By Yang Laidi I’m Yang Laidi, sixty-two years old this year. In 1985, because my husband had health problems, our […]
The Partner Is a Helper – Christian Experience
A cluster of crabs were moving on the beach. Meanwhile, a seabird hunting for food straightly flew down. The second before a little crab was about to be the food in the seabird’s mouth, all crabs lined together and then raised their pincers, pointing them at the seabird. We can surely imagine what the result would be. The crabs didn’t suffer the least injury, while the seabird lost some feathers, ending in fiasco.
A colony of penguins were standing on a large piece of ice. Meanwhile, a shark darted toward them, preparing to take them as its good meal. Just then, the smart penguins moved together to one side of the ice and shifted their weight to the right so that the other side raised high. However, it was too late to dodge; the shark moving at a high speed butted its head against the ice, sinking into the sea.
A swarm of ants were on the march. When the last ant was nearly being sucked into the long snout of an animal, the commanding ant immediately ordered all ants to gather together into a ball. They used their bodies to stop up the long snout. As a result, the long-snouted animal couldn’t breathe and was almost suffocated to death. Because the ants held together, they saved their own lives.
The small animals could exist, owing to their unity. But do we humans have such unity? In the beginning God created our forefather Adam and Eve. At that time, because they listened to God’s word, they received His blessing. They lived together and were kind to and loved each other, regarding each other as a family member. They managed the Garden of Eden with one heart and one mind. However, after being corrupted by Satan and expelled from the Garden of Eden, they ran around and worked hard for the sake of their living. For this reason, they blamed, fought and disputed with each other. Hereafter, humans developed generation after generation. Presently, for our own sake, we engage in dogged and endless competition and none concede an inch. The pristine love and mutual assistance between people have long vanished, even we do not have the spirit of unity and mutual help of the small animals.
Recently, such problems arose between my partner Jane and me in our work …
It was Wednesday. Our group leader asked us to complete some paperwork. As time was limited and I had other urgent work to finish, Jane did the work first. In the evening, she told me that she had finished the preliminary draft and showed me. After reading it, I thought it was completely different from my expected plan. Thus, I didn’t have a deeper understanding of her thought and her reasons for expressing it that way, but rejected her plan outright. Later, I worked overtime and put together a new one. When I showed my draft to her next day, she accepted my thought and just said that it required some modifications. Hearing her words, I felt elated, thinking, “It’s no big deal to simplify some sentences. As long as my thought is tenable, it can prove that I have the edge on you in professional ability.” I unconsciously started getting pleased with myself. But I had never expected that she revised it a lot. On seeing those marks, I felt they were so prickly and harsh to the eye. Not pondering carefully, I dismissed her changes out of hand. Moreover, I thought, with complete confidence that they were unreasonable. Hence, in order to perfect the work, we took another evening, but still didn’t finish it. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t that complicated. The problem was that every time she made proposals, I would totally deny them.
It was past one o’clock in the morning when we were hitting the bed. Yet I just felt stuck, unable to fall asleep. Thereupon I told a sister this matter online. At that moment, all I talked about were how arrogant Jane was, how she stuck to her own views and refused to listen to others’ suggestions, and so on, yet I never said a word about my own problems. After hearing my complaining, the sister said slowly, “Don’t negate others’ suggestions totally. In fact, they are not likely to be bad. There must be some highlights in others’ thoughts, but you didn’t absorb them with your heart. When others denied your thought, you just flied into a rage and didn’t accept any changes to your draft. You’re so unreasonable. Actually, your thought may not be so capital and brilliant.” What she said was like a slap to my face. Notwithstanding that her words were harsh to the ear, I had no choice but to admit that all she said was true. Thinking back to the time when we received the task, I never treated Jane’s thought objectively and justly. I put myself first, wanting to do the whole work according to my own thinking. I had never given careful consideration to her suggestions. This ended up causing many problems in our paperwork. Nevertheless, instead of sincerely examining myself in this matter, I shifted blame and responsibility onto her. Now God reminded me through the sister and enabled me to understand where the root of the problem was. Now, I felt remorse in my heart. Then the sister continued, “No matter how great one’s ability, it’s limited. If you don’t regard your partner as a helper, you’ll never succeed. In reality, your partner is neither a competitor nor a dispensable assistant. You are mutually supportive and cling to each other. The lack of any of you will result in half the result for double effort. However, after being corrupted by Satan, we just don’t know this simple truth. In the eyes of us, we only see our self-interest. We’ve been poisoned by Satan’s philosophies of scrambling for fame and gain, such as ‘If you’re better than me, then I can’t show off my brilliance,’ ‘If I approve of you, will I not then seem lesser than you?’ and so on. In the meantime, these philosophies also dominate our words and actions. They cause lack of love and mutual assistance between people. And even for the sake of our own self-interests, or in order to earn so-called fame and prestige, we fight both openly and in secret. In fact, let’s think it over: If our partners do better than us, and we keep on trying based on their work and do our best to cooperate with them, constantly striving for perfection, won’t we do the work better? So, a true thoughtful person will prefer that his partner is superior to him, because only thus will he make progress and have the opportunity of drawing on others’ strengths and compensating for his own weaknesses. That’s why people often say, ‘Better be the servant of a hero than the boss of an idler.’ The relationship between partners is somewhat like a bolt and a nut. They can play their roles only used with each other. If apart, they’ll be waste, being no longer of any use.” At her words, I reflected on myself: During my coordination with Jane, were the thoughts I revealed not like what the sister said? In fact, not that the thought of Jane is not good, but that I have never thought about what advantages and highlights there are in her plan. However good her thought is, I didn’t want to accept it; however bad mine is, I couldn’t see. I only set my heart on how to show off myself. Therefore, I tried to reject her points of view, unwilling to admit that her ideas were indeed better and more mature than mine, for I thought if I did so, I would appear incapable and lose my status in our group, and then I would be ashamed.
After self-refection, now I saw that I have really been deeply corrupted by Satan and was arrogant to the point of having no reason. How could I complete things with such disposition?
Reflecting on so serious problems within me, I felt rather depressed. I didn’t know what I should do next. Thereupon I went before God in prayer, speaking the words in my heart to Him. I prayed for Him to help me relinquish myself, see the qualities and good points of my partner, and absorb her strong points to compensate for my weakness. After praying, God led me to read His words, “What is vital now for you all to do is to learn how to obey that which is right and how to obey that which comes from the truth and that which conforms to the truth; in this way, you are walking and practicing toward being obedient to God”.showed me the way of practice. It is to learn how to obey that which is right and that which conforms to the truth. Thank God. I knew what I had to do next.
The next day, I received God’s leadership and guidance when I practiced according to His words. During the time that Jane and I continued arranging the draft, I consciously learnt from her with an open mind and intended to be in one accord with her to perform the work properly. After I changed my attitude, I clearly saw that the thought she said the day before was completely tenable, and that it was very original and had highlights. But the time before when she talked about it, I could not find that, nor accept it. Moreover, I did my utmost to cut her changes. Afterward, we both made our respective suggestions. Some points that I didn’t see was brought up by her; some she didn’t realize was taken up by me. I was no longer opinionated at that time. Even if our viewpoints were not aligned with each other, I would communicate with her seriously, and we soon came to an agreement. In this way, each of us provided a little; then the paperwork improved better and better. It was not long before we finalized the manuscript. What’s more, the result was beyond all expectations.
It was only then that I truly experienced: The partner is indeed a helper. Every one of us will meet some people, matters or things that we can’t deal with. No one is perfect. In the team, we should learn to practice the truth and rebel against our arrogant corrupt disposition, learn to hang together and cooperate with others to learn from their strengths and offset our weaknesses, and learn to put ourselves aside and carefully listen to the right suggestions of others. Only by doing so can we establish proper relationships with people, improve our professional skills and abilities, and gradually become a useful person, so that we are able to give full play to all our special skill bestowed by God and perform our roles destined by Him. Thus, in front of God, we will be the useful people and witnesses to Him.