By Xiaowen, Canada
Every time I read these news on line: Someone asked his parents for money to play games but was refused, and then he struck them violently; someone robbed and even murdered people to get money to play games; still someone was exhausted to death before the computer after playing games for a long time… I cannot help gasping. Yet at the same time I am full of gratitude to God. If I had not been saved by God, how terrible my life would have been, and I would have met the same end as them. As I think of this, the distressing past appears in front of me …
Failing to Resist the Temptation, I Went Astray.
When I was 12, as a result of making money, my parents were too busy with their work every day to have time to accompany my younger brother and me. Every day, except going to school, most of the time I stayed at home. The boring and empty life constantly aroused a feeling of loneliness in me. One time, I found the single-player game, which my classmate was playing, to be so interesting that I searched for it on the Internet and started playing. Yet before long, I saw my younger brother playing online multiplayer games, in which the character’s equipment was great and colorful, and there were various prizes for the winners. It was much more amusing than the single-player game. Moreover, through playing online games I could get acquainted with many people, and then my life would not be that boring. From then on I began to play online games.
Afterward, the game publisher released new equipment for playing games. If using old equipment, I would be beaten soon by my competitors. And without good equipment, I would be looked down upon by other gamers, and none of them would feel like making friends with me. Unwilling to be defeated, I saved the food money that my parents left for me every day to buy the equipment. As soon as the limited edition was released, no matter how high the price was, I would immediately went to buy it, fearing that it would be snapped up by others. With the advanced equipment, it was easy for me to defeat others and keep progressing through the game and leveling up. At that time, the level 120 is the max level, and I had reached beyond level 100. Seeing that I have fantastic in-game items(such as equipment, weapons, or outfits, etc.) and my character was at a very high level, other players all admired me and took the initiative to talk and make friends with me. This really made me very satisfied and proud.
In real life, because I was plain-looking, none of my words and actions could be approved by others, and I had to take my cue from others in everything, and was even ignored, excluded, and derided at whiles. I felt it too hard and tired to interact with others in real life. Contrarily, my vanity could be satisfied in the virtual cyber-world, because I could gain the appreciation and admiration of others and people would talk with me actively here. All these made me have the sense of being favored. As a result, I was addicted to games, sinking deeper and deeper.
Deeply Mired in Online Games, I Lost Myself.
Staying up late to play games, I was out of heart when having classes in the daytime, and even slept in class when I was really too tired. I totally took no interest in study. After a long period of time like this, I began to fall behind with school work. and most problems are too hard for me. Neither was I willing to spend time thinking, so that I had to copy my classmates’ homework to deal with my teachers.
Hence my academic grades dropped constantly.
When my parents saw how I was crazy about playing games, they always tried to persuade me, but I just let their words go in one ear and out the other, not taking them seriously at all, and continued playing as usual. Later, I had less and less communication with my parents, and the relationship between us became increasingly estranged. When I got home from school every afternoon, the first thing I would do was play games. And I would play until after ten o’clock at night and then go to sleep. Lying in bed, my mind was still occupied with the characters in the games, and I tossed and turned, unable to fall asleep. Sometimes I would get out of bed to continue playing games secretly after my parents fell asleep. I would not go to sleep until I was too sleepy to open my eyes and there was no one to talk with online. On weekends, I usually played until 1 or 2 a.m. I wouldn’t get up to have something to eat until I felt hungry at about 11 a.m., and I would go on playing games after the meal. Sometimes when my parents asked me to have meals, I just couldn’t quit, so I always answered, “Wait for a while.” Only when the food got cold and my parents began to scold me did I stop to have meals.
To avoid fighting for the computer with my younger brother at home, sometimes I would go to Internet cafes where there was cheap food and drinks on sale and I just ate instant noodles and drank soda pop. At that time, apart from playing games, all I did was nothing but have meals and sleep, and I hardly ever went out to do exercise. Consequently, I got fatter and fatter and weighted two hundred pounds. In addition to this, I was more and more nearsighted and even had astigmatism. One time, my grandma came to visit us from another place. She looked at me with a strange light in her eyes after I opened the door to her. When I greeted her, “Grandma,” she stared at me and hesitated for a while before she said: “Are you Xiaowen? I haven’t seen you for years. How did you become like this? I hardly recognize you. How come you look so drawn? Your eyes are dull, vacant, and unfocused, and seemed lifeless. Your long hair covers your eyes. Why don’t you get it cut?” Listening to what grandma said, I felt extremely upset as if pricked in my heart. However, I didn’t know these were all due to online games and was still addicted to them. In the end, owing to playing games, I completely neglected my studies, even to the point that I failed to achieve the minimum gaokao score needed to enter a university.
Repeated Calls Awakened Me.
My younger brother and I followed my mother to Canada in 2009. After we came here, I told a lie to my mother, saying that I needed a computer for my study. Then she bought one for me, but I used it for playing games instead of studying. Seeing that I spent much time sitting before the computer and didn’t do any real work, my mother asked me to find a job, but I shirked constantly. In 2015, my mother received God’s work of the last days and then read God’s words to me. She fellowshiped, “Playing games actually does no good. People who play games will have no desire to do any real work. When they are addicted to it to an extent, they will be worthless. Playing games only brings harm to man, not benefit.” My mother patiently persuaded me not to play games but towith her. I felt the God’s words my mother read were good, but I was addicted to online games too deeply to extricate myself from it. Therefore, I did not follow her to believe in God, but continued the life of playing games.
Until one day in January, 2016, at my mother’s request, I drove her to a place for a meeting, and then I waited there so as to drive her home after the meeting. While I was waiting, a sister named Xiaocao testified God’s work in the last days to me. She told me: “God created the heavens, earth, and all things, and then He created mankind. In the beginning mankind’s ancestors, Adam and Eve, lived a carefree and happy life in the Garden of Eden with the presence of God. But they were tempted by Satan to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and thus betrayed God. From then on, man began living in sin. This is the reason why people nowadays live such bitter and tiring lives. We human beings were created by God, and only He can save us from suffering and bring light to us. Anyone who doesn’t come before God and believe in Him will live in the affliction of Satan and be fooled by it.” Later, every time I sent my mother to the meeting place, the sister would fellowship with me about God’s words. I felt the words of God were pretty good, which not only reveal all the mysteries that are unknown to mankind but also give us the way to get rid of sins. Therefore, I received God’s work in the last days and frequently had meetings with brothers and sisters.
One time, I read these words of God, “Apart from when they are in school, what do young people, in particular those children who are around 16 or 17 years old, do with the rest of their time? (They go to Internet cafes.) The life of modern man: Going to Internet cafes and playing games on computers. Most people are like this. What kinds of things do computer games mostly have in them? There are many violent things and these games are the world of devils. For most, when they play these games for a long time, they can’t do any real work anymore—they no longer want to go to school, or keep learning, or think of their futures, much less do they think of their life. What things now constitute the majority of young people’s thoughts and souls? Eating, drinking, and playing games. Everything they say, the things they talk about, and the things they think of in their hearts are all inhuman. One cannot use the words “dirty” or “evil” to describe the things they think about; so many of them are inhuman. If you talk to them about a matter of normal humanity or talk about a topic concerning normal humanity with them, they can’t bear to hear about it, they’re not interested, they’re not willing to hear it, and as soon as they hear it they roll their eyes and take unkindly to it. They don’t share a common language or share common topics with normal mankind, but on the contrary they can talk with other people like themselves. What are the topics they discuss? (The topics they discuss are games, eating, drinking and enjoying themselves. Nothing else.) This describes most of their topics. Tell Me, those who always discuss these topics and whose hearts are filled with these things, what future prospects do they have? Do they have any future prospects? What will their futures be like? (These people will go to waste!) “Go to waste” is a very appropriate phrase. Speaking specifically, what does this actually mean? Can they engage in the activities that normal humanity should engage in? If these people cannot do well with their studies and are made to exert themselves doing manual work, are they then willing to do this? When you make them do manual work, what then do they think? … And if you make them get a job, working 9 till 5, getting to work on time and working fixed hours—how do they feel about that? Are they willing to stick to those times? Let Me tell you, when people play games for a long time, their willpower would evaporate. The unbelievers have a word to describe this. What is it? It is “decadence.” Always playing games, always playing on the computer—this kind of person is decadent.”
After reading these words, I was touched. Don’t these God’s words describe me? Due to playing games, there was no order to my life and diet, and I had no heart to study but slept in class. As a result, my grades fell drastically, and I even didn’t achieve the minimum gaokao score needed to enter a university. Despite the poor financial situation of my family, I spent thousands of yuan on the equipment for playing games, and constantly asked my parents for money, spending their hard-earned money all on games. My heart was totally occupied with games, with the result that I treated everyone around me indifferently and didn’t know how to get along with others. Also, I was unwilling to communicate with my parents, and as a result, our relationship became estranged. Owing to long periods of eating fast food and lacking exercise, I got fat and looked extremely ugly. I was even regarded as a middle-aged woman though I was at a young age. As I was obsessed with games, what I talked about the most with my classmates and friends was eating, drinking, and the pursuit of pleasure. I did not do any real work, much less had any ambition. Thus, when my parents asked me not to play games but to do some housework or find a job, I felt quite vexed and thought these things would take up my time of playing games. I was only concerned about games, and didn’t show any consideration for my parents, nor did I share the burdens of housework with them. I had not even the least bit of humanity. What online games brought me was indeed all harm, and they were actually one of the ways that Satan seduces man to head for evil. In appearance, these online games have dynamic and colorful images and could satisfy my vanity and desire for status to the utmost. However, it was because of this that I was addicted to playing games and couldn’t get rid of it, and paid no attention to my relatives and study. Just as the Chinese saying goes, “indulging in a hobby saps one’s will,” I became a playboy, decadent, fallen, having no likeness of man. Just as God’s words say, “The devil Satan does these things in order to lure people, to cause them to degenerate. For those who live in virtual worlds, they have no interest whatsoever in anything to do with the life of normal humanity; they are not in the mood to work or study. They are only concerned about going to virtual worlds, as though they are being enticed by something.” Having realized the danger of playing games, I thought if I carried on, my whole life would be done for and I would truly be cast away. I felt a little afraid and determined to give it up.
God’s Words Gave Me Strength to Get Rid of the Shackles of Games.
In the following days, I prayed to God and betrayed my flesh, and resolutely deleted all of the games I had been playing. I was so joyful when I had meetings and read God’s words with sisters and brothers, yet I had the desire to reinstall the games as soon as I got home. Thanks God for His keeping. I failed to reinstall them and thus gave up in the end.
It was in May this year. When my family and I returned to our hometown, Hong Kong, I attended less meetings with my brothers and sisters. Without the supervision of them and my mother, I began to play games again. However, after playing, I would reproach myself: I have said to God that I would never play games anymore, but now I’m doing it again. Isn’t this deceiving God? Hence, I hurried to pray to God and ask Him to guide me and help me break away the shackles of games, because I couldn’t get rid of the temptation of games on my own. I was willing to rely on God and I believed God would come to my help.
Afterward, I came back to Canada. One day, I read these words of God, “these things enter your thoughts and become a kind of poison. You only need to fail to see through this poison and you will then be unable to give it up completely; if you are influenced by it for one day, you will be disturbed and controlled by it for that one day. Do you believe this? (Yes.) So how can this matter be resolved? Is it easy to resolve? Do you wish to relinquish these things? (Yes.) How much do you wish it? You sometimes think: ‘I feel a little unwilling to part with these things. Why do I have to relinquish them? It’s great to have these things and we had a hard time getting them instilled inside ourselves. They aren’t poison at all, are they?’ With this thinking you won’t be able to relinquish them. In reality, it is that you want to hold onto them; it’s not that you cannot relinquish them or that you find it difficult. This has stumped you, hasn’t it? It’s not easy. So while your stature is immature, you must do your utmost to give those things that can rot your heart and poison you a wide berth. Why is that? Because you currently have no discernment, are foolish and very brash and arrogant. The positive things equipped within your heart are so few, and you have no reality of the truth.” From God’s words, I understood: It is not easy to get rid of online games, for the online games are addictive like drugs, they have eroded my heart and affected me profoundly. If I’m unable to clearly understand the harm that they have brought me, I will constantly be disturbed by them and be unable to withstand Satan’s seductions and temptations. Thus, if I want to completely give up online games, I must practice according to God’s words, keep away from games and frequently live before God. Once I have the desire to play games, I should pray to God and ask Him to give me strength to get rid of it. At the same time, I should read God’s words more. As long as I equip myself with more truths, I will be able to overcome the disturbance of Satan. Then when I practiced in this way, I did achieve results.
Sometimes, seeing my younger brother playing games, I was curious and went to see what game he was playing. However, at this time I would think of the affliction that games had brought me, and also remember God’s word, “Walk in God’s way: fear God and shun evil.” Thinking that if I kept on seeing, it was not in accordance withand was of no benefit to my own life, I would tell myself to stop seeing them or playing, and kept myself away from them as much as possible! I also persuaded my younger brother not to play games anymore but to pay more attention to study. Subsequently, I often had meetings with brothers and sisters. When I thought of playing games again, I would pray to God and betray the flesh, and lay my state bare to brothers and sisters in the meetings as well. They would then read God’s words and fellowship the truth to help me master discernment and not fall for Satan’s tricks. Besides, when my mother asked me to do some housework, I no longer talked back to her as before; instead, I treated it as what I ought to do. I felt that I should conduct myself according to God’s requirements, and learn to share my parents’ burden and help them do more housework. After that, my relations with my mother became better and additionally we communicated more often because we all have faith in God and share common topics. I felt this kind of life was very joyful and I had particular enjoyment in my heart.
Another month passed, and I began to perform the duty of preaching the. I feel that a life such as this is extremely enriched and meaningful. I thank God for saving me. It’s He who let me get rid of online games, keep away from the harm of Satan, and live under His care and protection. From now on, I am willing to pursue the truth and perform the duty of a created being properly. I will spread and testify God’s salvation in the last days to more people, so that they can hear the words of God, break away the harm of Satan, and be reborn like me. All the glory be to Almighty God!