Dear Brothers and Sisters of Spiritual Q&A:
I’m a Christian. Recently I met some difficulties, so I want to ask your advice. I’m a technician in our company. Originally, since I have brilliant technique, everyone in our department asked my advice when they encountered questions. Lately, I have a new colleague. His technique is much higher than mine and my leaders and colleagues all speak highly of him. Everyone consults him rather than me when they have questions. I feel as if I were given the cold shoulder. Unbearable and distressed, I’m jealous of the new colleague and think it is because of him that I have received the cold shoulder. I don’t want to see him, and even wish him to leave our company. Actually, I know my thoughts don’t conform to the Lord’s will, but I can’t control myself, feeling very distressed and tormented. I really expect to walk out of pain, hoping you can help me. Thanks.
I’m a Christian of Loving Stage. About your present situation I have deep sentiments. You regard your colleague working together with you as your competitor, so when you see he is better than you, you are full of jealousy and even wish him to be inferior to you. It’s indeed miserable for us to live this way. To be honest, I had the same experience as you do.
At that time, our company established a video studio, which was in need of make-up artists. Staff who had this special skill could sign up for it. I thought: It is an amazing opportunity and if the actors whose make-up was done by me appeared on the screen, I could be looked up to and praised by my leaders and colleagues. For this reason, I signed up. But when I knew my friend Lingling also signed up, I couldn’t help feeling a little worried because her skill was also not poor. Undoubtedly, her participation made the competition intense.
Afterward, Lingling was chosen by our company and I failed. I couldn’t accept the result, thinking: In which aspect am I inferior to her? In terms of the reflexes and the ability to learn new things, I am quicker than her and more than that, I can do natural make-up for people. In the past, when we studied make-up together, a professional make-up artist praised me, saying that the make-up done by me was the most natural. This time she was chosen; does it not then seem I am not as good as her? How will my colleagues see me? How can I face others? I felt so limp and weak that I even didn’t have strength to walk and was unable to raise my enthusiasm in whatever I did. I became jealous of Lingling within.
Just as your words say, when you are jealous of others, you are fed up with them and filled with hatred. I had the same feeling.
In the following days, whenever Lingling came back from the shooting location and talked about things in doing the make-up, she would smile brightly. However, the more I saw her do like this, the more uncomfortable and jealous I felt. I thought: You talk about such things in front of me; do you want to embarrass me on purpose? You even show off yourself before me. You’re really cocky. I don’t believe you won’t fail sometime. She was more and more disagreeable in my sight. Whenever I saw the working staff came to discuss work with Lingling, I would feel sick at heart. Sometimes Lingling was so busy doing the make-up for the actors who worked on location that some colleagues showed consideration for her. When I saw this, I would be distressed as if a needle had been stabbed into my heart, and felt I was left out in the cold. In the past, no matter what difficulties Lingling met in her work, I would help her, but later I didn’t want to teach her at all. I thought: “Are you not formidable or capable? Then learn by yourself. I just have such a strength; if I teach you, others will even more think highly of you and I will then be inferior to you in every aspect.” Therefore, sometimes I ignored her and gave her a dirty look; sometimes as she asked me time and time again, to save my face I taught her outwardly but I was actually reluctant to do it.
Not long after, the manager asked me about Lingling’s job performance at ordinary times, for our company wanted to send her out to study. When I learned this news, the flame of strong jealousy suddenly burnt in my heart. There was no way that I could accept this reality! I thought: This time Lingling has been totally recognized by all in our department; how come it is never me? I also have potential; why don’t they give me a chance? I am not inferior to her! No, I must take this opportunity to put my finger on her shortcomings. So, I racked my brains to recall them. Just at the moment, I felt a little guilty within: If I report her shortcomings at work and in the daily life to the manager, am I not nitpicking? Isn’t it going a bit too far? Even though no one knows my thoughts and actions, God is inspecting me. I struggled in my heart. But then I thought this was a rare opportunity for me to study, so I would be superior to others. Getting carried away with jealousy, I finally reported her shortcomings to the manager. Nevertheless, it was Lingling who was still chosen.
It really was “You will have it if it belongs to you, whereas you don’t kvetch for it if it doesn’t appear in your life.” Whatever doesn’t belong to us can’t be forced in spite of playing a trick.
Thus each day I felt very agitated. Jealousy bound me like invisible shackles, making me unable to move. Even if I wanted to shake it off, I always couldn’t overcome. To be honest, it brought me nothing but suffering and I even didn’t want to work there. In that period, when I saw God’s words, I couldn’t feel the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. I even didn’t have the desire of reading the words of God. Besides, I couldn’t do my work well and always made mistakes. Seeing that I couldn’t work normally, the manager had a conversation with me, asking me about my current situation and giving me leave for a while to make adjustments.
After going back home, I felt very miserable and cried constantly: What on earth is the matter with me? How come I become like this? At this moment I had to come before God to pray: “O God, in these days I always want to stand out and compete against Lingling. When I saw she was chosen as a make-up artist instead of me, I have been jealous of her. Now I feel much distressed and I need Your help. May You guide me to cast aside jealousy and break free from Satan’s bondage.”
One day, when I was practicing spiritual devotion, I saw a passage of God’s words: “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. … What must a person obtain before he can free himself of the vexations of these things, loosen the bonds of these things, and be able truly to be free and liberated? On one hand, a person must see through things: These fame and fortune and positions are tools and methods for Satan to corrupt people, to entrap them, to harm them, and to cause their degeneration. … 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.”
God’s words stroke my heart and revealed my ambitions and desires of standing out and obtaining honor in the depths of my heart. Since our company established the video studio, I had hoped to be highly spoken of and praised by others through giving full play to my skill. I only sought to stand above others. When my desires was shattered, I became jealous of Lingling, and my bias toward her got stronger and stronger. I didn’t share what I learned with her and in order to stop her from being given important work, I even appraised her with my intention behind her back, regarding her who was my friend as my competitor. I fell into the state of scrambling fame and gain from which I couldn’t extricate myself. Alas, in fact I knew living this way was too weary and too miserable. I felt as if my heart was torn into pieces. I wanted to escape but had no way out, and I tried to exercise restraint but couldn’t. Only through the revelation of God’s words did I realize: The pursuit of fame, fortune, and status was living in Satan’s trap. It was controlled by corrupt disposition that I lived in such pain and darkness. God’s words directed me the way of practice: The first thing I should do is learn to give up, recommend others, be a humble person and no longer live for reputation and status. Only in this way can I get rid of jealousy and live in peace and security.
In reality, what kind of work I can do is predestined and ruled by God. It is not controlled by me when I am in what position, nor was it because of Lingling that I was not promoted by our company. There was God’s good intention in these several months of experience. Though I failed to work in the video studio and lived in misery, I had discernment about Satan’s rules of living. Thank God for arranging such environment, allowing me to have some real knowledge of my corrupt disposition. Willing to submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, I prayed to God and laid myself bare, asking God to guide me to experience His work with a right attitude.
Then I read a passage of words in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life, “If someone is better or more capable than us, we should appreciate him and learn from him. I like to contact with those who outshine me and who have talents and abilities, for I can learn new things and make up for my deficiencies when associating with them. There are no perfect people.”
From the fellowship, I understood a little more of God’s intention. No people are perfect indeed. Since I was lacking too much, God allowed Lingling to be my colleague and His intention was for me to learn from her and make up for my weaknesses. Lingling was responsible for work and better at doing make-up than me, and besides she was smart and knew how to be flexible when encountering exceptional situations. These were her strengths worthy for me to learn. In the past, I was dazzled by jealousy and couldn’t discover or learn others’ strengths at all. As a result, I lost many opportunities to make up for my weaknesses. When thinking back to it now, I still feel regret.
In fact, seeing Lingling could take responsibility for this work, I should be happy for her and for our company. I only needed to do my duty, brought my value into full play. This is living with dignity. When my mindset had changed, I was able to get along with Lingling and my situation gradually got better. Doing my duty every day made me feel assured and peaceful.
Later, God once again orchestrated an environment to test me: Lingling was transferred to another important department. When I heard this news, my heart was disturbed. Then I realized I had fallen into the incorrect state, so I prayed to God: “O God, I heard Lingling has been transferred to another important department for important work, and she is thought highly of by our company. I’m envious and jealous of her. May You help me, letting me be able to deal with this matter correctly and stop living in jealousy.” After prayers, I calmed down.
Afterward, I could get along with Lingling normally. I learned something related to our professional work from her, which was helpful to me. Later, I openly talked to Lingling about my thoughts toward her in these days and felt especially released and free. Hearing my words, not only did she not think badly of me, but she showed understanding to me.
I am grateful to the guidance of the word of God, which allowed me to shake off jealousy. I truly appreciated that God arranging someone who was more capable than me was a boost and help to me. Three months later, the department she worked in needed more hands because the business became large and then I was transferred to work with her. Practicing according to God’s words, I felt no longer depressed as before and could work with her normally. Thank God for His guidance all the way so that I could cast aside jealousy.
This is my experience. I hope it can bring you some help.
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