On October 26, Michelotti park (Parco Michelotti) in Turin, Italy, was reopened to the public (partially open) after 32 years of closure.
How to Keep Up Friendship When Involving Interests
Early in the morning, the sun was rising. The pale blue sheers shone goldenly under the bright sunshine. Yuxin opened the window. An expression of a slight happiness appeared on her face when she thought of her successful talk with a big client two days ago (It was about a policy for more than one hundred thousand yuan.) If she could sign the contract today, she would be far ahead of others in the performance review of this month and surely would get rewards. She quickly washed up and got ready to see the client.
After seeing the client, Yuxin explained what she came for. However, the client said in complete perplexity, “Contract? Wasn’t it signed yesterday?” Yuxin was confused by the client’s reply. Then, she was told by the client that it was her best friend who came to talk with the client, explaining that she was working in the same company with Yuxin, and they were business partners as well as close friends, so it was OK to sign the contract with either of them two. The client thought Yuxin had known about this and then signed the contract with her friend.
On her way home, Yuxin was distressed with heavy steps. She never expected that it was her best friend that stole her client, although it was very common to compete for clients by any means in this business. Yuxin couldn’t accept this fact and thought: How could she do this? We are best friends who share everything. I honestly told her about this big client when she asked about my sales a few days ago. I treat her as my friend, but she played a dirty trick in return. Can I ever trust her again? Yuxin felt very angry and sad, but then she remembered the days when she was new in the company and was not familiar with her business. In the face of the fierce competition, it was her best friend who comforted and encouraged her by helping her take the pressure off and sharing pleasant things with her. She would never forget those sweet memories. She cherished this friendship so much, but now … Yuxin didn’t want to lose this friendship. She imagined perhaps her friend had realized her fault and would explain to her. Thinking of this, a faint hope flared up inside her.
When they met at the morning assembly the next day, her friend looked embarrassed, and opened her mouth as if to say something, but just whispered a hello to Yuxin and said nothing about what had happened the day before. Yuxin felt very upset and thought: You owe me an apology for this matter, or at least you should give me a reasonable explanation, but you just pretend that nothing’s happened. On the outside Yuxin seemed calm, while her heart was in tumult. If other fellows had stolen her client, she might accept it, but it was … She hated herself misjudging her friend. Being disgusted at what her friend had done, Yuxin began to despise her friend from her heart. Besides, she regretted having told her friend about her going to sign a contract with the big client and even regretted having had heart-to-heart talks with her. From then on, though they still greeted each other outwardly when they met, there was a barrier between them, which was like a wall separating them apart. Their friendship no more existed.
They both felt very awkward to see each other every day in the same company. Especially when Yuxin heard her friend making a phone call to the client, “If you have needs afterward, please contact me. I will make every effort for your services…,” she couldn’t help but hate her. She even wanted to revenge herself on her friend by stealing her clients. Living in hatred, Yuxin felt very tired and painful. She knew what she revealed were not the right manifestations for a Christian, but she couldn’t control herself or get relieved. In bewilderment, She could only pray and pour herself out to God to seek a way out.
One day, Yuxin read these words of God, “All those negative things that poison man come from Satan. … There are still many satanic poisons in people’s lives, in their handling things, and in their conduct and dealings with others—they are almost without a shred of truth—for example, their life philosophies, their maxims for success, or their ways of doing things. Every person is filled with the poisons of the great red dragon, and they all come from Satan. So, what flows through people’s bones and blood are all things of Satan.” Besides, she also read a passage of a spiritual man’s preaching, “Nowadays, all people’s interpersonal relationships are not normal. It is mainly because man has been deeply corrupted by Satan and their character is extremely low. They all put profit first, only want to take advantage of others, and have their personal intentions in everything. All human beings are living for themselves and the flesh. They have no concern and care for others and even don’t have the affection and love that they ought to have. They scheme and guard against each other, fight openly and secretly, and can’t get along with each other. The conscience and reason that they should have are gone. They cannot be of one heart and mind. If they don’t have any patience, they are all bitter enemies.” After reading these words, Yuxin’s heart was shocked: It’s true. These days I’ve been living in bitterness and anger, and regarding my friend as an irreconcilable enemy. Is this not precisely because of Satan? We human beings have been corrupted by Satan and filled with satanic poisons, so that in interactions with our spouse, family members, friends or fellows, we all live by the satanic poison that “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” We are all selfish and seek only profit; we fight with each other openly and secretly for our own interests; none of us care for others but all for ourselves in everything we do. Therefore, there are no normal interpersonal relationships between people. All of these are the results of Satan corrupting man. Yuxin calmed down and thought carefully: In order to gain large bonuses, my friend stole my business regardless of our friendship, which took away a big fortune that was supposed to belong to me, so I hated her and even wanted to be revenged on her. On the outside, it is all my friend’s fault because she forgot the moral principles and betrayed me for the sake of profit. It seems I am innocent. But from my reactions to this matter, it can be seen that I am as selfish as my friend and also live by the satanic poison that “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” We both fight for our own interests. When I incurred a loss, my attitude to her totally changed. And I even intended to give her a taste of her own medicine and had the thought of harming her. So how am I any different from her? Actually, wasn’t she also dominated by the satanic corrupt disposition so that she did such a thing? Without God’s salvation, we all live in corruption, being fooled and trampled upon by Satan involuntarily. So what reason do I have to belittle and hate others? After realizing that, Yuxin gradually calmed down. She didn’t hate her friend that much, and decided to let it go.
In the following days, although Yuxin still spoke with her friend calmly, there seemed to be something hindering them from going back to the past good relationship. It worried Yuxin a lot. Could it be that people can’t treat each other with an honest heart? Is the true friendship just like “the moon in water, the flower in mirror”? Yuxin came before God again to speak her difficulty to God. After prayer, one passage of God’s words occurred to her: “In the dispositions of normal people there is no crookedness or deceitfulness, people have a normal relationship with each other, they do not stand alone, and their lives are neither mediocre nor decadent. So, too, is God exalted among all, His words permeate among man, people live in peace with one another and under the care and protection of God, the earth is filled with harmony, without the interference of Satan, and the glory of God holds the utmost importance among man. Such people are like angels: pure, vibrant, never complaining about God, and devoting all their efforts solely to God’s glory on earth.” And then she read a passage of a spiritual man’s preaching, “We should have several principles of practice if we want to get along with others normally. We cannot be satisfied with nothing more than not taking unfair advantage of and not harming others. Besides, we should have love and have conscience and reason even more; we should tolerate and help each other and care for others so that others benefit in all things; we should think about others but not only think about ourselves, should sympathize with others’ weaknesses and pardon others’ transgressions. Only with these principles can we establish the normal relationship with others, and be on friendly terms with others.”
Yuxin understood: God saves us and makes us live out the likeness of a true person, which means that we no longer live by the corrupt satanic disposition, but instead, in everything that we come across, we can seek the truth, see others and things in accordance with God’s words, and set God’s words as principles of being a man. If we want to establish the normal relationship with others, we should communicate with and purely open our hearts wide to each other, and live by God’s words. Even if others do something wrong to us, we should learn to forgive, understand and sympathize with them, and should treat them with love. In this way, God can gain glory from us and we will become the ones who accord with God’s heart. Yuxin recalled: If not for her leading me into the company at that time, I can’t get this job; if not for her patiently teaching and encouraging me, I will not become what I am today. Men are not saints; how can they be free from faults? Now my friend did something against my interest, yet I didn’t understand or forgive her. There is no tolerance and no forgiveness in me! Under the guidance of God’s words, Yuxin was willing to put herself aside to learn to tolerate, forbear and understand her friend. Meanwhile, she planned to have a heart-to-heart talk with her friend, sharing what she had gained recently. After finding the path of practice, Yuxin was released and very happy. She involuntarily began humming a hymn to praise God.
The next day after the morning assembly, Yuxin actively said to her friend, “Have you met the quota of this month? How close are you to getting the reward?” Hearing Yuxin’s expressions of concern, her friend’s frown dissolved into a smile, and then she replied, “Far from it….” Then they began to talk about the things happened to them recently. Yuxin learned that her friend’s recent sales performance was poor. In order to improve it, possessed by demons in a moment, her friend stole Yuxin’s client, for which her friend was very sorry afterward. Having heard this, Yuxin also opened her heart to tell her true thoughts to her friend. Then, her friend said to Yuxin, “Now I have some contracts to sign. Let’s visit the clients together and make joint efforts to meet the quotas.” Yuxin smiled happily.
After this little event, they had more tolerance for and understanding of each other, getting along better and better and becoming the closest partners at work. Although the earlier actions of her friend brought Yuxin some bitterness, Yuxin attained the riches of life and tasted the sweetness of being a man according to God’s words. She thanked God for His blessings.
Through trials, the friendship became purer.
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