Monday, April 30, 2012

To be different

Singapore is a constant pursuit of excellence. A constant, constant drive to get better, be better, and account to everyone else how you are better.

The other day we watched a video of a very gifted friend speak about her first two years in teaching. It was painfully real, honest and humbling. And I was so grateful that someone had finally spoken up and described things as they were. Some of my friends were confused how she'd managed to pass her teaching course, having made so all those mistakes she was so honest in sharing. Of course I replied that she was a very humble person and I'm sure she had actually passed with flying colours.

But within, I knew the truth—that none of us is as good as we crack ourselves up to be—and my humble friend had just been honest enough to point out the emperor's nudity.

We create dizzily high standards for ourselves to adhere to, because that's what society expects of us. But we're just human. And if you define human the same way I do, then I think the platter of mistakes is far closer to who we are than the list of achievements we try to scramble together about ourselves for our supervisors to admire.

But rather than admit how flawed we are, we crown ourselves with false modesty and expect praise from others.

I don't think society is ever going to change that though. I don't think we're ever going to move towards a society where it's cool to be wrong. We are told to tell our students that it's okay to make mistakes, but we don't extend the same grace to our colleagues, or to ourselves.

But Christians have a different calling. Christian, don't bow. Don't cave in. Don't blend in with everyone else who's trying to prove what a great teacher or doctor or economic contributor they're going to be. Please. From one Christian to another, I can't do it all by myself. I need you to boast in your weaknesses, so I know it's safe to boast in mine. Please be different. Please be secure in your identity in Christ, and know that your only duty is to act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. If you really believe you're forgiven, then stop trying to justify yourself. Stop trying to convince yourself you're on the right side of the fence when you hear a sermon, or when you discuss one. Know that you're not, but you're saved anyway. Of all people, Christians should be most unsurprised when receiving criticism, most loving when wronged, and most grateful when praised. Please be those people for me. Because I don't think we're meant to survive this success-driven world alone.

I need that from you.

Taken from

No comments:

Post a Comment