By Cong Ling
March 1st, 2018 Thursday, Sunny
Today, a young brother named Xiaoyang came to our church. Although he has not believed in God for very long, he really engages in pursuit and expends himself enthusiastically. As a long-time believer, I must get along well with him. And we brothers and sisters should help each other. This is the likeness that a Christian should live out and also what God hopes to see.
April 1st, 2018 Sunday, Sunny to Cloudy
Today, I was in a terrible mood. The leader was not satisfied with the work that I had put a lot of efforts into, for there existed some problems in it. What made me more depressed was that my leader let Xiaoyang take over my work. When he asked me some questions with the worksheet, I was uncomfortable in my heart, and thought: “I have racked my brains to do this work. Although the final outcome is not ideal, I have done my best. I should at least be given another chance. Xiaoyang just has come here for a month. Even though he pursues the truth and is worthy of cultivation, they shouldn’t have turned over to him the work I was in charge of so quickly. Where can I show my face? How will the brothers and sisters see me?”
April 3rd, 2018 Tuesday, Overcast to Rainy
The sky is gloomy, so is my heart. As soon as I thought the work I had toiled at for such a long time was entrusted to Xiaoyang, I felt very painful. What displeased me more was: Xiaoyang constantly consulted me about this or that. Despite being unwilling in my heart, I still answered his questions for the sake of saving face. But later, he said that he was too busy and asked me to help him collate the files. At that moment, I couldn’t bear it any longer and thought: “You have taken over the work I used to take charge of. Aren’t you capable? Then you do it yourself. I won’t help you.” But then, I felt a little uneasy: “He is new here and has not yet been familiar with the situation of the church. What’s more, I am the former responsible person of this work; I should help him.” Yet it occurred to me: “If he is unable to do it, he can ask our leader to find someone else. Why am I bothering to help him? If we do the work well, everyone will think it is because of his efforts and thereby look up to him. Who can know that it is me who do the work? Won’t they even more look down upon me then?” When I thought of this, my heart which had just softened a little immediately hardened up. In the end, I didn’t help him.
April 5th, 2018 Thursday, Cloudy to Sunny
Today, at the meeting, when seeing me unhappy, my sisters and brothers asked me with concern if I had encountered any difficulty. I opened up my heart and said to them, “I don’t understand why the leader assigned the work which I had put many efforts and prices into to Xiaoyang, who is new here. How will other brothers and sisters see me? They must all look down upon me and regard me as inferior to him. Once I think of this, I feel uncomfortable inside.” After knowing my situation, my brothers and sisters all helped me. They said, “The things that happen every day contain God’s good will. God arranges them not to make trouble with us but to change and save us. We should examine what corrupt disposition we have revealed when encountering this thing, and then know ourselves and seek a transformation.”
That’s true! What the brothers and sisters said was utterly right. As a Christian, I should learn to reflect on myself and seek the truth in everything. I asked myself: Why am I always displeased these days? Why do I have an aversion to Xiaoyang? I didn’t treat him like this before. What’s wrong with me? I pondered these questions again and again in my heart. Afterward, I read a passage of God’s words, “As soon as it involves position, face, or reputation, everyone’s heart leaps in anticipation, and you always want to stand out, to be famous, to be glorified. You are unwilling to yield, always wanting to contend, although contending is embarrassing. However, you are not content not to contend. 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.”
God’s words clearly exposed my situation. When I failed to do my work and my leader directly assigned it to a new brother, I felt a loss of face, so I was uncomfortable within and full of resentment toward the brother. When he encountered difficulties and asked me to help him, I worried that if I helped him do well the work, he would even more stand out. By then, other brothers and sisters must think that it is a wise decision to replace me with him, and I would be even more embarrassed. Therefore, I no longer regarded him as my brother, but as my rival, inwardly competing with him for position. In order not to be exceeded by him and be looked down on by others, I would rather not uphold the church’s work than help him. I was really too selfish and despicable. How could I have any bit of likeness of a Christian? Actually, we are all brothers and sisters, and in doing the church work, we should be of one mind and funnel our efforts in the same direction to bear witness to God and glorify God. However, for the sake of protecting my own face and status, I treated the young brother as my rival and lived in jealousy and strife. Will it not affect the work of the church if I persist in this way? Am I not doing evil? I can’t go on like this. I must forsake my own satanic corrupt disposition and cooperate well with the young brother to accomplish the church work.
April 10th, 2018 Tuesday, Sunny
These days, I was in a good state while working. When I no longer took into account my own face and position, no longer contended with and schemed against Xiaoyang, but set my heart on how to work with him to finish the church work, I felt much more at ease. At the same time as helping him, I also found out the reason for my previous failure, and had some self-reflection. As we finished the work together, I felt particularly joyful.
May 1st, 2018 Tuesday, Rainy
Today, before the meeting ended, my leader entrusted Xiaoyang with another work, saying that he was the group leader and that I was the member. Hearing this, I couldn’t dare believe my ears and was especially depressed, thinking: “Xiaoyang has not been completely familiar with church matters and still needs me to teach him. How come I become his assistant? If our brothers and sisters know this, where will I hide my face?” The more I thought about it, the sadder I felt. “Is it that he didn’t say that it was me who helped him finish the work last time, so the leader falsely believed that he did it alone and that his work ability is better than mine? It’s too unfair!” I was uncomfortable in my heart, but in order to protect my face, outwardly I still nodded my agreement. On my way home, I trudged along the road, weary and depressed.
When back home, I was so exhausted in my heart that I didn’t want to eat or do anything, and even felt breathing was that taxing. I only wanted to forget all of this and sleep for several days. In agony, I came before God and prayed to Him, “Oh, God! Now my leader assigned me to assist Xiaoyang in doing the work. I am unable to accept it and feel very upset. The more I think about this matter, the more grieved I feel. I know it is the evil influence of my face and status within. O God! May You help me and lead me out of it.”
Thank God for listening to my prayer. At night when I was practicing spiritual devotions, I read God’s words, “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. Learn to back off, but do not delay the performing of your duty. Be a person who performs his duty out of the public eye, and who does not show off before others. The more you give up and set aside, the more peaceful your heart will be and the more space will open up within it, and the more your condition will improve. The more you struggle and compete, the darker will be your condition; try it if you don’t believe it. If you want to turn around this kind of condition, if you want not to be controlled by these things, then you must first set them aside and give them up.”
Then I saw a passage of a sermon about life entry, “You should pursue the truth properly. Don’t do anything honorable, but tutor, support, and help others more in secret. Let others do what they are able to do. You stand out when others are incapable. This is harmonious collaboration. Those who have real ability should be obscure heroes. They hide themselves behind the scenes doing the most crucial things. They do not let others see it, but they do the most important work. This is valuable. God looks upon it. Isn’t it good to be a person like this?”
Oh, God! Thanks for Your guidance. I have understood: Your will is for me to learn to set aside my face and position, no longer fight for my own reputation and status, and no longer show off and hog the limelight before men. I should obey Your arrangement, consider the entire work of the church more, and learn to let go of myself to be a worker behind the scenes, doing some substantive work benefiting the church in obscurity. Only by conducting myself like this can I satisfy Your will and gain peace and joy, and only in this way can I no longer be controlled by fame and gain or be dominated by my highly competitive satanic disposition to resist You. In the past, I always contended with Xiaoyang, and always wanted to obtain the high regard of others, worrying about gaining and losing face and status, thereby leading a very tiring life. Aren’t these the affliction of Satan? I don’t want to live like this anymore. Thank God for guiding the direction of my progress. I am willing to act according to God’s demands, pray more to God, and let Him lead me to break free from the bondage of satanic corrupt disposition, so that I can no longer compete against others but willingly obey God’s orchestrations.
May 8th, 2018 Tuesday, Sunny
Today, Xiaoyang said to me embarrassedly, “Sister, though the leader asked me to take charge of this work, I still need your help because I don’t understand much of the truth.” At that time, I was peaceful and said with a smile, “Regardless of who is in charge of it, we should be of one mind to do the work well. Don’t forget that we are partners.” “Right!” he smiled.
June 6th, 2018 Wednesday, Sunny
Thanks be to God! Over one month has passed. The work we are responsible for is progressing smoothly. Sometimes I was still controlled by my corrupt disposition, feeling being an assistant was a humiliating and thankless job, but when I prayed and cried to God, God’s words I had read before would remind and guide me in time, so that I could willingly set aside my face and status, not seek to prevail over others but fulfill my duty with an open and upright heart.
Thanks to God’s guidance. From this experience, I have tasted God’s love and salvation. When I couldn’t let go of my face and status and lived by my highly competitive nature, it was God’s words that exposed the secret hidden deep within me, making me see clearly my satanic performance of struggling for fame and gain; when I was fooled by Satan again, it was God’s words that pointed out to me the way of practice, making me able to cooperate with the young brother and be willing to be under others. It is God’s salvation that allows me to live so happily and freely now. Thank God! All the glory be to God!
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