By Wang Yue
Establishing the Friendship
Innovation is a large publisher which issues various weekly magazines that contain celebrity columns, and has an elite group of staff.
Zhang Di worked for this company as an editor. Because of her excellent writing ability, she was kind of a celebrity in the company who had both the admiration of her colleagues and the recognition of her director. As a Christian, she, while proud of her achievement, firmly believed that it was God who granted her such gift.
Because the business became prosperous, the company recruited more staff. Xia Yu, a pretty girl who once worked in this trade, became Zhang Di’s new partner. The chief editor arranged for Xia Yu to live with Zhang Di in the hope that they could learn from each other and make profits for the company. After their first greeting, Zhang Di showed Xia Yu around the company and helped her know about the business. As Xia Yu had worked in this trade for years, she quickly got acquainted with various aspects of the business, and even could help Zhang Di in whatever area she didn’t know.
From the first step of getting acquainted, gradually they formed a close friendship; they went to and from work together and hung out together at weekends. The happy coincidence was that Xia Yu was also a Christian. So in spare time, they often talked about their belief in God, which made their relationship even closer.
Their Friendship Was Busted up
One day, the chief editor assigned them and Zhang, one of their colleagues, to make a proposal. After a few days of hard work, they accomplished their own proposals and handed them in to the chief editor. Zhang Di was confident that she could earn the approval and praise of the chief editor, for her proposal was new and innovative. When she waited hopefully for the results, her proposal was unexpectedly rejected while the other two proposals were selected and only required minor modifications; the chief editor praised Xia Yu and Zhang’s proposals, saying they were innovative and suited the reading public. When other colleagues all congratulated them on their performance, Zhang Di swallowed her frustration and forced herself to smile.
After returning home at night, seeing her rejected proposal, Zhang Di felt unspeakably miserable. Xia Yu is my good friend; I should be happy for her. Why do I feel unhappy? Thinking of these, Zhang Di read Xia Yu’s proposal carefully and found that it was really new and innovative; no wonder the chief editor selected her proposal.
Gradually, Xia Yu became a focus of attention in the company, and colleagues often asked her for advice; whenever they passed her to consult Xia Yu, Zhang Di would have a sour taste in the mouth; whenever Xia Yu’s ideas were agreed to by others, an uprush of jealousy would arise from within her. She felt Xia Yu had stolen her thunder and taken her place in the company.
Once Zhang Di spent all morning modifying a proposal. She marked all mistakes in it and corrected them carefully. When Xia Yu passed by her, she handed her the proposal to ask her for advice. After reading the proposal, Xia Yu pointed out several points which Zhang Di amended inappropriately, stated her suggestions, and advised her to revise the proposal again. Seeing the proposal she had put hard effort into was thrown out by Xia Yu so easily, Zhang Di felt unbalanced, thinking: What qualifies you to judge my work? Your experience? Aren’t there any points I amended appropriately? Every time we discussed the work, I felt you were always teaching me. I might as well do the job myself than cooperate with you in the future. After that, Zhang Di always acted against Xia Yu at work. When they couldn’t agree with each other, Zhang Di would fix her eyes on Xia Yu, thinking that she was too arrogant to accept others’ advice.
Every year, the company would hold a conference, attended by many successful people. This time the direct specially arranged for Xia Yu to attend the conference. Hearing the news, Zhang Di felt a whole tangle of emotions and her envy towards Xia Yu was sharpened. Thinking that Xia Yu took her place in the company and the director’s heart, Zhang Di became estranged from her.
Living in the envy towards Xia Yu, Zhang Di felt more and more painful yet didn’t know how to free herself. Then she came before the Lord to pray, “Oh, Lord! I know that my envying Xia Yu isn’t in accordance with Your will because You taught us that brothers and sisters should love and tolerate each other. I want to act according to Your words, but I couldn’t restrain my envy. Now I’m helpless and confused. May You help me and save me!”
All This Was Caused by Fame and Status
One night, seeing Zhang Di was gloomy, Xia Yu talked to her with concern, “What’s wrong with you? You seem unhappy.” Zhang Di was unwilling to respond, but Xia Yu asked her with patience again. Facing the sincere care of Xia Yu, she felt guilty and shared her opinions of her. Hearing Zhang Di’s words, Xia Yu fellowshiped with her, “I can understand how you feel now. I have the same experience as you do. In the past, seeing my leader regarded highly of my colleague who was more capable than me, I couldn’t help but bear envy of her. Though I knew what I thought wasn’t after, I had no strength to extricate myself from it and lived in pain. Once during my spiritual devotions, I saw a passage of God’s words which made me know the root cause of my being jealous of others. How about I read you that passage of God’s words?” Then Xia Yu opened the book of God’s words and read, “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. … Is not a person’s falling into these conditions a trap? This is the bondage of a satanically corrupted nature.”
Then Xia Yu continued to fellowship, “From this passage of God’s words, I understood that it was because I was controlled by fame and status that I envied my colleague. Because I was so arrogant and always wanted to stand out and be regarded highly by others, when I saw my colleague was better than me and that I couldn’t realize my desire of standing out, I would harbor resentment, envy her, and even couldn’t bear to see her. Thinking of how I envied others because of my own desire for fame and status, I felt so ashamed and that I failed to live out the likeness of a Christian.”
After listening to God’s words and the fellowship of Xia Yu, Zhang Di felt hot pain in her face and wanted to find a hole in the ground to hide in. She said to Xia Yu, “I feeltouches the bottom of my heart. During this period, I have lived in the kind of state which God reveals: After you came to our company, because you’re more capable than me, I envied you in my heart though I didn’t compete against you outwardly; I thought that it was you who made me lose fame and status. Controlled by the desire for fame and status, I harbored envy and prejudice toward you, lived in suffering and lost the human likeness. Now I understand that it was all Satan’s affliction and deception. Despite my behaviors, you are actually not angry with me but still read God’s words to help me with love. I really thank God!”
Then Zhang Di asked, “What should I do to cast off these corrupt dispositions and break free from the bondage of fame and status?” Xia Yu found another passage of God’s words and let Zhang Di read: “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 first see clearly this aspect in theory. … First, you must see through them, and then you must learn to give up these things and set them aside. If you are always focusing on these things, always struggling for these things, if your heart is fully occupied and filled by these things, if you never want to put them aside and you always harbor them without putting them aside, then you are being controlled by and bound by these things. You have become a slave, and you cannot give them up. 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. The more you struggle, the more darkness will surround you, and the jealousy and hatred within your heart will increase, and you will have a stronger desire to obtain. The stronger your desire to obtain, the less capable you will be to do so, and as you obtain less your hatred will increase. As your hatred increases you will become darker on the inside. The darker you are inside the more poorly you will perform your duty. If you perform your duty poorly you will gradually be removed from use and will be eliminated. This is an interlinked vicious cycle.”
Xia Yu fellowshiped, “Though these words of God are about how the Christians practice God’s words when doing their work and serving God, they also apply to our work. If we fight with each other for fame and status at work, we would feel painful and dark within. It will affect our work as well as the interest of the company. Only when we set aside our own desires for face and vanity and act according to God’s words can we get out of Satan’s snare. I was just an example. When I consciously practiced God’s words, I gradually saw through fame and status.”
After listening to God’s words and the fellowship of Xia Yu, Zhang Di was awakened, saying, “Thank God! From now on, I will act according to God’s words. Whether at home or at work, I should treat God’s words as the basic standard. When facing the matters that bear on my reputation and status, I should learn to give them up and put them aside, and be a person approved by God.”
Their Friendship Was Restored
Later, their company was about to recommend an excellent employee to attend a seminar in another city. Xia Yu was voted to attend the seminar on behalf of the company. Zhang Di also wanted to attend this seminar, so she felt a bit disappointed. Then she suddenly recalled 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.”
Pondering God’s words, Zhang Di realized she was still controlled by fame and status, but God’s words enlightened her and guided her to see through Satan’s scheme. Unknowingly, she wasn’t that distressed. Thinking that Xia Yu was experienced and qualified for this important task, which is beneficial to the company, Zhang Di felt happy for Xia Yu and offered her encouragement.
Since then, Xia Yu and Zhang Di recovered their friendship. They often learned from each other and made up for each other’s shortcomings. When there arose different opinions, they could deny themselves and carefully listen to the other’s ideas, and accept the right opinions. When they acted according to God’s words at work, they worked together in harmony. Because of their harmonious coordination, the company made growing profits. Seeing this, the chief editor felt happy and praised them, “You seem two gears in a machine. No one can be separated from the other. Without any of you, the machine couldn’t work. Only when you cooperate with each other, can you become more effective in your jobs.”
Hearing the words of the chief editor, Zhang Di and Xia Yu smiled at each other. They clearly knew that these effects were all brought about by God’s words. Though Zhang Di might reveal corruption later in her life, she wasn’t afraid of that, because she believed that God was the light in her life and would guide her to cast off the corrupt disposition and get along with her colleagues.
Peace be with you all! Dear brothers and sisters, if you have any understanding or enlightenment from God, you’re welcome to share with us.
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We sincerely hope we’ll grow spiritually through sharing with each other.