Christian Testimony: Workplace Is No Longer a Battlefield
By Duoji, Italy
Recently, I was transferred to a new work position for some reason, and my new partner is Lusia. Before, she was my superior in the company, but now we become partners. In order to discuss the work conveniently, we live in the same dormitory.
Lusia and I take charge of development projects. We often go out to visit clients together to discuss with them the plan for their newly-developed products. Every time when I saw she won the admiration and praise of our clients with her clear and logical words, I would be very depressed and feel that they paid no attention to me. I could not help but think: Will clients think that I’m incapable? Will they think that I have no ideas and no mind of my own? Will they even think that I’m my partner’s attendant? Before, she was my superior, so it was normal that I was not better than her. Now we are partners and in the same position. I cannot be at a disadvantage, otherwise clients will think she is really better than me! The more I thought about it, the more I felt discomfort. Then I thought in my heart: I must surpass her. I must talk more clearly and coherently in thought than her, so that clients will look at me with new eyes. While the more I wanted to speak well, the more I couldn’t; the more I talked, the more muddled I was, even to the point that I couldn’t go on and my face was burning. Finally, clients still denied my viewpoint and adopted Lusia’s plan. So I was very defiant in my heart, thinking: I must prove to everyone that I am not inferior to her!
Once, since I had no time, my partner went to draw up the plan with a client by herself and finished just about half of it. The next day, we made an appointment with the client again to discuss the plan. When I saw the part that she had already written was different from my ideas, I thought in my heart: My ideas are better, more concise and cogent than hers, so the client will certainly approve of my thoughts and think that I am better than her. Hence, I directly deleted the middle paragraph of the part written by Lusia and expressed my own thoughts and viewpoints. But unexpectedly, the client was silent in her seat. I guessed: Why doesn’t she speak? Does she think that my ideas are not better than Lusia’s? Lusia was also silent and straight-faced sitting there. The client looked at us embarrassedly. I was very anxious so I introduced the benefit of my ideas and plan to her again and again, for the purpose to let her agree to my proposal. But she faltered and looked disapproving. At that time, feelings of frustration, of awkwardness, and of unhappiness all came upon me together. I complained against Lusia, and thought it was because of her that I couldn’t stand out; without her, the client would directly accept and follow my ideas. So I had prejudices against Lusia and felt a sense of estrangement with her.
Afterward, when I cooperated with Lusia, it always seemed that I was inferior to her a lot. As her partner I felt tired and stressed. At night, she would stay up later than one o’clock while I couldn’t, but if I slept earlier, I was worried that our leader would mistakenly think that everything was done by Lusia, and then she would outshine me more. So I forced myself to stay up late, but my mind was muddled at nighttime; during daytime, I was not clear either, and my work was fruitless. While she was not like me and even handed in two plans, which made me more jealous of her abilities. As a result, I started to resist, and to be negative. I was neither willing to visit clients together with her nor to share with her my ideas. Sometimes I stayed in others’ room, because I would rather sleep on their floor than share a bed with her. I was extremely miserable and my mind was in a tangle, so I had no heart to work, much less had any performance. In agony, I prayed to God: “O God, I have no idea why I’m so miserable with Lusia. I’m feeling so depressed and can’t obtain release. God, please help me, so that I can understand what I should do to be free and released. …” Later, I read these words of God: “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. … This is the bondage of a satanically corrupted nature. Think about it for a minute: If a person has cast off these corrupt dispositions, is he then free and liberated?”
From God’s words I saw: It turned out that the root of my suffering was my satanic disposition of the scramble for fame and gain. Thinking about the several months when I cooperated with Lusia, I competed with her in everything. When clients approved of her ideas, I was uncomfortable and jealous, and then I showed myself off before clients unyieldingly in order to surpass her and make clients look up to me. When she stayed up late, I was unwilling to trail her and be looked down upon by our leader, so I forced myself to stay up even though I was listless. When I couldn’t surpass her in any aspect, I didn’t want to be her partner any longer, and I began to avoid her and keep far away from her. In such atmosphere, I felt especially painful and depressed, and couldn’t be released. Now I realized that the reason why I had these expressions was because I lived according to Satan’s philosophies of “getting ahead,” “standing above others,” and “Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion.” These satanic laws of survival had already penetrated my heart long before, causing my living, speaking, and my behavior to be controlled by fame, gain and status. Thereby I felt extremely miserable, and didn’t have normal human relationships with others. For the sake of standing out and being glorified, I was even jealous and resentful of my partner. How is that the likeness of a normal person?
So, I prayed to God: “O God! Face, reputation, and status just like invisible shackles, and I have no power to cast them off by myself. May You guide me to break through the bondage of dark influence, so that I can live freely before You. …” After that, I read God’s words: “How are these things cast off? Do you have a solution? 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.”
God’s words pointed out the way to practice for me: When I faced those things that referred to reputation and position, I should learn to give up and put them aside, and only in this way could I feel relaxed. But I was completely opposite to God’s will; I had been living in struggles for fame and gain all along. When my ambition and desires were not satisfied, I would envy my partner, complain against her, and as a result, I would live in darkness and pain, and couldn’t cooperate with her any longer. Actually, God’s purpose in allocating her to be my partner was not for me to contend with her, but to use her advantages to make up for my disadvantages, and learn more from her to improve my skill level. Thinking about it carefully, I found the reason why Lusia could gain approval from clients was inseparable from her own diligent work, and that she had a lot of strengths I should learn. I suddenly came to realize: Partners are just like a pair of chopsticks, and they cling to each other. Only when they are of the same heart and mind and go hand in hand, will they play the most active function. By doing this, it will not only save time and labor, but have good results. When I thought of this, I felt much brightened in my heart.Thanks for God’s enlightenment and guidance, from which I understood how to treat my partner.
Not long after, we received a rush job. In the afternoon we went to our client’s office together and I took notes initiatively. When I heard her thoughts were different from mine, I wanted to interrupt her and let the client listen to my “brilliant opinion.” But at that time, I realized that I was living in the scramble for fame and gain once again, then I prayed to God silently in my heart: “O God. May You quiet my heart and spirit. I want to show myself off and stand above others in spite of myself. I know this is wrong. May You help me to set aside fame and gain and position, so that I can cooperate with Lusia in harmony, and listen to her opinions patiently. …” After praying, I calmed down and listened to Lusia talking about her plan quietly. It was my first time that I found her ideas were well-considered, wide-ranging and detailed. As for the defects in her plan, I would give them my suggestions, ask our client’s opinion, and modify the plan together. We cooperated with each other harmoniously, and this draft was more perfect than before. I felt relaxed in my heart, and found that this way of coordination with Lusia was so great, which could make me learn more.
In the following coordination with Lusia, although I would still reveal the thoughts of struggling for fame and gain, yet through praying to God and the guidance of God’s words, I gradually became indifferent to reputation and status and was not interfered with and controlled by them. Whatever problems came up, we would have a heart-to-heart talk and would comfort each other. Gradually, my partner becomes my good helper in my work, and good friend in my daily life. And our coordination is making our work easier and easier. I have truly tasted that only when we betray our own satanic nature, learn to give up and set aside fame and gain, and practice God’s words, can we obtain the sense of gratification and release in spirit.
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