Christian Testimony: Serving is No Trade, But a Choice of a Willing Heart
By Elsie Hu, August 02, 2017 07:08 AM
Sister J is a Christian who runs a bubble tea shop in City S.
Like a pastor once said: "Not every Christian needs to influence the world with sensational deeds. The ultimate purpose of faith is to lead us to truth, kindness, and beauty so that we can be salt and light to the world.
The following is Sister J's testimony.
I started going to church with my grandma and parents at an early age. Even though I went to the Sunday service and Sunday school, the church was just a place to hang out with my friends. Therefore, I never truly knew the faith and I stopped going to church regularly when I grew up. I would only go to church on my monthly time off since I was so busy in high school.
It was at my college fellowship that I truly discovered the faith. Every year people would search for the "diamond in the rough" at the freshmen registration and it was how I was found. My faith steadied since I joined the fellowship. I attended every week and started to understand the faith little by little.
After graduation, I was assigned to a storefront at an appliance store called Suning for an internship. There wasn't much work and I had my weekends off. However, I could no longer attend weekday services because of work. Two months later, I felt like I was wasting my life since the work was boring, so I quit and found another job as an advertising agent.
Challenges also started rolling in.
Back then, every person was assigned to a different region and those with good performance and loyal clients didn't have to go around soliciting for new business. However, I joined the company last and had slow performance. For that reason, I worked very hard to get clients. Despite the size of the business, as long as they needed to advertise I would take it very seriously.
I finally got over the first few months. Maybe it was because my previous work paid off or even with God's grace, He blessed me and gave me opportunities after Spring Festival. Starting in the second year I spent less time searching. Mostly the clients came to me. A big real estate company chose to work with me and since then other companies started working with me. I was thankful to God for the grace. Though I worked hard in the beginning, just like the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:6 "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow."
Only after people work enough will God double the yields.
As a matter of fact, I didn't know how my faith associated with my work. However, I grew up in a Christian family and people could clearly see the difference that I didn't feel. Some clients would speak highly of me. They thought I was sincere and would like to work with me. In the meantime, I always strove to solve problems for them in business.
I used to believe that God is supposed to bless me for my efforts
I made some money after working as an advertising agent for one year, so I planned to start my own business and took over a bubble tea shop.
The business was not good at first for a green hand like me with no experience, but over time I adjusted as I was exploring and it began to turn a profit. I opened up another shop after this. However, with my limited energy, I entrusted the second one to someone I hired. Unfortunately, that person did poorly, and with some other issues, I had to close that shop.
I wasn't thinking maturely back then since I've heard some preachers saying, "God will bless you if you work for His house." My husband happened to be in charge of a fellowship, so I thought to myself that God would definitely bless me if I run two shops since we both do the work that pleases God. However, the reality was not so. I started complaining and asked God several times: aren't you supposed to bless my shop since my husband quit his job to serve the fellowship, so why would the business fail? I just couldn't understand.
I was depressed for a while because of this. Later, after my faith grew up, I realized that many things happen not because of God, but because we didn't think it through. In this case, I opened the shop without any specific plans and maybe the shop was even under staffed. God always gives opportunities to everyone, but they also require our efforts. We shouldn't just wait for grace descending from heaven or see our service as a trade, i.e. God has to give me something in return if I serve. Service is not a trade, but a choice of a willing heart.
Remember no matter what we pursue in life, we still need to work hard while clinging to God.
-Translated by Grace Hubl
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