October 13, by Kgalalelo
I am of the view that when things are not working out in your life, you need to take time and work on yourself, try to discover what is it that you might be doing that is causing or contributing to the state of affairs. Failure to do that may result in unwelcome behaviours or attitudes.
I was taught this valuable lesson by my spiritual gurus in the past and I appreciate their teachings and consider them useful to this day. You never get it done in this life because as you grow older, you add to your experiences and the works of the flesh are always knocking at your door.
The Bible in 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”. The devil roams the earth to and fro always looking for someone to destroy (Job 2:2). If you are not careful enough, you might fall into his traps. Our focus should always be on the Lord no matter how difficult things are; meditating on His Word, repenting and cleaning up our hearts. Our prayer should always be:
“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
The Brahma Kumaris, World Spiritual University, from whom I’ve learnt silent meditation, have what they’ve termed, Traffic Control. This is a time of quiet contemplation at regular intervals through the day for just a few minutes at a time, to help students shift focus and remember God as the mind chatters most of the time. Meditation helps still the mind and therefore stops traffic of too many useless thoughts.
The traffic in our mind usually includes, but not limited to thoughts of worry, anger and bitterness which takes up most of our time. When you take a few minutes every now and then to silence the mind, you take your power back and only then can you be able to hear the silent whisper of the Holy Spirit pointing the way. You can also meditate on the Word of God during those few minutes and remind yourself what it says about your situation.
In Galatians 5:16, Apostle Paul says, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, so that you do not do the things that you wish”.
It further states in verse 19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in the time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
We are inundated by the cares of this world and in Mark 4:19 Jesus says that “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful”. We therefore need to be vigilant at all times and allow the Word of God to sink deep into our consciousness so that it may pull us back when we get lost.
When we play victim, we are not helping ourselves nor does it change our circumstances, rather, it drives us more into depression, however, if we take the responsibility for our own lives, we are then able to put things into perspective and begin to find solutions to what has or is going wrong.
The human body and its parts is the perfect depiction of how we ought to respond to the pressures of this life especially when others seem to be succeeding more than we do. The truth is that, we don’t progress the same way in all areas of our lives. One person may attain much in terms of wealth in a very short period of time, whereas another may take a while. Others may attain self-realisation quicker than the others as well.
On the other hand, another person might progress spiritually faster than another but lack financial resources; others may be wealthy but in a poor state of health and never get to enjoy their riches. Another may be educated with five bachelors’ degrees but can’t find employment. It can go either way.
There are many rich parents who can’t conceive and that is also a source of concern, however, when you work on yourself, you find mechanisms to cope with your situation instead of looking at what others are having or doing. You then take time to pray about your own condition and ask God to intervene without envying or coveting other people’s achievements.
Our bodies consist of a number of systems that carries out different functions. We’ve learnt in biology books that the body comprises of: the circulatory system, digestive system, endocrine system, immune system, lymphatic system, nervous system, muscular system, reproductive system, skeletal system, respiratory system, urinary system and the integumentary system.
We also have vital organs consisting of the heart, brain, kidneys, lungs and the liver and besides these parts, there are many more others. These systems, organs and body parts performs different functions and there is no competition between them. Each performs its function as prescribed without looking at what another is doing.
When one part is in pain, the entire body suffers because of the interdependence of these body parts, systems and organs. When the heart stops working, we know that the body ceases to function and when the brain is dead nothing can be done for you. God made the human body intricate for a reason.
Apostle Paul summarised it perfectly in 1 Corinthians 12: 15-26, and explains:
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.
When we begin to fully understand the different functions played by each part in the body, we will be able to appreciate our different roles because of the grace that God has bestowed upon each of us.
We can then rejoice in the success of others knowing that it is God who grants grace for them to be where they are and do the things they are doing. On the other hand, you begin to zoom into your own gifts and maximise them. In that way, you will always be in harmony with others and struggle will cease to exist in your mind.
Apostle Paul teaches us that, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work” (1Corinthians 12:4-6).
Interrogate your own thinking, decisions, emotions, feelings and words in a quiet space that you may understand your rationale for behaving and acting the way you do. Only you can walk the path for your own sanity by working on yourself. The problem is not with other people but ourselves and liberty lies in gathering our thoughts and doing the work that will lead us to freedom.
Footnote: Scriptures taken from the The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982: Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc. & The ESV Global Study Bible®, ESV® Bible, Copyright © 2012 by Crossway. All rights reserved & The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ (2004). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Wheaton, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers. he Holy Bible, Berean Study Bible, BSB Copyright ©2016, 2018 by Bible Hub Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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