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By Mengzheng, United States
Dear Brothers and Sisters of Loving Stage:
I’m a Christian. Recently I met some difficulties, so I want to ask your advice. I’m a technician in our company. Originally, since I have brilliant technique, everyone in our department asked my advice when they encountered questions. Lately, I have a new colleague. His technique is much higher than mine and my leaders and colleagues all speak highly of him. Everyone consults him rather than me when they have questions. I feel as if I were given the cold shoulder. Unbearable and distressed, I’m jealous of the new colleague and think it is because of him that I have received the cold shoulder. I don’t want to see him, and even wish him to leave our company. Actually, I know my thoughts don’t conform to the Lord’s will, but I can’t control myself, feeling very distressed and tormented. I really expect to walk out of pain, hoping you can help me. Thanks.
I’m a Christian of Loving Stage. About your present situation I have deep sentiments. You regard your colleague working together with you as your competitor, so when you see he is better than you, you are full of jealousy and even wish him to be inferior to you. It’s indeed miserable for us to live this way. To be honest, I had the same experience as you do.
At that time, our company established a video studio, which was in need of make-up artists. Staff who had this special skill could sign up for it. I thought: It is an amazing opportunity and if the actors whose make-up was done by me appeared on the screen, I could be looked up to and praised by my leaders and colleagues. For this reason, I signed up. But when I knew my friend Lingling also signed up, I couldn’t help feeling a little worried because her skill was also not poor. Undoubtedly, her participation made the competition intense.
Afterward, Lingling was chosen by our company and I failed. I couldn’t accept the result, thinking: In which aspect am I inferior to her? In terms of the reflexes and the ability to learn new things, I am quicker than her and more than that, I can do natural make-up for people. In the past, when we studied make-up together, a professional make-up artist praised me, saying that the make-up done by me was the most natural. This time she was chosen; does it not then seem I am not as good as her? How will my colleagues see me? How can I face others? I felt so limp and weak that I even didn’t have strength to walk and was unable to raise my enthusiasm in whatever I did. I became jealous of Lingling within.
Just as your words say, when you are jealous of others, you are fed up with them and filled with hatred. I had the same feeling.
In the following days, whenever Lingling came back from the shooting location and talked about things in doing the make-up, she would smile brightly. However, the more I saw her do like this, the more uncomfortable and jealous I felt. I thought: You talk about such things in front of me; do you want to embarrass me on purpose? You even show off yourself before me. You’re really cocky. I don’t believe you won’t fail sometime. She was more and more disagreeable in my sight. Whenever I saw the working staff came to discuss work with Lingling, I would feel sick at heart. Sometimes Lingling was so busy doing the make-up for the actors who worked on location that some colleagues showed consideration for her. When I saw this, I would be distressed as if a needle had been stabbed into my heart, and felt I was left out in the cold. In the past, no matter what difficulties Lingling met in her work, I would help her, but later I didn’t want to teach her at all. I thought: “Are you not formidable or capable? Then learn by yourself. I just have such a strength; if I teach you, others will even more think highly of you and I will then be inferior to you in every aspect.” Therefore, sometimes I ignored her and gave her a dirty look; sometimes as she asked me time and time again, to save my face I taught her outwardly but I was actually reluctant to do it.
Not long after, the manager asked me about Lingling’s job performance at ordinary times, for our company wanted to send her out to study. When I learned this news, the flame of strong jealousy suddenly burnt in my heart. There was no way that I could accept this reality! I thought: This time Lingling has been totally recognized by all in our department; how come it is never me? I also have potential; why don’t they give me a chance? I am not inferior to her! No, I must take this opportunity to put my finger on her shortcomings. So, I racked my brains to recall them. Just at the moment, I felt a little guilty within: If I report her shortcomings at work and in the daily life to the manager, am I not nitpicking? Isn’t it going a bit too far? Even though no one knows my thoughts and actions, God is inspecting me. I struggled in my heart. But then I thought this was a rare opportunity for me to study, so I would be superior to others. Getting carried away with jealousy, I finally reported her shortcomings to the manager. Nevertheless, it was Lingling who was still chosen.
It really was “You will have it if it belongs to you, whereas you don’t kvetch for it if it doesn’t appear in your life.” Whatever doesn’t belong to us can’t be forced in spite of playing a trick.
Thus each day I felt very agitated. Jealousy bound me like invisible shackles, making me unable to move. Even if I wanted to shake it off, I always couldn’t overcome. To be honest, it brought me nothing but suffering and I even didn’t want to work there. In that period, when I saw God’s words, I couldn’t feel the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. I even didn’t have the desire of reading the words of God. Besides, I couldn’t do my work well and always made mistakes. Seeing that I couldn’t work normally, the manager had a conversation with me, asking me about my current situation and giving me leave for a while to make adjustments.
After going back home, I felt very miserable and cried constantly: What on earth is the matter with me? How come I become like this? At this moment I had to come before God to pray: “O God, in these days I always want to stand out and compete against Lingling. When I saw she was chosen as a make-up artist instead of me, I have been jealous of her. Now I feel much distressed and I need Your help. May You guide me to cast aside jealousy and break free from Satan’s bondage.”
One day, when I was practicing spiritual, I saw a passage of God’s words: “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. You try to repress the resentment, but you can’t, so you pray. After praying, you feel better for a little while, but later when you encounter the matter again you cannot overcome it. Is this not a case of immature stature? Is not a person’s falling into these conditions a trap? This is the bondage of a satanically corrupted nature. … What must a person obtain before he can free himself of the vexations of these things, loosen the bonds of these things, and be able truly to be free and liberated? On one hand, a person must see through things: These fame and fortune and positions are tools and methods for Satan to corrupt people, to entrap them, to harm them, and to cause their degeneration. … 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.”
God’s words stroke my heart and revealed my ambitions and desires of standing out and obtaining honor in the depths of my heart. Since our company established the video studio, I had hoped to be highly spoken of and praised by others through giving full play to my skill. I only sought to stand above others. When my desires was shattered, I became jealous of Lingling, and my bias toward her got stronger and stronger. I didn’t share what I learned with her and in order to stop her from being given important work, I even appraised her with my intention behind her back, regarding her who was my friend as my competitor. I fell into the state of scrambling fame and gain from which I couldn’t extricate myself. Alas, in fact I knew living this way was too weary and too miserable. I felt as if my heart was torn into pieces. I wanted to escape but had no way out, and I tried to exercise restraint but couldn’t. Only through the revelation of God’s words did I realize: The pursuit of fame, fortune, and status was living in Satan’s trap. It was controlled by corrupt disposition that I lived in such pain and darkness. God’s words directed me the way of practice: The first thing I should do is learn to give up, recommend others, be a humble person and no longer live for reputation and status. Only in this way can I get rid of jealousy and live in peace and security.
In reality, what kind of work I can do is predestined and ruled by God. It is not controlled by me when I am in what position, nor was it because of Lingling that I was not promoted by our company. There was God’s good intention in these several months of experience. Though I failed to work in the video studio and lived in misery, I had discernment about Satan’s rules of living. Thank God for arranging such environment, allowing me to have some real knowledge of my corrupt disposition. Willing to submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, I prayed to God and laid myself bare, asking God to guide me to experience His work with a right attitude.
Then I read a passage of words in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life, “If someone is better or more capable than us, we should appreciate him and learn from him. I like to contact with those who outshine me and who have talents and abilities, for I can learn new things and make up for my deficiencies when associating with them. There are no perfect people.”
From the fellowship, I understood a little more of God’s intention. No people are perfect indeed. Since I was lacking too much, God allowed Lingling to be my colleague and His intention was for me to learn from her and make up for my weaknesses. Lingling was responsible for work and better at doing make-up than me, and besides she was smart and knew how to be flexible when encountering exceptional situations. These were her strengths worthy for me to learn. In the past, I was dazzled by jealousy and couldn’t discover or learn others’ strengths at all. As a result, I lost many opportunities to make up for my weaknesses. When thinking back to it now, I still feel regret.
In fact, seeing Lingling could take responsibility for this work, I should be happy for her and for our company. I only needed to do my duty, brought my value into full play. This is living with dignity. When my mindset had changed, I was able to get along with Lingling and my situation gradually got better. Doing my duty every day made me feel assured and peaceful.
Later, God once again orchestrated an environment to test me: Lingling was transferred to another important department. When I heard this news, my heart was disturbed. Then I realized I had fallen into the incorrect state, so I prayed to God: “O God, I heard Lingling has been transferred to another important department for important work, and she is thought highly of by our company. I’m envious and jealous of her. May You help me, letting me be able to deal with this matter correctly and stop living in jealousy.” After prayers, I calmed down.
Afterward, I could get along with Lingling normally. I learned something related to our professional work from her, which was helpful to me. Later, I openly talked to Lingling about my thoughts toward her in these days and felt especially released and free. Hearing my words, not only did she not think badly of me, but she showed understanding to me.
I am grateful to the guidance of the word of God, which allowed me to shake off jealousy. I truly appreciated that God arranging someone who was more capable than me was a boost and help to me. Three months later, the department she worked in needed more hands because the business became large and then I was transferred to work with her. Practicing according to God’s words, I felt no longer depressed as before and could work with her normally. Thank God for His guidance all the way so that I could cast aside jealousy.
This is my experience. I hope it can bring you some help.
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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
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