Break Free From Envying My Smart Classmate

By He Xin

What Caused My Mild Anxiety?

In one evening, the breeze gently blew to the face, and made people feel cozy. Around a sparkling lake with several geese singing, there were many flowers among the grasses, and occasionally a few butterflies would gently touch the blooming flowers. Tourists around were all praising the beautiful scenery incessantly.

Break Free From Envying My Smart Classmate

But at this moment, Nair had no heart to appreciate the scenery. While she was in her reminiscence, someone tapped hard on her shoulder, and she was brought suddenly back to reality. She turned around and saw her long-lost friend Yuan Li. Nair hurriedly wiped away her tears, afraid her friend would see them, but how could Yuan Li not notice Nair’s obvious behavior? But Yuan Li asked nothing. After greetings, she said: “How about going to the gazebo and take a rest there?” Nair nodded. Yuan Li happily told Nair all the things that happened to her, but Nair only smiled slightly while listening to her stories. Afterward, Nair’s smile disappeared. Yuan Li followed her gaze and saw someone in royal blue admiring the scenery at the opposite. Yuan Li touched Nair’s arm and asked: “What is going on Nair? Who is she? Were you sad because of her just now on the bridge?” Nair at first did not want to open her heart, but Yuan Li was being so sincere, Nair told her that girl was her table-mate Mary, who was a transferred student. Before she came to Nair’s class, Nair was always the best in class, excelling in almost every category, and teachers and classmates all liked her. No matter where she went, everyone would look at her in admiration and with envy. She felt like a princess with a bright future lying ahead.

But (Nair’s started to look a bit down), Mary broke it all on her arrival. Mary’s studies, backgrounds and other aspects were all better than Nair, and teachers and classmates instead started to like Mary more. Nair felt uncomfortable and miserable because of envy, she thought that everyone no longer liked her because of Mary. Nair worked hard wanting to surpass Mary, but she was always the loser. Gradually, her envy grew and made her dislike Mary, even hate her, and wish not to see her at any time. Envy tortured Nair to be physically and mentally exhausted, she often wondered why God gave the best to Mary, but not to her. As a Christian, Nair knew she should not complain about God, should not be jealous of others, but she couldn’t put it into practice. From the day she became envious of Mary, Nair lost her smile and lived painfully, having no idea of what to do. Speaking of that, Nair was already crying sadly. Yuan Li patted on her back to comfort her.

Beautiful Smile Bloomed for the First Time

Later, Yuan Li said: “Nair, I can feel your pain, but as Christians, we all know that what God creates is good. We need to learn how to properly treat others and ourselves, and should not complain about God and envious of others. God said: ‘The functions are not the same. There is one body. Each does his duty, each in his place and doing his very best, every spark of enthusiasm a flash of light, seeking maturity in life, thus will I be satisfied.’ ‘What does God orchestrate everything for? It is not to reveal your shortcomings for everyone to see or to expose you; exposing you is not the final aim. The aim is to perfect you and save you. How does God perfect you and save you? Firstly, He makes you aware of your own corrupt disposition, your own nature and essence, your own shortcomings and what you lack. Only by knowing these things and understanding them in your heart can you cast them off…. God works on each and every person. Regardless of what method He employs, what form it takes or what tone He uses to speak to people, there is only one final aim, and that is to save you. Before saving you, He needs to change you. But can you change without suffering anything at all? You must suffer a little. This suffering can involve many things. God arouses the people, matters, and things around you and orchestrates your environment to allow you to know yourself, or else He deals with you, prunes you and exposes you directly. It is like someone on an operating table who must undergo some pain—would it be possible that they feel nothing? If every time God prunes and deals with you and every time He arouses people, things, and objects, for you it stirs up your feelings and gives you a boost, then your experience in this way is correct, and you will have stature and will enter into the reality of the truth.

Break Free From Envying My Smart Classmate

Nair, we are all created by God and given different talents, everyone has their own functions and missions. We need to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and do what we should do. You’re placed in this situation to experience, this contains God’s good will. God arranged people who are better than us around us, first to give us space to grow so that we can learn from others’ strengths to remedy our weaknesses, second to reveal our corrupt disposition: We’re envious of others’ strengths, this behavior shows our lack of normal humanity. When we are struggling in pain, we’ll realize that Satan has corrupted us so deeply; this is a good opportunity for us to know ourselves and get rid of our corrupt disposition. Nair, let’s pray more often to God. I believe God will lead us in our experiences, let us understand the truth and overcome our envy. Actually, God has also given us many things, we should learn to be content.”

After hearing what Yuan Li said, Nair was left in deep thoughts: “It is true that God has given me a lot, though I’m not so excellent as Mary, I still understand somewhat of the situation. God created me and my existence has value and meaning. Just like what Yuan Li said, I should not be too ambitious and need to learn to be content.” With that in mind, Nair smiled again and said happily to Yuan Li: “Thank you so much Yuan Li. Now I know God’s creation of me is meaningful, the situation arranged by God today is to make me perfect, I should not escape but should face it. Every time when I’m envious, I should pray more to God, and not let envy take over me.”

With the sun setting, the sky started to get darker. They bid farewell and agreed to meet at Yuan Li’s house next Friday. After the gathering, Nair walked home cheerfully. There were few people on her way back and the cold wind was even blowing, but Nair did not feel cold at all because her heart was warm. She found a way to walk out of the misery and her envy of others!

Trace of Anxiety Still Remains in Heart

The next day, Nair woke up early. She came before God and prayed to God sincerely. Afterward, Nair crooned her way to school. Her classmates were surprised to see her smile, Nair smiled at them and did not say a word. A while later, Mary came into the classroom, some classmates ran to her and asked her to help them with some math questions. Nair’s quiet heart became disturbed and she became envious again. Nair realized she was wrong and quickly prayed to God silently, wishing God could protect her heart and thoughts. After praying, Nair felt her heart calmed down. A moment later, the teacher came in and greeted Mary warmly but gave Nair an impatient look. Nair felt upset, she prayed silently to let God quiet her heart. In class, when the teacher asked questions, Mary answered them actively, but Nair could not quite understand them. During the art and craft lesson, Mary made nice crafts but Nair’s was horrible. Classmates were looking at Nair with a puzzled look, which made Nair feel more awkward.

Finally, a day of lessons was over and Nair escaped school as soon as possible. At home, Nair could not hold her tears anymore and cried out. Nair was clueless: Why couldn’t she break free from envy after having tried so hard to pray to and rely on God? Nair said in her prayer: “God, envy always happens to me, and I do not know how to practice. O God, what can I do? Why am I firmly gripped by envy? How can I break free the bondage of envy? O God….’’

Nair hoped the next Friday would come faster, she expected Yuan Li to fellowship with her.

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4 Principles for Christians’ Interacting With Others

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. 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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. 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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. 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