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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Big Test Of Our Beliefs And Convictions

You just got the biggest shock of your life...

The doctor just told you you have at most 6 more months to live.

The next day, a visitor whom you never met before approached you and made this offer - give him 80% of your net wealth, and he will extend your life for another 10 years.

a)  Would you immediately grab the "offer" as there are so many things yet to be experienced by you; and 10 years is long enough time to accomplish them. There and then you realise pursuing more money is not as prioritised as you thought before... You know, X amount by Y years that sort of thing.

b)  Or would you start "bargaining" with this visitor to lower the 80% net wealth demand to maybe 50% instead? Even in the face of impending death, you still super alert that 10 extended years with 20% wealth remaining is not the same as having 50% of your wealth intact. If we are only down by 50%, its achievable to double our money in 10 years. That means your extended 10 years will be for free!!! Coming back from 80% down is so much harder. You don't change. You still see the world in dollars and cents; not in colours of the rainbow...


I guess you would be burying your face in your palms in utter shame just by entertaining any of the thoughts above...

Everything you have stood for and believed have just crumbled before you. 

If you do not believe in heaven and hell, life after death, reincarnations, fairies and demons those sort of things; why didn't you dismiss this visitor as a charlatan and con artist immediately?


After you have done the deal with the visitor and realised what you have committed into, no amount of wailing or remorse can undo what your faith has warned you against all this time...

10 years of extended life in exchange for eternity at a place in direct opposite to where you hope to be after death...    

Now you hope the visitor is a con artist! 

Even if proven so, you know fully well on the day of judgement, there will be considerable brownie points deducted for your lack of faith; never mind to your relief the visitor is not the devil himself...


This post is not about spirituality or the lack of it.

It's a metaphor to remind myself that some of my strong convictions and beliefs have yet to be tested by my actions. Don't be too quick to tell others what to do; nor too hasty to dismiss the beliefs of others.

In the words of our Hokkien street wisdom: 

Words don't speak too early.



  1. You have passed the temptation of Mei Mei. Tested right?

    This should pass too.


    1. CW,


      This is one test I never want to pass. This is why I prefer to be a flower "monk".

      How can I give up wine, woman, and song?


  2. No words can describe how you feel if you are the one experiencing it rather than only seeing someone has only 6 months to live. Touch wood!

    "It's a metaphor to remind myself that some of my strong convictions and beliefs have yet to be tested by my actions. Don't be too quick to tell others what to do; nor too hasty to dismiss the beliefs of others."

    You are wise enough to know you don't really know if it really happens to you though you think you know now.
    Another way of saying it is there is no "Guarantee In Life".

    1. temperament,

      It's good to allow some space for humility least we discover we were wrong.

      Extreme views on either end (those know it all) can be a little bit disconcerting for me.

  3. Hi SMOL,

    I'm likely to dismiss it as a con-artist. But I've no 'skin' in the game, so who knows what I'll really do if it really happened to me? MCQ choices of different scenarios to test your risk profile as an investor is totally different from a person risking his own money by entering the market. So I totally agree. Without the real trial by fire, we can say all we want. Sometimes, even have to be tested a few more times to separate the truth from the story you surround yourself with.

    1. LP,

      It's easy to say we won't betray you Jesus; but how do we know we won't do a Peter when the Roman soldiers came knocking?

      We often project what we would like others to think of us when we answer those multiple choice questions.

      Not easy to take the makeup or mask off and see the real refection looking right back at us.

      It's much more comforting to spin stories and tell little lies to ourselves...

    2. If you read the biblical account of Abraham sacrificing his son and you believe what you read, will you do the same in this "Modern World"?
      Hard to be a believer, isn't it?
      In fact i think it's never easy to believe in the first place.
      if you ever believe, what then when the comes for you to show your faith in God?
      All the way or you think it' can be bargainable?

    3. temperament,

      Have we not caught ourselves and others in our moments of weaknesses try to "bargain" or "bribe" the spirits above?

      If you help me, I'll do this and that in return. And this is not blasphemy?

      "False shepherds" may appear to exploit our human frailties when we are most vulnerable - sick, lost, wounded, discarded.

      Not to teach us "how to fish"; but to give us "instant fish" - for a fee/tithe/donation/fragrant oil money, etc...

      You can't buy prosperity; but "false shepherds" can certainly SELL hopes of prosperity to those who seek to escape.

      People who seek to achieve can't be touched for they are healthy in body and mind.

  4. Faith in God is never BARGAINABLE.
    But how many of us who believe can have this faith?
    But Christians believe god will never test us beyond our faith or our strength in Him.

  5. Sorry, god should be GOD, my mistake.

    1. temperament,

      I appreciate your comments.

      I guess that's what man of leisure do - we philosophise and question everything - our motives, why are we here, for whom are we living for, etc.

      I guess I am going through my pseudo-Literati phase.

      It's fun and illuminating to have you as a sounding board :)


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