By Fang Wenxin, Italy
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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