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When there is no peace from right-doing

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admin1
Date
2018-09-30 09:05
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Pastoral Letter (741) Sept 30th, 2018

When there is no peace from right-doing



A Christian lived in the south side of China. He owned paddy field on highland.
He put water pump from a little stream into his paddy field using watermill.
There was a neighbor who lived below the field. The neighbor had two paddy fields
and he did not believe in God. One night, the neighbor came to the Christian’s
paddy field and drew the water to his fields. The brothers repaired the mount
and pumped more water from the streams.

But the neighbor drew the water to his field again. After multiple repetitions,
the Christian brothers went to the agnostic neighbor and asked him.
“Why did you draw the water from our fields?” But the neighbor denied that.
The same thing happened next day, and the Christian was frustrated every time
he sees the field drying up because of water flowing into the neighbor’s field.
He thought that he had right to use the water accumulated in the field because
it was his water from the beginning.

Strangely enough, he had no peace in his heart. So every time he prayed to God,
he asked “God, I am asking for the right that I deserve, but there is no peace in my heart.
It’s my neighbor’s fault, but I still do not have peace in my heart. What is the reason
that I can’t find peace?” After the prayer, he talked to his godly friend (Watchman Nee).
“I endured and allowed the neighbor to use the water. Is it right thing to do?”
After listening to what had happened to the farmer Watchman told him.
“If we try to do only right things, we are not good enough as Christians.
We should do better than doing right things”

The Christian farmer realized what he was doing wrong. Following night,
the farmer put the water into his neighbor’s field before the neighbor came.
After a while, the neighbor came to draw the water again. The neighbor was surprised
when he saw the water was already flowing to his field. Before long,
the neighbor realized what happened. The next day, the neighbor came to the Christian farmer
and said “Please forgive me for what I have done. You are a true Christian. If this is Christianity,
I would like to know who your Jesus is.” (Watchman Nee, 『Sit, Walk and Stand』. pp. 39-40)

When we have different opinions or have conflicts with people,
we are inclined to insist on our opinions. However, just because you have strong voice,
it doesn’t mean you won. Also, even though you might shut someone down with your logic,
it’s hard to find peace in your heart. You feel discontent. God wants us to find peace in our heart
rather than doing right things according to the law. “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.
If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also” (Matthew 5:39)

Choosing forgiveness over revenge, showing act of love rather following the principle of right
and wrong is the lesson from God. It certainly is challenging without the grace of God.