I come from a family of seven, made up of my parents, three brothers and a sister. I’m kid number four which means I have three older brothers and one younger sister, so growing up, it was always very noisy at home! I remember my childhood as a very happy one. I was really blessed by God with a very loving family and I really had a lot of memorable moments growing up.
However, for some reason ever since I was little, I always felt this need to earn the affirmation and favour of others. It all started in primary school. I wanted to be a model student and so I always strived to be at top of the class and also become a prefect because I thought then everyone would think I was a good boy and everyone would like me.
I remember one incident when I was in Primary 3 where I was so afraid of others having a bad impression of me that when my teacher scolded me in front of the class, I just started crying. I was so afraid that the teacher would tell my parents that I wasn’t a good boy.
In hindsight, I realised that it was actually because I wanted everyone to think that I was perfect. I was afraid of making mistakes because I thought people would not accept me if they thought I was a failure. And so, if I did anything wrong, I would always put myself down to the point where I couldn’t believe others’ affirmations for me anymore. I was so afraid that others would see my imperfections and judge me for them. Instead of living joyfully in freedom, I lived in fear, bound by the chains of my imperfections. And that was something I struggled with for a long time until I attended the school.
I entered the school with a lot of insecurities. As a result, the first few days were really tiring for me because I was constantly worried about what others would think of me. Coming into a new environment caused me to put on more masks so that everyone would think I was perfect and wasn’t a failure. But in all my insecurities, God the Father came in and took them away.
Here in the school, we have a basket of scripture passages that we can pick from anytime for our re- ection. One day in the rst week, I decided to wear this t-shirt I got from a retreat which had a bible verse on the back from Matt 3:17, which said, ”And a voice came from the heavens saying, this is my Beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”I was getting ready to attend a session when one of the participants came up to me and said that earlier she had picked the exact same verse from the basket!
At first, I thought it was a coincidence, but as I reflected more that day, I realised that it was a message from God! He was trying to tell me that I really was His beloved Son with whom He was well pleased. And because of that, there was no need to feel insecure at all because I’m loved. I didn’t have to keep trying to be perfect all the time because He loves me for all my good and bad, all the strengths and imperfections. He didn’t want only my good side, He just wanted me, all of me.
I then began to realise that every day was a struggle between the lies that made me fear failure and judgement, and the truth that I am a beloved son of God. Each day, the Lord continued to remind me that I was His son and that He loves me. I found that with each passing day as I claimed this truth, His voice got louder and louder and the voice of fear got smaller and smaller.
So, brothers and sisters, if there’s one thing I have learnt from the School of Witness, it is the truth that I am a beloved child of God and that nothing can change that. I have also learnt that it is not enough to just accept the truth about our identity. We must also use it to fight against the lies that tell us we are not good enough and that we are not loved.
The journey doesn’t end here. Every day, He invites us to keep claiming this truth of who we are to Him and as we do, the voices of these fears will slowly get softer and softer. God doesn’t just want you to accept this truth, He wants you to let Him come in to fight the lies, just like how He did for me.
Brothers and sisters, the Lord wants to remind you today and every day of the truth that you are His beloved child and that He loves all of you. But the question is, will you accept it?