The FISHERS Magazine (Issue 232)

Working and Living for God

This testimony is about my life before and after knowing Christ, our Saviour. It is my prayer that if you do not know Christ, just as how I once was, you will come to know Him and experience the goodness that He has in store for you.

I was born into a non-Christian, idol-worshipping family. Since young, I would follow my parents to temples on special occasions and participate in worship rituals. Being typical Singaporean parents who prioritise grades and education, they would bring my older brother and me to pray when exams are around the corner. They placed their hope in these idols and firmly believed that every prayer would be answered by them.

Despite coming from an unbelieving family, my parents placed me in a childcare centre that was established by a Christian association, the YMCA. This was so that I could be fetched home easily by my aunt and grandmother who lived nearby. With that, I was exposed to the knowledge of God and His Son from a young age. Such exposure was primarily through Bible stories and songs, as well as prayer before every meal. Nearly two decades later, I can still remember how that prayer went, “Thank you for the world so sweet. Thank you for the food we eat. Thank you for the birds that sing. Thank you God for everything. Amen.”

Given the mentality of a kindergarten child back in those days, I perceived the biblical accounts about Jesus as just fairy tale stories. From these stories, I felt that Jesus was too great a man to be true. I equated Him to a super hero who saves the day before the story ends. As for the ‘thank you’ prayer, it was nothing more than a form of obedience towards the teachers who made it mandatory for us to sing it before every meal. I basically dismissed God and Jesus as simply two other fictional characters.

I lived with my aunt and grandmother instead of my parents since my primary school days. Back then, my aunt was the only Christian in the entire family. Every now and then, I would notice her reading the Bible and praying. She would also play Christian songs as a means of sharing Christ with me. Apart from that, she would jump at every opportunity to invite me to church-related activities such as Gospel meetings and fellowship. For several years, all she received was disinterest and rejection from my end.

As I grew into my teenage years, I found passion in doing sports and involved myself in competitive games. With consistent training, I rose to be one of the better players in the team. I was then elected as the co-captain, which was one of the greatest responsibilities given to me back then. Having attained such a position as a teen, it made me feel that I was better than most of my team mates. I was prideful and demanding but such an attitude that I had soon burnt me out. There was a point in time when I felt that I had given my all, but the team was not performing the way I expected. I was depending on my own ability the whole time which eventually came to a point when I wanted to give up.

During one of those difficult, emotional periods as a teen, my aunt invited me to her friend’s church for a testimony sharing session. After much persuasion, I agreed. I sat in the main hall, thinking that it was going to be yet another boring talk. Minutes into it, I found myself paying attention to the speaker; I was captivated by God’s work in her life. Before the end of her sharing, I saw a Bible verse flashed on the screen. It was Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” For the very first time, I experienced God’s Word speaking to me by the power of the Holy Spirit. I realised that Jesus Christ is real, and I can completely trust Him and find peace in Him. When we come to Christ by faith, we find salvation rest – that was what Matthew 11:28 meant. Through faith, I was made aware of my sins and my identity as a sinner; I realised that I needed the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour.

The thought of attending church as being a hassle became a thing of the past. I began attending church regularly from the age of 15 with the desire to know more about God through His Word. I wanted to live my life to please Him.

As I continued with my education at a polytechnic, I worked extremely hard to obtain good grades. It started with the intention of giving off my best as a form of worship and honour to God; but with distinctions one after another, the push for excellent results became my idol. Besides the pursuit of grades for selfish reasons, I was still short-tempered with everyone, especially to my loved ones who least deserve my tirades. This just shows that, as much as I had become a follower of Christ, I still fall short of the glory of God. I am still a sinner who sins on a daily basis.

Being a Christian does not mean that I stop sinning but rather that I am made sensitive to my sins. By the work of Jesus on the cross and God’s Word, I am able to discern right from wrong and am equipped to fight against the temptations of sin. Hebrews 2:18 says, “For because He himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” By God’s grace, we are able to receive the benefits of Christ’s perseverance against sin.

Growing in faith over the years, I decided to be baptised in obedience to God. By God’s providence, my parents who were initially against the idea of my regular attendance at church, came for my baptismal service! The Christian race isn’t over after one has been baptised. In 1 Corinthians 15:58, it says, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.” God has given me a desire to serve Him wherever He calls me. My Christian race isn’t over until He says so. Till then, I will continue to work and live for the Lord and strive to be more like Christ each and every day of my life.

Jane Tan
- Jane Tan is a member of The 'Fisherman of Christ' Fellowship.

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