These few years, almost all the land of our village has been occupied by some enterprises and developers, so the only two pieces of land that my extended family still held became extremely precious. My husband and his brothers discussed together and decided that my eldest sister-in-law’s family shared one piece of the land with my third sister-in-law’s and my family shared the other piece with my second sister-in-law’s. The next afternoon, when I went to level off my land, I was shocked to find that piece of field had been almost sown by my second sister-in-law except a small parcel under a big tree. As I saw my only little land had been occupied, my temper flared and I had the urge to go to her home to reason with her immediately. However, I then thought that I was not present when the land was distributed and that maybe my husband heard wrong, so I’d better go home to find it out.
After getting home, I told my husband what I had seen, and he said our family and our second sister-in-law’s indeed should share that piece of land half and half. Hearing this made me even angrier and I felt that my second sister-in-law really was too overbearing. This wouldn’t do, I’d got to find someone to see justice done.
So I went straight to my third brother-in-law and told him about the matter. He also felt angry and said that our second sister-in-law had gone too far. However, he persuaded me to let it go so as to avoid harming our family relationship. After hearing that, the resentment in my heart diminished somewhat, but then I thought, “I can’t swallow the grievances simply for that reason. Without land, my husband and I won’t have any security in our life. It’s one thing to occupy some of our land in the past when we had much, but now she has sowed almost all of the little land we have. This is too much.” The more I thought about it, the more angrier I became.
Afterward, I went to the fields to plant sweet potatoes. Seeing my second sister-in-law’s maize seedlings thriving, I wanted to pull out some and then planted my sweet potatoes to vent my hatred. But I finally gave up the idea when I remembered that I was a believer in the Lord and shouldn’t do so. However, because I didn’t understand the Lord’s will, I just restrained myself by keeping reminding myself that I believed in the Lord and shouldn’t do that, but I still couldn’t let go of my hatred for my second sister-in-law—the moment I saw her, I would feel furious and so ignore her.
I also felt distressed because I still hated my second sister-in-law. In the midst of my pain, I prayed to the Lord: “Lord, because my second sister-in-law has occupied my land, I just can’t let this go and have also developed resentment toward her. May You guide and lead me so that I can put aside my resentment and stop living in pain.”
Later, I read this passage in the Bible: “Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus said to him, I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21–22). I understood the Lord’s will from these verses—the Lord demands that in our interactions with others we be tolerant, patient and forgiving and not brood when others hurt us. However, I couldn’t forgive my second sister-in-law and harbored resentment against her because she had occupied my land. I had not the slightest likeness of a real Christian. As a believer in the Lord, I must treat her in accordance with the Lord’s words, for only in this way could I glorify the Lord. Following that, I prayed to the Lord many times, asking Him to guide me to walk out of the hatred.
After that, I had thought about trying to take the initiative to speak to my second sister-in-law if I met her, but the idea of hatred would cross my mind as soon as I saw her. I knew that idea didn’t conform with the Lord’s will, but I had no way of changing my attitude toward her. During that period, I felt very oppressed. In my pain, I once again came before the Lord in prayer: “O Lord, You taught us to forgive others seventy times seven times, but I haven’t put this into practice even once. As long as I think of how my second sister-in-law has occupied my land, I’ll get extremely angry with her. Lord, how can I put aside my grudge against her? Please guide and lead me….”
Afterward, the Lord Jesus’ words occurred to me: “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44). As I pondered these words, I appreciated God’s holiness and goodness. God created mankind, and He hopes that we will be able to hear His words and live out a true human likeness. God wants us to love each other, get along peacefully with each other and live a joyful and peaceful life. However, we’ve all been corrupted by Satan and become very insatiable, selfish and self-interested. My second sister-in-law occupied my land for the sake of obtaining more interests and I harbored hatred for her because of my interests being damaged. Though we were one family, we hurt each other for personal benefit and even became enemies. Our relationship ended up in tatters and I myself in great pain. These were the results of being corrupted and fooled by Satan. If I still didn’t let go of my hatred for my second sister-in-law, not only would I be shaming the Lord’s name, but I would also carry on living in pain. Besides this, my second sister-in-law didn’t believe in God, and so without the Lord’s words guiding her, she could only live in Satan’s corruption and struggle for advantages. But I had the Lord’s words to lead me, so I should not live in corruption, leaving opportunities for Satan to toy with me. Thinking this, my heart was brightened, I didn’t feel so distressed and miserable, and I also had the strength to practice the Lord’s words.
Later, I came across my second sister-in-law’s sister, who told me that my second sister-in-law’s fall from a vehicle had put her in the hospital for more than two weeks and that she had just returned home. When I heard this, I thought to myself: “Should I go to see her? Doing that will be able to thaw our chilly relationship.” So I went to visit my second sister-in-law with some tonics who was very pleased to see me. After practicing this, I finally felt that letting go of my resentment and practicing the Lord’s words gained me a great deal of relaxation and release and at the same time, I felt a little awful about my past attitude toward her. From then on, we buried the hatchet and started to get along well.
After this experience, I deeply felt that no matter how great the issues are that come upon us, only by practicing the Lord’s words can we let go of the resentment in our hearts and get along harmoniously with others. The Lord’s words can resolve all of our difficulties and problems, just as the Bible says: “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).