Wu Ming, China
One day in 2004 a friend said to me: “Every day you get up early and are busy all day cutting cloth, you exhaust yourself, yet you still don’t make money. Today’s society relies on the tongue to make money, like the popular saying goes: ‘It is better to have a slick tongue than to have strong arms and legs.’ You know that I’m now engaging in the direct sales business selling makeup products, not only does it make me beautiful, I also don’t need to exert too much effort each day, I just need to speak a few words with my customers and sell my products in order to make a lot of money. Why don’t you change jobs and come sell makeup products with me?” I looked my friend over, she really was prettier than before, and then I thought about how I had been a dressmaker for over 10 years, how I hadn’t really made any money at it, and how I wasn’t getting any younger. If it really was like what my friend was saying, if by switching to a job where I sold makeup products I could make easy money, and could even become younger and prettier and win the high praises of others, then that would be much better! As I thought about this, I told her right then and there that I was willing to become a part of the company. Later, after my inspection, I ordered over 3,000 yuan worth of products, and I started my job in the cosmetics industry as a beauty consultant for this company.
A coworker told me that after becoming a beauty consultant, if we are able to develop between 8 to 12 other beauty consultants then we can be promoted to work as a seller. But if we want to be a seller then we must have more customers ordering products as a condition of good performance. After this, I started to rack my brains to think of a way to increase my performance. I consulted other people, and studied marketing methods; frequently invited customers to our store to try out our products, and persuaded them to buy the products that I showed them; when I had time I would practice speaking in front of the mirror to raise the level of speech I used to express myself, so that I could interact with the customers better. Through my constant hard work I gradually got more customers. In order to stabilize the customer base, I had to keep up with the promotional sales activities at the company and make phone calls to invite customers to attend our workshops, where they could experience the effectiveness of our products for themselves, and at the same time I could introduce company products and our rewards system, sales promotions, etc., thereby attracting customers. I often would talk constantly for over an hour, not stopping until the customers were satisfied enough with buying the products. Looking down at the money in my hands that I had earned so easily made me feel so happy: Relying on my mouth to make money really was a lot more effortless compared to making money in my previous honest manual labor job, and I figured that so long as I continued working hard, then becoming a seller was just around the corner for me.
One time a girl with pimples on her face came into the store, and I thought to myself: This is an opportunity, I need to make this girl feel the need to appear beautiful and recommend to her some high-profit products, this way not only will I be able to make lots of money, but also I can turn her into my long-term customer, and when the time is right I will get her to bring me more customers, which will then increase my product sales volume, thereby naturally increasing my performance. I saw that the pimples on her face were not that serious, but in order to receive high profits, I said in an exaggerated tone: “Oh! If we don’t treat the pimples on your face right away they will grow deeper into your skin and damage it, and then there will be no products that can heal it, which will also affect the skin on your face in the future. It could get serious enough that your face will get bumpy and covered in zits. Not only will this affect your appearance, it will also have an effect on your future, that will be a problem!” When the girl heard this, she was scared out of her wits and immediately wanted me to give her any products that could help her. So I struck while the iron was hot, immediately taking out some products to show her, and she ended up leaving with over 1,000 yuan worth of products. I thought to myself: It seems that if I want to make money I can’t be that honest, and that I must take a customer’s weak points and exaggerate them based on their own preferences, because that’s what it takes to make them willing to buy our products. After that, I learned how to use different methods on different types of customers in order to sell our products, and as a result my performance at the company grew more and more.
I worked hard for four years, eventually being promoted to the level of seller, but it was not easy to hold on to this position. According to the company’s unwritten rules: Our performance is based solely on orders, the higher our performance, the higher our wages, and the higher our rank, the more rewards we will receive. In order to reach these targets and meet our performances as sellers, we used a rewards method to encourage beauty consultants to order products. Sometimes when beauty consultants didn’t place orders, we had to use our own money to purchase products so that we would pass in our performances. This would overstock many of our products, and after a long period of not being sold, these products would expire. In order to maintain our performance, we would discount these soon-to-be-expired products to sell to customers. One time, a colleague of mine sold a customer a product that was about to expire, and afterward the customer’s face turned red, like a blossoming flower. This annoyed the customer and they came looking for my colleague to make trouble for them, who was so scared that they didn’t know what to do. After talking it over, they ended up compensating the customer, which finally put an end to the ordeal. When this happened, I thought about how each month, in order to meet my own performance, I too would sell overstocked products that were about to expire, and how these soon-to-be-expired products had no company guarantees, so if by chance a customer developed a skin problem after using one of these products and came looking for me wanting to file a lawsuit, what was I to do? This made me feel more and more uncomfortable, it made me scared enough that my heart started racing, and I told myself that from now on I could no longer sell products that were about to expire. But then I thought about it some more: If I don’t sell out all the products then my performance will not pass, and then I won’t have my qualifications to be a seller, and before I know it I’ll be demoted to an ordinary beauty consultant. This would mean that the dream I had worked toward for so long of getting rich would just become a pie in the sky, and all the hard work I put in for so many years would be for nothing! As I thought about the past and the future I realized that in order to keep my qualifications to be a seller then I wouldn’t be able to change that much. If others could do it why not me? So, I kept going along with this unwritten business rule.
In 2012 a friend of mine got me into believing in Almighty God, and since then I have often read the word of God, prayed to God and fellowshiped together with brothers and sisters. During fellowships, brothers and sisters all openly speak from the heart, discussing what they know and have experienced from the word of God, and I really enjoy listening to them. One day, I read God’s word saying: “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” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through God’s words I discovered that God is faithful and that He likes honest people. God also asks all of us to be honest people, to not tell lies, to not cheat others. I thought about all the dishonest words I’d used every day to cheat customers as I conducted my business and tried to make a profit, one that I gained by cheating the trust of my customers. I had used dishonest methods to make money. These were all expressions of dishonesty. If I kept going in this way, how could God like me? Now I believe in God I must be like my brothers and sisters and practice being an honest person and speak the truth. This is how I will be able to make God happy and obtain His approval.
But in real life, when facing profits, practicing being an honest person really wasn’t as easy as I imagined it would be. One day a customer came to me with a list of 7,000 yuan worth of makeup products that she wanted. I looked at the list and saw that we didn’t have all of the products that she wanted in our store, so I wondered what I should do. Should I tell her the truth, or … I felt an intense battle raging in my heart: I am now a believer in God, to tell a lie is to not fit with God’s will, I cannot go on cheating people like I did before; but if I tell the truth to this customer then it goes without saying that I won’t be able to make a sale with her this time, and perhaps she won’t come back next time, in which case I would no longer have an opportunity to make money from her. Alas, to tell a lie is to not fit with God’s will, but to not tell a lie is the same as letting go of over two thousand yuan that was about to fall into my hands, which, if my coworkers found out, they would surely laugh at me for, so I might as well do it this time, and then next time I won’t do it. So then I went over to the customer and said: “I am a skincare specialist, if you take my advice and use the products I recommend then I guarantee that your skin will get better.” I relied on my silver tongue, speaking with the customer for over an hour until she was finally willing to buy the products that I recommended. So I gathered together a random collection of 7,000 yuan worth of high grade products to give to her. After she left I looked down at the money in my hands but I didn’t feel the least bit happy. I felt very ashamed because I had not practiced being an honest person as God requires. After several days the customer gave me a call out of the blue asking to return the products. She said that she didn’t feel comfortable using the products that I had put together for her. I tried everything I could do to persuade her, but her mind could not be changed. After this incident, one customer after another wanted to return their products. As this series of unfortunate events fell upon me I started to mull things over: In order to profit myself I have always used dishonest words to cheat my customers into buying products. This doesn’t conform to the will of God, but I did it to hold on to my qualifications as a seller. In spite of being fully aware of the truth I deliberately went against it and continued using methods of deceit to conduct my business. God is pure and holy, how could He allow me to say one thing and do another? These events that have befallen me recently, for all of it, I only had myself to blame, I was reaping what I sowed. This was the dealing and discipline of God, and it was God saving me. But I didn’t understand, with profits in front of me, why I wanted to act according to the word of God but was unable to. All I could do was pray and seek before God.
Afterward I saw in the word of God where it says: “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, until they try it out and experiment with it in their own way, personally and firsthand, and then 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 type of 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? (Yes.) So 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” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words uncovered the riddle in my heart, I understood that with my own benefits in front of me I could not put God’s words into practice, I could not live like the kind of honest man that God requires, and the reason was that I had been deeply corroded by the evil trends in society and had relied on the poison of Satan to live. “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” “Man will do anything to get rich.” “As a small mind makes no gentleman, a real man is not without venom.” Such poisons of Satan as these were already deeply rooted within me, which caused me to be unable to practice the truth despite being fully aware of it and to lose my innate sense of right and wrong when it comes to being a normal person, which made me grow further and further away from God. I thought about how I had blindly followed the societal trend of putting money above all else, and how I thought that being honest and willing to toil was not as good as using methods of deceit to make money quickly, which led me to change jobs and sell makeup products where from the start I pursued Satan’s life philosophy in a way where “it is better to have a slick tongue than to have strong arms and legs.” When conducting my business I relied on my silver tongue, always using dishonest words to deceive my customers, saying whatever it took to reach my goals. I told myself that this act of deception was normal, that everybody did it, that I would be at a disadvantage if I didn’t do it, which led me to disregard my conscience telling me what I should do and to not practice the truth even though I was aware of it. It was clear that the various poisons that Satan had instilled in me had become deeply rooted into my bone marrow and had become my life. In my heart everything that I wanted to do was to my own benefit, as long as something involved directly benefiting me then I started to go against my conscience and the truth to tell lies to people. All of these actions and behaviors of mine truly made God detest me, and it was plain to see that Satan’s rules for survival were in direct opposition to the truth, they resisted the truth, and they resisted God. God raised up this kind of environment to deal with me and discipline me so that I may change my corrupt disposition, get rid of my lying and deceiving ways, be able to live like an honest person, and no longer rely on Satan’s rules for survival to live. He roused my numb heart and enabled me to see clearly my ugly look of being corrupted by Satan. He made me able to despise myself and return to Him. God truly is righteous and holy! God is faithful. God likes honest people, and He blesses honest people. Only by pursuing being an honest person can we attain God’s salvation. Once I understood God’s intentions I prayed to Him to make a resolution: From now on I would no longer tell lies to deceive people, and I would no longer do things that go against my conscience.