In 2018, I started to be an hourly worker in a fast-food restaurant responsible for serving tables. When I began to work there, I prayed to God: “I will be an honest person, and won’t goof off, be lazy or follow unhealthy social trends.” So no matter what work my boss arranged for me, I would work hard to complete it and then volunteer to find other things to do.
Later, my boss came to me and said: “The cleaner’s stomach turns whenever she cleans up the washroom, so please do it instead.” Hearing this, I felt a little reluctant, thinking: “Why do you ask me to do that? It isn’t my job.” I then told him my thought. However, he said: “Now no one else does that, you just do it temporarily.” Hearing him say that, I didn’t say anything more. But I never imagined that I would continue to do this extra work. This left me feeling indignant and that it was unfair. I thought: “It seems it’s because I’m too honest that the boss treats me like this. I won’t work so honestly from now on.”
After that, I began to work with less enthusiasm, and goof off like my other colleagues. I mopped the floor slowly, and I would stop working in the boss’s absence and would begin to actively work once I saw him coming…. Sometimes when I remembered that I was a believer and that behaving this way didn’t bring glory to the Lord, I felt guilty. But this feeling would disappear when I thought that my other colleagues were slackers and shirkers and so my behavior didn’t seem so inappropriate.
Afterward, my boss often reprimanded me with a grim face, and sometimes stared at me fiercely when I was working, but he didn’t do these things to the other workers. I felt that he was targeting me and was too hard on me. This was distressing for me, so I even wanted to quit the job. However, because the flexible work time there didn’t interfere with my attending church meetings or doing church work, I was tolerant of the situation.
However, I always couldn’t find any relief for being disturbed by this thing. So I prayed to the Lord to seek out His will. One day, I thought of these words in the Bible: “[A]ll things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). My heart suddenly became clear: Yes, the people, events and things we encounter every day are all dictated by God. The fact that my boss treats me this way is also allowed by God. I should seek God’s will in this matter rather than fixate on my boss’s faults or get stuck in the idea of right and wrong. Once I realized this, I felt much more at ease. I then began to reflect on my attitude toward the work during that period. I thought that the reason the boss had me clean the washroom was because I worked honestly, so I started to work in lazy and slippery ways. When I saw the boss coming, I began to work actively just for show so that he might consider me a hardworking person; when the boss left, I began to work slowly. I was a believer; didn’t I bring shame to God by behaving this way? Later, I read the following in the Bible: “Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as He which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy. And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear” (1 Peter 1:14–17). “The way of the wicked is an abomination to Jehovah: but He loves him that follows after righteousness. Correction is grievous to him that forsakes the way: and he that hates reproof shall die” (Proverbs 15:9–10).
I realized from these words that the Lord is righteous and holy, and that He loves and approves of the honest and hates those who play tricks and walk the path of evil for their own interests. Wasn’t my deceitful behavior hated by God? When the boss assigned to me the work that wasn’t my duty to do, I thought that he made me do extra work because he must have recognized I was too guileless, so I was unwilling to work steadfastly anymore, and became lazy and unreliable and worked just for show like my other colleagues. Wasn’t I like the unbelievers who gave free rein to their own personal desires? I thought about this carefully. I was an hourly worker and whatever work the boss assigned to me was what I was supposed to do; it was not unreasonable. However, I threw away the truth of being an honest person for my own interests and followed society’s evil practices. God used this circumstance to reveal me and let me see that I still had a very superficial entry into being honest and was far from being an honest person—I still could go with the flow and do things according to my selfish desires, and thus humiliated God. This realization made me feel ashamed and guilty. I thought about how in the past when I worked steadfastly, though I worked more and harder than now, my conscience had been at ease and at peace—I had lived calmly and freely every day. Now, however, I was often reprimanded by my boss because of engaging in deceit and therefore lived in pain. There was one time one of my colleagues said to me: “You’ve become smart now and don’t come to work early like before.” I hadn’t thought much of it at that time, but now when I recalled that, I felt it was so ironic. I asked myself: “By conducting myself like this, do I really live a happy life? Do I have integrity? Can God be pleased with me?” The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was too shameful and base and that by being honest I could live justly and honorably, with my heart open. I therefore prayed to the Lord, confessing and repenting, and became willing to be an open and candid honest person according to the Lord’s words, and would no longer be deceitful, which would sully God’s name.
The next day while working, I steadfastly and dutifully did what I had been assigned. No matter whether my boss was there or not, I accepted God’s scrutiny, and did everything I was supposed to do before God with an honest heart. To my great surprise, the boss didn’t stare at me fiercely like before and instead was very friendly to me that day. I perceived that living by God’s words was wonderful and that this life felt open, aboveboard, free and relaxing.
From then on, my attitude toward my work became much less deviant. Even though sometimes I still thought of following my colleagues in playing tricks and being lazy, I prayed to the Lord and betrayed that thought because I knew the Lord didn’t like this way of behaving. I thanked the Lord very much in my heart for His guidance that allowed me to live out the likeness of a believer in the Lord.