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Dear COA Family,

We live in a competitive world where many seek to outdo others in order to be recognised and

rewarded. In many instances, if we do not position ourselves to take credit for an achievement, we

can find ourselves losing out to others when it comes to staff appraisal. In my previous career,

the annual staff evaluation and ranking exercise was a much-feared event!

When it comes to our Christian life, however, we are called to do nothing out of selfish ambition but

value others above ourselves in humility (Philippians 2:3). We are told by our Lord Jesus that greater

love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13). Our Christian

attitudes and mind-set is a totally different one from the dog-eat-dog world out there.

Yet surprisingly, there is one area in our Christian life that we are commanded to outdo one another.

And it is in the area of showing honour.

Romans 12:10 tells us: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing


In other words, here is an area of our actions and behaviour that we should not lose out to others.

We should not lose out in giving credit and praise to one another.

Imagine this scenario: in our church community, people are regularly praising and giving credit to

others. Good things are attributed to someone else and thanksgivings for individuals fill the church

conversations. What a wonderful and faith building environment that would be!

However, I have often witnessed and experienced the opposite. In many areas of my interactions

throughout my life, I have heard more complaints, criticisms, gossiping and backbiting of others

coupled with self-exaltation, boasting of oneself and credit claiming. I have also often been guilty of

such behaviour myself. And as I take time to reflect on such encounters, they have always left me

(and perhaps others) deflated, discouraged and afraid. These behaviours do not build up our

community life nor give glory to God.

This is why, this week, the Lord commands us to live in an opposite spirit. We should intentionally

see the good in the other person. We should actively look for ways to praise and speak well of

brothers or sisters before others. We should give honour and credit others for actions well done

instead of highlighting our own achievements.

Let us live in a different spirit and see the Lord’s transformation of our community in a miraculous

way. Don’t lose out to others in showing honour to another in the area that truly matters!

God bless,

Revd Ian