She’s God’s Problem

Just a status update on my failed friendship in 2017: we have forgiven each other completely and we just bumped into each other last Friday. There was no tense relation and things were alright between us. The bitterness has dissolved completely, and so what I write later on is not out of evil intentions, but a genuine expression of my recent thoughts.

So whilst there is complete forgiveness, I cannot say there is complete reconciliation. Partial? Possible. I mean the fact that we aren’t bitter with each other (to my knowledge) is evidence of some reconciliation. However, complete reconciliation means sharing the close bond we had in 2017, and that is missing. And from time to time, the devil knocks me on the head with FOMO of that. Today was one such day, and today’s battle was very victorious.

The first response was to bless her. When I receive evil thoughts of her, I told God, ‘Lord, bless her in every way and help her grow close to her friends even more.’ That helped relieve the situation. Then later on in the day, the thought came again, on how I lost a precious trio-friendship with her and our mutual friend. I tried to ‘not think of it’, but couldn’t think away the thoughts.

This was when I prayed a non-verbal prayer to God to help me. The question then came: “Why shouldn’t you think about it?” The initial response of ‘So that I will stop feeling this way’ doesn’t cut it, since it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Thinking negatively of her only makes it worse for me.

Then the revelation came. Why do I worry? Because I want to try to solve the problem. Therefore if I don’t worry, I let God solve the problem, and He can do it much better than me. That’s not the revelation. Throughout my thoughts, I tend to over-think and realise that full reconciliation is a lot hairier and more complicated than I thought. That’s a problem.

The revelation: She’s God’s problem. Not mine.

What does that mean? It means all that I talked about God solving it better than I, but it also means this: I do not need to figure it all out. All the ‘Why’s and ‘What if’s are not meant to be answered alone. They are meant to be wrestled with alongside the problem. Which means if I relinquish my problems to God, He handles the complications associated with these problems, and much better than I ever will.

And this is the reason why I can “do not worry”: because when God ‘worries’ over the problem, He handles it much better than I can. Not worrying thus is not a sign of irresponsibility, but a sign of responsibility, since the most responsible thing I can do is to let God do it all, much better than any plan I can conceive.

Therefore, this problem is God’s, not mine. Whenever I get bombarded with negative thoughts about my friend, I remember: She’s God’s problem, not mine. I rest, God works. So that when God reconciles us completely, He alone gets all the glory and praise. I just follow Him.She’s His problem, not mine.

She’s His problem, not mine.

I’m just gonna keep enjoying the manifold blessings that arise from a Year of His Glory.

—Joel Kindiak, 18 Apr 18, 2018H (How coincidental!)

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Religious And Unashamed

I’ve been on a journey of despising my uniqueness to accepting it and now to embrace it.

I remember catching up with my godsis and her tirade against religious hypocrisy that turns people away from Christ and not toward Him. And that shook me as a believer, because I enjoyed many of the activities that she would consider to be religious hypocrisy.

Of course she was referring to a heart of self-righteousness and feeling better than someone because one is more religious. Yet it did cause me to pause and ponder if I have been too religious for the people around me.

Then I don’t know how, but there came a day I realised a few things about myself that have changed since 2017 (the first being rationality and sanity, but I’m guessing from the tone of the recent posts that’s obvious).

Firstly, I’ve learnt to enjoy being alone. It really is reminiscent of 2013, when I enjoyed every moment alone (not that I hated crowds, but that I don’t feel lonely when I’m alone). When I’m alone, I have the liberty to do what I want, when I want it. It is indeed a freeing thought to have.

Secondly, and I do not know if this is the result or the cause of the first, but I’m embracing that I’m different. Most genuine Christians I know aren’t over the top about religious things. And that’s fine. Jesus wasn’t talking about God all the time.

But I enjoy bible studies. I enjoy going to service. I enjoy listening to otherwise cliche Christian music. I enjoy these explicitly Christian things, and I should be thankful to God for them. For me, it’s a privilege that I get to have these “spiritual disciplines” as a hobby, and all the more I should be thankful for them.

Jesus spent extensive time alone with God in prayer. He taught in the synagogues. Jesus did many of these religious things, but most importantly, without a hypocritical heart.

And that should be my goal.

I should not change who I am or what I like to please people per se, but do so in a manner that uplifts, not drains, others. This means I cannot expect everyone, or even anyone, to like the things I like (just like how they can’t expect me to like the things they like). By all means, engage in that healthy hobby, be it bible study or cafe hopping. The key is to not think of myself more highly than others, as if doing what I like makes me a better person. They don’t.

Yet, if it’s simply enjoying what God has placed in my heart to enjoy, and as a bonus it so happens to make me more like Him, why not? I will enjoy the fact that I enjoy religious activities, and rest in God’s grace to do them without a religious heart, but with a Christ-centered one.

—Joel Kindiak, 16 Apr 18, 1756H

Anticipate!

Count down less than a month to my Gold Coast trip!

My friends and I have been planning this trip since February, and man it is something I’m incredibly looking forward to.

This is my first trip without my parents. Means that yes, I do need to be responsible for myself overseas, but it also means more freedom and versatility to roam as I wish, without the need to consider my parents’ (relatively) different tastes.

This is also a revisit of one of my favorite places to retreat: Gold Coast. I went there last year with my family, and it was a blast. The people there were friendly, I had awesome time alone with God and overall the mood was just very relaxed: much needed for a hectic Singaporean!

And most importantly, this trip is with a group I can trust when I’m feeling awful. Best part is that thankfully they won’t turn me away from God but toward Him. They’ve stuck by me since the second half of 2013 and have not left. And now we’re even having bible studies once-a-month!

All in all, this Australia trip is once much-anticipated one. I’m really looking forward to it and plan to blog about it here.

Milestone dates in 2018:

  1. Life Concert (13 Apr)
  2. Birthday Weekend (not my actual birthday) (27 Apr)
  3. Gold Coast (8 May)
  4. ORD LO (25 Jul)
  5. University (End Jul/Early Aug)
  6. Christmas Weekend (21 Dec)

And there’s more to come. The Bible studies with the various groups give me something to anticipate every weekend. And also my sporadic catch-ups with several individuals, one of which I’m meeting next week!

There’s a lot to anticipate for in 2018!

—Joel Kindiak, 11 Apr 18, 0714H

Stop Thinking

I initially had a few posts scheduled for upload, but in light of recent events I’ve decided to not publish them.

In fact, I’ve decided I’m going to stop thinking about this issue.

I have concluded that thinking about it makes me worried. It makes me strive to find a solution when God knows it best. Thus, I’ve decided to let go of this.

What’s interesting is that every restoration happened when I let go. Once I worried less about the situation, I see breakthrough in that area. Even in my testimony video I changed for the better without realizing it. All I did was focus on Jesus’ finished work, how His grace meant that I can live for His glory, and with that as the focus my academic ability and behavior improved effortlessly.

Thus, in the area of friendships, I’ve decided to not worry anymore. God will restore. I just rest and pursue Him and live the Year of His Glory.

God works; I rest!

—Joel Kindiak, 5 Apr 18, 1656H

Where Sin Increased

I remember in one sermon, Pastor Prince described maturity not as becoming more confident but in being more aware of ones own flaws.

But not stop there.

The more flaws I see in me, the more of His grace I appreciate. The more imperfect I see in myself, the more I relish His perfection. The more I see my weakness, the more I see His strength made perfect in it. The more I fail, the more His grace is glorified. The more I see myself broken and needy, the more I see Him being my completion and all that I need.

Maturity is seeing less of myself and more of Jesus. As I grow, I learn that I’m a lot needier than I thought, and that’s when God can be more God in my life—in greater awareness of lack.

Where sin increased, grace superabounded.

—Joel Kindiak, 28 Mar 18, 1735H

Not Condemned.

“She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”” [John 8:11]

I place myself as the recipient of this verse. If you know me, even after I got saved 7 years ago, I failed over and over again in my friendships. I make rash decisions and express my views insensitively and break much treasured relationships in the process. And from time to time I face these failures of mine in shame and pain.

And every time I do face them, I need the Lord to remind me that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Him. I believe in Him, therefore I am in Him, and in Him I am no longer condemned. Not that I don’t ever struggle with emotional struggles, but when I do, I conclude that I’m free from all condemnation and shame, and tomorrow can and will be much better.

May you be set free from any bondage by the unshakable truth that Jesus doesn’t condemn you: and that is what gives us power to overcome.

—Joel Kindiak, 28 Mar 18, 1508H

Personal Boundaries

As I scrolled on Instagram and saw pictures of opposite-gendered best friends who aren’t romantically involved, I had a sudden desire for a similar friendship. Then I stopped and asked myself, “Why?” The answer was that I desired the intimacy that oppositely-gendered best friends experienced.

That was when I realised that, extroverted and outgoing I may be, I cannot have a female best friend apart from my girlfriend-cum-wife.

This is the reason: with a potential wife I make it clear that we pursue God first then each other as a result of pursing Him. With a female best friend however, as I had experienced in time past, the result always is to derive intimacy with each other, and replacing God as my primary source of intimacy. Thus, if I desire to glorify God in my emotion, it will overflow from Him as my main source of intimacy and joy and satisfaction, and thus I cannot have a female best friend that will detract me from God, passionate a Christian she may be.

This my no means I am to detract from every female I see. I still have many close friends who are female and plan to stay that way for a long time. A best friend is like a close friend, whom I would interact far more frequently than a close friend (whom I meet once a month or every few months). A best friend will unconsciously create the temptation for emotional dependence, whereas with my close female friends we simply meet to catch up and encourage each other to keep pursuing Jesus. Thus, I can still have close female friends. However, the desire for a female best friend has to make way for my desire for God to be my best friend.

The question, “Can guys and girls be just best friends” has multiple responses to different people, depending on their heart conditions. I have peers who have best friends of the opposite gender and others who don’t. As much as I would love to be the former, I must remain at the latter if I desire to be close to God, considering my life experiences and desires, which vary from person to person. I believe it is possible for guys and girls to be best friends, but not for all guys and not all girls: healthy boundaries are always necessary, and for me the boundary includes not being best friends with a girl.

Thus, though it is a cost of pursuing Christ, it is infinitely more worth to fellowship with the God of all creation and to derive intimate intimacy from Him than limited intimacy from a female best friend, in my case. The cost of not having a female best friend is worth the gain in having sweet fellowship with God every day of my life.

TL;DR: I’m still emotionally pretty weak, and need to stay away from being best friends with a girl, at least as of 26 March 2018.

-Joel Kindiak, 26 Mar 2018, 1202H