By Yang Laidi I’m Yang Laidi, sixty-two years old this year. In 1985, because my husband had health problems, our […]
I’m No Longer Constrained by the “Jealous Heart” – Christian Experience
By Jingxin, the United States
At the end of October 2016, I accepted theof God. After that, I often had meetings with several brothers and sisters, reading , sharing experiences, and singing hymns to praise God. I felt that such kind of church life was very joyful and enjoyable. Several months passed soon. Each brother and sister made progress to different degrees. And God also did not mistreat me, allowing me to gain some practical things during that period of time, which made me deeply feel His salvation for me.
In our meeting place, there was a sister whose life grew faster. Although we accepted God’s work in the same period of time, she was better than us at both praying and sharing the knowledge of God’s words, and the other brothers and sisters all complimented her. In the beginning, I agreed in my heart that the sister’s prayer and fellowship were all good, and sometimes I was unable to speak out what she fellowshiped. Sometimes the brothers and sisters and I even talked about her on our way home after meetings, saying, “Sister XX’s prayer was well organized and there was light in her fellowship about God’s words.” “Yeah. She’s very diligent in her thoughts and could seek God’s will in the environment God arranged.” “Hmm. I feel that she spoke from the heart. What she said is practical and clear and can make us understand easily.” … We talked happily like this. However, as time went on, I felt it was no longer palatable. I thought: Why do the brothers and sisters all compliment her but not me? Have I not made any progress? Is my fellowship not good? I began to feel defiant since I had this thought, which often upset me. I also became estranged from the sister.
My husband also believed in God. One day when we chatted, I said to him what was in my mind thoughtlessly, “Recently, when I heard Sister XX share her experiences in the meetings, I was jealous of her and felt very uncomfortable in my heart …” Unexpectedly, before I finished my words, my husband opened his eyes wide and said very seriously, “The sister’s fellowship has enlightenment and can help us, so we should learn from her. Others enter from the positive aspect. How can you enter from the negative aspect?” My husband’s words were like a slap on my face, and I immediately shook my head and denied, “No, no. That’s not what I really am.” “That’s what you said just now. Other people enter from the positive but you enter from the negative. How can you think that way?” said my husband. His words pierced my heart, and I couldn’t help shedding tears. I felt very bad in my heart and was extremely unwilling to acknowledge that I was such a bad person. I tried to control my emotions and sobbed out, “Speak no more. Leave me alone and let me think about it.” Afterward, I looked up the word “jealousy” in the dictionary and found the explanation of it was a feeling of grudge and envy for someone who is better than you. I felt it was a very ugly thing and felt too embarrassed to speak. During this time, my husband told my state to a sister and wanted her to help me, but how could I have the nerve to speak out what I had in my mind? I complained that he called the sister without letting me know. How can I show my face to the brothers and sisters in the future? I’m so corrupted; will God still save me? Will the brothers and sisters even more look down on me? Or perhaps, I’d better go to another state alone so that none of them can see me, and I’ll be back when they all have forgot me. The more I thought, the more upset I became. But I also thought that I wouldn’t have the problems resolved by escaping from reality. O God! What should I do now?
The next day, when I sent my child to school, I reflected on my thoughts of those days all the way and remembered that at ordinary times the brothers and sisters would send the passages of God’s words they felt good to the skype messaging groups, but I just shared God’s words in the meetings for fear that the others would know more than me. I wanted to talk more about something that they didn’t know, so that they would think highly of me and compliment me. I felt uncomfortable while seeing that other brothers’ and sisters’ fellowships were better than mine. I used to feel that I was carefree and didn’t like to make a fuss with others, so I thought I was simple and was a good person. But now I was jealous of others. I could hardly believe I was that kind of person. At noon, I called a sister and asked whether she was jealous of brothers and sisters when their fellowships were good. The sister said she was not, and also added, “I feel enjoyment and happiness while seeing that brothers and sisters can fellowship well.” On hearing her words, I felt even worse in my heart. I cried and prayed to God, “O God! I don’t want to be jealous of others. I feel so bad now, for I can’t stop myself from being jealous of the sister in every meeting. I don’t know what to do now. O God! May You help me get rid of this jealous heart.”
Later, Sister Lili of the church heard of my state and sent me a passage from a fellowship: “So are those who are jealous of others narrow-minded? … Is it good to be narrow-minded or jealous? No good at all. Those who are petty, narrow-minded, or malicious will be laughed at by others and are unworthy to live. It does no good to be narrow-minded, that’s for sure. Some people say, ‘We just can’t overcome it sometimes. Once we meet someone better than us, we’ll feel jealous, get angry, or don’t even want to live as soon as we see him. So, what should we do when encountering these things?’ Pray to God and curse ourselves. Is it okay? How to? You say, ‘I can’t bear to see others do well. What kind of person am I? This kind of person like me doesn’t deserve to live. I’m jealous of whoever is better than me. What is my heart like? There is actually no normal humanity in this. May God discipline and prune me.’ Then you continue to pray, ‘May God deliver me from being narrow-minded and make me a bit more broad-minded so that I can live out human likeness, lest I shame You.’ Just pray like this. After praying for a period of time, perhaps you’ll become generous unwittingly. Next time when you meet someone better than you again, your jealousy won’t be that intnese. You can tolerate him and can coexist normally with him. And you’ll become normal gradually. Once you have a normal humanity, you’ll live happily and unrestrained. But if you are too mean, you will feel strained, painful and exhausted.” After reading this passage of fellowship, I felt pricked in the heart. These words were just describing me! When I saw the sister fellowship well, instead of learning from her strengths, I hoped that no one would praise her and agree with her points. I also wanted to talk something that others did not know so that they would all praise me. I was so petty and narrow-minded; how could I have any normal humanity? In retrospect, I also acted like this before I believed in God. In my dealings with others, be it my colleagues, my neighbors, or my family, I always hoped to get praise from them in everything. Sometimes when my colleagues praised someone who performed well in the work before me, I often felt defiant and said, “There’s nothing great about it. I also can do that.” In order to make others think highly of me, I always tried my best to do things well, regardless of how hard and tiring. I had lived like this before believing in God, but now I realized that it was Satan’s corrupt disposition. This passage of fellowship also said that those who were envious of others were small-minded, short-lived, malicious, and unworthy to live, and their life was painful. It was indeed the fact. During this period of time, I felt that being envious of others really made me distressed in my heart. This passage of fellowship also showed me a path to practice, which was to pray to God and let God make a broad-minded person out of me. Afterward, I prayed in front of God about my jealous heart, “O God! I don’t want to be that narrow-minded. May You deliver me from this corruption and make me more broad-minded, so that I can live out the likeness of man and not bring shame to You. May God help me and transform me.”
After a period of time of practicing this way, I felt that my jealousy of the sister was not as intense as before. However, I had to face the sister in every meeting, and the brothers and sisters who had meetings with me complimented her from time to time, and sometimes even their eyes expressed their approval. At such times, I would be jealous of her involuntarily and couldn’t get along with her normally, feeling that there was always a distance between us. I felt very tired and didn’t know when I could get out of it.
I was embarrassed to lay my state bare to the brothers and sisters, so I could only pray to God. Once, I prayed to God at a gathering, “O God! I’m in a wrong state again today. May You guide me.” Throughout the meeting, I felt very depressed in my heart. That evening, Sister Liu phoned me and talked with me, asking concernedly what difficulties I had recently. I replied hesitantly, “I’m deeply corrupted and too malicious. Will God still save people like me?” I didn’t say more for fear that she might look down on me. Sister Liu read a passage of God’s words to me: “‘… I won’t tell others of my dark or corrupt side, OK?’ If you do not speak these things, and do not dissect yourself, then you will never know yourself, will never know what kind of thing you are, and there will be no chance of others trusting you. This is fact. If you wish for others to trust you, first you must be honest. To be honest, you must first lay your heart bare, so that everyone can see it, and all that you are thinking, and can see your true face; you must not pretend or package yourself. …” After reading God’s words, she fellowshiped, “Opening up to fellowship is a way to make us released in spirit. If you have difficulties but hide them in your heart, it will easily cause you to be fooled by Satan and prevent you from having progress in your life. If you open up, you will not only be practicing the truth of being honest people but also get help from brothers and sisters. You’ll get solutions to your problems earlier, gain growth in your life, and also have your heart released. Isn’t it a good thing?” After that, she shared her own experience of how she lived in the corruption of being jealous of others and how she freed herself later. Hearing her fellowship, I said in surprise, “So you also have such corruption!” Sister Liu smiled and said, “Yeah. We’re all deeply corrupted by Satan. Corruptions like arrogance, jealousy, and maliciousness are deeply rooted within each of us. God comes to do the work of judgment and chastisement today just for the purpose of purifying and changing us. So we should treat ourselves correctly and not live in negativity. As long as we pursue to be transformed, we’ll be transformed and live out the likeness of a true man one day.” Hearing what she said, I felt much released in my heart. I also understood a little about God’s will: I not only should face my corruption head-on but also need to be an honest person and lay them bare to the brothers and sisters. In this way, Satan will be unable to fool me. This is also practicing the truth and putting Satan to shame. Then I opened up to Sister Liu about my being jealous of others in those days. I felt quite relaxed in my heart after speaking them out, as if a heavy burden was lifted. I tasted that only when I practiced according to God’s words could I be free and released.
The next day, Sister Liu shared another passage of God’s words with me: “You always worry that others will stand out more than you, that others will become greater than you. Is this not being jealous of worth and ability? Is this a behavior that is considerate of God’s intention? What kind of disposition is this? This is venomousness! It is only taking oneself into account, only satisfying one’s selfish desires, not considering the interests of God’s house, not taking into account the duty of others, only considering one’s own interests. … Do not do things before men; you should do them before God. By accepting God’s observation and inspection, your heart is set aright. If you are always concerned with acting for people to see, then your heart will never be set aright.” While reading these words, I examined myself and realized that I hoped to surpass others in everything, whether when I was in society or in the church. Even when I prayed in the meetings, I also wanted to pray better so that the others would compliment me. I couldn’t bear to see someone was better than me. I sought to prevail over others in everything and was unwilling to be left behind. In my thoughts, there were also a lot of malignant expressions which God exposed. I really should not believe in God and conduct myself in this way anymore.
After that, Sister Liu read a passage of fellowship: “Should we say that what talents each of us possesses are preordained by God? (Yes.) Someone is good at writing, he is a natural at this, and can quickly get enlightened by, then he ought to write articles or scripts; some excels in singing, he has a remarkable voice and is technically proficient, his singing is wonderful, then he can sing hymns to praise God; while some is naturally gifted in dancing, his dance is beautiful, then he can dance to praise God. Don’t you think that each of God’s chosen people’s duties is predestined by God? (Yes.) Is this a fact? (Yes.)” While reading this, I came to understand: God gives different talent to each of us. However, no matter what gift God gives us, His purpose is to let us display our strengths to testify God. Those who can sing well should sing, those who are good at writing should write, and those who have enlightenment in the truth should fellowship more about the truth. That the sister has the talent of fellowshiping the truth is also predetermined by God. I should treat her merits properly and treat my strengths and weaknesses properly, for what God bestows upon us are the best.
The meeting time soon came. I wanted to open up to the sister, but I was somewhat afraid to face it. So I went to pray in the bathroom first, “O God! May You give me courage and strength so that I can consider no more of my face and open up to fellowship with the sister to dispel the estrangement between us.” After the prayer, I calmed down a lot, and then I poured out my recent state and experiences. However, the brothers and sisters not only did not look down on me, but all felt that only when we practiced according to God’s words could we be free and released. They also knew how to practice while encountering such things, and I felt much released in my heart. When we had meetings, I prayed to God inwardly, asking Him to help me forsake myself, absorb the sister’s merits, and accept the enlightenment in her fellowship. After the prayer, I could calm my heart and listen to the sister’s fellowship carefully. I found that the sister had a lot of strengths. For example, when she prayed she could join with her conditions and difficulties, and such a prayer was realistic; she also brought the problem of how to educate her child to God to seek God’s will. These were the merits that I should learn from her. Only then did I realize that the sister was not my rival but my good helper. The sister’s fellowship could make me understand those I did not understand. When I thought in this way, I felt completely released in my heart.
Now, the meeting becomes an enjoyment again, for I’m no longer constrained by the jealous heart. I draw on the strengths of the brothers and sisters and compensate for their weaknesses, and I feel released in my heart. I can enter normally again. I know that my corruptions are far more than this, and I hope I can experience more of God’s salvation so that I’ll be purified by God gradually, live out the image loved by God, and become a person who has truth and humanity. All the glory be to the all-powerful God!