Can I be a Crazy Rich Christian?
Occupation: Deals (M&A) Consultant
Tell us about yourself.
Before I became Christian, I grew up as a happy-go lucky kid without much thought about life as my parents provided well for me. My life’s focus was as simple as studying hard to get good grades, getting into a top university and earning money to live a good life. Yet, as I grew older, I started seeing the vanity of pursuing all these things; these mere social fabrications by man to keep themselves busy and sane.
When I got convicted by the gospel and became a Christian, I finally understood that the purpose of work and wealth is ordained by God since creation to serve
for His glory alone,
for His glory alone,
☑ Studied at the London School of Economics (LSE), one of the top universities in the UK
☑ Travelled to Europe and the United States for holidays
☑ Owned a sports car
All of these however, pale in comparison with the privilege of being able to call Christ as my Lord and Saviour.
What do you understand about work? Do you enjoy working?
From Genesis 1, we learn that since the beginning, we were created by God in His image to be fruitful and multiply, to subdue the earth and have dominion over all species. This means that we are to work as stewards of God to extend His glory all over the earth. In today’s context, it would mean that I work as His image to glorify Him.
After man’s rebellion against God and the consequences of it seen in Genesis 3, we now toil in frustration as creation now works not for us but against us. Therefore, work in this fallen world is neither easy nor truly satisfying, which I observe daily in my career as a business consultant. I do enjoy the work that I do in the sense that I am able to help clients solve their important problems. Yet, I am constantly reminded by the thorns and thistles of the fall in my work as I spend sleepless nights on projects to plan and research, revising plans and analyses for numerous times before I manage to come up with the final report.
What is your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement in my career so far would be coming up with a business plan for the merger between two Islamic banks to form one of the largest standalone Islamic banks in Malaysia today.
What does money mean to you? Do you love wealth?
Money in its simplest form, is some kind of currency. It might be paper, or metal; in other cultures, perhaps, stones, or in our culture, electronic records. By this definition, money is the symbolic representation of quantities of value in our lives that indicates to the world what we truly value through what we pursue.
In other words, the way I spend my wealth reveals whether I value the world more than Christ or vice versa.
In short, I do not love my money and it is not my master. However, this is not a simple question to answer. As a Christian, there is always this love-hate relationship with wealth which I struggle with as well. This is because there are strands of biblical teaching that emphasise the goodness of God and the material blessings that He showers on His people, as well as parts of the Bible that warn of the dangers of money.
I still remember the first time I was challenged by Scripture on the dangers of wealth; when I read Matthew 19:22. Jesus said “Only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven” (ESV). It struck me that Jesus didn’t mention that it is hard for those who love money to get into heaven, but that it is hard for those who are rich. Being rich now is dangerous, as money can deceive us to wander away from our faith and plunge us into destruction. I have to remind myself to keep guard over my heart; to not be deceived by the wealth that I have, not forgetting all wealth is from God. I should also handle money wisely without “electrocuting” myself.
How do you use the power you have at work or with money you own, to serve and love God and His people?
An example of how I use the power I have at work is by applying the many skills I have in areas such as project planning, financial modelling, and operational improvements. These skills which are crucial for my type of work can be helpful in serving the church to plan for ministries and camps, budgeting, and much more.
As for money, I fund and sustain the ministries through consistent contributions to His church to take care of the pastor-teachers that are doing the work of God full-time and to sustain the church to fulfill its God-mandated mission to make disciples and teach them to observe all things that Jesus has commanded. I also invest my money wisely, so that in the medium- to long-term, I can give more to the church as its ministries grow.
Posted on 30th August 2019