“blessed be the name of Jehovah.” His blessing of God’s name was unconditional, irrespective of context, and without reason.
A Construction Contractor’s Experience of Practicing Being Honest
By Shi Xin
I’m a project contractor and often contact construction industry. In the spring of 2002, I left my hometown for Shandong Province, China. At the beginning, when I worked for others, I tried my best to do it and made money through my hard work, never by trickery. Though I didn’t make much money, I felt at ease. Once I met a rich man by chance, and he told me that he had many projects, if I followed him, I would have enough work to do. After hearing what he said, I was very happy and thought: What a good opportunity for me to make a killing! And I must work hard for him. So, we worked for him with our hearts according to the demands of the boss strictly. However, I found the boss was very bossy. If there was something that wasn’t to his liking, he would abuse us. No matter how hard we tried, he would always nitpick. At that time, I felt especially sad, and thought: We are bullied just because we have no money. I will make money at any cost for not being bullied by others.
One day, I went to my fellow-villager’s home and he said to me, “If you are honest in projects, you will never make a killing. Besides, you will have to suffer being bullied by others. Look at us, just from one construction site, we made extra money about nearly half of our total profits, and we made money exactly in materials. The boss and us settled that we would use high quality materials. But later, we just changed the packing, only remained the same brand, but the material within it was changed from high quality to low quality. The boss knew nothing about the quality of the materials, so he couldn’t find the distinction at all. In this world nowadays, without cheating and harming others, we won’t make money. Once we make money, nobody will dare to bully us, and we won’t dance to anyone’s tune or be bullied again.” What he said sounded reasonable, then I thought: Afterward, no matter whom we will work for, we won’t be that honest. Conscience is of little worth. The more I am honest, the less money I can earn, and I even have to be bullied by others. So, we can’t be that honest.” Since then, no matter which construction site I worked at, if the materials could be saved, then I would not waste even a bit. Also, I would do shoddy work and use inferior materials, as long as it was possible. I remembered that there was a new project on a construction site, on which the supervisor didn’t manage strictly. So, when he was absent, we saved the materials once they could be saved. Some work should be done twice, we just did it once. Just like this, we made more money after several projects. After I got more money, I should have been happy, but I didn’t. I was very worried that I would be over if any serious quality problems emerged later. Though I passed the days in fear of quality problems, I kept living by the living rules of Satan: “None of the businessman is honest” “The conscience is of no worth”, so as to make money and not be bullied.
In 2007, I accepted the Gospel. One day, I read God’s words, “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” (“Three Admonitions”). From God’s words, I knew that God likes an honest man not a cunning one. And I’d like to pursue to be an honest man. But, because of the nature of work, I felt that I couldn’t fully be honest. So, I started to make compromise in being a honest person: when we met with good customers, we worked for them carefully and didn’t use inferior materials. But for those who were, with lots of money, arrogant and wanted to bully us, I would make a good income pitilessly.
After a period of time, I happened to work on a construction site where my girlfriend worked. At that time, because the budget wasn’t made exactly accurate for the materials that the boss had settled on, we lacked over ten reels of it. My girlfriend called the manufacturer at once to order more materials, but they said the materials were out of stock. What’s more, they refused to produce them due to the small quantity, we were ordering. But our workers were still waiting for the materials to go on with the project. At this moment, I recalled my fellow-villager’s words, “Without cheating and harming others, we won’t make money. These are the manners and morals nowadays. No matter how we do, we must make sure to make money.” So, I wanted to do it according to his words. Then I immediately told my girlfriend, “Let’s go to buy some low-quality materials instead! It’s not we don’t use high quality materials- it’s that the materials are out of stock. We have no choice but to do so. Anyway, the brand is the same as before, and there’s only a few hundred yuan of extra profits from these reels of materials. If others were in the same situation, they would do it like this without hesitation.” My girlfriend asked, “What should we do if the boss gets to know about it?” I answered, “We’d better send the materials to the construction site just at noon when the boss is off work. When the boss comes back to work in the afternoon, we will have finished it. He won’t discover it. Moreover, the workers can go on working.” At that time, I also thought of God’s words, “Honesty means to give your heart to God; to never play Him false in anything; to be open with Him in all things, never cover the truth; to never do that which deceives those above and deludes those below; and to never do that which is done merely to ingratiate 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”). Through God’s words, I know whatever I do, I can’t deceive God. God requires me to act as an honest person. But another thought occurred to me: “We only do it once, when we have no alternative. God will not condemn me.” Therefore, I stubbornly insisted on my own desire.
Thus, we conveyed the inferior materials to the construction site. At that time I considered we had to return immediately for other thing after we had conveyed the materials, but the workers couldn’t return after work, so I asked for a friend to drive his motor three-wheeler to convey those materials with us. My girlfriend and I drove a little faster than my friend who was driving his motor three-wheeler following us behind. When we passed by a crossroad, we saw traffic policemen checking motorcycles. Then I hurried to call my friend and told him to go another way. As soon as I rang off, I saw the policemen chasing my friend by car, and they withheld the three-wheeler on the spot and fined my friend 500 yuan. When I heard the amount of the fine, I found that it’s just the same amount of money, 500 yuan, as the extra I made from the low-quality materials. Only then I began to examine myself: “Although the boss didn’t know what I did, God knows it. God is observing my every word and deed all the time. I deceived man, but it is impossible to deceive God.”
Later, I read God’s word says, “I am a wise God. I use My normal humanity to reveal all people and the satanic behavior, expose those with wrong intentions, those who act one way in front of others and another way behind their back, those who resist Me, those who are disloyal to Me, those who lust after money, those who are not considerate of My burden…. So many people, because of My normal humanity, secretly resist Me and engage in deception and crookedness, assuming that My normal humanity does not know. And so many people pay special attention to My normal humanity, giving Me good things to eat and drink, serving Me like servants, and speaking what is in their hearts to Me, all the while acting completely different behind My back. Blind humans! You simply do not know Me—the God who looks deep into man’s heart” (“The Seventy-sixth Utterance” of Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning).
I knew God’s will from His words, God was revealing me through this trial. That is to say, He orchestrated the environment, in which there lacked materials for the construction site and was no materials were supplied from the factory, to see how I act, and whether I can practice being an honest man. Shamefully, this completely revealed my satanic nature, selfish and mean. In order to earn more money and being worried the workers would have no job to do at the construction site, I began to cheat and play tricks on others. Although what I did was not discovered by the boss, God observed my acts and deeds; God is the God who looks deep into man’s heart. Even if I could deceive man, but I couldn’t deceive God. I wanted to earn more money by cunning means, while God is righteous, He has holy substance. Then, how could my acts and deeds not cause God’s hatred? Seeing the money that I almost got was deprived by God right away, I saw God’s righteous disposition allows no offense.
I also read God’s word says, “As long as everything you do is presentable before God, everything you do is just and honorable, as long as you do not do shameful things, do not do things that would harm the lives of people, as long as you live in the light, and are not exploited by Satan, then your relationship with God will be put right” (“How Is Your Relationship with God”).
“I have a lot of wishes. I wish you can conduct yourselves in a proper and well-behaved manner, be faithful to fulfill your duty, have truth and humanity….” (“Transgressions Will Take Man to Hell”). Facing God’s sincere advice, I saw it is only by pursing to be an honest man that man can be a real man and live in the light to be saved by God. From then on, I no longer deceived others, no matter what situation it was. When I heard that cheating could gain more money again, the idea of deceiving also arose in my mind. However, thinking of God’s former dealing and discipline, my heart would become calm and honest. In such a way, I practiced more than one year, and did every job facing God as well as in my conscience. This year, I earned less money than others, but I felt at great ease inwardly, and no longer needed to work on tenterhooks all day. I thanked God’s leading from the bottom of my heart.
Sometime later, we received another project. This project area was large, so we needed to convey materials by truck, and several hundred reels were needed. At that time, my girlfriend and the boss discussed to use mid-low materials, and the boss didn’t ask for any certain brand materials, but only said, it was good as long as it dried quickly and was not leaking after finished. When my girlfriend said to me, “The boss didn’t ask for the
band of materials, what materials will we order? They are waiting for us to start soon!” hearing her words, some dishonest ideas appeared in my mind again: Although there are many people in the factory, it lacks close supervision. Even if we buy the worst materials, nobody can know it. However, another thought appeared in my heart: God loves the honest person. So I just said, “Let’s order materials according to our conscience! We can’t do what God loathes again. We order some good quality materials, even if we can’t earn more money, we can guarantee the quality at least, furthermore, our hearts will be at ease without blame! Thus, the materials we bought were a little more expensive than what the boss had checked. In the course of our working, unexpectedly, the boss continually praised the materials many times.
After I practiced the truth to be an honest man, I gained God’s love and blessings. A boss of a project had been signed a contract with another contractor, and my girlfriend had also completely given up the opportunity to negotiate with the boss for trying. However, after the contractor had finished one unit, the boss telephoned my girlfriend and requested me to take over the work. The boss said, “Those people worked terribly, and they have been sent off.” After hearing this news, I realized it was God’s blessing and grace, and when we became honest according to God’s demand, we gained God’s blessing. Thank God! All the glory be to God!
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