How Should I, a Christian, Treat My Unbearable Roommate?
Yuan Yi is my roommate. In the beginning, we got along well with each other. I took the lead in doing housework; as long as I had time, I mopped the floor and made dinner, not asking her to help with these things. I never tired of doing like this. However, such harmony hadn’t lasted long before I had a prejudice against her.
One day, when I got back home, I saw her playing with her phone on the bed. At the sight of the floor which was dirty enough, my dissatisfaction suddenly leapt inside me: The floor is so dirty but you don’t sweep it. You only know to play, as if you have nothing to do with this. Do you wait for me to do it every time? When I wanted to release my inner resentment, I remembered that God requires us to be loving, accepting and patient in the interactions with others, so I somewhat put down my dissatisfaction, thinking to myself: She is young, and it is normal that she hasn’t ever done some housework. I have only to tolerate her much.
However, things like it continued to be happening. At night, I couldn’t sleep with the light on. However, not until over ten o’clock did she finish work. Obviously, it was very late. After returning home, she first had a rest sitting on the bed and then washed up, so that she went to bed at eleven or even twelve o’clock. At first, when I couldn’t sleep with my heart impatient, I wanted to turn off the light myself. But considering that she hadn’t washed herself yet and thus it was improper to turn off the light, I had only to tolerate her. It was not until she switched off the light that I felt at ease within for I eventually could have a sound sleep. With the passage of time, my mental state was poor every day because of not having a good rest, so that I felt more browned off. Once, it was already rather late, but the light was still on. Because I really couldn’t hold back my discontent anymore, I turned over, covered my head with my quilt and then flung it back, intentionally making some noises to remind her to hurriedly turn off the light. Although I repeatedly did like this, she still didn’t have any reaction but still kept sitting there. At last, I couldn’t help saying to her, “Could you turn off the light?” She gave a casual reply to me. I unceasingly complained in my heart: Why do you have so many bad habits? Leaving your shoes all over the house and throwing everything on the floor. Isn’t there a saying “Keep good men company and you shall be of the number”? We’ve been together so long, but why don’t my behaviors have an effect on you? I really wished to criticize her to her face to vent my displeasure. However, thinking of us being the inmates of the house, if I told her my resentment toward her, couldn’t it be very embarrassing for us to get along with each other in the future? But if I didn’t tell the truth, I would feel really upset and suppressed in my heart. I was in a dilemma.
One day, when I was practicing spiritual devotion, I read these words of God, “To adapt to your environment, you must first realize something: There are all kinds of people out there, with all sorts of living habits. Living habits do not represent a person’s humanity. Just because your living habits are disciplined, normal, and dignified does not mean you possess the truth. You need to get this fact through your head, and gain a positive appreciation for it. Furthermore, God has arranged such a fantastic environment for you. You have too many personal issues; you must learn to adapt, and not pick at the bad habits of others. Moreover, you have to be able to get along with them based on love, and get close to them; you need to see their strengths, learn from their strengths, and then pray to God and overcome your own problems. This is the attitude and practice of submission. … then stay away from it, and mind your own business. What does it mean to not mind your own business? ‘I will change that bad habit of theirs, or I will have my surname changed!’ What kind of person are you if this is the way you conduct yourself? Insolent, aggressive, and ignorant. Do not be such a person. We are ordinary people, each with two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. People use their mouths to eat, so you, too, must eat with your mouth. If you try to use your nose to eat, it will get irritated. People use their legs to walk, so you, too, must walk with your legs; you cannot possibly fly. People work with their hands, so you, too, must work with your hands; you cannot do it with your feet. There is nothing special about you; you do not have any supernatural powers, and you are not superior to others in any way. We are common people; we are ordinary people. Do not think of yourself as being so noble or great” (“The Five Conditions People Have Before They Enter the Right Track of Believing in God”). After reading these words of God, I came to know that all people, matters and things I had encountered were arranged by God, that I have too many problems and that everyone has their different living habits. Nevertheless, I always despised her, thinking her habit was not as good as mine, and thus I looked down upon her and all the time tried to influence and change her with my behaviors. I was so insolent, aggressive and ignorant. Because of my arrogant disposition, I always made many complaints against her within and regarded her as being inferior to me. I wasn’t so keen on her that there were barriers between us. As it turned out, all this was caused by me. I couldn’t attempt influencing or changing her any longer; on the contrary, I must learn to adapt to such an environment and solve my problem of not minding my own business. If I couldn’t overcome this problem, I couldn’t get along with anyone.
God’s words pointed out the way of practice to me. Afterward, I learned to adapt to the environment God had arranged for me. Though my roommate still turned off the light very late, I no longer made complaints, nor engaged in those petty schemes. Sometimes when seeing my roommate still put her things all over the house and didn’t clean the house, I would feel uncomfortable within. But then I would pray to God, “Oh, God! Through Your words, I have known that my disposition is too arrogant—I am not happy with others and always want to change them. Now I no longer complain against my roommate within my heart, yet I still feel pained when facing things that are not in line with my wishes. Oh, God! What is Your will? Please enlighten me and lead me, so that I can have the path of practice.”
Just when I was in agony, unaware of what to do, I saw God’s words, “You must see through these things that surround you; if you are truly unable to submit, you find them too upsetting, and they are affecting your life, then pray and implore God to act. Allow God to make arrangements; allow God to do His work. We humans should not do it ourselves. If it’s God’s intention to hone us in such an environment, then we should submit, and we should allow ourselves to be honed until a result is achieved; we should allow ourselves to be honed until we are as humans should be and can show this to God and satisfy God. First, though, you must have this resolve to suffer. What do you think of behaving in this way? Do you have aspirations to be such a person? (Yes.) When it comes to submitting to environments, your environments are often not so simple. You do not merely come across people with bad habits; there are even more things, such as issues to do with disposition, issues to do with personality, and issues to do with how things are done. When you do and handle things, or have some thoughts while encountering things, do not rely on your own intentions or your hot blood. Pray to God and come before Him. This, first of all, is a submissive attitude; it is the first psychological quality you should possess. We implore God to do His work, but if He does not do it or open up a way out, then we just need to keep enduring it and continue living in this environment. We must submit to God’s arrangements and not rush ahead and try to walk in front of God. Only then will our lives have value.”
“Learning how to submit is not that easy, because no one lives in a vacuum. Looking from the perspective of how people live, everyone has basic necessities; everyone has the seven emotional states and the six desires. They all have their own individual aspirations; they all have their own subjective thoughts, desires, and wishes. From the perspective of objective living conditions, no one can speak or act completely in line with your wishes. Accordingly, the most essential lesson is to let everyone learn how to submit to such environments. If everyone can submit to such environments and seek God’s will, and can practice in accordance with the aspiration and goal of satisfying God’s intentions, then what would you think of such a living environment? … Your practice of the truth is your own business; it is a matter that is between you and God, and has nothing to do with anyone else. No one else has any obligation to cooperate with you. … Would people who submit to God lose out? (They do not lose out.) If you cannot fathom this, then you are just too stupid!” (“The Five Conditions People Have Before They Enter the Right Track of Believing in God”). From God’s words I understood: God’s will is, in such an environment, allowing me to learn to obey and to be honed until I am as humans should be and can live out normal humanity. Whichever crowd of people we live in, we will definitely meet some people, matters and things that are not in accord with our intentions. In such environments, only if we learn to obey God’s orchestration and planning, and actually suffer pains to put ourselves aside and betray ourselves, can we get along with others. With these, I was not annoyed any longer but have the resolve to satisfy God. All that I would do was practically cooperate with God and obey His orchestration for every day God kept me in such an environment. Also, I made the determination, “Oh, God! It is You who has arranged this environment for me. Your will is to let me learn the lesson of obedience. Now I have understood Your intention and I am willing to submit to Your orchestration in this environment. Although it isn’t in line with my wishes, I am willing to practice Your words and hone myself until a result is achieved to satisfy You.”
After that, I had the motivation to practice God’s words. As for the housework, once I had time, I would do it, no longer focusing on my roommate. Every time I went to sleep, I would pray to God silently, imploring Him to keep my heart and enable me to put God’s word into practice. In this way, through praying over and over again to God, whether she turned off the light or not didn’t influence my sleep any longer, and I felt relaxed and released a lot. In other matters of daily living, I also prayed to God and relied on God to exercise myself to live by the truth.
At this point, something unexpected happened. One evening, she suddenly switched off the light especially early. The moment she turned off the light, I was much surprised, thinking: It might happen only this time. Contrarily, in the following several days, she turned off the light earlier than before. Only then did I come to a sudden realization that this is God’s deed. In an instant, I felt extremely excited to truly see God’s authority and faithfulness. When I truly obeyed, and tried to change my own corrupt disposition and to practice and enter the truth, no restriction was imposed upon me and the environment was also removed. I was so thrilled to understand God’s will: He maneuvered my surrounding people, events and things in order to change me, and to make me break free from the bondage of corrupt dispositions and live out a normal human likeness. God is really lovely! From my heart I truly felt that whatever environments God arranges are the most beneficial to me and also the salvation to me.
Later, I read another passage of God’s word, “The truth is indeed the life of human beings. It is not an academic discipline, it is not knowledge, and it is neither folklore nor theory; it is the life of human beings. It can make you live with direction and purpose, and can enable you to escape from Satan’s bondage and free yourself from your corrupt disposition, making you more powerful, making you live with strength, and making you live with purpose and live more comfortably” (“The Five Conditions People Have Before They Enter the Right Track of Believing in God”). God’s words are indeed the truth and can be our life. As long as we use our hearts to practice, we can solve all difficulties and problems in our real life, making us freed of Satan’s corrupt disposition. In this way, we can live a relaxed and free life and we can live with purpose and meaning. Through this experience, I have truly realized that God’s word can change man and that, only by practicing in accordance with God’s requirements, can we live out normal humanity more and more. Thank God!
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