The irony of a good Christian

Well, it has been a long hiatus since I last blogged substantially (The last post I did was merely tokenism).

Haven’t been thinking much to blog as I fell ill earlier this week and work has been pretty busy since the end of the financial year is approaching so everyone’s rushing out projects.

I have been thinking about the notion of a “good Christian”. The expectation of me being a good Christian has always been there since my Sunday School days as a child. And true, being a leader/mentor in church, one is expected to be “better” – in terms of your relationship with God, and how you handle your everyday life (in work and school) with faith. Simply having the label of a “Christian” brings connotations of being pure, good, kind, loving, unselfish, (insert a good value)… Much less a label of “Church Mentor/Leader”.

However, looking at my own life thus far, I sometimes wonder why and how I can be such a terrible and unlovable person in various situations, outside (or even inside) of my church community. Here I am supposed to be a “good Christian” when in fact I have not been good. The ugly side of me… It’s so ugly that it’s repulsive.  Ya, some of my girlfriends think I’m really a good Christian girl… But honestly, if God were to thoroughly examine my life and define a good Christian as someone with excellent relationship with Him and one who embraces his/her everyday life in faith and purity, I’m 100% guarantee chop FAIL.

There lies the irony of a being a “good Christian”. There is no such thing as a “good Christian” because it can never ever be achieved. It is an ideal and should be worked towards, but it can never reach the stage of perfection. In fact, every believer is a BAD Christian… granted forgiveness and mercy by the grace of God. Recognising my weaknesses and shortfalls, I realise how much more I need God.

I have my weak moments. I am not superChristianwonderfulblamelesskindgoodrolemodel Esther, and don’t ever place me in such a league. But I am simply Esther – fallen, weak, helpless… and that’s WHY I am a Christian.

When I say, ‘I am a Christian’, I’m not trying to be strong. I’m professing that I’m weak and need His strength to carry on.

…. When I say, ‘I am a Christian’, I’m not holier than thou, I’m just a simple sinner, who received God’s good grace, somehow!

– Carol Wimmer, 1992

Advertisements

How God pursues you

God pursues us for our love… And to what extent is He willing to go and get your heart? To the extent of giving us Jesus to save us from our sins, that we may be reconciled with Him by grace.

Don’t be mistaken that God “feeds on” our adoration and worship. He is God. He doesn’t need our love and adoration to thrive. But He is just a selfless Lover, pursuing us until our hearts are all for Him.

I asked my Sec 2 Care Group girls how they liked to be pursued by their boyfriends in the future. It was really interesting to know the ways in which they like to be pursued.

One would like her suitor to write letters to her; the other would like hers to feed her nice food. Yet another one would like the suitor to give surprises for a few weeks (like putting little things like chocolates and flowers) on her table before revealing his real identity. And for another one, she would like her suitor to tell her light-hearted things so that she can always laugh. See if you can guess who these people are 😛

All this revealed that we are all created differently; each with a unique personality. So I told them: In the same way you like to be pursued by your future boyfriend, God pursues us in loving ways that our unique personality would understand, and does it even better because He created us. So if you like surprises, God probably would put little surprises in your path, like showing you an exceptionally beautiful flower on your way to school… If you like letters, God would probably use His Word to show His selfless love to you. We prayed and renewed our faith together once again as a Care Group after that.

It’s a lesson for myself at the end of everything. Only when I understand fully the way and the extent of God’s pursuing love, can I love the people around me selflessly. Realise I have been pretty selfish in loving and I need to look beyond myself and me me me me needs.

God, give me wisdom and an epiphany….

The Question in my head

This question keeps surfacing… and on this night, this question needs to be materialised into the written form.

How can anyone live without God?

It is a torture, an invitation for hopelessness and despair.

I really cannot imagine life without Jesus and His extravagant love. Where would I be, without You, here in my life?

I’m sorry skeptics. For this moment in time, let’s not argue.

In case I forget…

Just finished a part of my Quiet Time and this was written in the devotional “Our Daily Journey” –

“So the way we read the Bible is vital. Do we read it merely for information, principles, or truths that we can use to live better? Or do we read it in order to listen to God and respond in prayer and obedience?”

– Chia Poh Fang (contributor to “Our Daily Journey”)

Here is a question I need to record down, lest I forget. And yes, respond in prayer and obedience when I’ve realised the truth.

 

PSALM 19:12-14

12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?

Cleanse me from these hidden faults.

13  Keep your servant from deliberate sins!

Don’t let them control me.

Then I will be free of guilt

and innocent of great sin.

14  May the words of my mouth

and the meditation of my heart

be pleasing to you,

O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

 

John 3:16 – What will be kept in my heart

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  – John 3:16

As our Teens material, Max Lucado’s  “3:16 – The Numbers of Hope” come to a close, I am grateful that I have learned this life-changing verse in depth.

This verse which is so old in my heart, yet so new in my spirit, has been explained by the book to give me a brand new perspective about eternal life and what it is like to believe in Him.

As a child, when I am asked to memorise this verse, I thought that the “eternal life” I would get is going to a beautiful place called Heaven, where there will be eternal peace and joy, no tears and pain.

As a youth, when I use this verse to share the gospel, I tell people it’s about the future salvation which we will savour when our human bodies die. It’s about “knowing where we go after we die” – quoting from what I would usually tell others.

However, the book corrected my perspective.

“Eternal life” is not just a physical place, nor is it something that we get only when we die. This “life” is right now – the moment when you believe in your heart and your soul that Jesus is your Saviour. This “eternal life” is all about having relationship with God, our Father and Creator. It’s the sweet reunion with the Being who created us and loves us, made possible by Jesus’ death on the cross. This life united with God, is full of hope, possibilities and meaning, and the good news is: It begins now, not only after your physical death.

I thank you God for such a sweet grace and immense love. You made things easy for us to be with you and I pray I will not take things for granted.

Power of another kind

We always pray to God for power and strength. Then I wonder… to do what?

To help us to lead people better? Hmm, probably?

To speak more powerful prayers? Yes, maybe.

To be able to be a strong testimony before friends and family. Yes…

I realise that all my asking for power and strength has been about doing such “great things” – things that would let people see, wow, she’s good, she has big dreams.

But the Holy Spirit, during last week, prompted me that God has given me the power and strength not just to do these seemingly “great things”. It’s to do something so simple, but something which I always seem to lack: To love.

God has given me power and strength to love and accept people who are unlovable – the people who have hurt me with words, who have rejected my sincere goodwill, who have mistreated me, who have been unfair to me or just people who are plain irritating.  Thankfully, I haven’t met a lot of such people but yes, there are still some of them out there.

I believe the power given is not only to love those who are unlovable, but also, to be more expressive and appreciative to people who have shown their love for me in different ways. I sometimes find myself a bit passive and unexpressive when it comes to loving a person who has shown me acts of love (no, it’s not only DR!), and that is why I need God’s power and strength to love them as much as well.

The God-given power, that should be used to accomplish “greater things”, is for me to accomplish this simple task, to love. What a revelation!

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Next Newer Entries