Fame, Fortune Are Stumbling Blocks to Happiness

Since a young age, my parents always taught me, “You must study hard and get into a good university like your cousins. We look forward to your making a distinguished name for yourself and bringing honor and glory to our ancestors.” For this, my parents entered my name for many classes of supplementary schooling and found great teachers to teach me. In order to achieve their desires, I studied very hard. However, no matter how diligent I was in my studies, my grades were still unfavorable. So my parents were disappointed in me, my teachers despised me and my classmates also jeered and sneered at me. I felt miserable and depressed. Then I established a resolution: When I grow up, I must distinguish myself and become a rich man. And I must prove it to all of you that I’m not born losing.

After graduation, I took up business and made a little success.

After I finished my studies, with lofty ideals, I decided to go all out in work. I thought: Only people who have money are successful and respectable. As long as I make good money, I can also achieve a lot. Then I got into the insurance industry, an admirable fast-buck business with high bonus and welfare at the time. But in that fiercely competitive industry, one needed not only courage but even more connections. At that time, there was a word prevailing in the industry: Having connections means having money. You get the rich, you get large orders.

In order to achieve my desire to distinguish myself, I began to attend in-house business trainings such as: “How to be silver-tongued,” “How to get acquainted with the rich,” “How to broaden your connections,” and so on. I also actively participated in all kinds of parties organized by my company so as to acquaint myself with more rich people. Besides, my colleagues gave me many tips and told me I should learn to humble myself, stoop, and play tricks. At first, I didn’t approve of their actions, but when I saw they could earn hundreds of thousands of NT dollars in a month and drive nice cars and buy new houses, I was a little shaken: Though I work very hard, I can merely get a low base salary. There’s a great difference between us. Thereupon, I began to use some of their tips and follow some of their actions. Before long, I became familiar with the business and meanwhile grasped some dirty tricks in the financial industry. Thus, not only did I have a comfortable income, but our family also lived a better life. Every time my relatives or friends cast gazes of admiration upon me, I felt very proud and thought: Finally I’ve stood up for my parents and become a useful person.

Good things didn’t last forever; I failed over and over again.

Just when I was feeling proud of my success, in 2008 a financial crisis had a great impact on the financial industry. Thereafter, my sales dropped off badly, my incomes sharply diminished and our company crashed in an instant. The business that I’d worked hard for went up in smoke in the space of just a month or so. In the face of this sudden blow, my heart was in great pain but meanwhile I was not resigned to defeat. In order to strike it rich, without consulting my family, I invested all my savings of more than a million NT dollars and another 2 million borrowed from my friends in other projects. However, in a few months, I lost everything I owned. When my family knew I was deeply in debt, the family was almost ruined. However, I didn’t draw a lesson from it. For the sake of becoming a successful man, I still tried every means to find ways of getting rich. In 2009, I got an investment opportunity from a friend—acting as agent for a well-known European supplement, which was said to sell very well in Europe. Carried away by the desire to make a lot of money, I ignored my family’s opposition and borrowed four or five million NT dollars from my friends. Then through connections I obtained from the leaders the chance to make a big fortune—the agency of Chinese market. When thinking I could do something awesome in the market of China’s mainland, I couldn’t hold back my excitement. I thought to myself: When God closes a door, He opens a window for me. Mainland China is a bigger market. This is a good opportunity to achieve my dreams and turn my career around.

Only after I entered the market of China’s mainland that many countries had been dreaming of, did I find that I didn’t know about it, for there were many factors we couldn’t control. Besides, the lack of capital incapacitated us from opening up such a big market; limited by the parent company, we had no control over many operating plans. Due to kinds of reasons, my funds were gradually tied up, my debts became greater and greater, and I sank deeper and deeper. I struggled for seven years there. During that period, my family and friends many times tried to persuade me to stop, but I was so longing for success that I ignored their advice. At the end of 2015, I had no money in my hands and my debts totaled over ten million NT dollars. Facing such huge debts, I completely fell apart. Overwhelmed by the pain and desperation, I walked alone in the streets of Shanghai and suddenly I felt I was so helpless and weak. Previously I faithfully promised everyone that I would make lots of money, but in the end I was rewarded with this outcome. At the time, I was crushed and didn’t know how to walk my future path. Many times I thought about killing myself, but when I thought of my old parents as well as my wife and children, I couldn’t bear to do so. After thinking it over and over again, I ended up all the investments and went back to Taiwan. Confronted with the setbacks and failures, I was wrapped in depression and hopelessly sunk in the pain.

At my most miserable, God’s gospel came to me.

thinking about a question

 

When I was in black despair, one friend I’d known for twenty years bore witness to God’s work of the last days for me. I read God’s words, “People’s desires are so perfect, but when people take their first steps in the journey of their lives, they gradually come to realize how imperfect human destiny is, and for the first time they truly grasp the fact that, though one can make bold plans for one’s future, though one may harbor audacious fantasies, no one has the ability or the power to realize his or her own dreams, no one is in a position to control his or her own future. … What occupation one pursues, what one does for a living, and how much wealth one amasses in life are not decided by one’s parents, one’s talents, one’s efforts or one’s ambitions, but are predetermined by the Creator.

At the time, I was filled with all sorts of feelings and felt the words were saying exactly my circumstances. Indeed, everyone has his own plans, ideals, and dreams for the future and strives for them; however, whether our dreams can come true or not is not decided by us. In retrospect, after I entered into the society, for the purpose of achieving my desires to rise above others and glorify my ancestors, I sought various ways to make money, but every time I couldn’t succeed and in the end I got nothing but great debts. These failures and setbacks allowed me to deeply realize: One is incapable of controlling his fate, nor can he change it by his own hands. How much wealth one can own in life and whether he is rich or poor are predetermined by God.

Afterward, I read God’s words, “In fact, no matter how lofty man’s ideals are, no matter how realistic man’s desires are or how proper they may be, all that man wants to achieve, all that man seeks for is inextricably linked with two words. These two words are vitally important to the life of every person, and these are things Satan intends to instill in man. Which two words are these? One is ‘fame’ and one is ‘gain’: They are fame and gain. Satan uses a very subtle kind of way, a way very much in concert with people’s notions; it is not any kind of radical way. In the midst of unawareness, people come to accept Satan’s way of living, its rules of living, establishing life goals and their direction in life, and in doing so they also unknowingly come to have ideals in life. No matter how high-sounding these ideals in life seem, they are just a pretext that is inextricably linked to fame and gain. Any great or famous person, all people in fact, anything they follow in life relates only to these two words: ‘fame’ and ‘gain.’ Is this not so? (Yes.) People think that once they have fame and gain, they can then capitalize on them to enjoy high status and great wealth, and to enjoy life. Once they have fame and gain, they can then capitalize on them in their pleasure-seeking and unscrupulous enjoyment of the flesh. People willingly, albeit unknowingly, take their bodies, minds, all that they have, their futures and their destinies and hand them all over to Satan in order to attain the fame and gain they desire. People do this without ever a moment’s hesitation, ever ignorant of the need to recover it all. Can people still have any control over themselves once they go over to the side of Satan in this way and become loyal to it? Certainly not. They are completely and utterly controlled by Satan. They are also completely and utterly unable to free themselves from the quagmire they have sunk down into.

The word of God allowed everything to become clear to me: The reason why I lived in pain was that I chose a wrong way. Educated and influenced by the thoughts of standing out and being an important person, I mistakenly believed that only when people win fame and fortune, lead an aristocratic lifestyle, and obtain the high regard of others, will their life be valuable and significant. Only such is the true life. On the surface, seeking fame and gain is a positive pursuit, but actually it is a means for Satan to corrupt man. Thinking about myself, in order to pursue fame and gain, I lost my original sincerity and conscience, and learnt to suck up to and curry favor with others, and I became hypocritical and did some things against conscience and morality. Although I felt uneasy after that, due to the temptation of fame and gain, I repeatedly disobeyed the prompting of my conscience and continued seeking to gain more fame and fortune. Even when my dream was shattered, I couldn’t bring myself to quit and still tried every possible way to make money and paid a great price. In the end, I was heavily in debt, and my family almost broke up. It was then that I realized that Satan uses fame and gain to blind my eyes, making me strive for them so that it can afflict me and tempt me to walk on a road of no return. This is the evil intention of Satan.

Afterward, through having meetings with my brothers and sisters and reading God’s words, I realized: Seeking fame and gain isn’t the true and correct path of human life, but instead it is one of the ways Satan corrupts people. Only when people seek the truth and obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements, can we break free from the affliction of Satan. So I decided to believe in God properly, follow Him and walk the right way of human life.

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