A Hairdresser’s Testimony: Doing Business With Integrity Is Blessed by God

By Zhuiqiu

I Go With the Flow to Make a Living

The hairdressing business could be considered one with ridiculous profit margins. A lot of business owners sell low-cost hair care products at prices more than ten times higher than their actual cost, and then recommend that their customers get membership cards, ostensibly for the sake of getting discounts, which guarantees them a flow of customers. Some hair salons even add on additional services, like sexual services under the guise of a “massage,” earning ill-gotten gains. These kinds of tactics to cheat customers really do keep the money pouring in. However, I operated my business according to my conscience, and ever since the very first day my salon was open, I did very honest business on the tenets of dealing with every single person straightforwardly and selling things at fixed prices. I never cheated customers. I also put real effort into every single haircut I did, plus my prices were lower than other hairdressers’. I got a lot of return customers that way.

hairdresser

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I was working day and night, but after a year, I was only left with 2,000 yuan after paying rent, business expenses, utilities, heating, etc. I also saw that there were a few salons across the street that didn’t have as much business as I did, but they made several times what I did. I was really envious, but I knew very clearly that they were ill-gotten gains. I didn’t want to ignore my conscience in doing business. As the old saying goes, “poor but proud.” No matter how poor I was, I felt I couldn’t lose my dignity and character. So, I continued on doing business with integrity as I had before. Three years later, other hairdressers who had opened up shop at the same time as me had all upgraded to larger shops and some had even gone into doing big business or had bought a car. But everything for me was just like it had been three years prior; my life was the same as it had been, and my wallet hadn’t gotten any fatter.

One day, my mom became ill and had to stay at the hospital—treatment alone was really expensive. I scraped together and borrowed as much money as I could, but still only had enough for half of her medical bill. Thinking of how much money I had borrowed and how I had no idea when I’d be able to pay it back made me a bit anxious. Just then a friend of mine came to my salon to hang out, and when she learned about my situation said to me, “Other salon owners size up their customers, fawn on and flatter them. They get taken in, and then they’re happy to spend more money. They can earn tens of thousands in just a year by doing that. But all you earn is a little bit for your services and you don’t say nice-sounding things to them and then bump up product prices. Earning money that way, who knows when you’ll be able to pay off your debts….” Hearing her go on about that stirred something within me. Right after I had seen her off a hairdresser from across the way came by, and the second she stepped in said sarcastically, “You’re really so good at running this salon! Business is good and you have a great reputation, it’s just it’s not very profitable. You seem to want to make yourself a modern-day Mother Theresa. You have so many customers—if it were me, I would have gotten rich ages ago. How many times have I told you? In business you have to think of special methods, some tactics. When are you going to get it? Running a business this way, you’ll die of exhaustion before earning much money!” With that, she just left. After hearing what she and my friend had to say, I felt like I had been kicked in the gut.

That night I lay in bed tossing and turning, unable to sleep. The words of my friend and that hairdresser were echoing inside my head and I was locked in an internal battle. “It’s true, I do business totally honestly, so when will I earn some money? Like they say, ‘Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing.’ It doesn’t matter how good you are if you don’t have any money! And now I need to pay for my mom’s treatment plus pay back my debts—all of that takes money. Maybe I should raise my prices a bit, and whenever someone with money comes in I can charge them a higher price? Anyway, some of them are pretty free with their money and they don’t care how much it costs as long as they like their hairstyle. Besides, isn’t that what everyone else is doing? Doing that would be totally understandable….” I thought and I thought, and decided to let go of the integrity I’d upheld for three years and start trying it out on wealthier customers.

Following Evil Trends, I Lost My Conscience

Midday the following day, a customer came in who wanted her hair permed. I saw that she was dressed really nicely and looked quite well-off, so I thought I’d charge her a little more. When I was done, she asked me how much it was. Normally I would charge 120 yuan, but that time I said 200. I was really nervous after saying that, and my heart wouldn’t stop thudding. I didn’t dare look at her face, afraid that she’d see that I had bumped the price up. She just readily handed over the money and as she was leaving, said, “You’re really skilled. I love the new style you gave me with this perm—it’s worth any amount of money. I’m going to recommend to my colleagues and friends that they come here to get their hair done.” After she left I felt unsettled for quite a while. I thought of how much she trusted me, but I had cheated her. I felt like I had violated my conscience. But when I saw that I had earned more money than before I felt satisfied with it and that the money would come in much faster that way. Faced with those pangs of conscience, all I could do was stuff that guilt deep down in my heart.

From that day forward, I just single-mindedly focused on how to earn more money. Whenever I saw a well-off customer come in I’d welcome them, full of smiles, and warmly greet them, and I’d recommend some particular services and products. One time a customer said that she wanted to get her hair washed and styled, and I thought, “A hair wash is less than 10 yuan, that’s not enough. I need to find a trick to get more money than that.” So I told her, “Your hair is too dry. If you don’t start taking care of it soon you’ll start losing a lot of hair, and hair is like a second face for women. If you develop issues with your hair, it’ll be too late for regrets.” I made some recommendations which had an effect on her; she spent 300 yuan on a set of anti-hair loss nourishing products and became a long-term customer for hair care. I felt a little uneasy after she left and thought, “I have the money in my hands, but I don’t even know how effective that product is. If I talk up products this way, what will I do if she doesn’t get a good result and comes back to start some trouble?” But worrying can’t accomplish anything and the product had already been sold, so there was nothing to be done about it.

Then a few days after that, I sold a 25-yuan bottle of shampoo to a customer who wanted something for her dandruff for 68 yuan, and she thanked me over and over. I had never imagined it was so easy to earn money—no wonder other hairdressers had gotten rich so long ago. Even though I thought that doing business with lies and cheating wasn’t moral, the money was coming in fast and I would be a person of means in no time. Plus, now there was a source for my mom’s medical expenses. When I thought of all that, the uneasiness in my heart gradually disappeared and I became even more certain that only relying on lies and cheating in business could earn any money.

To my surprise, that customer who I had recommended regular haircare to came back to the store to complain. She said that she’d been using the product for more than a month but her hair hadn’t gotten thicker, and on the contrary, it had continued to get thinner. I was afraid she’d demand a refund and no longer get any care, and that money I had gotten would be gone. Plus her saying that could have an impact on other customers using that product. I rushed to say something to smooth things over. “I can see that your hair seems to have gotten much better lately. Anyway, it takes a long time for hair to grow out. There are some customers who keep doing it for a year or more before their hair slowly starts to get thicker. It’s just like treating a disease—you have to take it slowly.” Hearing me say that, she no longer complained, and kept coming to the salon as usual for hair treatments.

Several years passed in the blink of an eye. I had earned some money, all my debts were paid off, and I had even bought a house and a car. I didn’t know why, but I was just never happy. I always felt guilty toward my customers and didn’t have any sense of peace. The old saying goes, “God can see every little thing that we do.” How could my conscience be at rest when I was cheating customers that way? I really wanted to go back to the way things were before, facing each and every customer with true integrity, no need to lie or cheat, and I particularly didn’t need to rack my brains to cover things up and lie. Even though I wasn’t earning much money, I was at ease, at peace, and it wasn’t such a tiring way to live. But by then, it was as if I had a gambling addiction—living in a world of lies, I wanted to stop but was powerless to do so. The emptiness in my heart and the uneasiness in my conscience often left me sleepless, but I also wasn’t willing to go back to my old way of doing business. I felt very conflicted and really didn’t know how to escape from that life of suffering.

Accepting the Gospel and First Tasting the Sweetness of God’s Words

Where man ends is where God begins. Just as I was struggling painfully, caught in a mire of sin, a friend shared God’s gospel of the last days with me. She told me that God’s words are all the truth and that they can resolve all of our difficulties, that they can treat the suffering within our souls. She later took me to the church, where I saw that the brothers and sisters were all really genuine, and no matter who had a confusion or a difficulty, they would find words of God for fellowship and resolution. And when there was friction between people, they were all really simple and open; they would communicate with each other. Nobody was hiding things. There weren’t any prejudices or barriers between people. All the brothers and sisters in the church conducted themselves according to God’s words—they had the work and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and were in completely different circumstances than people in the outside world. I integrated into the life of the church very quickly, attending gatherings and reading God’s words with everyone, singing hymns and praising God. I felt incredibly at ease and at peace—that kind of spiritual peace is something that money absolutely cannot buy. I saw hope in life and set my resolve to practice my faith well.

Christian Reading the Word of God by the window

In a gathering, I read the following passage: “You ought to know that God likes an honest man. God has the substance of faithfulness, and so His word can always be trusted. Furthermore, His actions are faultless and unquestionable. This is why God likes those who are absolutely honest with Him. Honesty means to give your heart to God; never to play Him false in anything; to be open with Him in all things, never hiding the truth; never to do that which deceives those above and deludes those below; and never to do that which merely ingratiates yourself with God. In short, to be honest is to refrain from impurity in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man” (“Three Admonitions”). Mulling over God’s words, I saw that God is faithful; He likes honest people and detests deceitful people. We have to be honest people according to God’s requirements: Call a spade a spade, not play tricks or engage in cheating, and be completely frank. That’s the only way to gain God’s approval. I then thought of how the brothers and sisters are generally simple, open, and work at being honest people; they are practical and realistic in their words and deeds, and don’t engage in cheating. Even though there are times that they protect their own face or status, or tell a lie, they’re all able to reflect upon and know themselves, and after that they practice being clear and opening themselves up in accordance with God’s words. Their lives are really free and relaxing and their faces are often full of happy smiles. It’s really enviable. After understanding all of this I also wanted to become an honest person, to be someone who brings God joy, and to live with a conscience that is at ease and at peace. But then I thought about how I’m a businesswoman, and in this materialistic society where money is valued above all else, doing business honestly not only means you can’t earn money, but will be taken for a fool by others—there’s just no way to keep a foothold in this society like that. But I knew that if I continued to lie and cheat, even if I could cheat people, I could never cheat God—God sees into the depths of our hearts and He knows all of our thoughts. I had already accepted God’s salvation, so if I didn’t become an honest person according to what He requires but continued to play tricks in my business, wouldn’t that be disgusting to God? I thought and I thought, and ultimately decided that in my future business dealings I would act according to God’s words and practice being an honest person.

One day when I was cutting a customer’s hair, she asked me, “Do you think my hair is dry? If it is, give me a hot nourishing oil treatment while I’m here.” I thought, “I can only make ten yuan from a haircut, but an oil treatment would mean at least another hundred. The customer herself asked for it—I certainly wasn’t pushing anything extra on her to get more money out of her. That doesn’t count as cheating, right?” I took another look at her hair and saw that it wasn’t dry at all and didn’t need an oil treatment, but if I were honest and told her the truth, she definitely wouldn’t want to have it done and I’d hardly make anything. Just as I was feeling at a loss, these words of God occurred to me: “To be honest is to refrain from impurity in your actions and words, and to deceive neither God nor man” (“Three Admonitions”). God’s words gave me a timely reminder that honest people seek the truth from facts in their words and deeds: One is one, and two is two. Whether it’s in front of God or in front of others, they don’t deceive or cheat, and only that kind of behavior is in line with God’s will. Since I wanted to be an honest person, I should accept God’s scrutiny and tell the truth. So, I told the customer frankly, “Your hair isn’t dry. Don’t waste your money.” She responded, surprised, “I never would have thought that a business owner would have such professional courtesy. There really aren’t enough people like you anymore. I’m definitely going to send everyone in my family here to get their hair done.” Hearing this was really exciting for me—I thanked God over and over. I was surprised that the first time I acted as an honest person I’d get that acknowledgement from a customer. Being an honest person truly is sweet.

In the days that followed, I did my best to be an honest person in accordance with God’s requirements, and before I knew it, I had less and less of that feeling of unease, and I was no longer worried that someone would come back to the store, upset. I slept soundly every night.

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Going Back to My Old Ways and Realizing How Deeply Satan Has Corrupted Me

After some time like this I was beginning to think that I was doing business in line with God’s requirements and that I had already become an honest person. But when faced with the temptation of larger gains, I went back to my old ways …

One afternoon, five women came into the salon. They had just come back from a trip and had heard from their taxi driver that I was a good hairdresser, so they came right over. One of them said forthrightly, “Money isn’t an issue as long as you make sure to give us good perms!” Hearing her say this, I thought to myself, “They all seem pretty well off. As long as they like the way I do their hair it’ll be no problem if I ask for a little more money. There’s no reason to refuse money to put in my pocket.” But then I thought better of it. “Wouldn’t that be cheating again? But when you put all five of them together, that’s no small sum. This kind of opportunity doesn’t come along very often! Besides, they don’t care about a little money, so I’ll make an exception just this once and charge a little more. God won’t blame me for that.” After I was done with their perms, I saw that they were all really happy with them, so I bumped the 160 yuan fee up to 260 yuan, and they didn’t say a word. I made an extra 500 that way—I was thrilled.

But that night in bed, I was tossing and turning and could not get to sleep. I felt really upset and I didn’t know why, so I kneeled down to pray. While praying it suddenly occurred to me that I had lied that day, and I suddenly felt a pain in my heart as if it had been pierced by a knife. I felt that I was a real scammer, that I could force myself to be honest when small profits were at stake, but when faced with a larger profit I caved in. I knew that doing that wasn’t in line with God’s will, but I still lied and cheated. Wasn’t that knowingly committing an offense? Once I reflected and realized all of this, I regretted my actions and tearfully prayed to God. “God, in the face of a large profit, even though I was clear on Your words, I still didn’t put them into practice. I can’t seem to be an honest person—it’s so frustrating. Oh God, I don’t want to violate Your requirements by lying and cheating, but why can’t I resist the temptation of money? God, I beg You to guide me to understand this aspect of the truth.”

I sought answers in God’s word, “‘Money makes the world go round’ is the philosophy of Satan and it prevails among the whole of mankind, among every human society. You could say that it is a trend because it has been instilled into the heart of every single person and is now affixed in their heart. People went from not accepting this saying to growing used to it so that when they came into contact with real life, they gradually gave tacit approval to it, acknowledged its existence and finally, they gave it their own seal of approval. Isn’t this process that of Satan corrupting man?” (“God Himself, the Unique V”). “People in the past ran their business in a way that cheated neither old nor young, and which sold items at the same price regardless of who was buying. Is a hint of conscience and humanity not conveyed here? When people used this kind of credo when conducting their business, it shows that they still had some conscience, some humanity at that time. But with man’s demand for ever increasing amounts of money, people unknowingly came to love money, love gain and love enjoyment more and more. So did people come to view money as more important? When people view money as more important, they unknowingly neglect their reputation, their renown, prestige, and integrity, don’t they? When you engage in business, you see others using various means to swindle people and get rich. Although the money earned is ill-gotten gains, they get richer and richer. They engage in the same business as you, but their whole family enjoys life more than you do, and you feel bad, saying: ‘Why can’t I do that? Why can’t I earn as much as they do? I must think of a way to get more money, to make my business prosper.’ You then ponder this through. … Afterward, once man has been contaminated by this cheating, it is the same as someone who gets involved in gambling and then becomes a gambler. In unawareness, he approves of his cheating behavior and accepts it. In unawareness, he takes cheating to be a legitimate commercial behavior, and takes cheating to be the most useful means for his survival and his life; he thinks that by doing this he can get rich quick. At the beginning of this process, people cannot accept this type of behavior, they look down on this behavior and this way of going about things, then they experiment this behavior personally, and try it out in their own way, and their hearts begin to gradually transform. So what is this transformation? It is an approval and admission of this trend, an admission and approval of this idea instilled in you by the social trend. In unawareness, you feel that if you do not cheat in business then you will suffer losses, that if you do not cheat then you will have lost something. Unknowingly, this cheating becomes your very soul, your mainstay, and also becomes a type of behavior that is an indispensable rule for your life. After man has accepted this behavior and this thinking, does the heart of man undergo a change? Your heart has changed, so has your integrity changed? Has your humanity changed? Has your conscience changed? (Yes.) Man’s entirety undergoes a qualitative change, from their heart to their thoughts, to such an extent that they are changed from the inside out. This change puts you further and further from God, and you become more and more in conformity with Satan, more and more similar to it” (“God Himself, the Unique VI”).

God’s words fully reveal the truth of our corruption by Satan. In the past, the vast majority of people used to conduct their businesses with integrity, upholding the belief of cheating no one no matter who they were, and selling everything at a fixed price; they relied on their conscience in doing business. But with the temptation and corruption of Satan, satanic philosophies such as “Money is first,” “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing,” and “Money makes the world go round” have all deeply sunk into people’s hearts and have become their basis for survival. Once they accept this kind of outlook, people see money as above all else and believe that having a lot of it is the only way to enjoy a great material life as well as be envied and looked up to by others. But without money, you simply can’t gain a foothold or live in this society; this is why everyone adulates money. Fewer and fewer people are willing to dutifully do their business every day and only earn conscionable money, so they start to use all sorts of other tactics. They lie and cheat for their own profiteering, becoming more and more selfish, despicable, slippery, deceitful, greedy, and evil. They lose the conscience, reason, character, and dignity that a proper person should possess and give up the principles of being a good person. This is how they are led by Satan into an abyss of depravity, step by step, and they become farther and farther from God. I have also been tempted and corrupted by Satan that way, gradually giving up on the baseline of being a good person. I thought back on when I had just started my business, when I relied on my conscience and operated with integrity, but ever since my mother became ill and there were so many medical bills to pay, I started to feel that not having money was a real hardship. Urged by my friend and that hairdresser, I also started to follow the evil trends of society. I started to rely on lying and cheating, and even though I earned some money, the debts were paid off, and I had a really comfortable life, I wasn’t experiencing any happiness. Instead, I felt even more emptiness and pain and I often felt really guilty. After gaining my faith, through gatherings with brothers and sisters and reading God’s words, I came to understand that God likes honest people and detests deceitful people who lie and cheat, so I resolved to be an honest person in line with God’s words. However, when I faced the temptation of a large sum of money, I couldn’t put the truth into practice even though I was totally aware of it. I just couldn’t help but be dishonest again. Only through what is revealed in God’s words did I realize that living by satanic philosophies and principles was the root of failing to practice God’s words. After that experience I really deeply experienced how deeply rooted in my heart those satanic philosophies and principles are, and that they have made me incredibly selfish, despicable, and self-seeking. I was capable of forsaking the truth and morality just to earn some money, and though I was clear on the truth I intentionally sinned and went against God. I realized that satanic philosophies and principles do nothing but corrupt and harm mankind, that they are all negative things, and they can only lead us to do evil and oppose God. If I live by those principles and continue to lie and cheat for my own benefit, I will only get farther and farther from God’s requirements and standards, and ultimately I’ll lose my chance at God’s salvation. After realizing all of this, I prostrated myself in prayer before God: “God, I was wrong! I know You require us to be honest people and I was able to do that when faced with a small gain, but as soon as I faced a large gain I once again chose to lie and cheat. I’ve seen that I’ve really been deeply poisoned by the satanic concept that ‘Money makes the world go round’ and I can’t consistently put Your words into practice and live out proper humanity. Oh God, I’ve seen how deeply corrupted by Satan I am, that I am so deceitful and rebellious. God, I wish to repent to You and I beg You to guide me to escape the shackles of Satan’s philosophy and principles so that I can put the truth into practice, be a good person, and live out proper humanity. Amen!”

Being an Honest Person, My Heart Feels Free

Afterward, I saw this passage of God’s word, “My kingdom requires those who are honest, not hypocritical, and not deceitful. Aren’t the sincere and honest people unpopular in the world? I am just the opposite. It is acceptable for the honest people to come to Me; I delight in this kind of person, I also need this kind of person. This is precisely My righteousness” (“Chapter 33” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning). I understood from God’s words that He is faithful and righteous, and He does not allow those who frequently lie and play tricks to enter into His kingdom. Only those who practice the truth and are honest people can attain God’s salvation and get into His kingdom. This is determined by God’s righteous disposition. The heart of an honest person is free of deceit and trickery. They have no need of racking their brains to come up with an even bigger lie to cover up the lie that they initially told, and they certainly don’t live on tenterhooks, afraid of being exposed by someone for a lie that they’ve told. There’s no darkness in the hearts of honest people, and there’s no suffering. Others can depend upon what they say, they are candid; they are open and aboveboard. Only they live out a human likeness. It was then that I realized how significant, how valuable being an honest person is. Thanks be to God! After understanding these things I had even more motivation to seek to be an honest person, and so I set my resolve that I absolutely would do that.

hairdresser

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The following day around noon I was in the middle of cutting someone’s hair when the woman I’d recommended the hair thickening treatment for the previous month walked in, pulling a long face. I thought, “It looks like she’s going to cause some trouble. What if she says that the product was no good and other customers hear it? Wouldn’t that have an impact on my business? What can I do to get rid of her?” Just as I was trying to figure out how to deal with her, I thought of the words of God I had just read. I realized that if I continued to play tricks and cheat people for the sake of my own interest, this would just disgust God. I should be an honest person that is loved by God; I could no longer lie or cheat, and no matter what that woman had to say and no matter what other customers thought of me, I had to be an honest person and deal with her complaint correctly. Just as that was going through my mind, I heard her say angrily, “Didn’t you say that I would grow new hair with this hair thickening treatment? I haven’t grown a single new strand of hair. You were cheating me, weren’t you?” While calling to God for His guidance to help me tell the truth, I told her sincerely, “Some customers have said that this product is somewhat effective, and others have said that it isn’t. I haven’t used it myself, so I couldn’t say. If you feel like it’s not working, then don’t use it anymore and I’ll give you a refund.” Hearing me say this, she actually wasn’t angry anymore and said with a smile, “I just wanted to know the truth of the matter. Since you’re willing to be honest, there’s no need for a refund. But still, even though my hair isn’t any thicker from using this product, it is softer and shinier than before.”

Once she had gone I thought over what had just happened, and I felt that practicing the truth and being an honest person not only wins others’ respect and trust, but it also provides internal peace and ease, allowing me to live with dignity and character. I personally experienced what a treasure it is to put God’s words into practice. From then on, I started consistently reading God’s words every day and focusing on seeking God’s will in all things I encountered in my life, whether big or small; I started consciously forsaking my own deceitful disposition and no longer lied or cheated for the sake of money. Instead, I started working hard to be an honest, trustworthy person according to what God requires. My heart came to feel more and more free and light, and I gained even more confidence in being an honest person.

Doing Honest Business and Being a Happy Person

A customer came into my salon one day who wanted a perm. In the past, I would without a doubt have done as she asked because I could earn more money from that kind of treatment, plus it was fast and easy to do. Even though it wouldn’t end up looking good, it was the hairstyle that the customer wanted so she couldn’t blame me. But I saw that this customer had really thick hair, was on the short side, and wasn’t very slim, so I was certain that curly hair wouldn’t look good on her. Straightening it would certainly look much better than perming it, but not only did straightening hair take more time, but I couldn’t charge as much. Plus, if she didn’t like it, she’d make a fuss. Just as I was caught in this dilemma, I thought of God’s words: “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). It’s true. God likes honest people and requires us to say what’s really in our hearts. On top of that, I’m in the business of hairstyling, of bringing more beauty to each and every customer. For a customer getting a perm, ugly is ugly and beautiful is beautiful, and even if I didn’t earn much money that day I still had to be an honest person and be upfront. So, I said to her very genuinely, “Ma’am, you have a lot of hair and it’s really thick. If you get a perm, it’ll look like an explosion. It won’t look very good and it’ll be difficult to manage. I recommend against getting a perm. I recommend thinning it out a bit and straightening it—that’ll look a little better than a perm.” To my surprise, not only was she not upset, but she happily accepted my suggestion and said, “I went to quite a few other salons before coming here and all the other hairstylists said that a perm would look good on me and were even pushing for me to get one. I personally felt that my hair is too thick and it wouldn’t look good with a perm, but I just couldn’t decide. Then a friend of mine said that you’re really good with hair, you’re honest, and affordable, so I particularly sought you out. It turns out you’re just like my friend said. There aren’t many good businesspeople like you anymore!” Hearing her say this I felt both thrilled and ashamed, thinking of how I had deceived and cheated people in the past just to earn a little more cash. The fact that I had been able to say something honest without being bound by the thought of money was entirely the strength and courage given to me by Almighty God. It was the fruit of God’s words within me, and there was nothing for me personally to brag about. May all glory be to God!

One weekend my older sister came to the salon to get her hair washed and it just so happened that another customer was coming to get her hair dyed. When I looked at her hair, I told her frankly, “Your hair was dyed pretty recently and it’s a really nice color. I think you should wait a little while before getting it dyed again. Dyes have all sorts of chemicals in them, and getting your hair dyed often is not only bad for your health, but bad for the hair itself.” The customer responded with some surprise, “I just can’t believe that there are people like you doing business in today’s society! No wonder you have so many customers—with such good character, you’re obviously going to have a successful business!” After she left, my sister gave me a funny look and said, “Do you have a fever or something? That money was practically in your hands but you didn’t take it. How are you going to earn anything this way?” I knew this was one of Satan’s tricks and that God also uses these things to test whether I am willing to practice the truth and be an honest person. I refuted her by saying, “You know, we’re not just businesspeople, but we’re people. If we can’t be good people, how could we be good businesspeople? Stopping at nothing to earn money will make it come in fast, but what about the long term? I’d rather stick to my professional ethics and have some integrity. I can only be at ease and at peace if I earn more for my conscience.” My sister smiled and said, “That wasn’t your approach to doing business before at all. You’ve really changed. You’ve really changed!” Happily, I replied, “It’s thanks to God! It was God’s words that changed me.”

After that I continued to get more and more customers coming into my salon—every day was pretty much packed. Many of them were referred by someone else. My business grew by the day, and my salon is now the best one on the street.

I thought back on this road I’ve taken, and saw that with the guidance of God’s words, I gained some understanding of the truth of Satan’s corruption of mankind and I also saw into the damage and the consequences of living by Satan’s philosophies and principles. I understood that only by practicing the truth and being an honest person can I receive God’s praise. When I base my practice on God’s words, when integrity is my foundation and I act according to my conscience in my conduct, I can gradually escape a life of lying and cheating just to earn money; I live out a bit of a proper human likeness, and I also gain God’s blessings. I gave thanks for God’s salvation for me from my heart and a hymn, “It’s Such a Joy to Be an Honest Person,” rose up from within me: “Understanding the truth frees my spirit and makes me happy. I am filled with faith in God’s word and harbor no doubts. … I act according to principle in all things and satisfy God’s will. I practice the truth, submit to God, and try to be an honest person. I am open and upright, without deceit, living in the light.”

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