the one day i felt inferior.

I shall take a risk to post this entry and put myself on the altar of transparency because I want to give God glory.

***

This afternoon, during project discussion with my RMIT course mates, I saw my former course mate from my Mass Communication days in Ngee Ann Polytechnic. It has been a decade since we were both in the same education institution.

I didn’t dare to say hello to him.

No, it wasn’t because there was bad blood between us or that I disliked him. I avoided him because I felt inferior. Yes, you read it right – INFERIOR. And I don’t normally feel that way. It was a foreign feeling I was certainly not used to. And I didn’t enjoy it one bit.

I think, by any yardstick, I consider myself a man with considerable accomplishments. My professional achievements would look good in any curriculum vitae. After all, I’ve authored and edited books, set up a marketing department from scratch, negotiated significant business deals, organised countless marketplace and ministry events, held leadership positions no matter where I was, and have had overseas working experience.

But I couldn’t hold a candle to this classmate.

He’s a world-class musician who has travelled the globe, wrote a few books himself (and his text is now used in conservatories as part of its curriculum), featured in many media publications, and has studied enough to  change his salutation from ‘Mr’ to ‘Dr’.

So while I was discussing project work with my course mates, he was returning to a lecture – because he was the lecturer.

Reality hit me harshly; it became inevitable that I benchmarked myself against him.

My confidence plummeted to an all-day low. It was then I felt the Spirit quietly searching for the location of my security. It was a sobering reminder (and yet a reassurance) that I must hang on to John 15:5, my life verse, with my life.

I texted my soul mate Huiyi and while her reassurances helped to make a difference in the way I felt at that moment, I knew that I was being tested for something far deeper than external comparisons. Am I contented with who I am today and who God has made me to be and do? Honestly, I struggled to say yes; it was a long journey from the head to the heart.

Well, God has a sense of humour. Yes, I’m not a lecturer and I do not teach students in school. But I’m a preacher who has the privilege of shepherding youths in church. I may not have the professional competence of a ‘Dr’, but I have a private calling to be a pastor. It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? Well, while thinking like that does make me feel better about who I am and what I do (at least temporarily), it’s more important that I remember whose I am and what I’ve been commissioned to do.

Lord, reign in me and rein me in again. I love You, Lord. Not for man’s applause, but for Your approval. Thank You for the encounter today. It tested my resolve and I’m glad You helped me to resolve it. Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing; I am absolutely nothing without Christ.

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About Joey Asher Tan

Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing; I am absolutely nothing without Christ.

Posted on January 21, 2011, in A Walk To Remember, Affirming Faithfulness, Extraordinary Mundane, Heart Upon Sleeve, In Your Face, Retrospective Reflections and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hey, this testimony has encouraged me.

    I smirked to myself as i was reading through certain parts. I thought to myself, hey that’s true.

    I’ve experienced this before and this got me to remember where my self-worth should come from.

    Been blessed by this.

    • hi rafael, thanks for the message. tell me more about the time you experienced this? i’d like to know more. also, when are you ever going to take up my invitation to meet up? your birthday meal claim has long expired… hahaha.

  2. Hi J

    To me, your transparency and openness in sharing those areas which you felt vulnerable shows that your security and assurance of your identity in Christ. I still have more to learn from you :)

    Remember that what you have achieved in the marketplace and in church … and for the rest of your life’s journey, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” – John 15:16

    Remember that you are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that you should walk in them (Eph 2:10).

    That’s how special and precious you are in His eyes.

    :)

    • Hi bro, thanks for your encouragement and assurance. let’s try to schedule a meet up some time in march – that’s when my peak period is over. would love to have coffee with you. (:

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