KP#14 Realities of Life - Fit

The parable of the Wineskin - New Wine should be put in New Wineskin in Luke 5:33-39, Mk 2:22,Mt 9:17 teaches us a key secret of success, namely, "FIT". What you do must fit the occasion. Jesus' disciples are not to fast & pray then but they should after Jesus has left. Jesus emphasized twice, using the illustrations of in v36 not a piece of new garment on old garment and in v38 new wine must be put in fresh wineskin.

The purpose, of mending the old garment, or container to hold the wine, did not change. It is the method that must change to meet the new situations.

Fit is doing the right things for the occasions and/or the purpose.

It is quite natural for most of us to hold on to the old ways that helped us to be successful and be blind to the need for change when the situation has changed. We tend to fight the need to say the change is only temporary and they will go away. Such things happened for the horse carriages and the typewriters companies when new disruptive innovation comes. (See Clay Christensen's Books).

On the other hand, let me emphasize that principles don't change and it is the methods that change. The dot-com boom of the late 90s and the big crash in the 2000 showed that unsound business and financial practices don't last.

The Principle of Fit
The other words for Fit are Co-operate, Synchronize, Optimize, Smooth out the clinks and edges, remove conflicts, seek peace.

Fit implies that there are two or more parties involved:
  • The occasion and the right protocol.
  • The new wine and the right container.
  • The Staff and the Company.
  • The Business Offering and the Customers etc.
Fit must have also a purpose such that it is Fit for the accomplishment of the purpose. The steps for achieving Fit are:
  1. Step 1 Define or discover the Purpose

  2. Step 2 Face the Realities

    a. beyond influence - Ride on Them - e.g the trends (assuming not conflict with Bible), the common constraints

    b. influenceable - Change Them - e.g. wishes, conflicts, traditions, obstacles, assumptions, only ifs

  3. Step 3 Find the Strengths of Each party

  4. Step 4 Assign the tasks accordingly to Achieve the Purpose

  5. Step 5 Review and Adjust the Fitness for maximum synchronization.
Fit is a very important operator that I will include it in my BVITS (Business Value Innovative Thinking Symbols) for generating break-through ideas.

In v39, Jesus gave a very practical application of Fit - Give them something better and they will forgo the old thing or old ways. i.e. if you want to take-away something from someone (e.g. smoking, drug, idol worship), you must give them something better. Taking something away without a better replacement will end up in fights. Remember - Give good to Take-away bad.


KP#13 Realities of Life - Good & Bad Co-Exist

The parable of the Wheat & Tares Mat 13:24-30,36-43 tells us the co-existence of Good and Bad in this world. They will only be separated and settled at the Judgment Day at end-time. Here are some important points to learn from the parable.

  1. You can't differentiate the Good and the Bad initially. They all look alike.
  2. You can only tell them, after some time, from the fruit they produce.
  3. The final differentiation will only occur at the Judgment day where the Bad will be taken out and be burned whereas the Good will shine like sun in His Kingdom on earth.
Here are some applications for us:
  1. Don't complain about the world that is not-fair, about the evils that are done. e.g. the present Financial and Economic Crisis caused by greeds, criminal acts, negligence, blind faith etc.
  2. We do our part in righting the wrongs as led by God.
  3. So be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Mat 10:16
  4. Don't be disappointed or angry about the apparent and temporal successes of the wicked. Read Ps 37 and Habakkuk. Very often, we witnessed the downfall of the wicked in his lifetime rather than at Judgment time.
  5. Don't take revenge into your own hand. Let the Justice System and God handle them. We are called to love our enemy. Mat 5:44, Rom 12:20


Forgetting is not about Forgetting

This Sunday, 12 Oct 2008, my church, Petra Church, started its Services at the new place in Toa Payoh. Messages and Song shared by many, Pastors, Elders, member were about God would be doing new things and about forgetting the past. This trigger the meditation about what is forgetting. For the most part, the Bible is about remembering - the laws, the goodness of God, the testimonies, etc. Artifacts were created to help people to remember the past. What then is forgettting? What and How to forget ?

The surest way not to forget something is to tell you to forget that thing. Forgetting is then not about forgetting but something deeper - it is about learning from and remembering the past.

The effective way to forget something is to do the following two things together:
  1. Bring Closure to the past hurts and even victories
  2. Look Forward
Life is about moving forward. We can't undo the past but we can influence the outcome of the future by taking action now. Paul's teaching in Php 3:13-14 is not about merely about forgetting the past, but about not letting the past stopping us from going forward.

Php 3:13-14 ... but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark ....

A better translation of the verse is from God's Word :

This is what I do: I don't look back, I lengthen my stride, and I run straight toward the goal

The meaning of 'forgetting the past' is about 'not looking back' or ' not to continue to live in the past' and is not about forgetting the past which is not possible anyway.

There are two ways that kept us living the the past
  1. Past hurts or failure:
    Causing us to live in self-pity mode, to be pessimistic, to keep to oneself, to withdraw from life and progress.
  2. Past Success:
    Causing us to want to relive the good old days, complaining about the present, and unable to make changes for future.
The solution then is to bring closure to the past events and the accompanied experience of hurts or joy. Closure comes about by
  1. facing and admitting the hurts
  2. figuring out the lessons to learned - about people, methods used, wrong beliefs, ourselves etc.
  3. forgiving oneself or others
  4. storing the knowledge learn into our memory banks
  5. look forward
The key to remove the regrets and only-ifs. In the context of Php 3:13, we can see that Paul bring closure to his past accomplishments - circumcised, pure Jewish blood, Pharisee, blameless before the laws, and failure - persecution of the church. He was able to bring closure his so-called victories because he compare them with the knowledge of Christ - his victories were superficial - He counted them as dung. He did not got stuck in self-pity mode - the worst sinner because of his persecution of the church - He is not worthy to be a Christian at all. His breakthrough in understanding comes in "Php 3:9 and to have a relationship with him. This means that I didn't receive God's approval by obeying his laws. The opposite is true! I have God's approval through faith in Christ. This is the approval that comes from God and is based on faith."

New understanding of God's Truth set us free from the bondage of our past - failures or successes. Let our past failures and hurts be healed with understanding and by God. Let our past true successes cause us to be grateful and to encourage us to have greater faith in a loving God to move forward.

Jesus in Rev 2:5 tell us to "Remember how far you have fallen. Return to me and change the way you think and act, and do what you did at first".

This does not conflict with Paul's Php 3:13 because it was about facing our failure and learning from it that enables not to look back and to look forward.

Joseph brought closure to his past betrayers by his brothers, Potiphar, Cup Bearer etc. He said they meant evil but God meant it for good.

The 2nd step of looking forward also help us in bringing closure to the past. Painting a better vision for the future will encourange us to put the past aside, especially when you see how the past events help you create and build a better future. 2 Cor 1:4-5 our sufferings allow God's comfort and our ability to comfort others. Many new businesses were started because the ideas of the founders were rejected by their employers. Failures are the stepping stones to success.

Forgetting is not about forgetting but about admiting, learning, forgiving & healing and moving forward.


KP#12 Attitude & Mindset

After we address the 10 laws of the Kingdom with clear cause and effect relationships, we now discuss the principles or mindset of the Kingdom. Zig Ziglar said "Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude. ".

The battle is for our mind first - the thinking and then our will - the decision making. Our present life is the result of the decisions (choices) made in the past. To change our life, we must start making different choices and that begins with a new mind-set. 2 Cor 10:3-5 tells us our battle is in the mind and we need to control our thoughts to ensure that they conform to Christ's. Rom 12:2 tells us our mind is to be renewed. The consequence is life and peace Rom 8:6 i.e. true success!

The posting Changing Behaviour (1) Mine gives a better understanding of our thinking and decision making process.

Kingdom minded believers begin with a right mindset of self-worth (identity) and maintenance of positive attitudes(Phil 1:3-6, 4, 6-7). (Please also see the Satan's Lie and Performance-Trap in the posting Connecting to the Singapore's Dream. to understand your self-worth better) This is shown in the mind-map using the BVITS thinking method below:

Next: Good and Bad co-exist