By Chen Yan
Editor’s note: By saying that the poor can be happier than the wealthy, I do not mean that I am resentful to the rich, and it’s just my understanding from the following experiences of Chen Yan, the author of this article. Everyone has reasons to struggle for their living throughout their life. To put it another way, these reasons are, as we often have talked about, life goals or lofty ambitions. Among them, the most common ideal is to become rich. So, how much time and energy do we need to invest in achieving this goal? Is a person who becomes rich really happy? Next, Chen Yan will use her personal experiences to tell you.
Selling socks was a method for me to become rich.
I was proud and arrogant and from an early age and I was determined to strive hard to make money to live a better life than others. As the saying goes: “If one wishes to succeed, one has to take great risks.” After getting married, in order to earn money, I borrowed over 100,000 yuan from my relatives to buy machines to produce socks. From then on, I started a business selling socks. I devoted all of my mind and body to my career being full of great aspiration. Every day, I got up early and went to bed late, working overtime whenever I could. Even though I was so tired that I had a sore back, I was unwilling to take a rest. Seven months later, unexpectedly, my husband and I made more than 100,000 yuan, which made me very jubilant. Therefore, I decided to expand the factory to make more money, and eventually I increased the amount of machines from 10 to 40. Subsequently, the stress kept mounting. For example, in order to sell socks, I had to invite clients out for meals; otherwise, my business would quickly be stolen, or I would have to lower the price. So, I worried about how to sell socks every day.
Once, one of my customers needed 500,000 pairs of socks. After I signed a contract with him, in order to ensure the quality and quantity of products, I supervised the work in the workshop day and night. Who would have thought that after I delivered the goods, the customer actually said the socks had quality problems. As a result, three months of human and financial resources were wasted, which caused me to lose over 100,000 yuan. This loss hit me hard; I wanted to cry but no tears came. No matter where I went, I always sighed and groaned, feeling deeply pained in my heart. Seeing that I lived such a tiring life, my younger brother led brothers and sisters to preach God’s work in the last days to me. I knew it was good toand I had several meetings, but because there was much more work for me to do in the factory, I didn’t take to heart.
Afterward, the government reorganized factories on a large scale and my factory was forced to close down. After that, through the introduction of a big client who came from Northeast China, my husband and I went there to do business. After arriving there, we were total strangers, and on top of that, the temperature was forty degrees below zero, so it was so hard for us to endure this. But, in order to make money, I clenched my teeth and persevered no matter how painful or exhausting it was. After the factory opened, I watched after two machines by myself and put in sixteen hours’ work a day to save money. Being heavily overloaded with work, five months later, I became only skin and bones. However, when seeing the money I had earned, I felt that all of my efforts were worthwhile. But a good situation didn’t last forever. Originally, this client promised us that he would settle the account each month, but later, he unexpectedly welshed on us and refused to give us the money. My husband and I did the math and discovered that only electricity bill was over 20,000 yuan a month. Therefore, my husband removed a portion of the goods from the factory. After finding out, the client actually said that he set up the factory and hired us to manage it. Not only did he refuse to give us the months of processing fees, but also he seized our machines. Afterward, although through investigation it was confirmed that those machines belonged to us, the money that we had invested was thrown away. Finally, we were compelled to come back to our hometown.
The dream of earning money made me get further and further from God.
After returning home, I, dazzled by money, still refused to give up. I always thought: “Could it be that my hard work all these years has been in vain? The huge debts need to be paid off. If I try again, maybe I’ll have money.” As a result, I started to raise money and busy myself setting up a factory again. After the brothers and sisters in my hometown heard I had come back, they came to see me and communicatewith me. They invited me to attend meetings and read God’s words, but I always looked for excuses to refuse them. After a number of setbacks, my factory finally opened. Who would have known that the socks which I spent several months producing couldn’t be sold. In the end, I lost almost 300,000 yuan.
This failure was a heavy blow for my husband and me. My husband suffered from depression, while I, due to the excessive work for a long time, was unable to straighten my waist, and could only drag myself to trudge forward; besides, I got uterine fibroid. On top of that, my relatives and neighbors all came to my house collecting their debts. All this made me feel my life was meaningless and want to die to end this painful torment.
Failures made me examine anew the path of life.
Just when I could not see a shred of hope for my life, my brothers and sisters read a passage of God’s words to me: “‘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. People went from not accepting this saying to growing used to it so that when they came into contact with real life, they gradually gave tacit approval to it, acknowledged its existence and finally, they gave it their own seal of approval. Isn’t this process that 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 their own personal experiences, right? Regardless of how much experience someone has with this saying, what’s the negative effect that it can have on someone’s heart? (People would esteem money.) Something is revealed through the human disposition of the people in this world, including each and every one of you. How is this interpreted? It’s the worship of money. Is it hard to get this out of someone’s heart? It is very hard! It seems that Satan’s corruption of man is thorough indeed!” God’s words laid bare the source of my pain. I lived by Satan’s poisons, such as “Money makes the mare go,” “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing,” and “Whoever gives me money is my father; and whoever feeds me is my mother.” Because of this, I wanted to make more money in order to lead an aristocratic lifestyle. Recalling these years, in order to earn money, I worked hard, and even though I was so exhausted that I had a sore back, I would still be completely willing. No matter when my factory went out of business or when I was deceived by my client and lost money in Northeast China, I did not awaken from my failures, but stubbornly wished to use my own effort to earn more money and live a life where people would look highly upon and admire me. In the first few years, I indeed made some money, but who could know my heartbreak and suffering behind it? Now, from God’s words I saw clearly it turned out that the reason why I was in so much pain was because I accepted those erroneous views Satan had instilled in me and thus deeply got sucked into the vortex of making money with no way of extricating myself. As a consequence, I not only was exhausted physically and mentally and disease-ridden, but I wasn’t inclined to worship God, and thus grew further and further apart from Him and was completely carried off by Satan eventually. When I returned home and wanted to make a comeback, God still used my brothers and sister to try to persuade me with sincerity many times and communicate His will to help me. However, I was too stubborn to listen to what they said and persisted in opening a factory to make money. In the end, I fell ruined and suffered extreme pain physically and mentally. This was the outcome of my holding wrong views on pursuit and taking the wrong path.
I also read in the word of God: “The sadness of man is not that man seeks happy life, not that he pursues fame and fortune or struggles against his own fate through the fog, but that after he has seen the Creator’s existence, after he has learned the fact that the Creator has sovereignty over human fate, he still cannot mend his ways, cannot pull his feet out of the mire, but hardens his heart and persists in his errors. He would rather keep thrashing in the mud, vying obstinately against the Creator’s sovereignty, resisting it until the bitter end, without the slightest shred of contrition, and only when he lies broken and bleeding does he at last decide to give up and turn back. This is true human sorrow.” “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.” The revelation in God’s words made me feel remorse. Weren’t these words exactly a true portrayal of me? Before I believed in God, I desperately wanted to earn money to change my fate. After believing in God, although I had known the fact that God rules the fate of us humans, I still did my utmost to fight against my destiny according to Satan’s poisons in order to make money and live a better life than others. As a result, I didn’t have meetings regularly and became far away from God. Finally, I brought myself endless heartbreak and suffering and was tormented to the point of exhaustion. Now, I truly experienced that man’s future and destinies really are controlled and predestined by God and that I couldn’t change my fate at all by relying on myself. So, I was unwilling to struggle by myself, unwilling to hurt God’s heart, rebel against or shun Him; on the contrary, I was willing to read more of His words, attend meetings, fellowship about His words with brothers and sisters, living in the light of Him. Besides, I was also willing to leave my life, work and future under the control of God, submit to God’s orchestration and arrangement, and become a person who truly worships God. When I thought like this, I felt particularly at ease and my mood improved a lot.
I made such a choice when facing the temptation of money.
One day, my aunt, who was in another part of the country where she did business, came back and said to me with a drawl: “It is a money-centered society now. You are still young and have the opportunity to make a comeback. Selling socks is easier this year than last year. You have many years of experience in business, so you should go back to your old work. After one year, your debts will be repaid soon. Relying on working for others, you won’t be able to turn your life around forever. Listen to me, go back to your old work.” What she said struck me right where it hurt and I was tempted. I thought: “Yes, if I can open a factory again and make a comeback, won’t I be able to live a good life? Not only will I clear my debts, but I will also be able to hold my head high. It won’t be like now—no matter who I meet, I feel I’m inferior.”
At that time, seeing that it was as if I had absorbed my aunt’s words, my mother hemmed. I suddenly realized that if I did what my aunt had said, wouldn’t I simply return to the painful life I had led in the past? Then, I immediately called out to God in my heart and asked Him to keep my heart, so that I could make a choice in accordance with His will. After praying, I thought of God’s words: “Don’t many people see getting money as being worth any cost? Don’t many people sacrifice their dignity and integrity in the pursuit of more money? Don’t many more people lose the opportunity to perform their duty and follow God for the sake of money? Isn’t this a loss for people? … Isn’t this the philosophy and corrupt disposition of Satan taking root in your heart? If you do this, hasn’t Satan achieved its goal? … Satan corrupts man at all times and at all places. Satan makes it impossible for man to defend against this corruption and makes man helpless to it. Satan makes you accept its thoughts, its viewpoints and the evil things that come from it in situations where you are unwitting and when you have no recognition of what’s happening to you. People fully accept these things and take no exception to them. They cherish and hold these things like a treasure, they let these things manipulate them and toy with them, and this is how Satan’s corruption of man becomes deeper and deeper.” Through enlightenment from God’s words, I understood God’s intentions and saw through Satan’s tricks. I waved after hearing my aunt’s words today—this was because I didn’t truly discern and despise Satan’s rules for survival. I was deeply poisoned by its life philosophies that were as follows: “Money makes the mare go” and “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing.” They had already become a part of my life, making me a slave to money. Satan used this to make me abandon the true way, betray God and thus completely lose the opportunity toby God. I thought of the past when I lived by these thoughts. They brought me nothing but heartbreak and suffering, and made me grow further and further away from God. I gave thanks for God’s protection that allowed me to see through Satan’s tricks. Then I told myself inwardly: “I can’t take my old path. This time, I will stand on the side of God. My future life can’t be planned by me; no matter whether I will be poor or rich in the future, it is in God’s hands. I am willing to obey God’s control and arrangements.” Therefore, I said to my aunt: “Fate is determined by Heaven. During our lifetime, whether we humans are poor or rich can’t be controlled by us. Let nature take its course in all things.” When she heard me say this, she looked at me, shook her head, and said nothing more.
A correct decision brought me a blessed life.
Afterward, my husband went out to work and paid off a part of our debts. Following that, there wasn’t a lot of pressure in my life. As I looked after my child at home, I attended meetings, sang hymns and praised God with my brothers and sisters, and moreover, I performed my duties in the church. I felt very grounded and happy. Also, thanks to, my health improved dramatically: I gained my weight back and the uterine fibroid was miraculously treated.
After experiencing this, I am more confident in God’s work of saving mankind and have a much better understanding of His love. In retrospect, when I failed and lived in pain in the process of pursuing money according to Satan’s philosophies, God used His words to enlighten me to make me walk out of misery and live a carefree and happy life. I am deeply aware that all of this was God’s grace and blessing for me. Now, although I’m not rich or live a life admired by others, I fortunately have believed in God in the last days and gained His salvation, living, at ease and meaningfully. I’m even happier than the rich. I am thankful to God for saving me. All the glory be to God!