When Familial Affection Was Confronted With Money

I once had a happy family. My husband was hard-working, and I had never quarreled with my parents-in-law; we also got along well with our relatives; when encountering things, we would help and support each other. Living in this big family, I felt very happy.

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However, good times didn’t last long. In 2011, an unexpected mining accident killed my husband, the spiritual pillar to me. I had no appetite for dinner, and got a serious illness due to grief. I lived in sorrow over the loss of my husband, and had no thought to negotiate with the mine owner about compensation. So I asked my brother-in-law to deal with it. Seeing that he rushed and busied about for this matter and was getting thinner every day, I was full of gratitude toward him: When I was helpless, he could come forward courageously. We are really a family that share in both blessings and difficulty. After putting things right, my brother-in-law asked me to sign the agreement on compensation. Though we were paid 920,000 yuan, I couldn’t get over the pain of losing my husband, for no matter how much money I had, it couldn’t buy my husband’s life. At that time, my brother-in-law proposed to transfer the 130,000 yuan belonging to my daughter to my account, and the left to his first. Then he thumped his chest and faithfully promised before others: “I guarantee that I’ll transfer every penny to you later.” And without thinking, I completely believed his words.

I never expected that when I was still in mourning for my husband, my brother-in-law actually joined with my parents-in-law, trying to devour the compensation. He said to me gruffly: “You are still young and will remarry sooner or later; in that case, the family’s assets will belong to others. So we won’t give you any of the compensation.” My mother-in-law even said sarcastically: “You are a jinx. It’s you that brought misfortune to my son.” These words cut through my heart like a sharpened blade; I cried continuously and thought: My husband has just passed away, yet you attempt to devour the compensation. How can you do such a thing? And how can you treat me like this? Aren’t we family? Only then did I come to understand that they, in order to pocket the money, no longer cared about our kinship. When I was out of mourning, I took my daughter to my mother’s and stayed there for a few days; when I went back home, I was shocked by the scene before my eyes: The front door and the back were all locked with chains and padlock so that I couldn’t get into my own house. Seeing this, I was more heart-broken than angry. I had never thought my in-laws were so heartless that they tried to use such contemptible means to drive my daughter and me out. After my parents learned of this, they went to my parents-in-law, trying to reason things out with them, but my parents-in-law not only refused to have a talk but even tried to beat my parents. I had no choice but to go to law.

Before the trial, my in-laws, in order to prevent the case from coming to trial, became even fiercer. They thought it was my brother that would appear for me, so my brother-in-law instigated his parents to go to my brother’s work place to beat him and make trouble there; one evening, they even went to my brother’s home to beat him and his wife. In order to avoid them, my brother had to be secretive when he went to work and stayed at his relative’s home. Knowing this, I was filled with indignation and thought: How could my in-laws do this to me when I just lost my husband? They not only drove my daughter and me out but forcibly occupied the money my husband traded his life for. They truly are so malicious! I was so angry that I wished to fight with them even if I would pay the price of my life. Seeing that my parents were worn out and my brother and his wife got beaten, I felt very distressed. I recalled when my husband was alive, my in-laws and I lived harmoniously and other people all envied us, yet after my husband died, they actually turned against me for the sake of compensation.

When I was in pain and helpless, my neighbor preached God’s kingdom gospel to me, and said: “Seeing you living in pain every day, we brothers and sisters all pray for you, hoping that you can come before God soon and break away from Satan’s affliction.” At that time, I didn’t understand much of what she said, but when I knew that those brothers and sisters who were neither kith nor kin to me prayed for me, I was very moved. Then I saw God’s words say: “The Almighty has mercy on these people who suffer deeply. At the same time, He is fed up with these people who have no consciousness, because He has to wait too long for the answer from humans. He desires to seek, seek your heart and your spirit. He wants to bring you food and water and to awaken you, so you are no longer thirsty, no longer hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel the desolation of this world, do not be perplexed, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival any time.” God’s sincere words warmed my heart, and I felt as if God were speaking face to face to me: “Don’t cry, and don’t be sad. I have been awaiting your return.” Thinking back to the two short months, after my husband passed away, my in-laws didn’t give me any comfort, but rubbed salt into my wounds. For the sake of money, they hurt me in different ways and even beat my family. I nearly fell apart and was completely disappointed, feeling that there was no genuine affection in the world. Only after reading God’s words did I know that there is still love in the world, and that God has always been waiting for me to turn back. Thinking of this, my heart was greatly moved.

Then, I thought that since I decided to go to law, I hadn’t lived a single day of peace; my parents’ family were also implicated. If I insisted on settling the dispute in court, I couldn’t imagine what excessive behavior my brother-in-law would engage in. In order not bring trouble to my parents’ family, I chose to withdraw the accusation at last. Although I dropped the lawsuit, and family troubles were over, I hated my brother-in-law to the core. I thought it was him that caused troubles to my parents’ family, and it was him that made me and my in-laws become enemies. My heart was filled with hatred and pain, and I couldn’t get over it. Feeling utterly helpless, I came before God and cried out my sorrow to Him, asking Him to lead me out of hatred and suffering.

Later, I saw God’s words say: “For example, if you ask some evildoers: ‘Why do you do that?’ They will answer: ‘Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.’ This one phrase expresses the root of the problem: The logic of Satan has become people’s lives, and no matter what they do, whether it’s for some purpose or other, they are only doing it for themselves. People all think that ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,’ … this statement of Satan’s is precisely its poison, and when internalized by man it becomes man’s nature. Satan’s nature is exposed through this statement; it completely represents it. This poison becomes man’s life and becomes the foundation of his existence; corrupted humanity has been consistently dominated by this for thousands of years.” “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? God has spoken hundreds of thousands of words, yet no one has come to their senses. They act for the sake of their families, and sons and daughters, for their careers, prospects, status, vanity, and money, for the sake of clothes, for food and the flesh…. 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?

After reading the revelation in God’s words, I came to know: The reason that today’s world is so dark and so evil is all because we men are deeply corrupted by Satan; we are all living by satanic philosophies like “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” and “Human beings die in pursuit of wealth, and birds die in pursuit of food.” For our own interests, we can scheme against and harm each other, and even turn against our friends and family members; we have lost the most basic conscience and reason, and are capable of doing all sorts of evil. I used to have a harmonious family; however, only for several hundred thousand yuan, my in-laws and I became enemies. In the face of interest, familial affection is so fragile that it couldn’t withstand even a single blow. In fact, the reason why my in-laws could act like that was because they were also corrupted by Satan. Although they had gained the compensation, they actually lived in great pain: For fear that I would take revenge on him, my brother-in-law hid himself in mahjong den; my parents-in-law couldn’t lead a peaceful life at such an old age. And I myself was also drawn into the vortex of family dispute; when I saw my in-laws being unreasonable, I had thought of rendering evil for evil and fighting at outrance, living in a particularly painful and tiring way. Not until that moment did I understand that we were all poor victims who were afflicted and fooled by Satan. After realizing this, I gradually put down the hatred toward my in-laws.

After letting go of hatred, I felt much released in my heart and my life returned to normal. I often had meetings and communicated God’s words together with my brothers and sisters; when we encountered matters, we would help each other. Among us, there is no conflict over interests, but only a common goal—pursuing the truth to cast off the corrupt disposition and achieve salvation. Living in this big family, I really tasted the warmth of home, and I knew that this is God’s love for us.

When looking back, I couldn’t help but be overcome with emotion: Without God’s salvation, I didn’t know what my end would be. God’s words say: “When one has no 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 irrelievable suffering, such that one cannot bear to look back. Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life, will one gradually break free from all heartbreak and suffering, shake off all the emptiness of life.” That’s true. When I had no guidance of God, I lived in perplexity and didn’t know where I was headed. It is God’s words that help me penetrate Satan’s deception, clearly see the fact of our corruption by Satan, put aside the hatred toward my in-laws, and gradually break free from Satan’s harm. Having come before God, I’m willing to accept and submit to His sovereignty and arrangements, and seek to live a meaningful life.

By Zhenzhen, Italy

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