By Jin Sheng
“Good conscience? How much does it cost? Who cares about it now? Can it feed us? Or can we use it as money? You should see clearly this society. It is a money society now. Money is first and everything is for money.” These are lines from the Christian Church movie I Find the Right Path of Life. Master Qian said these words when he passed on his secrets to the hero Zhen Cheng in the movie. These words also show that everyone in modern society reveres the outlook on life and values of “Money is first.”
The movie I Find the Right Path of Life tells a story about Zhen Cheng, who is the owner of an appliance repair shop. He was well-behaved and honest, and earned money in good conscience with his good craft. However, owing to the stress of life and the influence of the surrounding environment, he gradually accepted these rules of living, such as “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” “A man without a second income will never get rich just like a horse starved of hay at night will never put on weight,” “As a small mind makes no gentleman, a real man is not without venom” and so forth, and abandoned the former way of living that cheated neither old nor young, and which earned money based on conscience. In the end, he became smoother and craftier in business …
Seeing the experience of the protagonist in this movie, I couldn’t help recollecting what happened to me.
I was also kind and honest, and wherever I worked, I would work diligently and conscientiously, so my bosses all praised my loyalty and honesty. Later on, I became a director of our factory, and I still worked hard as before. One day, I overheard two employees say, “Director So-and-So often keeps account of more piecework earnings for some staff, and allocates easy work to them. Then when they get salaries, they will divide some with the director, and thus both of them all gain profit. Even more despicable is that she even keeps account of less piecework earnings for those honest people. Her conscience is simply too bad.” Hearing these words, I secretly told myself: I must do things according to my conscience and not do shameful things in case others speak behind my back.
Nevertheless, once when I settled accounts at the end of the month, I found that although my wife worked diligently, yet every month her salary was less than any others’, and instead, those who tried to skate through got more salaries. I was unequal within. At that time, I couldn’t help remembering that the two employees said Director So-and-So hatched schemes to get more money. As I thought, I wanted to do that, and pondered: Why don’t I keep account of more piecework earnings for my wife? Anyway, my boss can’t find it out and the staff aren’t concerned about it…. Struggling with myself for a long time, in order to get more salaries, I began to use my authority and opened the door to myself. In the beginning, I also thought that what I did was immoral, but this weak perception of conscience couldn’t make me resist the lure of money. Although sometimes my conscience was troubled, under the urge to make a profit, I already ignored the conscience and bottom line for conducting myself as a man. I started to acknowledge the sayings like “We should listen to whoever is in charge of us; the nearer power is better than the higher power,” “Those living in mountains live off the mountains and those living near waters live off the waters—make use of local resources,” “He who can take advantage of others but does not is a bastard,” and even sometimes I thought this was my ability for others didn’t have this authority even if they wanted to take advantage of others. Nonetheless, I also worried: If the things are found by staff one day, they will rebuke me as they rebuked the director. What about saving my face at the time? Every time I thought of this, I would be painful and self-condemned, and my heart was beset with contradictions. In particular, when I saw that in the movie, the scandals Zhen Cheng did were exposed and then he was reproached by others, I especially worried someday those things I did would come to the light and then I would be faced with the situation in which others criticized and condemned me behind my back just like Zhen Cheng encountered. Having watched this movie, I suddenly realized money and profit are like unseen shackles, and as soon as man wears them, it is difficult to get rid of.
From the movie I understand the laws of life Satan instills into us and the evil teachings and fallacies it speaks of, such as “One’s destiny is in his own hand,” “Heaven destroys those who are not for themselves,” “Money makes the world go round,” “A man dies for money; a bird dies for food,” “As a small mind makes no gentleman, a real man is not without venom” are the root cause of the development of all the evil things, and are the ringleaders of all evil that make man lose conscience and morality, and even make man devoid of humanity. In this money society full of material desires, public morals are becoming worse and worse, and all the people are dizzy with the evil life views Satan instills into us, just as the lines in the movie, “After we mankind accept these fallacies, we begin to deny God’s sovereignty and don’t’s existence. All become quite arrogant and self-righteous, lawless and godless, selfish, greedy, crooked and crafty, and esteem money and power. We all act by the satanic philosophy ‘Those who give us money are our fathers, and those who give us food are our mothers.’ People all become the slaves of money.” We don’t know where the right path of life is, but struggle hard for money, fame, status and interests. People engage in the overt and covert struggles and live without dignity and joy; in more serious cases, they won’t care about others’ life and death but flagrantly frame and harm others. For money people will use any means necessary and they are capable of any crime. These evil life views also make people who get sucked into the vortex of money, fame and fortune feel exhausted in their body and heart and empty in their spirit, so that they no more restrain their evil footsteps because of the conscience’s condemnation. No one listens to reason or their conscience, and speaks of being honest people. Meanwhile, people pay through the nose for fame and fortune but lose real happiness and pleasure. And the root cause is because we mankind distance ourselves from God and betray God, and thus we will not have happiness at all and we can only be deceived, corrupted, and tramped by Satan. In the past, I wanted to conduct myself as a man according to conscience, and looked down on those who tried to pull the wool over someone’s eyes; however, under the lure of money and seeing that people around me all lived like this, I also followed the evil trends, and treated satanic philosophies of life and rules of life as my power of life. As a result, those thoughts and views from Satan completely distorted my outlook on life and values, destroyed my conscience, causing me to lose my moral integrity and dignity as a man.
It was fortunate that Zhen Cheng has found the path to get rid of this way of living which was dark, evil, and degenerate: He came in the presence of God, readevery day, understood the truth and was able to discern, and saw through Satan’s wicked schemes of corrupting man. Therefore, he was no more deceived by Satan or lived by Satan’s rules for living, but practiced being an honest person according to God’s word, and from then on, he walked on the right path of life, living broadly. Not only did he obtain peace and joy, but also he won approval and praise of people around him. This right path of life is not merely the way to allow people to have peace in their hearts, but furthermore the way that leads to the kingdom of heaven. It turns out that being an honest person is the way of man conduct. From the movie, I also find the way of breaking free from troubles and unease and walking onto the right path of life! There are two passages of God’s words in the movie which deeply moved me, “Living in this world, living under the influence of Satan’s corruption, it is impossible for people to be honest, but can we, having become honest, exist in this society and this world? Can we be segregated by them? No—we’ll live as before, because we don’t rely on treachery to eat food, or breathe air. Instead, we rely on the breath and the life given by God to live; it’s just that, today, the principles of our existence, the direction and aims of our existence, and the basis of our lives must all change. It’s just that we are changing our method and the way we live in order to satisfy God and seek salvation, and this is totally unrelated to the food, clothing, and habitation of the flesh. This is our spiritual need. Is it not so?” “The future direction will be thus: Those who gain the utterances from God’s mouth will have a path to walk on earth, and be they businessmen or scientists, or educators or industrialists, those who are without God’s words will have a hard time taking even a single step, and will be forced to seek the true way. This is what is meant by, ‘With the truth you’ll walk the entire world; without the truth, you’ll get nowhere.’” Apparently, only if we pursue being an honest person can we walk onto the right path of life. What’s more, this is the only way out.
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