Confidence in self or in Christ?

Before knowing God

I recall my life before I came to know Jesus. I was a dedicated, disciplined, religious person. I was brought up to be good, honest, patient, and caring. During my school days, I would go to my grandma’s place, buy her breakfast, study, and go to school. And during the school holidays, I would accompany her to the temple to do her rounds and rituals. So, all the grandmas and grandpas in the neighbourhood saw me as a filial, religious and good boy. With my religious background and all my religious studying at school, I was quite confident that I would have a good life after this present life, as long as I kept to my standards.

Knowing God

In my secondary school days, I had a couple of encounters with Christianity through several schoolmates and also my sister. However, my heart was not ready; it was hardened. I thought of Christianity as a Westerners’ religion that should not get us Asians to be its followers. So, I decided to find out more about Christianity in the hope of finding loopholes I could use in debates with my friends who shared their Christianity with me. I thought that with knowledge of their religion, I would be able to stop them and their reaching out to my other friends.

I started reading the bible then. But was a tough start because I started with the book of Genesis. It was full of names and history

lessons. To my understanding, it was full of punishments meted out by God to His unfaithful people. 

As I continued on, my mentality slowly shifted from “my religion is good” to “all religions are good. They all lead good people to heaven.” But somehow, I still didn’t really like Christianity as I saw it as a religion for modern, English-speaking, proud people.

When I began my Polytechnic education, a good friend of mine converted to Christianity. I had known him since Secondary One and we had always been in the same class. His family background was similar to mine. Our families were not English-speaking, not that well off, and spent much time at home helping out with the chores. I was very curious to know why he chose to convert. So, when he shared Christ with me, I went with him for a few rounds of bible study and got to know his “Christian” friends. I realised that I had not been right in judging all Christians English-speaking and proud people (although there are some who are like that).

As I associated with and spent more time with them in study groups and activities, I found that they were like-minded. They not only sought to do well in their studies, they also had the interests of others as their own. And I was one who benefitted from that.

Clinging on to God

As I got to know more about God through bible studies and associations with Christian friends, I realised that Christianity is not about how well we behave but about one man, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross on our behalf. He has redeemed us, taken up and forgiven all our sins. No matter how much charity or how many good works we do in our life, they will not save us from the punishment of God. Jesus Christ has done it all. All we need to do is to put our faith in Him, believe in Him and His word, and have a relationship with Christ.

We need to constantly cling on to Him for strength to go through each day. On our own, we will perish as we are sinful in nature and fall short of God’s standard.

Deacon Mike Fong