By Yang Lin
Not long ago, I heard a piece of surprising news from one of my colleagues that Xiaozhang, who worked with us in our unit before, had been put into prison for falsification of accounts and embezzlement.
After I got home, I pondered about this over and again. In the opinions of my colleagues, Xiaozhang, who had been put in prison, enjoyed great popularity. He was warm-hearted and respected the old and cherished the young, so my colleagues all liked him. It was too bad and regrettable that he ended up where he was now.
While reflecting upon this, I felt myself fortunate. Had it not been for , my fate would be as tragic as Xiao Zhang’s.
Recalling the time when I just joined the workforce, I brought passionate engagement to my career with a strong fighting spirit. Because of my solid expertise, I was slotted into an important post by my leader when I began to work in my unit. Soon after, my leader handed over all the accounts of our enterprise to me. Someone once said to him that it was inappropriate for me alone to handle all the accounts, for there were many regulatory gaps. However, he just said: “Never doubt the person you use and never use the person you doubt.” Trusted by my leader, I then devoted myself to my job. Thereafter, my leader treated me well. I thought I deserved it, as it was said that “hard work pays off.”
After a short period of time, an accidental incident plunged me into the abyss of evil, from which I couldn’t extricate myself. One day, when I was checking the books I found out there was an error, so I went to the person involved, who was a close relative of our leader, and made a few inquiries. He told me the truth: He had misappropriated more than 3,000 yuan in cash for his money was tight lately. Though it was not a large number, I knew this matter was egregious in nature. He ordinarily appeared to be of one mind with our leader and thought of him in all respects, and he was diligent and thrifty and made careful calculations to cut down spending of our unit. Consequently, our leader placed much confidence in him and appointed him to a senior position. Our colleagues somewhat admired him and were jealous of our leader’s trust in him as they saw all this. I also took him as a role model. However, I never thought he could do such a thing. After that, he secretly transferred the money to me to balance the accounts, and this matter seemed to have never happened. All this was over. But then, I thought: Aren’t there more advantages for me to take the money? I manage all the accounts. Even if I do something, nobody will know it.
In the following days, I gradually sank into the abyss of evil and totally indulged in the pleasures of the flesh after gaining the money. When I bought office supplies for our unit or went on business trips, I always asked for inflated receipts. Sometimes, if I forgot to demand an invoice for a purchase, I, after returning to our unit, would write an excessive amount on a slip of paper in place of the invoice and get it reimbursed. In the beginning, I felt a bit alarmed and was in a state of anxiety, fearing to be asked by my leader about this. However, he just glanced over the accounts for audit at the end of each month. Therefore, I became more and more unconstrained. When there were large expenses once in a while, I would overstate them as much as possible.
For a time, an elder sister in the advertising business came to me several times, asking our company to advertise via SMS with their mobile marketing platform. I brought it up to our leader. He told me to investigate the effectiveness of this form of advertising. If it was useful, we would adopt it. I inquired about it and learned that text-message advertising, as a new ad format, yielded little results. I had intended to tell my leader that we would not use SMS to advertise. But just then, that elder sister phoned me and said: “Don’t be foolish, my good sister. Though this is a new ad format, it costs much less than traditional TV ads and print ads. Try it, please. If it proves ineffective, you can abandon it. What’s more, it’s up to you whether we can cooperate with you. I won’t treat you poorly if we can complete the deal.” Hanging up the phone, I recalled that during my previous dealings with her, she was a no-nonsense woman who always did what she said. She said she wouldn’t mistreat me, so she would keep her promise. Then I referred to this thing again to my leader, and he agreed. Subsequently, I contacted that elder sister to sign a contract with her. When she asked me what she should put for the contract amount, I laughed and said: “Just write the quote you gave me.” As a matter of fact, I knew the price she quoted had already included my kickback. When I was at school, I learned by heart the handbook of professional ethics and could rattle off its contents, such as to be honest, faithful, and self-disciplined, to work in full accordance with the law and with integrity. However, in the face of gain they just appeared so hollow; I still chose the former between money and conscience. Sometimes my conscience was condemned and I hated myself as well. I also wished to return to before leading a clean and honest life and sticking to the principle of “Hard work pays off.” I struggled in the whirlpool of evil and failed time after time to free myself from it. At times, I even had nightmares where my leader discovered the truth about this and paraded me around in a prisoner wagon. And then I woke up to find myself frightened into a cold sweat all over. Sometimes my leader transferred the accounts to our head office for audit, and I was always haunted with fear and worried that the chief accountant would recognize any flaws. Each time I saw the call from the chief accountant, each nerve of mine would be stretched tight. The sense of guilt in the depths of my soul made me live in a constant state of panic and fear.
Later, I accepted the work of God in . I saw : “There is an enormous secret in your heart. You never know it there because you have been living in a world without light shining. Your heart and your spirit have been taken away by the evil one. Your eyes are covered by darkness; you cannot see the sun in the sky, nor the twinkling star in the night. Your ears are clogged with deceptive words and you hear not the thunderous voice of Jehovah, nor the sound of the rushing waters from the throne. You have lost everything that should have belonged to you and everything that the Almighty bestowed upon you. You have entered an endless sea of bitterness, with no strength of a rescue, no hope of survival, left only to struggle and to bustle about. … From that moment, you are doomed to be afflicted by the evil one, kept far away from the blessings of the Almighty, out of reach of the provisions of the Almighty, and you embark on a road of no return. … The evil one steers your heart in every matter and becomes your life. You no longer fear him, no longer avoid him, no longer doubt him. Instead, you treat him as the God in your heart. You begin to enshrine him, worship him, be inseparable like a shadow of his, and mutually commit to each other in life and death” (“The Sighing of the Almighty”). The revelation of God’s word made me recognize that because I lived under the domain of Satan, kept far away from God’s care and protection, and had been tempted and afflicted by Satan, I could do something against my conscience for the sake of money and gain. I learned some so-called knowledge of professional ethics when I was at school, but after being blighted by this corrupt society, I began to follow the trend and violate the morals. On top of that, the satanic laws of survival of “Money isn’t everything but without money you can’t do anything,” “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” “He is a fool if he doesn’t want to take extra advantage,” and “There’s no such thing as an official who’s not corrupt” had poisoned me so terribly that there was gradually no conscience or humanity left within me. I considered it perfectly justified to enjoy the trappings of my post, and hence betrayed my conscience to do wicked things, without any restraints of ethics. Had it not been for the timely salvation of God, I would still go along the wrong path until I was completely devoured by Satan and perished in the end.
I also saw these words from God: “When your evil hand stretches out, draw it back, and do not stretch it so long; it’s no use! What you get from God will only be curse; be careful” (“Focus More on Reality”). “The more your transgressions are, the fewer your chances to gain a good destination. Conversely, the fewer your transgressions are, the more your chances of being praised by God. If your transgressions increase to the point that it is impossible for Me to forgive you, then you will have utterly wasted your chances of being forgiven. In that case your destination will not be above but below. If you do not believe Me then be bold and do wrong, and then see what it gets you. … Do not regard your transgressions as mistakes of an immature or foolish person, do not use the excuse that you did not practice truth because your poor caliber made it impossible to practice it, and even more, do not simply regard the transgressions you have committed as the acts of someone who did not know any better. If you are good at forgiving yourself and good at treating yourself with generosity, then I say you are a coward who will never gain the truth, and your transgressions will never cease haunting you, but keep you from ever meeting the demands of truth and make you forever a loyal companion of Satan” (“Transgressions Will Take Man to Hell”). People in the world often say: “Good will be rewarded with good, and evil with evil; if the reward is not forthcoming, it is because the time has not arrived yet.” “Persisting in evil brings about one’s own destruction.” The sayings didn’t work at all for me though I knew them well. However, when I read God’s harsh word, I started getting afraid. God’s word speaks out the outcome of man doing evil. If I still did not repent and persisted in my errors, then what awaited me would only be punishment in the hell. I saw God’s words, like parents’ teachings for their children, were salvation and love to me. His stern words were all for my walking the right path of life and making a fresh start.
Afterward, I read many more of the words of God about judging and purifying man. I realized that everyone has a greedy nature and lives by this Satan’s poison “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost” after being corrupted by Satan. Only if one experiences God’s judgment and chastisement can he get rid of sin, be purified and attain the salvation of God. After I understood of saving mankind, I was resolved to forsake the flesh. I came before God to pray many times that I was no more willing to be used by Satan or blinded by greed, and that I vowed to clean up my act and become a new person that was after His heart.
Not long after, I experienced another thing that was also a good chance of getting kickbacks. As there were several payments to be made to an advertising company, I went to settle them as usual. The boss of the ad company asked me: “What shall I put for the number of the receipt this time?” I clearly knew it was God’s test of me and that He was observing my every word and action, every thought and idea, waiting for me to make a choice. This was also the time when I should stand for God and humiliate Satan. I then thought that God requires us to be an honest person, which is the likeness of a true man. Only when we become honest can we break free from the influence of Satan and by God. So, after a pause, I said frankly: “Write the actual costs, please!” The boss of that ad company said with a smile: “Your leader is so lucky to have an employee like you. He must be at ease.” When I went out of that ad company, I took a deep breath and, meanwhile, I felt grounded and peaceful in my heart. What I did was not to ease the mind of my leader but to live out the manner of a true man, to be honest according to God’s requirement, and to live by God’s word rather than satanic philosophy.
After experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God for a few years, I realized God likes the honest who can live by His word, submit to Him and worship Him; He hates those who live by their satanic natures and the poison of Satan. My corrupt dispositions, like greed and craftiness, have gradually been purified. When I face again the temptation of money, I can resist it easily. Thinking about the situation of Xiaozhang, I see that I could have also dropped into the abyss of evil, been devoured by Satan and put in prison if it had not been for the salvation of Almighty God. Thank God for His protection to me!
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