January 8, 2018 by Kgalalelo
As we grow older, we learn and become wiser and find ourselves having to undo our old beliefs, conditioning, cultural creeds and socialisation. I’ve discovered that I have been trapped in the cycle of judgement and it is difficult to give up. Judgement takes many forms and whichever way we justify it, it is still judgement. In the beginning of the new year I made it my goal to go into a deeper experience with God, I think I should perhaps add, giving up most of the societal education that doesn’t serve me anymore as most of it leaves me hurt, afraid, resentful, bitter, jealous, envious, angry and judgemental of others. I get filled with emotions that I would rather not experience and I believe it is lighter to feel joyful, happier, non-judgemental, non-attached to the behaviours and choices of others, feeling peaceful and harmonious as well as loving.
I’d like to take stock of some of my own judgements and other shortcomings and give them up with God’s help no matter how difficult sometimes it is.
I was taught that souls do not age and my first inclination is to view people especially in marriage based on age. A friend of mine was recently married to a man who is quite older than her and the first disposition was to judge the union based on the age of the husband. I had to step back and say but who am I to judge others and to judge their merger? Am I the standard as my husband would usually put it? Do I have a template of what marriage should look like or should be? Is it really illegal and how does God view it? Do I really know? I found myself trapped in my own narrow perspective and ignorance. I have often viewed a ten year gap or more in a marriage improper. It seemed huge in my own viewpoint but am I really correct to think and view in that manner? Isn’t that the couple is comfortable with their union hence the marriage? The obvious answer is that if they chose and decided to be together then they are contented with their coupling and the age gap matters not.
Preaching to others about certain things, I realise, doesn’t mean that we know everything or that we are at ease with everything that others do, nor does it mean that we are perfect or have arrived. We have our own discriminations based on our own understanding and socialisation. You may agree or disagree with how others choose to live their lives and that doesn’t mean yours is perfect either. My husband once said that if he reprimands a person and at a later stage does the exact same thing, it doesn’t make it right, it is still wrong! We always say that practice what you preach and I believe in that too but realise that no one is infallible except God. The Bible says “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us” (1John 1:10). I have my own shortcomings and it will take a lifetime to uncover and work on some but with the help of God I believe that I can make great progress in this lifetime. I am also a work in the making. The Bible says “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
I got married at the age of thirty and thinking about it, I felt that the ages of 27 upwards represented maturity especially for marriage. Again it’s a judgement that I held as I personally felt really grown up at 27 years of age and knew myself better, however, what is true for me is not necessarily true for another. My programming has become rusty and it’s time for re-programming. This is but one of the drawbacks in my conditioning and I still have to dig deep inside myself. Fortunately, daily experiences are making it easier for me as the more I find myself in different situations and notice how I feel about them, the more I receive the opportunity to examine my beliefs.
The Bible says in Phillipians 2: 5-11 “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.
Jesus was an empty vessel who never came with worldly standards but heavenly standards. During His ministry, he was concerned with moulding us to be the way that He was and it is still His mission. He was conceived and insulated by the Holy Spirit and therefore, was uncontaminated by outside energies and thoughts. When I was pregnant, I was frequently encouraged to stay clear of stress or stressful situations as my emotional well-being and thoughts easily affected the foetus. The stress was transmittable as the baby and I were one, the baby received nourishment from me and absorbed my emotional state, good or bad.
There are people for example, who believe that playing a certain type of music for the baby inside the tummy has some positive effect and tons of other believes. I once watched a church service on television as well where a prophet called a woman from the congregation and told her that the reason that she was always angry was that her mother didn’t want her when she was still in the womb as she had fallen pregnant young to which the lady admitted was correct. This means that whatever we experience emotionally when pregnant, has the high likelihood of affecting the baby osmotically.
Jesus was cushioned by the Holy Spirit to ensure that His ministry was untainted, and as a result, the only mission, education and conditioning He carried was that of God. He had to be truly focused. We therefore need to allow ourselves to be shaped by God and submit ourselves to Him. He is able to bring everything to the surface for scrutiny and most of the beliefs we carry are not aligned with the kingdom. I believe that sometimes the fulfilment of God’s purpose in our lives gets delayed because of the polluted minds. The mind of Christ is the only essential for happiness. He is able to give us a new set of beliefs that are central to our journey on earth. The things that we hold on to sometimes are inoperable and don’t serve us and in-fact derail us. My cousin’s marriage had nothing to do with me, all she needed was my support and not a perspective. Though I never really said anything to her, my thoughts needed scouring for my own good. My purpose and hers are completely different and I need not disrupt my progress by looking at what the Joneses are doing. Her marriage could be part of a larger picture according to the divine plan for her life.
Surrendering therefore, is the answer subsequent to recognition. In Jeremiah 18: 1-6 we read “This is the message that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Jeremiah, go down to the potter’s house. I will give you my message there.” So I went down to the potter’s house and saw him working with clay at the wheel. He was making a pot from clay. But there was something wrong with the pot. So the potter used that clay to make another pot. With his hands he shaped the pot the way he wanted it to be. Then this message from the Lord came to me: “Family of Israel, you know that I can do the same thing with you. You are like the clay in the potter’s hands, and I am the potter.” This message is from the Lord.
We further learn in Isaiah 64:8 “yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand”.
The message is seamless from the prophets that God can mould us into the vessels He wants us to be if we let Him. He can take any area that overclouds our minds and work with it, be it pride, hatred, resent, criticism etc. The writers of the Bible through experiences of others recognised that we carry burdens that hamper us from living the God-kind of life. We read in Hebrews 12:1-3 by the Apostle Paul, who says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God”.
All kinds of vices cling to us as children of God as we put attention on what others are doing or having instead of concentrating on the path that God has carved for us individually. We fail to run on our own racing tracks and straddle the lines. As we bestride, there’s always the possibility of tripping and falling. God has a blueprint for everyone’s life and He’s the only one who can reveal it to you that you may look forward to its fulfilment. Enquire from the Lord and ask Him to remove everything in your life that is hampering the fulfilment of His purpose in your life. We cannot get far if we are having a problem with how others are living their lives. Since we do not know the manuscript which they came to earth with, we cannot decide how they should go about their business and what is supposed to make them happy. The truth is that we don’t know. The only thing that is left to do is to pray for one another without gossiping as gossip in itself is a vice too.
I am grateful that as God brings things to the surface, they come up to be healed to make me a better person. I am clay in the potter’s hand and I now give Him permission to fashion me according to His master plan. I pray that I may get out of the way and give up resistance which hampers development and advancement as God has given each of us free will. He doesn’t force anyone but all those who surrender all to Him, offers Him permission to work in their lives freely and without hindrance.
Footnote: Scriptures taken from the The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982: Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc. &
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Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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