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There is a proverb: “If you surpass others a little, they will envy you; if you surpass others a lot, they will admire you.” Actually, envy, jealousy, and hate, all result from our narrow-mindedness and pettiness. As long as jealousy works upon us, we will fall into an invisible snare and end up feeling extremely miserable.
I am a director in a company. Due to my outstanding performance in every aspect of my work, I won the appreciation of managers and colleagues, which made me feel flattered inside very much. Not long after, our company transferred a director as my partner whose name is Xiaoli. When I first saw her, her looks, height, and figure all made me feel inferior. Associating with her in the following days, I found that she was mature and steady in her words and actions, that she learned quickly—she got a good grasp of the main content of working procedure and the matters needing attention soon, and was quite well-organized and reasonable in telling us what we should do next, and that she gained the praise of all of my colleagues. But comparing with her, I was quite inferior. I felt quite upset at this and unnoticeably, I became jealous of her, thinking: Isn’t it just because your caliber is better than mine and you are more proficient at professional work than I? If I endure some hardship and pay some prices, I must be better than you!
Therefore, I made efforts to search materials to enrich my knowledge of business, and I stayed up late to look up materials and got up early to read them, so that when we arranged work, I could put forward more insightful opinions to surpass Xiaoli and to be looked up to by other colleagues. But no matter how hard I tried, she was always superior to me. Sometimes when she asked me something about business, I would tell her half of it and hold on to the rest because I was afraid that if she learned everything I told her, she would surpass me much further. What made it even harder for me to accept was that the manager no longer asked me as usual whether I had any difficulties in working, but directly asked Xiaoli. This really got my blood up and my heart was pounding with anger. I thought: In the past, the manager came to solve my difficulties in the work first. But since you came and you are more outstanding than me, the manager ignores me. I really wish that you would immediately get out of here. Out of sight, out of mind. I never want to be your partner again!
During that time, I especially didn’t want to face everything about the company, and I even didn’t want to go to work. So I always pulled a long face at work, making my colleagues dare not talk with me. And in my dealings with Xiaoli, I always gave her the cold shoulder. As long as I saw her, I would be filled with anger. Especially when she put forward some different proposals, a gust of anger came upon me; even though I knew she was right, yet I didn’t want to accept them and would try to refute her words. Once I had spare time, I would keep far away from her and chat with other colleagues. From then on, the relationship between her and me was frozen because of my jealous heart.
When I was distressed, I could only come before God and pray to Him, telling my pain and suffering to Him. Later, I read these words of God: “As soon as it involves position, face, or reputation, everyone’s heart leaps in anticipation, and you always want to stand out, to be famous, to be glorified. You are unwilling to yield, always wanting to contend, although contending is embarrassing. However, you are not content not to contend. When you see someone stand out, you are jealous, feel hatred, complain, and feel it is unfair. ‘Why can’t I stand out? Why is it never me? Why is it always he who gets to stand out and it’s never my turn?’ There is some resentment. … Is not a person’s falling into these conditions a trap? This is the bondage of a satanically corrupted nature.”
When I read these words, they quite struck to my heart and I thought: Aren’t they directed at me? Think back to these days. In the beginning, I admired my partner’s pretty looks. When she was better than me in every aspect of our work, I was unhappy and tried my utmost to surpass her; when my efforts were not rewarded, I felt hatred. Worried that she would surpass me further, even though I knew how to solve her difficulties, I said half of it and hold on to the rest. I even wished her to quit. Living in such thoughts all day long, I felt extremely miserable and was unable to get released. And I even did not want to go to work in order to avoid such environment. … Did all my actions not arise because of my urge for reputation and status? I lived according to the poisons of Satan, such as “Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion” and “getting ahead and standing above others,” and as a result, I always wanted to stand out, to be glorified, and to tower above others. When all of my colleagues gathered around her, when she took over my spotlight, and when I lost the opportunity to stand out and to be glorified, I would start to be jealous of her, and to have animosity toward her. Only now did I realize that the reason why I lived so painfully was not because of my partner, but because Satan used face and status to torment me. I often worried about gaining and losing my face and status all day, and only cared what others thought of me, which would only make me feel more and more distressed and tired. Only through reading God’s word did I realize that God’s will was to let me live out a likeness of man, break free from Satan’s bondage, and no longer live in jealousy for the sake of my face and status. I was also willing to practice in accordance with God’s words, coming before God more often to pray Him to protect me, so that I would not live based on my corrupt satanic disposition when I had a jealous thought.
The next day, when I arranged work for staffs together with Xiaoli, I found: Every word she said was clear and logical, her expression fluent, her head clear, her arrangements reasonable and appropriate, and all of my colleagues agreed with her and praised her. At that time, I was still uneasy within and I thought in my heart: If you speak well, then will it not seem that I am incapable and inferior to you? Even though I do not have a more brilliant idea, yet I am still unwilling to humble myself and agree with your arrangements. And then, I realized it was jealousy that was working upon me again, so I immediately prayed to God in my heart, asking Him to protect my heart so that I could let go of my jealousy toward Xiaoli. After praying, I calmed down a little and did not say anything.
After I got home, I recalled the scene today, and realized that I had not put aside my jealousy of Xiaoli completely, but still could reveal it unconsciously. Hence, I prayed to God: “O God! I’m still jealous of her and want to compete with her. God! May you help me to be a broad-minded person!” Afterward, I read a passage of God’s words: “You must learn to give up and set aside these things, to yield, to recommend others, to allow them to stand out. Do not struggle furiously and rush to take advantage as soon as you encounter an opportunity to stand out or obtain honor.” And then I read two passages in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life that said: “Is it easy to change your jealousy into admiration? Just try to look on the bright side of others, all right? Since some people are better than us, they set good examples for us, so we can learn from them. We can also ask them about things we don’t understand. Is this not another path for us?” “No matter who we cooperate with, we should pay more attention to their strengths and learn from them, and then we will be able to treat them correctly, respect whoever deserves respect, obey whoever we should obey, and listen to whoever is right. If you can just practice listening to whoever is correct, then you will be doing alright.”
From God’s words and Sermons and the Fellowship on Entry Into Life, I found the way to resolve my jealousy: When I face the opportunity to stand out or obtain honor, I should learn to give up and set it aside. No matter what kind of strengths or qualities others have, they are preordained and blessed by God. Besides, others’ achievements are obtained by their efforts and the price they have paid. So I should treat them correctly; I shouldn’t compete, much less feel jealous. In fact, Xiaoli not only does things conscientiously and responsibly, but has a quite sharp mind, and her proposals and arrangement are all reasonable and appropriate, is this kind of person not of great benefit to the development of the company? Moreover, her strengths are exactly what I do not have. If I can use them to complement my shortcomings, I can also continually improve myself; is it not good? After understanding God’s will and the way of practicing, I was delighted and resolved to practice according to God’s words.
The next day, I said to Xiaoli: “The suggestion you put forward yesterday is good, and your arrangement is reasonable, so let’s do as what you said.” Hearing this, she nodded her head happily. After that, when we cooperated together, I would consciously pray to God, asking Him to help me to break free from jealousy. Every time when she put forward new ideas, I could be aware that they were my shortcomings, and instead of opposing her as before, I chose to hear her out first and then weigh their advantages and disadvantages together with her, doing what was practicable. We would discuss whatever we did, and listen to whoever was right. Gradually, we became good partners who kept nothing from each other. Owing to my changes, my colleagues did not avoid me anymore. Surprisingly, when the manager came, he no longer asked for her advice alone but discussed everything with us two together. Seeing that everything had changed, I kept thanking God in my heart, because I knew it was God’s words that changed me and made me shake off the snare of jealousy.
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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.