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When I first came to Australia, because of the language barrier, I suffered lots of failures in finding a job: Sometimes, I received no reply after my interview; sometimes, I was turned down directly on the phone. … Faced with such a situation, I felt rather worried: If I fail to find a job, how can I live in this strange country? Because of this, I often couldn’t fall asleep and shed tears in secret. Later, a Chinese businesswoman who was engaged in a cleaning service gave me a trial and a week later employed me formally. Cherishing the job very much, I worked pretty hard all day long.
My boss has been in the business in Australia for over ten years. Most of her clients are regular ones, who have strict requirements for the cleaning. My boss is serious and ill-tempered: She always spoke to employees in a harsh tone of voice; if employees did something wrong, she would break out into curses. So, for fear of being abused or dismissed, I was in a state of high-level anxiety and focused all my attention on working every day.
One day, my boss took us to a rich man’s house to do the cleaning. Before entering the house, we were exhorted by the boss to be careful in our work because each piece of furniture here was pretty delicate and expensive. Seeing her serious face, I became nervous. Then in each room, I wiped every corner and decoration with great caution for fear of breaking anything, which I couldn’t afford to pay for. However, what I feared most did happen. When I was wiping a switch on the wall, its glass cover suddenly dropped down. Right then I hurried to catch it, but failed. At that time, I was stunned and broke out in a cold sweat, thinking that I was over. To my surprise, when I picked up the cover, I found that it was actually intact. At that time, I finally felt released in my heart, thinking, “The quality of the cover is so good. Falling from such a height, it’s still undamaged.” Then, I put it back cautiously. Seeing it looked just as it had been, I felt very happy and then continued my work.
The next week, we went to the house again at the appointed time and left after finishing the cleaning. On the way to the next client’s, my boss said in confusion, “It’s weird. He always pays us every other week; why did he not pay us this time. I’ll make him a call.” Not long after she got through to him, they started quarreling on the phone. When I vaguely heard them quarreling about something broken, my heart suddenly clenched: Are they talking about the glass cover? But wasn’t it intact when I picked it up? Oh, if it is really the cover, I’m in big trouble. Hearing my boss’s indignant voice, I felt very frightened, not daring to say a word. Later, the client sent a picture to my boss. At the sight of the picture, I was stunned because it was just the cover, which had terribly cracked. Thinking the client was extorting money from her, my boss began to yell on the phone. In light of the circumstance, I was rather frightened with my heart churning: It’s my fault. Shall I tell the truth or not? If I don’t tell the truth, I’ll be hated by God, without peace within; moreover, perhaps my boss will lose this client and suffer losses. But, if I tell the truth, my ill-tempered boss will definitely dismiss me at once. At the thought of this, I became very upset, unable to figure out what to do.
When we arrived at the next client’s, my boss was still quarreling with that client. Guilty and distressed, I went upstairs with fear; and then, I prayed to God, “Oh, God! Facing such a situation, I’m very fearful and reproached, for it was I who broke the cover. I should tell the truth to the boss. But I’m worried I’ll be dismissed and could hardly make a living if I tell the truth. Besides, I’m afraid if the boss keeps quarreling with the client, she will get herself into big trouble, and even got a lawsuit. Oh, God! Now I’m very frightened and weak. What should I do?”
After praying to God, all of a sudden, I thought of a passage of God’s words, “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. … Thus, in everything there is a battle, and when there is a battle within you, thanks to your actual cooperation and actual suffering God works within you. … Everything you do requires you to pay a certain price in your efforts. Without actual hardship, you can’t satisfy God, it does not even come close to satisfying God, and you are just saying empty slogans! Can these empty slogans satisfy God? When God and Satan do battle in the spiritual realm, how should you satisfy God, and how should you stand firm in your testimony to Him? You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony.”
Pondering God’s words and thinking of what had happened to me, I realized it was God’s test that came upon me. When I faced the choice between my own interests and the truth that God required me to practice, God was observing my attitude and choice, so was Satan. Reflecting on my thoughts and idea in this matter, I found that I, driven by the selfish nature, was always protecting my own interests: I’m afraid if I tell the truth, I’ll be abused by the boss and lose my face in front of others, and even be dismissed, losing the source of income. Driven by those thoughts, when seeing the boss quarreling with the client to prove her innocence, I had no courage to admit my mistake. I was really too selfish and despicable. Now failing to stand firm for God, I felt reproached and chastised in my heart, which was God’s righteous disposition coming upon me.
At that time, these words popped into my mind clearly, “You must … act honestly and straightforwardly, speak and act in accordance with the facts, and be someone who is open and aboveboard.” Thank God for His enlightenment and guidance, which allowed me to understand this: God hopes us to be those who are open and aboveboard, and act honestly and straightforwardly; only such people can be blessed by God, live straightforwardly and feel at ease and peaceful inside. Today, God’s arranging this circumstance is to cleanse and change my corrupt disposition and allow me to enter the truth of being an honest person. So, I should put aside my face and interests and take the responsibility; even though my boss would dismiss me, I must tell the truth. Thinking of this, I took a deep breath, calling on God silently in my heart: May You give me faith and strength. May You grant me with the words I should speak.
Then, I went to the boss. Seeing her angry face, I still felt a bit of fear in my heart, but through praying to God again for strength, I had the courage and said to her, “Boss, it was I who broke the cover. At that time when it fell down, I was stunned, thinking it must be broken; unexpectedly, it was still intact when I picked it up. Then, I put it back and went on working without telling you about this. Yet I never thought it was broken like this. I’m sorry to have put you to all this bother. Now, I’m willing to pay for the loss.” After saying those words, I felt pretty relaxed, willing to face her angry response.
To my surprise, my boss didn’t get mad at me but breathed a sigh of relief, and then said to me, “Oh, Fang. It was you. The cover was intelligent and of good quality; so, it didn’t break at once, but gradually cracked. Well, all right. I’ll make an apology to the client and see how to deal with the matter. Go to work and just be more careful from now on.” After hearing this, I just couldn’t believe my ears. I thought that I would be abused by her as usual, and would at least compensate for the cover even though she didn’t dismiss me. Then I realized it was God who did all of this. Seeing God’s deeds, I was very excited and felt the happiness, steadiness, and peace brought by practicing being an honest person. Then I silently offered thanks and praise to God in my heart.
Not long after, my boss took us to do the cleaning as usual. After having made that mistake, I worked more carefully than before: I handled valuables more gently, and often reminded myself, “I mustn’t make trouble for my boss again.” Yet unexpectedly, once I was wiping a delicate desk lamp when its lampshade and bulb somehow fell to the ground from the desk, bulb breaking into pieces. Seeing this, I was stunned: “What happened last time has just smoothed down, yet this time I made the same mistake. How can I face my boss? Will she forgive me again?” I was very nervous and bewildered, not knowing what to do. All of a sudden, I thought of the previous experience and realized that there was God’s will in this matter. So I immediately cried out to God, “Oh, God! Today, the same matter came upon me. How should I experience it?”
After praying, I thought of God’s words, “But in actual fact, this matter is a lesson for which you should be studying, a lesson on how to fear God, on how to shun evil. Moreover, what you should be even more concerned about is knowing what God is doing when this matter arises to face you. God is right at your side, observing every one of your words and deeds, observing your actions, your mind changes—this is God’s work. … Whenever God arranges a circumstance for you, He is watching in secret, looking upon your heart, looking upon your thoughts and considerations, looking at how you think, looking at how you will act.”
Pondering God’s words, I realized this: In every environment I encounter, be it great or small, good or bad, I should practice truth. Last time, when I didn’t practice the truth at first, I lived in Satan’s trickery, feeling distressed without release. Today, when the same thing came upon me, I am starting to consider my face and interests again. God observes everything. He is looking upon my thoughts and considerations and my every action, looking at whether I can put aside my face and interests to practice the truth of being an honest person.
Then, I thought theonce said, “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). God is holy, so only those who are simple and honest can enter into His kingdom. However, corrupted by Satan, we are so selfish and crafty; to defend our own interests, we even daren’t speak a word of truth. How can such people like us be qualified to inherit what God has promised and enter His kingdom?
Thank God. Having understood God’s will, I seemed to have infinite power to face my mistake bravely. I knew that practicing the truth was not just to admit the mistake but to transform my corrupt disposition and live out the likeness of an honest person. So regardless of the result, I was willing to take responsibility for the matter. Then, I went to my boss and frankly admitted my mistake. To my surprise, she said to me gently, “That’s all right, Fang. The lampstand and lampshade had been broken, which I didn’t tell you in advance. So, we just need to buy a new bulb some other day and put it in. I’ll tell the house-owner about the matter. Go ahead and clean up the pieces.” I was astonished at her words but soon calmed down. At that moment, I experienced a sudden revelation: This matter is a test for me. All things serve one another in order to benefit people who love God; God arranged the circumstance to allow me to gain the truth of being an honest person. Thinking of this, I was filled with gratitude to God in my heart.
More miraculously, after these two matters, my hot-tempered boss no longer abused me; instead, she assigned me the lightest work and raised my salary. Moreover, what gratified me most was that the relationship between us was more than that between employee and employer: She regarded me just as her bosom friend. She often took the initiative to have a heart-to-heart with me, pouring out her worries and difficulties; besides, she taught me how to interact with the foreigners and how to adapt to the life of Australia. Even my colleagues said to me, “Fang, our boss is so nice to you. We are really envious.” Hearing their words, I thanked God silently in my heart. I knew it was because of practicing being an honest person according to God’s words that I could win the trust of my boss, which was God’s grace and blessing. Thank God!
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By Hanxiao After believing in the Lord, along with listening to more and more sermons, we have some understanding of the Lord’s words and also always put forbearance and patience into action according to the Lord’s teachings in interacting with others. For this reason, we often feel peace and joy in our heart. But it is undeniable that many Christians are very hazy about the principles of practice in establishing normal interpersonal relationships. In fact, there are mainly four principles for Christians’ interacting with others. With them, we will be able to live out the likeness that the Lord is pleased with in our life. The first principle is that we should be able to love each other while getting along with others; the second is dealing with people with wisdom; the third is treating others correctly; the fourth is that we should not interact with others on the basis of our philosophy of life, but should establish a proper relationship with God. So long as we keep the four principles in our daily life, we will be in accord with the will of God in interacting with others. The first principle is that we can love each other. The Lord Jesus required that “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). For example, Peter said to the Lord Jesus: “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” The Lord Jesus saidto him: “I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (See Matthew 18:21-22). We all have weaknesses and inadequacies, so our interactions with others should be based on loving each other. In this way, we will not have any trouble living in harmony with others. Those who have no love are inhuman and cannot get along with others, while those who have it have a compassionate heart, like to help others, and moreover are able to comfort those who suffer hardships. Besides, those who have no compassion love others conditionally. They only help and forgive those who did them a favor before or those who haven’t hurt them. As soon as someone impinges on or harms their own interests, they seem to forgive him outwardly, but their hearts are full of dissatisfaction and boredom. In this situation, we need to pray to God more and ask Him to grant us with a heart of truly forgiving and loving others. Only when we truly rely on God, can we have the faith to put forgiveness and patience into practice, and let go of the prejudices and dissatisfaction toward others inside us. But loving our neighbors as ourselves is not unprincipled, and God does not require a confused kind of love of men. We see that the Lord Jesus was full of mercy and love toward those who believed in and followed Him, but condemned and cursed the hypocritical Pharisees who opposed Him, this is an exemplification of the righteous disposition of God. So, we ought to draw a clear boundary line between ourselves and all the satanic forces that oppose and condemn God to achieve loving those who God loves and being clear about love and hate. The second principle is dealing with people with wisdom. In Matthew 10:16-17, the Lord Jesus said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will whip you in their synagogues.” Actually, for Christians, using wisdom is an indispensable principle in practicing forbearance and patience and loving our neighbors as ourselves. This is because some people are the Christians pursuing truth, but some are the forces that are hostile to God, oppose God, and refuse to accept the gospel of God. And they are specially sent by Satan to interrupt and disturb the work of God. If church business or something about brothers and sisters is known to them, they will get a hold on these things to attack, judge, and condemn, and even report the brothers and sisters to the police. So, we must have discernment and be wise with these people. Secondly, it is unavoidable to encounter many difficulties in getting along with others, so it is indispensable for a Christian to use wisdom. Actually using wisdom is, on the one hand, for the sake of allowing others to gain benefits, and on the other hand, for the sake of helping to solve problems easily. For example, if we want to do or say something, we should consider what sort of disposition the person we are interacting with has, and how to go about things in a way that benefits them and does not harm them. All these are some practices of using wisdom. The principle of dealing with people with wisdom is also very important. The third principle is treating others properly. The Lord Jesus said to us: “And why behold you the mote that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull out the mote out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3-5). If wishing to attain to treating others properly, we should not fixate our eyes on others, but should learn to find out our own shortcomings. If we always fixate our eyes on others’ shortcomings, we can never get along with others in harmony. For example, we often discover our families’ shortcomings when interacting with them: They do not take care of or show any consideration for us, the food they cook is not to our taste, the children are too disobedient to control, the husband seldom does housework, and so on. And when associating with our colleagues or friends, we often find that this colleague is too selfish, that colleague likes to judge others behind their backs, or a friend of ours likes to take advantage of others, and so forth. There are too many examples of this, and we are often troubled by them, not knowing how to deal with others. In fact, what we should do is not to fixate our eyes on others but to learn to find out others’ strengths and our own shortcomings. And never should we impose that which we believe is right on others. When doing things, we should take account not only of our own interests, but also of others’. Besides, we should learn to be more considerate to others, to benefit them, and to listen to others’ opinions more. If someone has some shortcomings or does something wrong that jeopardizes our interests, we should treat it properly. Since the Lord Jesus can forgive us, we should also forgive others. The fourth principle is that we cannot use the philosophies of life to interact with others, but should instead establish a proper relationship with God. This is the most important. In our daily life, we often use those philosophies of life in the world to maintain relationship with other people, such as “Think before you speak and then talk with reservation,” “More friends, more paths. More enemies, more barriers,” “Keeping silent on the faults of good friends makes for a long and good friendship,” and so on. When we do things according to these philosophies of life, actually, this just shows that what we worship is still Satan. Our maintaining relationship with others in this way is hated by God. What God requires of us is to have a normal relationship with Him and do everything according to His words, such as being an honest person, not telling lies in interacting with others, and not making flattering remarks. When seeing that the practices of some brothers and sisters are not in accordance with or violate the Lord’s teachings, we can point it out instead of being afraid of displeasing them. In short, all things are established on the basis of the Lord’s teachings. We can practice whatever the Lord requires of us. Only this is having a normal relationship with God. The above are the four principles for us Christians’ interacting with others. If we often practice in this way, many difficulties we encounter when getting along with others will be readily solved, what we live out will surely gain the Lord’s approval, and we will certainly become ones pleasing to God. Amen! You may be interested in: 4 Principles by Which We Christians Easily Interact With Others How to Get Along With Others Easily 3 Tips for Church Leaders to Help and Support Brothers and Sisters
A must for Christians: 3 paths of practice to help and support brothers and sisters.
Should we set “handsome, beautiful and rich” as our criteria for choosing a partner? As a Christian, how should she choose a good partner? Through seeking, she has found the way of practice.