Save Ninja & Susu

We knew our lives would never be the same when we decided to adopt our first pet dog together as a couple. Ninja was just another newborn stray puppy that was born in a parking lot. Her kind-hearted rescuer saved Ninja and her siblings and delivered Ninja to us all the way from Kuala Lumpur to Puchong when we responded to her SOS post on Facebook asking people to adopt these poor pups.

We were right. Our lives have been never the same since. Ninja has enriched our lives and brought so much laughter to our tiny home with her Ninja-ish antics. Never have we been happier to see a pup that jumps in excitement, wags her tail (and butt) off when she sees us coming home from a mile away.

After a year and a half, we decided to adopt another puppy so that Ninja would have a companion whenever we are not at home. That’s when we found Susu, another stray puppy that was abandoned by her owners. Susu had a huge, hairless, red spot on her thigh when we first met her. According to her rescuer, she was abused and splashed with boiling, hot water by the neighbours as she was in a residential area that’s hostile to dogs.

She was so timid and afraid when we adopted her. But she has taught us how to forgive those who trespass against us when she chose to forgive and forget about the humans who abused her, and now opt to love and protect us, her new humans who have adopted her (and her new black furry sister, of course).

Earlier this year, we’ve decided to relocate back to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah as we decided to raise our family there. And we were prepared to bring our furkids back with us even if it costs us a bomb (almost RM3,000 for all the shipping expenditures). When it was almost time for us to relocate, there was a rabies outbreak in the northern part of Malaysia (Penang) and the Sabah government immediately issued a despotic ban on the import of pets/animals from West Malaysia into East Malaysia. We were devastated. We have no choice but to ask for our friends’ help to take care of our pets temporarily as they’re stranded in Kuala Lumpur while we’re back here in Kota Kinabalu.

We have been constantly chasing the Sabah Vet Department for updates in regards to the lift of the ban since last year. If rabies is the main concern, then I do not see why exceptions cannot be made if we can get our pets examined and proven to be rabies free. However, due to the tardiness of this government department, our process of importing them back here have been delayed time and time again. To be exact, we have been delayed for almost 6 months (Penang has lifted orders to cull rabies infected dogs in the state since 9th October 2015).

As much as it breaks our heart to be separated from our furkids, we cannot allow them to be living alone in KL anymore. Currently, our kind friends have been feeding and bathing them till now. But we cannot trouble our friends forever as we have no idea how long it would take for the state vet department to lift this obsolete and irrelevant ban.

So, we hereby, humbly implore you to help us by :
1. Adopting or fostering Ninja & Susu – we still want them back once the ban is lifted, if possible. But if they have come to love their new forever home, then we want what’s best for them.
2. Sharing this article – if you are unable to adopt them, let your families/friends know. They might be able to adopt them.
3. Bugging the Vet Department to lift this ridiculous ban – more people voicing out about this ban means they will have no choice but to take this issue seriously (and provide a solution quickly). This is their website (http://davetsa.sabah.gov.my), the Director, Dr Yeo’s email (boonkiat.yeo@sabah.gov.my) and their office number (088-287401).
4. Sharing this image – if you are not keen to use Facebook or social media, perhaps you can forward this image below to your friends via Whatsapp.

I thank you in advance for your help in circulating this piece of news. Please pray that we will be reunited with our furkids as soon as possible.


UPDATE (05 May 2016) : We have good news! We managed to find another solution which we think may work! =) And we just found a friend who offered to help! We will be calling and making the arrangements tomorrow. Now, let’s pray that the procedures will be straight forward and simple! 


Gone with the Wind

I thought this is a pretty appropriate blog post title in line with our recent relocation back to Sabah (known as the Land below the Wind). Yup, earlier in February, my wife and I have taken the step of faith to finally uproot ourselves (after more than a decade in Kuala Lumpur) to move back to Kota Kinabalu, my hometown.

It wasn’t a sudden decision though as I have always wanted to move back to Sabah ever since I graduated from college. The only reason why I’ve decided to remain in KL after graduation was really because of my church, Every Nation Church Malaysia (previously known as Eaglepoint Church). I felt God has called me to serve this church with everything I have until He says it’s time to move on. And in those thirteen years, I’ve been given the opportunity to serve as a campus leader, head of department for the Graphic Design ministry, worship leader and assistant life group leader. But more than just merely serving, I was on the receiving end as I am blessed to know that I have made an impact and have blessed others through my ministry.

Many people have asked us, “Why and how did we decide to move back here?”

Well, two years ago, I proposed this idea of moving back to my wife. Boy, you should have seen her reaction! She was absolutely against it. It was a big no no. And the reason? She said my hometown was boring and backward. Excuse me? I beg to differ! I prefer the descriptions “peaceful” and “developing.” But surely enough, as I persistently pounded the idea of relocating back to Sabah into her head (at every given opportunities during KL’s horrible traffic jams, hazy weathers, expensive toll prices, racist remarks made by pea-brain extremists), her heart began to change. She began to say “But if we move back, how are we going to…” instead of the blatant “NO!”

So in early 2015, we finally made the decision to move back to Kota Kinabalu. Unfortunately, this was due to the fact that Chrystin, my wife, has had a miscarriage… I blamed myself though. I felt guilty because I put both of us in a position where we had to work so hard to make ends meet and the mental, emotional and physical stress must’ve caused the miscarriage. That was the defining moment for me. It’s now or never. I told Chrystin, “Thats it. We’re moving back.”

Fast forward to the present, and here we are back in Kota Kinabalu! And our first child is due end of April (next month)! God’s timing is perfect, really! When we booked our flight ticket, we didn’t even know we’re going to be pregnant. And when we found out about Chrystin’s pregnancy, we realized the date of our departure was really the last week for her to safely travel on airplanes (well, according to the airline’s policy, that is). Anyway, as we’re expecting our first child, having my parents around would come in really handy too. We cannot imagine handling a baby all by ourselves. Thank God for family. Oh yes, we’ve also become quite horizontally challenged these days thanks to my mom’s daily homecooked food.

Well, life is a new discovery for us these days as we settle down here and say “Hello from the other side.” New faces, new places, new food. Can’t wait for our new bundle of joy to come!


Show Mercy

Religion is empty if it is void of mercy.

Jesus said, “I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.” (Matthew 9:13 NLT)

True religion consists; not in external observances: not in meats and drinks and shows of sanctity, not in little particular opinions and doubtful disputations, but in doing all the good we can to the bodies and souls of others; in righteousness and peace; in visiting the fatherless and widows. Notice that Christ’s thoughts, words and actions are always filled with mercy and grace, tirelessly promoting the conversion of souls: the greatest act of mercy imaginable; saving a soul from death.

Are our thoughts, words and actions filled with mercy?


How to Survive in a Traffic Jam

Yesterday, while I was driving slowly and safely on the left lane, a car behind me started to honk. The honking repeated for a while until it became an infuriating, resounding blare. My natural instincts told me to stop my car in the middle of the jam, grab the hammer under my seat, get down from my car and smash the other car’s windscreen.

Well, I didn’t.

Instead, I just continued crawling in the jam and ignored him. Well, it turned out that the other driver was just impatient and wanted to make a quick turn left to escape the jam and I happen to be at the turning that was stopping him (he seemed to have overlooked the fact that we were all in a jam and I cannot move anywhere else). In his agitation, he showed me the middle finger as he made his left turn. In that split second, in my anger, I wanted to curse his next ten generations so that they will all be caught in car accidents involving huge trucks and if that doesn’t kill them, the cement slabs from the flyover constructions will collapse and crush them like minced meat (all of these happened while I had loud Christian music playing in the background).

Well, I didn’t.

Instead, I retracted all my murderous, diabolical thoughts and said a prayer. I asked God to forgive me for allowing my carnal self to foster such thoughts. I asked God to bless him, keep him (and others) safe on the road and that this man would reach home safely to his family.

You know what? Jesus did that too (no, not driving recklessly on the road). Unlike any other prophet or deity ever, Jesus asked God to forgive those who hurt/offend Him. He prayed for those who were against Him. When He was wrongly accused by those who were against Him and unjustly crucified for crimes He did not commit, He prayed for His accusers, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34 NKJV)

Now, that’s what I call living (and driving) with style.


Why I Don’t Believe in Soul Mates

Personally, I don’t believe in the notion of soul mates. Well, not in the sense that God has a special person prepared for everyone. To believe that God has a special someone prepared for everyone is absolutely unwise, not to mention you’re only setting yourself up for a major lifelong disappointment (maybe that’s why a lot of Christians are still single in the church). Why? Well, this idea is absolutely not biblical.

Has God ever said “Wait, I will provide a soul mate for you?” in the Bible? If not, these are really unbiblical claims/statements similar to other popular and seemingly harmless statements such as “God only helps those who help themselves” (FYI, God loves helping the helpless).

Well, there are only a few incidences in the Bible where God specifically commanded someone to marry another person, and these are very special cases : Adam, Hosea and Joseph.

God had to intervene for Adam and make him a woman. Otherwise, none of us would be here (or we’d be a mix of humans and animals, eww). God also commanded the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute, Gomer, to teach the Israelites a lesson of his unfailing love despite their constant prostitution to foreign gods and idols. And God had to protect Mary’s controversial virgin pregnancy by telling Joseph to marry her (pregnancy before marriage during those times can cost you your life). So yeah, only these few people had the privilege of God pinpointing their spouses out for them.

Rather than waiting for God to drop a soul mate onto our laps, I believe He wants us to enjoy the journey of finding them! Don’t believe me? The scriptural evidence is overwhelming and I’m just gonna give a few.

“Who can FIND a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10 NKJV)
“He who FINDS a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22 NKJV)
“A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to WHOM SHE WISHES, only in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 7:39 NKJV)

Notice the tone of the scriptures. The Bible tells us to find and marry whom we wish (as long as they are believers too, remember Jesus tells us not to be equally yoked with unbelievers). So, we are to find our soul mates! It’s an active search (just like when you lose your keys and you’ve to turn your entire house upside down to find that pesky little thing) and not a passive one (sitting there praying like mad yet doing nothing about it). So, to find a soul mate, is a good thing!

Here’s a great biblical and practical model taken from Genesis 24 of how Abraham finds a wife for his son, the story of Isaac and Rebekah.
1. Seek a mate – Abraham sent his servant to LOOK for a mate for his son.
2. Know what you want – Abraham had a clear list of the TRAITS he wants in his future daughter in law. And God gave it to him according to his requests!
3. Trust God to guide – PRAY! As we walk, God will direct! Not the other way round. That means you’ll need to hangout with girls and get to know them, not waiting for girls to practice their pickup lines on you.

I first heard of this biblical truth that we need to find our own spouses at a fairly early age through a sermon CD (thank God, otherwise, I’d still be waiting for God to drop me a soul mate). One of the truths I still remember vividly is this: Rather than looking for Mrs Right, be Mr Right for someone else. It is selfish to look for another to complete your lack. Love is not selfish. Rather, because we are complete in Christ, that’s why we can give to one another and please one another instead! Looking for the Mrs Right is about taking. Being Mr Right is about giving. The person you are married to IS your soul mate, hence, the vows “For better or for worse.” Marriage is something you’ll have to work towards together daily. Nothing’s gonna magically work themselves out. Don’t get married because you think she’s your soulmate. Get married and BE her soulmate!

This truth absolutely blew my mind and changed my perspective on relationships. Now, you know this truth too. Start being someone’s Mr/Mrs Right!


Knowing Me, Knowing You

I have a question. How well do you know yourself? Or rather how well can you know yourself?

Take me for an example, i think i know myself but truth is, I don’t know myself at all! I can be such a paradox, a living oxymoron. Sometimes I’m passionate, sometimes indifferent. Next, I think I’m smart, but end up making the most foolish decisions later. At times, I’m full of faith, and the next moment, threaten to leave God. In control, lose control. At peace, worries my head off. Likes this, hates that. Says this, does that. And the list of my contradictory and capricious behaviors continue.

We can be so unpredictable. So… ever changing. And how can we possibly say we know ourselves when we can’t even imagine what kind of person we will be tomorrow? Yes, we know ourselves from the present and past tense but tomorrow? Who will we be tomorrow?

In this life-long quest of finding our identity, I’ve known a lot of friends who have “changed,” detoured and sidelined from the person I’ve “known” them to be (note that I’m using these terms loosely simply because I may not even know who they really are in the first place) because they were trying to assume the identity of those (good or bad) around them. We imitate, duplicate, replicate. As the old saying goes, “Monkey see, monkey do.” But see, that’s the problem. Imitating limited human beings is as good as duplicating a pirated VCD (think substandard, blurry movies, choppy audio, with silhouettes of people’s head in view). That makes us as good as pirated imitations, I guess.

“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” – 1 Corinthians 11:1

The Bible tells us to imitate Christ. And here I am talking about discovering ourselves. How ironic! How can we possibly discover our identities by imitating Him?

I don’t think the Bible is just asking us to merely imitate Christ’s appearance, actions and conduct as a person. I believe this scripture calls for a time of soul-searching, if our hearts (our very essence) and desires (our life’s purpose) reflect God’s. We are created in His image, as His reflection after all. What else are we supposed to do other than to reflect Him and to resonate with what matters in His heart? To do anything else is really likened to a broken mirror that reflects a different image than what is shown! How frustrating it must be for that mirror when it fails to serve the very purpose it was created for! Maybe that’s why sometimes we’re so frustrated with our lives. Maybe.

In my humble opinion, this is our identity: a holistic reflection of Christ in all aspects of life and chasers of what’s in His heart (in our work, in our lives, in our families, in our ministry, in the goals and focuses of our lives, in our dreams and aspirations). A life that is full is a life that has experienced the fulfillment of His purpose here in this existence.

From now on, this shall very well be my life mantra, “The more I know Christ, the more I know myself. The more I reflect Christ, the more I serve my purpose.”


Who Is He?

I had the opportunity to act in a short skit for our Easter service last weekend and man, did I have tonnes of fun (and pressure from memorizing my lines)! It was a skit based on the question, “Who is Jesus? Is He a megalomaniac, schizophrenic, philosopher or messiah?”

There were four characters in the skit: a revolutionist who was angry at Jesus for being another power hungry figure (That’s me! Yeeha!), a gypsy who loved Jesus’ lunacy and outrageous teachings, an intellect who crowns Jesus as a master philosopher and a simple woman with a broken life who encountered Jesus’ love and mercy. All of them have their own opinions on who Jesus is but I love how the skit directs the final question to the congregation.

“Who is Jesus to you?”

Honestly and personally, I think all four views apply to Jesus. I think :

1. He is a Megalomaniac because He does desire absolute surrender of our lives! However, He only has our best interest in mind and that makes surrendering everything to Him worth every bit of it. Besides, we suck big time when we’re given power due to our human nature and tendency to abuse it.

2. He is a Schizophrenic because He is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent! He is the God Man after all. For mortals like us, we will never fully understand His ability to see the past, present and future, to be here, there and everywhere else and to do this, that and everything else at the same time! Confused yet? Well, he’s not. We are. In fact, He is in perfect control! In our shortsightedness and limitations, He proves Himself to be a big, amazing, almighty, all powerful God who holds this very existence in balance!

3. He is a Philosopher because He is the author of wisdom. Let’s face it. It doesn’t matter who’s the greatest philosopher of all time. He must be the greatest of them all since He created and gave these philosophers their awesome brains! Need advice? You know who best to ask now.

4. He is the Messiah. Add all three attributes above and an unconditional Love that never fails, you get God’s most powerful attribute: His ability to save. This, I cannot elaborate. You must experience His saving grace for yourself. And I believe you too, will come to know him ultimately as your Messiah.

So, who is Jesus to you?


My Complain

I’ve been very upset and depressed for the past month. Mainly because of work that’s not related to design or producing art where I excel best (lotsa admin, management, finance and other life-sucking tasks). I feel like I’ve no outlet nor the time to design new stuff and this has heavily bogged down my unfulfilled soul. It sucks to be a designer who cannot design (like a bird being caged when it knows it’s destiny is to fly high) since the essence of what we do is fueled by the satisfying of our curiosity, trying out the uncharted and creating new things.

So, I do what I usually do best! I bring my complains to God! You know, I’ve come to discover that He’s the best person to pour out your complains, frustrations and heartaches to. Mind you, I meant “pour out to” NOT “pour out at” (there’s a world of difference in these two postures and believe me, doing the latter doesn’t help the least). And guess what? God is BIG enough to handle your complains.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” – (Proverbs 13:12 NKJV)

As the Holy Spirit prompted me to read this verse, I’ve to ask myself, what is my heart’s greatest desire? God or design? Do I find more delight in God’s love or from loving my own designs/artworks? The answer’s pretty obvious judging from my month-long depressive state. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit never fails to gently remind us when we’ve strayed a little from the original path that He has intended for us.

Is your heart sick, like mine too? Has your heart’s desire been for God? When was the last time you delighted yourself in His Love when you were bogged down by the cares of this world? When was the last time you heard His soft, still whisper that made sense and clarity of all the mysteries that you’re going through? When was the last time you knew what you were doing was exactly what He has made you for?

Maybe now is a good time to do a quick (if not, long) check? And if it helps, do complain.


Malaysiaku Bahagia

Recently, I’ve been listening to a piano rendition of “Sejahtera Malaysia” (one of the most stirring Malaysian songs, in my opinion) by a Taiwanese artist (indeed an irony). Since it was an instrumental rendition, I had to sing to it by memory (recollecting it from my primary school days as we use to sing it in our assemblies on Mondays). And people must think I’m mentally unstable when they see me sobbing in my car while singing to this song.

One of the verses at the end of the first stanza read, “Malaysiaku bahagia” (translated as “My Malaysia is happy”). Everytime when I get to this verse, I swell up in tears.

My Malaysia? Such an uncommon notion. My happy Malaysia? An even more unrealistic utopia if you’ve been following the local news. How happy can you be when you’ve got politicians threatening to kill all chinese using a “keris”, cow heads being desecrated and thrown around, accusations, slanders, injustice, crime and the list goes on. No one in their sane mind would proudly call this their country. Or would they? Would you?

When was the last time I called you mine, Malaysia? Do I truly believe that you are rightfully mine when certain people have labelled me and my forefathers as “pendatang?” Do I look forward to leave you just so that I can settle down in a foreign land where I really am a “pendatang?” Do I prefer to call other places “home”, other than you? Do I love other nations more than I love you, Malaysia?

I sing about “Kami setia, kami sedia, berkorban untuk negara.” Am I prepared to sacrifice my time, effort or even life for you? Or do I shrink back and run away at the smallest trials when you need me the most? I am ashamed because I have been nothing but disloyal and unfaithful to you when you’ve been there for me all the days of my life.

And what about “Kami rela menjaga namamu?” I must admit, every time I talk about you, my words are filled with anything but positive remarks. I complain about your lack, I slander you by comparing you to other countries, I gossip about your leaders and people, I call you terrible names and tear you down with my words. How could I have forgotten that I am supposed to defend your name? How could I be so cold and indifferent when you’ve given your everything to me?

Will you forgive me, my Malaysia?

You will be celebrating your 55th independence day and 50th birthday soon. If I have never said it enough, I want you to know that I am honored to call you mine, that I am blessed to be called a Malaysian, a rightful citizen of this beautiful nation. My prayer for this year is that I can learn to love you, honor you and cherish you with all that I have. May I never stop calling you, “Malaysiaku bahagia” and bless you with all that I have. May the Lord teach me and my household to be loyal and faithful to you and you alone for as long as we live. From the very bottom of my heart, I want you to know,

I love you, Malaysia.

Happy National Day and Happy birthday.

“All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts. – Malachi 3:12


When Clients Don’t Pay Up

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a client who had a catalogue layout job for me. At the end of the project, they decided not to pay up. Yup, they decided that my designs were not “satisfactory” and “did not meet their expectations,” hence, nothing was given to me despite my late nights to rush and complete their job. They did not keep their part of the bargain. They did not keep their word.

Let me give you a little background about the disappointment I had to go through. The job was “simple.” I was only supposed to design a layout for the catalogue and place all their pictures and info in it. Everything was supposed to be provided by them. And then, it turned “not-so-simple.” Soon enough, they had me editing their logo, editing and manipulating their pictures, added two extra pages, check their English and grammar, endless changes and additions to the layout and so on. All done without extra charge out of my goodwill. Fine, you can say I did it out kindness or whatever.

At the end of the project, they finally decided they were dissatisfied with my work when I said I had to charge extra for the further changes they requested (well, why didn’t they say anything about it earlier?) and refused to pay the balance. Well, it’s only right and logical that anything extra out of the agreed contract needs reimbursement. Just because you’ve paid a deposit, doesn’t mean you can keep adding to the job at the expense of… nothing!

Below is an excerpt of our emails. Let’s just call the client “Miss X” for now.

Dear Aaron,

For page 12, we have already informed our printer to do for us. To be frank, we found your service is not up to our expectation. For your information, I need to pay our printer to touch up again on your page 1-page11 work for few days just because the dimension of the products is unclear and it can’t proceed for printing. My printer is helping me to make whatever changes that we need all over again, for instance enlarge and make the dimension clearly seen and take out the labels. But, you need to charge all these jobs. Don’t you think this is the designer’s job to ensure the piece of work is acceptable by the client before proceed for printing.

Dear Miss X,

I apologize if I have not met your expectations. I do agree that it is a designer’s job to ensure any design work is acceptable by the client but with all due respect, I also believe it is the client’s responsibility to provide the designer with clarity of the job required and to understand what are the agreed terms and conditions and boundaries stated clearly in a contract/quote, which in my case, I was made to understand that I am only doing the layout and you will be providing me with the information and images (if you refer to the quote I sent you, I never stated to include image manipulation and editing services).

It is only professional that you do not expect a designer to do everything that you require without extra charges (for example, edit your logo, edit the flattened pictures you provided, check and improve the grammar of your English and Malay and etc). Anything as such is done out of the good will of the designer since you’re not compensating the extra work. To put it in perspective, let’s use a parallel. When you’re renovating a house and you’re hiring a bricklayer to do your walls, can you ask him to also fix your roof, install the toilets and do the wiring but pay him only for the brick wall job because you think it is his job to make your house look good? Of course not.

And if you read my terms and conditions clearly on the right side of the quote, it is stated that “Price quoted includes min of 3-6 design cops for initial review and 3 revisions. There will be an additional charge for all additional revisions past the first 3” I believe you have made quite a number of changes for the catalogue design due to your unconfirmed product writeups, SKU/code corrections, missing images, change of grammar for text, adding from the agreed 10 pages to 12 pages and etc. And for your information, as far as I recall, I have always been prompt and fast to make the changes you require. Most of the delays are from your side as you change, compile and finalize your information. I hope you take this as a good will service from me as I did not impose any additional charges for you for the numerous changes made on your side.

And to make it clear, the reason why I need to charge for the resizing of dimensions of the images is because the images were already flattened. In order to change/resize the dimensions, I need to edit the pictures one by one and type/place all the dimensions in again. I also hope you understand and remember, at the beginning of the project, I asked you and you clearly mentioned that I do not need to edit any pictures as you’re providing me with the final images.

With all that said, please accept my sincere and humble apology for the miscommunications and also the unmet expectations for the job. I have attached the invoice for your kind attention. Please settle the balance and let me know once you’ve done so.

Thank you.

Dear Aaron,

Our big boss has given instruction that we cannot pay you the balance of the payment due to the incomplete and unsatisfied jobs being done. She stays in Indonesia and I am only one of the employees in the Company. I am not the one who signs the cheque.

Dear Miss X,

I find this very unfair on my side as I have completed my tasks and have delivered the service I promised. Anyway, I’m fully at peace and my conscience is clear. I choose to forgive, release and bless you and your company in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. May He bless you in your life, health, family and all your other endeavours.

PS : I will pass all your materials (cds, catalogues, etc back to your colleague)

God bless

For your information, the last two emails happened almost a month after the email where I confronted them and have sent an invoice to them. Throughout the whole month they were either not picking up my calls, not responding to my emails or just plain avoiding me.

Was I angry? Of course I was. I had every right and reason to be. And sadly, this is also the first time in my life that someone has called my artworks “unsatisfactory” and “did not meet their expectation.” (If you know my works and have seen my portfolio, I really believe my works are nothing short of professional and creative). And worse, I was shortchanged. I worked hard and got nothing out of it. I kept my part of the bargain. I was professional and I kept my integrity. But they didn’t.

In situations like these, it’s so easy and natural for me to throw a curse on this client and wish the worst would happen to her and her company. Or throw red paint on their office windows (I know where they work). That’s carnal. Anyone in the world could do that. But I chose not to.

I clearly remember what my dad used to tell me. The world is full of these “small people” (in Chinese, it means uncivilized people with no principles and integrity). He told me to never stoop low to their level lest I become one of them. “Always choose to be the bigger person,” he taught me. My dad’s pretty biblical too. The bible did give us a heads up on what to do when you face these kind of people.

“Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.” – Proverbs 26:4

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:27-38

Am I still angry? No. I was, but not anymore. Because I believe in a God who doesn’t shortchange me (He promised to give me a reward and it’s a great one) and when I extend mercy to others who trespass against me, He will extend mercy for my trespasses too. They might be able to escape my judgement, but not God’s. And for that, I tremble for them. Was it a difficult decision to let them go? Definitely! But I have the Holy Spirit to empower me to do what I could never do on my own limited human strength and carnal will.

And guess what? It feels great to be the bigger person! To know that I have a clear conscience and I can sleep peacefully at night. To know that money is not everything. To know that you can forgive even when it’s difficult. To know that you can bless your enemies when they work against you. To know that you can be more Christ-like in an unfair world like this.

If you’ve been shortchanged by others too, like me, then learn from my experience. Always be the bigger person. And remember, that’s why the world needs Jesus!

Do you need a dose of Jesus in your life too?