By Lin Qiang
One day, a fashionable lady in her forties came to my shop and directly asked: “I want to have my hair dyed. What’s the price?” I daren’t charge wicked price as before, so I frankly replied: “Forty, fifty, or sixty; you can choose as you wish.” She said: “Sixty. The price here is really low. Others charge one hundred yuan for dyeing the hair.” While I was dyeing her hair, she began to flaunt wealth, saying, “I run a big firm. I often get pretty. It costs over one hundred yuan at a time. And one bottle of slimming drug costs more than one hundred yuan….” Hearing her constantly trivial talk, my heart was stirred: Oh, this is a rich woman, I should have made more money from her. Especially when I heard she said that she didn’t care about money and often gave her mother one thousand or eight hundred yuan at a time, my desire of making money uncontrollably arose in my heart, thinking: Since she doesn’t care about money, why don’t I make some more from her? So, I said hypocritically: “How about having your hair greased?” “How much is it?” She asked. “Thirty yuan at a time.” I replied, thinking: “My cost is only several yuan, charging thirty yuan is a good deal.” She agreed readily, saying: “Great. After greasing, my hair will be shiny and supple, not easy to fade.” At her words, my heart became stirred again: “If I had known she is such an easy target, I should have charged a higher price.” At that time, my eyes were absolutely blinded by avarice. I had long ago pushed the determination of being an honest person out of my mind. However, in my heart, I knew clearly: Grease doesn’t make any difference to the hair; it is just a means used to make money from customers.
Subsequently, I saw God’s word says: “These trends arise one after another, and they all carry an evil influence that continually debases mankind, causing people to lose conscience, humanity and reason, weakening their morals and their quality of character ever more, to the extent that we can even say that the majority of people now have no integrity, no humanity, and neither do they have any conscience, much less any reason. … One after another, such trends cause people, who are not of sound body and mind, do not know what the truth is, and cannot differentiate between positive and negative things, to happily accept them as well as the life views and values that come from Satan. They accept what Satan tells them about how to approach life and the way to live that Satan ‘bestows’ on them, and they have neither the strength nor the ability, much less the awareness, to resist. … Without realizing it, if you do not cheat people when doing business with them, you feel you are worse off; if you do not cheat people, you feel as though you have lost something. Unknowingly, this cheating becomes your very soul, your backbone, and an indispensable type of behavior that is a principle in your life. After man has accepted this behavior and this thinking, has this not brought about a change in his heart? Your heart has changed, so has your integrity changed as well? Has your humanity changed? Has your conscience changed? (Yes.) Yes, every part of this person undergoes a qualitative change, from their heart to their thoughts, to such an extent that they are transformed from the inside out. This change pulls you further and further away from God, and you become more and more closely aligned with Satan; you become more and more alike to Satan.”
God’s word made me know: Under the influence of the evil trends of “profit is the first,” “none of the businessmen is honest,” and “speaking from both sides of your mouth,” I had become insatiable for money and lost the conscience and reason of a normal person. I could remember: When I dyed the hair at first, I only charged ten yuan at a time, and I felt very satisfied. Now, I charged sixty yuan at a time, but I still felt it was not enough, expecting to get more money from customers. The more I earned, the more I desired. Unconsciously, I approved and accepted the deception, believing: In the business field, without cheating and entrapping, we won’t do our business well and make money, but will suffer loss. Playing tricks is my survival law of doing business. Checking the facts against God’s word, I saw what I lived out completely belonged to Satan, without personality or dignity or any human likeness. After knowing this, I came before God to repent: “Oh, God, in the judgment of Your word, I know I am too deceitful. I don’t want to live like this. I want to be an honest person, no longer following the evil trends of Satan. But I am so deeply corrupted by Satan that I couldn’t help cheating others in the face of money and interest. May You save me to get rid of the bondage of Satan’s poison and let me be an honest person.”
In the following days, in order to practice to be an honest person, I took a measure—fixing the price of cutting, straightening, and perming the hair according to the lowest price of the same trade: seven yuan, eighty yuan, and one hundred yuan. I thought: From now on, no matter who comes to do their hair, I will no longer charge wicked prices as before. I make a stable price and let the customers freely select one of them. One day, a nonlocal man came to have a haircut. When he took out his wallet and asked me how much he should pay, I hesitated the moment I saw the dozens of one-hundred-yuan bills, thinking: Now, other barbershops all raise their price; only I still charge seven yuan. He seems like a rich man. If I charge ten yuan, won’t I make three yuan more? He won’t care about three yuan. Just then, I suddenly thought of God’s words: “I do not wish to falsely accuse any one among you, for I have always acted justly, fairly, and with honor. Of course, I also hope that you can be upstanding, and do nothing that goes against heaven and earth or your own conscience. This is the only thing that I ask of you.” God’s substance is holy; His actions are just, fair, and glorious. So, He requires that we should do things uprightly, and speak and act without impurity. The price of having a haircut I have fixed is seven yuan; why can’t I treat every customer justly? Isn’t it to slide into the old ways? No, I can’t let Satan lead me by the nose; I must completely abandon the previous business dealings to start with a new sheet. So, I frankly told him that it was seven yuan. Though this time I didn’t make more money, I was very relieved, and felt incredibly secure and peaceful. No money can buy that kind of feeling. I tasted the joy of being an honest person.
After tasting the joy of being an honest person, I gradually didn’t care about money so much from the depth of my heart, and was willing to practice to be an honest person. One day, a customer came to my shop to straighten her hair. When I saw her hair was unsuitable for straightening, I said to her: “Your hair can’t be straightened, or it will be burnt.” Another time, a female customer came to have a haircut; I saw the length of her hair was suitable, so I said: “The length of your hair is suitable, you’d better not have it cut, or it won’t look nice.” At my words, she left with a smile. One customer said confusedly: “I have never seen such an honest person like you. She came to have a haircut; if you give her a simple cut, won’t you make the money? You’re too honest.” Once, I picked up a pair of gold earrings which was worth more than two thousand yuan; when the customer came to look for it, I gave it back to her without hesitation. The customer said with gratitude: “You’re so nice. Luckily it was lost in your shop; if it were lost in other shops, I wouldn’t have found it back. You’re really a good person.” I thought: It’s not that I am good, but it is God’s word that changes me.
After I practiced being an honest person, to my surprise, my business became more brisk than before. Moreover, not a few customers became my regulars, and they also brought their relatives and friends to my shop. Some customers said: “We all come for the sake of your honesty.” My shop is located on a back street, and there was another big and high-grade barbershop on that street. Afterward, many customers of that shop came to my shop; they said: The charge in that shop is too high. Every service there is more expensive than here. Besides, they use every possible means to cheat us. They are not as honest as you. Your price is just and reasonable. Not before long, that shop shut down, while mine has more customers than before, and my business becomes more and more prosperous. If I had persisted in the former way of doing business, “profit is the first” and “none of the businessmen is honest,” today, my shop would have had the same fate as that one, ending up shutting down. I can’t help offering thanks and praises to God from the bottom of my heart, and meanwhile, I really have tasted:Being an honest person according to God’s word, not only do my business become more brisk, but my heart gets released and freed, and enjoys incomparable enjoyment. Just as God’s word says: “By way of the deeds I do throughout the entire universe, I will show honest people the wondrousness of My actions, thereupon causing their wisdom, insight, and discernment to grow. I will also cause deceitful people to be destroyed in an instant as a result of My wondrous deeds.”
Part One: Being an Honest Person in Business, I Saw God’s Blessing (II)