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August 18, 2008

“…When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth…” (Matthew19:22)

Last Thursday was a milestone in my life as a father. For the first time, I saw my 3 year old daughter perform in public. And boy, was I proud father.

It was her pre-school’s Linggo ng Wika (Language Week) celebration, and the children were made to perform various Filipino-inspired numbers on stage. And there I was on the front row, with camera in hand, waving occasionally at my daughter as she gracefully danced and sang to the tune of “Pinoy Ako”. In fact, I was so engrossed with her performance that I caught myself on my feet dancing as well to the same tune (No wonder I noticed some from the audience looking like they were actually clapping for me after the presentation.)


That was what I felt that afternoon. Pride for my little angel who bravely strutted her talent before that crowd. Proud that she gave her all. Pride that she tried her best. Proud that she even dared to do what she did.

Never mind if she missed a step during the dance number. Never mind if she forgot a few lines. Never mind if she didn’t get some of the actions correctly. Nope. I didn’t mind any of those. In fact, I hardly noticed them. The song could be Yoyoy Villame’s “Butchikik” for all I care, and it was still for me, a masterful performance. Because from the very beginning, it was never about the performance. It was really all about her.

You know, I believe our Father in Heaven thinks of us in the same way.

He feels proud when we try our best to be righteous. When we give our all in service. When we get up whenever we fall. Never mind if you hesitatingly serve at times. Never mind if you sometimes give in to your worries. Never mind if you doubt occasionally. Because from the beginning, for God, it’s not about how good you are. It’s more of who you are — His child, His treasure, the apple of His eye.

Early on in my ministry, I used to think that I needed to earn God’s approval. That God’s love for me would be diminished if I didn’t do well in what God has called me to do. I know differently now.

God’s love for me isn’t increased or decreased by what I do. It is constant. Unaffected by what I do. He loves not because of what I do, but because of who I am.

Rick Warren, author of the book “Purpose Driven Life” once said: “You don’t let God down, because you never hold him up in the first place”.

That’s the reason that whenever I reflect on the story of the rich young man, I always try to be kind to him. Sure he walked away from Jesus’ challenge. Sure he buckled under pressure. Sure he swallowed hard and turned his back on the Lord. But don’t we all?

Sometimes, we give in to that gossipy conversation. We entertained lustful thoughts. We judge others rashly. We treat others harshly. We boast. We brag. We belittle. Yes, in our own way, just like the rich young man, we also walk away from God.

“…When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth…” (Matthew19:22)

But I repeat, God’s love for us is never diminished. His faith in us is never shaken. His pride of us is always intact. Simply because of who we are — his children, his treasures, the apples of his eye.

Have a blessed day, my friend!

In Christ,



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