When life discourages me, what am I listening to?
Often it is because I have allowed my mind although unconsciously at times to meditate upon something that I did not even know had the potential to set me on a path of utter discouragement. From abiding. And it’s so subtle at times. Just a word. A discouraging word.A thought in my mind(My friend Ellis used to say that the devil never condemns in the second person.For example ,you don’t think to yourself, “Oh,you’re such a failure.At this point in life,you should at least have achieved this and that.” No!The accuser obviously knows you’ll find him out if it’s like that.He instead uses the subtlety of ,”oh am such a failure.At this age I should be this and that and that.Look at all my age-mates etc etc.”
Occasionally, it’s a comment (sometimes innocent) from a friend and given the right setting (which is my entertainment of the what if, the why, the how) takes me away from the position of rest and trust.
Who am I listening to?
The standards of the world Versus What God has said. Darkness and light. Carnality and spirituality. The lie and the light. Life and death. Have you ever had a what if moment or a why thought and before you know it, you have spent a whole hour, a whole day even obsessing. Do you know how hard it can be at times to recollect yourself back into your norm? I think the best thing to do with any thought contrary is to arrest it before it even takes root. To reject it before it even thinks of alighting. God grant me the grace to.
And you know the thing is, these things, thoughts, words, comments are not necessarily “wrong” Most of them in fact are sound advice and true facts (are there wrong facts? :)And because of this, it’s hard sometimes to immediately see them for what they are. Philosophies. Standards of the world. Good counsel like “well, you need to date the guy for at least two years to “know them” (Haza meanwhile am not consoling myself)
“You need to stay with him/her a while to see if you are compatible”
“She/he can’t make a good wife/husband because she/he is from this tribe.”
“You can’t minister today because you did something terrible yesterday.”
“This one,you’ll probably need to fast at least three days for God to forgive you,at least to show that you’re serious.”
“The only way to be financially independent is to save as much as you can and then invest it”
“Ingaaha, you’re too old to achieve that. Maybe just try this. For the moment.”
“People don’t change. The leopard can’t change its spots etc etc”
“Beautiful girls are tall and light and small”
“A man is as good/important as his wallet.”
“You’re getting too old; you should get married.”
“There is no way you can have both a career and a family. You have to sacrifice one.
(Of course most of them are about marriage and relationships because, well I get those the most: D)
“Girls should be meek and quiet and mild, or at least should appear to be so. Doesn’t really matter if in actual sense they are not.
I have actually remembered this one. At one point growing up, I feared being happy because one day as kids, we were so happy, playing, very dirty, full of joy as kids be and then one adult innocently made a comment and said,” agumurikushesa nimuza kugariza”
Loosely meaning, “with the way you’re laughing, you’ll cry soon.” And bad enough to say, the following day, my aunt (who had been sick a while) passed on and somehow I felt like we shouldn’t have laughed, played too much, maybe it weirdly had a certain cause and effect.
And unfortunately, my young mind, which used to absorb everything caught on it soooo much that it took me a while to know that being happy is totally alright.You can imagine how scriptures like Philippians 4:4 (Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice) unsettled me.I think am actually still unlearning this,plus so many other things of course. The saddest thing though is that I know other friends who are scared to be completely happy because to them something always goes wrong if they are too happy.As in,the moment they are happy,they go on tension and just wait for the bad.It’s so sad 😦
What am I listening to? If scripture is not backing it up. If my spirit is not at rest with it. However intelligent it sounds, even if it has worked for everyone else. It can’t be my standard, my yardstick.
Lord that you’ll grant me your grace and open the eyes of my understanding.