I Finally Escaped the Painful Life of Being a Money Slave
Once, when one of my regular customers met me, he said to me, “Wow, you look very different now. In the past, you worked day and night to earn money, and looked spiritless. But now, your whole mental attitude has changed and is completely different from before. How did you do this?” When I heard these words, I gave thanks to God from my heart, and tears rolled down my cheeks freely. Scene after scene of the past days drifted into my mind …
Striving to Shake off Poverty
My parents are uneducated and didn’t have any workmanship, so we lived a tough life when I was little. Because of poverty, my clothes were usually full of patches, and my classmates always laughed at and belittled me, which brought great harm to my young heart. To feed our family, my father often labored to drive the pedicab; my mother sold tofu from early morning till late evening in the winter when the temperature was twenty degrees below zero and she often became blue and black with cold all over, but she still couldn’t earn much money. For the sake of money, they always frowned with worry and sighed in despair. Seeing all of this, I felt so bad and told myself: Once I grow up, I will be above others, make lots of money, and give them a better life.
After graduation from junior high school, I left home to work. I had worked as a dishwasher, a waitress in a restaurant, and later I became a worker in a shoe factory. In order to earn more money there, I overworked every day, sometimes even up to 15 or 16 hours. During my work time, I had to be exposed to the toxic glue and the factory was stuffy, so after a period of time, I began to feel dizzy and there was something wrong with my sense of smell, but for the sake of money, I still gritted my teeth to persevere. Besides, I ate and dressed simply to save money. However, even so, I still hadn’t saved much money by the end of the year. Counting the money I had, I was anxious: If I continued in this way, when would I be able to lead a life where I am above others?
Just when I felt my future was bleak, by chance, I saw a technical school that was taking on new trainees, and I signed up for classes to learn massage. Through hard study, I became a professional masseuse and then worked in a big massage parlor. There were lots of workers at the parlor, so the competition was fierce. To keep my customers, I had to massage each one of them with all my might. Because I was thin and weak, sometimes at the end of the day I was even too exhausted to raise my arm or roll over. But, to earn more money, I never missed a day of work. Moreover, as long as my colleagues did not want to work when I was off, I would cover their shifts, and even though it was at midnight, I would go and would not lose a single customer. Due to a long period of sleep deprivation and irregular diets, I got gastroenteritis and always felt pain in my chest when breathing. Sometimes, my hands hurt so seriously that I could not even hold chopsticks when I wanted to eat, and sometimes I ached all over so badly that I could not sleep. All these illnesses and pain made me suffer an unspeakable amount. But at the thought that the accumulation of money in my bank account was increasing by the month, then as if seeing a happy life was closer to me, I was still happy in my heart and felt that it was worth it.
Due to working day and night in that way, I finally had some savings. Gradually, I went to beauty parlors, haunted posh restaurants, and also bought some famous brand clothes and handbags for myself. I led the life where I was above others as my wish, and my mother did not need to toil anymore. When I went home to visit my relatives and friends, they all admired and looked highly upon me, which made me feel especially proud. Afterward, when I saw some of them bought houses and cars in the city, I was unwilling to fall behind and also bought a new house there. By then, my years of hard work had finally paid off—I had a superior material life and others’ respect and praise. This made me securer in the belief that money talked and that without money one could do nothing.
Years later, I re-planned my future and decided to run some small business in my hometown with my savings. But only then did my mother tell me that all my savings had been lost in the business she once carried on with her friends. This news hit me like thunder from a clear sky—to the point that I even wanted to die. I complained about my mother in my heart over and over again. “Years of my hard-saved money have gone down the drain; what should I do in the future? Without money, how will I survive?” In that period, I wanted neither to eat, nor to talk. I felt very depressed and anguished in my heart. My mother, who was outgoing, also suffered cruelly in this matter, and became reticent. After a period of despondency, I decided to pick myself up where I left off. I encouraged myself: “As long as the green hills last, there’ll always be wood to burn. I’m still young; I’ll surely get my money back!” From then on, I worked harder than before, and I didn’t even return home for two years for fear that visiting home would impede my making money.
In the Vortex of Money God’s Salvation Came to Me
One day, my mother phoned to tell me with delight that she had gotten a good piece of news for me, and asked me to return home. Therefore, I asked my boss for one month’s leave. When I arrived home, I found that my mother seemed to have changed into another person: She smiled more, took a positive attitude toward things, and had a better mental outlook. I was curious about how she had such a big change in these two years. When I asked her, she told me that she had accepted the gospel of God’s kingdom; it was God’s words that had changed her.
On the second day, the sisters from the church came to spread the gospel to me. They told me: “God created the heavens, the earth, all things, and us humans. Everything we enjoy is granted by God. In the beginning, God settled our ancestors, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, and they two lived a carefree life. But later, they were enticed and corrupted by Satan, and thus were driven out of the Garden of Eden by God. Since then, we humans have had to sweat and labor to provide for our families. Because our hearts have become distant from God, and that we have lived under Satan’s deceit and corruption, we don’t know how to live a valuable and meaningful life, but only know to pursue money and fleshly desire. Therefore, people of today all lead a tiring and miserable life. Actually, how much money one will possess in one’s life is all in God’s sovereignty and arrangements.” After hearing their communication, I thought it was very fresh and reasonable. I used to hear my mother say “Human fate is ordained by Heaven,” so I also believed that there is a God who rules our fate. And, think about myself: My dream was to earn more money to live a happy life and I had worked hard to realize it all the time. But just because of my mother’s wrong investment, my life went back to square one right away. This let me see that we truly cannot control our own fate. Before they left, they gave me a copy of The Word Appears in the Flesh, telling me to read it more, and to pray to God no matter what happened.
In that period of time, my mother led me to read God’s words and taught me to sing hymns every day. This kind of life was really enjoyable, and I could always feel steady and peaceful in my spirit. So, I told my mother to believe earnestly in God. But as for me, who was still young, I wanted to make more money first, and then I would definitely believe in God with her. One month passed very quickly, and I had to continue busy with my work like a bee. Since I didn’t understand enough truths and always wanted to get back the money others had swindled my mother out of, gradually, I put my belief in God to the back of my mind. One morning I woke up and felt a sharp pain in my left arm; I found I couldn’t move it in any way, nor could I move my left fingers or even straighten my thumb. I became scared and rushed about visiting doctors in all the hospitals in the city, big or small. But, my illness didn’t get any better. The pain had been nagging at me all the time that I couldn’t sleep at night but could only walk back and forth until daybreak. Without any choice, I had to stop my work and go home to rest for a while.
I returned home and the moment I saw my mother, I cried. I asked her: What if I’m disabled for the rest of my life? How can I earn money then? Hearing me say so, she cried heart-brokenly and told me, “Daughter, all of this is because of money. To make big money and live a better life, I invested your hard-earned savings, but as a result, I was almost ruined financially. You have worked hard these years to earn more money, but in the end you get many illnesses at such a young age. Actually, money is just a bait for Satan to ensnare us in the pursuit of wealth to harm us.”
God’s Words Revealed My Erroneous Views on Pursuing
My mother read a passage of God’s words to me: “‘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? … 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?”
After reading God’s words and then thinking of my mother’s fellowship earlier that afternoon, I finally understood why I lived in such pain. It was all because I had accepted the philosophies and theories of Satan—“Money makes the mare go” and “Money isn’t everything, but without it, one can do nothing”—as my laws of survival; I thought I couldn’t live without money—with money I could eat well and dress well, and only when I had money could I live in abundance, could I be outstanding and be looked up to by others. Under the guidance of these wrong viewpoints, I devoted all my efforts to making money for these years. Despite hardship and tiredness, I didn’t let go of any chance to make money as long as l lived. In my extreme exhaustion and weakness, as long as I thought that the amount of money in my bank account was increasing, I would have the strive to hold on. I saw that money had totally controlled my outlook on life and on values, and that I had already become the person who cared more about money than life itself, and who became selfish, despicable, and narrow-minded. When I knew that my savings of these years had been gone because of my mother’s wrong investment, I developed a hatred for her. It turned out that I had unknowingly treated money as the pillar of life. When I understood these factors and thought of my present situation of health, I realized that I shouldn’t throw away my life in exchange for money anymore, and I decided to take a rest for some time. Then, I lived a church life with brothers and sisters. What made me excited was that my illnesses, which were not cured after such a long time of seeing doctors, had been cured before I knew it. I felt this was God’s protection and care of me. Thanks be to God!
Once, during a gathering, a sister read a passage of God’s words: “When people have property, they think that money is one’s mainstay, that it is the means by which one lives; when people have status, they cling tightly to it and would risk their lives for its sake. Only when people are about to let go of this world do they realize that the things they spent their lives pursuing are nothing but fleeting clouds, none of which they can hold onto, none of which they can take with them, none of which can exempt them from death, none of which can provide company or consolation to a lonely soul on its journey back; least of all, none of these things can save a person and enable them to transcend death. The fame and fortune that one gains in the material world give temporary satisfaction, passing pleasure, a false sense of ease; in the process, they cause one to lose one’s way. And so people, as they thrash about in the vast sea of humanity, craving peace, comfort, and tranquility of heart, are engulfed by wave after wave. When people have yet to figure out the questions that are most crucial to understand—where they come from, why they are alive, where they are going, and so forth—they are seduced by fame and fortune, misled and controlled by them and irrevocably lost. Time flies; years pass in the blink of an eye, and before one realizes it, one has bid farewell to the best years of one’s life.”
When I read this passage of God’s words, I was deeply stirred. In the beginning, I just wanted to live a life where I didn’t need to worry about food and clothes; but when my living standards improved, I prepared to buy a new house; and when I got a new house, I intended to achieve another goal…. I worked hard for my desires and was lost in them, treating money as my only goal to pursue in life, and even earning money at the cost of my health. As a result, I got gastropathy, scapulohumeral periarthritis, and the tendinitis of supraspinatus muscle. Fully willing to be a money-making machine, I had no mind to think about what kind of life was meaningful and valuable, and what man should pursue in their lives, so that when my mother spread the gospel to me, I had no heart to listen. But only when I was in extreme pain did I experience that God’s words of “the things they spent their lives pursuing are nothing but fleeting clouds, none of which they can hold onto, none of which they can take with them” are the truth and fact. Thanks for God’s guidance. Without the revelation of God’s words that made me understand my view of pursuit was wrong, I would spend my whole life in vain.
In the following days, I actively attended gatherings and read God’s words. I had a feeling of peace and joy in my heart, which I had never tasted before, and which could not be bought with any material thing. Thank God. I must pursue the truth earnestly and walk the true path of life. Later, I quit my former job and found another one which was closer to my home so that I could frequently have gatherings together with sisters and brothers.
When Satan’s Temptation Came Upon Me I Sought the Truth
I was willing to pursue the truth, but almost every time I had a gathering with brothers and sisters, my boss would call to tell me to work. At the time, I was conflicted and unhappy in my heart, thinking, “If I don’t go, I will lose my customers, and later I will have no source of income. But I also want to attend gatherings.” For several times, although I attended gatherings, my heart couldn’t be quiet and my spirit was gradually dark. In tears, I prayed to God: “Oh, God! I’m very distressed now. I know clearly that Satan is using money to entice me away from You. I want to get rid of it, but I’m too weak to break myself free from the enticement of money. God! Please save me!” After praying, I felt a bit calmer, and then I read two passages of God’s words: “There is an exceedingly simple way to free oneself from this state, which is to bid farewell to one’s former way of living; to say goodbye to one’s previous goals in life; to summarize and analyze one’s previous lifestyle, view of life, pursuits, desires, and ideals; and then to compare them with God’s will and demands for man, and see whether any of them is consistent with God’s will and demands, whether any of them delivers the right values of life, leads one to a greater understanding of the truth, and allows one to live with humanity and the likeness of a human being. When you repeatedly investigate and carefully dissect the various goals that people pursue in life and their myriad ways of living, you will find not one of them conforms to the Creator’s original intention with which He created humanity. All of them draw people away from the Creator’s sovereignty and care; they are all traps which cause people to become depraved, and which lead them to hell. After you recognize this, your task is to lay aside your old view of life, stay far from various traps, let God take charge of your life and make arrangements for you; it is to try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to live without individual choice, and to become a person who worships God.”
After I read God’s words, I understood why I was still disturbed by Satan’s temptation when it befell me. It was because my views on human life had yet to be transformed, and that I still wanted to live on the basis of Satan’s viewpoint of “Money isn’t everything, but without it, one can do nothing.” I thought back to the past. When I didn’t know God’s sovereignty, I lived in Satan’s schemes and relied on myself to struggle and make money. Although I had gotten the fleeting enjoyment and temporary dignity, what happened? I was riddled with illness at such a young age, and I would rather die. What was the meaning and value of such a life? Which was truly more important—money or life? I also thought of those rich people around me. Some took drugs, some gambled, some kept mistresses or lovers, some even jumped off the buildings because of emptiness…. Although these people had enough money, their life was a real mess. This adequately proved that the pursuit of wealth is not a good path. Thinking about this, my heart was awakened, and I understood: To obey God, to worship God, and to feel steady and peaceful—these are more important than anything else. I also had the will to forsake my flesh, to change my survival methods which belonged to Satan, to learn to submit to God, and to let God rule over my future.
During gatherings, when my boss called me to work again, I told him I was busy. Gradually, I was no longer controlled by money and felt enormously relieved and happy in my heart.
Although now I can’t live at will like before, what God gives me is already enough for me to live and my health is gradually improving. I read God’s words every day, attend gatherings, and communicate my experiences with brothers and sisters, living a quite steady and peaceful life. It is God who has saved me from the harm of Satan and the temptation of money. Thanks be to God!
- Extended Reading:
- Seeing God’s True Love in Illness