By Zhao Lei, France
When I was at school, many people in our village moved into apartment buildings and owned cars while my family was still living in a tile-roofed house. Therefore, I was determined to work hard to become rich when I grew up. A few years later, I packed my baggage, got on a train to a new place, and began to fight for my future …
“Hurry up! Hurry up!” The foreman kept shouting in the workshop. All staff were working as fast as they could. I wiped the sweat off my face with one hand and held the drill in the other hand. Then I leaned to massage my lower back before next process.
“Jie, hurry up! Hurry up! Don’t dillydally! It’s time to get off work!” The foreman’s voice came from the packing workshop when the material supply staff delivered a pile of head-high materials to me just after a tray of cardboard boxes was finished. I stood on tiptoe to get a dozen of boxes down. I felt exhausted. But whenever I slowed down to catch my breath, I would hear the voice of the foreman urging me to work. With 3,000 boxes to be finished, I lowered my head and reluctantly continued my work. In the evenings, I often felt pains in my fingers. I told myself that he who endures the worst of sufferings is the best among men. So I must hold on. Everything would be OK when I was rich …
One day, when I was leaving after the workshop meeting, I suddenly blacked out and crouched on the floor. The foreman noticed me and shouted, “Jie, what happened to you? What happened to you?” My head was heavy, and I felt awful. It took me quite a while to recover a little bit. However, I didn’t take it seriously, because I thought I was a young adult who was full of energy.
In order to get higher pay, I found a new job in a machinery company, working as a storehouse keeper. I was in charge of receiving, shipping and storage of thousands of goods. Besides the base salary, I had overtime pay. In order to earn more money, I worked late almost every night, updating the accounts.
With an increasing number of new products, the aisle in the storehouse was filled with materials. Consequently, my working hour was added, from eight hours to ten and then to twelve, sometimes even more than twelve hours. On my way home from work, I always walked alone accompanied by silent night. But the thought of the increasing savings in my wage card made me forget the weariness and exhaustion. I imagined the day in the near future when I had my own house and car …
One day when I was pulling the heavy materials, I suddenly began being suffocating as I felt palpitation and chest distress. I went to see a doctor and was diagnosed with arrhythmia. The doctor told me, “Young man, take a good rest and live a regular life. Otherwise, you will have complications after it gets serious.” It was a wake-up call about my poor health. However, I didn’t listen to the doctor and held that I would not think about it until it actually happened. So I just continued working hard for owning money, house, and car …
One day at work, my colleague Mr. Xia collapsed with myocardial infarction while he was working and was rushed to the hospital. He got ill through overwork and almost lost his life. Seeing this, I began to worry that the same thing would happen to me. I asked myself, “Is money really more important than life? If I lose my health, what will be the point of earning money?” Every day, after work on my way home, I would turn at the crossroads of the alley to my dwelling place. But which direction should I choose when I was at the crossroads of life? For the first time, I felt lonely, helpless, and confused. I was exhausted mentally and physically. Would I just live like this for the rest of my life?
When I was in confusion and feeling helpless, theof God came to me. says: “‘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. … Regardless of how much experience someone has with this saying, what’s the negative effect that it can have on someone’s heart? … People’s status is based on how much money they have as is their respectability. 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? Don’t many people see getting money as being worth any cost?”
Then I understood this: “Money makes the world go round” and “Money is first” are Satan’s life rules which had corrupted my view of life and deceived me into making becoming rich the goal of my life. Under the influence of these thoughts and views, I believed that money meant everything and with money I could be superior to others, make a difference, and honor my family. Therefore, I often worked overtime and sweated blood just to earn more money, and I would not take a rest even when I was exhausted and suffered illness. God used the case of Mr. Xia to warn me that it is stupid to sacrifice health and life for money. Thesaid: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Compared with life, money is not worth mentioning at all! Money gives me only temporary physical pleasures, but it can’t help me regain my health. So I shouldn’t live for money only.
Understanding this, I was less eager to pursue money. Afterward, I began to attend meetings, read God’s words, and sing hymns in praise of God, making these things an indispensable part of my life. I gained a kind of assuredness and peace that I never tasted before in my heart. I tried to let go of my desire for wealth and attached less importance to overwork; at weekends, I began to take some rest. Thus, I gradually recovered a little bit. However, I hesitated again when I heard my colleagues get higher pay for overwork. What should I choose? Working overtime for money or taking a good rest for health?
Later, I read a passage of God’s words: “There is a simplest way to free oneself from this state: 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, philosophy, pursuits, desires, and ideals, and then to compare them withand 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 human likeness. When you repeatedly investigate and carefully dissect the various goals of life that people pursue and their various different ways of living, you will find that not one of them fits the Creator’s original intention when He created humanity. All of them draw people away from the Creator’s sovereignty and care; they are all pits into which humanity falls, 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, try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to have no choice, and to become a person who worships God.”
As I pondered over God’s words, I nodded repeatedly: “God’s words are so practical. In the past, with Satan’s thought that ‘Money is the first’ deeply rooted in my heart, I used it as my motto of life and kept working overtime, sacrificing my time, freedom, and health just to earn more money. After starting to, I finally have a normal life. So isn’t it stupid to return to my old ways? God rules over and arranges people’s fates. So wealth is not gained through people’s efforts. God’s will is to make me let go of the view of living on money so that I can be in a normal working condition and have regular daily routines. I will learn to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements.”
Since then, I have worked with schedules and rested regularly. Gradually, my body became stronger and I looked better and better. I felt elated and worked more efficiently. My heart felt enriched and peaceful instead of being worried and in panic. Later, the company somehow adjusted the salary in my department. I worked less but was paid more, which convinced me that wealth is not gained through people’s efforts but is predetermined by God. It is painful to live by Satan’s life view instead of submitting to God’s sovereignty and arrangements. In contrast, those who choose to obey God and live by His words will have true peace and joy.
Thank God for saving me from the life of being exhausted and sacrificing health for money. Dear friend, for the sake of health, please take a rest!
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