Corner of Crown & Albion Streets, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia
Photo by Albert Chiu



The stained glass windows of CPC's auditorium.

Pastoral Letter 18th July 2021

牧聲 二零二一年七月十八日
Rev. Andrew Choy

In my last pastoral letter, I pointed out the fallacy of benchmarking our self-worth and identity against our achievements.  The truth is, one day, we will all grow old, with the imminent possibility of losing our job or our mobility.  Therefore, relying on “my achievements” to answer the question “Who am I?” will certainly throw us into a deep abyss.

Another possible response to the question “Who am I?” is “My reputation”.  In the eyes of others, who am I?  Am I someone who is able or incapable?  Am I a person who is friendly or unapproachable?  Am I one who is praised as a role model of a good husband (or a good wife), or am I considered as one who does not care for my family?  If our focus is on getting in people’s good books, then we are elated when we hear words of affirmation and praise.  Conversely, when others criticise or challenge us, or talk behind our backs, it would certainly make us feel distressed.  A renowned speaker once said that it takes one criticism in the sea of praises from his audience to leave him feeling devastated.  The reality is, given our sinful and imperfect nature (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:10-12), we are bound to offend others; and we cannot make everybody love and accept us unconditionally.  

The third common response is “My possessions”.  What are my tangible or intangible possessions?  Many would place importance on wealth and the number of houses, cars, children etc. Others may view social status, family background, academic qualification, outward appearance etc. as crucial.  When we build our identity on “possessions”, we might feel a certain sense of satisfaction; but in the end, one or more of our possessions will be lost because of changes in circumstances or death, as described in the Book of Ecclesiastes (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).  

Would you feel contentment and have inner peace when your identity and value are based on others’ acceptance of you or your possessions?  Brothers and sisters, who are you really?


 另一種作為回答「我是誰」這問題的答案,便是「我的名聲」。在別人眼裡,我到底是怎樣的人?我在別人眼中是能幹,抑或無能?我是容易結交朋友,抑或是生人勿近?我是別人口裡所稱讚的好好先生(或賢妻良母),或是一個不顧家的人?著重別人對自己看法的人,如果得到別人的肯定、喜愛及讚許時,我們很自然會感到高興。但當別人批評、質疑自己,或在背後說三道四時,這必定會令我們苦惱萬分。一位演講家曾說過,他即使得到成千上萬的聽眾的讚許後,但只要有一句批評的聲音,這已足以令他崩潰。事實上,作為有罪性、不完美的人(傳7:20; 羅3:10-12),我們必定會得失他人,也不能令所有人,都無條件地愛護及接納自己的。



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