After 12 years…

Recently, I replaced my identity card with updated details and photograph.

The old one (on the left) was done near the period of my national service enlistment which explains the botak and beh song (not happy in Hokkien) look.

Now after 12 years, at least I’m smiling and looking more song (happy) in my latest photograph. Ha ha…

The years passed by

As I reflected on the changes, and especially my journey with God through those 12 years, I am amazed and humbled by His wondrous love. 

Like what the third line in verse 4 of Isaiah 54 (see previous entry) speaks of: “You will forget the shame of your youth.” I cannot refute His claims.

Over the years, I have indeed experienced how He has really done that for me.  

The years ahead

This year, my directive and anchor scripture is Isaiah 54:2-4.

God is making it clear to me- to enlarge, stretch, lengthen, strengthen mysef in order to grow towards His expansion over my life for the years ahead.

Though I know the road ahead will be challenging, but I’m confident that God is faithful and true.

I want not only to grow to know the word of God more, but to know the God of the word even more. I don’t want just to be informed, but be transformed. 

I’m not content in merely being inspired by His word, but I pray that I will see every promise He has for me come to pass in my life.

Being a Trailblazer for God’s Culture

New International Version:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

The Message:

“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time.

Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.”

Matthew 7:13-14

Right versus Wrong

I believe you would agree with me that the general rule which people will use in discerning the practice of right conduct is that first of all, they should not feel shame from the judgment of their family and friends when thinking or doing something right.

Next, the feeling of shame at the scorn of acquaintances and strangers would be the next level of measurement between right and wrong.

Generally speaking, all of us eschew the wrong and do what is right in this manner from adolescents to adults; from our family’s influence to society’s cultural norms. This will then naturally become a habit, and in time we shall acquire the disposition to prefer the right and dislike the wrong.

Question of subjectivity

As people who are naturally communal in nature, the reason that why we want to do what is right is more to gain acceptance or to avoid displeasing others. Though this is not entirely unhealthy or wrong in itself, but the question that demands to be answered is what is the true definition of good and wrong? And is there one global standard to follow?

For instance, in some countries it is an offence for a couple to hold hands or to display public affection. Such couples that are caught or usually shamed and slapped with a fine like this case that was committed by two students in Malaysia.

Not sure which part of the world you are in as you read this, but I can safely assumed that holding of hands between couples are perfectly normal in most countries. I think in some society norms, couples might even be looked upon as being weird if they are not holding hands or being affectionate to another assuming that they are of opposite genders of cos! Ha ha…

What if a child is raised in a family where the parents are chain smokers? I think the likelihood for this child to grow up thinking smoking is alright in spite of its ill-affects would be higher than a child that grows up in a non-smoking family.

When a person from a non-smoking family thinks of lighting his/her first cigarette, the first natural thought would be how it will affect his/her parents; the unwanted shame would be a resistance against smoking.

Objectivity with the truth

In truth, our world be a less chaotic and peaceful one without political and economical wars if there was one standard or authority on what is right and wrong that nations submitted to. As one man would always see himself greater and better than his counterpart, there will be no end of petty squabbling and politicking.

In my personal opinion, God is above all and is the highest authority. His word is what clearly defines right and wrong. It is eternal and powerful, and has proven itself true all these years in spite endless attacks to discredit what it claims to be as the Word of God.

The Word of God is not just for Christians, but for all mankind. Everything in it, provides the framework for us to discern the right from the wrong, and to practice what is right towards improving our quality of life.

More importantly, His Word points to our need for a God in our lives and His grace that we need to live by in order to live a righteous life.

You stumble day and night,
and the prophets stumble with you.
….
….. my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

Hosea 4:5-6

So the answer to the question of what or how do we accurately distinguish the right from the wrong: The Word of God.

Without the knowledge His Word or the lack of it, would have an adverse affect on our lives as we would be plagued with inconsistencies and confusion; and to the extend of affecting those around us.