By Lin Lan
During these days, our company had recruited some new employees. In order for our work to be completed better so as to get good achievements, the supervisor arranged for one of them to be my new partner. But to be honest, I didn’t want to change my partner at all. I considered: Presently, people are all self-righteous. What is my new partner like? Can we get along with each other? Suppose we were to have different opinions on things, would we be in conflict with each other? … These thoughts came out repeatedly in my mind so that I was very depressed.
The next day, after finishing a document, I gave it to my new partner to check and modify it. But several days passed, she still made no reply to me. When I thought that my former partner always would reply to me the second day at the latest and she never delayed the progress of my work, I had some preconceptions about my new partner in my heart: How many days have passed! Yet I haven’t heard your reply. What do you mean? Don’t you think that my document is good? If so, you ought to tell me and I could modify it. But though I was very anxious, I didn’t want to actively ask her about my document. So I had to continue waiting for her reply “patiently”. Three days later, she gave me the answer at length. However, she not only pointed out many insufficiencies in my document, but advised me to rewrite it. Hearing these suggestions, I had a distrust of her in my heart: Do you actually understand the professional knowledge? Are you not mistaken? If you were, wouldn’t it be a pity for my document? Then, without communication with my partner, I directly abandoned my document in a fit of pique.
Afterward, the supervisor handed over some works to me. Due to last unpleasant experience, this time, after I finished these documents, I directly gave them to other colleagues to check instead of my partner. Because in my heart I always had some misgivings: It is not long since my partner came to the company, and she is unfamiliar with the majority of the business. What a pity it would be if she rejected my document when she doesn’t understand the professional work! What’s more, I had been taking it to heart since she rejected my document last time. So I always wanted to save my face before her and not to be looked down on by her. However, subsequently, the colleagues who were familiar with the business became quite busy and had no more time to help me check the documents. Besides, one colleague emphasized again and again: Regardless of who your partner is, you should ask her to check it for you. Hearing the words, I felt depressed at once.
After I came back home in the evening, thinking of the relationship between me and my partner, I could do nothing but pray to God in my heart once and again: “O God, I have a poor opinion of my partner, and I don’t want to get close to her at all. As a Christian, I know what I live out is not in accordance with Your will. But when facing my partner, I really can’t practice Your words. O God, what should I do?”
After praying, I opened the book ofs and saw these words, “Again I say to you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the middle of them” (Matthew 18:19-20).
“They don’t have any harmonious partnership. Why don’t they have any? (They are arrogant and self-righteous and are unwilling to relinquish themselves.) Being unwilling to relinquish themselves, being arrogant and self-righteous—these are all corrupt dispositions” (“To Attain the Truth, You Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Around You”).
At this point I had an awakening. I realized the reason why I couldn’t get along well with my partner was because I lived within a state of arrogance and self-righteousness. When I saw she was a newcomer, I was afraid that she was unfamiliar with the business and couldn’t make a correct assessment of my documents so that she would reject my document by mistake. Therefore, I couldn’t treat her fairly and justly. Furthermore, I thought that as a new member, she should be humble and not reject my document as she pleased. Then I thought of a passage of God’s word: “Will you become even more arrogant and conceited, or will you stay as you are? (We’ll become even more arrogant and conceited.) Why is that? (We’ll think we have capital.) You’ll think you have seniority, yes? And what is the level of this seniority based on? Is it based on how many years you’ve been performing this duty? In addition, is it based on how much experience you’ve accrued from performing this duty? Slowly but surely, will you start judging people according to their seniority? (Yes.) And why will you take this path? Say, for example, there’s someone called Sister Zhang: She’s believed for many years, she’s a veteran—the first one who performed this duty. So she’s most qualified to speak. Brother Li came last; he might have a little caliber, but he doesn’t have enough experience to perform this duty, nor has he been a believer for very long. He is the least qualified to talk” (“Only If You Live Before God at All Times Can You Walk the Path of Salvation”). Although this passage is spoken by God to teach us Christians to perform our duty with one heart and mind, in our daily work, shouldn’t we do the same? Was not the reason why I could not accept my new partner’s suggestions because I believed those who were veterans and knew the business well in the team were qualified to speak, and that those who came last and were unfamiliar with the business were not qualified to speak? Based on God’s words, I saw my thoughts were indeed unbearably ugly! It was all because of my arrogance and self-righteousness that I couldn’t work together with my partner harmoniously. In order to fix the awkward relationship between us, I should have opened my heart to communicate with my partner. However, driven by the arrogant nature, I was incapable of putting my face aside. Helplessly, I could do nothing but entrust this matter to God again, and beg Him to guide and help me.
Afterward, I gave my partner my finished document to check. When I saw her seriously reading the document for a long time with a troubled expression, my heart began to wave: Don’t you again want to give me many suggestions and reject my train of thought? My restless heart forced me to pray to God: O God! Please help me put myself aside and not live by my arrogant nature. Regardless of what suggestions my partner raises, as long as they are reasonable, I will accept them. If there are issues I am not clear on, I will communicate with her together. After praying, I calmed down a lot and remembered God’s words: “Collaborate harmoniously, do things with one heart and mind, have a common goal. Colloquially, it can be said that ‘sticks in a bundle cannot be broken.’ So how can you become like a bundle of sticks? You must be in accord, and then thewill work; that is how the Holy Spirit works” (“Only Seeking the Truth and Obeying God Can Resolve a Corrupt Disposition”). That’s right! God loves the humble. Only if I humbly seek for my partner’s advices and listen to her suggestions can I work with her harmoniously; only if I learn from her and work with her in one heart can I do my work better, allowing others to see God’s glory through me, and to see that it is God’s words that have changed me.
As I was thinking, my partner walked to me. Then she talked to me about the problems in my document. Hearing her suggestions, I unexpectedly found that my partner actually had many advantages which I didn’t have at all. Many of her ideas were very novel. If I accepted them, it would be of great help to improve my professional aspect. After some discussions we finally determined the train of thought of modifying my document. And I was very satisfied with the result that my partner and I worked out with one heart and mind.
Through this experience, I truly realized that when I cooperated with my partner, it was my arrogant and conceited disposition that always drove me to hold on to myself and not to relinquish myself, which caused conflict between us. And the way to resolve this issue was: On the one hand I should relinquish myself, not be self-righteous, and not judge people according to the seniority. As long as what my partner says is right, I should obey and accept it. Only when we are of one mind and are like a bundle of sticks can we get twice the result with half the effort. And on the other hand, we partners should communicate with each other more. Only by communication can we know each other well; only by our communication can the estrangement and misunderstanding between us is removed; only by communication can we be of one mind; only when we partners are of one mind can our work achieve a best result.
Once more, I truly experience the real significance of the words that a partner is indeed a helper!
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