by: Nathaniel A. Saquiban
Obedience is one of the important values that all of us should possess. It opens up the door of blessings and enables us to remain in a favored life. It is simple. Every act of disobedience will have a corresponding penalty, which is expected to be contrary to relief and comfort. Obedience, thus, is contingent on a joyful and abundant life. Consider the scenario that happened to Adam and Eve. They were brought out of blessed life because of disobedience to the commands of God. In the same way, people who are confined behind bars may be put in miserable conditions or may be denied benefits and privileges because of disobedience.
Obedience is also significant, not only because it benefits or is advantageous to us personally, but because it will profit the community members. It is the virtue we should observe if we realize a peaceful, orderly, and disciplined society that results in progress and prosperity. We cannot expect a governmental unit to flourish if its constituents are not law-abiding citizens. If the people are lawless, everything will be disorganized because no chain of command is followed. Everyone does what they wish, and the environment becomes chaotic and unclean.
More than laws, rules, and regulations are needed. It also takes a strong will on the part of the authorities to accurately and strictly enforce and implement the laws, rules, and regulations. People must be governed and learn government rather than a government of themselves where they do what they want. In the Philippines, this is what is needed. Laws must be exacted if we are to achieve our economic goals. People's freedom and liberty must be regulated, and those in high places are not exempted. They should model a lifestyle of obedience. People often clamor for change in the high echelon of society, allegedly because subordinates and subjects are good followers for fear of punishment, but not to some who are in leadership. That kind of situation should not be the trend.
One of the positive effects of obedience is to train us for righteousness. The more we obey, the more we become righteous and learn righteousness. Obedience must become a habit so that we are honed to upright living. However, it is suggested that the reverse is a better way. We should first possess a righteous or holy nature so that obedience will become the fruit. Obedience is easy if we are changed on the inside. This is the reason why the value of obedience is anchored to the core value of spirituality. We should strengthen spirituality so that obedience automatically follows.
A spiritual mentor once said, "Surrender is better than obedience because surrender necessarily encompasses obedience." If we are surrendered to the authority of God, we will not have a problem in the area of obedience. We do not have to think whether to choose our will or the will of God because a good subject always submits to the will of his or her sovereign. Let us, therefore, surrender to our Almighty God so that we may consistently live a life of obedience.
by: Dr. Laurence C. Mascay
One of my former college professors once said, “Every second is a decision.” The simple act of waking up in the morning is a decision. Deciding whether to eat or not is a decision; choosing to sit or not is a decision. In life, it is unavoidable to make decisions, no matter how small or big they are. Hence, decisiveness, defined as “the ability to make decisions quickly and confidently” by the Cambridge Dictionary, is important because of its impact and repercussions.
In the Scriptures, it is written, “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’”. An implication of this passage is decisiveness. Humans tend to change their minds quickly due to circumstances, feelings, and moods. Thus, careful planning and thinking, along with calculated risks, must be considered in decision-making. Because once a decision is made and acted upon, it is hard to undo. On the other hand, John Maxwell, an authority on leadership, said: “Once a decision is made, you should stop worrying and start working. It’s not always what we know that makes it a good decision. It is what we do to implement and execute it that makes it a good decision.”
The following are some suggested strategies from various sources to help you become more decisive. One: Clarify your values and priorities. Understand what matters most to you and what your long-term goals are. Two: Gather information. Make sure you have all the relevant information before deciding. Having a good understanding of the situation will help you make a more informed choice. Three: Think about the pros and cons. Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each option. This will help you see which one is better. Four: Ask for advice. Don't be shy about seeking input from others, significantly if the decision affects them or they have expertise. Ultimately, take responsibility for your decisions.
By incorporating these strategies into our decision-making process, we can become more decisive and confident in our choices. We entrust the outcomes to the Lord as we apply these suggested strategies. The Book of Proverbs reminds us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take."
by: Micah A. Tecne
A common saying, "no man is an island," reminds us that we live in a world where we need each other. We are created to live and work together. Together, we can accomplish more. To have a more harmonious work environment, we need accountability. Patrick Lencioni said, "without accountability, there can be no trust, and without trust, there can be no meaningful collaboration."
As individuals and team members, we should learn the art of being accountable for our actions and choices. We take responsibility for the results of our actions. As we acknowledge any success of our labor, we should also learn to take responsibility for the consequences of our wrong decisions or actions. There are instances when everything is falling apart, and we tend to shift the blame to others to save our reputation and face. This alters the team dynamics and eventually impedes the team's success.
As Tamara Renaye said, "Accountability feels like an attack when you're not ready to acknowledge how your behaviors harm others." Being accountable manifests humility in acknowledging one's own faults and taking the responsibility to mend them. Admitting one's own mistake is such a real struggle. It is a dilemma for everyone. Admitting our mistakes may destroy the people's trust in us and eventually destroy our reputation.
King David tried to cover his adulterous acts, killing Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba, yet Prophet Samuel rebuked him. He acknowledged his fault and took responsibility. He humbly accepted and suffered the consequences of his sin. His humility touched God's heart. Despite his sin, David is still regarded as "The Man after God's own heart." King David's heart of accountability brought more grace and favor upon him.
Being accountable is a sign of maturity and outstanding leadership; as Courtney Lynch said, "Leaders inspire accountability through their ability to accept responsibility before they place blame." The moment we learn to be accountable shows readiness for our promotion and leadership elevation. If we aim for a leadership promotion, we learn to be accountable.
If we want to have a successful team, it should be composed of accountable people. A team with only one mission and vision. As Pat Summitt said, "responsibility equals accountability equals ownership. And a sense of ownership is the most powerful weapon a team or organization can have." Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. If we want to see ourselves and our organization succeed, decide to be accountable now.
by: Keren May Busaing
When the going gets tough, do we have what it takes to remain committed and dedicated to the good things that we previously decided to take on? Commitment and dedication are qualities that are rare nowadays.
In the complexity of our day-to-day lives, it is easy to overlook the need for commitment and dedication. Most of the time, the demanding nature of our everyday activities results in decisions that overlook our dedication to the bigger picture. While this is called flexibility to the unexpected, how far are we from our original aspirations? Have we deviated from the essence of what we are supposed to commit to? For example, our resolve to become a better version of ourselves while we are in the moment is intense, and our dedication seems focused. Immediately, particular plans of action towards accomplishing it are lined up in our minds, for others, in their planners. Then, we take action according to our plans. It’s easy and smooth at first, then time passes, and so does our consciousness to fulfill it.
Commitment and dedication are characteristics that we need to choose to do in our daily lives. While the specifics in our action plans may change, there are other ways to accomplish our goal of becoming better versions of ourselves. Commitment and dedication do not mean we should religiously stick to our action plan. There is no exact formula, and the constant is the goodness and purity of our intentions. Our ways and timelines may change, but we will eventually get there as we commit and act in righteousness toward it every day.
Most importantly, as an everyday choice, commitment and dedication admonishes us to reach or accomplish our aspirations in righteousness. There is no shortcut to success; trying to do so is the opposite of commitment and dedication. It is impatience and contrary to the essence of our good intentions. As King David says in his Psalm, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Commitment and dedication are a partnership with God. By understanding that His plans for us are perfect - to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future, committing must not be difficult for us.
Let us then choose to commit to God’s ways that He shall delight in us and establish our steps towards our aspirations. Amongst the many ways to accomplish our success, let our commitment be specific to accomplishing things with God - not by our might nor by our own strength but by God’s Spirit, who is continuously at work in us. Altogether, let our daily consciousness be at peace, knowing that when the going gets tough and that in the midst of the many plans in our minds, it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Let our dedication be first established in Him, and our success, beyond what we can imagine, shall follow. Let this be our conscious choice every day, commit to God and His ways.
by: JESUS V. SISON, PTRP,
CRFV Deputy National Director
January is drawing to a close, but the message and promises for 2024 still stand. The high hopes and coruscating assurance of a blessed year abide. There is a solid confidence to see the fulfillment of every augured word proclaimed for us by The True and Almighty God. As the soul prospers, so will we flourish in all things. Thus, it is a year of supernatural abundance and exceptional prosperity in our lives. We are destined for extraordinary protection, progress, and provision. It will be an action-packed year, for we are destined only to experience the goodness and faithfulness of The Everlasting God. Dovetailed with God by the Spirit, we have access to every good and perfect gift from above. Spirituality is the way of the Spirit that spiritual people live.
Spiritual people live spirituality. There are a lot of notions that spiritual people are limited to those who serve as leaders of religious sects or denominations. Others consider only those who are so committed to a religious group. Devotees, if we may refer to them. But anybody and everyone has the right to become spiritual men and women. As for among us, being Public employees, we are spiritual people too. As we are called "public servants" who have a heart to inspire and affect the community, we are characterized by genuine concern and selflessness to serve others. Beholden to our commitment to public welfare, spirituality is as essential as exemplifying other values. We must practice it in public service as we exercise it in our private lives as an occupation.
The root word of spirituality is spirit; spirit was derived from the Latin spīritus, whose original meaning was "breath, breathing" and hence "spirit, soul, courage, vigor. Thus, spirituality entails attaching life and "meaning" to the work being done[W1] in the workplace. It inspires us to connect to the Being higher than us- Our Almighty God. Moreover, spirituality can help us connect with our inner motivation and higher purpose. It will aid us in finding meaning in our work. It will revitalize a greater sense of calmness, peacefulness, a healthy mind, and well-being. A sense of well-being among the employees can be influential in developing motivation and improving public service quality. Spirituality in the workplace could also improve communication and build better relationships with co-workers, resulting in increased job satisfaction, productivity, and profitability. The goal of spirituality in the workplace is to create an environment that is accurately connected to God, establishing a culture of positivity and productivity.
A spiritually-based workplace can give employees a conscious awareness of family or community, support, and belonging. This leads to improved job gratification, personal fulfillment, and organizational commitment. Agencies and employers also are positioned to benefit from generating spirituality in the workplace or spiritually-filled environment. We acknowledge spirituality as a significant feature of an organizational culture. Offices with spiritually healthy workplaces tend to have lower employee discontent, decreased turnover rates, and minimized absenteeism. Negativity is shut down, and problems are addressed accordingly. Further, employees who feel cared for and supported spiritually are more likely to be life-carriers, creative, and innovative. Above all, spirituality will inspire every employee to embrace a new heart and spirit in their work. There will be a new mindset refocused on bringing glory to God and satisfaction among our clientele.
With these, we are positioned to receive the good promises of God that are all yes and amen for 2024 and beyond
by: Ame-phil O. Saquiban
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said in his last State of the Nation Address, “Our journey to progress requires not only unity and social cohesion amongst our people. It is also imperative that our nation remains intact and inviolable, our sovereignty preserved. We will protect our sovereign rights and preserve our territorial integrity, in defense of rules-based international order.”
Indeed, “protecting our sovereign rights and preserving our territorial integrity” is one of the pressing issues in the Philippines. We need to protect our country from outside invasion. However, we should not be blinded of the fact that our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity can also be weakened, not just by foreign oppressors but internal oppressors. Undoubtedly, there can be oppressors within our turf that aggravates or intensify the challenging state of life of our citizens. These are the people who take advantage of their positions to gratify their selfish ambitions and greed, thereby shortchanging our nation’s fullest potential.
Every year, we appropriate budget amounting to trillions of pesos which are not even completely satisfied from our own savings and collections of taxes. We borrow money from international sources to sustain our government operational needs. To this date, we are not self-sufficient. On top of this, there is no guarantee that our big-ticket projects with the budget of billions of pesos are funded fully or accurately because of the ruthless practice of kickbacks and unwarranted commissions. Candidly, there are more unscrupulous insiders than outsiders.
Borrowing from an article of Asia Society on Building a Nation of Integrity, it highlighted that “To achieve a truly corrupt-free Philippines, each and every Filipino, must pledge to live a life of integrity”. Consequently, we can address serious problems such as poverty, increasing foreign and domestic debts, budget deficits, low investment, and the likes. It is beyond cavil that integrity is an inviolable core value if we are to win this nation to its glorious destiny, not just a developing country. The Civil Service Commission identified it right that integrity is one of the values that civil servants should possess. It is in pursuant to the provision of our Constitution in Article 2, Section 27 that says, “The State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption”.
In the same way, private citizens should observe the same. Nation building is the business of all. It is a public-private partnership endeavor.
As we contemplate on how we can significantly contribute in nation-building this year, let us commit or recommit to live a life of integrity. Our words and actions in and outside of the workplace have the power to influence others to uphold the same.
By: JESUS V. SISON, PTRP
CRFV, Deputy National Director
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” – Will Ferrell
This season is a celebration of a time of glad tidings. We hear Christmas carols and greetings everywhere we go. We convey a message of hope, change, and love, and we are reminded to make the message loud so that everyone will take note. To make a resounding message and to have it accepted, it takes maturity and sincerity to deliver it. Thus, we need to be conscious of the power of our words, especially among us - mature leaders.
The tongue has prodigious power. Like values, words also matter. We can intuitively know as we sweepingly look at history. From the scriptures and even referential books of the past, much of it has been shaped by words, for treaties in the name of peace, for good or ill. For instance, World War II began on September 1, 1939, and spilled in the Pacific on December 8. While the words of Adolf Hitler motivated the slaughter of millions of innocents to execute bloodshed and invasions, the words of Winston Churchill inspired and stirred a nation to resist their adversaries against all odds. Words can affect a nation and can also impact individual people. This shows a message can be so loud because of our spoken words. It also shows the importance of leaders mastering their speech and gaining mastery over their tongue. This is a sign of maturity of one’s leadership.
Maturity in leadership harnesses the power of a tamed tongue. Such is the reason why God purposely designed the tongue to have power. Saint James is sharing that every time we open our lips, we expose who we are and what the contents of our hearts are. He’s saying that a person who skillfully knows how to bridle the tongue and rein it for good is a mature individual. A leader in his/ her capacity. A mature leader.
Taming the tongue is not shutting up. It’s the wisdom and skill to know when to speak, when not, what to say, and to whom we will talk. Again, Saint James mentioned interesting analogies of what a tongue is. He said it was “Poisoned”. It tends to lean towards evil. He described it as “full of deadly poison.” it is a “restless evil.” Pronounces “world of unrighteousness.” It stains and contaminates the whole body, and it is set on fire by hell. These metaphors take us back to the dawn of creation in the Garden of Eden. It was in the garden where the devil injected its deadly poison into humanity. How? Through cunning words and ungodly conversations. Man can subdue every creature and has, except the human tongue. This is what sets humans apart from animals. We have language. We speak, but it was touched by sin. This is the moral lesson that we should remember. Words are so powerful that they can either build or destroy. It can give life or death. This is why we must be careful and discerning if we engage in ungodly conversations because we poison ourselves and destroy other people and relationships. Cunning and deceitful words will result in miseries and loss of our future and destiny.
A mature leader harnesses the power of a tamed tongue. We must remind ourselves that our tongues were created to express thankfulness, worship, and glory to God. They are meant to build up, be constructive, develop, motivate, and encourage. We should be producing life instead of death. We should be speaking about redemption and renewal instead of corruption and lies. We should be declaring times of refreshing and seasons of restoration instead of condemnation and hopelessness.
This brings us to the conclusion of the matter. A tongue problem is not categorically a tongue problem per se but is a heart problem. Jesus Christ said that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. No person can tame the tongue because it reflects a corrupted heart because of “Selfish Interest Nature” or S.I.N. A speech problem, a problem taming or controlling ourselves, is not simply a personality flaw or a product of our environment or culture. It’s an issue of a dead, depraved, and sinful heart.
But there is hope. God promised that He would give us a new heart. Jesus Christ came for this to take place. He was born on Christmas eve and sent glad tidings that there is hope and joy to all humanity. And through His death and resurrection, He destroyed the works of evil and the horror of sin. As we confess our sins, He is faithful and forgives us. As we confess His Lordship over our lives, He changes our hearts. He healed, cured, and restored a poisoned tongue through His finished work. No man can tame the tongue. Only Jesus can tame the tongue by setting us free from the bondage of a corrupt heart.
King David prayed and declared:
Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors
or speak evil of their friends.
Those who despise flagrant sinners,
and honor the faithful followers of the Lord,
and keep their promises even when it hurts.
Those who lend money without charging interest,
and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever
by: Atty. Carolina Lim-Gamban
Selflessness is a character that each public official and employee must possess, for without it, the essence of public service is lost. No other than the Philippine Constitution mandates that public officers and employees must, at all times, serve the people with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency. For a civil servant to do this, he or she must possess a high standard of ethics, upholding the public interest over and above personal interest. The demand for this high standard will only be met if one observes selflessness.
Taking the extra mile to ensure the resources are used efficiently, effectively, honestly, and economically to avoid wastage in public funds is a form of selflessness. Although funds that will be used for procurement are not personally ours, being a good steward would allow us to spend every centavo wisely, for these funds came from the collective effort of the Filipino people, and it is prudent to put the money in its appropriate use. Those in the bids and awards committee have the privilege to protect our money from going to waste by scrutinizing the purchases to ensure that although the price is low, good product quality is still assured. Possessing and performing with a high degree of excellence, professionalism, and skill in our work is another form of selflessness. We capacitate ourselves, not just for the sake of it, but to improve the quality of the system and our services rendered to the people. Performing our work with justness and sincerity by bringing the best service to the people, especially the poor and underprivileged, is another form of selflessness. This is seen by not allowing our position to be abused by anyone or even dispensing or extending undue favors to our family, relatives, and friends, as we are sincere in fulfilling our oath as a lingkod-bayan. Extending our efforts to streamline and simplify the process so the public can easily avail and understand the procedure is another form of selflessness. Some civil servants even extend work beyond the hours required without additional compensation to deliver the service and address the needs of the public. This too, is another form of selflessness.
The examples may go on and on, and you may add more, especially if you are in the public service, by asking yourself, “What have I done so far to show selflessness to others?” You can answer this by simply looking back to the provisions of Republic Act No. 6713, also known as the Code of Conduct of Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and do your part by fulfilling the required norms of conduct enumerated in Section 4.
Of course, being a civil servant is not easy; however, selflessness creates a space to love others, thereby enabling us to serve with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency. And what is the best reward when we do this and give our best selflessly? It is to come into the presence of our Creator, hearing His words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Come and share your Master’s happiness.”
by: Dr. Laurence C. Mascay
In the bustling world of government offices, finding joy and humor can make a big difference in how we work and interact with our colleagues. The idea of incorporating joy into our daily tasks may seem simple, but it can have a profound impact on our work environment. Let's explore some straightforward ways, inspired by the spirit of the Filipino people and a touch of wisdom from the Scripture, to bring more joyfulness into our roles as government personnel.
First, smiles are universal, and they cost nothing! The book of Proverbs reminds us, "a cheerful look brings joy to the heart." A simple smile can create a positive atmosphere, making our workplace a more pleasant space for everyone. Whether you're facing a challenging task or interacting with colleagues, take into account the power of a friendly smile to brighten the day.
Second, amid deadlines and demanding responsibilities, a good laugh can be a powerful stress reliever. A joyful heart is good medicine. Sharing a light moment or a funny story with coworkers not only eases the tension but also fosters a sense of camaraderie. Let's encourage an environment where laughter is welcome, creating a more relaxed and enjoyable workspace.
Third, every accomplishment, no matter how small, deserves to be celebrated. A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word! Acknowledge your achievements and those of your colleagues. Celebrating small victories cultivates a positive mindset, making the workplace a hub of encouragement and motivation.
Fourth, Saint Paul in his letter to the Collosians, encourages us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another in love. In our interactions, let's use humor to build each other up rather than tearing down. Shared jokes that promote unity and inclusivity contribute to stronger bonds among colleagues.
Fifth, the Psalm of David reminds us to serve the Lord with gladness! Translating this into our government service, let's approach our duties with a glad and willing heart. Joyful service not only enhances the quality of our work but also reflects positively on the image of our government, fostering trust and satisfaction among the public we serve.
In the heart of government and public service, let's embrace the power of joyfulness and humor. A smile, a shared laugh, acknowledgment of achievements, supportive humor, and a joyful approach to our service can transform our workplace into a haven of positivity. As public servants, let's weave joy into the fabric of our daily tasks, creating a work environment that not only benefits us but also radiates positivity to the people we serve.
by: Micah A. Tecne
According to World Population Review, 1-2 people die every second. Death is defined as the act of dying, the end of Life, the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism. Death is seen as something scary, sorrowful, and tragic. Some people suddenly die due to accidents or illness, or sadly, nowadays, some are self-inflicted due to depression.
We face a lot of seasons in our lives, as the wisest king in our history reminds us that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die,” We are alarmed nowadays that suicide is becoming a norm. We hear people of all ages take their own lives because of a lot of problems. The different seasons of our lives can either make or break us depending on the foundation of our lives. Our foundation plays a significant role in how we view Life. As Miles Munroe said, “The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without a purpose.” Knowing that every season has a purpose for us keeps us going and living. It may be hard sometimes, but knowing this reality allows us to embrace Life and keep cherishing it.
A psalmist once said, “Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.” Life is a gift. It is something our Almighty God wants us to enjoy. Life may not always be that easy and happy, but appreciating the beauty of Life brings us to a deeper level of joy that no material thing could ever give us. When we recognize Life as a gift from God, we start appreciating every breath we take. We begin to respect and love our and others’ lives. We start to promote and protect Life in our thoughts, speech, and actions.
To respect Life is to love the gift our Almighty Creator has given us. To enjoy every season of our lives, knowing that everything has a purpose. This hope will bring us to a stronger conviction of living our lives to the fullest. Breathe and live!
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.