Benedict Tan

Before I came to know the Lord, I was like any other student in school, working very hard, trying to achieve good grades. All I knew was the need to achieve the best; simply because it was what my parents wanted me to do. I was trying to live up to my parents' expectations, with both my studies and my behaviour; nothing was not under the control of my parents. As a result, I became rebellious, disobedient towards my parents and teachers and broke school rules.

It was in SAJC that I was first introduced to Christianity. For that, I give thanks to God. If not for the culture in SAJC, I would never have came to know the Lord. The culture in SAJC, a slight boldness to question the true meaning and to seek our true purpose of life, got me wondering what my true goal in life was.

As all I really did was to live up to my parents' expectation, I never had any ideas on what I really wanted to achieve. That was when I realised that there was something missing in my life, something that would define me, something that would give me hope, something that would give me meaning to what I was doing. There was this void that could not be fathomed, could not be expressed through mere words, and could not be understood (which of course I came to know later that this was a God-shaped void present in every man). I began my journey to fill that emptiness. Yet, I realised that nothing lasts forever to fill the emptiness. It was not until the end of year 2008 that I came to know of God.

I was feeling bored one day and decided to ask my friend, whom have been repeatedly trying to reach out to me, to bring me to church. I attended service on 14 December 2008. I did not understand what the pastor was talking about and was frightened by the zeal that the pastor displayed.

However, during my second visit, I raised my hand and accepted Christ, even though I knew nothing much nor understood its meaning. The reason for me to 'try this religion' was simply because I was feeling empty, and had nothing to do, so I thought I might as well go for it, at least it would occupy some of my time. Yet at the same time, I felt the kindness, the love, the compassion that my Christian friends displayed, which made me want to know more of this God that can transform their lives.

As I made a daily effort to read the bible and pray, I began to develop a relationship with Jesus and that was when I felt His love and realised that He is real. He slowly revealed Himself to me in my daily life and showed me His wonders. That was when I truly believed in Him.

True enough, this is where I find true joy, nothing gives me more motivation, and nothing makes me happier, than to know that everything I do, I do it for God. As 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV) says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”. I must say I am now truly transformed; I can put my pride aside and humble myself, to serve people. Even my sister said I became more caring after going to church! That is an affirmation, an affirmation that God is real, and He transformed me for the better. As Romans 8:2 (NIV) says “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”.

There is now no need to live under unnecessary expectations from my parents, or anyone else. Yet, I choose to live under the expectations of Christ; knowing that there can only be true freedom in Christ.

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