At work, how to get along well with colleagues has become our great difficulty. Especially, when we find that our partners are not better than us, we will cold-shoulder and belittle them, causing our relationship with them to become more and more estranged. As a result, not only do we bring harm to our partners, but also we ourselves are miserable about it…. This was how I felt in association with my partner. But it was gratifying that afterward, under the guidance of God’s words, I found the secret of how to get along well with her.
My former partner was transferred to another department, and my manager told me that I would have a new partner transferred from another department. Later on, I learnt that my new partner was sister Xiaolin. Her colleagues had a good opinion of her, saying that she was outgoing, humorous, and easy to get along with. Furthermore, she was engaged as an office clerk and had rather rich experience in her work. Thinking that I would cooperate with her soon, I felt quite happy in my heart and hoped that she could give me some good guidance and help.
In the first few days after sister Xiaolin came here, we got along well with each other. A week passed quickly, but she still did not have a good grasp of the business in our department. Several times when I let her develop some simple plans, not once did she have any ideas. Seeing this, I thought to myself: Were you not engaged in similar work? You ought to have some working experience. But why are you still not familiar with the business after one week? I could have a good grasp of the business not long after I came here. Judging from this, you are not any better than me and your quality is not so good as they say. Now we have such a great deal of work, so you need to be familiar with the business as soon as possible, and I must teach you more. Thus, in the following days, I not only always urged sister Xiaolin to learn professional knowledge, but I often supervised and guided her by her side personally. When she was dealing with her paperwork, I just watched beside her and told her to write in this way or that way…. But after I taught her this way for a long time, she still worked slowly. I began to think: Alas, how can you spend such a long time writing such a simple paperwork? If I were you, I would have long since finished it. When she was halfway through her writing, I said impatiently: “Don’t write it any more. I will do it later.”
One afternoon, sister Xiaolin was having a nap. Upon seeing this, I thought in my heart: With so much work to do, you do not snatch time to learn, but spend time in sleep. You really don’t have any gumption at all. I must discipline you. So, I came up to her and said, “Wake up! We have so much business to do. Wake up!” Hearing my words, she had to write, but still didn’t have many ideas. When I saw this, the anger in my heart surged up. I thought, “It is not difficult, but why can you not do it properly? Well. Leave it to me.” With this in my mind, although I was typing, I was unhappy and full of complaints: Now it can be said that all the business is still done by myself. Isn’t she capable as others said? Then why can’t she exert her caliber here?
Soon, another week passed. But sister Xiaolin’s plans still had lots of deficiencies and I looked down on her more. Once in particular, she should have spent a whole day finishing a simple report. I really could not control my temper, and so took a lecturing tone with her: “It takes so long for you to write such a simple report. If you continue in this way, what work can you do? I originally thought that since you had working experience, you would be familiar with business quickly. Who knows that you have not yet grasped the business even after half a month?” Hearing this, sister Xiaolin dropped her head sadly. A long while later, she forced a smile and said to me, “I’m sorry. My reactions are slow. I still need more time to adapt to the work. From now on, I will work harder.” Seeing this I felt a little sorry about it: Is what I have said out of line? But then I thought I did this for the purpose to help her. If I didn’t speak it harshly, she wouldn’t take it seriously and the problem couldn’t be resolved.
In the next few days, I could see that sister Xiaolin really worked harder than before and was able to develop some plans. But they were monotonous and without novelty. Later on, I said to her, “Why can you not put two and two together and get three? Use your brain more. If not, the plans you make will not be novel. You see, I like thinking independently and pondering about questions. You should learn from more successful cases. Do not always let me teach you. Otherwise, all our work will be only of my style….” During the days that followed, I found sister Xiaolin was depressed. I sensed there was something wrong with her. One afternoon, when I finished my work, I wanted to talk with her about it through a problem in our work. When I had just put forward the problem and hadn’t finished speaking, sister Xiaolin interrupted my words and said angrily, “Don’t speak any more. I’m unfit for this job. I’d better resign. During this period of time, you did teach me, but I couldn’t feel that you were sincerely helping me. Instead, I felt that you were always criticizing me. I cannot stand it anymore. I think it’s better for me to change a work environment.” After saying that, she left the office right away.
At night, when I lay on the bed, I reviewed the happenings in the afternoon. The word of sister Xiaolin “I could not feel that you were helping me sincerely. Instead, I felt that you were always criticizing me. I cannot stand it anymore,” pricked my heart and I felt quite sad. “I did help her with all my heart, but why could she not feel that?” The more I thought about it, the more I felt wronged. Just then I recalled some of God’s words, “If you believe in the dominion of God, then you must believe that the things that happen every day, be they good or bad, don’t happen accidentally. It is not that someone doesn’t get on with you or opposes you on purpose; it is actually all arranged and orchestrated by God. What does God orchestrate these things for? … Firstly, He makes you aware of your own corrupt disposition, your own nature and essence, your own shortcomings and what you lack. Only by knowing these things and understanding them in your heart can you cast them off.” From God’s words, I understood: The things that we encounter every day do not happen accidently but are all arranged and orchestrated by God. Whether good or bad, they all contain God’s good intentions. Such as now sister Xiaolin has prejudices against and an opinion of me—this environment came upon me out of God’s permission. It is not that someone opposes me on purpose, but that God uses it to let me see my deficiencies and shortcomings, to make me aware of my own corrupt disposition. Having known this, I came before God to pray and seek, asking God to guide me to know myself and point out to me the way of practice.
Then I read one more passage of “The Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life”: “We should treat others properly, neither overestimating nor underestimating any of them. No matter they are stupid or smart, of good caliber or bad, poor or rich, we should not have prejudices against them or rely on affections to treat them. We should not impose our preference on others, much less force others to accept what we dislike—this is not making others do things they are unwilling to do. 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 …”
I thought back to my association with sister Xiaolin. In the beginning, when I learnt that she had working experience, I hoped that I could get help from her in the work. Later, when my hope fell through and instead I always needed to help her, I got quite impatient. Seeing that she learned professional knowledge slowly, I more belittled and looked down on her, and even thought that it made no difference whether she did the work or not. When her plans were not good, I did not at all communicate with her to analyze them calmly, but lectured her and restrained her in a condescending attitude according to my arrogant and conceited nature. Because I always spoke to her in a tone of disparagement and blame, she felt depressed and susceptible to my control. Thinking of these, I suddenly felt guilty. Actually, in this period sister Xiaolin was making progress in the work, but she just needed some time to learn new professional knowledge. There would definitely be some deficiencies and shortcomings in this progress, which was normal. I should not make requirements of her according to the standards which I could reach. When she made some mistakes in her work, she must be sad. Not only should I guide her to correct mistakes, but also encourage and care about her more.
The next day at work, I offered an apology to sister Xiaolin, and opened up to her about my thoughts. To my surprise, after she heard these, she did not blame me but was moved somewhat. She also made an apology to me. She said that she, too, thought a lot the night before. She thought some words she said to me also harmed me, and hoped I did not mind them. She told me that she was inclined to work relying on her former experience and could not accept others’ correct recommendations, and on top of that she felt I was looking down on her, so she did not want to do this job any more. As a result, her professional business wasn’t improved. But now, she hoped that I could help her more in the future…. Hearing these, I was also moved. When I could put myself aside and treated sister Xiaolin correctly, our conflicts were resolved. This was all achieved by the word of God!
Since then, when I saw sister Xiaolin have some problems in her work, I was even-tempered. Although sometimes I still wanted to lecture her according to my arrogant nature, I would come before God, and through prayer learned to put myself aside, to act in accordance with God’s words, and to adjust myself to patiently help her as possible as I could. After doing this, I felt peaceful and steady in my heart. Sometimes when she drew up plans, she would talk her ideas over with me. Some of her ideas were quite well-conceived and her plans greatly improved than before. Sometimes I would neglect some details at work, but sister Xiaolin was able to take them into consideration; she dealt with some matters more prudently than I did. Gradually, I found that she had lots of merits and that she was really a nice person. When we had some little conflicts in our association, we would speak the words of our true hearts to each other timely afterward. We were like sisters.
Once, when I had done my work, I gave sister Xiaolin some pastries. She received them and smiled to me, saying, “I remembered that when I first came here, you were just like a stern young teacher, who was always lecturing me. At that time, I really refused to obey you in my heart. Sometimes even though I knew what you said was right, I just couldn’t accept it because you always spoke to me in a lecturing tone. But now, I don’t feel that you are like a young teacher.” “So what am I like?” I asked curiously. “You are just like my younger sister!” said Xiaolin. After saying that, she touched me on the head with a smile. When I heard this, I also beamed. In my heart, I could not help but give appreciation and praise to God. That I could get along well with my partner was all because of the words of God. God’s words are exactly the truth and a guide for our conduct and dealing with others!
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