By Cecilia, the United States
As soon as the English class was over, Xianxuan heard her classmate’s phone vibrating. She curiously asked her classmate, “What’s up?” and glanced her classmate chatting with a purchasing agent on the phone. Her classmate directly showed the phone to Xiaoxuan. She leaned forward and saw a message from a purchasing agent sister saying: The dress you want is priced at 2,200 RMB. Upon seeing the price, Xiaoxuan was shocked, thinking: The dress costs so much! While her classmate said carelessly, “It is so pretty. Should I buy it or not, you say? I really love it!” As she said this, she sought out pictures of the dress to show to Xiaoxuan. After Xiaoxuan saw them, she was totally stunned and couldn’t help enjoying them over and over again. At this time, her classmate asked her with excitation, “Should I? Should I? It looks really beautiful! How about buying one together with me? I’m burning to buy it!” Xiaoxuan liked this dress too, but when she cast a look at the price, she had to refuse with a bitter smile. Seeing her classmate was still chatting with the purchasing agent happily, Xiaoxuan was so envious from inside and she thought: If only I were rich, I would also be able to buy one.
After a few weeks, Xiaoxuan suddenly got a call from her classmate, “Xiaoxuan, will you go to the party this weekend? It is Xiaopang’s birthday! Shall we go together? How about all of us having a big meal at noon and going to KTV in the afternoon together?” Upon hearing this, Xiaoxuan realized that it was Satan’s temptation befalling her. Since her classmates were all unbelievers while she is a Christian, it was of no benefit to her at all if she participated in their talk about a life of pleasure, and about comparing and flaunting wealth with each other. But when she thought what others would think of her if she did not go to her best friend’s birthday party, and that it was nice for her to go to have delicious food, she patted her head and agreed immediately. On that weekend, Xiaoxuan went to one of her classmates’ home very early. Seeing her classmate dolled up with makeup, she was envious and so asked her classmate to make her up. However, after wearing make-up, Xiaoxuan was not as happy as she expected because the makeup made her look very artificial instead. Nevertheless, she still thanked and praised her classmate for doing a good job.
When all others had arrived, Xiaoxuan went with them to lunch out on roast meat and then to the best KTV in the city. When the music was sounding, the excitement was shown on Xiaoxuan’s face. However, slowly she felt there were full of thunderous sounds between her eardrums and chest. They came in waves and made her breathless. Gradually, she had some feelings of sleepiness, thus sitting on the sofa and seeing other classmates reveling. The dim screen was flashing and the brilliant singing-room was at times glaring, at times dull. But except those who were singing, none of others seemed very enthusiastic about it: Some were engrossed in their phones; some were talking about gossip. When Xiaoxuan called her classmates, no one responded to her. At that point, she suddenly felt that the distance between her and them was so great that their faces were becoming blurred under the glittery light. Sitting on the sofa, Xiaoxuan felt more bored and feeble than ever. With the feeling that she had gone to a wrong place growing stronger, she was a little depressed.
At night, Xiaoxuan went back home. When she opened the door of her room, she felt the hubbub was still echoing in her ears, and the evil smells in her clothes were stubbornly unwilling to fade. Xiaoxuan lay on the bed feebly, her whole body buried in the quilt. She felt that she had spent a miserable day; all the pleasures she had imagined vanished completely, and what she got were exhaustion and emptiness in her soul. Xiaoxuan thought to herself: If I had spent the time in reading God’s words, I could have understood more truths and my spirit would have been enriched. Had I known this, I shouldn’t have gone out to have fun with my classmates.
After a few moments of silence, Xiaoxuan still felt unhappy. Then, she thought of a sister. In a hurry she got out of bed and turned on the computer to send her a message. When the sister saw the massage, she replied soon, and sent Xiaoxuan a section of God’s words, “From the truest feelings, the truest experiences of each and every person, it can be seen that man is the greatest beneficiary of God’s work of saving man, right? You have believed in God up till now, so what have you gone without? I’ll list the things that you have been without. You have been without indulgence, without doing as you wished, without a life of heartlessness; you have been without opportunities to take ecstasy, without opportunities to go to nightclubs and bars to dance, sing or go to discos, without opportunities to muddle along eating and drinking amidst evil trends. You haven’t been able to have that kind of life. But much more, what have you obtained? People can often feel that believing in God is a joyful thing, free from worry, that if one can live this way for all one’s life, then that would be great, that would be wonderful, and what has been obtained more is joy, happiness and peace. Are these things substantial?” “At the same time as man accepting God’s life as their own life, they come to understand the truth, they grow roots, they gain the principles of what it is to be a human, they grow the roots they need to be a human, and they gain the direction they need to walk in to be a human. They no longer suffer the deception of Satan, are no longer deceived by evil people, no longer bound by Satan, no longer used by evil people, no longer polluted, besmirched, bound or seduced by evil trends. Man lives free between heaven and earth and they are released, no longer to be bound or to feel pain. There are no more difficulties, they live free, and they are able to live genuinely under the dominion of God, no longer to suffer harm by any evil and dark forces.”
When Xiaoxuan read God’s words, she felt quite warm. She thought that, because of attending meetings and reading God’s words after believing in God, indeed she lost many opportunities to eat, drink and pursue pleasures around, many opportunities to indulge in the flesh, but she understood more truths and knew how to live out a meaningful life. She thought that, every time she had fun with her classmates, for most of the time she just idled away the time, and actually she was not happy at all. During their gatherings, everyone was playing with their own phone alone, paying no attention to others; they all disguised their true self, without too much words from heart. Gatherings as such not only failed to strengthen the friendship between each other, but made them feel that they grew ever more distant from each other, and even that it would be better to enjoy themselves alone at home. Then she thought that, when she stayed with her classmates, their topics were all about which country to travel during summer vacations, or where to go shopping, and so on; they were all about the life of pleasure, and such a life just could make her more and more degenerate. Through reading God’s words, Xiaoxuan understood that it was worthless and meaningless to pursue these things, and that they were not what she longed for in her deep heart. Because the life of pleasure could just bring temporary happiness to her, but could not fill the void within her heart. And only by believing in God and pursuing the truth could she not be carried away by evil trends, and feel enjoyment in spirit.
Afterward, Xiaoxuan read one more segment of God’s words, “No matter how well you eat, how nice your house is, how good your clothes are, how comfortable your life is, or how many of your desires have been fulfilled, this is all empty. After that, you look for death—the final outcome is death. Would you say that the happiness pursued by unbelievers is true happiness? Actually, it isn’t. It is what people imagine happiness to be, and it is a depraved method, a path that makes people depraved. People’s pursuit of this is not the objective that normal humanity ought to have, it is not the value in living. What was planted by Satan has caused people to make this their objective. Satan has used this means to benumb people, to corrupt, attract, entice, and beguile them, making them think that this is happiness, making them chase that goal. People think that this is happiness, that only when they gain this will they be happy, and so, regardless of how much effort it takes, they chase that goal—and the result is, once they’ve achieved it, they still feel that they haven’t gained true happiness, yes? (Yes.) This proves that this is not the right path, that it is the path to death.”
The words of God made Xiaoxuan understand more clearly: The pursuit of material comforts can only make her more and more empty, and cause her more and more distress; it cannot bring her any true happiness. Xiaoxuan thought that after every time she bought the clothes which she liked, she was not content but still wanted more. Because the desires were endless and could never be satisfied. The more she enjoyed them, the more they brought greedy desires rather than enrichment or joy to her. If she were always filled and occupied with desires, she would become more and more empty and miserable. Then she thought of her classmates: Even though their material life is comfortable, they live an empty life, without any peace or delight in their hearts. So they go looking for various excitement—some even take drugs, thus living a life more and more decadent and degenerate. Through the revelation of God’s words, Xiaoxuan understood that pursuing material enjoyments was not the right path of true human life but a kind of method that Satan used to corrupt mankind. Satan just let us pursue food, clothing, and enjoyment, making us become more and more degenerate, have less and less normal human likeness, get further and further from God, and in the end be devoured by it.
Xiaoxuan thought of God’s words, “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 and become a person possessing truth.” After reading God’s words, Xiaoxuan thought in her heart: That’s right! We can only obtain a true life and true happiness by pursing the truth. Because happiness comes from God. And the most important thing is to be at peace and reassured in the heart. When she thought of this, she was thankful to God inside, and felt that she was really so blessed. Thus, she came before God to pray to Him, resolving to stay far away from these evil trends, pursue the truth to walk the true path of human life, and live out a meaningful life.
Later on, when Xiaoxuan heard her classmates talking about where to travel or where to eat and drink, she would neither envy nor be influenced by it, but would merely smile lightly—she knew that these things were all Satan’s tricks to deceive people. Now, when Xiaoxuan is free, she no longer thinks about where to eat, drink and pursue pleasures. Instead, she attends gatherings and fellowships about God’s words with the brothers and sisters, and accepts the watering and nourishing of God’s words. Because she has understood: Only by pursuing the truth can she live with meaning and with value.