By Su Meng, China
As the saying goes, “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing.” Countless people struggle hard for money according to these words all their life. They are just like a machine that operates at full speed and keeps running unceasingly until death. From ancient times to the present, one generation after the other, wave upon wave of them chase in this way. Why do we regard the money as such a big thing? Can we really attain happiness by having money? If this is indeed the case, then why do so many rich men live in suffering, and even some of them lose their life for money?
Once, I saw a passage of God’s words, “People spend their lives chasing after money and fame; they clutch at these straws, thinking they are their only means of support, as if by having them they could keep on living, could exempt themselves from death. But only when they are close to dying do they realize how distant these things are from them, how weak they are in the face of death, how easily they shatter, how lonely and helpless they are, with nowhere to turn. They realize that life cannot be bought with money or fame, that no matter how wealthy a person is, no matter how lofty his or her position is, all people are equally poor and inconsequential in the face of death. They realize that money cannot buy life, that fame cannot erase death, that neither money nor fame can lengthen a person’s life by a single minute, a single second.”
God’s words made me suddenly see the light: Money and fame, which we chase after in our whole life, can only satisfy the temporary desires of our flesh and bring the material enjoyments for us, but cannot provide us with a lovely destination. When death comes upon us, money cannot exempt us from death. At that moment, I couldn’t help but think about the whole life of my father-in-law. In his childhood, his family was very poor, so all his neighbors looked down on him and also said to him with heavy sarcasm. In order to stand up for himself and not let others look down their noses at him, after getting married, he was very hard-working and diligent. No matter how arduous and tiring the work was, he would do it, and he would also risk his life to accept the dangerous work. Later, through his hard work, he earned some money and held a grand wedding for each of his three sons. From then on, everyone in the village gave him a thumbs-up. He said, “It’s great to have money. After having it, I can stand up for myself, and neighbors also actively say hello to me. This is so wonderful.” Money had occupied his heart, and he more acknowledged these words: “Money makes the world go round,” and “Without money one is unable to take a single step forward, and money means everything.” The three sons of my father-in-law all had established their own household and started their own career, and they were all very filial. My in-laws were not concerned about food or clothing, and moreover, they had savings of more than 100,000 RMB. However, my father-in-law was not at all satisfied with his current circumstances. He was more than sixty years old but still worked as hard as he could to earn money outside, and he even didn’t take leave from work when he felt unwell. We all persuaded him not to do so, but he said, “I must save more money. When I get older and fall ill, I won’t be afraid. As long as I have money, I will have something to rely on.”
Some time ago, He was in poor condition. His sons and daughters all asked him to go to the hospital for examination, but he was stubbornly going his own way and kept putting off going to the doctor. I couldn’t help but persuade him, “Is the money more important than life?” He answered, “Money is a good thing. Money means everything. It isn’t okay to not have money.” A few days later, he really couldn’t stand the pain in his chest. Only at that time did he go to hospital for examination. The result showed that he got terminal lung cancer. When hearing it, I stood there for a long time and felt extremely sad and awful. I thought: The day before, he firmly said that he would still earn money. However, today, what does it feel like in his heart when he faces this result? Seeing the life is so fragile and that my father-in-law would die at any moment, my heart felt stirred, and I thought to myself, “My father-in-law has struggled to make money. However, no matter how much he has earned, it can’t save his life. Then, what if he has money? Money seems like nothing and utterly worthless when he is faced with the terminal disease.”
Seeing that he was stooped over and that his face was gaunt, I couldn’t help but think back to myself in the past. I was just like my father-in-law. I struggled to make money for decades but eventually left many sicknesses.
When I had just gotten married, the living standard in my family was alright, but I was not satisfied with it. Every time I saw the relatives and friends around me wear famous brands and live in the city, I couldn’t help but feel envious. I thought: One day, I will live as luxurious a life as they. In order to realize this dream, my husband and I started to rush about busily. At that time I went to the town to work, and I needed to ride over twenty kilometers in one round trip. Whether it was hot summer or cold winter, I received the perfect attendance award every month. There was piece work system in my factory and it means that the more you worked, the more you earned. In order to earn more money, I even worked at meal times and worked more than ten hours a day. Due to irregular meals over a long period of time, I lost more than 10kg of weight at that time. Later, after being examined, I found that I had gastroenteritis and thus I needed to go on an IV drip every day. However, in order to get the perfect attendance award, I still kept working in spite of illness. Eventually, I realized my dream: I bought a house in the city. Every time when I returned to my hometown from the city, the villagers all looked at me with envy and praised me, saying, “The daughter-in-law of the Liu family is really capable. She and her husband have only been married a few years, but they have bought a house in the city.” After hearing this, I felt elated and believed that having plenty of money is indeed a good thing; after having it, I not only could eat well, dress well and enjoy myself, but also could earn other people’s admiration; therefore, no matter how arduous or tiring the work was, it was worth it.
After buying the house, in order to earn more money to pay off our home, my husband and I put down nearly 100,000 yuan to do business. At first, I was afraid that we could not make more money by doing business, so I found a job in a supermarket. After work, I would help my husband in the store. Besides, I needed to get up early in the morning to do odd jobs around the house before work, and stay up late to continue doing them. I worked continually, just like a robot, every day from morning to evening. Through our hard work, we had fame, gain and material enjoyments, but as a result of the overload work for a long time, I got a headache, lower back pain and cervical spondylosis. Suffering the tortures of illness, I always couldn’t sleep at night.
Thinking of the road my father-in-law and I had walked, I realized that we all regarded these satanic viewpoints as a goal for our life pursuit and our principles of survival, such as, “Money is first,” “Money makes the world go round,” and “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing.” In order to earn money, whether the work was tiring or dangerous, my father-in-law would do it. Even he had gotten ill, he still didn’t go to the hospital for treatment. Eventually, he lost his life for the money. And so did I. For the sake of making more money, I even worked at meal times; when I was ill and went on an IV drip every day, I still kept working. Both my father-in-law and I treated ourselves like a money-making machine that kept running unceasingly day and night. Even though we got material enjoyments, we endured the tortures of illness and even my father-in-law paid with his life. Only after experiencing these things did I understand: Living by Satan’s poisons, we can only become more and more degenerate, more and more miserable and more and more greedy and eventually we will walk on the path of being destroyed.
Later, I saw the God’s words saying, “Those who die take with them the stories of the living, and those who are living repeat the same tragic history of those who have died.” God’s words made me awaken to the truth: Are my father-in-law and I not the portrayal of many people? My father-in-law of the older generation sought fortune and fame all his life, and eventually he fell ill and died; I of the younger generation also sought fortune and fame, repeating the same story of the elder generation. Wasn’t everyone in this world, including my father-in-law and I fooled and afflicted by these satanic viewpoints, “Money is first,” “Money makes the world go round,” and “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing?” At that moment, I thought: How can we no longer repeat the same tragedy of those who have died?
Later, I read another 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.”
God’s words made me understand: Only when we turn away from our own mistaken viewpoints of the past, and no longer regard the satanic viewpoints, such as “Happiness is having money,” “Money means everything,” and “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing” as our own principles of survival, but instead, come before God, pursue truth, accept and obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements and act in accordance with, can we escape from Satan’s harm and live under the care and protection of God. Thinking that my father-in-law sought after fortune and fame all his life but in the end, he obtained nothing, I was thankful that I accepted God’s work in the last days in my lifetime and found the correct path for my life, avoiding the tragedy of my father-in-law coming upon me. In the past, I sought fortune, which made me exhausted mentally and physically and live a very painful and tiring life; now, I am willing to entrust myself completely to God, let Him dominate and plan, and pursue to live out a meaningful life.