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By Lisa, United States
One afternoon, I was busy with my work on my computer. Just when I came to the key part of my work, my colleague Zhang, coming back after finishing her business, slumped into the chair beside me and started to delightedly talk with Wang about the process of the business today. Hearing their conversation, I thought: My work is in the critical moment. Why can’t you care about me as you talk? You have finished your business, but I haven’t finished my work yet. However, for the sake of saving face, I was embarrassed to say anything. Then I forced myself to quiet my heart. Unexpectedly, the more they talked, the more excited they were and the louder they spoke. Hearing their laughter and chatter, my heart couldn’t calm down anyhow. Being unable to finish my urgent work, I was full of complaints to them, thinking: Can’t you consider others’ feeling? You concentrate on talking, regardless of whether others are affected by you; Aren’t you too selfish? Angry, I wanted to disturb their talking several times, but I remembered that I was a Christian, and that the Lord teaches us to love others as ourselves, so I should be tolerant and patient. Thus, I silently prayed to the Lord, and asked Him to help me quiet my heart so that my eyes wouldn’t be fixed on them. After prayer, I calmed my heart down a little. Just when I was about to put myself into the work, the shrill voice began again, which upset me once more. I opened my mouth several times to remind Zhang, but when I thought I didn’t have the right to restrict their speaking for this was in a public place, not my personal space, I didn’t say a word. Moreover, I was a believer in God, so I couldn’t let my hot-bloodiness flare up even more. In the intense inner battle, I managed to finish my work with difficulty.
I was morose. After getting back my shared house from work, I wanted to go online to fellowship with brothers and sisters about my condition. During our meeting, my roommates either turned on the water tap, or walked up and down, or sat down together to chat, not considering that I was gathering at all. Looking at them, I was very angry and resentful, thinking: It’s really awful to live with you. You are inconsiderate, and without any moral quality; you are too selfish. In the meeting, I couldn’t calm down owing to the noise around me, which made me more annoyed. I thought to myself: What was wrong today? I had a bad day in the company, and when back to my rented house, I was still frustrated.
After encountering two bad things in succession, I had to come before the Lord to reflect on myself. At night, thinking back the occurrences of the day and my behaviors, I suddenly realized something: Why did I reveal so many thoughts of looking down on others? Why did I always think people around me were selfish?
In my pursuits, I remembered the Lord’s words, “And why behold you the mote that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3). The Lord’s words made me wake up from my confusion. When encountering the unfavorable people, things and matters, I merely thought from my own perspective: I was working or attending a gathering and so I needed a quiet environment, but people around me didn’t consider that. As I made demands of others, did I consider their feelings? When she had a new harvest and development at work, my fellow was happy and wanted to share them with others, but I, in order to not be affected at my work, wanted to restrict her to speaking. After work, my roommates were in their free time, and chatted with each other to relax, but because I thought they interfered with my attending the meeting, I was still impatient and even got to disgust and complain to them. While I complained them of simply considering themselves and not caring about others, I ignored that I was doing the same thing as them. The Lord’s words made me ashamed. I only saw others were wrong, while I didn’t see I was irrational; wasn’t this arrogant? Theasks us to be tolerant and forbearing in all things, and not to treat others based on our hot-bloodedness. However, I not only didn’t do that, but even judged them in my heart. Didn’t this betray the Lord’s teachings? After knowing this, I thanked God for arranging such circumstances to help me have some understanding of myself. I was willing to repent and confess to the Lord.
Having understood the Lord’s will, I knew the way to practice the truth. When meeting this kind of environment again, I would first pray to the Lord in my heart, rather than rely on hot-bloodedness in my life. Besides, if someone really interfered with my work, I would calmly talk to him or remind him. When I practiced in this way, everyone started to consider others’ feeling. With an understanding and tolerance in the work environment and living space, I felt peaceful and steady. I knew this was the outcome of the Lord’s words in me. Thank the Lord!
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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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