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Pursuing Holiness in Community

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Following a recent study on the Ten Commandments, Caroline Cheah shares her reflections about the study as well as the importance of pursuing holiness together even in a period of constant COVID restrictions.

When the 10 Commandments series was first announced, I was excited because it was not only a chance to get to know more people in the church, but it was also an opportunity to have a proper relook at what God said in Exodus 20. I went in thinking that I would kind of already know what would be covered (thanks to a previous BSF study), but looking back, I’m glad it wasn’t what I thought it would be. caroline-adulting-holiness-in-community

Each session more or less comprised of three sections, the context of the commandment, how we fall short and how the Gospel helps us to obey. Sometimes, we would have panel discussions where fellow brothers and sisters bared their hearts and shared their testimonies.

Things were not always smooth. We had to pivot to online meetings during the various heightened alerts. Strangely these happened whenever we started to enjoy meeting each other again. However, it was very encouraging to see how the ministry managed with all these snap changes. Thankfully, we were able to physically gather for the last few sessions!

There definitely were a few moments that hit quite hard. A rather poignant question, although asked rhetorically, has been stuck in my mind for a few weeks. That question was: “Do I care about my holiness?” Initially it struck me as an interesting question, because it’s not one that ever crossed my mind. Interest grew into introspection and led to my realisation that most times, I don’t care as much as I should. This nagging feeling of frustration over my apathy did not go away till much later. Eventually, I realised that it is a good first step to be frustrated, for it led me to turn to God in repentance.

Another thing that struck me was the notion that we struggle to obey, because we love the wrong things. At the root of our multitude of struggles, is our struggle to obey God. Which explains why I found myself whining a little bit more about how difficult it is to follow Christ.

However, as tough as it is to pick up my cross daily and follow Him, I took heart in knowing that I’m not abandoned in this mission to follow Him, but have the Holy Spirit, His unfailing word and a loving community to walk through the hills and valleys together.

These sessions were at times painful, due to having the law exposing ugliness of sin within. However, what has been very encouraging is going through these sessions with the rest of the YA. Post-session discussions were initially awkward, but provided the space for us to hear, share and encourage one another in our own journeys.

Looking back, it truly is only by God’s grace, through the law, that our sin is revealed. Christ also came to fulfil the law and helps us to obey. Obedience is definitely not a one-off event, but one that needs to be cultivated within and intentionally lived out as we continue to fix our eyes on Him, remembering that we are elect exiles on this earth. I’m very thankful for God revealing more of Himself through the word and for the community that walked with each other through all 10 sessions! Let us remember that all that God says and does, is for His glory and for our ultimate good.