Reflections: “That’s Not Very Christian Of You.”

Someone said this to me yesterday. To be honest, I was a bit shocked. I wasn’t sure how to respond, and in my heart my first thought was, “That’s really harsh.” I felt like if someone wanted to attack me where it really hurt, that’s something they would say. I felt defensive, and even like that was a below-the-belt comment.

However, upon further reflection, I don’t believe that comment was unmerited. Perhaps it was said in jest as I would consider us to be friends, but even such an offhand comment comes from a deeper place, so at the very least I should conclude that I must have inadvertently hurt them.

The background is that I joked that a male celebrity/public figure looked “…different” in a recent photo. As in, he clearly had put on some weight, and as a result was accused of fat-shaming. Initially my thoughts were that, could I not even make such an observation without being shamed for the comment? The last time I saw a photo of him, he looked significantly slimmer.

However, my joke clearly did not come from a place of love, and even if I wished to argue that I was worried for his health, that isn’t really the thought that I had. To be fair, a major part of me was just thinking that he must have been eating really well, so good for him. Heck, I was even a little envious that he had the means to just jet off to any country and eat the best of foods at any given time.

But I can see how the circumstances under which I said it, coupled with the arguably judgemental tone I said it in, were all inappropriate and should have been kept to myself. In fact, I shouldn’t have thought like that in the first place. Shortly after, I apologised in a way that I hope came across sincerely. But today I am taking the time today to reflect on myself, my words and actions.

“That’s not very Christian of you” – this stung and cut me deeply. However, she’s not wrong.

Christian means to be “like Christ”. Have I been acting very Christian lately? Have I been thinking very Christian lately? I know that God will use whomever He pleases to convict me, why shouldn’t this be an act of His, working along with the Spirit to remind me of who I am/ought to be? I have sinned. It is appropriate for me to ask God, too, for forgiveness.

I have been toiling unto God’s Kingdom, but have I been reflecting Christ in my words and actions? How’s my relationship with Christ these days? How much devotional time have I had? Yes, I have done Bible reading. Yes, I have prayed. Yes, I have had plenty of Bible study. But if I consider how much quiet time I have had, it’s not nearly enough.

So let me make that a priority again, so that my heart can be in the right place. I thank God for His unconditional grace, endless mercy and forgiveness through Jesus. I thank God that He doesn’t count my sins against me, but, in love, sanctifies me to grow.

Because of Jesus, I am a sinner saved by grace. Because of Jesus, my unrighteousness is accounted to him, and his righteousness is counted to me. Because of Jesus, I am unashamed. But unashamed does not and should not mean unapologetic.

“That’s not very Christian of you” is a wake-up call. Wake up, Christian, and start being Christ-ian.

SDG,

Crystina

Personal: A New Season

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Sometimes, things happen and I am just… in awe. The way that God continues to lead me is just beyond my wildest imaginations. After my previous job and wedding planning, I was entirely burnt out and in need of a long season of rest. I wasn’t even sure when I’d be ready to start going again, or even what I wanted to do, but it seems like that season of rest has suddenly come to a close without me even trying… and it looks like I’m ready.

I’ve always held the mentality that, “If God wants me to have a job, He’ll drop one into my lap.” My parents didn’t take well to that one when I was in my final year of University with no job offer lined up… but by the time I was graduating I was in the middle of an internship-turning-full-time-opportunity with an offer from another company on the table, both of which had found me.

The most incredible thing is, despite having applied for quite a few jobs the second time round, again I ended up accepting an offer from a company that had found me. Not to mention, getting consulting opportunities from companies that, again, found me.

And now, as of yesterday, I have officially started helping out another company in a role that I never searched for. (My sister’s about to graduate and when I asked about her job hunt, my parents are now like, “Yeah God will give her a job if He wants.” LOL.)

I’m not saying that being a Christian means God promises a job – not by any means, please don’t get me wrong. But it does mean that I have a lot less stress or anxiety from a search than what I hear the majority of people have.

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Hello 2021

Last year was a special year, indeed.

I remember my only resolution (because I suck at them) was to memorise the entirety of Romans 8. Unfortunately, I am fairly embarrassed and ashamed to say I did not succeed, especially since I had so much time at home to study it. This year, though, I’m thinking of having the same resolution, but will also aim to continue uploading my Bible reading onto YouTube, and continue sharing the gospel online via Twitch. Whether or not I succeed in the latter part of that will be quite easy to see. Please feel free to keep me accountable.

Perhaps my biggest resolution, however, should remain to love the triune God of the Bible with all my heart, mind, soul, strength — my entire being — and glorify Him alone.

Happy New Year! Here’s to 2021.

Blessings,

Crystina

2020 Reflections: There’s So Much Beauty Here

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It’s been a really difficult year, I know, for so many people. But for me, looking back on 2020, I have nothing but gratitude. There has been a lot that has gone wrong, but focusing on the negative and dwelling on the disappointments will not change the outcome and might only cause me to fall into despair. So, instead, I just want to take time to give thanks for the year that we’ve had.

During Sunday School, our pastor gave us a few prompts to consider and reflect upon. We were encouraged to come up with 1-3 top things for each. I enjoyed this activity a lot, feel free to try it for yourself as well! :)

What are some things you celebrated or found joy in this year?

  1. My wedding!
  2. Exercising and improving my health/time of rest
  3. Extended honeymoon period/spending a lot more time with hubs due to Jacky working from home

What are some significant things you learned or ways you grew?

  1. I really lack self-discipline and that is one of the major ways I’d like to grow in
  2. Not take basic necessities for granted – i.e. toilet paper, milk, eggs, canned foods
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Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas, everyone! Jesus Christ is born! What a joyous, momentous occasion that God would love the world in this way: that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Luke 2:13-14, ESV

Jesus came to bring peace to men on earth. It’s been a pretty un-peaceful year for so many people this year. I pray that this would be an opportunity for anyone who is lacking peace in their hearts to turn their hearts towards Him who is able to not only give them eternal peace, but also eternal love and life.

I have to admit this year has been a bit strange for me. Basically not leaving the house for the majority of this year has meant seasons have passed and all I’ve experienced is the warming and cooling of the inside of my apartment. It hasn’t felt very Christmassy, I haven’t really seen lights or even been bothered with decorations for the apt. But God has been gracious to me this year – I am translating for our church’s Christmas Eve Chinese/English service and it’s given me time to reflect.

Thanks to Jesus, I am at peace. The world may be experiencing turbulence, but I believe my God is sovereign. Nothing that’s happened so far this year has surprised Him, and with my future in His hands, there is nothing for me to worry about. If you haven’t yet received the love of Christ and are interested to know more, please let this Christmas be the year you give it a shot.

If you’re interested, please feel free to join in our live service starting at 8pm PT here. Otherwise, I think the link can still take you to the service if you want to check it out later. Please let me know if you do.

May God’s peace and blessings be upon you and your family. Merry Christmas!

SDG,

Crystina