On the third day of the Lunar New Year, a festive song was played in a supermarket, greeting the comings and goings of customers with a lively scene across the supermarket. In the liquor zone, to fulfil their own performance targets and get more money and bonus, shop assistants enthusiastically promoted their products to customers and competed with each other. At that time, a man with two bottles of Huanghelou in the shopping cart stood in front of a shelf with hundred-year-old Zhijiang liquor series. He asked saleswoman Xiaojiang to give him two bottles of Tianzhiyun with each valuing 368 Yuan. When Xiaojiang was happily packing the liquor, saleswoman Xiaohuang, who sold Huanghelou, came and indiscriminately criticised that Xiaojiang sold to her customer without professional ethics.
Facing Xiaohuang’s vexatious behavior, Xiaojiang got very angry and wanted to argue with her. However, thinking that it was working time, she resisted the anger inside and explained to Xiaohuang: “I didn’t try to sell to your customer. It is the customer that asked me to pack for him. He is still here and you can ask him.” The customer also quickly stated that he wanted to buy this brand. However, Xiaohuang didn’t listen to their explanation and kept saying unpleasant words to Xiaojiang.
Thus, some customers started to discuss: “She is so mean! They are colleagues and see each other every day. What’s the point of doing that?”
“Yeah. This is the way the world runs. A weak person is liable to be bullied and a tamed horse is often ridden.”
“That’s right. This girl is too guileless.”
Xiaojiang was already very angry. When she heard the words from the onlookers, the anger inside rose up quickly. She thought: Xiaohuang is bullying me. If I don’t pay her back, she will think I am liable to be bullied. The customers will also think I am a coward. Who is afraid of it? She is wrong today and I will teach her a lesson in case she will push her luck next time. As the saying goes, “We will not attack unless we are attacked; if we are attacked, we will certainly counterattack.” I must stand up for myself. Who is not able to criticize others? However, when the words came to her tongue, Xiaojiang realised that she was a believer. God said: “If the speech and conduct of a believer is always as casual and unrestrained as an unbeliever, then this believer is even more evil than the unbeliever…” Since I am a believer, I should have saintly decency, practise God’s words, and behave according to God’s words. I shouldn’t behave as an unbeliever. Thinking of this, Xiaojiang was no longer so angry. She picked up her cup and left the trouble spots for water.
In the quiet hot water room, Xiaojiang kept praying to God: “Oh God! I believe there is Your good will in the thing that happened to me today. I should not pay her back like an unbeliever. However, my stature is too small and I am upset about that. God, may you protect my heart.” After praying, Xiaojiang calmed down a lot. She recalled a paragraph of God’s words: “Cruel, brutal mankind! The conniving and intrigue, the jostling with each other, the scramble for reputation and fortune, the mutual slaughter—when will it ever end? … How many do not act for the sake of their own interests? How many do not oppress and discriminate against others for the sake of maintaining their own status?” Pondering God’s words, Xiaojiang understood that we were still living under the domain of Satan and Satan’s views of “Every man for himself and the devil takes the hindmost” and “We will not attack unless we are attacked; if we are attacked, we will certainly counterattack” had already been deeply rooted in our hearts, which made us more and more selfish, greedy and vicious. It gets harder and harder to deal with each other. For tiny gains, people slander and fight with each other without any human likeness. Thinking of these, Xiaojiang understood it is the Satanic venom like “Every man for himself and the devil takes the hindmost” and “We will not attack unless we are attacked; if we are attacked, we will certainly counterattack” that motivated Xiaohuang to let off her dissatisfaction of losing the business by cursing her, and made her want to fight back in anger for saving face. Once our personal interests get damaged, our Satanic nature will be exposed. We can’t help but compete and fight with each other. No one wants to lose anything. Xiaojiang thought that she had read lots of God’s words and experienced much God’s work. However, facing this kind of environment today, she still wanted to follow the corrupt disposition rather than learning lessons. She didn’t have any human likeness. Thinking of this, Xiaojiang understood God’s good intentions. God created such kind of environment to let her realise that only by practicing the truth can her corrupt disposition be cleansed and can she become a man with conscience and reason. Understanding God’s intentions, Xiaojiang felt much relief.
Coming back from the hot water room, Xiaojiang saw Xiaohuang complaining to the manager, which triggered her anger again. She thought: You scolded me angrily and I didn’t argue with you. Now you push your luck and attack first despite being in the wrong. You just go too far in bullying others. I’m a tiger but not roaring, so you think I’m a sick cat. Since you have already told the manager, I can just take the opportunity to explain what happened and ask the manager to uphold justice for me. If I don’t go to explain, the manager may fire me after just listening to Xiaohuang’s words. Isn’t it unfair to me? Thinking of these, Xiaojiang walked straight to the manager. At that moment, suddenly there were other things for Xiaojiang to deal with. She didn’t know what to do so she prayed to God silently: “God, I am now in a dilemma and don’t know what to do. May You lead me and give me power to forsake myself and do what You want me to do.”
After praying, she thought of God’s words: “There are often those who believe that the matters which aren’t paid much heed by people, the matters that aren’t usually mentioned—these are merely minor trifles, and they don’t have anything to do with putting truth into practice. When these people are faced with just such a matter, they don’t give it much thought and let it slide. But in actual fact, this matter is a lesson for which you should be studying, a lesson on how to fear God, on how to shun evil. Moreover, what you should be even more concerned about is knowing what God is doing when this matter arises to face you. God is right at your side, observing every one of your words and deeds, observing your actions, your mind changes—this is God’s work.”
Xiaojiang pondered God’s words carefully and thought that God is the master of everything and the mind of the manager is also in God’s hand. Whether he will listen to Xiaohuang today or fire me is subject to God’s sovereignty. Now there are other things for me to deal with. It’s also God’s dominion and there must be God’s good intentions in it. At this moment, God is watching how I will practice. If I still live with Satan’s life principle “We will not attack unless we are attacked; if we are attacked, we will certainly counterattack,” ask the manager to uphold justice for me and keep fighting with my colleague, I am not practicing the truth, revering God and shunning evil. The desire to practice the truth and live out the likeness of man will be empty talk. Only if I forsake my own flesh and practice the truth can I satisfy God. Xiaojiang understood that God was testifying her through this real environment to see whether she could practice the truth, revere God and shun evil, and live out the likeness of a real man. Thinking of these, Xiaojiang’s heart suddenly brightened. She set her mind to bear the testimony and practice the truth to satisfy God. Xiaojiang smiled and went to do her things…
In the evening, when Xiaojiang came back to the supermarket, her colleague said to her: “After you left, another customer intended to buy Guangongfang liquor first but later bought Baiyunbian. Xiaofang who sold Guangongfang blamed Xiaobai who sold Baiyunbian for selling to her customer. Xiaohuang played Xiaofang off against Xiaobai. Being instigated by Xiaohuang, Xiaofang started abusing. Xiaobai didn’t allow herself to be pushed around and threw a bottle of Guangongfang to Xiaofang. Afraid of breaking the bottle and losing money, Xiaofang reached for the bottle and got hurt in the temple. Xiaofang refused to accept being struck. To retaliate, Xiaofang demanded to go to hospital for treatment. The boss of Guangongfang saw no one sell liquor for him at this good time of making money and complained to the manager of the supermarket. In the end, Xiaofang and Xiaobai got dismissed.
Hearing this news, Xiaojiang praised God silently in her heart: It was God’s words that led me in time, prevented me hassling the manager and stirring in the dispute, and made me live out the likeness of man. Thinking about it, if it had not been because of God’s protection, I would have gone to the manager and might have fought with Xiaohuang. If so, it would be me staying in the hospital now. Unconsciously I had been protected by practicing God’s words and avoided a scourge. Thank God.
Coming back home, Xiaojiang thought of all the things that happened today. Even though she was abused and laughed at, Xiaojiang realised her corrupt disposition through this actual environment. At the same time, she also saw the power of God’s words. Through the guidance of God’s words, she could distinguish things and people around her, practice the truth and live out the likeness of man to satisfy God. Without the guidance of God’s words, she couldn’t have overcome her corrupt disposition herself. Through this experience, Xiaojiang understood God’s good intentions: On one hand, God leads us with words; on the other hand, He arranges things and people around us to cleanse us, so that we could revere God and shun evil in these complicated environments rather than being fooled by Satan. It is full of God’s mercy and care for us.
A few days later, when Xiaobai came to the supermarket, she said to Xiaojiang: “Last time when Xiaohuang abused you, you didn’t pay her back. When she complained to the manager, you also calmly faced it. I really admire you. You have such a good temper and can tolerate it. I am irritable and cannot stand it. She abused me, so I fought with her. Unexpectedly, I lost my job due to the fight.” Xiaojiang said: “Just like you, I will not give up personal benefits. It was God’s words that prevented me fighting with Xiaohuang and protected me. Thank God!”
Recalling this experience of selling liquor, though Xiaojiang suffered a bit of humiliation, she really felt that she could walk on the right path of life and live out the likeness of man only by practicing God’s words, revering God and shunning evil. All the glory be to God!
By Zhang Yan, China