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“Ugh! I’ve finally got all the ice scraped off.” I straightened up and looked over at my two coworkers not too far away and saw they were just standing there chatting. Unable to suppress a fiery feeling that welled up within me, I thought, “I’m over here working like a mule but the two of you seem awfully relaxed. You even have the time for an idle chat….”
My job is to empty mining carts in a coal mine. There are three of us per shift: One pushes the carts, another overturns and empties the carts, and the third reconnects the empty carts to each other. I’m responsible for emptying them. We have more work to take care of in the winter. The bottoms of the carts get caked with a thick layer of rock dust and that needs to be cleared off; the wheels become covered with ice and will no longer turn, so that needs to be scraped off; the furnace in the unloading bay also needs to be fed. But I ended up doing most of these extra tasks, and not only did the person pushing the carts not help with these things, but he always had me scrape off the ice next to the cart wheels. This had me simmering with rage and I started to think poorly of him. I thought to myself that these extra tasks were a shared responsibility, but the two of them would only pitch in a little when the boss came around, generally leaving all of it to me. It really wasn’t fair. The more I thought about it the angrier I became—if they didn’t do it, then I wouldn’t either. From then on I didn’t work until my coworkers were working, and when they weren’t working, I didn’t either. But when I saw that no one had scraped the ice off the wheels and the wheels couldn’t roll I felt terrible. I thought about how I’m a Christian and I can’t be lazy and unreliable like them, so left with no choice, I went ahead and scraped the ice off the wheels so they could move as normal.
Just after starting work one morning, the cart pusher said to me, “The boss said that after your shift is over you need to scrape all the ice off the cart wheels.” I felt incredibly dissatisfied with him when I heard him say that and thought to myself, “This work belongs to all three of us. Why don’t you do any of it? All you do is pass on the message from the boss as if it has nothing to do with you.” From then on I developed a strong distaste for him.
I was in constant low spirits over this and didn’t want to speak to the cart pusher; I kept avoiding him. I always felt listless. I spent every day emptying cart after cart, scraping ice off the wheels, feeding the furnace, and clearing dust off the cart bottoms. Seeing my coworkers off to the side chatting and drinking tea while I was working on my own, I felt incredibly pent-up.
One day while on a break, I prayed to God about my difficulties. “Oh God, my coworkers are lazy and I have to do all the work myself. This is really difficult for me. I don’t know how I should experience what I’m facing now—please help and enlighten me so that I have a path of practice.” A passage of God’s words then occurred to me: “Loving God requires … that you probe deep within when anything happens to you, trying to grasp God’s will, and trying to see what God’s will is in this matter, what He wishes you to achieve, and how you should be mindful of His will.” I pondered God’s words, and understood that in whatever I encounter I should seek God’s will and requirements. I then quieted myself before God and seriously reflected on myself. When I was working with my coworkers and saw that they took every opportunity to have a chat, leaving all of the work to me, I felt really upset and irritated with them; I didn’t want to have anything to do with them. What kind of corruption was I revealing? Why would this cause me so much suffering?
When I got home I read some of God’s words. “In the past, when the words of God have not become people’s lives, it was Satan’s nature that took charge and dominated within them. What specific things were within that nature? … this is mainly because of Satan’s poison contained within. Satan’s poison can be fully expressed with words. For example, if you ask some evildoers why they do something, they will answer: ‘Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.’ This one phrase expresses the root of the problem: The logic of Satan has become people’s lives, and no matter what they do, whether it’s for some purpose or other, they are only doing it for themselves. People all think that ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.’ This is the life and the philosophy of man, and it also represents man’s nature. ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,’ this statement of Satan’s is precisely its poison, and when internalized by man it becomes man’s nature. Satan’s nature is exposed through this statement; it completely represents it. This poison becomes man’s life and becomes the foundation of his existence; corrupted humanity has been consistently dominated by this for thousands of years” (“Chapter 35 How to Take the Path of Peter”).
I realized through what was revealed in God’s words that with my coworkers, I had just been calculating losses and gains—who did more work and who did less work. I was narrow-minded and petty in my interactions with my coworkers, always acting on the principle of not wanting my own self-interest to suffer. All of this was brought about by living according to Satan’s logic of “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” I thought of how my coworkers and I were all on the same team and I was working alongside everyone else, but every time they were lazy and shirked work leaving me with everything, my heart was filled with discontent and complaints. I did more work but received the same pay, and so began to dislike and ignore them. I knew well that not scraping off the ice would damage the wheels and the tracks and would cause losses for the mine, but since I wasn’t willing to be at a disadvantage I wanted to wash my hands of it. That was entirely a selfish nature! I realized that being irritated with my coworkers and being unable to interact with them normally was because my own interests hadn’t been satisfied. Satan uses all sorts of logic and rules to corrupt us, getting us to quibble over our own interests and become unable to interact harmoniously. We’re all living within Satan’s trickery. Having understood this, I quietly resolved to no longer live according to Satan’s logic and rules.
I later saw something from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life: “In order for people to interact normally with one another, they must possess a few principles of practice. These principles should not only include not taking advantage of others, not harming others, but having some love. They further include having a conscience and rationality, helping one another, showing tolerance to one another, caring for others, letting others benefit in all situations, considering others, not just caring about yourself, showing compassion for others’ weaknesses, and forgiving the transgressions of others. If we have these few principles, we will be able to build a normal relationship with others and we will be able to live in harmony with each other.” This fellowship provided me with a path of practice. In my actions I couldn’t only care about my own interests, but I had to act with love for others and learn to consider other people; I should be forgiving of others and help them. That’s the only way people can get along in harmony and have normal interpersonal relationships. Those requirements and principles were what I needed to be putting into practice and entering into at that time. I realized that we were a team and our boss had arranged for us to do this work and so it was within my scope of responsibilities. I couldn’t make demands on others or only look at them. I felt much more at ease after realizing all of this.
That day I got to work first thing in the morning and saw that my coworkers hadn’t arrived yet. I figured I’d go start scraping off the ice and then the work would go faster once they’d come in. I had just started on it when I started to feel like I didn’t want to take it. I thought, “If I do all of this they’re not going to show any appreciation and the boss will never see it, either. He’s certainly not going to give me a raise. This work is exhausting and I don’t get anything in return—I won’t do it. I may as well wait for them to get here so we can all do it together.” I then realized that I was showing my selfishness again, so I quickly prayed to God, “Oh God, my selfishness and despicableness are showing themselves again. I don’t want to live this way anymore. I’m willing to forsake myself and be guided by You.” I felt much calmer after praying and resolved to act in accordance with God’s words, to no longer calculate losses and gains. I changed my frame of mind and then just felt that I’d done with the ice in no time.
On the job from then on, I took the initiative to scrape off the ice, clean up, and do all the other little tasks and took them as my own responsibilities. I no longer kept count of who had done more or who had done less. Once I put that into practice, I no longer felt irritated or angry with my coworkers, and since I wasn’t waiting on them or relying on them, my work efficiency increased by a lot. What really surprised me was that when I put myself aside, my two coworkers started working alongside me and now we all get along well. I really give heartfelt thanks to God!
One day as I was getting off of work, I went to the changing room to change out of my work clothing where I ran into a coworker from another team that said, “The inspector said that you’re a really hard worker, that you’re never lazy or unreliable. We’re short a person on our team—you should move over to ours.” I offered up thanks to God within my heart. “God, I’m corrupted by Satan and was being selfish, nitpicking about other people’s work, and I have nothing to brag about. Being able to live this out today has been entirely achieved because of Your words!” When I got my pay at the end of the month, I was surprised to see that I’d been given an extra 200 yuan. The boss said that it was a bonus.
This experience showed me on a deeper level that when I live relying on my corrupt disposition, my heart fills with frustration and worries, but when I forsake myself and practice according to God’s words, I gain the approval of my coworkers as well as peace and joy within my soul. I realized even more through this experience that God’s words really are the truth and they can resolve all difficulties and issues in our day-to-day lives. In my life from now on, I will put God’s words into practice more, cast off my corrupt disposition, and live out a true human likeness to satisfy God.
How come we can’t resist the temptation of society’s evil trends? 2 ways teach you to overcome temptation and not to live in sin.
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.