(Be warned: Singlish overloaded! Cheem local ‘vocab’ may stretch you! Power siah!)
When the local government raised the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level to Orange as a result of increased cases of the novel coronavirus on February 7, sending signal that the disease was deemed severe and infection might be contagious. This news was enough to drive Singaporeans into a panic mode, worrying about their livelihoods and the top-of-the-mind response was, “Food!”. You got it- Singaporeans went siao chiong-ing to raid the supermarkets. Worried over food scarcity should the country follow suit to lockdown nationwide, they die-die must stock up the necessities. And wah piang eh, the situation was really sibeh jialat, the shelves for toilet rolls, kitchen towels, wet wipes, maggie mee, rice, eggs, canned meat and hands sanitisers had been wiped out almost clean! I simply don’t understand such mentality especially with paper products which are not edible! Wah lau eh, like that die already loh when the aunties with mountain-full trollies of those essentials made the headlines with our infamous Singaporean symptoms: Kiasu-ism and Kiasee-ism. I myself malu as a local to witness the snatch and hoard culture. My fellow Singaporeans, tolong leh, steady pompipi, it is not the end of the world lah! This kiasu virus is even more potent than COVID-19 and soon the buay tahan virus would evolve even stronger. Sian, I had to join the queue just to get a few simple essentials, but no choice leh before the stock kosong! And sibeh suay to have to jostle with the crowd, the snaking queues really had me flipped!
(Ok, let’s turn sane with proper English now.)
These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. (Matthew 6:32) Do not be like them (the pagans), for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:8)
So, the question is, “Are you the type of person who see half a glass of water as, half full or half empty?”
Insecurities. It is what drive us to react and response the way we did. Living in today’s world which prizes achievements, social status, material comfort and wealth, that equate success, has bred a downhill trajectory ethical culture. Failing which or fallen short of such benchmark, we may feel insecure like social misfits. And this label left many of us a disgruntled lot with a “hoarder” mentality- the constant need for covetousness and accumulating possessions to feel safe in the least. Sometimes, even the more than enough is not enough…
Because, insecurities will always breed insecurities. This fella will always precipitate:
i. Fear, so we worry.
ii. Lack of faith, so we get anxious.
iii. Distrust in God to provide or can provide, so we take matters into our own hands.
But the best counter-measures to overcome insecurities:
1. Turn on the power of prayers
Because worry and prayer cannot co-exist at the same time, either you expend energy worry or better utilise the time to pray- which is useful?
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. – Matthew 21:22
2. Magnify God instead of zooming in on the situation
Turn your focus to our infinite God who is much bigger and can handle anything and everything.
‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.’ – Jeremiah 32:17
3. Meditate on God’s Promises
Rehearse the truth of His Promises over and over until they sink in, for example, one of the good reminders from Matthew 6:25-34, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. …”
4. Allow God’s Peace to rule in our heart
If God’s Peace anchors our heart, insecurities will not rock or cause a rippling effect to our soul.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. – John 14:27
5. Recall how God has met our previous needs and be reassured that God still care
We are all forgetful beings, so we need to make conscious effort to recall how God had previously provided for our needs. In so doing, we will be more assured that God who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, still care to meet our needs.
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
6. Trust God to supply as He knows our needs
God, as our loving Father cares for His children, will take care of what we need.
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. — 2 Corinthians 9:10
7. Learn to live in contentment
Keep life free from having to want more, and learn to live with what we have at present.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. – 1 Timothy 6:6-10
8. Seek to live one day at a time
Worry does not serve any purpose for good, just as Corrie Ten Boom aptly put across, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”
Therefore, take no thought about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take thought about the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the trouble thereof. – Matthew 6:34
So, stockpile the treasures above instead and the inventory will keep us in good faith to fight a good fight, over the long run.