The Rigorously Defined Friend

Here we go again, yet another piece on friends and why I struggle in this area.

To many, friends are just that—nice, caring people they interact with on a day-to-day basis. Having had so many issues with friends in the past, not just the Crash in 2011 but even as a child, I find great difficulty in calling any person “my friend”.

We may be cellmates or churchmates or colleagues or classmates or whatever, but just because you are nice and somewhat care for me does not make you my friend. Many people consider me a friend by the conventional definition, but by my definition, almost all people are not friends. They aren’t foes, but they certainly aren’t friends.

As a consequence, the term “close friend” has also been widely abused to mean “a person I hang out with quite frequently whom I know better than others”. Again, the people who consider me close might not receive the reciprocation in accordance to my definition.

Before I define the terms “friend” and “close friend”, it is important to justify why I said all that I did above. With the emotional trauma of decades of interaction with people, I realised I had to cut off people from my life. It wasn’t healthy for me, at least in the way I think. The two terms carry with them an emotional baggage, thus it goes against my conscience to abuse these two terms.

With that, I now define the terms “friend” and “close friend” in this manner:

A person is my friend if and only if I trust that person. A person is my close friend if and only if I can really trust that person.

By these definitions, more than 95% of people I know are disqualified right away, since I have problems simply trusting any Tom, Dick or Harry. When people share with me their problems, I always, firstly, respond with, “Thanks for trusting me enough to share this struggle with me,” maybe because it is so scarce for me to trust people enough to really share my struggles with them.

When I ask a person, “How are your friends doing,” they think of the multitudes of people they have met since they take on a more common definition of friend, but in the converse, I only think of the people I trust.

Trust has been taboo for me for a long time. It’s an area I’m still growing in, and to be honest, I can’t foresee my complete victory over said trust issues. My view of people has become wrecked by exceedingly high expectations unmet. I may have given people too high a view in the past, and in response take the 180° flip in giving people too low a view now.

Perhaps the first breakthrough, beyond any growing factor, is the will to even break out of this distrust. Maybe I have grown so comfortable and take so much pride in being unable to trust people that I see no need to break out of it. If this definition of friend has worked for me in recent times, why should I change it? Or a fear-driven question would be, why should I trust people knowing that they would inevitably fail me?

I don’t know when or how this breakthrough will manifest, but I know of Someone whom I can trust to bring it about. It’s not easy, but so worthwhile when it happens. I want to have more friends, people I can trust, and people whom I can freely bless with the blessings I’m given.

“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” [‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬]

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Quitting Instagram…Again!

Alright Round Two let’s go. This time we’re gonna break the current record of 3 weeks. I’ve plans to sustain this ban until the end of the year.

In the meantime, the first reaction was aimlessness. In reality, social media was a big, big part of my life, and while I’m not technically gone from it (using WordPress, Whatsapp, Telegram), I’m practically gone from it. Even my existing Facebook account only serves as a means to download photos of camps or activities that my friends and I went for.

I want to live abundantly and I believe the way for me is without Instagram or any mainstream social media platform. I’ll continually update my stuff here so you could call this my new outlet to share stuff, photos or insights or just plain ramblings, like today.

So goodbye Instagram. Let’s see how long I’ll last without you this time!

40 Days Left

Holy shatz we are 40 days left. 40 more days of 2016! We could fast and pray, but I’m not a frequent practitioner of that discipline.

Usually, nearing the end of the year, I get reflective about the past few months, how God has brought me thus far through the highs and the lows, how faithful He is. That will come later. This post serves as a plan for my end-of-year project.

Last year, I accumulated each day’s Photo-of-the-Day to generate #potd2015: The Year of Overcoming Power. This year there isn’t any #potd2016, but I do have some nice memories in photographic form. This is the plan:

2016: The Year of New Beginnings, the magazine.

That’s right, I have plans to journal the 2016 experience in a magazine, then once it’s complete, I’ll load it up here for your reference and print out a copy for myself for nostalgia purposes. Also, it will include the theme of 2017.

End the Year of New Beginnings with yet another new beginning-my very own magazine!

*UPDATE* On second thoughts I decided it would be better to just save it in a video 😛 *END UPDATE*

I’m contemplating on reflecting periodically here or hold the suspense till the release of the magazine/montage/atas scrapbook, but we’ll see if I have plans.

It’s gonna be an exciting December!

-Joel Kindiak, 22 Nov 2016, 1209H

Emotional Attachment

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I remember, back in 2009, my crush was the centre of my emotional life. No matter how crappy the day went, so long as I had the chance to travel home with her, my day would be considered ‘good’. Conversely, no matter how smooth the day went, so long as she went home without me or went to hang out with her friends, doing girly teenage stuff without me, it was a bad day. My emotions were directly proportional to the amount of time spent with her.

There is a fine line between genuine care for another person and emotional attachment. The former focuses on blessing the other, the latter focuses on satisfying oneself. The former is willing to forgive multitudes of wrongs, the latter scrutinises every mistake made. The former is patient, the latter isn’t. The former conforms with the descriptions of love in 1 Corinthians 13, the latter satisfies the lusts of the flesh. These principles differentiate the two even though outwardly they are expressed identically.

My general advice to all is what my LGL said, to guard our hearts, and to make sure our intentions are Christ-centered. Keep our focus to build one another up and not to satisfy ourselves. The amazing godly principle is that when the former is our focus, the latter is the fruit, only this time it’s not forced but flows naturally from mutual edification.

-Joel Kindiak, 21 Nov 2016, 1839H

Because You Trust Me

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart.” [Psalm 37:3-4]

My first instinct when I saw this verse appearing as tomorrows daily verse is, “No, I cannot send this verse. It will cause people to view God from a prosperity-gospel lens.” Thus, I deleted it from the daily verse list and replaced it with more orthodox teaching on the finished work of Christ.

Up till now, the Holy Spirit has been bugging me to meditate on this verse, specifically verse 4. In the morning, I reasoned that this verse is not meant for everyone, since the spiritually immature will use this verse to twist God’s arm and squeeze Him for blessings without spending time with Him, which as we know is incredibly futile.

This verse kept running through my head throughout the day. The last time these verses came to me was 5 weeks ago. It was during a service. I was troubled with several (confidential) issues and was asking God the cliche “what if” questions. What if this doesn’t happen? What if the situation is not resolved? It was during the response time during service, and I confessed this powerful truth, “Lord, I throw all these things to your hands. Because You are good, I know You will turn it around for my good.”

Then the Lord said, “Because you trust Me, I ensure you, all these (good) things will come to pass.” And in the coming few weeks, He was faithful. I was able to go cycling with a group of close friends, and if you read the post, I briefly talked about having “more to come”. That’s because on the night after cycling, I told God, “Today was just great.” Yet, God responded by saying, “There’s more to come.” Well, more did come, and in recent times I’ve had the privilege of spending time with my close friends more than ever before.

December will be packed for everyone, as I can tell from 18 years of experience. However, I’m trusting God that He meant it when He said that because I trust in Him all these things will come to pass and that there is more to come. If my past meetups were amazing, which they were, how much more our future meetups! I’m believing God to schedule our timetables so that I get to catch up with so many people, building them up and pointing them to Christ in word and deed.

With every meetup, my delight in the Lord grew. When I’m not meeting anyone, I remember that the most important thing is delight in the Lord. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him (John Piper).  When I have Jesus, I have everything!

God has promised there is more to come, and I rest in Him and His promise, that indeed because my trust is in Him, all these things will come to pass.

As for daily verses, I might consult the Holy Spirit more to write an encouraging yet theologically sound word of encouragement. I’m quite sure this will be sent in 2017 rather than 2016.

-Joel Kindiak, 18 Nov 2016, 1133H

For the J1 Saint

For all who promoted, congratulations. Time to move forward. My suggestion comes two-fold:

1. Firm up foundations. Use December to learn and understand everything you studied for FEs. Don’t memorize. Know your stuff well. Understand how and why your formulae or theories work, and be flexible to see them incorporated in unique situations. Think. And once you think well, think out of the box.

2. Learn consistency. Consistency is not doing a lot in a short period of time, but doing a little over a long period of time. Ensure you understand EVERYTHING that is taught in each lecture. Complete your homework on the day it’s given so that procrastination have no hold in your life. Understand the answering techniques in each tutorial. Be consistent in your work, and see effortlessly excellent results. Apply all this on the next lecture this during lecture week, and start NOW.

DO NOT ONLY START IN 2017. KILL PROCRASTINATION BEFORE IT GROWS.

3. Learn consistently. In every moment of your life, ask questions. Relate what you learnt to a physical phenomena. Ask out-of-the-syllabus questions. Satisfy your curiosity for knowledge online. Learn continually. This principle lasts beyond grades and into life as well.

In life, learn to learn. Let good grades be but a fruit of that spirit.

Results Day

While I’m not receiving results, I know of people who are, and man is it nerve-wrecking. All the self-condemnation based upon past hurts and failures built many students into balls of nerves. Most people I know passed and promoted, though perhaps by a hairline. They gotta buck up hard, or else they would get wrecked by Block Test 1, one of the evilest of exams.

The other big result: the US Presidential Election, was equally, if not even more nerve-wrecking. Many were dismayed in shock that Trump won, but I’m glad its finally over. It almost felt like an American Brexit, one well needed one to restore conservative influence into the world.

I was nervous for both: the Promos results and the Election results, way more than I was nervous for my own A-level results. The wait was intense. But totally satisfying after they ended.

We grow in waiting in nervousness. In our nervousness, we choose to trust God. In all things, though maybe not FOR all things, we thank God and believe He is good and faithful to take us through.