Written By Chia Poh Fang
Poh Fang never dreamed of being in a language-related profession; chemistry was her first love. The turning point came when she received Jesus as her Savior as a 15-year-old and expressed to Him that she would like to create books that touch lives. She serves with Our Daily Bread Ministries in the Singapore office as Managing Editor.
Since young, I’ve always been curious about life—every facet of it. My sister and I used to walk around the house with big, fat dictionaries in our hands, pretending that we were very smart people.
So why do I love knowledge?
I’ve noticed that there are three things in life that can make people feel good about themselves: wealth, good looks, and knowledge. Since I don’t have the business acumen and am unwilling to go under the knife for plastic surgery, knowledge is the most attainable thing for me and is a means to feel good about myself.
Secondly, I love knowledge because it gives me a semblance of control. When faced with interpersonal problems, I read up about managing relationships. When trying to understand the complexity of life, I searched for theories. Perhaps that’s why there is a huge market for self-help books. We think that if we gain more knowledge, we will be able to handle life better.
Thirdly, I love knowledge because it gives me significance and security. Significance, because I want to be loved and valued. Security, because I live in a chaotic world.
It is this love of knowledge that led me to becoming a Christian. I was about 10 years old then. After reading a picture Bible in the library, I wanted to read the real Bible. Having the impression that the Bible was a thick book with tiny words, I went to read the encyclopedia instead—which is a thick book with tiny words. There, I learnt about the precise order and design in this world, which convinced me that there was a creator.
As a writer, I know that no bestseller has ever been produced as a result of chance. Perhaps if you ask a monkey to type on a keyboard, you may find a word or two out of the resulting gibberish. Or maybe, just maybe, you can find a complete sentence. But it will be impossible to find a storyline. No random forces can create a cohesive storyline.
But when we look at the world around us, we see many cohesive storylines. The water cycle is an example. The changing of seasons is another. And consider the digestive system within us. From geography to biology, micro sciences to astronomy, we see order, design and thought—all of which points to a creator.
Of course, when we look at this world, we also see a lot of disorder—for example, cancer, which has to do with the uncontrolled division of cells in the body, and global warming. Why? The Bible offers us this answer in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death.”
The essence of the word sin can be summarized by the alphabet in the middle of the word, ‘I’. When our natural inclination is to displace the creator God and put ourselves at the centre of the universe, that’s where problems start to emerge.
Consider for a moment the things that disrupt the peace of a home. Can I suggest that the worst thing is selfishness? Nothing destabilizes family relationships more than a child or an adult who is so self-absorbed that the wants and needs of the rest of the family are ignored and unmet. What can create more family squabbles, than the actions of a family member that revolve around personal pleasure?
As a knowledge seeker, I have read up on various religions. I wanted to know if other religions offered a reasonable explanation for why the world operates the way it does today. I discovered that only Christianity offered holistic answers to life’s issues. It answered critical questions such as: Who am I? What is my purpose in this world? Why is the world so messed up? Is there a solution? What happens after I die?
It was also then that I experienced the limitation of knowledge. Cognitively and logically, I am persuaded that there is a God and that Christianity is a reasonable faith. But emotionally, I found it hard to say, “Yes, I believe. I will receive Jesus into my life.”
You see, life was going pretty well for me. I have a lovely family and I was doing well in my studies. I didn’t feel that I needed God. Moreover, when I looked at some Christians around me, they seemed to be worse off. So, one day, I prayed, “God, if you are really God, can you please show me?”
And God answered. One Saturday afternoon, someone shared the gospel with me—again. By then, I had already heard it many times. But something happened this time. The truth travelled from my mind to my heart. Suddenly, I understood how terrible sin was. I understood that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was a real event in history. He died for my sins, not just for the world. And He loves me so much.
That day, I received Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord.
Only Jesus can truly satisfy our spiritual thirst for significance and security.