Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hiding Behind Religion

There are days where I find myself overflowed with gratitude for being born into a Christian family. Other days not so... And this is one of those days. Sometimes I wished I had a previous "gangster-life" or one filled with parties, clubs, dances and getting wasted. Where I lived life in the carefree fast lane until God met me in my darkest and BAM!!!! I become radically transformed!!! But no, this script was never part of my play and no, my life's story would never be a best-seller or one that will keep you transfixed on...(or maybe it would?).

Anyways, it wasn't a great start of the day for me today so here I am unraveling my heart out before I officially start ticking off my to-do list. You see, I've been thinking that sometimes as Christians, we hide behind our religiosity and "niceness" that we don't get the upper hand on situations and circumstances, allowing them to be blown out of proportion and getting out of control. We compare ourselves to other families, their spirituality, their level of communication, unity and sanctity.

I was told today that none of my household members were saints. Not any one of us. That, after sharing a message last week to 30 youth about how we were brought out of sinful nature to be Saints through Christ Jesus. And most of us in this household are either prayer warriors, preachers or worship leaders. So what went wrong? Are we really that far from being who we are supposed to be or was that comment just a momentary lapse of judgement? One that came out of tainted glasses and a shame-based perspective? A shout out into the abyss in the form of criticism but undeniably and utter cry for help? A self-projection of our own weaknesses onto others?

We hide under all these religiousness maybe because that's all the vocabulary we've ever known. Growing up with a strict background, if it's not God then it's the devil. Just one or the other, without space to objectify, room to process or learn and grow. We give blanketed answers, quote standard typical verses, thinking that these are the solution when they're actually not. The only answer I know is JESUS and He's not stagnant but dynamic, ever moving and ever showing grace, ever so merciful and understanding, responding to different situations differently.

We don't realize that we're empowering the devil every time we mention it in the midst of discrepancies we face. "It's the spirit behind her", "He's being used by the devil and he doesn't even know it".. Yes, I understand that there are spiritual powers, forces and principalities trying their hardest to come against us and cause disunity. But what about unique characteristics and different temperaments? If we wanted to point a finger, why not blame human nature? God made us all diverse to prove that there can still be a form of connection and mutuality despite the odds. That we're all different but the same, that at the core of our being lies the One who knows it all and has it all under control.

Typical Christians are very good "runners". We run away from problems, relationships, churches, community, jobs, towns in hope to find some place better never realizing that we should and could well be the "better" for our present surrounding. Instead of sinking with the environment, maybe we could make a stand to make a change. To lift the atmosphere we're in with the presence of the Holy Spirit abiding in us. We are powerful, if only we know it.

So I just hope and pray that Christians who are decades old will stop succumbing and conforming to subtle religious notions while radical game changers will not be shunned when they have something to say. We need each other and will never end well without any either. We need to run this race guilt-free with our heads held high, knowing that He who created me will complete the work in me until the day of Jesus Christ.

Understanding who we are in Christ and embracing our identities as Sons and Daughters of the Most High is the key. A key that too many Christians lack today. So let's start with ourselves. When problems, difficulties or even the enemy comes in the form of petty household issues or through the faces of our loved ones, let's fight alongside each other, together against the enemy and not the other way around. Let's stand strong to fight and not flight, for greater is He that is in me than he who is of the world... So there's really nothing to fear.

It's time we break down these walls, let our guards down and allow ourselves to be vulnerable in the midst of family. To make room for honesty and reconciliation. To be that safe place for others to find refuge in. To be the solace when they're in need of someone to confide. It's through understanding our weaknesses first that we're able to elevate on our strengths. Besides, you never really know what you're fighting until you really zoom into the opponent and hold it by it's horns. No point swinging our swords in thin air with the enemy sitting by the bench with it's popcorn, laughing at us. It wins with religiosity, but we win with relationship. So let's start coming out of our unhelpful shelters and start being victorious lights... And that could only happen when we stop hiding behind religion....

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