popular saying to finally accepting it as truth, your heart falls completely into Satan’s grasp, and therefore you inadvertently come to live by the saying. … Satan corrupts man at all times and in all places. Satan makes it impossible for man to defend against this corruption and makes man helpless against it. Satan makes you accept its thoughts, its viewpoints and the evil things that come from it in situations where you are unknowing and when you have no recognition of what is happening to you. People accept these things and take no exception to them. They cherish and hold on to these things like a treasure, they let these things manipulate them and toy with them; this is how Satan’s corruption of man grows ever deeper” (“God Himself, the Unique V”). After reading God’s words, I realized that Satan had been deceiving and afflicting me with these poisons such as “Money makes the mare go” and “Money isn’t everything, but without money you have nothing,” which led me to believe that people with money could be superior to others, could hold their heads high, and live a high-quality lifestyle. Poisoned by such a view, I regarded money as something even more important than my own life. For the sake of money, I left my two-year-old child for my mother to look after and hadn’t returned home for three years; I kept on working and making money night and day like a robot; and I was still reluctant to quit my job even when I suffered illness from overwork. As a result, my condition got worse; I could do nothing in my prime, I even had difficulty feeding myself, and I lived worse than death. If it hadn’t been for God who exposed the means and ways Satan uses to corrupt man, I would have persisted in error and continued to be trampled and afflicted by Satan, and thereby be utterly devoured by it. With this understanding, I resolved to bid farewell to the days when I only lived for money and to find an easy job. After a period of time, I began to perform my duty in the church, and by often fellowshiping about God’s words with brothers and sisters, I felt joy and peace in my heart.
God’s Words Guided Me to Reject Satan
Just when I was immersed in God’s warm bosom, one day, the workshop manager in my former clothing factory called me, “After you quit your job, we employed another worker, but she was incapable of the work. Now she’s gone. Come back to work, and the boss will give you a raise.” At his words, I was a little eager to go. As I was wavering, a passage of God’s words I had recently read occurred to me, “Everything that any great or famous person—all people, in fact—follow in life relates only to these two words: ‘fame’ and ‘gain.’ People think that once they have fame and gain, they can then capitalize on those things to enjoy high status and great wealth, and to enjoy life. They think fame and gain are a kind of capital that they can use to obtain a life of pleasure-seeking and wanton enjoyment of the flesh. For the sake of this fame and gain which mankind so covets, people willingly, albeit unknowingly, hand over their bodies, minds, all that they have, their futures and their destinies, to Satan. They do so without even a moment’s hesitation, ever ignorant of the need to recover all that they have handed over. Can people retain any control over themselves once they have taken refuge in Satan in this way and become loyal to it? Certainly not. They are completely and utterly controlled by Satan. They have completely and utterly sunk into a quagmire, and are unable to free themselves. Once someone is mired in fame and gain, they no longer seek that which is bright, that which is righteous, or those things that are beautiful and good. This is because the seductive power that fame and gain have over people is too great; they become things for people to pursue throughout their lives and even for all eternity without end. Is this not true?” “For the sake of this fame and gain, mankind shuns God and betrays Him and becomes increasingly wicked. In this way, therefore, one generation after another is destroyed in the midst of Satan’s fame and gain. Looking now at Satan’s actions, are its sinister motives not utterly detestable? Maybe today you still cannot see through Satan’s sinister motives because you think one cannot live without fame and gain. You think that if people leave fame and gain behind, they will no longer be able to see the way ahead, no longer be able to see their goals, that their futures will become dark, dim and gloomy. But, slowly, you will all one day recognize that fame and gain are monstrous shackles that Satan uses to bind man. When that day comes, you will thoroughly resist Satan’s control and thoroughly resist the shackles Satan uses to bind you. When the time comes that you wish to throw off all the things Satan has instilled in you, you will then make a clean break with Satan and you will truly loathe all that Satan has brought to you. Only then will mankind have a real love and yearning for God” (“God Himself, the Unique VI”). God’s words made me wake up immediately. Fame and gain is just a trap set by Satan to devour people, and without truth, I could only be led by the nose by Satan, and be devoured by it step by step. Only believing in God to pursue the truth is the right way of human life. Satan knew that I hadn’t let go of the pursuit of money, fame, and gain, so it tempted me by using my former manager to tell me about the pay rise on the phone, in an attempt to put me into the trap of struggling for money again and to control, afflict, and devour me. It’s really sinister. Think back to the time when I ended up with lots of illness and lived in misery for the sake of money and interest. If I were not saved by God, I would still struggle as hard as ever to make money until my arm got ruined and my nerve broke down, and then it would be too late to regret. Thank God for the timely leading and enlightenment of His words that allowed me to see through Satan’s scheme and avoid falling into its trap. Finally, I politely declined the manager’s good intentions.
Afterward, my wrist gradually recovered and my head no longer ached—my body got back to normal. What I would never have expected was that my husband, who used to neglect our family, started to earn money to feed our family. From my experience, I truly felt that man’s fate is in God’s hand, and even more that the life course God designed for every one of us is the best one. Today, I have broken free from Satan’s affliction and lived a happy life. This is definitely God’s salvation to me!