God’s Words Awakened Me, and I Have Ceased Trading My Life for Money

Working Myself to Death, Living the Life of a Money-Maker

Growing up in a poor family, I faced constant rejection as a child, and the glances of disdain from everyone around gave me an even greater sense of inferiority. Adults would often say: “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing,” “When you have money, then you have everything.” I identified with these words and became determined that I would carve out a space for myself, that I would become a person of wealth and live a life that everyone would look up to, finally obtaining a life of true value. I dropped out of school and headed off to the city to work to achieve my dream of making money. After a few twists and turns, I found a job as a decorator, slaving away day and night to make a living. I’d get up to go to work before dawn and then stay at the construction site at night. Since I was paid based on each task that was completed, I would stay long into the evening finishing up what I hadn’t gotten done during the day so I could earn a few more bucks. One time, I was so exhausted from work that I got a nosebleed that wouldn’t stop. I paid no attention to it and continued working as usual. Sometimes I would be completely exhausted but would force myself through it, even to the point of running a high fever, and still I would not rest for a single day. Though I suffered considerably, I felt satisfied seeing money continuing to pile up. No matter how much pain was involved, I felt like it was all worth it.

Later on, in order to make even more money, I left the work line of general labor and moved to the county seat to open up a hardware store. I racked my brains to think of ways to make my business boom, delivering goods to local factories, negotiating with merchants, and conducting business negotiations. My hard work paid off—business got better and better. I bought a car, bought a house, and began living the life of a person of means.

Overtaxing Physical Resources, Reflecting Within Hardship

Life was better, but I was so depleted from working that my body began to slowly deteriorate. My entire body ached with discomfort and I walked around in a daze all day, without an ounce of energy. These symptoms were really unsettling for me. I thought to myself: My life has just begun; the good days have only just started. I’m not ready to let the curtain drop on my life now. I went to the hospital to get a check-up with a feeling of uneasiness. The results from the exams revealed that I had four health issues: severe long-term anxiety leading to serious asthma, long-term lack of blood to the brain leading to chronic dizziness, a stomach swollen and hardened to the point of loss of appetite, and inadequate liver function. I was just in my 30s but was walking around in what seemed like the body of a 70 or 80-year-old. I had to stop to take a deep breath every 10 seconds—sometimes I couldn’t even get an entire sentence out in one breath, and felt like I was always gasping for the next breath. The doctor told me that my health issues couldn’t be fully cured, but that a regular regimen of medicine would alleviate the symptoms. But after one round of treatment, I didn’t see much improvement. My sicknesses plagued me every day, making life unbearable. I was panicked, deeply afraid of the day when death would come for me.

In my illness, I couldn’t help but reflect. I had originally thought that by having money, I would have a happy life that was full of joy. But even after buying a car, buying a house, and becoming well off, and even having a bit of a name in my local town, I wasn’t happy at all. Whenever I saw people who had pretty ordinary lives, but their health was intact and they were living happily, I envied them. My only wish at that time was a healthy body; I just wanted to live in good health. I would have spent any amount of money to be cured of my illnesses.

The Arrival of the Gospel, Seeing Hope in Life

Just when I was suffering this torment and had come to the end of my rope, a neighbor shared the gospel with me, telling me that God has come to work and express all truths for the salvation of humanity. He told me that only God is able to resolve our difficulties and sorrows, and that we have to come before God and worship Him so that we may have a good final destination and outcome. Later, I read God’s words, “Humanity, having strayed from the Almighty’s provision of life, is ignorant of the purpose of existence, but fears death nonetheless. They are without help or support, yet still reluctant to close their eyes, and they steel themselves to drag out an ignoble existence in this world, sacks of flesh with no sense of their own souls. You live in this way, without hope, as do others, without aim. Only the Holy One of legend will save the people who, moaning in the midst of their suffering, long desperately for His arrival. So far, such belief has not been realized in those who lack consciousness. Nevertheless, the people still yearn for it so. 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.

God’s word resonated with my heart—I was deeply moved. I thought back on those dozen or so years killing myself to make money, not a day or night without work, ruining my body, and suffering every day through unspeakable pain. I was also wearing myself out scheming against my fellow man in business, and flattering and fawning over others. I started to feel like there was no one on earth I could truly rely on, that I had no real direction in my life. God created humanity, and so God particularly cherishes and has mercy for humanity, which He created. He doesn’t want to see His creations being toyed with and injured by Satan, slowly inching toward the abyss of death. In the midst of my suffering and helplessness, God’s gospel arrived just in time to pluck me from the domain of Satan and place me within God’s house, comforting me through God’s word and allowing me to see hope in life. Heartfelt praise and gratitude issued forth from my heart, and I became willing to put myself in God’s hands.

Seeing the Error of Past Pursuit Through the Leadership of God’s Word

After that, through reading God’s word, attending gatherings, and having fellowship, I came to understand how Satan corrupts mankind, and how God then works to save men. God’s will in His work in the last days is to save humanity from Satan’s grasp. I came to understand some truths as well as some other things, experiencing a joy I had never felt before. Without me realizing it, my health started improving bit by bit. I knew this was all the grace and mercy of God.

Later, 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? … 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.

From God’s word, I saw that in the tortured life I had lived, I had been inculcated with satanic laws of survival such as “Money makes the world go round,” “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing,” and “A man dies for money; a bird dies for food.” I believed that if I had wealth, then I had everything, that I could win others’ approval and achieve a happy life. I slaved away for an entire decade night and day to achieve my dream of becoming wealthy—not even a burning fever could stop me. And then I opened a hardware store to earn even more, traveling far and wide to find suppliers, racking my brains and digging for ideas, focused every day on how to expand my enterprise. I was fixated on becoming a big name in my industry. I was happy to suffer whatever was required and endure whatever exhaustion necessary, with total disregard for my own health. Though I was living “the good life” and I had won the favor and envy of others, I worked myself into state of illness. I had become a 30-year-old in a 70-year-old’s body. Suffering with such illness every day sapped my desire to live. Only at that point did I come to my senses: Wealth and fame are entirely empty; they’re just pipe dreams. Though I had some material enjoyment for a time and others looked up to me, no amount of money or renown could alleviate the torment of my health problems. Those things are fundamentally incapable of bringing me happiness. Satan exploits money and fame to bind people, getting them to struggle over money, paying the ultimate price of destroying their own bodies until they become the slaves of money. This accomplishes its final goal of devastating and devouring human beings. If it were not for God expressing the truth and allowing me to see through Satan’s scheme, I would have died in its clutches sooner or later. I told myself sincerely that I could no longer rely on Satan’s philosophy of

“money above all” in my life—I had to make a clean break from Satan and submit myself to the rule of God, offering myself wholly into God’s hands. I subsequently began actively participating in the life of the church, and every day was more fulfilling and enjoyable than the last.

Practicing the Truth in the Face of Temptations and Leaving My Old Life Behind

A distributor came to my store one day and said he would get me distribution rights so that we could work together, and his terms were really enticing. After hearing what he had to say I felt a bit hesitant; I was the only one with distributor rights throughout the entire county seat and I was making a nice profit, and if I were to work with him I would certainly earn more money. However, I was already really busy in the shop—if I became an agent for another kind of goods I’d be even busier and wouldn’t have any time to attend gatherings. Just as I was really feeling at a loss, these words from the Lord Jesus came to mind: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). These words from God calmed me down and made me think of days gone by, when I had nearly given up my very life for the sake of making money. If it hadn’t been for accepting God’s gospel and through God’s words recognizing Satan’s trickery, plus how it uses money to entice people, then I would have ended up paralyzed, or I would have ended up dead. Even though from the outside it looked like that distributor seeking me out to ask me to be a representative seemed like a good opportunity to earn more money, hidden within that was Satan’s trickery. Satan was once again trying to use money to draw me in so that I would sell my own life for money, and continue to sink into the mire of wealth, being toyed with and done in by Satan. I knew I could no longer continue working day and night like some sort of machine just to earn money. If I exhaust myself to the point of collapse and lose my life, what value would all the money in the world be? Considering what I had already been through and taking the guidance of God’s words into mind, I very delicately turned down the distributor’s offer.

Afterward, I read another passage of God’s words: “For one sees that when one does not comprehend fate, when one does not understand God’s sovereignty, when one gropes their way forward willfully, staggering and tottering through the fog, the journey is too difficult, too heartbreaking. So when people recognize God’s sovereignty over human fate, the clever ones choose to know it and accept it, to bid farewell to the painful days when they tried to build a good life with their own two hands, and to stop struggling against fate and pursuing their so-called ‘life goals’ in their own way. When one does not have God, when one cannot see Him, when one cannot clearly recognize God’s sovereignty, every day is meaningless, worthless, miserable. Wherever one is, whatever one’s job is, one’s means of living and the pursuit of one’s goals bring one nothing but endless heartbreak and suffering without relief, such that one cannot bear to look back on one’s past. Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life will one gradually begin to break free from all heartbreak and suffering, and to be rid of all the emptiness of life.

After reading these words from God, I thought of how I had been relying on the labor of my own two hands to create a wonderful life for myself, how I had made seeking money my lifelong pursuit that I was struggling for. The result for me was unbearable suffering, mental and physical exhaustion, living in pain and losing my direction in life. I had absolutely no happiness in life to speak of. Money and fame can only provide gratification of the flesh and temporary fulfillment of vanity, but cannot fill the emptiness within a person’s soul. Only coming before God, following and worshiping Him, and accepting the life sustenance of God’s words is a life with value and meaning.  On top of that, our fate throughout our entire lives is within God’s hands, and whatever we possess over our time on earth was long ago determined by God. It’s not something that we can change with our own hard work. Once I came to understand God’s will I was no longer willing to live based on philosophies of Satan; I became willing to put my whole life into God’s hands and submit to His arrangements.

Living a Life of Meaning by Relying on God’s Words

Not long after that, there was a well-known factory in Guangdong looking for a general agent in my county seat. The factory manager came by my store several times to chat with me about it and also invited me out for a meal. I knew that I was already busy enough in the store, and that if I added that project not only would I have to expend more energy to take care of business, but my business dealings would also become really stressful and I’d be up to my ears in work. I realized this was a test from Satan coming upon me, so I prayed to God from my heart: “Oh God, Satan is trying to tempt me with money right now. I am willing to lean on You, to live by Your words and not be taken in by Satan’s tricks. Please protect my heart.” After praying I shored up my faith, that I never again wanted to return to my previous life of being toyed with by Satan. I turned down the offer. After letting go of it, I actually felt really relaxed and free, and I knew that all of this was God’s love for me.

In the time that followed, my wife and I managed the hardware store and our lives returned to normal. We took time off regularly; we also had the time to read God’s words and we frequently gathered with brothers and sisters and sang hymns. We also performed our duties in the church and joined the evangelical team. Every day felt really fulfilling to me—I was like an entirely new person. I told my wife very happily, “I was in really poor health before I gained my faith in God; I had a lot of illnesses. I felt like the prospect of death was constantly looming over me and I was living in constant fear. Now I feel like I’m completely full of limitless energy and I feel so much more at ease.” My wife smiled, appearing very pleased. However, she still had a bit of concern, so she had me go back to the hospital for more checkups. We went back to the hospital so I could get comprehensive exams done. The doctor looked at the results and then said I was in great health and there were no issues. With my lab results in hand, I felt so deeply moved and could not stop thanking and praising God. I knew this was entirely God’s grace for me. Then I sew God’s words, “Because the essence of God is holy, that means that only through God can you walk through life on the righteous path of light; only through God can you know the meaning of life; only through God can you live out real humanity and both possess and know the truth. Only through God can you obtain life from the truth. Only God Himself can help you shun evil and deliver you from the harm and control of Satan. Besides God, no one and nothing can save you from the sea of suffering so that you suffer no longer. This is determined by the essence of God. Only God Himself saves you so selflessly; only God is ultimately responsible for your future, for your destiny and for your life, and He arranges all things for you. This is something that nothing created or non-created can achieve.” Through God’s words I could really feel His selfless love for mankind. I thought of the path I had taken; when I was living within suffering and illness, when I was overwhelmed by the torment of health issues and didn’t want to go on living, the grace of God’s salvation came upon me. This saved me from Satan’s harm and brought me into God’s house, allowing me to escape from the suffering of illness and giving me a harbor for my soul. When I was stuck in Satan’s web, firmly bound by the shackles of money, it was God’s words that led me to see through Satan’s sinister intentions in corrupting mankind. I was then no longer willing to live based on Satan’s laws of survival. I feel that I’m so incredibly fortunate that I’ve been able to accept God’s work of the last days and step onto the path of a life of light. This is the most meaningful thing anyone can experience in life.