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Dear COA Family,

One of the most precious things that we can ever lose is not money, status or possession,
no matter how much or valuable. Should they be lost, we can always earn them back
through hard work or God will provide enough for all that we need.

The most precious thing that we can ever lose is our credibility. This is because once it is
lost, it is almost impossible to gain it back, no matter how hard we try.

Credibility is a most important value which we own. Without credibility, we will not be
able to gain the trust and respect of others. We will also find it impossible to lead, serve or
relate with others in a meaningful way without their ability to believe what we say.

We could see this lesson most acutely in the recent episodes of misconduct found among
some of our political leaders. No matter how hard they may attempt to win back the trust of
the people whom they serve, they will not succeed because people will find it hard to
believe them again. This is made especially worse in the case of the one who had been
living a double life: speaking about having integrity while engaging in sin.

While having credibility in relation to our work is important, having credibility in
proclaiming the gospel is infinitely more important. The former concerns things of this
life which will pass away, the latter concerns the issue of eternal life which remains
forever. In all that we do then, we must strive to protect our credibility in preaching the

What would credibility in our Christian life and witness look like?

The Apostle Paul explains it this way:
We (Paul and his companions) put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be
found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way
(2 Corinthians 6:3-4).

In other words, he lives his life in such a way that no contrary speech, action or behaviour
can be found in his lifestyle which may cause anyone to find fault with his message. In all
things he does, he seeks to maintain his credibility in being a messenger of the gospel to
everyone. This comes at a great sacrifice to his personal convenience and even safety of
his life.

Every great endeavour requires a great sacrifice. The athlete who desires to win medals at
the Olympics must sacrifice his freedom to play and pleasure to a greater degree than
others in order to achieve his goal. The worker who aims to complete a difficult project
must give up his time for other pursuits to focus on his task at hand. It is the same with the

Church, are you willing this day to sacrifice your access to your rights, privileges, and
personal pursuits of wealth and leisure, which may not be wrong in themselves but may
hinder your Christian witness? 

May I encourage you to preserve your credibility for the gospel at all costs as this is the most
worthwhile pursuit which will lead to great and eternal reward. And the Lord, who sees all that
you do in secret for him, will reward you openly in the presence of his heavenly angels!

God bless,
Revd Ian