By Lu Min, Spain
I used to think that friends should help and treat each other with all sincerity. Only until after I suffered the betrayal of my friend did I see that, compared with interest, friendship was so fragile and unworthy of mention.
One day, a customer of mine who worked in the bank told me that he sold lottery as a sideline, but the business was bad and he wanted to transfer the lottery commission agency to me. As the agency contract was successfully signed through his connections and he needed to renew it by himself in the future, he asked me to give him 20% of the monthly profit as a reward. I thought: I can make money so easily without going out, so why would I not accept it readily? Then, I agreed to his proposal. A year later, the business gradually improved. My partner proposed becoming a shareholder and expanding the shop. Since I couldn’t obtain the renewal without him, I agreed to his demands and shared 50% of the profit with him every month. Since then, we had cooperated for ten years and no conflict occurred between us during that period.
One day, my partner called me, telling me that he wanted to break up the partnership with me and run the business alone, and that he had already transferred the lottery commission shop to another place. Hearing his words, I was very angry: We’ve been partners for ten years and I’ve always treated you with all sincerity. How could you “repay” me in this way? Now, you see that the business is turning around, and then you want to kick me away. How mean you are! The more I thought the angrier I was. I said to him, “At the beginning, the business was bad. You transferred it to me and asked me to give you 20% of the profit every month. I agreed. Later, the business improved after I took it over. You required me to share 50% of the profit with you. I also agreed. But now, seeing the business is stable, you want to take everything alone. Are you ungrateful like burning the bridge after crossing it? Do you still have morals and conscience?” At my words, he knew that he was in the wrong and said that he would give me some financial recompense but he just insisted on taking back the commission shop. I truly couldn’t accept his unreasonable deeds, so I quarreled with him on the phone and we ended up in discord. After hanging up the phone, I recalled: I’ve treated him with complete sincerity in the past ten years, but he actually kicks me out secretly. He’s really a base man who forgets the moral principles for the sake of profit. The more I thought the more resentful I was. Misery and hatred welled up in my heart. I thought: He is a leader in his unit. I will go to his unit to expose him and let his colleagues know his despicable behaviors, making him feel too ashamed to work there. But while thinking like this, I felt guilty inside: I’m a Christian. If I attack and seek revenge against him, then what’s the difference between me and those unbelievers? This isn’t after.
Facing this matter, I was terribly upset for a good while. I didn’t know how I should deal with it and treat my partner, or how I could relieve the anger and discontent toward him in my heart. So, I prayed to God, asking Him to lead my way ahead. Later, I saw God’s word saying, “Those who are of the devil all live for themselves. Their life maxims are mainly those words that come from Satan like, ‘Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.’ … ‘Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost’ is a well-known satanic saying that has been instilled into everyone and become the human life. There are some other words of life philosophy that are also like this. … There are still many satanic poisons in people’s lives and in their conduct and dealings with others—they are almost without a shred of truth—for example, their life philosophies, their maxims for success, or their ways of doing things. Every person is filled with the poisons of the great red dragon, and they all come from Satan. So, what flows through people’s bones and blood are all things of Satan.” And the words in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life say, “Ruled by the philosophies of Satan, man has become more and more corrupt, more and more selfish, and more and more despicable. What they do is all for themselves. The inner nature of people can be summarized in one word—‘selfishness.’ People are all extremely selfish. They are so selfish that they become base. And when they are base to a certain extent, they will stage revolution or take any means necessary. Is this the fact? How does the war between nations break out? And how does the fight occur between people? All this is because of people’s ‘selfishness,’ and is for the sake of their own interests. All in all, no matter whether it is the religious conflict, or the fight for territory or any other things, all are caused by one word ‘selfishness’ and are for the sake of self-interests.”
After seeing God’s word and the fellowship, I came to understand: The whole of mankind has been corrupted by Satan. Our thoughts are rotted by Satan and thus we all live by satanic principles of living like “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost” and “We will not attack unless we are attacked; if we are attacked, we will certainly counterattack.” So, we place our interests first and even do anything for them, living in selfishness. Just like my partner and me: He betrayed his morals and conscience, ignored our old friendship, and kicked me out for his own interests; while I hated him and even wanted to retaliate against him when my interests suffered. As I had no discernment, I didn’t realize that these were negative things but thought that they were right and proper and I should live in this way. In fact, both of us are the victims who have been afflicted and fooled by Satan. In present-day society, we are driven by selfish and greedy dispositions. For our private interests, we can do anything; for the sake of profit, we forget all moral principles, betraying our family, friends, and lovers, and some of us even can murder for gain, doing something unlawful. All these are Satan’s afflictions and it is Satan that has corrupted us to this point! At this thought, I gradually put aside the hatred of my partner in my heart and no longer thought of retaliating against him, for I knew that he was also a poor victim corrupted by Satan. At that moment, I felt released in my heart.
A week later, my partner called me again. He said that he wanted to discuss something about the lottery commission shop with me and asked me to meet him in the bank. After we met, he asked me to sign an agreement which said that I should take all the responsibilities if his shop was destroyed by others after we dissolve the business relationship between us. While seeing this unfair agreement, I obviously realized that he was guarding against me for fear that I would seek revenge against him and go to his shop to make trouble. I felt it inconceivable and said to him, “We’ve cooperated with each other for ten years. You are clear about how I treated you during this period. It’s already very unfair for me that you unilaterally break up the partnership. But I accepted it because I didn’t want to mess up our relationships. Today, you actually use such an agreement to guard against me. That’s going a bit too far!” Unexpectedly, he said, “One shouldn’t have the heart to harm others, but must be vigilant so as not to be harmed.” Hearing his words, I found it ridiculous. When I looked at the agreement full of complicated clauses, I really wondered how many brain cells he had wasted on it. I felt exhausted for him from the bottom of my heart. Though he earned more money, he had been living in constant dread, for the money he had was ill-gotten gain. He thought of how to scheme and guard against others all day long for fear that he would be retaliated against, living a very miserable life. Looking at the scared look on his face, I felt very fortunate for my believing in God and being a Christian. From God’s word, I saw through the tricks Satan used to corrupt people, so that I no longer lived by the satanic poisons or was fooled by Satan like him.
I also remembered that God says, “Only if one knows God and has the truth does he live in the light; and only when his view of the world and his view of life change does he change fundamentally. When he has a life goal and comports himself according to the truth; when he absolutely submits to God and lives by God’s word; when he feels assured and brightened deep in his soul; when his heart is free of darkness; and when he lives completely freely and unrestrained in God’s presence—only then does he live a true human life….” From God’s word, I understood that I could only live in pain and darkness if I live by satanic poisons, and that only when I conduct and behave myself according to God’s requirements can I live in the light. I used to live by the satanic rules for living like “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” So, I would feel very angry and painful when someone harmed my interests. But today, I understood the truth from God’s word. I knew that I shouldn’t just live for money and interests but should live with integrity and dignity, and that I should live as a man with an open and upright heart and act with honor, making others admire and pleasing God. I had tasted that only by living in this way could I have peace and joy in my heart.
Thinking back, if it were not for God’s word, I would surely have struggled for my private interests, living in the state of paying wrong for wrong and leading a tiring life like my partner, and ended up in mutual destruction. I could treat this matter so calmly and feel released in my spirit all because of the effect achieved by the enlightenment and guidance of God’s word. I sincerely thanked God for His salvation, which made me live in His care and keeping.