Christian Testimony : God’s Guidance Allowed Me to Overcome Temptation in the Workplace (Audio Essay, Part 1)
Almighty God says, “But to people, it seems like a world of gaiety and splendor, one that is becoming more and more so. People’s hearts are all drawn to it, and many people are entrapped and unable to extricate themselves from it; great numbers will be beguiled by those who engage in trickery and sorcery. If you do not strive for progress, are without ideals, and have not rooted yourself in the true way, you will be swept away by the swelling tides of sin” (“Practice (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words expose the evil of this hedonistic world, filled as it is with all kinds of temptations: money, fame, status, power, eroticism…. These temptations are like poppies, a “beautiful trap,” and these are also the means and methods by which Satan tempts and corrupts people. Most people can’t understand Satan’s tricks, are unable to escape these temptations, fall into these traps, and so live in sin and depravity, suffering and corrupted endlessly at the hands of Satan. I recall my own experience, and I know that if not for God’s protection and the guidance of His word, I would also have fallen inextricably into this “beautiful trap.” …
I am presently 27 years old, and I originally worked as staff in a sales department. In 2013, I had the good fortunate to accept Almighty God’s work in the last days, and afterward I worked while I lived my church life. My daily job was to give customers tea, pour water, deliver snacks, and so on, and then clean after the customers left. One could say I had a lowest-level and most inconspicuous job in the sales department, and it was a job that was essentially unsupervised and unimportant. Although I did unremarkable work every day and my salary wasn’t high, I felt very fulfilled, because I didn’t have to constantly strive to please and kiss up to the department leaders to improve my performance and interact with others wearing a mask of falseness every day. In my spare time, I could also participate in church life and read God’s words and fellowship on the truth with my brothers and sisters. I felt relaxed and free, safe and secure. But that life of calm didn’t last, because before long trouble came looking for me….
Mr. Zhang, a manager of our real estate company, was 40 years old. He was handsome, wore glasses, had a scholarly look, and spoke humorously and with an engaging manner. He was very easy-going, got along well with young people, and the company’s employees were both very supportive of him and also nearly worshiped him. One day, by chance, Mr. Zhang was taking a break in the area for which I was responsible. I gave him a cup of tea, and Mr. Zhang asked me about my name and education. I answered and continued to work, but after that, every time Mr. Zhang came, I brought him tea, he always took time to say a few words to me. I had always imagined our leaders as high above us and inaccessible, and that they wouldn’t even bother to notice minor staff who do insignificant tasks, like me. I was surprised that Mr. Zhang was so approachable, which made me feel that he was very kind.
Later, Mr. Zhang came for tea more and more frequently. Once, he smiled and said to me, “Hey, do you think the sales department uniforms look good?” I said, “The sales department is our public face, of course they look good.” He shook his head and looked me up and down, “No they don’t, not as good as your uniform. I think it’s mainly because of your physique, you look good in anything….” Mr. Zhang’s compliment delighted me. I felt that working under such an amiable and humorous boss made work stress-free, relaxing, and happy.
Slowly, Mr. Zhang and I went from strangers to “getting familiar.” The area where I worked, the snack bar, became an important position in the eyes of Mr. Zhang. If there were any problems or malfunctions at the snack bar, Mr. Zhang would step forward to help me. I was surprised that a low-level, inconspicuous position like mine could get such strong support from Mr. Zhang, and I was genuinely flattered. With Mr. Zhang’s “patronage,” my status as an insignificant staff member who was looked down on in the sales department improved. My colleagues, and even our department managers, were much more polite to me. Getting time off from the manager used to be asking the impossible, but now it was as easy as asking. I felt that all my new conveniences were thanks to Mr. Zhang’s effort, and I was grateful to him. I thought, “I should work harder in the future, and even though I’m only pouring tea, I have to do my best. I have to live up to Mr. Zhang’s efforts for me.” Just as Mr. Zhang’s “glorious” image was growing in my heart, the series of events that followed completely turned my opinion of him on its head….
One day, Mr. Zhang came to the bar and saw that the flowers needed trimming, so he began to trim them for me. While I was cleaning the branches as he cut the leaves, I asked, “Mr. Zhang, do you like to raise flowers?” He said to me with a smile, “I don’ t like to raise flowers, I like to raise people.” There was an evil tinge to Mr. Zhang’s words, and I suddenly felt that something wasn’t quite right. I felt very uncomfortable, so I didn’t respond. After that, Mr. Zhang not only often came to the bar to chat with me, he also often sent text messages to ask affectionate questions, and even directly said some overly affectionate things in the messages. I realized that Mr. Zhang’s concern for me had gone beyond the bounds of a boss-subordinate relationship. Mr. Zhang had a family, and I was who believed in God, and I knew that if I continued with him like this, I wouldn’t have even a little likeness of someone who believes in God! In the long run, it would not only damage my character and dignity, it would also humiliate God’s name. For the testimony of God, I had to draw the line with him. But as I thought more about it, I knew that Mr. Zhang always took care of me at work, and my position among my colleagues had also been greatly improved. If I really chose not to interact with him, I wouldn’t have these benefits, and he might even find ways to make things uncomfortable for me. Then what would my position in the company be? I was trapped in struggle, and I didn’t know the right thing to do….
So, I went before God and prayed for the strength to overcome sin, and for the guidance to see through Satan’s tricks and walk the correct path. Shortly after I prayed, I saw a passage of Almighty God’s word, “So were you able to see Satan’s intentions? Were you able to see the purpose behind what Satan said? Were you able to see Satan’s plots and ruses? (No.) What kind of disposition is represented by Satan’s way of speaking? What kind of essence have you seen in Satan through these words? Is it not insidious? Perhaps on the surface it smiles at you, or perhaps it reveals no expression whatsoever. But in its heart it is calculating how to obtain its objective, and it is this objective that you are unable to see. All the promises it makes to you, all the advantages it describes, are the guise of its seduction. You see these things as good, so you feel that what it says is more useful, more substantial than what God says. When this happens, does man not then become a submissive prisoner? Is this strategy that Satan has used not diabolical? You allow yourself to sink into degeneracy. Without Satan having to move a finger, but merely by speaking these two sentences, you become happy to follow along with Satan, to comply with Satan. Thus, Satan’s objective has been attained. Is this intention not sinister? Is this not Satan’s most primal countenance?” (“God Himself, the Unique IV” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
As I pondered God’s words, I recalled all of my interactions with Mr. Zhang, and suddenly I realized that this was a temptation from Satan! Ever since I began interacting with Mr. Zhang, he had been tempting me bit by bit, first by praising me for being beautiful to get close to me, and then by taking care of me and showing concern for me, and then helping in everything and pretending to be my “patron” to win me over, and then finally by sending affectionate text messages to achieve his evil purpose. He wasn’t doing this out of a normal concern leadership would have for staff, he was actually trying to plot against me! But I was stupidly attracted by his glamorous appearance, I thought of him as kind, easygoing, and without a boss’s arrogance. I regard him as a good person. I was so blind and ignorant! When I compared his actions against God’s word, I saw that everything he said and did was to confuse me and tempt me, all in order to achieve his ulterior motives and to entrap me. He used so many tricks for me, but I didn’t have any discernment at all toward him. Instead, I was utterly confused by the illusion of his appearance. If not for what was revealed in God’s word giving me the discernment that allowed me to clearly see his evil face, I would have been ensnared in one of Satan’s traps! If I had allowed myself to become entrapped by this evil person, the price for indulging in those sweet words and the evil desires would have been a lifetime of bearing the label of someone who destroys others’ families. I would have become the “other woman.” Would I have had any dignity in life after that? Would I still be a person who believes in God? Wouldn’t that be a humiliation and a betrayal of God? The thought of it terrified me, and I nearly lost myself to hatred. So, I made up my mind to cut my ties with Mr. Zhang, let go of my fleshly interests, practice the truth to satisfy God, and never allow myself to be tricked by Satan! Later, when Mr. Zhang tried to get close to me, I made efforts to avoid him. When he sent me text messages, I didn’t reply…. He seemed to realize that I was pushing him away, and began deliberately coming up with reasons for me to do things for him, but I still kept my distance and no longer chatted with him, I just did the jobs I was assigned. Thank be to God! When I consciously stayed away from these evil things, Mr. Zhang saw that his plan had failed, and he was too embarrassed to bother me again. I thanked God from the bottom of my heart for keeping me away from these satanic temptations.