Amanda Tan: The recent youth retreat, with the theme “Spiritual Hypocrisy”, has benefited me in my spiritual growth, just as the previous retreats had. Truly, I thank God for giving my siblings and I this opportunity to attend this retreat that has been carefully planned out by the YF committee, and to listen to the messages preached by Pastor. I have learnt precious lessons which I will keep close to my heart.
Before the retreat, I was unaware of how dangerous spiritual hypocrisy was, and how easily it could appear in our daily lives. Whenever I saw my friends who were modern Christians doing ungodly deeds, I had always silently judged them in my mind for being hypocrites, yet I didn’t know that I myself have allowed hypocrisy to exist in my life. The retreat has also reminded me that all things ought to be done for the glory of God, and not merely for the sake of one’s pleasure and benefit. It is frightening to realise how often we are blind to our own pride, and forget God, even when we engage in spiritual things like singing hymns, giving to the church, or praying! I need to be mindful of my thoughts and actions which may unwittingly lead others and myself to hypocrisy. May the Lord help me to guard against spiritual hypocrisy in my heart, and may He also help me to live a life with a clean conscience before Him.
Lastly, thank God also for the fellowship, games, good food, and safety of us all during this retreat.
Dorcas Koshy: Praise the Lord for the short but sweet youth retreat. It was not only a timely opportunity to get to know several newer youths in our midst, but more importantly, to be found in the presence of God and to increase in the knowledge of His Word. Praise God for endowing Pastor with strength and ability to prepare the retreat sermons among his other demanding engagements, and for unflinching boldness to deliver God’s rebuke firmly to us.
I was reminded that spiritual pretension manifests itself in many ways, and God sees all of them. All the more I have to be careful to ensure that my conscience is always clear before God, lest I lessen the severity of seemingly “smaller” sins and let them multiply. Some time ago, I was branded as too legalistic in the way I have been applying certain commandments in my life, but thank God for vindicating me through this retreat that strict obedience to His Word is what God expects of us. There is simply no room for duplicity under His watchful eye, and we cannot in any way distort God’s view of sin, certainly not by our foolish justifications. May the Lord empower us to admit our sins readily and abide by His standards.
Duaine Kabingue: Thank God for the wonderful opportunity to join yet another youth retreat. Thank God for the committee for taking the time to plan this retreat, that the youths may set aside time from their many preoccupations to draw closer to God.
I thank God for Pastor Koshy’s preaching on the topic of ‘Spiritual Hypocrisy’. We were clearly warned of how dangerous hypocrisy could be in our spiritual lives. It destroys our relationship with those around us, and most crucially, our relationship with God. Hypocrisy makes us “defend” ourselves at the expense of others. There is only one remedy for hypocrisy, that is, to confess our sins and draw closer to Him.
Praise God also for the retreat’s lovely location surrounded by beautiful nature, such as flowers, birds, butterflies…, the wonderful creation God made for man. I had a peaceful experience, especially in the cool of the night, when we had our prayer meeting held outside before we retired to sleep.
May Psalm 51:10 be my constant prayer: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” All praise and glory be to God!
Eunice Choy: I would like to praise God for a blessed youth retreat. Thank God for Pastor’s messages on the theme of Spiritual Hypocrisy, and for the sobering lessons He has taught us through His Word.
Spiritual hypocrisy exists when one appears to be religious, but has no genuine godliness of heart. Though the sin of spiritual hypocrisy is hidden from other men, God sees it. Nothing is hidden from His view. Therefore, we must constantly strive to have a clean conscience and fight against every false way within us. My heartfelt prayer is that I will not just outwardly appear righteous, but be true and unfeigned in my every conduct, action, thought and motive.
This sin of hypocrisy also comes with many consequences. For example, we will have no peace of heart, and our prayers will not be answered. Furthermore, we may lead other Christians astray. May we always pray for God to purify our hearts and follow God with a good conscience, a conscience holding onto faith in Him.
Jenice Choy: All praise and glory to God for a blessed time at the youth retreat! Truly, this retreat has been a timely reminder for me to guard against spiritual hypocrisy in my walk with God. Thank God for the preaching of God’s Word on the need for a pure conscience – not only before men, but more so before our all-knowing God, who “searcheth our hearts and knoweth our thoughts”. Do not cease to pray for us youths, that we will flee all “youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace” (2 Timothy 2:22). Thank the Lord for the fellowship with like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ too. I certainly look forward to more such retreats to come!
Lim Hua See: Thank God for the committee for planning and facilitating this camp, even in the midst of their busy schedule. Thank God also for the provision of a place, so that many others could join us in the retreat. I am especially blessed by the messages that clearly spoke against spiritual hypocrisy. It helps me to understand that the root of spiritual hypocrisy is the low view of God. The consequence of one’s spiritual hypocrisy is not only upon the individual but also others. In order to have a close relationship with God, it is important not to be prideful and find excuses for our sins, but rather to regularly take time to go before God, ask Him to search our hearts and be ever ready to repent.