By Song Bo
Everyone in this world wants to seize what he likes, unwilling to let go. However, who can figure out what the consequence of our efforts will be? By chance, I read a story named “Learning to Give Up,” which tells that hunters caught monkeys by taking advantage of their fondness for crisp walnuts. The hunters dug a hole in the big stone where monkeys usually haunted about, and the hole allowed only one opened hand of monkeys into it. Then the hunters put some walnuts in the hole. If a monkey reached into it and gripped the walnuts, it would be trapped and caught.
Short as the story is, it conveys the philosophy of life. When the monkeys held the walnuts firmly, they didn’t know these walnuts were the bait and trap, nor did they know that giving up would save their lives, so the result would be that they lost their lives. As for ourselves in real life, I think, when we always want to keep hold of our favorite things—money, fame and gain, aren’t we the same as the monkeys?
I used to be such a person. As a believer in God, I knew that Christians shouldn’t pursue the world but should pursue loving and worshiping the Lord, gaining the truth and life. Also, the sisters often told me that it is the most important thing for us believers to pursue the truth and gain life, and that we should be content with having food and clothes. But I still thought that making money and living a rich life was most important. Therefore, I busied myself doing business all day long. I ran a chicken farm, and meanwhile, I worked at a towel factory, thinking that in this way I could make much more money and enjoy a better life. So I rushed around from dawn to dusk. Later, I did earn some money, but I had a rough time: I was physically and mentally exhausted and prematurely senile. Even worse, I got ill and had to take medicine for such a long time that my stomach was ruined. I often suffered from bloating and nausea, and was unable to eat. At that time I lost a lot of weight. My sisters came to see me several times and asked me to attend meetings and listen to God’s words. But I was too busy with my work to spare the time for meetings, and I was even afraid that having meetings would take up my time to make money, so I missed the meetings time and again.
God’s love is boundless. In order to save me, God arranged for the sisters to have meetings with me in the evening when I returned from work. Yet, since I was exhausted from a day’s unceasing work, when we had meetings at night, my eyelids drooped, and I even fell asleep when the sisters were fellowshiping.
By struggling as hard as I could to make money, my condition became far worse: I suffered from a severer toothache as I took more medicine, and I even daren’t eat food. In addition, once I did some work, my shoulders would ache, and so would my waist and neck. Especially my back, it hurt badly and sometimes it pained me so much that I felt as if I were having stones on my back, and the pain even extended to my chest, making me feel as if I would suffocate. In my suffering, I had no way but to come before God to pray. From the words of God, I found the root of why I clung to money. I saw God’s words say, “‘Money makes the world go round’ is the philosophy of Satan and it prevails among the whole of mankind, among every human society. You could say that it is a trend because it has been imparted to everyone and is now affixed in their heart. People went from not accepting this saying to growing used to it so that when they came into contact with real life, they gradually gave tacit approval to it, acknowledged its existence and finally, they gave it their own seal of approval. Isn’t this process that 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 their own personal experiences, right? Regardless of how much experience someone has with this saying, what’s the negative effect that it can have on someone’s heart? (People would esteem money.) … What does this saying and trend bring to people? Don’t many people see getting money as being worth any cost? Don’t many people sacrifice their dignity and integrity in the pursuit of more money? Don’t many more people lose the opportunity to perform their duty and follow God for the sake of money? Isn’t this a loss for people? (Yes.)” From God’s words, I understood: It turns out that Satan uses some viewpoints, such as “Money makes the world go around,” to corrupt and harm man. It misled me into thinking that having money meant having everything and that once I had money, I could enjoy a better life. So I was willing to risk everything to get more money, and didn’t want to miss any single chance to make money. As a result, not only did I lose the chance to attend meetings, but I also was disease-ridden from exhaustion, let alone enjoy a better life.
I was not the only one who seized money and didn’t let go of it. One of my friends was another example. He had ever been abroad to work. In order to make more money, he did several jobs a day and eventually got a severe disease, which was not cured even though he had much money. Such cases reported in the media are many. Some young people, in the pursuit of money, were swamped with business day and night, and due to the excessive work, they finally suffered from incurable diseases and lost their lives.
God’s words made me understand that Satan afflicts man. It used money as a bait to entice me to hold it tightly until I lost health and even was in danger of losing my life. Was it worth it? Just as the Lord Jesus said, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mak 8:36).
God’s words are the truth. Indeed, even if we get all the money in this world, what use would it be without life? Just like the monkeys in the story, they gripped the walnuts and weren’t willing to give them up, causing them to lose their lives in the end. Money is just an externality, that is, we didn’t bring it with us when we were born and we can’t take it with us after we die. By contrast, only life is immortal. The Lord Jesus taught us, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Mat 6:31-33). Therefore, when we learn to let go and no longer pursue to satisfy our own desires, not only will we not lack any material things, but on the contrary, we will gain much more truth and life because of having more time to worship God. From this it can be seen that when Christians face the temptation of money, only those who can understand God’s will and rely on God’s words to let go of all kinds of desires are wise people.
» You might be interested in this movie, to see how a Christian view wealth.