Testimony: Live At Peace with Everyone “If it is Possible”
By CCD contributor: Lin Huanxi, August 10, 2017 05:08 AM
I couldn't help crying to God sitting in the corner at a Friday prayer meeting. I asked for God's help and direction. The pastor came over and asked what I was praying about. I could only say: "God, please help me." I kept praying for what's been bothering me, but the circumstance didn't change. I approached the pastor after the Sunday service and told him my worries.
I have a coworker who's also Chinese and my roommate. Since we're both in a foreign country, I take special care of her. She knew little when she first came to South Korea. In order to help her save some money, I shared all my supplies with her as well as cooking breakfast for her. But all of a sudden, she was different. When I talked to her, she would ignore me or just walk away. She would avoid me all the time. More than this, she backstabbed me in front of the director and other Korean teachers so that they misunderstood me. I chose not to tell anyone about this so teachers from other countries wouldn't see the conflict between the two Chinese. When she threw a tantrum at me, I took it with a smile; when she said awful things, I told myself that it was fine.
Until one day, my roommate talked to me for the first time since the "silent treatment." She told me that she went to the director about moving to another room because she didn't want to live with me. However, the new room is connected to the balcony so she asked me not to use her room to get to the washing machine. I had no choice but to go through the window. Eventually, I compromised again to avoid quarreling, especially in front of people from other countries. I didn't want to shame Chinese. Somehow, I couldn't sleep that night. I had no idea what I did wrong that she despised me so much.
The pastor asked if I treated her as a friend. I said yes. I made friends with every roommate of mine. We still stay in touch even after so many years and I no longer being in China. The pastor said: "Has it occurred to you that your current roommate doesn't want to be your friend. She is just your coworker and roommate. She doesn't necessarily need to be your friend. However, you put her in an uncomfortable position. That's why you're hurt." He then shared Romans 12:18 with me,
"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." (Romans 12:18 NIV)
I was very familiar with this verse. However, I only saw half of it: "live at peace with everyone." So, I always pursued friendship with everyone I met. But the pastor reminded me that God didn't say we have to, but "If it is possible." Therefore, as long as we try our best and have peace before God, we don't need to make peace with everyone. If I did wrong, then the Holy Spirit would enlighten me through prayer and the Bible. So I started to mind my own business and entrusted this to God. As to how others react, it's not my responsibility.
At last, the pastor said with a smile: "I think something about you hurt her and you didn't know." I was confused, so he explained: "Your existence itself hurt her. She has low self-esteem and you were not aware of that. Instead, you kept giving. The more you gave, the more she disliked it." I didn't know how she felt, but since that day, I told God that I would entrust this to Him. I would stop questioning myself about what I did wrong, but treating her well like always.
My roommate switched rooms one week later so she needed help moving the fridge and the bed. Since she and her current roommate couldn't handle all the stuff, she came to me. She said: "Ask your Boyfriends to help us move." I didn't have a boyfriend, so I said to her after thinking: "How about this, I'm going to church on Sunday and I could ask brothers and sisters of the church to help."
On Sunday the pastor and brothers and sisters drove to my place to help. They also helped her move her clothes and do some cleaning. After they left, my roommate talked to me for the first time in months, she said: "I was surprised by you." I found out later through a friend that my roommate texted her that Sunday morning, asking her to bring their mutual drinking buddies to help. They all turned her down with excuses. It was brothers and sisters who helped her when my roommate was most helpless.
The work of God is just so amazing. Since then I remained the same, but my roommate changed. I was still available when she needed help. She asked me: "How is it that you're always so positive everyday and I am always complaining." I started sharing my thoughts with her and she began to reveal her heart.
My positive attitude is very different from her passive thinking; I could make friends very quickly so I always have friends to hang out with. However, she didn't know anyone other than her drinking buddies and some foreign teachers at the school; even the most difficult student behaves in my class.
Actually, it took me a long way to be like this. First, it looked like my life was much easier than hers, but only because God keeps shaping me. So I have a different attitude toward the same thing. Second, the reason that I make friends quickly is that I look for a church every where I go. I invited her to go to church with me multiple times, but I was always turned down. Third, as to my students' behavior, I prayed for them and it was God who changed them, not me.
God taught me another lesson: we have to live at peace with everyone only if it is possible. There is no need to add meaningless burden to ourselves. Also don't have expectations for people, just do well in what we're supposed to do. Don't ask for the response of people, but be shameless before God.
-Translated by Grace Hubl
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