Talking about topic “becoming a qualified person” seems hard to be discussed, especially in our age as college students. As college students we often choose to live easy going, rather than consider our future deeply and focusly. Well it is not wrong as long as we walk in a right path. Realize or not we confess that Quality becoming something that is searched by everyone, even we as college students also searching for it (or not...???). In this moment of life, it is difficult to find a good and qualified person, maybe we could count it only in one single hand. However, do you know that becoming a qualified person is our call as Christians...?
Let us see this following illustration : Reverend Simon, is a pastor who lived in Seattle for about Five years in order to finish his master degree. One day he has a plan to return to Indonesia. So he prepared all thing and ready to go to Indonesia, at that time he wore a casual clothe, since he did not want to be too formal. After a long trip, finally he arrived in Jakarta Airport. As usual as a passenger he has to pass the visa checker, there he found that the process of checking the visa was difficult and took time so long. Even he stuck there for a few hours. After finishing his visitation in Indonesia and he has to return to Seattle again this time he wore his pastor clothes. And you know something...??? the emigration department allowed him to pass the line in an easy way. Unbelievable...!!!
What makes the emigration department allowed Reverend Simon passed the visa checker easily, yes we found that it because his clothes. Funny isn’t it that people inclines to predict and guest somebody through his/her performance. Quality is not based on people’s performance but quality gives a huge influence on people’s performance. So, how we often consider people around us ... do we see them as a qualified person or not... and what about ourselves, do we also one of them...???

What is the meaning of Quality ?

Before we discuss about “quality” let us see its definition. Based on the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English which was written by AS Hornby, it defined “quality” as : (1) goodness or worth (2) something that is special in, or that distinguishes, a person or thing (3) (archaic) high social position.
From above definitions, we can conclude that quality refers to positive and special values that are owned by someone or something, which usually shows the integrated credibility of the goods. Well, we will move from this conclusion to the deeper understanding of quality, but before we discussed deeper about it, let us check each of the item, which formed the conclusion. We find that there are five items : positive and special values, owned by, someone/something, shows, and integrated credibility.
Positive and special values refer to the ability, precious things that only find on it and usually it is admired and respected by others. Owned by confirms that the values permanently but dynamic belong to something or someone which is certain. Someone or something refers to the object that has the values. Shows is the expression of the values, which surfaced in form of someone’s performance. Integrated credibility is the form of expression. Credibility shows the ability, character, knowledge and all the plus point of the person or thing. Meanwhile, Integrated descript the unification/integration of all the ability, character, knowledge and plus point of the person or thing.
As Christians –as I told you before- are called to be qualified persons, but the question now is, what kind of quality that we should have as Christians ? we know that human always deals with the relations, and we know that relations are also divided into two major relations : internal and external relations. An internal relation is the relation that deals with someone’s inner-self, while external relations is the relations that deal with the outer side of the person. Christians consider that there are two kinds of external relations : vertical relations and horizontal relations. A vertical relation is the relation that happens between God and human, while Horizontal relations is the relations that happen between human and other human. So, what do they refer to ? I often consider vertical relations as the relations that based on faith, while the horizontal relations is the relations that based on knowledge. As a conclusion I emphasize that the quality of Christian should be measured by the credibility of faith and knowledge. The balance of Christians’ physical, psychological and spiritual is the measurement of the quality.

Who is the good example of person who has the credible quality ?

It seems absurd if we talk about quality but we find nobody who is able to fulfil the criteria. However, is it true that there is nobody who could fulfil the criteria? let us open the book of Daniel, and observe him as the main figure of this topic. Daniel as a young Israelites was one of the people of God who was exiled to the Babylon. He was one of the young people who could be considered as the person who has qualities, the Bible gives many examples to us about young people who has the qualities, but lack of them who like Daniel. Daniel is the representative of us at that time. From the first to the sixth chapter, we can see the qualifications of Daniel as the qualified person we refer to.
1. Knowledgeable. Scripture witnesses that Daniel has the knowledgeable quality (Ch1.v4), even in the verses 17 and 20 the scripture say that they were also blessed by God with various ability : ten times wiser and smarter than all knowledgeable person and medicine man in Babylon. His knowledge approved many times (Ch1.v19-20; Ch2; Ch 5).
2. Faithful. This qualification also being part of Daniel. His faith to God of Israel made him did many things that as human we consider it as stupid attitudes, but we know that he did all those things because he prefer to die rather than ignored and left his God (Ch1.v12; Ch2:18; Ch6.v22-23).
Both of it integrated becoming the Daniel that was credible and qualified. We can see that both of the qualities are fulfil and support each other, Daniel used both his qualities in a right moment. He knew when the right moment to use his faith and the right moment to use his knowledge, but both of them were did in his dependence on God. The unification of both qualities made Daniel become person who was counted and considered in three kingdoms, which replaced each other (Babylon, Media, and Parsi) – (Ch6.v29).

Why should Christians become people of quality ?

This question always surfaced when somebody bolded the statement that all Christian should be qualified. Well, starting from this question, we will discuss deeper about it. As Christians we have some reasons that make us need to be qualified, those are :
1. Believers are called to shine the image of Christ. Christ is the one and only person, which is perfect, nobody likes Him, but we as His followers are called to be like Him (I John 2:6). Galatians 2:20 emphasizes that we no longer us again but Him who has redeemed us by His Blood. In order to shine the image of Christ, we Christians should have the qualification of Christ. Knowledge and Faith are part of Jesus life.
2. Believers are called to be witnesses for the world. As the light and salt of the world (Matthew 5:13-16), Christians should be able to influence the world, not being part of it. How can we influence the world if we have the same quality with the world, we cannot salt the world if we tasteless or enlighten the world if we are dark. That is why Christians need to be the persons of quality. Persons who have qualities that make us different from the world and qualities that give testimony that Christ is our God and our Saviour.
3. Believers are called to implement the Kingdom of God in this world. This means that Christians should be able to re-form the ways of life, which are offered by the world. World often gives the ways of life which against God’s commandments, and it makes the Kingdom of God is stuck to be implement. Kingdom of God will implement if Christians could make the alternative culture/ ways of life, which are glorify God. In order to implement it, Christians are forced to be qualified.
4. Believers face the challenge from the world, which prosecute the qualities. We know that in this world prevails the law of “the strong will survive”, it means that everyone who cannot stand in a competition will be removed. Qualities make us able to face all kind challenge. In other word, they who has the qualities will survive, while who has no qualities will lose.

How can I become a qualified person ?

Becoming a qualified person is not as easy as we think, it needs a hard struggle to get it. On this paper, I cite some ideas to make us qualified. Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong in his book which was written together with Dr. Mary Setiawani explains that to dig someone’s potencies it takes some steps, those are : self-discovery; self-respect; self-understanding; self-confidence; self-responsibility; self-development; and self-fulfilment.
In order to get the best potencies, Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong recommends steps that based on self-identification. Self-discovery is the step where the persons try to find out who they really are, what are their characters, and what are the things that God puts on them. In this step persons incline to realize that they are unique before God. Self-respect is the step where persons have the ability to respect themselves, whatever people say about them. Persons cannot respect themselves because they cannot see how great the potency that God has put on them. The next step of digging potencies is self-understanding, that is the persons’ ability to know what are their strengths and what are their weaknesses. Self-understanding help to build persons’ wisdom because after they knew what are their strengths and what are their weaknesses, they could improve themselves. Self-confidence is the power to do something, without it, all the wisdom will be useless. Wisdom should be implemented, and we know that to implement the wisdom they people need a self-confidence. Self-responsibility is the step where people willing to see what they have done and being responsible for what he has done. They realize that all what they have done should be responsible. Honest is the key of success of this step. Self-development is the step of improving self-ability. People only use 60% of his potency and 10% of his brain, if we could improve the rest of our potency and brain, what kind of person we will become. Self-fulfilment is the step of focusing all the other steps into the future, this step help persons to plan and prepare all thing of their life in the future. What they want to be is depend on what they have plan in this step.
In one line with Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong, Dr. Mary Setiawani also adds some concepts on this matter. She calls this as the “three pairs of supporting opposites words”. In order to get the best result of the quality she gives these three pairs of words, those are : accepting and developing; love and discipline; learning products and learning process. She explains that those words should not be separated when we want to have qualified persons, although they seem contrary but actually they support each other. It is not wrong if we accept ourselves with all our strength and weakness, but it is wrong if we just accept ourselves without develop the potencies we have. It is not wrong if we love the way we are, but we will not be mature if we love ourselves too much without discipline ourselves to do something. It is not wrong if we expect the learning products, but without understand the learning process, we will miss the true meaning of efforts.
Those what have been explained above are the concepts of building someone’s inner self, but as Christians, we need more than it does. This because the Christians quality are marked based on faith and knowledge. Bertram Lim in his book explains some steps to be faithful Christian. Those five steps are divided based on the process of Christian’s spiritual growth. Those step are : laying a firm foundation (this include the step of accepting Jesus as personal God and Saviour to the need of spiritual growth); Getting to know God (this include how to build a good private self-devotion); victorious walk with God (this include the process and way of overcoming and win from bondages); loving God (this include the process of building character and becoming a steward of God); loving God and people (this include the opportunity to express Christians’ faith in the field of society). All the steps that are explained by Bertram Lim are very important to us, especially in process of building our faith to God.
The last thing that I consider as important part of building qualities is the habit of self-study. When we talk about self-study, it always becomes something scary and hard to be done by everyone. However, do you know that self-study is part of our life since we born on this world? if we realize this, it will not become heavy burden for us. Self-study is the personal study that is done continuously and enlighten by the words of God. It has two purposes those are : to improve personal ability and to give benefit for the learners and the people around the learners. We have many ways to implement the process of learning, some of them are mentioned below :
0 learning by listening. This is the process of learning that use ears as the medium of learning. For example : listening to the radio; listening to the lectures; etc.
0 learning by seeing. This is the process of learning that use eyes as the medium of learning. For example : reading a book; seeing television; etc.
0 learning by discussing. This is the process of learning that is implemented by group that consists of more than two persons. For example : panel discussion
0 learning by experiencing/doing. This is the process of learning that can be felt if the persons agree for being involved in special occasion. For example : practising computer; drawing picture; etc.

So, what is the conclusion of this matter ?

From the above explanation, we can conclude that quality is a must for Christians, since we know that God expects His Children give huge influence to the world. Becoming Christians means becoming qualified. What about you...??? have you became a qualified person...??? (SkD)


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