By Liu Chao
All say it’s hard for mother-in-law and daughter-in-law to get along well. But I got on all right with my mother-in-law after my marriage. We always went shopping and bought food together. Besides, I often bought clothes for her. We had never been at outs. Later, my brother-in-law got a girlfriend who was beautiful and lived in a favorable condition. However, the girl’s mother opposed the marriage at first, saying that they were not of equal rank. Even so, they insisted on getting married. At last their parents reluctantly made preparations for their wedding. My mother-in-law bought my brother-in-law a big house of three bedrooms, a living room and a dining room, 130 square meters. What’s more, whatever my sister-in-law wanted, she bought for her. One night, my husband and I went to see my brother-in-law’s ready-furnished house. Seeing their house was decorated as a five-star-grade hotel, I was envious and jealous. I thought: It’s impossible to say how much money my mother-in-law has spent on my sister-in-law. Alas! We are similarly her daughter-in-laws; why is the difference so great?
Thinking back when I got married, we had no house. As a result, we lived in an old bungalow of a relative. Afterward, the relative got his house back. So my mother-in-law had to buy a house 50 square meters for us and just gave us 20,000 yuan. The house was dim and damp. Even during the day we had to turn on the lights. The more I thought about it, the angrier I became. I thought my mother-in-law was so unfair to me. I was so angry that I was unable to sleep or eat well as if being seriously ill. Who knew when seeing me, she said, “Our household condition is not better than your sister-in-law’s. Her family look down on us. We can’t lose face before them. So whatever terms they offer, we should do our best to satisfy them.” At her words, my resentment against her rose once again. I thought: You are so biased in her favor. Why don’t you say you fell short of me when I got married? You only think of your younger daughter-in-law; when you are old, you just depend on her to look after you. Don’t count on me. Unknowingly, I distanced myself from my mother-in-law and there was an estrangement between us.
Afterward, when I chatted with my colleagues, I told them how unfairly my mother-in-law treated me. After hearing that, some of them said indignantly, “Your mother-in-law is too poor. The more silent you are, the more she think you are easy to be taken advantage of.” Some said, “You are so easy to deal with. In my family, my mother-in-law must listen to me and dance to my tune. If I face such things, I won’t put anything past her. Since we are equally her daughter-in-laws, why do I receive different treatment? I will get what my sister-in-law possesses. You should reason with your mother-in-law, or your husband’s family won’t care about you.” While they were talking, I had more resentment against my mother-in-law, thinking, “I can’t swallow the grievances. The days ahead are still long. I will show my mother-in-law that I’m not easy to be bullied.”
One day when I was washing clothes, my cousin-in-law came to my home. I told her how my mother-in-law treated me in chatting. Unexpectedly, after hearing that, she said, “All of us are too selfish, and everything is self. In order to receive the benefit, we intrigue and vie against one another. When we deal with situations, we adopt the attitude of how to take advantage of something and not be taken advantage of.” With that, she got out a book and read a passage of words for me, “regardless of what happens to them, or what they’re dealing with, people always protect their own interests and look out for their own flesh, and they always look for reasons or excuses that serve them. They are without the slightest truth, and everything they do is in order to justify their own flesh and in consideration of their own prospects. … proves that within them there is none of the sense that ought to be possessed by humanity. They make these demands and claims for their own sakes, or else they try to justify and look for excuses for their own sakes, and in many things it can be seen that everything they do is without sense, it is totally devoid of sense, which is full proof of the satanic logic of ‘Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost’” (“People Make Too Many Demands of God”). After reading, she said with a smile, “Because we have been corrupted by Satan, we become selfish, despicable and mercenary. We live by Satan’s axiom, ‘Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.’ So there is no true love between people and we place profit above everything else. Even when we get along with our relatives and friends, we will first consider our own benefit, and moreover look for excuses to obtain more benefit. We fight each other for benefit and also generate division, conflict for the sake of profit, yet we even think we are in the right. The relationships between people become more and more estranged because of advantage. Just as you say your mother-in-law plays favorites and she is unfair to you, you only think of how many things you get, how many you take advantage of and how many you are not taken advantage of. Isn’t it brought about your selfish nature?” Hearing her words, I thought: Because I don’t get more material needs from my mother-in-law, I think she is unfair to me and thus I have so much resentment against her. Are my inner thoughts not the signs of selfishness? Thinking this, I resented my mother-in-law less. My elder sister-in-law’s words entered my heart and some really spoke to my heart. Later on, she came to fellowship with me about God’s words twice a week. After the fellowship of a period of time, I understood some God’s words and accepted God’s work of.
At a meeting, we read two passages of God’s words, “Cruel, brutal mankind! The conniving and intrigue, the jostling with each other, the scramble for reputation and fortune, the mutual slaughter—when will it ever end? … They act for the sake of their families, and sons and daughters, for their careers, prospects, status, vanity, and money, for the sake of clothes, for food and the flesh…?” (“The Wicked Must Be Punished”). “What is included within normal humanity? Insight, sense, conscience, and character. If you can achieve normality in each of these respects, your humanity is up to standard.” (“Improving Caliber Is for Receiving”). The judgment and disclosure that’s within God’s words left me ashamed. I thought over my own gain or loss and scrambled for fame and gain; I was so corrupted by Satan that I had no likeness of man. When my own interests were at stake, I would reveal a satanic disposition of selfishness. In addition, I was filled with resentment toward my mother-in-law, thinking when she got old, I wouldn’t take care of her but instead leave her to her younger daughter-in-law. I was living in Satan’s fooling, fighting with others and unable to get released. Weren’t all these the consequences of being corrupted by Satan? Afterward she said, “The reason why we don’t have a proper relationship with others is that we live in the corrupt satanic disposition and lose humanity. God wants us to live out normal humanity, have sense and conscience and be tolerant and patient. It’s in your mother-in-law’s discretion how many things she gives you or your sister-in-law. You shouldn’t make a fuss over it. Even if she doesn’t give you too many things, you should be filial toward her. This is the very least that a person with a conscience should do. If we want to have a harmonious family, we can only come before God and practice His words. is the best cure for conflicts and barriers. Furthermore, it’s the responsibility and obligation of you to bring her before God, so that she can taste God’s words and His love for man. Only when we live by God’s words can we shake off the shackles of Satan, live more freely and without restraints, and also stay in harmony with one another.” I said happily, “OK. I’m willing to pray and bring her before God.”
At night, I knelt down at the bedside and prayed to God, “Oh God, through the revelations of Your words, I understand I have been corrupted by Satan too deeply. I’m full of the satanic disposition of selfishness and have no normal human likeness. Because my mother-in-law didn’t satisfy me, I was fed up with her and complained that she played favorites. God! I don’t want to live in the corrupt disposition of fighting with others, nor want to be fooled by Satan. I wish to be changed into a new one and let go of my grievance against my mother-in-law. I have tasted Your love and salvation for me. I’m willing to pass this love on to her. Whether she can accept the gospel is controlled and arranged by You. I will look to You and commit her to You.”
A few days later, my mother-in-law came to my house to give something to me. She poured out her inner grief, saying, “Since your brother got married, they have quarreled many times. Your sister-in-law disdains him and thinks that there is nothing good about him. I’m very upset about this. What should I do?” At her words, I knew this is God’s sovereignty and arrangement. Then I said to her, “Mom, we mankind have been corrupted by Satan too deeply. Everyone has selfish nature. There is no patience and tolerance between people and we scramble for fame and gain for ourselves. So there are too many conflicts and disagreements. I’m also a selfish person. When facing a matter, I only think of my own interests and fixate my eyes on others. Therefore, I have constant troubles. Some time ago, my cousin-in-law preached the gospel to me. Through reading God’s words in this period, I see I’m too deeply corrupted by Satan. It is God’s words that wake me up. Without realizing it, my difficulties and pain reduce a great deal. When something happens to me, I will come before God, pray to and rely on Him, and commit it to Him. Then I no longer feel so bitter. Mom, God’s word is the best remedy for our bitterness. As long as we follow God, we can feel joy and peace within. Please also make an investigation.” With that, I fellowshiped with her about some truth. Then she said crisply, “OK. I’m willing to listen with you.” I knew in my heart that this is the result of the work of God. Thank God!
Soon after, my mother-in-law lived the church life. When I had a meeting with her, we read these words of God, “It takes courage when you dissect yourself and lay yourself bare. Look, when no one else is around, regardless of if you’re praying to God, or admitting your mistakes, repenting, or dissecting your corrupt disposition to God, you can say whatever you want, for with your eyes closed you can’t see anything, it’s like speaking to air, and so you are able to lay yourself bare; whatever you thought, or whatever you said at the time, and your motivations, and your deceitfulness, you are able to speak of them. Yet if you have to lay yourself bare to another person, you may lose your courage, and you may lose your resolve to do so, because you can’t take down your front, you can’t remove the facade, and so it is very difficult to put these things into practice. … If you wish to be honest, then regardless of what you do before God or people, you are able to reveal your heart to others. Is this easy to achieve? It requires time, for there to be a battle within our hearts, and for us to continually practice. Step-by-step, our hearts will be opened, and we will be able to lay ourselves bare” (“To Be an Honest Person, You Should Lay Yourself Open to Others”). God’s words made me understand: God expects us to be honest, and hopes that whatever corruptions are in our hearts, we can lay them bare and dissect our ugly satanic image. Thinking I had ever resented my mother-in-law because she treated me unfairly, I really couldn’t take down my front to lay myself open to her.; if I didn’t do that, I would feel guilty, for God does not like crafty people. In this dilemma I called to God, “God! May you give me courage. I will tear off my false mask to be an innocent and open person, and will practice being an honest person according to Your words.” After prayer, I, under God’s guidance, summoned up all my courage to say, “Mom, I will tell you the secrets of my heart. Since my brother got married, I had felt a separation and resentment toward you when seeing you gave my sister-in-law many things but gave me nothing. I thought you were unfair to me and were too biased. Through reading God’s words and the assistance from brothers and sisters, I realized that due to my great selfishness, I resented you. This was because I didn’t understand truth, thereby living in Satan’s nature.” Then she said with tears, “Child, I feel sorry for you even if you don’t say that. I feel guilty. If I had another hard daughter-in-law, she would have reasoned and quarreled with me. I formerly cared about self-respect and lived by the poison of Satan, ‘A tree lives with its bark; a man lives with his face.’ I was afraid of losing face and being looked down upon by them, so I pooled money to prepare everything for your brother’s wedding.” I said with a smile, “Mom, we have believed in God. If we read more God’s words, have meetings and sing hymns of praise to God more, we will gradually understand more truth and then we will naturally think some things through.” She nodded, smiling. At last, my resentment against her was dispelled under the watering of God’s words and I can get along well with her. Thanks be to God! This is the wonderful fruit of God’s words.
In experiencing these things, I see truth is the best cure for conflicts and barriers between people. Only God’s words can change us, and only by living by God’s words can we escape from the grips of Satan’s corruption. All the glory be to God!
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