The Partner Is a Helper – Christian Experience

Vera

A cluster of crabs were moving on the beach. Meanwhile, a seabird hunting for food straightly flew down. The second before a little crab was about to be the food in the seabird’s mouth, all crabs lined together and then raised their pincers, pointing them at the seabird. We can surely imagine what the result would be. The crabs didn’t suffer the least injury, while the seabird lost some feathers, ending in fiasco.

A colony of penguins were standing on a large piece of ice. Meanwhile, a shark darted toward them, preparing to take them as its good meal. Just then, the smart penguins moved together to one side of the ice and shifted their weight to the right so that the other side raised high. However, it was too late to dodge; the shark moving at a high speed butted its head against the ice, sinking into the sea.

A swarm of ants were on the march. When the last ant was nearly being sucked into the long snout of an animal, the commanding ant immediately ordered all ants to gather together into a ball. They used their bodies to stop up the long snout. As a result, the long-snouted animal couldn’t breathe and was almost suffocated to death. Because the ants held together, they saved their own lives.

The small animals could exist, owing to their unity. But do we humans have such unity? In the beginning God created our forefather Adam and Eve. At that time, because they listened to God’s word, they received His blessing. They lived together and were kind to and loved each other, regarding each other as a family member. They managed the Garden of Eden with one heart and one mind. However, after being corrupted by Satan and expelled from the Garden of Eden, they ran around and worked hard for the sake of their living. For this reason, they blamed, fought and disputed with each other. Hereafter, humans developed generation after generation. Presently, for our own sake, we engage in dogged and endless competition and none concede an inch. The pristine love and mutual assistance between people have long vanished, even we do not have the spirit of unity and mutual help of the small animals.

Recently, such problems arose between my partner Jane and me in our work …

It was Wednesday. Our group leader asked us to complete some paperwork. As time was limited and I had other urgent work to finish, Jane did the work first. In the evening, she told me that she had finished the preliminary draft and showed me. After reading it, I thought it was completely different from my expected plan. Thus, I didn’t have a deeper understanding of her thought and her reasons for expressing it that way, but rejected her plan outright. Later, I worked overtime and put together a new one. When I showed my draft to her next day, she accepted my thought and just said that it required some modifications. Hearing her words, I felt elated, thinking, “It’s no big deal to simplify some sentences. As long as my thought is tenable, it can prove that I have the edge on you in professional ability.” I unconsciously started getting pleased with myself. But I had never expected that she revised it a lot. On seeing those marks, I felt they were so prickly and harsh to the eye. Not pondering carefully, I dismissed her changes out of hand. Moreover, I thought, with complete confidence that they were unreasonable. Hence, in order to perfect the work, we took another evening, but still didn’t finish it. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t that complicated. The problem was that every time she made proposals, I would totally deny them.

It was past one o’clock in the morning when we were hitting the bed. Yet I just felt stuck, unable to fall asleep. Thereupon I told a sister this matter online. At that moment, all I talked about were how arrogant Jane was, how she stuck to her own views and refused to listen to others’ suggestions, and so on, yet I never said a word about my own problems. After hearing my complaining, the sister said slowly, “Don’t negate others’ suggestions totally. In fact, they are not likely to be bad. There must be some highlights in others’ thoughts, but you didn’t absorb them with your heart. When others denied your thought, you just flied into a rage and didn’t accept any changes to your draft. You’re so unreasonable. Actually, your thought may not be so capital and brilliant.” What she said was like a slap to my face. Notwithstanding that her words were harsh to the ear, I had no choice but to admit that all she said was true. Thinking back to the time when we received the task, I never treated Jane’s thought objectively and justly. I put myself first, wanting to do the whole work according to my own thinking. I had never given careful consideration to her suggestions. This ended up causing many problems in our paperwork. Nevertheless, instead of sincerely examining myself in this matter, I shifted blame and responsibility onto her. Now God reminded me through the sister and enabled me to understand where the root of the problem was. Now, I felt remorse in my heart. Then the sister continued, “No matter how great one’s ability, it’s limited. If you don’t regard your partner as a helper, you’ll never succeed. In reality, your partner is neither a competitor nor a dispensable assistant. You are mutually supportive and cling to each other. The lack of any of you will result in half the result for double effort. However, after being corrupted by Satan, we just don’t know this simple truth. In the eyes of us, we only see our self-interest. We’ve been poisoned by Satan’s philosophies of scrambling for fame and gain, such as ‘If you’re better than me, then I can’t show off my brilliance,’ ‘If I approve of you, will I not then seem lesser than you?’ and so on. In the meantime, these philosophies also dominate our words and actions. They cause lack of love and mutual assistance between people. And even for the sake of our own self-interests, or in order to earn so-called fame and prestige, we fight both openly and in secret. In fact, let’s think it over: If our partners do better than us, and we keep on trying based on their work and do our best to cooperate with them, constantly striving for perfection, won’t we do the work better? So, a true thoughtful person will prefer that his partner is superior to him, because only thus will he make progress and have the opportunity of drawing on others’ strengths and compensating for his own weaknesses. That’s why people often say, ‘Better be the servant of a hero than the boss of an idler.’ The relationship between partners is somewhat like a bolt and a nut. They can play their roles only used with each other. If apart, they’ll be waste, being no longer of any use.” At her words, I reflected on myself: During my coordination with Jane, were the thoughts I revealed not like what the sister said? In fact, not that the thought of Jane is not good, but that I have never thought about what advantages and highlights there are in her plan. However good her thought is, I didn’t want to accept it; however bad mine is, I couldn’t see. I only set my heart on how to show off myself. Therefore, I tried to reject her points of view, unwilling to admit that her ideas were indeed better and more mature than mine, for I thought if I did so, I would appear incapable and lose my status in our group, and then I would be ashamed.

After self-refection, now I saw that I have really been deeply corrupted by Satan and was arrogant to the point of having no reason. How could I complete things with such disposition?

Reflecting on so serious problems within me, I felt rather depressed. I didn’t know what I should do next. Thereupon I went before God in prayer, speaking the words in my heart to Him. I prayed for Him to help me relinquish myself, see the qualities and good points of my partner, and absorb her strong points to compensate for my weakness. After praying, God led me to read His words, “What is vital now for you all to do is to learn how to obey that which is right and how to obey that which comes from the truth and that which conforms to the truth; in this way, you are walking and practicing toward being obedient to God”. God’s words showed me the way of practice. It is to learn how to obey that which is right and that which conforms to the truth. Thank God. I knew what I had to do next.

The next day, I received God’s leadership and guidance when I practiced according to His words. During the time that Jane and I continued arranging the draft, I consciously learnt from her with an open mind and intended to be in one accord with her to perform the work properly. After I changed my attitude, I clearly saw that the thought she said the day before was completely tenable, and that it was very original and had highlights. But the time before when she talked about it, I could not find that, nor accept it. Moreover, I did my utmost to cut her changes. Afterward, we both made our respective suggestions. Some points that I didn’t see was brought up by her; some she didn’t realize was taken up by me. I was no longer opinionated at that time. Even if our viewpoints were not aligned with each other, I would communicate with her seriously, and we soon came to an agreement. In this way, each of us provided a little; then the paperwork improved better and better. It was not long before we finalized the manuscript. What’s more, the result was beyond all expectations.

It was only then that I truly experienced: The partner is indeed a helper. Every one of us will meet some people, matters or things that we can’t deal with. No one is perfect. In the team, we should learn to practice the truth and rebel against our arrogant corrupt disposition, learn to hang together and cooperate with others to learn from their strengths and offset our weaknesses, and learn to put ourselves aside and carefully listen to the right suggestions of others. Only by doing so can we establish proper relationships with people, improve our professional skills and abilities, and gradually become a useful person, so that we are able to give full play to all our special skill bestowed by God and perform our roles destined by Him. Thus, in front of God, we will be the useful people and witnesses to Him.

 

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4 Principles for Christians’ Interacting With Others

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. 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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. 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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. 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