Faith at Work

The last two years spent at my job have been the amongst the most humbling times of my life.  These couple of years have challenged me mentally and emotionally, exposed my blindspots, taught me to swallow my pride and brought me to my knees.

I come from a regular middle-class background, attended local schools and would say that I’m very much a product of the system. While this system ingrained in me good values like an innate sense of responsibility and a sense of drive and commitment, the same system also inculcated less desirable values like the belief that self-worth is pegged to one’s stature. (Stature that is measured by earning power as well as the perceived importance attached to the titles we hold and the type of work we do). I entered the working world very much imbibed with these values and quite far from God.

I admittedly cycled through my first two jobs, which I left for selfish reasons. I had worked in small firms and felt that apart from not feeling challenged by the work, these firms by virtue of their size gave me almost no opportunity for anything more prestigious. Then, my current job came along and I felt like I was thrown into the deep end.

Standards were exacting; I was forced to be meticulous – which isn’t in my nature. Also I wasn’t a scholar as many around me were. I suddenly felt very small and inadequate. The work was consuming and intellectually daunting, and this made me realise how little I knew. My emotions and self-worth started to be dependent on my superior’s word. I was constantly exhausted from the hours, my social and spiritual life took a hit and I felt as if I was ceaselessly trying to keep my head above water.

Somewhere along the way, I realized that I’d had it all wrong – I had been running on my own strength and focusing on all the wrong things. I failed to see how God was shaping me by allowing me to go on this journey. I also attended a series by Pastor Benny Ho entitled, “Why in the world do we work?” that certainly lent perspective.

…………………………

Here’s what I learnt:-

GROWTH

Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Work is a means of personal growth. In one encounter with a “junior” officer, she explained to me that of the two persons assigned to support me for a time-sensitive report, one had issues with her computer. I replied that it would be fine if I got the input a little later, to which she said, “not if you chip in with research”.  Though this happened more than a year ago, I can still recall becoming aware of the pride that had filled my heart to the point where I would think that I was above a certain task. How humbled I was made to feel that day. Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

WORKING AS FOR GOD AND NOT FOR MAN

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”

I realised that I was seeking approval in the wrong places – focusing my attention on finding favour with my bosses; nitpicking over whether recognition, or the lack thereof, was fair or unfair. When I altered my perspective and focused instead on excellence as the right, Godly approach to work, it completely changed my attitude. I set about making things right and decided to focus on working for God, and not for man. 1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” I learnt to stop pursuing the worldly perception of success but to honour Him by cutting out the distractions and keeping it about the work. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 “…aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you.

PLATFORM FOR MINISTRY

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

A co-worker once told me, using the analogy of a cup of tea – that as a Christian in the workplace, you can be like a sachet of tea and alter the flavour, aroma and colour of the hot water into which you are infused. I knew this in theory, but never really tried to put that into action. Over time I realised that he was right. Changing the limited interactions I had with the people I came into contact with made me realise that work gives me the opportunity to show that I am set apart.

 …………………………

My journey is far from over. While I recognise the need to shift my perspectives, the struggle continues. I am thankful that I have been blessed with a job that challenges me, enables me to produce work that I care about, and has – through its trials and triumphs – turned my eyes toward God. Once I started forsaking my self-centered pursuits, I was able to begin developing a collegial camaraderie with those around me. I now understand that it is not stature that fills the heart, but friendship, trusted relationships, and the certainty that God works for the good of those who love Him.

I have learnt the value of building a life that doesn’t necessarily have to look good on the outside, but more importantly, feels good on the inside. Romans 12:10Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

Someone once asked me, “If you don’t do anything differently, what do you expect to change?” I know that I have not managed to overcome the human desire for worldly success entirely, but it is an effort I remind myself to commit to each day and the impetus for approaching my work through the lens of faith.

*All scripture quotations taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) bible.

Yiling is 27 and works in the civil service. She  loves a good cup of coffee, a compelling photograph; and takes joy in being on the road as often as possible!

WHAT'S ON IN COOS

Events on August 24, 2019

9:00 am: Korean Style Bouquet Workshop

Annyeong! Come join us for a fun DIY Korean-styled Bouquet Workshop. We will be using fresh flowers to create a korean-style wrapped bouquet. All materials and tools will be provided.

It cost $80 per participant, or $150 for 2 pax if you are bringing a friend.
As sharp tools will be used, the workshop is suitable for participants 12 years and older.

Dates: 24 & 25 August 2019
Time: 9am to 11.30am (24 Aug), Room 302
1.30pm to 4.00pm (25 Aug), Room 201
Location: Room 302
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9:30 am: An Overview of the OT (Session 2 of 4)

An Overview of the Old Testament
For more information, visit https://www.coos.org.sg/church-life/christian-education/
Location: Room 217
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2:30 pm: English Service : Pastor Mark Tho speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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4:00 pm: COOSkidz Birthday Party - Robot

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4:30 pm: Youth Service : Guest speaker Max Jeganathan

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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5:00 pm: Waggy Walk with Your Furkids!'

Calling out to all COOS members who own a pet dog/s to join us in this gathering to walk our dogs which will take place on the 4th Saturday of each month. Invite your friends and neighbors so that we can also promote bonding which each other! Meeting point and ending point at COOS Plaza. We will be walking along the Alexander Canal for our first walk on 24/8/19. Register through this link and QR code.
Location: Meeting point and end point in COOS Plaza
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Events on August 25, 2019

8:30 am: English Service : Pastor Mark Tho speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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10:45 am: English Service : Pastor Mark Tho speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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Events on August 29, 2019

7:30 pm: Choir Performance

Location: Church of Our Saviour, 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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Events on August 31, 2019

9:30 am: An Overview of the OT (Session 3 of 4)

An Overview of the Old Testament
For more information, visit https://www.coos.org.sg/church-life/christian-education/
Location: Room 217
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2:30 pm: English Service : Pastor Joseph You speaking [Holy Communion]

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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3:00 pm: Flea Market

Volunteers needed for outreach initiatives to our community for the Flea Market! Gather your family, church friends or cell members, go into our neighborhoods (Stirling, Dawson and Mei Ling) at your own time and invite the residents for the flea market event on 31/8 and 1/9. Every flyer has a $10 value coupon attached so that they can exchange for the items at the flea market! Contact Tan Choong Meng at 81235996 for any enquiry.
Location: Atrium
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3:00 pm: Flea Market

Looking for volunteers to set up booths to run a flea market in COOS! Gather a few friends or cell members, collect unused clothes and accessories, mend a stall at the atrium. Proceed of the sales will go towards the Geylang Ministry in COOS! If you are interested, please register at the admin counter or at this google link. Contact Tan Choon Meng at 81235996 for more information.
Location: Atrium
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4:00 pm: Alpha Parenting Teenagers Course

A course for parents with children from 11 - 18 years old. It equips carers of children with strategies and tools in building a healthy family life. It is relevant for people of all faith.

Date: 31 Aug, 7, 14, 21, 28 Sep, 5 Oct
Time: 4pm - 6pm
Venue: COOS

Register at admin desk or scan QR code or thru this link: https://bit.ly/2vq7ClL
Location: COOS
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4:45 pm: Evergreen Fellowship Talk

Evergreen Fellowship is organising a talk by Mr Benny Ong on "Understanding the difference between Advance Medical Directive (AMD), The lasting power of Attorney and The will.
Location: COOS AUDITORIUM
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Events on September 1, 2019

8:30 am: English Service : Pastor Joseph You speaking [Holy Communion]

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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10:45 am: English Service : Pastor Joseph You speaking [Holy Communion]

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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SERVICE DETAILS

MAIN SERVICES (ENGLISH)
Saturday | 2.30pm
Sunday | 8.30am and 10.45am
YOUTH SERVICE (ENGLISH)
Saturday | 4.30pm
*Except every 1st weekend of the month, where youth joins main services.
SERVICES & OFFICE LOCATION
130 Margaret Drive Singapore 149300
It is a 10-minute walk from the Queenstown MRT Station.The bus-stops nearest to the church are served by
SBS Bus 51, 111, 145, 186, 195 and 32 and TIBS Bus 970.

The office is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 9am to 5.30pm.

Click here for more service details.