By Li Shasha
Recently, I was just promoted to the manager of the technology department of the company. Due to the busy work, the head of the department arranged for a new colleague, Xiaodong, to assist us. After her arrival, I was in charge of training her and arranging her work. Later, I explained the scope of her work and the related particulars to her, during which, when she asked me some questions at times, I could always answer up. At such times, my colleagues would nod in agreement and praise me. Seeing this, I had a sense of achievement, feeling deserving of being the manager of the department.
One day, while I was working in front of my computer, the head of the department walked up to me and said, “The head office’s asked our department to send an employee there for training for two days.” On hearing that, I was filled with sly delight, thinking: I have heard the veteran workers say that those who could go and be trained in the head office were the outstanding ones among branch managers. Thinking of this, I looked at her with a smile, waiting for her to instruct me when I should set out for the head office. At the moment, she went on saying, “This time, the head office has decided to send Xiaodong to receive training. So, if you have any technological problems you can tell her so she can seek solutions in the head office. There are sessions on professional skills there.” At this point, I got a nasty shock, feeling the smile on my face got stiff and standing at a loss. After she left, I dropped down into my seat, with tears of grievance rolling down my face, thinking to myself: In the past, our company used to have professional coaches on the managers. Although I am a new manager, I am at least a manager. Why does the head office arrange for a new employee rather than me, the manager, to be trained this time? Is it that the head of the department thinks that Xiaodong’s skill is superior to mine and thereby intents to promote her? The more I thought about it, the more painful I felt in my heart. From then on, I came to feel that the other colleagues’ attitude toward me got cold. When facing some problems in work, they all asked Xiaodong but not me. When I saw this, an anger welled up inside me, and I always tried to watch for a chance to save my face. But then I thought: as a Christian, I shall not do unreasonable things or anything that will bring shame on the name of God. So, during the following several days, I had no choice but to work hard every day to numb myself.
One day, after work, I went to the dormitory delivering the materials for the training of the next day to Xiaodong. When I arrived there, she was packing her clothes while other colleagues were telling her about their problems in professional work and asking her to seek the solutions at the time when she was trained in the head office. Seeing her radiant smile, while I admired her I also felt extremely envious in my heart. At this moment, she said to me with a smile, “Xiaoli, do you have any questions that need to be asked?” When I heard these words, my face burned, and I thought to myself: Do you not know our business problems? And now you even said these words deliberately to shame me. Before I could say a word, One of my colleagues said “Xiaodong, how are you gonna get there tomorrow? I can help you find out the address.” Another said, “Xiaodong, don’t forget to bring this thing. …” Facing this, I drummed up an excuse and left there in a hurry. I thought to myself: Now, she hasn’t yet been promoted, but colleagues all shine up to her like this. Suppose she is really promoted later; then is there any place I could call my own in the company? During the following several days, I was in a daze and was easily distracted from my work. Aside from the pain, I could do nothing but pray to God silently: “Oh God! I am so upset now, and I don’t know why the new comer Xiaodong receives the training and not me. Oh God! I neither understand Your will, nor know how to experience in this environment. May You guide me.”
Afterward, during a gathering, I told my state to a sister. Then she found a passage from the word of God for me, “as soon as it involves position, face, or reputation, everyone’s heart leaps in anticipation, and you always want to stand out…. 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. … Is not a person’s falling into these conditions a trap? This is the bondage of a satanically corrupted nature. … How are these things cast off? Do you have a solution? … 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. … 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.”
After seeing these words of God, she said, “Through the words of God, we can see that Satan is just using fame and status to tempt and control us, making us live in the corrupt disposition and drift further and further away from God. The more we pursue fame and status, the darker and the more painful we feel in our spirit. It can be seen that living in the corrupt disposition is just the root of our pain.” After hearing this, I said to her, “Yeah, this is absolutely correct. What these words of God reveal is just my present state. When I saw the company wanted to cultivate Xiaodong, asking her to be trained, and other colleagues all surrounded and paid close attention to her, I had a feeling of being neglected, and guessed that the company focused on training her because they wanted to offer her a promotion. Once I thought of this, I would felt unspeakably painful in my heart, and didn’t even like to give her a look. From this, I can see that fame and status, like invisible shackles, indeed control my heart tightly, making me live in the corrupt disposition and be fooled by Satan and thereby I feel more and more dark in my heart. It is really miserable.” The sister went on to say, “Think back to the Age of Law. When Saul was a king, he saw that common people all supported David. Therefore, he was envious of and hated David. In order to keep his own throne, he did anything he could to seek to kill David. It caused Saul to do many evil things, resist God and seriously offend His disposition. Thence, God handed him over to the Philistines, and finally he died in the battle, which was the painful price he paid. The lesson of Saul makes us have some knowledge about the righteous and holy disposition of God.” After I heard the instance of Saul, my heart still fluttering with fear. Then I said to her, “For the sake of fame and status, I was envious of my colleague, Xiaodong, and even regarded her as my enemy. This is just like Saul envied David. However, God is unwilling to see that I continue to walk down Saul’s wrong path, and still use His words to guide me so that I can recognize my corruption, reverse my inner mistaken perspectives, learn to set aside and give up these things and don’t live for face and status. Only in this way can I get rid of the bonds of Satan’s corrupt disposition. Pondering over all these, I come to understand that the intention of God’s designing these surroundings around me is to save me and there are God’s good intentions contained within them.” Having understood, I felt a great release in my heart, and my hatred of Xiaodong also lessened a lot. At this time, we smiled at each other.
Several days went past. Xiaodong came back from training and passed on some professional knowledge to us. When I saw that other colleagues all concentrated on listening to her explaining and ceaselessly took notes, my heart began to do somersaults: I am the manager, she is just a new comer; but now she is guiding my work, doesn’t it show that I am so valueless? Then how will I lift my head in front of other colleagues? Just as I thought about it like this, I suddenly realized that once again I was concerned with reputation and benefit, and thereby I prayed to God right away in my heart and asked Him to protect my heart. Then I thought of the following words of God, “Today you’ve said something bad about me, but I am still a creature. If you praise me, I am yet a creature. The good and the bad things about me are in God’s hands, and man cannot change them.” I came to realize that I have been one among creatures of creation all along. Regardless of whom I get along with, be he my colleague, my brother or sister, regardless of whether or not I have any status, I am always a small creature in God’s eyes. And the duty of a creature of God is just to obey His orchestrations and arrangements without making other choices. Under the guidance ofs, my heart gradually calmed down. Then I thought of another passage of God’s words, “Despite his prestigious standing and status, he had never loved nor paid them any attention; he cared not how others viewed his standing, nor was he concerned about whether his actions or conduct would have any negative effect on his standing; he did not indulge in the riches of status, nor did he enjoy the glory that came with status and standing. He only cared about his value and the significance of his living in the eyes of Jehovah God.” From the words of God, I saw that Job didn’t care what the people around thought of him, but only attached importance to living before God, and examining whether his acts could satisfy Him; finally, he received His approval, living in His light. With this in mind, I was willing to imitate Job, to focus on living before God in everyday life, and to live out the reality of the truth to testify and glorify Him. When I set my intentions right, paid attention to being quiet before God and no longer cared about other colleagues’ gazes, then in the course of listening to Xiaodong’s explaining professional knowledge, I learnt somewhat quickly. During the following period of time, I made great progress in various skills and operations. And my work efficiency distinctly improved. Not long after that, the company promoted me again and expanded the scope of my work. At the moment, I practically appreciated that the words of God are the truth, and that as long as one can practice and enter His words and submit to His orchestrations and arrangements, he will receive the grace and blessings from Him.
Now, when I think back to the past, I feel that I have reaped some profit from the experience of this period time. I realized that the pursuit of fame and status is living in Satan’s trap, which only brought people more and more pain. Through the enlightenment and guidance of the words of God, I found the path to shake off the bondage of frame and status, had the correct direction of pursuit, was able to obey the orchestrations and arrangements of God and kept my own position; finally, I received unexpected gains. I not only got promoted, but even obtained the joy and peace in my spirit that letting go of fame and status and obeying God brought to me. Thank God! All the glory be to God!
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