Farewell to the Days of Chasing Money

June 7, 2024

By Zheng Yi, China

I was born into a poor family, where my guileless and hardworking parents supported our family through farming. As a child, I saw wealthy people in the village enjoying good food and clothing, and receiving admiration and support from others. I envied them and believed that having money meant having everything. Even in my dreams, I wished to earn a lot of money. I secretly resolved to become wealthy and live an elevated life in the future.

After getting married, in order to quickly realize my dream, I moved to the city alone to work as a laborer in construction. Despite working overtime for several years, my savings remained minimal. I started pondering in my heart that working so hard for a lifetime could never fulfill my dreams. After much consideration, I decided to become a contractor and started my own construction business. I borrowed money from relatives and friends, bought a plot of land in town, and constructed a building. To secure contracts and earn money quickly, I used connections and gifts to secure a project from a construction company. In order to make sure the job was done well, every day I began supervising the construction site early in the morning, often skipping breakfast, and inspected the work after the workers finished in the evening. Any subpar-quality work was demolished and rebuilt with overtime labor. Eventually, I gained the trust of the company executives and secured additional projects. After two years, I made some money, paid off my debts, and renovated my house. I felt an indescribable joy in my heart. During the Lunar New Year, relatives and friends came to my house to celebrate. Some smiled and said to me, “Boss, we’ve come to wish you a happy New Year! Wishing you more and more success, and prosperous business!” Others shook my hand and said, “We all rely on you to make money!” At that moment, I felt like the center of attention, surrounded by admiration. I thought to myself, “Having money is really great. With money, people admire and respect you, and you can live an elevated life.” Thinking of this made me feel quite content. In order to earn more money, I took on many more construction projects and worked tirelessly from dawn till dusk every day. As time went on, I couldn’t sleep at night, worried that workers might fall from scaffolding and cause accidents, resulting in significant financial losses. I felt oppressed every day and often suffered from fevers, colds, and dizziness. Despite being 5’8”, I weighed only about one hundred and twenty pounds, speaking weakly and falling asleep even while standing. I really wanted to take a break. But if I didn’t take on construction projects, I wouldn’t earn money or gain others’ admiration. I had no choice but to muster my energy and continue working. As I earned more and more money, I felt that all my suffering and exhaustion were worth it. Just as my construction business was thriving, my wife was working on the third-floor scaffolding, handling a wall, when she accidentally knocked over a plank and fell to the first floor, losing consciousness immediately. She was rushed to the hospital and underwent over an hour of emergency treatment before finally stabilizing and regaining consciousness. It took over a month for her to recover enough to leave the hospital.

Later, my older sister learned that my wife had been discharged from the hospital and came to visit us. She shared God’s work of the last days with us. I remember being deeply moved by some of God’s words at that time. Almighty God says: “From the moment you come crying into this world, you begin to fulfill your duty. For God’s plan and for His ordination, you perform your role and start your life’s journey. Whatever your background, and whatever the journey ahead of you, no one can escape the orchestrations and arrangements of Heaven, and no one is in control of their own destiny, for only He who rules over all things is capable of such work. Since the day man came into existence, God has ever worked thus, managing the universe, directing the rules of change for all things and the trajectory of their movement. Like all things, man is quietly and unknowingly nourished by the sweetness and rain and dew from God; like all things, man unknowingly lives beneath the orchestration of God’s hand. Man’s heart and spirit are held in the hand of God, everything of his life is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, whether living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear in accordance with God’s thoughts. Such is the way in which God presides over all things(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God Is the Source of Man’s Life). Through reading God’s words, I came to understand that everyone’s fate is in God’s hands. When my wife fell from the third floor and survived, it wasn’t because she was lucky, but because of God’s protection. I thought about the accidents that occurred at the construction sites of other contractors. Some workers fell from the third-floor scaffolding and couldn’t be saved even after being taken to the hospital. Others fell from the second-or first-floor scaffolding and died on the spot. Wasn’t all this a testament to what God said: “No one is in control of their own destiny, for only He who rules over all things is capable of such work”? Today, my older sister spreading the gospel to us was also arranged by God’s sovereignty. Through her fellowship, I learned that humans and all things were created by God. God has done three stages of work to save humanity, leading and provisioning humanity to today. This work in the last days is God’s final stage of work in saving humanity, and it’s a rare opportunity for people to be saved. We can only have a good destiny by believing in and worshiping God before Him. My wife and I happily accepted God’s gospel of the last days, and we actively attended gatherings since then. During the gatherings, the brothers and sisters fellowshipped God’s words, and I understood some truths that made my heart feel particularly calm and peaceful, releasing the repression I felt before.

Later, the leader saw that I participated actively in gatherings, and wanted to arrange for me to be a group leader watering three new believers. But I was a bit hesitant, because I managed construction during the day and had to record work points and do bookkeeping at night. Where would I find time to water the new believers? I didn’t want to do this duty. However, I felt a bit reproached: When I first believed in God and was busy with construction work, the brothers and sisters came to water and support me in the evenings, helping me understand the truth through fellowshipping God’s words. Now that there were more new believers in the church and not enough people to help with watering, I should contribute my part. Thinking of this, I prayed to God, asking Him to guide and enlighten me to make the right choice. I read these words of God: “Let Me tell you this one thing: Man’s performance of his duty is what he ought to do, and if he is incapable of performing his duty, then this is his rebelliousness. It is through the process of doing his duty that man is gradually changed, and it is through this process that he demonstrates his loyalty. As such, the more you are able to do your duty, the more truth you shall receive, and the more real your expression shall become(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Difference Between the Ministry of God Incarnate and the Duty of Man). God’s words helped me understand that as created beings, performing our duties is perfectly natural and justified because our lives come from God, and everything we enjoy is a gift from Him. Doing our duties is like being filial to our parents—it’s an unquestionable responsibility and obligation. If I didn’t accept this duty, it would be truly lacking conscience. Moreover, supporting and watering the new believers only happened in the evenings twice a week, so it wouldn’t interfere much with managing my construction work. Realizing this, I agreed to take on this duty. Sometimes, when I couldn’t resolve the states or notions of the new believers, I prayed to God and sought guidance. Through reading God’s words, I unknowingly understood some truths. The new believers had their states and notions resolved, and my understanding of the truth of visions became clearer. I became more active in doing my duty, because I felt that by performing my duty I could receive the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and leadership, understand more truths, and gain a sense of peace and assurance in my heart.

Later on, when the brothers and sisters saw my enthusiasm in pursuing the truth, they elected me to serve as a gospel deacon. I was quite happy, knowing that this duty coming to me was an expression of God’s love. I wanted to cherish it and do this duty well. However, I had some worries in my heart: My construction business had grown significantly, and its profitability would likely continue to improve. If I accepted the duty of the gospel deacon, I’d surely have less energy to manage the construction business, leading to less income. I found myself in a dilemma. Then, I remembered that the work of the last days is God’s final work of saving humanity. If I focused only on making money and neglected my duty, how could I gain the truth? So, I prayed to God, asking Him to lead me in seeking the truth and resolving my own difficulties. I read a passage of God’s words: “Today, what you are required to achieve are not additional demands, but the duty of man, and that which should be done by all people. If you are incapable of even doing your duty, or of doing it well, then are you not bringing trouble upon yourselves? Are you not courting death? How could you still expect to have a future and prospects? The work of God is done for the sake of mankind, and the cooperation of man is given for the sake of God’s management. After God has done all that He is supposed to do, man is required to be unstinting in his practice, and to cooperate with God. In the work of God, man should spare no effort, should offer up his loyalty, and should not indulge in numerous notions, or sit passively and await death. God can sacrifice Himself for man, so why can man not offer his loyalty to God? God is of one heart and mind toward man, so why can man not offer a little cooperation? God works for mankind, so why can man not perform some of his duty for the sake of God’s management? God’s work has come this far, yet still you see but do not act, you hear but do not move. Are not such people the objects of perdition? God has already devoted His all to man, so why, today, is man incapable of earnestly performing his duty? For God, His work is His first priority, and the work of His management is of the utmost importance. For man, putting God’s words into practice and fulfilling God’s requirements are his first priority. This you should all understand(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Practice). After reading God’s words, I was deeply moved. God, in order to redeem humanity, first incarnated as a human and was crucified to forgive human sins. In the last days, God again incarnated to express all the truths needed for humanity’s complete salvation, fellowshipping these truths clearly and thoroughly to help us better understand the truth, gain the truth, and obtain salvation. Everything God does is for us. So why couldn’t I do my duty to repay God’s love? I was not at all considerate of God’s intentions, and worrying that accepting this duty would affect my own income, I wanted to refuse. My consideration was for how to make money, and I didn’t care about my duty—I was truly selfish and despicable! When the brothers and sisters selected me to serve as the gospel deacon, it was a duty that came to me from God—a responsibility and an obligation—and I should accept it and submit. If I refused, I was unworthy to be called human, and I would lose the opportunity to obtain the truth and ultimately be eliminated. Though I couldn’t immediately let go of my attachment to wealth, I was willing to act according to God’s words and accept this duty, doing my best to fulfill it.

Initially, I managed to make time for gatherings, training at spreading the gospel and bearing witness with the brothers and sisters. However, as I took on more construction projects, I found myself sacrificing time meant for my duty and gatherings. Once, a property owner requested that I build four three-story buildings along with some additional projects. I hesitated: This project was substantial, and I still had another incomplete project I needed to worry about managing. Agreeing to the new project would mean even less time for my duty and gatherings. I tried negotiating with the property owner to postpone the start date, but he didn’t agree. I felt pressured because failing to start on time would invalidate the signed contracts, resulting in financial losses and damaging my reputation. Who would trust me with future projects if I couldn’t fulfill my commitments? Would I still be able to make money with no projects? Despite my concerns, I ultimately agreed to the property owner’s demands and became busy with the new construction work. Sometimes, when there were many issues on the construction site, I would simply glance at God’s words in the morning before heading out. This not only disrupted my normal spiritual life but also left me with no time to engage in gospel work. During that period, seeing no results in the gospel work, I felt a bit reproached. In my heart, I silently resolved: No matter how busy the construction got in the future, I must prioritize attending gatherings and doing my duty.

One day, just as I had arranged to attend a gathering, my phone suddenly rang while I was on my way. The construction site had a problem that required my immediate attention. I hesitated: This time I had originally wanted to gather and fellowship about the gospel work, but now this problem came up. If I went to handle the issue on the site, I wouldn’t be able to attend the gathering—would this not be deceiving God? But what if I didn’t go, and the property owner complained? It could damage my reputation and financial standing. If this continued, how could I manage my construction projects? I decided to prioritize resolving the construction issue and promised myself to make time for gatherings and my duty later. So I went to the construction site.

Returning home in the evening, reflecting on the day’s events, I felt reproached. I had planned to attend the gathering but allowed my concerns about finances to interfere with doing my duty. During this period, my focus on construction work hindered the progress of spreading the gospel, and I realized I hadn’t performed my duty properly. However, if I were to set aside construction and stop earning money, how could I live a prosperous and respected life? Feeling conflicted, I came before God and prayed, “God, my heart is troubled. I know that believing in You and doing my duty is perfectly natural and justified, but I find it hard to let go of money. Please guide me to make the right choice.” After praying, my heart gradually calmed. In my seeking, I read a passage of God’s words: “If I were to place some money in front of you right now and give you the freedom to choose—and if I did not condemn you for your choice—then most of you would choose the money and forsake the truth. The better among you would give up the money and choose the truth reluctantly, while those in-between would seize the money in one hand and the truth in the other. Would your true colors thus not become self-evident? When choosing between the truth and anything to which you are loyal, you would all make this choice, and your attitude would remain the same. Is that not so? Are there not many among you who have seesawed between right and wrong? In contests between positive and negative, black and white, you are surely aware of the choices that you have made between family and God, children and God, peace and disruption, riches and poverty, status and ordinariness, being supported and being cast aside, and so on. … Many years of dedication and effort have apparently brought Me nothing more than your abandonment and despair, but My hopes for you grow with each passing day, for My day has been completely laid bare before everyone. Yet you persist in seeking dark and evil things, and refuse to loosen your grip on them. What, then, will be your outcome? Have you ever given careful consideration to this? If you were asked to choose again, what then would be your position?(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Whom Are You Loyal?). What God exposed was my state. Wasn’t I someone who seized the money in one hand and the truth in the other? I proclaimed my willingness to do my duty to satisfy God, and I resolved in my heart to rebel against the flesh and do my duty well. However, when my duty conflicted with financial interests, I was unable to resist the lure of money and fame. I found myself involuntarily following my own desires and choosing money. I knew that taking on this large construction project required more time and effort, leaving me with no time to do my duty. Yet, I still chose to accept it in order to earn more money and gain others’ admiration, even though I knew it was wrong. My heart had been focused on earning money, and I neglected following up on the gospel work for over a month, resulting in stagnation in spreading the gospel. I had treated the duty given by God like this, which truly put me in God’s debt.

Then, I pondered on why I couldn’t let go of money even though I knew that doing my duty would lead to gaining the truth. Later, in my seeking, I read two passages of God’s words: “Satan uses a very subtle kind of method, a method very much in concert with people’s notions, which is not at all radical, through which it causes people to unknowingly accept its way of living, its rules to live by, and to establish life goals and their direction in life, and in doing so they also unknowingly come to have ambitions in life. No matter how grand these life ambitions may seem, they are inextricably linked to ‘fame’ and ‘gain.’ Everything that any great or famous person—all people, in fact—follow in life relates only to these two words: ‘fame’ and ‘gain.’ People think that once they have fame and gain, they can then capitalize on those things to enjoy high status and great wealth, and to enjoy life. They think fame and gain are a kind of capital that they can use to obtain a life of pleasure-seeking and wanton enjoyment of the flesh. For the sake of this fame and gain which mankind so covets, people willingly, albeit unknowingly, hand over their bodies, minds, all that they have, their futures and their destinies, to Satan. They do so without even a moment’s hesitation, ever ignorant of the need to recover all that they have handed over. Can people retain any control over themselves once they have taken refuge in Satan in this way and become loyal to it? Certainly not. They are completely and utterly controlled by Satan. They have completely and utterly sunk into a quagmire, and are unable to free themselves. Once someone is mired in fame and gain, they no longer seek that which is bright, that which is just, or those things that are beautiful and good. This is because the seductive power that fame and gain have over people is too great; they become things for people to pursue throughout their lives and even for all eternity without end. Is this not true?(The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI). “Satan uses fame and gain to control man’s thoughts, until all people can think of is fame and gain. They struggle for fame and gain, suffer hardships for fame and gain, endure humiliation for fame and gain, sacrifice everything they have for fame and gain, and they will make any judgment or decision for the sake of fame and gain. In this way, Satan binds people with invisible shackles, and they have neither the strength nor the courage to throw them off. They unknowingly bear these shackles and trudge ever onward with great difficulty(The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI). Pondering over God’s words, I came to understand that Satan’s purpose in enticing people to pursue money, fame, and gain is to corrupt and control them, leading their hearts further away from God, ultimately trapping them in Satan’s snares from which they cannot extricate themselves. Every day, I worked tirelessly from dawn till dusk on construction projects to earn money. This stemmed from the influence of Satan’s poisons since my childhood, like “Money makes the world go round,” and “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing.” I believed that having money meant having everything, including the admiration of others and a superior lifestyle. As my construction projects grew larger and I was highly praised by relatives and friends, I became even more convinced that wealth could earn people admiration. I made the pursuit of money my life’s goal, laboring tirelessly for it every day, living in constant anxiety and fear, always worried about accidents on the job site and their consequences. Outwardly, it appeared that I was earning money and gaining fame, but internally, I felt repressed. My body suffered, and my wife nearly lost her life. Yet, despite these experiences, I still couldn’t let go of my pursuit of wealth, fame, and gain. After coming into God’s house, I understood that believing in God should involve pursuing the truth. However, I was unable to see through Satan’s schemes and found myself striving for fame and gain involuntarily. As a gospel deacon, it was my duty to do the gospel work well. However, in order to earn more money, I neglected following up on the gospel work for a month, setting aside my duty. The nature of this behavior amounted to cheating and betraying God. Moreover, I was preoccupied with managing construction projects daily, neglecting spiritual devotions and gatherings, causing my heart to drift further from God and my life to suffer loss. If I continued like this, I would eventually lose the opportunity to do my duty and attain salvation. I finally realized that the pursuit of wealth, fame, and gain is not a good path; it is a means by which Satan corrupts and harms people, a tool of bondage that ultimately leads to being toyed with and harmed by Satan.

Later, I read another passage of God’s words: “What you need is not truth and life, nor the principles of how to conduct yourselves, much less My painstaking work. Rather, what you need is everything you possess in the flesh—wealth, status, family, marriage, and so on. You are utterly dismissive of My words and work, so I can sum up your faith in one word: perfunctory. You will go to any lengths to achieve the things to which you are absolutely devoted, but I have discovered that you would not do the same for the sake of matters concerning your belief in God. Rather, you are relatively devoted, and relatively earnest. That is why I say that those who lack a heart of utmost sincerity are failures in their belief in God. Think carefully—are there many failures among you?(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. On Destination). God’s words helped me understand that believing in God requires pursuing the truth and fulfilling our own duties. By doing our duties and understanding the truth, we gradually cast off our corrupt disposition and thus can receive God’s salvation. I remembered what the Lord Jesus said: “Whoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be My disciple(Luke 14:33). In the Age of Grace, Peter did not pursue wealth, fame, or gain. When the Lord Jesus called to him, he was able to let go of his fishing and follow the Lord. His pursuit was solely for truth, fulfilling the duties of a created being, and knowing himself through God’s words, casting off his corrupt disposition. In the end, he bore a beautiful and resounding witness for God, being made perfect by Him and living a meaningful life. Reflecting on Peter’s experience, I realized how meaningful it is for us to pursue the truth and perform our duties. Now that great disasters had come down, if I continued to cling to the pursuit of wealth, fame, and gain, neglecting the truth and my duties, it would be too late. In the end, I would only fall into disasters, wailing and gnashing my teeth. I must follow Peter’s example and pursue the truth. I could not prioritize making money over performing my duties. To be able to attend gatherings regularly and do my duties, I discussed with my wife the idea of selling all our construction tools to someone else and taking up odd jobs to sustain our livelihood. Initially, my wife disagreed, but I explained my thoughts and understanding to her, and she no longer objected. Later, I sold all the tools and devoted myself full-time to performing my duties. In doing my duties, I experienced the Holy Spirit’s work and guidance were in my partnership with the brothers and sisters, and I felt liberated and free. Whenever I revealed my corruption, I sought the truth, reflecting and trying to know my intentions and the nature and consequences of my actions. When I was able to rebel against myself and practice according to the truth principles, I felt joy and inner peace. Through this experience, I gained a practical understanding of the significance of pursuing the truth and performing my duties.

After some time, while I was doing odd jobs, my boss said to me, “I know you’re capable of managing construction projects. There’s a lot of work here and it’s quite profitable. Let’s partner up—each of us with a half share. Making several hundred thousand yuan each is not out of the question.” After hearing my boss’ words, I felt a bit swayed and thought, “This is a rare opportunity to make good money. If I do this for a few years, I could earn millions. Life would be a bit better. Should I agree to my boss’ proposal?” But then I had another thought, “If I go into project management for money, how will I attend gatherings and do my duties? I will lose the chance to gain the truth and God’s salvation. Isn’t this Satan’s scheme? Satan is trying to lure me with money, but I can’t fall for its trick.” So, I turned down my boss. Seeing my resolute attitude, my boss left disappointed.

Through these experiences, I realized the harm and consequences of pursuing wealth, fame, and gain. I saw through to the fact that Satan uses money to tempt and corrupt people. I also understood that God wants us to pursue the truth and let go of wealth to free us from Satan’s harm and allow us to gain the truth and God’s salvation. This is the most meaningful and valuable thing. Now, I can set aside work and money and fully invest myself in doing my duties. It is through the guidance of God's words that I gained all this knowledge and transformation. Thank God!

Would you like to learn God’s words and rely on God to receive His blessing and solve the difficulties on your way? Click the button to contact us.

Related Content

How I Let Go of a Secure Job

By Lizhi, Japan I was born in a poor and backward rural family. Even as a child, my father demanded that I study hard, so that in the...

Leave a Reply

Connect with us on Messenger