By Li Lu
The outside temperature dropped to zero degrees centigrade. Even though it was afternoon, the sun couldn’t be seen, and the morning fog didn’t clear—it was a grey day. Just like the weather, I was depressed and bleak. Jiajia, sitting face to face with me, was absorbed in her work: Her head was down, and her fingers were briskly hitting the keyboard. But the pat-pat-pat sound was so harsh to my ear that I felt as if it were striking my heart. Being impatient and fretful, I took the sulks to type briskly like her. However, the faster I tried to be, the more my hands were out of my control. I racked my brains and ground out a sentence, but it was groundless. I deleted it, and typewrote another one, and then deleted it again…. I knew I was envying her.
Jiajia and I received a job offer from this advertising company, and also entered its designing department at the same time. I thought since I had a sounder educational background than she did, and I was better at the professional level, I would have the edge on her in working. But never had I thought that in my dealings with her for only several days, I found she had lots of strengths: She adapted to a new environment well, concentrated on working very soon, did things neatly, and was always the first to come up with new ideas when we discussed the designs…. And I felt much ashamed. However, I was defiant and unwilling to be her foil. If the leader and colleagues all thought highly of her, then who would care for me? Where could I hide my face? Somehow, the more I was eager to compete with her and surpass her, the more I felt inferior to her. Comparing with her, I was slow-witted and awkward, and even couldn’t give full play to my own original merits. The passion and ambition I had when I first came to the company also vanished completely. In these days, on the surface I spoke to her gently, but within my heart there were turbulent storms: How could she be that outstanding and be better than me in almost every aspect? If she wasn’t here, I would get to stand out and obtain honor. … With these thoughts occupying my mind all day long, I felt so weary and distressed that I neither wanted to see her any longer, nor was I in the mood to work. Sometimes, I simply leant over the desk and closed my eyes for a nap to adjust my feeling. Nevertheless, no matter what I did, the flame of jealousy was still burning in my heart.
In distress and helplessness, I prayed silently to the Lord and asked Him to quiet my fretful mood. Then I remembered that lately, many short videos were uploaded on Waiting for God. The spiritual music in it appealed to me, and the melodious piano music soon calmed me down. Seeing the grass in the scene, the moss on rocks, a stream running along the mountain, and the leaves in the sunshine…, I came to realize: Despite that they are not lofty as trees, or gorgeous as flowers, they decorate nature with their green color, manifesting their life and value that the Creator bestows on them. My heart was touched and I felt as if I were also one green leaf among the innumerable ones in the video. At the moment, I seemed to understand : No matter what environment I’m in, no matter whether I’m the protagonist or the foil, I’m only a small creature who is originally insignificant, so what I need to do is perform my function as a created being and fulfill my duty well. The entire music was like a SPA for my spirit and made me refreshed. Then I took a look at Jiajia. Though she was still hitting the keyboard, the sound was no longer that harsh.website. I searched and found a short video—
I continued searching on the internet and discovered a video named The Heart’s Deliverance. I yearned to know how the protagonist overcame her jealousy. Therefore, I watched it attentively and then I saw a passage of words in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life: “So are those who are jealous of others narrow-minded people? … Are there any benefits to being narrow-minded and jealous? There isn’t a single benefit. They are petty, narrow-minded, and vicious, and people see them as a joke. They’re not worthy of living. Narrow-mindedness is not good, and that is a fact. Some people say, ‘Sometimes I can’t overcome it. As soon as I encounter someone better than me, I feel jealous and angry. As soon as I see that person, I even feel like I can’t go on living. What can I do when I encounter this?’ Can’t you pray to God, and curse yourself? And how should you pray? You say, ‘I can’t stand to see someone that is better than me. What kind of a person am I? Someone like me doesn’t deserve to live. I’m jealous every time I see someone better than me. What kind of heart is this? This is not normal humanity. May God discipline me.’ After that, make the following: ‘God, I beg You to help me escape from my narrow-mindedness, to make me more generous in spirit, more magnanimous, to live like humans so that You are not ashamed of me.’ This is how you should pray. Once you’ve prayed that way for a while, before you know it perhaps you will become more generous in spirit. The next time you encounter someone who is more capable than you, you won’t feel so much jealousy. You’ll be able to accept them and interact with them normally. Over time, this will become easier. When you have normal humanity, you will be able to live happy, carefree, and easy. A narrow-minded person lives constantly in pain and exhaustion.” Through this passage and the sister’s experience in the video, I knew that being jealous of Jiajia was jealous of worth and ability. Afraid that she would do better than me and surpass me in all aspects, when I found that she worked and reacted quickly and had more ideas than I did in designing plans, I was jealous of her within and I earnestly wished that she did worse than me in every aspect. I was so malicious, selfish, and base as to not have any human sense. In addition, because I was jealous of her and compared with her in everything, I was hoodwinked by jealousy and couldn’t view myself correctly. I thought I was devoid of any merit, and even couldn’t attain anything that I could attain in my work as before. I lived in darkness and negativity, and was full of hatred, so that I could not get along with her normally and that brought me nothing but misery. Having seen my own ugliness, I was ashamed and did not want to live in jealousy any more. Then I prayed to God silently in my heart: “Oh, God, thank You for Your guidance. Thank You for enabling me to know that being jealous of others is a malignant expression. I beg You to guide me to escape from my narrow-mindedness. I’m willing to learn my colleague’s strengths and no longer live in jealousy. May You guide me to be generous in spirit.” After the prayer, I felt somewhat relieved.
Then in the video, I saw a passage of God’s word, “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. … 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.” From God’s words, I realized: The root cause of my jealousy is because my disposition is arrogant and I care too much about fame and status. Controlled by fame and status, I compete with Jiajia in every aspect, and desire to outdo her. Thinking of myself, when I first came to the company, I thought I was OK—I’m a design graduate and had working experience, so that I should definitely be better than Jiajia, and the leader and colleagues should also think highly of me. Whereas the fact was not what I’d imagined. When I found Jiajia was better than me, I compared with her unyieldingly. When I found I couldn’t surpass her, I became jealous and defiant and discriminated against her within, even to the point that I wished she would leave the company. Was the reason why I had these thoughts not because I wanted to be the champion in our designing department? I’ve been living by Satan’s toxins such as “getting ahead and standing above others,” and “towering above others.” And regardless of in what situations, I thought it was better to be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion. When my ambition and desire couldn’t be satisfied, I revealed jealousy and maliciousness, so that I couldn’t get on well with Jiajia, and lived in the suffering where I was unable to obtain release. Now I know pursuing fame and status is indeed not the right path. Instead, it is the means Satan uses to seduce and corrupt me, and all it has brought to me is misery. Thinking of this, I deeply felt God’s words were of great help to me, enabling me to not only know the root cause of my being jealous toward others, but also find the way to shake off my jealousy. That is, when encountering things that involve reputation and face, one should learn to give them up and set them aside. And when seeing others are better than me, I should recommend them and allow them to stand out. Then, I resolved to set aside fame and status, and get rid of its bondage and tricks.
Besides, I thought God’s purpose in allocating such a colleague to me was to make up for things that I lacked. Only if my colleagues were better than me could I draw on their strengths to compensate for my weakness. If otherwise, I could not learn new things, and instead I would be more and more arrogant and self-conceited, without any sense of perspective. It seemed that such an environment I encountered was God’s meticulous arrangement, and even more God’s great love for me.
Recalling my jealousy and hatred of Jiajia, I could not help but feel guilty toward her. So I wanted to have a heart-to-heart talk with her, but then I thought: If I tell her my ugliness, how will she think of me? Will she look down upon me or be fed up with me？As soon as I had this thought, I always lost the courage to lay bare the truth before Jiajia. Just then, a passage of God’s words occurred to me, “‘I don’t need to tell others of my dark or corrupt side, do I?’ If you do not speak these things, and do not dissect yourself, then you will never know yourself, will never know what kind of thing you are, and there will be no chance of others trusting you. This is fact. If you wish for others to trust you, first you must be honest. To be honest, you must first lay your heart bare so that everyone can see your heart, see all that you are thinking, and see your true face; you must not pretend or try to cover yourself up.” From God’s words I knew, God hoped that I could practice being an honest person, open up to communicate with others. But I was unwilling to lay my heart bare to Jiajia; was I not bound and controlled by vanity? I didn’t feel released in my spirit. So, I prayed to God within, and asked Him to give me the courage to practice the truth. After praying, I summoned up to tell Jiajia my jealousy toward her and begged her forgiveness, and I felt relaxed at once as if relieved of a heavy load. Hearing my words, Jiajia was astounded, yet she didn’t look down upon me and said jokingly, “You are jealous of me? You’re a graduate. You know more than I do. Seeing your strengths, I’m still jealous of you. …” After she finished her words, we two laughed and the haze of my jealousy was gone with the smile. Just as if a ray of sunshine were streaming into my heart, I felt great happiness.
Starting then, as long as I had time, I would watch these videos. They were abundant in content and brought me much help with my problems in life, work or the questions on my path in life. Besides, they reversed many of my false ways of seeing things, and moreover showed me the way of practice. When I associated with my colleagues according to the way, not only was much displeasure avoided, but also my work efficiency was increased a lot.
Thank God for His enlightenment and guidance. I regard these short videos as the perfect SPA for my spirit in that they are able to sate my spirit at any time and allow me to live freely.