Satan’s Trick Behind Chasing Money
One day, I went to my elder sister’s house to visit her. I saw her sitting in a wheelchair, her eyes dull. My brother-in-law cooked the meal and laid the table. Then he pushed my sister’s wheelchair to the table and put the spoon in her hand. She tried to use it with her trembling hand, but failed, and it dropped onto the table. My sister had no choice but to eat with her hands which still kept shaking. Having difficulty in eating, she made her mouth oily and the oil flowed from the corner of her mouth to the front part of her clothes. Looking at her, my eyes were moistened. I couldn’t bear to see that anymore, so I left her house in a hurry. On the boulevard back home, the sky was so blue, but I was in no mood to enjoy it. The wind was blowing in my face, and it brought me back to the past …
In my childhood, my sister told me, “I only love money. Whenever I see others count money, I feel an itch in my heart. When I grow up, I must live a rich life. Only if I have money can I enjoy a luxurious life.” After getting married, she said to me once again, “Only when I am rich will I be happy and be thought highly of by my relatives and friends. Money isn’t everything, but without it, we can do nothing.” That year, my sister went to Russia to enter the clothing business, and she stayed there for 19 years. In the bitterly cold winter when the temperature was more than 40 degrees below zero, my sister still stood before her stall selling clothes, with her hands and feet numb with the cold. But when she put money into her purse, she was very satisfied at heart. She said, “On counting a handful of money, I feel very happy. My hands were made to count money.” Thus more than ten years passed, and my sister earned several million yuan by selling clothes in Russia. Every day she was busy counting money just like a currency-counting machine. And as long as she counted money, she would burst with joy in her heart, and smiled from ear to ear.
My sister has three sons. She bought them cars and houses and helped them get married one after another. But who would have thought that, after their marriage, two of them started gambling: The second son went the casino in Russia every day; the little son was gambling online. When out of money, they lied to my sister, saying that they had lost money in business. At last, they mortgaged their cars and houses to the creditors, and the several million yuan that my sister earned through more than ten years was consumed by them.
Nevertheless, my sister refused to resign herself to living such a life without money. So when she went back to China, she found and seized a new business opportunity—running a supermarket, and then every day she was busy from dawn to dusk. When seeing her old face, I said pityingly, “Sister, in order to earn money, how much have you been suffering all these years? Millions you had earned through years of toiling was completely consumed by your two worthless sons and you have nothing now. But why are you still working like a madman? The Bible says, ‘And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil’ (1 Timothy 6:8–10). We can’t strain ourselves for the sake of making money!” Yet my sister said with disapproval, “Everything can be lost but money. I just can’t live without money.” And then she continued struggling to make money. Until one day, she suddenly collapsed in her supermarket and was diagnosed with cerebral thrombosis. The doctor said that in the rest of her life, she would have difficulty walking and trouble speaking.
Nowadays, there are many people who are like my sister. They do almost anything to make more money, just as the popular saying of the day goes, “One exchanges life for money when young, then exchanges money for life when old.” How many people struggle to make money but only get the following consequences of exchanging their life for money: Before some of them can make much money, they lose their life; after some of them earn untold wealth, they lose their health…. In order to make more money, peasants try every possible way and keep themselves working all year round; overworking gets many of them to suffer lumbar muscle strain and proliferation at an early age. In order to make more money, workers often work overtime, and even stay up all night; overtaxing themselves for a long time gradually leads to nervous breakdown and some other diseases, and the cases of their early and sudden death are also commonly seen in the media. In order to earn more money, merchants pay great prices for their business: Some of them even get gastrorrhagia due to drinking alcohol often in social events, and some are so busy with their careers that they often have irregular meals; at last, many of them fall into the grip of disease, of which are stomach cancer, intestinal cancer, and so on, have become familiar.
I couldn’t help but sigh deeply: Why do people of all trades and professions suffer hardship to earn money, even regardless of their health, just like my sister? What on earth makes people struggle for money so desperately?
Later, I saw the words of God say, “‘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? 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 on their own personal experiences. Is that not the case? Regardless of how much experience someone has with this saying, what is the negative effect that it can have on someone’s heart? 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? Moreover, do many people not lose the opportunity to perform their duty and follow God for the sake of money? Is this not a loss for people? (Yes.)”
Pondering over God’s words, I understood: Satan uses all these thoughts and perspectives, such as “Money is first,” “Money isn’t everything, but without it, one can do nothing,” and so on, to deceive and corrupt man, letting them believe that having money is having everything and that if they are rich, they can enjoy better pleasure. So man makes every effort to pursue money without regard for anything else. Being totally drawn by their desire for money, they are unable to recover, incapable of thinking whether their pursuit is right or not, and never once halt their steps of pursuing money. In today’s society, many people work themselves to the bone to make money, and as a result, they get many kinds of diseases, and some even lose their lives. This is because when humans are under Satan’s domain, and are controlled and manipulated by the desire for money, man unceasingly pursues money, and then becomes a slave and victim of it. Take my sister for example. Being completely controlled by money all her life, she thought that only if she had money could she live happily. So as long as she could make money, she was willing to suffer, and only when she put money into her purse would she be content. She also thought that her hands were made to count money, so she prioritized money more than life. However, in the end she got nothing but illness. Only now does she see clearly that no matter how much money she has, it cannot buy back her health and life. Now she can only spend the rest of her life sighing for herself in the wheelchair, alone and sadly.
Then, how should we live a life of value, meaning and happiness? I thought of the’ words, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). The Bible says, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (1 Timothy 6:8).
God’s words say, “No matter how well you eat, how nice your house is, how good your clothes are, how comfortable your life is, or how many of your desires have been fulfilled, this is all empty. After that, you look for death—the final outcome is death. Would you say that the happiness pursued by unbelievers is true happiness? Actually, it isn’t. It is what people imagine happiness to be, and it is a depraved method, a path that makes people depraved. People’s pursuit of this is not the objective that normal humanity ought to have, it is not the value in living. What was planted by Satan has caused people to make this their objective. Satan has used this means to benumb people, to corrupt, attract, entice, and beguile them, making them think that this is happiness, making them chase that goal. People think that this is happiness, that only when they gain this will they be happy, and so, regardless of how much effort it takes, they chase that goal—and the result is, once they’ve achieved it, they still feel that they haven’t gained true happiness, yes? (Yes.) This proves that this is not the right path, that it is the path to death.
“And why do those whonot walk upon this path? And what is the happiness felt by believers in God like? What are the differences? Look at how, when they believe in God, most people stop pursuing wealth, they stop pursuing success, or a career, or becoming famous in the world. Instead, they live in obscurity, they live simple lives, and have no great demands toward their quality of life. There are even those who are satisfied with nothing more than being warm and well-fed. In a world such as this, they actually choose a path such as this; is it because they are incapable of earning great wealth? Would you say that the brothers and sisters of God’s house, these believers, do not possess the ability to earn great wealth? (No.) No. And so what do you see? After these people begin believing in God, to a greater or lesser extent, in the depths of their hearts they feel that nothing brings them greater happiness than following God, and that this happiness cannot be replaced by anything in the material world. There are even those who have tried; the years they spent toiling in the outside world were tiring and hard, they earned a little money, and enjoyed themselves, but what’s the result? They lived without dignity, and lived in a way that became more and more exhausting, and said to themselves, ‘It would be better to die than live like this!’ They had already seen through these things. It is not that they only began believing in God when they had no other option, but that they had truly felt that nothing brings greater comfort to their hearts, and there is no greater thing in life, than following God, walking the path of pursuing the truth, and expending for and devoting one’s life to God; that nothing brings greater happiness than gaining God and gaining the truth, nothing makes people’s hearts more steadfast. They had already felt this happiness, and it was not something they had imagined.”
These words of God let me realize: In one’s life, blindly pursuing money, material things, and the enjoyment of the flesh only leads to emptiness. This is a depraved lifestyle, which only results in our loss of health and life after being fooled and harmed by Satan. What value and meaning does living like this have! We should seek to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and be content with having clothing and food; only by approaching life like this can we gain peace and happiness. Only if we come before God to pursue truth, accept, and live according to God’s words can our heart gain real peace and joy and can we live a life of meaning, value, and happiness!