KKMC Youth explore the challenges of living in “Two Worlds”

KKMC Youth explore the challenges of living in “Two Worlds”

Posted on 19 Oct 2021

In a four-part seminar series, Of Two Worlds, members from different professions share their personal experiences and takeaways with the KKMC Youth Ministry on how to live out their Christian faith wherever they are placed.

Do you see your work or study life as separate from your Christian life? Then consider this statement for a moment.

“We belong to Christ and we are called to serve him. This involves our whole being and doing. It lies at the heart of all that we do and permeates all facets of our lives. There are no separate circles, there are no intersections only. There should be no boundaries separating our spiritual and physical lives.”

On 22 August 2021, the Youth Ministry kicked off a four-part seminar series titled “Of Two Worlds”. This series will explore the struggles and difficulties in living out our Christian faith in school and workplaces – which are, more often than not, secular environments.

Dorothy Ching, who facilitated the session, started by introducing two images each consisting of two circles which represented the two worlds that we are in: God’s kingdom, and this physical realm. In the first diagram, the circles were separate – one circle representing God and the church, and the other circle representing the collective bucket of our work, social media, and so on.

In the second image, the circles were overlapped, though not completely. The intersection represented the areas where we allowed our spiritual and ‘other’ life to integrate, but always within its boundaries. However, our lives should not be like either of these images. It should be represented by one circle where our spiritual and physical lives are fully integrated into one.

To further explore these ideas, two panelists from the social work sector, Tanguy Lim and Joann Chia, were invited to share their thoughts and experiences on living out their faith. A lawyer by profession, Tanguy is the CEO of Pro Bono Services at The Law Society of Singapore. Joann is a student in Nanyang Polytechnic studying Social Work.

Choosing the social sector as your vocation

While jobs in the social sector are usually not lucrative or glamourous, both were called by God to take on these responsibilities to help others, be it to provide legal aid for the disadvantaged or to understand the needs of people in the community.

Tanguy elaborated, “God loves justice and righteousness, and so I saw a very strong connection in helping the vulnerable with my calling as a Christian. That was when I left one circle and started to bring in the other circle in terms of providing access to justice.” While he did have to sacrifice career progression, God has blessed his journey richly. “I look forward to going to work every day 15 years on. God has given me a lot of energy and passion for what I’m doing.”

Similarly for Joann, she had peace that God was her security and provider even though she did not get into the course of her choice. God eventually impressed upon her to take up social work. She shared her takeaway from this experience, “As God gently urges you to trust in him and to surrender, he builds your faith in times of struggle.”

Living out their faith at work

Tanguy shared that the key thing to remember was that we are called to be salt and light wherever we go. He said, “When we are placed in environments where there are not many Christians, that is exactly where you can provide a ‘good flavour’ in your surroundings in how you carry yourselves, how you are able to help, and how you exhibit God’s grace in the lives of others.”

Working in a charity also had its challenges, starting with how one treats his fellow colleagues. “There cannot be a disconnect between how we are as a charity and how we are internally”, he told the participants.

“Having kingdom values is not just about the outcomes but also the journey getting there. As Christians, we are called to be intentional about reaching those goals in a way that glorifies God, that helps the weak and vulnerable.”

Adding on to Tanguy’s point, Joann also emphasized the importance of being consistent in our actions and the need to examine our intentions to check if they are self-glorifying.

Dorothy posed a question on how to balance doing well for oneself, for the society, and for God all at the same time. Tanguy shared that it was to put God first and foremost, remembering that we are serving him. This then provides a strong foundation for growth in our faith. He also stressed that the word of God is not purely theoretical. Biblical verses are useful in giving guidance and strength, and are very much relevant to our lives.

Handling conflict at the workplace

It is inevitable for us to experience conflict with our faith at the work place. Tanguy viewed this ‘tension’ as a good thing as it keeps us humble and encourages us to pray. Even in the midst of challenges, we can hold on and trust in God’s truth.

For Joann, humility is also key when interacting with people who hold perspectives that seem contrary to biblical truth and when responding to issues that are increasingly divisive. It is important not to come across as someone who knows more or is better than others, but instead to strive to understand their views. Even though there are times where she may disagree with certain perspectives or values, she was thankful that it helped her to learn to empathize and communicate with people with different views. While keeping that in mind, Joann pointed out, “Being a peacemaker is different from being a people pleaser”, and we should not compromise our beliefs when resolving conflicts.

Tips for starting out in the workplace

  • Be true to yourself and your values.
  • Continuously pray and seek God for guidance
  • Have a support group in church where people can pray for you
  • Step out of your comfort zone – it is in times of discomfort that our faith becomes more powerful and we can see God’s hands in our lives.

Ultimately wherever we are, it is important to remember that we are the church and the kingdom of God is here on earth through us. Though we are of two worlds, there is one circle, one life, one heart, and one Lord who is above all.

Read the other articles in the Of Two Worlds seminar series >