Pastor Peter’s “Letter to My Grown Children: Securing God’s Blessings”

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An open letter to my grown children

When we look for direction in life, it is so easy for us to do it the same way as everybody else. We look at the money prospects, the security or lack thereof, the quality of life, our interests, abilities, etc. All of these are important and I would agree you look at them. But if you want God’s blessings in your life, you need to ask what God says about securing his blessings as you launch out into life.

I find it interesting that the very first statement in the Psalms tells us

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers
(Psalm 1:1)

It seems that our Father in heaven begins the story of how we can be blessed by what we should not do.

At one point in my life, when you were all very young, I became interested in market trading. I asked questions about the ethics of trading, the contribution to society, etc. I then joined a commodities trading company to learn about commodities trading. I soon learned the environment was toxic, and it was likely that this was a “bucket shop.” I was out as quickly as I knew how. [Bucket shop: a fraudulent trading firm that secures clients through aggressive sales, and churns the clients’ accounts to generate brokerage fees for themselves.]

I knew I could not “walk in step with the wicked” and try to live above them at the same time. The entire setup was there to make use of the relationships the broker has to gouge his relatives and friends (or strangers) for the broker’s own benefit. But the Lord showed me their scam. The brokerage was using the brokers’ greed to steal from the people around him, and in the end, the company steals from these people and the broker himself. There was no soundness in the business, and I cannot be blessed by God if I walk in step with them. As long as I do what they do, I am unblessable. I had inadvertently joined a brokerage that was fraudulent; I am deceived. But that does not mean I stay deceived and deceive others in turn. So by the grace of God, I did not do a single trade with them, and just left the brokerage. This experience led me to join the Singapore Monetary Exchange as a legit setup. But I also left SIMEX because though the organization was legit, I had reservations about my own spiritual health in such an environment.

Certain industries are fundamentally sound, and some are unsound. Certain companies within an industry have integrity while others do not. Let’s take education. It is an industry that is fundamentally virtuous. There is no issue for the person who wants to teach. At the same time, there are educational institutions that are scam institutions out there to make money without providing a real education (e.g. degree mills). So being in education does not guarantee you do not “stand in the way that sinners take.”

Certain industries are neutral, like finance or banking. But it is apparent there are different types of banks with different standards of moral-ethical integrity. The financial crisis of 2008 was caused by banks creating fraudulent products. People, institutions and whole countries were brought to their knees. Now eight years on, the world is still picking up the pieces. How can God bless you if you are involved in something like this? Yet at the height of the scam, the math is so complicated, created by people so clever that most who do it were not even aware they are part of a fraudulent scheme. And that is the real thing to look out for. If you are part of an evil enterprise, you will not even know it unless you are the one planning it. You need discernment to know it.

Some banks are notorious for ethically questionable actions or outright participation in fraud. It doesn’t matter they are not doing it now. It is more likely they are still doing it, but you don’t see it. If they have a reputation for unethical actions, you must keep away from them if you want God’s blessings in your life.

On the other hand, there are banks that stepped in to prevent the financial market from collapsing from the sub-prime crisis. People can dismiss their motivation as self-preservation, of which there is some truth, but they did take the bullet to prevent a greater disaster. These banks have a record of social responsibility. When you work for such a bank, you are blessable.

I think it is even possible to be in an unblessable church, not to talk about an unblessable financial or educational institution.

We have a picture of this in Revelation 1-3. There are seven churches in those chapters. These are real historic churches. And of those seven, two churches receive no commendation (Sardis and Laodicea). They are like many churches today. Imagine a church where Jesus is not present. That is what Jesus tells the church in Laodicea. He tells them he is outside of the church. He does not live with them, and does not fellowship with them. They are churches only in name. And the heart-breaking picture is painted for us: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20).

Jesus stands outside his own church and knocks at the door. How unblessable it is to be in such a church! And what sorrow lies in store for the leaders of that church who lead the church into this alienation from Jesus Christ!

I propose to you then, the first order of the day to secure God’s blessing on your life is to know where you should not be.

Above all else, seek God’s blessings in your life.
With my love, papa

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