It’s not every day that we hear (or read) other people’s opinion on the effect of our writing (or works) in their lives, much less get their view of how we live our lives. What follows is one of the outstanding feedbacks I received from an online friend back when my Multiply blogs were still open to the public. Feedbacks like this inspires me to keep writing.
Since this was sent as a personal message before, to protect the identity of the feedback’s author, specific names of people, places and organizations were omitted, sub-headings and English translations were added for reading ease…
November 13, 2008
When I read your life story, I felt like I am being so selfish in my life. I didn’t know that life can be that difficult. I always tend to complain about the things that I do not have. I’ve always wanted to have so much attention. I realized that throughout all these years, it’s my ego that has mattered to me more than Jesus or anyone.
Outside Looking In
I grew up in a complete family and my parents never had any marital problem. I don’t think that there was something that I needed so badly that was not provided to me. We’re not rich, but my parents have been good providers. There wasn’t a time that I needed to skip schooling for me to earn a living. My two younger siblings were never dependent on me, and since I was a child, I’ve always had my means in getting things, even those that were not essential or practical for me to acquire.
I’ve always wanted people to admire me and be proud of me, so I kept on striving hard to get medals in school. Here in [country outside the Philippines], 90% of my salary I send to friends in the Philippines. I have so many charities. I give and give. I donate to my Alma Mater, some ministers in [a church in a province]…, relatives and friends.
The Need to Be Needed
Palagi kong gusto na pinasa-salamatan ako [I always want people to be grateful to me] and I always want to feel the sensation of being “needed” and being “important”. Siguro sobra na nga yung self-idolatry na meron ako [Maybe I have too much self-idolatry inside] and there’s so much pride in me. But even then, I feel so empty. Para akong may hinahanap na hindi ko alam kung ano [As if I’m looking for something I do not know what specifically].
Pagod na akong magpakabayani [I’m tired of being a hero] because I know that my intentions are never even right. I can fool so many people with my false humility and false sincerity but there’s a greater pride that lies behind and I know that God sees it. I cannot lie to Him.
What Your Blogs Made Me Realize
Alam mo [You know] Adrian, after I read about your story through your blogs, I felt so guilty, and I still do. Wow. You’re a selfless man and you will do anything for your mom and younger siblings. Adrian, I’m so touched by your life and kitang-kita ko [it’s very evident to me] how better you are in character and as a person compared to the ego-tripping me.
Bro, I’m in awe of how you keep up your faith and love for Jesus despite all the hardships that you’ve gone through. I admire your faith and loyalty to our Lord that even in your painful days you are still holding on and believing in Him, following without complaining, obeying without a doubt. How I wish I can be like you, too. Your life is an eye-opener to me. Keep it up. May Jesus bless you more.
My Reply to Him Back Then >>
[His name], I don’t deserve the trust you’re giving me but I THANK YOU for opening your life to me the way you just did. I’m both humbled and honored with your online friendship. 🙂
God has reasons unbeknownst to us why you’ve gone through a better life than I’ve had as you put it. True, there may be a stark contrast to each of our lives but God is surely painting a wonderful masterpiece: in us, for us and through us.
I believe that comparing per se is not all that bad but it can be beneficial sometimes too because looking at others lives can make us reflect deeply if we have been (or are) behaving badly or better than others.
Don’t condemn yourself because there’s no more condemnation in Christ. In the same vein, please do not put me in a pedestal because as the Bible says “we all have sinned.” I too, have my own struggles against sin and have my own tendencies to go against God’s laws. I’m not perfect because no one in this world is.
The Struggle That We’re In
The good thing about it is the fact that we’re “struggling” only means that we’re fighting the good fight and we have not yet given up in our walk with God and that despite of our weaknesses, God can use us to shame the strong even as He uses the foolish to shame the wise.
Your admission of being a “narcissist” – if I may use the word – may have done some positive impact to others as well—you just don’t know—only eternity will tell. We both know that God isn’t surprised why you have behaved the way you did all these years.
The Beauty and Tragedy of Being Human
We all have blind spots and character flaws–that can be both the beauty and tragedy of being human. Nothing is hidden in His sight and also because of that we can always come to Him stained, wounded and broken so He may cleanse, heal and transform us into oaks of righteousness for the display of His splendor in this crooked and depraved world.
Let’s keep running the race because He who created us is faithful and will continue to finish what He has begun in us. I’ll be praying for you, bro.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”–Hebrews 12:1