Thursday, 30 May 2013

Acceptance, Like It Or Not

Time to get serious, and by serious I mean tackling probably one of the most challenging aspects any human will ever face and that’s the continuous desire to be accepted and loved by everyone around us. From our very first steps trying to impress mommy and daddy right until the end trying to impress our family and friends with a bounty of success, a legacy should I call it, after we have passed on to our next life.

One could write an entire book about how we all seek acceptance and how it has become a pivotal point in our lives, I surely can. Fact is, as imperfect humans, we live as people-pleasers, everything we do is to gain some sort of approval from one another. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with it, human gratification is definitely a confidence booster and compliments can definitely brighten up any day. The problem comes in when we start changing, settling and living a false life to try and fit in. Our modern day world thrives on approval, appreciation and acceptance (The AAA generation) with the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Keek you name it, we are all left wide open to the sting of not receiving enough likes, retweets, followers, comments etc. you may deny it but you always going to wonder why you lost those 5 followers in last 15 minutes or why that photo you just uploaded only got one like and surprise, surprise, it was from your mom...again. As humans our good enough will never be good enough. That’s why we continue to seek more and more from other people. But why put you happiness in others? Yes our destiny is in other people and to make their lives a better place to live in but don’t be dismayed if the other shoe drops. You will always be able to determine whether the effects will make or break your spirit, it can crush you or make you try even harder.

With acceptance comes the negative connotation rejection, there are always going to be people and situations in life that are going to continue to hack at your spirit like a lumber jack. When we invest all our time into trying to gain acceptance from others that’s when our heart is going to be left torn. We always want what we can’t get, whether it be that promotion which was already assigned to someone else, that awesome out of this world project your colleague has been briefed to do, that one guy or girl you know will be perfect for you but somehow due to this twisted world we live in already have those exact same feelings... but for someone else. How about those friends you have, yes those ones you try to be extra funny in front of super fun and carefree, the same ones that go out together over the weekend and somehow manage to lose your number due to a mutant attack on the human race. What about your parents? Okay I can’t find anything wrong there, my parents have always loved and supported who I am, yes my true self... no matter how many hours I’ve spent in front of my mirror pulling the UGLIEST faces ever known to mankind (it’s fun okay, and my sister always seems to get a kick out of it) but I know how some parents can be, pressurizing their kids into being someone they want them to be rather than just letting them be. And one of the worst forms of rejection is from the ones you love, when they simply just stop loving you, even though you have loved them and will love them day in and day out for a very long time maybe even for the rest of your life.

When rejection strikes, and sometimes it strikes like an iron fist, many people tend to seek acceptance in the darkest of places, consumed by sin which is hidden under glow sticks of short-lived love and happiness. But there is someone who accepts you no matter who you are, what you've done or what you are going to do. 

In the book of Jeremiah God tells us that he knew us and our purpose before we were even born: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5. 

God’s love is an unconditional one; He knows the difference between your fake smile and your real one, the difference between your online life and your everyday life. He knows when you are being truthful or when you trying to impress. He knows you a sinner that’s why he sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins, and the moment we accept God into our lives is when we grow and become more like Him, separating ourselves from sin. When we become God-pleasers our attention and attitude turns to Him and guess what, people start to recognise the change in you and they welcome it. I have received more heart warming messages from people in the last couple of months than I have in my entire life, I want to inspire rather than impress, I want to induce change rather than change and to set an example rather than being an example. Be the change you want to see in the world, evil with never prevail and God will never fail!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Be The Light In Someone Else's Darkness

Let’s dip our toes into something many people aren't familiar with... and that’s the life principle of ‘Giving’.  Giving can be divided into two aspects, the giving of money and the giving of time both equally valuable.

Someone told me something on Sunday that really stuck with me, “If you have give; if you don’t have still give.” And what a wonderful thought that is. On the first aspect which is money I feel I've been dealt a season of obedience when it comes to separating myself from the love of money. Okay I’m going to be completely honest here I've always been a person who didn't think much of money because my parents always handled that aspect of my life for me but now that I’m earning my own money I know the sting of not having enough to satisfy my endless desire for things.

When posed with the question of ‘Why immoral people are so wealthy and ethical people are struggling to make ends meet’ as well as seeing something on Facebook about Hillsong being a money making machine I desperately turned to God for answers. If you read my last post you would know that I am busy reading the book of Jeremiah, God answered me last night right on queue as always. This simple verse reiterated my original thoughts when it comes to money and giving the verse is a follows “And should you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh says the Lord but your life I will give to you as a prize of war wherever you go.” Jeremiah 45:5 God is quite simply telling us that our prize for not lusting after money or power is eternal life and that’s priceless to me. If we all give a little of what we have then the world will gain a little more than it previously had. Always remember that giving is a personal thing between you, God and the person or communities life you sowing into. So for Pete’s sake (yes I just got Pete involved) it’s not necessary to instagram, status update, broadcast message or tweet about the R200 you just gave to a homeless guy. Give because you have the desire to do so, if you hesitate or give with half a heart then rather try again the next time when you literally itching to help someone out.

I changed my whole opinion about tithing and giving when Ps Phil read this praise report a while back “I am so grateful to God for giving me a job because now I am able to give” such a simple thank you yet so powerful and life changing.

But with the giving of money so should come the giving of time, and this is where I fall short. Some of us get so wrapped up in our own lives that we don’t invest our time into making another person’s life a little brighter. Time is Gods currency; he gives us time on earth so if we being selfish with our time we using ‘Gods Money’ for our own selfish desires. Wonderful examples of 'time giving' include; spending hours listening to your friend about a difficult situation and offering advice where you can, serving at your local church, helping charity organisations over the weekend, and even something small like having a conversation with someone you don’t usually talk to. I will be better at this because where there is desire there is determination which results in definite success.
The gift of giving is a wonderful gift to have but sometimes as a Christian one might focus on the things of God rather than inviting God into everything you do, balance the giving of your time between the two. Never lose that intense relationship you have with Him, pray more and read more because in the end the simple acknowledgement of God's greatest gift Jesus Christ is what is going to get us through those pearly gates when our time eventually runs out. 

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Deception A False Reflection

Over the past couple of weeks I have been reading the book of Jeremiah and one verse in particular has truly captured my thoughts and inspired me to write about deception and how it affects the way we think. The verse is as follows: 

“This is what the Lord says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, ‘The Babylonians will surely leave us.’ They will not! (Jeremiah 37:9 NIV)

Thing is we deceive ourselves, people deceive us and so do situations. I'm sure you familiar with the saying 'Don't count your chickens before they hatch' well unfortunately it's human nature to spin a situation around to suit us. I do it all the time and sometimes I blame it on positive thinking but deception is an entirely different ball game. Self deception leads to excuses, false hope and depression. It is the ultimate soul crusher. We always plan 5 steps ahead but if you struggling to get past step 1, change your direction and focus on something healthier and better for you.

I've decided to make a list of common deceptions we fool ourselves into believing:

1. I know he likes me but he is to shy or can't be with me.

Fact is if he wanted to be with you he would've made every effort to be with you. So stop making excuses pick yourself up and move on to greener pastures.

2. This type of drug or that type of drug isn't as bad as the others

You still doing the deed, it doesn't matter what you do you still altering your state of mind, there is moral lines you have to draw in your life and walking the line is just as bad as crossing it.

3. Deceiving yourself into becoming someone you not, liking things you don't truly like just to feel accepted by the people around you.

Truth be told you've had the same friends for many years, they already know who you are and if they good friends they should know your ins and outs. If you have to change who you are to fit in with them then it's time to make other groups of friends. Easier said than done?

4. Deceiving yourself into thinking you free from the devil's attacks.

The devil is the master of deceit, he makes you doubt your faith, doubt your reasons for doing right, doubt that you have any real purpose or calling in life. He sends people into your life to feed you with empty promises, and to pressure you into doing things that are morally incorrect. Pray for freedom against deception from the devil and keep praying for it. It's been working for me and I'm sure it will work for you 

We need to learn to face facts, we can't change the inevitable, things are going to happen no matter how hard we try to fight destiny! Make peace with the situation and move on, remember there is always a better option we just have to change our perspective to notice it. You beautiful and bold, don't deceive yourself into settling for anything less than perfection!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

We have a Sister-uation over here!

Yay... My very first post! Welcome to my Core-ageous Movement, like the exciting feeling you get when opening a brand new book for the very first time (not that I would know, because I'm not much of a reader) but... so is the feeling of being able to write and share this new chapter of my life with you!

For this post I decided to focus on something I feel very strongly about, and I'm glad I have the opportunity to share it here because I'm sure if I write one more 'wisdomy' status on Facebook someone is going to hire a paid assassin to put a permanent end to it...

Yes let's talk about the important role we have as being the older sibling! I have a younger sister, with a 7 year age gap one would never say as she is, unfortunately, the same height as me. So although she doesn't literally look up to me anymore, it's so evident in her ways that she has always and will always look up to me. And no I'm not just saying that because I'm super smart and ridiculously good looking, excuse my sarcasm, but that's just what younger siblings do. I have been taking note of this over the past month, we get treated like mirrors, if you do something not long after you can be sure to find your younger sibling doing the very same thing.

My sister is so different to me in so many ways, yet so similar! Although we ram heads often due to our clashing personalities, one of her good traits outweigh all of her bad traits and that's a sister worth keeping! (Not that I have a choice here) I'm honestly so proud of the girl she has grown up to be! Not only is her faith unshakable but her hunger to learn and know as much about God as possible honestly leaves me awestruck! Her morals and integrity can't help but make me smile. Her drive to succeed and not only to succeed but to die trying is food for thought for the rest of us. Although she's a diva, her humility is so deep and beautiful that she often forgets how great she is at so many things! But the thing that shines the brightest is the care she shows for others and the hurt she feels when others hurt! I can honestly say there is no one in this world that can love another person as much as she does, when she loves she loves with her whole heart.

I can't say that I'm the one who is playing a role in the woman she is growing up to be, but one thing I do know is the fact that if I was a girl who turned drugs, slept around and got drunk all the time (although I have done my fair share of innocent partying) my sister would definitely have had more temptation to try those things out! The moment we as older siblings realize that our God given purpose is to be the person we want our brother and/or sister to be is the moment we can change the way our siblings grow up.

I thought about this a lot the other day, and asked myself this simple question why seek fulfillment in things that only leave you with emptiness? If the choices I make can somehow influence the life of my sister for the better then I will gladly accept the challenge and make sure that I will be the best darn sister ever! My sister is currently walking the path of fulfillment with me and I can't explain how amazing it is to see how this decision has grown our bond as sisters! We still have a very long road of life to walk,and I truly hope that we never go a day without speaking because sisterhood is an unbreakable friendship, with a support structure like her, how could life possibly go wrong?