What are three things that we as humans inherently crave? Max Jeganathan, Asia-Pacific regional director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), suggests that they are honour, pleasure and love.⠀ ⠀ Jeganathan explained that central in our culture is the pursuit of honour and avoidance of shame. And that when we seek identity and derive meaning in life from the honour we receive from others, “we elevate external approval at the expense of internal peace”.⠀ ⠀ “Historically, Easterners are generally driven more by honour while Western cultures have placed a greater emphasis on pursuing pleasure – following the path of least resistance to what feels good. Of course, today we see both sets of drivers proliferate and integrate globally.”⠀ ⠀ Perhaps there is more to being human than just receiving honour and enjoying pleasure, and love is what all humans crave.⠀ ⠀ But there’s something about human love that falls short. “Our synthetic man-made love is not working… There’s a brokenness inside all people such that even though we acknowledge that love is a good idea, we fail.”⠀ ⠀ Jeganathan suggested that man-made standards of love are ultimately inadequate. Surely we’ve also failed in dispensing love – we’ve gone overboard in our words, in our lack of care towards those we love, in not loving others quite as well as we’d like to.⠀ ⠀ “Ultimately, we lack inside ourselves the means to achieve our own needs and desires,” he added.⠀ ⠀ “We think we just need more love – but our problem is that we need a different kind of love. Our problem is qualitative, not quantitative.”⠀ ⠀ “When we go to Jesus,” said Jeganathan, “He offers us a unique sacrificial and unconditional brand of love that cannot be found anywhere else.”⠀ ⠀ God knows exactly who we are and what we are like, yet chooses us still. But perhaps that’s also most freeing to know. God’s love doesn’t ignore our failing and imperfections, it rises up to cover them over with His perfection.�⠀ —⠀ Read the full story “We don’t need more love, just better love” on our site.
This #InternationalMensDay, we consider: Is the way we do church more feminine than masculine – alienating the men? How many Christian men have any sort of male support in or out of church?⠀ ⠀ The statistics from a recent national census suggest that Christian men in Singapore are rejecting their faith as they grow older. That’s in line with surveys conducted abroad, which suggest that most boys raised in church will abandon their faith in their teens and 20s; many never return.⠀ ⠀ So the average Christian man accepts the reality of Jesus Christ, but struggles to see any value in attending church or practising the faith. Such a trend is not seen in other mainline faiths; it is unique to modern Christianity.⠀ ⠀ We need a culture in which men intentionally journey with one another. A culture where there’s no shame, no ego, no awkwardness.⠀ ⠀ Men must be engaged on issues of identity: child of God, man of God. They need to know what success looks like, in the workplace, in their family and in their personal life.⠀ ⠀ In this platoon of faith, a bro must never walk alone. — Read the full story “Dude, the church needs you” on our site.
Trying to change someone or show them they’re wrong? As Stella's efforts to change people were not getting visible results, she began to question her motives in wanting them to change. She realised that she wanted to change someone so that she would be at an advantage.⠀ ⠀ But real change starts from within, when a person searches his own heart and decides he wants to become better. So trying to change someone else is futile if we don’t try and understand how the other person thinks.⠀ ⠀ Embrace the fact that others will never be like you. We were each created to be different and unique, which means we don’t think alike. We need to put ourselves in their shoes.⠀ ⠀ So speak words of love that benefit the person when he’s in the right frame of mind to receive feedback, so that what you say will be well received and considered.⠀ ⠀ The greatest commandment is to love God with all we have, and to love others as ourselves. Even though we can find good opportunities to speak into the lives of those we care for, one thing that we must do well to truly change someone – is to love.⠀ ⠀ Accept that they may never change in our lifetime, but know that you’re planting a seed in their heart that will one day bear fruit. Be patient and hopeful in all circumstances as you do this, and you will see how this shifts the focus of your energy in changing someone to becoming more thoughtful of others.⠀ ⠀ As we learn to put ourselves in the shoes of others, we will grow in empathy, sensitivity, selflessness and our ability to understand people. Becoming a better version of yourself first will not only open doors for people to change their behaviour, but also bring greater joy to your life.⠀ ⠀ Remember, don’t be fixated on wanting to change somebody because the outcome isn’t in our hands. Continue loving the people around you as much as you can. What steps will you take to change someone?⠀ (Contributed by Stella Lee)⠀ —⠀ Read the full story Trying to change someone or show them they’re wrong? on our site.
It was during a season of transitions that Alex fell into depression. At the time, he was in NS (National Service) and in the process of joining a new unit. While this was happening, his family situation became more unstable and his parents decided to physically separate. Personally, Alex was also in a weird phase of his relationship.⠀ ⠀ As all these changes were happening, Alex suddenly came to see the magnitude of the problems in his life. He found himself overwhelmed, and as he tried to cope with the situation, he started to doubt God. Questions like “is this really how God loves” began to creep into his heart.⠀ ⠀ Alex was hurting, and he could not hear God’s voice. The promises of God started to become more and more untrue to him. Even though he was still serving and involved in church, it was all on the surface. In Alex's heart, he was losing focus and upset with God.⠀ ⠀ He had this image of what a Christian should be – loving, encouraging, joyful – and he knew that he was nowhere near that ideal. Comparing himself with others around him only made him sink lower and more distant.⠀ ⠀ Then God gave Alex a vision. It then dawned on him that no matter how much he was hurting, God was hurting even more. Every dark thought he failed to take captive, and every negative emotion that distanced him from community and God, didn’t just hurt Alex – it grieved Him even more.⠀ ⠀ Although this vision didn’t heal Alex of his depression, it renewed his heart and spirit for God. Eventually, God also gave him favour with his superiors and fellow servicemen, and he received blessings in situations that could have only been from Him.⠀ ⠀ Alex's parents are now living together, and he and his siblings have grown closer. They also have become more intentional and involved with each other’s lives.⠀ (Contributed by Alex Tan)⠀ —⠀ Read the full story I saw hope even when it felt like I was drowning on our site.
Shu-wen has been single for a long time. By God’s grace, she's in a good place with regards to her singlehood, but it’s not always easy.⠀ ⠀ Our joy and fulfilment is in having an intimate, trusting relationship with God – and she's thankful to have experienced this personally – but Shu-wen doesn’t deny that there are times when she feels lonely, or longs for a companion and partner to journey through life with.⠀ ⠀ So here are three practical tips that have helped her to avoid temptation through her singlehood and find contentment in God. When we don’t see the fruition of a long-held dream, it’s easy to become bitter. But single or married, let’s remember that we serve a God who sees, remembers and cares deeply for us!⠀ (Contributed by Weng Shu-wen)