Relying On God, Kids Are No Longer Naughty

By Xiaohui, Italy

The little boy said to me, “Auntie, you look so angry. Isn’t your head feeling as if it’s ready to burst? Haha!” This was one of the awkward situations that I encountered when I had just started work as a babysitter.

The little girl called me, saying: “Auntie…. My elder brother and I both miss you. When will you come here? We’ll be good kids, so would you come as soon as you can?” This was what things were like after I acted according to God’s words.

I am a babysitter. One year ago, I went to a businessman’s house to apply for a job as a babysitter. The businessman told me that he had an eight-year-old son and a six-year-old daughter, that my job was to do household chores and prepare supper for the children, and that I would have to work 5.5 hours a day. I thought the hours of work required and the pay offered were reasonable. So, I said to him, “I would like to go. But I’m a Christian, so on Sundays, I need to have leave of absence to go to worship in the church.” Unexpectedly, he readily consented, saying, “Christians are pretty good, very loving and patient. My two kids are quite naughty, and a patient person is just the one we need to help take care of them. You can have Sundays off, with full pay.” Hearing his words, I was very glad and said to him, “You can trust me to take good care of your children.” I thought to myself, “Cooking is a snap for me. Cooking for kids is even simpler, and it won’t take me too long to prepare a meal for them. As for the two kids’ naughtiness, it’s no great problem, for children always like mischief. As long as I coax them, they will be obedient.”

rice all over the dining table

However, when I started to work, I found it was not so easy as I imagined. It was really an effort to make the two kids have their dinner. They would sing or dance as they ate, and sometimes they would draw or play with toys. The boy needed to be coaxed into eating; the girl needed to be fed, otherwise she would not eat. When the dinner got cold, I had to warm it up. After they finished their dinner, there was rice all over the dining table and the ground. And it would take around an hour and a half for them to finish a meal. For these reasons, I had to work late. I could barely bear their naughtiness in the first few days. But as time went on, I felt very agitated and exhausted.

One time, my patience finally snapped. So I said to them solemnly, “Take your seats! Don’t play or talk during meals, or else I will lock you in the house and leave, and I won’t come here tomorrow.” Unexpectedly, the boy said to me, “Auntie, you look so angry. Isn’t your head feeling as if it’s ready to burst? Haha!” Seeing me angry, not only did he not become afraid, but he actually made fun of me. Besides, what he said was exactly what I was thinking then. Facing this awkward situation, I really did not know whether to laugh or cry. Oh, my goodness! What should I do?

Another time, I called the children to dinner in the kitchen after having it ready. But quite a while later, they were still playing in the room. So I went there to call them. At the sight of my entering into the room, they dived under the bed and crept into the corner, and said, “Auntie, why don’t you come and catch us? If you can get us, we’ll eat, or else we won’t. Haha!” With that, they made the crying sound of cats. Having no way to catch them, I was very angry. At that time, I could not bear the sight of them and felt it was really an effort to communicate with them. I was so exhausted that I was unable to eat. When it was about time for me to leave off work, they still had not eaten. So, I called their mother and complained to her about their naughtiness. Then she said to them over the telephone, “When I’m out, you are looked after by the auntie, so you have to listen to her. After she cooks dinner for you, you ought to eat it like good kids. …” Having been taught a lesson by their mother, the two children seemed a little more obedient. But only several minutes later, they relapsed into their old ways. Furthermore, since I called their mother and caused them to be scolded, when I once again called them to dinner, they rolled their eyes upward at me and became more disobedient toward me.

I had used all available methods to get them under control, but all in vain. I really could think of no way of dealing with them.

After returning home, I knelt on the ground and prayed to God, “Oh God! This work really troubles me. I can do nothing with the two children and have no idea what to do. May You enlighten and guide me, so I can understand Your intentions and have a way to practice.”

After my prayer, I opened up the book of God’s word, and saw the following words of God, “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. … Nothing major has happened to you at the moment, and you do not bear great testimony, but every detail of your daily life relates to the testimony to God. If you can win the admiration of your brothers and sisters, your family members, and everyone around you; if, one day, the unbelievers come, and admire all that you do, and see that all that God does is wonderful, then you will have borne testimony. … If you are incapable of this, then you do not bear testimony among your family members, among your brothers and sisters, or before the people of the world. If you can’t bear testimony before Satan, Satan will laugh at you, it will treat you as a joke, as a plaything, it will often make a fool of you, and drive you insane.

I was grateful for God’s enlightenment. These words of God made me see that behind everything that happens is a battle between God and Satan, and we are required to stand witness for God. But because I was numb in spirit, I merely considered babysitting as a very simple matter as opposed to an opportunity to gain the truth. So, when the two children played up and disobeyed me, I grew annoyed, unaware that this was Satan’s scheme and it was tempting me to lose my temper. I did not treat the children with true love and patience but just got angry instead and let Satan’s arrogant disposition of “putting oneself above all else” make me ask them to obey everything I said. As a result, my relationship with them became strained: They went against me on purpose to annoy me, and in response I complained to their mother about their naughtiness for the purpose of having them taught a lesson. After knowing these things, I made up my mind: I will no longer rely on Satan’s arrogant disposition in my actions; instead, I will be a person who is amiable and loving, has patience and tolerance for the children, and can get along well with them so that I will not be laughed at or fooled by Satan anymore.

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4 Principles for Christians’ Interacting With Others

By Hanxiao In this complex society, we have to deal with all kinds of people every day. Each person’s personality, hobbies, habits, temperament, etc. are all different, so in our interactions some conflicts and misunderstandings will inevitably arise. Getting along well with others is not easy—this brings great difficulties to our work and life, and can be physically or mentally damaging to various degrees. Though this is very distressing for many people, they also feel like their hands are tied, and there are quite a few Christians who are no exception. So what exactly should we do to achieve harmony in our interactions? Here we will share simple fellowship on four principles. If our practice is in line with these four principles below, these headache-inducing interpersonal issues will surely be resolved. The first principle of getting along with others is to love each other. The Lord Jesus taught us: “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). It is recorded in Matthew 18:21–22, “Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus said to him, I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” From these verses we can see that the Lord requires us to love each other, have a forgiving heart, and be tolerant of others’ mistakes. Since we’re all of different ages, of different calibers, we have different hobbies and backgrounds, plus we all have some weaknesses and shortcomings, if the foundation of our interpersonal relationships is built upon mutual love and we consider things from others’ perspectives, we will encounter fewer conflicts and misunderstandings and will be able to get along well with others. Some people have love for others and a compassionate heart; they love to help others and are able to comfort those who are suffering and experiencing hardships. People like this please God and others are fond of them as well. However, those who lack love for others and always think of their own interests cannot possibly get along well with others. Even if they do have love for others, it is temporary and conditional, and they only help and are tolerant of those who are kind to them and have never hurt them. Once someone hurts them or infringes upon their interests, though they may appear tolerant on the outside, in their heart they are filled with dissatisfaction and hatred. They can’t practice the Lord’s way. They are detested by God and disliked by people. Therefore we should practice the Lord’s words in our interactions, and love others as we love ourselves, as the Lord requires; only then will we be able to interact harmoniously with others. But perhaps there will still be times we’re unable to willingly be tolerant of, patient with, and forgiving of others. What’s required of us in this sort of situation is to pray more to the Lord and ask Him to give us a heart of genuine tolerance and love for others. When we truly rely on the Lord to practice tolerance and patience, our prejudices and dissatisfactions with others in our hearts will gradually disappear. However, there are also principles for loving others as we love ourselves. God does not want us to love others blindly. It’s just like how the Lord Jesus was full of mercy and love toward His believers and followers, while He was full of condemnation and curses for those hypocritical Pharisees who opposed God. The Lord’s different attitudes toward these two kinds of people embody God’s righteous disposition. Therefore, we should treat brothers and sisters who truly believe in God and practice the Lord’s words with great sincerity; we should be loving and helpful. As for Satan’s forces that oppose and condemn God, we should draw clear boundaries and clearly distinguish between love and hate. The second principle of harmonious interactions is to have 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.” Being wise in interactions with others is an indispensable principle of practice for Christians. This is because among the people that we interact with, there are Christians who pursue the truth, and there are some who belong to enemy forces that oppose God and hate the truth. They are specially sent by Satan to interrupt and disturb God’s work. If they learn of the business of the church or the personal information of brothers and sisters, they will make use of these things to attack, judge and condemn us, or even report us to the police to have us arrested. Therefore, we should have discernment with people like this and employ wisdom with them. In addition, we will inevitably encounter many difficulties in our interactions with others; wisdom is also called for at these times. Being wise is not about saying things contrary to our convictions to deceive others, but is for the sake of benefiting others as well as doing no harm to others, ourselves, or the church. For example, if we are going to do or say something, we must first take the other person’s personality into consideration, and what kind of action or speech will be beneficial to them, and ensure we will not harm them. These are some of the practices of dealing with people with wisdom. Only by behaving this way can we achieve harmony in our interactions. The third principle is to treat others properly. The Lord Jesus said, “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). When we are in conflict with others, we always feel that the other person is wrong or the problem is with them. In fact, at these times we are living within our satanic disposition of arrogance and self-righteousness; we’re being entirely self-centered and looking down on others. We’re unable to treat others objectively and fairly. This is why we should first resolve our own corrupt dispositions, reflect on and know our own shortcomings and deficiencies, and seek the truth that we should enter into; only then can we treat others properly. If we always fixate our gaze on others’ shortcomings, we will never be able to get along well with anyone. For example, we tend to see our family members’ shortcomings when we spend time with them; we feel like our spouse doesn’t know how to take care of others, they are inconsiderate, the food they make isn’t to our taste, our child is temperamental and hard to discipline, and so on; when we are with our colleagues and friends, we find that one of our colleagues is selfish, another one tends to judge others behind their backs, or some friend likes to take advantage of others, etc. This is often distressing for us because we do not know how to get along with them. In fact, regardless of whether others’ personality and behaviors are compatible with our preferences or not, we should not be prejudiced against them and just treat them however we like. We are all people who have been corrupted by Satan; we ourselves possess quite a few problems just as others do, so how are we qualified in any way to make demands of others? Additionally, God has bestowed different strengths and advantages upon every one of us in the hope that we can absorb the strengths of others to make up for our shortcomings. Only by doing so can we progress more quickly. Once we have this kind of understanding, when others do something that we do not like, we can deny ourselves, not ask too much of others, and not force what we think is right on others. Instead, we can consciously discover others’ strengths and absorb their positive qualities—this is how we can treat others properly. Furthermore, in our actions we should not only think of ourselves, but we should also be considerate toward others, learn to care for others more often, and let others benefit. Only then can we get along well with others. The fourth principle of harmonious interaction with others is to not focus on life philosophies, but instead, focus on establishing a proper relationship with God. In real life, we often use satanic philosophies of life to maintain our relationships with others, such as, “Think before you speak and then talk with reservation,” “One more friend means one more path; one more enemy means one more obstacle,” “Keeping silent on the faults of good friends makes for a long and good friendship,” and so on. When we base our interactions with others on these life philosophies, we curry favor and engage in flattery with others so that we can maintain a good relationship with them. We only talk about their good points and dare not point out their shortcomings; we protect our interpersonal relationships even if it means going against the principles of the truth. The Lord detests this kind of behavior, because what we exalt are Satan’s philosophies, not the Lord’s words. What the Lord requires of us is the ability to have a proper relationship with Him and do everything in accordance with His words, such as being honest people in line with His requirements, and not saying anything false in our interactions or ingratiating ourselves with others. He also requires that when we see brothers and sisters do things that are not in line with or violate the Lord’s teachings, we should help them out of love; we should not be afraid to offend them but instead point out their mistakes and help them resolve their problems. In short, all of our interactions should be established on the foundation of the Lord’s teachings. We should put into practice whatever the Lord requires of us. No matter who we are interacting with, we must be able to directly face the Lord and accept His scrutiny. Only with this kind of practice can we have a proper relationship with the Lord. 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