Faith in the Marketplace

     “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal to Him.” - 2 Chronicles 16:9.

On Saturday, 18 Feb 2012, the Small Group Ministry organized a work seminar for young adults called “Get Real with Your Work-Life”.  The objective was to lead young adults (ages from 21 to 32 years) to gain insights into how more experienced Christians carry out their work and grow their faith in the marketplace.  Young adults from Zones 2, 4 and 5 had suggested that a seminar on such a theme would be useful as work consumes the largest part of their daily lives.

An estimated 75 people attended the Seminar, which began with 3 main speakers sharing their personal experiences. Thereafter, the participants were divided into smaller profession-centric groups where discussions were facilitated by 10 mentors of certain seniority in their chosen professions. The young adults had the opportunity for deeper and more specific conversations with these mentors, who face first-hand the challenges their jobs bring each day.

The 3 main speakers were:
• Mr Khoo Boon Hui - Senior Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs; president of INTERPOL,
• Mrs Aw Meng Yin - Vice-Principal, ACS Barker, and
• Mr Henry Tan - Managing Director of Nexia TS Public Accounting Corporation.

The experiences shared by the main speakers and the mentors broadly covered the following topics:
• Upholding righteousness;
• Discovering God-led purpose and direction;
• People management issues.

Briefly, the highlights included:
• Upholding Righteousness

Many verses of the Book of Daniel provide guidance, assurance and comfort for the Christian, not just in the workplace, but in facing the world at large. For example, Daniel 1:8 reads “But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the royal rations of food and wine, so he asked the palace master to allow him not to defile himself.” In other words, we need to resist assimilation into any marketplace culture that violates God’s ways.

Further, Daniel 4:2 reads “Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”  We are thus called to take a humble stand in the marketplace for what is right.

Prayer was also emphasized, as an essential practice in order to work faithfully. It was highlighted that Daniel persisted in praying three times daily in view of the public, despite facing the risk of  persecution for doing so (see Daniel 6:10).

• Discovering God-led Purpose and Direction

Often, thoughts such as “Is my current job where God wants me to be?, “How do I know if God is saying to switch jobs or to stay?”, “If there are hardships in my current job, how do I know if they are just trials or a sign to go?” go through our minds as workers in the marketplace.

It was suggested that a framework considering one’s abilities, circumstances and desires, underpinned by fasting, praying, reading the Bible and seeking Godly counsel, could be used to answer such questions.

• People Management Issues

There will always be difficult and unreasonable people that include superiors, peers, subordinates, clients and customers.

Storing the Word steadfastly in our hearts would help address such issues by remembering that, God made each of us in His image but with different abilities and gifts, we should forgive others in reverence to God, and God uses circumstances to build our character.

In essence, Christians have the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, and as a result we can have grace and peace in abundance (2 Peter 1:2); hence, it is possible to carry out work in the marketplace with a quiet strength, to have self-control, to have hope and to be prepared to receive God’s grace through trying times.

All who participated in the seminar give thanks to God that this seminar reminded us of these unchanging truths and our unchanging God, especially amid the uncertainty of the marketplace.

“Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
For He guards the lives of His faithful ones,
And delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light is shed upon the righteous
And joy on the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
And praise His holy name.”  - Psalm 97:10-12

Celine Sia
Zone 2, Assistant Pastoral Care Zone Leader

With inputs from Tay Bee Choo










                                       Mrs Aw Meng Yin, Vice-Principal, ACS Barker (standing)
                                        Mr Khoo Boon Hui, Senior Deputy Secretary, 
                            Ministry of Home Affairs; president of INTERPOL (seated on stage)



                                               Discussion session by Mr Henry Tan,
                            Managing Director of Nexia TS Public Accounting Corporation

                         (Photos contributed by Lim Jia Ming, ASGL of Colour Me Jesus)