Honesty—Ask for Help at Work When We Don’t Understand

Chen Qing, Singapore

In our work, when we encounter some questions we don’t understand, for fear that others will look down on us, we will assiduously cover over our own shortcomings and pretend to understand. In this way, not only is it tiring for us to live, but the work won’t have good results. I once felt much pain because of this. It was not until later that I found the secret to being relaxed to work and at the same time winning the esteem of my colleagues.

In 2016, I came to Singapore and worked in an electronics factory. I thought that the work there would be very easy; however, the fact was not the same as what I had expected. Every day, I had to deal with complex machinery operation, product descriptions in English only, and making a long English report during the morning shift change. This made me in a real spin: I always remembered this but forgot that. So the work every day made me feel so much pain. Three months had passed, but I still didn’t understand many things. Sometimes, when I went to ask my colleagues, they would say to me, “Did your teachers not teach you? Since you hadn’t learnt that at that time, why didn’t you ask?” Every time when I heard these words from them, I would feel very miserable inside, thinking, “Will they think that I’m stupid and then look down on me?” In those few days, I felt that my face burned at work; when seeing them in the workshop, I would be too embarrassed to lift my head for fear that I would see their derisive looks. From then on, in order not to be looked down on by others, I learnt to pretend: When I encountered any problems I couldn’t resolve, I would no longer turn to others but deal with them blindly, relying on my own self-will. However, the more I worked like this, the more likely I was to make mistakes in my work; moreover, every time when I made mistakes, I would be scolded by the group leader, making me feel even more humiliated. Thus my life was full of suffering every day …

Once, in the morning meeting, my thoughts were not focused somewhat, so I completely didn’t understand the content of the meeting. After discovering this, the group leader asked me on purpose, “Do you understand what I said just now?” As soon as he said this word, many people looked at me. At that moment, my heart banged in sudden alarm, and I had only one thought within: “I can’t say I don’t know. Once I say this, I’ll definitely be laughed at and looked down on by my colleagues. And some of them will report this to the boss and even more colleagues will know this. Wouldn’t that be even more embarrassing? Then how can I still stay here?” Thinking of this, I nodded my head at once to show that I knew. His expression changed soon. He seemed to have seen through my mind, so he was unrelenting, saying, “Well. Repeat what I said just now once more.” Hearing these words, I was shocked at once and was so guilty that I could not say a word. He became very angry and started to scold me before all people without the slightest sensitivity, “Every day in the meeting you lower your head and I get no idea what you’re thinking. You’re old enough but actually do such things—pretending to understand when really you do not. I really don’t know what you come to do every day …” His every word made me feel as if I was fetched a slap in the face, causing my face to burn. I felt embarrassed, tears of grievance filling my eyes. I told myself time and time again, “Don’t cry! Don’t cry!” I completely didn’t know how I got through that day.

After I came home from work, the group leader’s stern scolding and the pitying and derisive looks of my colleagues in the morning kept floating up in the ocean of my mind. I thought, “Why did they treat me like this? Why did they make me so embarrassed? Then how can I go to work tomorrow? Face all people’s derisive looks again? It’s so frightful. This work is hard and tiring; moreover, I have to be scolded all along. Why should I suffer this pain? I may as well resign.” The more I thought, the more miserable and confused my heart became. But I then thought, “I’m a believer in God. Why do I not seek or pray to Him?” At that moment, like someone who was drowning grasping the last straw that could save his life, I came before God and prayed, “O God! I am in so much pain. I don’t know how to face this work environment. Every day I feel very depressed inside. O God, I beg You to lead me, allowing me to understand what I should do….” After my prayer, I felt I was better within.

Afterward, I read a passage of God’s word, “Within mankind’s corrupt disposition is a practical issue of which you are not aware; it is a most serious problem, and one that is common to every single person’s humanity. This is humanity’s weakest point, as well as an element of the essence of human nature that is most difficult to uncover and change. People themselves are objects of creation. Can objects of creation achieve omnipotence? Can they achieve perfection? Can they achieve flawlessness? Can they achieve proficiency in everything, come to understand everything, and accomplish everything? They cannot, right? … If they needed to seek help from others, they believe they would appear incapable and weak, inferior to others, and be looked down upon; as such, they keep wanting to pretend. … Any weakness, shortcoming, ignorance, foolishness, or lack of understanding of normal humanity, they will wrap it up, package it, not let other people see it, and they keep on pretending and disguising themselves. When someone says to them, ‘I don’t understand this. What about you?’ they ponder awhile, and do not understand, either; however, they still say, ‘I understand!’ ‘Well if you understand, then go ahead and explain it!’ No matter how much they try, they will not be able to explain it. Then, after someone else talks about it, they say, ‘That’s what I meant! I just didn’t get enough time to say it!’ They keep pretending and packaging themselves. Such people’s heads are always stuck in the clouds, are they not? Are they not dreaming? Do they know who they themselves are or not? They do not know who they themselves are, nor do they know how to live out normal humanity. They do not know these things, and have never once acted like a practical human being. As such, they are headed for trouble!

After reading God’s word, I understood that, we humans are tiny created creatures; every single one of us has flaws and deficiencies, and there is always something that we don’t understand or is beyond our reach; this is very common. However, I thought of what I had experienced during that period: Obviously I didn’t understand many things and wasn’t familiar with many technologies; however, for fear that others would look down on me when seeing my deficiencies and in order to protect my own face, I pretended to understand when I spoke or did things, giving people a false impression of “I got it.” As a result, I often made mistakes in my work and omissions often occurred, causing my performance figures to suffer loss. In the meetings, obviously I didn’t understand what the group leader had said, but in order to not be looked down on by him and my colleagues, I lied and deceived. When my mark was torn off, in an instant, my heart was full of grievance and pain, feeling that I really couldn’t stay at such an environment anymore and even thinking of avoiding it. Thinking carefully, I understood that the reason of today’s predicament was that the poison of Satan’s life philosophy “A tree lives with its bark; a man lives with his face” had been rooted deep in my heart. So I didn’t want others to see my shortcomings; instead, I always wanted them to look highly upon me, pursued to be without fault and be outstanding. Therefore I kept pretending and deceiving for the sake of protecting my own face, causing my life to become very tiresome, stifling and painful. Only at that moment did I understand that it turned out that I was always fooled by corrupt satanic dispositions but I didn’t realize that. But for the guidance of God’s words, I wouldn’t have known the source of my suffering.

I read another passage of God’s words, “How many twists and turns did you take to protect your own reputation and image? How many brain cells did that kill? Living that way is very tiring for people, isn’t it? If people want to live in a way that’s not tiring, they must start from being an honest person and speaking the truth.” “In short, to be honest is to refrain from impurity in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man.” From God’s words, I came to understand: God hopes that we can be an honest person, being earnest and down to earth and being straightforward when encountering things—saying what is on our mind and not cheating. Only these are God’s will. I remembered that the Lord Jesus once said, “And said, Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). From this I saw that God rejoices in a man of honesty and blesses a man of honesty. However, in order to protect my own reputation and image and gain others’ honor, I pretended and cheated all the time, which not only caused my life to be so tiresome but also went against God’s will and made Him disgusted. If I had continued on like that, it would be even less likely I could receive God’s approval and enter into His kingdom. If God had not used this kind of environment to reveal me, then I would have never been able to know what I had been living by. Thanks be to God. I couldn’t disguise myself anymore and I was willing to be an honest person according to God’s will.

Afterward, one morning, in the meeting the group leader asked us to complete handling the products left by the night shift workers, and told us the English names of those products and important notes about them. But at that time, he spoke very quickly, and I didn’t understand at all, having no idea of which products were the ones that remained to be handled. I started to feel embarrassed, thinking inside, “I may as well ask him; otherwise, I can’t do the work to follow.” But as soon as I thought of the scene of his scolding me before my colleagues last time, I wanted to back out in my heart, thinking, “Will he scold me loudly before many people like he did last time? If it were that way, how shameful it would be! Moreover, I would have to face my colleagues’ derisive looks for a long time. I wouldn’t want that. If I were scolded because of such a small thing, then it would be such bad luck. I might as well go to the warehouse in the back to have a look, as there must be special marks for special products. This time I won’t turn to him, and just leave the problem at that, pretending I have understood. Wait until next time when I encounter some important problems I don’t understand, I’ll go to ask him.” But when I thought like this, I felt uneasy in my heart, thinking, “If I mistake these products, I’ll not only be scolded but will bring loss to our company. And if it were really like this, wouldn’t I heap error on error? Besides, I’m a Christian and my such actions are not in accordance with God’s teachings.” Just when I didn’t know what I should do, I thought of God’s words I read in the past and my determination I had set in front of Him. Looking at me at that time, I thought, “Why did I want to pretend to understand when really I did not again? Why is my way of handling matters still like this? What can I obtain if I only protect my own face? If I still do like that, I’ll not only lose my integrity and my dignity of being a person but lose my testimony as a believer in God, which even more make God disgusted.”

At that time, I thought of another passage of God’s word, “Which road are you taking? Taking the road of being an honest person is never a mistake! Others say, ‘How is it that you say everything? You let others know everything you are thinking. How can you be so foolish?’ How do you handle it? How do you feel after hearing this? (Indifferent.) That is correct. ‘Indifferent. You see things how you are willing to see them. My being an honest person is my business. It is my responsibility and the road that I should take.’ The most correct path that a believer should take can never change and cannot be influenced by others. People never open their hearts but are always concealing them, always hiding them, always putting on airs, always acting, always wanting to make others think highly of them, never wanting others to see through to their actual thoughts, real conditions, and nature. Is this type of person foolish? (Yes.)” Through God’s words I understood His will: God wants me to continue on my path of being an honest person and be able to practice according to His words no matter what environment I encounter. However, I thought of myself: “When I encountered some difficulties, all I considered was whether others would laugh at me and whether I would be scolded when they saw my deficiencies, and then I would want to package and disguise myself, which showed that I still lived according to Satan’s disposition. Today, I can’t disguise myself—pretending to understand when really I do not like before anymore because this is not the manner a Christian should have. And moreover, if I do like this, I’ll also bring loss to the interests of our company.” At that time, I knew what I should do next: I couldn’t consider how other people would see me anymore; as a Christian, I should practice according to God’s words and be a person who was satisfactory to God. After the meeting, I went to ask the group leader what the products names were specifically. He asked me, “Didn’t you hear just now?” I answered frankly, “Yes, I heard. But I didn’t know what your words meant.” Unexpectedly, he didn’t scold me, but instead explained them to me again and said to me, “If you still don’t understand, you can go to ask other colleagues.”

After this experience, I felt the importance of being an honest person. Although my face suffered some loss, my heart was at ease and peaceful. I didn’t have to live in great bitterness because of racking my brain in order to protect my own face anymore. When working after that, even though the group leader’s attitude to me was still not good, although I would still care about how others’ saw me, I had made up my mind to be free from hypocrisy and put aside my pride. Because in my heart I knew that since I wanted to be a person pleasing to God, I needed to learn to put aside my face and change my previous ways of handling matters. Afterward, when I encountered questions again I would learn to face them with an honest attitude: If I understood them, I just said I understood; If I didn’t, I would go to ask others; if I still didn’t understand, I would ask again and no longer pretend. In this way, after several months, unconsciously, I found that my colleagues’ attitudes to me were different from before: They no longer ridiculed me, but instead answered my questions patiently; they would even personally operate the machine to let me see. The group leader’s attitude to me also got better gradually; in the meetings, he would even specially say the important contents again in Chinese. In my heart, I knew that, that he did so was completely his consideration for me so that I could understand them.

One day after a year, when I talked with the boss, he said to me, “Though I don’t often go to the workshop, I know the work situations of the staff. Now, you can correctly treat your work every day: If you can do it, you will say you can; if you can’t you will admit. I think this is very good. I very much appreciate this kind of your attitude to work and hope you can continue to work like this …” Hearing these words, I was very happy and was also moved very much. I clearly knew that that I could no longer pretend but be an honest person and be practical and realistic was all God’s guidance and the outcome of the word of God in me. Through my actual experience and realization, I felt that the more I put into practice being an honest person according to God’s words, the more I felt that I was different from before: I didn’t feel pain or stress; instead, I felt enlightened and felt enjoyment and pleasure in my heart; I was very free and liberated in spirit; moreover, my relationship with my colleagues also became harmonious. All of this made me feel that my life suddenly became relaxed. I thanked God from my heart for His guidance and salvation for me!

To Be Honest

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