Gimel is the third Hebrew letter. Ancient Hebrew is a pictorial language. Gimel may be a picture of a Camal in Ancient Hebrew.
Gimel, like all of the Hebrew letters is a law.
The law of Gimel
The outside meaning of Gimel is giving–not in the context of sharing or of a simple donation. The nature of a camel has a high ability to withstand high levels of heat without water while being of service. This type of giving is giving under duress.
This type of giving is much like a mother giving birth to a child: the innate nature to reproduce life, to contribute to the cause of growth, to sustain a name. Interestingly enough, the pain a woman goes through to give life is enough pain to cause a woman to never want to go through that again. But she is given a Gimel spirit–a law that drives her to forget or lessens the memory for the sake of contributing to love and continuation of life.
A camel can endure agony for the sake of continuation of life.
God in the spirit of Gimel will endure with conditions of people and Gimel/give to reproduce health.
17 GIMEL. Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. 18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. 19 I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me. 20 My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times. 21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments. 22 Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies. 23 Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes. 24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.
I heard about this video a few days ago and dismissed it entirely. I didn’t even take the time to look it up or get context. I simply ignored the spectacle. It came to my attention again today, so I watched. What I saw didn’t surprise me and it probably shouldn’t surprise you.
It’s surprising to me not because it’s the only thing I’ve ever experienced in church. To be fair, I grew up in a lovely church with very kind and warm people. In my 20+ years in church, I’d had an overwhelmingly positive experience. Thankfully, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve probably experienced something similar to the drummer video.
Sidenote: You’re going to read the word repent and rebuke a lot in this post. Use the links to get a basic understanding.
Firstly, here’s a basic review of what happened:
A female guest preacher is ranting about musicians and some liberties they have and challenges they face spiritually. Her view seemed to be that congregants–particularly musicians don’t really care about the message being preached. She also seemed to reference how because musicians get paid, they essentially don’t receive accountability. She went on to convey that musicians getting paid doesn’t faze her. (You can get this work too–in a nutshell). When she asks the female keyboardist to start playing, she does. She then asks the 17 year old male drummer to start playing. Apparently, he was accustomed to getting a break after a certain part of the service. He doesn’t begin playing. She calls someone out of the congregation to come play. She proceeds to rebuke the drummer who “refused” and told him he had 48 hours to repent. She asked for someone to give her his name before she left. She called upon members to give $150 to “sow into” his repentance that he might repent before the 48 hours. She has since issued a written apology and viewers are weighing in.
To be perfectly honest, with the little context I have–this doesn’t actually make sense. I have so many questions.
Why was 48 hours the time given to repent?
Who was he meant to repent to?
What was he supposed to repent for?
What authority does she have to give someone a certain amount of time to repent?
How would she have known he repented?
Why are congregants not allowed to make choices that may or may not align with what the pastor is requesting?
I do not intend to dive into the process of rebuke as many have begun discussing. After watching, I pondered something different entirely.
From the outside looking in:
She seemed irritated that things weren’t going the way she’d have liked for them to go. So, she hid behind her “prophetic gifting” to express this irritation. After her random blurb, she has the keyboardist play some music that provides an “atmosphere” that would make what she was saying seem more serious or valid. It’d likely disarm the people after such a strong rant/rebuke. When the drummer decided not to play (for whatever reason), she internalized his decision, but projected her irritation onto him in the form of alleged rebuke.
This is one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen many believers make.
Instead of being self-aware enough to know: This makes me feel a way, they project their emotion on another and have God cosign. This is incredibly harmful. Those on the receiving end have to unnecessarily internalize another’s feelings. This causes a person to bear emotional weight and may strain their ability to be vulnerable and feel safe in this environment.
What I’ve been saying all along
While I tend to hold the view that people need to step away from Christianity as a whole, there are still beautiful aspects of it. However, no matter how beautiful or beneficial it may be, the priority in every conversation, every relationship, and every gathering, has to be safety via vulnerability.
It doesn’t matter how reflective of the first-century church your traditions are. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your worship is. It doesn’t matter how thoroughly studied your sermon is.
The greatest impact is always going to happen at a behavioral level. If people are able to be safe emotionally, that will produce healthy behavior. Healthy behavior coming from healthy foundations is indication of a healthy person.
This is not to say that people’s emotions ought to be coddled. Instead, it is through challenge, people can truly come to understand their true nature. It is not until they understand their nature that they can begin to make progress toward wholeness.
This process is often stunted because people conflate spirituality with emotions. We move too swiftly and avoid those uncomfortable moments and rushes of emotions by waving them off as a ‘praise break’ or a ‘spiritual attack’. These moments potentially have more power in them than anything being taught from the pulpit.
Many people say, “God doesn’t care about your feelings,” or ” don’t listen to your feelings.” I’d say instead, He absolutely cares about your feelings. Your feelings are little indicators that reveal YOU to you. They show us how we see the world and ourselves. You can imagine how important it is to heal then.
What story are you telling yourself?
To heal in our emotions is to heal our narratives. We develop narratives through our parents’ narrative, our environment, and our experiences. This is incredibly essential because it is often the difference between reacting vs. responding. In the video, it appears the woman reacted swiftly due to some internal dissonance. While it took her no time to react to the drummer’s ‘no,’ it took her days to reflect on her behavior and make the choice to apologize. That is usually an indication of a lack of emotional health. Unfortunately, she will likely only be challenged through a hyper-spiritualized lens and won’t be able to reflect on her emotional state. The cycle will continue.
The reality is every person has various experiences that lead to their choices today. They are not going to comply to the idea you or I may have. Knowing how to reflect and respond is essential in conversations, relationships, and gatherings. Additionally, how we feel or react is more indicative of us than it is them.
Self-conscious or self-aware
When a person reacts (which does not always appear overtly negative), they are behaving due to their sensitivity to others’ approval. This person is self-conscious. Their sense of others’ opinion is heightened and unfortunately, they cannot always determine which standard to be sensitive to. So, they are emotionally hijacked. This is something I’m in the process of working through. This person will often do the right thing out of fear, shame or validation. When a person behaves from that place, we can be sure they have not truly learned or internalized the truth of something. Instead, they need some exterior source to motivate them to make a particular choice rather than look inwardly and confidently move from that place.
When a person is self-aware, they respond to one internal standard that dictates their behavior. They are confident not because they are right all of the time. Instead, they are confident because they are knowledgeable of their true nature and are always open to what their experiences can teach them about themselves.
To the nitty-gritty
The beliefs that would justify the preacher’s behavior is prevalent in the Black church. To name a few: lack of accountability for leaders, total authority for leaders, total submission required for non-leaders, leader infallibility, and the list goes on. One belief I’d like to highlight is: If I feel it, it’s right.
This is no coincidence that this is particularly prevalent in the Black church. When a person or persons have been so stripped of their identity and value, they compensate in various ways. This is often first evident in how they attempt to attain and assume authority. Today, many Black people have turned their attention on healing and stopping generational baggage in its tracks. Yay, us!
However, many Black people have not undergone enough healing and challenge to produce emotional intelligence. These underlying beliefs were produced in times where survival was of utmost importance. We’ve been reacting as though we are in the middle of crisis in even the mildest of situations. We’re easily vexed and struggle to manage our stress. Our trauma is trapped in our bodies and we view many choices by others as serious threats–even when it is perfectly safe and acceptable.
This leads us to create spaces where the authority is strict and non-leaders are compliant. It is through shame and fear based obedience that everything stays in order. You can witness this in Black churches and Black homes.
I believe this was evidenced in the video of today. How can we do differently moving forward? What would have been more acceptable in that situation? How can we maintain a place of safety and vulnerability?
Honor his ‘no.’ (This shows him he’s allowed to set boundaries and maintains his value and trust)
Get someone else to replace him on his break. (Problem solve without shaming him)
If frustrated inwardly, take a moment to pause before speaking anything else. (Even taking note that you’re irritated/bothered is healthy)
Take time later to reflect on why his ‘no’ may have bothered you. (Getting to the bottom will free you from reacting from that place again)
The response above maintains everyone’s value and fosters a safe environment.
Above all, we must prioritize a safe space for everyone in which vulnerability is the norm. If we place anything above this, offenses will accumulate, trust will break down, value will depreciate, and division will ensue. Again, this is not solely applicable to the Church. This is a valuable precept for all human interactions.
I recently made a slew of posts on Facebook addressing Christian culture, the value of Torah, and the power of challenging our foundation. Here they all are, compiled.
I titled this blog the way I did, not because I was ranting—but because it was perceived that way. For some, these words will be strong and jarring. But, I assure you, while they are strong and challenging, my tone and disposition is one of empathy.
The issue with the Christian Church/Christianity is not the people, but the culture. People beget culture and culture begets people. Shrugs.
Christianity, aside from its fundamental falsehoods, fosters an environment where people are inclined to pretend, are shamed, hide, are fearful, unconfident, etc. The culture encourages people to flaunt spirituality, righteousness, and traditions as cloaks of confidence. The culture allows you to dismiss contrary ideas without ever exploring the idea in the name of guarding your salvation. The culture encourages people to live in shame under the guise of humility. The culture encourages people to distrust themselves in the name of wisdom and trusting God.
Having left Christianity, I have found the concessions I used to make, I no longer have to make.
I can trust YAH and myself.
I can mess up and not be ashamed.
I can be confident and it doesn’t mean I’m prideful.
I can be unconfident and it not mean I don’t have enough faith.
I can come as I am to YAH and His people and my value still be in tact.
Long story short—there’s a lot less pretending outside of religion. I’m still unlearning the systems of religion—for sure. So, I don’t ever mean for this to sound like I know everything and you should listen to me. If it challenges or offends you in any particular way, feel free to explore why.
What’s so interesting about this is so many Christians are sharing it, but when I and others point out fundamental flaws in this religious system, it becomes about, “Oh no, the church has failed you! My church isn’t like that! We just need to focus on Jesus. Maybe you didn’t have a good experience.”
Why is it Christians can jokingly say Paul would correct the Christian church in America, but feel the need to refute when someone (who isn’t a Christian) says the church needs correction?
Christian culture (cont’d)
When I start talking about the shame, fear, pretending, etc., that’s present in Christian culture, I get similar responses. Most of the time, people think it’s an anomaly. “Maybe they went to a church that was very condemning and strict.” It’s not really about that. Two things I want to point out.
1. People show up broken to the church and the culture exasperates or conceals the issue. It is not necessarily the cause of peoples’ various issues.
2. We don’t know what God wants.
These two are the bread and butter for Christian culture. Together, they make a dangerous mix.
People show up to this system—to the pastors, churches, denominations, conferences, Christians—broken. They’re looking for a remedy. They’re looking for a remedy to the self-hate, their so-called sin nature, their fleshly desires. Then, they’re given Jesus. They’re told Jesus loves you and just wants you to follow Him. You just need to give up those things that Jesus doesn’t like. Simple enough.
What are the things He doesn’t like? They’re told sexual promiscuity, lust, stealing, lying, judging, cheating, killing, smoking, revealing clothing, cursing, certain friends, pride, certain past times. The list goes on. So, their journey begins.
What happens when people are not able to give up their “fleshly desires”? What happens when even though they’ve been going to church, praying, fasting, and the desire is still there? The response many get (although most don’t approach anyone because they’re afraid to admit that it’s just not taking) is pray more, study more, worship more, fast more. Whatever the Christian disciplines are, do more of them.
Then what happens? During the time that it’s “not working”, they feel the need to pretend because it SEEMS like so-and-so over there isn’t struggling with anything.
There is an element of the culture in Christianity where people want to cast off suffering as though it devalues them or their place with God—as if it diminishes their spirituality.
This leads me to the second part. When a person is backed into a corner like this one, they have no choice but to create their own set of beliefs and practices (that are already in their wheelhouse) and say this is what God wants from me. That way, they can alleviate themselves from the constant pressure of “still haven’t arrived”. This can be observed at every level of this system. From church, denomination, individual—there are a list of to-dos and to-donts from some obscure list in the New Testament that says THIS is what we should be focused on. If you’re doing this, you’re alright.
But it doesn’t stop there. The culture requires you to add to the Word. Now, certain clothing, style of music, lingo, gospel artists, situations are exactly what you need (or don’t need) in order to please God.
All because we can’t simply admit that we don’t know what God wants and we’re not sure if we’re meeting His expectation.
In this kind of environment, sin of all sort is able to prevail. Their is no sense of true identity. It is simply the identity I conjure up and feel comfortable being and am validated by others in this system. These laws we create help cover our deficiencies. Adhering to them help us feel like we have forward motion. They help us feel like we’re “impacting the kingdom.”
This does not simply exist in the so-called “condemning churches.” This is present in the majority of churches that do not have a proper footing in Torah first.
Torah, the deep process of healing that it offers, will rid you of self-hate, shame, condemnation, negative fear, doubt, worry, distrust, etc. The list goes on.
If a church’s foundation of Scripture and life is not built on Torah, it is a rootless tree pretending to be something it is not.
If you (Christian) see my posts, it’s okay for you to disagree. You might even feel offended. However, it’s not okay for you to read my posts looking for something to disagree with or an opportunity to discredit.
Granted, I don’t feel like most people do this. Honestly, the people that reply are likely the people who are available for open dialogue–which I appreciate.
If my posts about Christian culture irritate you, fine. But, don’t let that irritation stop you from seeing the truth in my words.
Truthfully, I’ve heard Christians rebuke the culture of the Christian church vehemently while I was still apart of it. This rebuke was allowed because it was coming from someone “on the inside.” The moment someone “from the outside” rebukes, it is met with “othering.”
Many Christians “other” differing views and in doing so remain stagnant in their understanding. This does not mean I have everything right. However, the only way I or you are going to discover truth is if we go through this process of reasoning and challenge. If there is an invisible bottom line that we hold, our verbal sharpening is for naught.
What is the point in having dialogue or exploring certain ideas if your plan is to walk away believing what you already believe? Come into these conversations with the intent to discover truth even if it’s something you’ve never believed before.
In Christianity, I think many of us were taught to hold so tightly to the truth almost in fear that it could so easily be ripped or plucked out of us. Think of the parable of the seed and sower (not sure if that was the title). Some seed was snatched while others took root, but withered. Many know the illustration.
My words are meant to challenge what your ground is. What soil are you planting in? What has been planted? What has taken root?
Additionally, the pushback or ignoring of what I’ve presented is evidence of another issue within the culture and it proves what I’ve said before.
Christian culture facilitates people running from Light. We’re so fearful of judgment. This fear is gripping. It grips us to our practices. It grips us to our doctrines. It grips us to our fig leaves. We’re so afraid that if God looks our direction, He might not like what He sees.
When You understand Torah: that you need to be judged, that you need to present yourself before Light (YHWH/YAH/God), that He needs to look you over, that He’s lovingly looking over you, that He believes in you, how He sees you, there will be no need to run. These conversations become a lot easier to have.
These ideas may not seem connected. But, there are always things planted so deeply that we cannot see unless we examine our behavior. Upon deeper diving, we discover the seed that was originally planted.
More on Christian Culture…
What makes Christian culture so damaging? It lacks vulnerability.
The inner journey of many is to come in, learn the culture, do as they’ve seen, stand on what they believe. This does not sound bad. Quite honestly, it doesn’t look bad either.
It seems like I can find a problem with anything. How can standing on what you believe be a bad thing?
When you stand on what you believe as a means to feel or appear confident without acknowledging where you are unconfident, you enter dangerous territory.
Many of those sermons that seem to have been taught with such anointing, were often taught from the few pockets of confidence that an individual has. Many are standing on the little confidence they have and will not come off of it. This is fear.
This is because somewhere in their belief system or pathology, they cannot afford to be vulnerable. They cannot afford to be unconfident. It almost feels like being unguarded.
When you are vulnerable, it almost feels like you’re in a weakened state. With all the trauma many Christians (like any other human) are carrying around, it makes sense that they’d form systems and beliefs that keep them guarded from facing those painful, unconfident areas.
Many of us are afraid of the truth of who we are. So, we don’t search deeper. We recite our staple verses and ignore anything that feels contrary. Any revelation that shows us how we truly see ourselves can almost always be written off as “the devil is attacking me.”
This is fear. Scripture says, “The fear of Elohim is the beginning of knowledge.” Fear is not inherently a negative thing. This is understood when studied from the Hebraic perspective. There is fear as in being afraid. There is fear that means something else. This is what I’m talking about. Fear is foundation. Fear is what you stand on. Fear is what you have allegiance to. Fear is root.
To have the “fear of Elohim” is to have Him be your root. To have the fear of Elohim means you’ve undergone the process of challenging your foundation to the extent to where all that remains is Him/His Torah.
This requires vulnerability. This requires slowing down in life–not simply creating pockets of time where you are to “hear from God” or “spend time with God”. It requires being sensitive to what He is challenging in you day in and day out. As you submit yourself to that process, you will find it easier to face those painful spaces and you will become whole.
Excerpt from the article,
“HEBREW THOUGHT COMPARED WITH GREEK (WESTERN) THOUGHT: A KEY TO UNDERSTANDING SCRIPTURE THROUGH THE EYES OF THE AUTHORS”
by N’TAN LAWRENCE
“It is particularly difficult for Westerners—those whose thought-patterns have been influenced more by the Greeks and Romans than by the Hebrews—to piece together the block logic of Scripture. When we open the Bible, therefore, since we are not Orientals, we are invited…to ‘undergo a kind of intellectual conversion’ to the Hebraic world of the East.
“Let us turn, then to some of the many examples of block logic found throughout Scripture. The book of Exodus says that Pharaoh hardened his heart, but it also says that God hardened it (Ex. 8:15; cf. 7:3). The prophets teach that God is both wrathful and merciful (Isa. 45:7; Hab. 3:2). The New Testament refers to [Yeshua] as the ‘Lamb of God’ and the ‘Lion of the tribe of Judah’ (Jn. 1:29, 36; Rev. 5:5). Hell is described as both ‘blackest darkness’ and the firey lake’ (Jude 13; Rev. 19:20). In terms of salvation, [Yeshua] said, ‘whoever comes to me I will never drive away,’ yet no one can come ‘unless the Father draws him’ (Jn. 6:37, 44). To find life you must lose it (Mt. 10:39). When you are weak, then you are strong (2 Cor. 12:10). The way up (exhaltation) is the way down (humility) (Lk. 14:11). ‘Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated’ (Rom. 9:13; Mal. 1:3).
“Consideration of certain forms of block logic may give one the impression that divine sovereignty and human responsibility were incompatible. The Hebrews, however, sense no violation of their freedom as they accomplish God’s purposes. Upon a more careful reading of the biblical text one can often observe that the Bible views one block from the perspective of divine transcendence—God says, ‘I will harden Pharaoh’s heart’—and the other from a human point of view—‘Pharaoh hardened his heart’ (Ex. 4:21; 7:3,13; 8:15). The same is often true of Scriptures which deal with themes of predestination/election and free will/human freedom.
“In sum, the Hebrew mind could handle this dynamic tension of the language of paradox, confident that ‘all is in the hands of Heaven except the fear of Heaven’…Divine sovereignty and human responsibility were not incompatible.”
Jesus taught to uphold the Torah and meant to establish its original fundamental meaning which had been corrupted by the religious leaders of His day.
To know Him, we have to understand His Torah. If you do not understand His Torah, you will not understand who came as flesh. If we do not understand His Torah, we are following a religion about Him, but so far removed–which inevitably leads to being removed from His power.
“It has been admitted, by even some in the Christian church, that Christianity is not the religion of Jesus/Yeshua, but rather the religion about the Person of Jesus/Yeshua. For it to be the religion of Yeshua and his early disciples, it would have to uphold that obedience to the Torah’s standards of righteous living is a requirement of Christians today.”
Why did God give the Torah to begin with if He knew it was too hard to do?
I think many look at failing as confirmation that we were simply not meant to do it. This is not the proper view of failure (sin). Additionally, one could just as easily apply this logic to the lives of Christians today. Are we not meant to believe in the sacrifice of Yeshua/Jesus and what it afforded us because we still fail? No.
But we’re “under grace.” We keep using this phrase as a vague spiritual designation that essentially means God won’t hold your failure against you. I’d prefer not to get into the details of things. So, I’m giving a broad overview for you to consider.
Firstly, the proper translation of torah is not law, but instruction or teaching. Torah shows us the nature of God. Torah teaches us how to live in harmony with ourselves, each other, & God according to the natural patterns and invisible laws that govern life on Earth.
To try to do everything in the torah and not learn the heart of the torah is futile. God nor Jesus ever advocated for this sort of surface-level engagement with Torah. Instead, Torah is a mirror that has the power to correct and adjust you. When you are wandering off the path, it brings you back from destruction. Torah does a deep healing. It cannot heal as it naturally does if you are applying it improperly. People will apply it incorrectly if they understand it incorrectly.
By the time Yeshua/Jesus had come, the state of the people of Israel was incredibly removed. The religious leaders imposed a surface-level application of Torah and even added and subtracted from it while teaching others to do the same.
This is the qualm Jesus had with them. I know in Christianity, we’ve been taught that Yeshua was opposing the Torah because it was too hard and legalistic. Instead, Yeshua was opposing the religious spirit/nature of the people of this time that would make futile systems of what is a way of life. They meant to validate themselves and were foregoing the process of healing that happens when you let YAH teach you who He is through His Torah. When YAH teaches you, He validates you.
This is the tone of the Torah. Think of the Ten Commandments–better known as the Ten Words. These are not threats or strict laws given to Israel so that they wouldn’t do anything God didn’t like. Instead, they are written with the tone of validating who they are. “You will not murder because this is who you are.” YAH declares the standard and we walk the path. He adjusts us as we teeter to and fro as our strength is built. This is very foundational.
The Pharisees created systems, ideas, and the like where they could be validated by their own works and not by allowing their hearts to be circumcised as always intended. They were creating their own foundations. They were living as they pleased and declared “this is what God wants from me.”
This is reminiscent of what is happening in Christian culture today. Many are passing down ideas, traditions, and doctrines without challenging them and are saying, “this is what God wants from us.” Many would rather stay doing what they’re doing and be validated rather than ask, “what is it that you want?”
This rant was not done from a particularly negative place. I was excited about my ponderings and decided to share them. I’ve enjoyed and am deeply grateful for all of the engagement. Many people have commented, debated, encouraged, questioned, and it’s been fruitful.
Growing up, I was called the “white-black girl.” I was the token black friend and I even let some of my non-melanated or lightly melanated friends say “nigga.” Forgive me. For I knew not what I did.
Truthfully, I was ashamed of being Black. Embarrassed. I prided myself on not being an expression of the stereotypical Black archetype. I carried this responsibility to be the spokesperson for Black people and prove we weren’t all the same. But, I didn’t realize how similar we all really were.
There is a shared, multi-layered, and multi-faceted condition of most Black people in Western society.
This might take a while.
Growing up, I was called the “white-black girl.” I was the token black friend and I even let some of my non-melanated or lightly melanated friends say “nigga.” Forgive me. For I knew not what I did.
Truthfully, I was ashamed of being Black. Embarrassed. I prided myself on not being an expression of the stereotypical Black archetype. Granted, I was a little different and my “differences” were genuine. While I was always reminded by Black people that I was different, I carried this responsibility to be the spokesperson for Black people and prove we weren’t all the same. But, I didn’t realize how similar we all really were.
There is a shared, multi-layered, and multi-faceted condition of most Black people in Western society. To describe it: We have little to no sense of identity, we are distrusting of each other, traumatized, disjointed family systems, imbalanced in our emotional expression, imbalanced in the masculine-feminine dynamic, exhausted, and manipulated. Ouch! Manipulated. Let’s hang there a little bit.
Disclaimer: The current state of Black people is not entirely bleak, but we have issues that have been perpetuated for entirely too long and I’m hoping collectively we can address them. Moving on.
About this manipulation thing–there seems to be ever present a lack of authenticity in society today. Everyone is trying to buy you. When you’re Black, the implications of this are dangerous! Being a part of a community that has been traumatized and disenfranchised means special interests groups such as the education system, church, and the government have the power to manipulate your emotions to fulfill their personal agendas.
It goes a little something like this, “Black people, you’ve had it so bad for so long. No one cares about you, but us. This is the only way for you to experience justice and peace. Don’t forget about slavery! Don’t ever forget about slavery! Here’s Black History Month. Like our red, green, and black? We’re fighting with you! You must be so triggered.”
Everyone proposes solutions to the ailments in the Black community. Religious folk say “church” or Jesus is the answer. The government says “our party and policies are the answer.” The education system says, “we’re the answer. We’re your only hope.”
Here’s the problem with this. All of these institutions are starting from the wrong place. The root of their so-called remedy is a belief that black people have no value. “Join us and have value” is what they mean to say. “You have no value all your own.” “Do things the way the ‘white man’ does and you’ll have success.” “You can’t trust yourself.”
These systems don’t have a complete picture (wholeness) nor a process by which to ascertain a complete picture. Therefore, they cannot supply the remedy!
The only remedy that will work is one that starts from the place that says, “You are whole. That’s who you are. You have value. You can trust yourself.” There is no fear in that reality!
Every other institution uses shame, fear, and distrust to tether us to their ideology to motivate us to apply their methods.
Education system: You can only have a good life if you do well in school and get as many degrees as possible. If this is such an excellent solution to the ailments of the Black community:
Why is it that even though Black women are the most educated group of people in America, they are the group of women least likely to be married?
Why is it that even though it’s common knowledge that children function and grow better in a home with both parents, women are being incentivized to split up the home and put their children’s father on child support disempowering him from growing financially? [There are other negative effects of this incentive.]
Why is it that even though we know the family is the most sacred institution within which wholeness and purpose is fostered do we encourage our men and women to prioritize everything but the family?]
Christian Church: You will be lost if you don’t regularly attend. Your life will decline if you are not serving here. You need to sacrifice time with your family, rest, etc. in order to make sure the church house doors are open. You need to trust what the pastor says over your individual unction. God is pleased when you’re giving even if it means taking from your family. Pastor knows best. God is going to bless you if you bless the church. If this system is so upright:
Why is there an imbalance in the male-female church attendance with majority of congregants being female? Why aren’t men finding value in attending church?
Why are men being emasculated by the current culture of church?
Why are Black people still broke?
Why are Black people still living under shame and fear?
Why are men being disempowered to be the men in their home for the sake of service to the church?
Why are people leaving the church at such high numbers?
Why is there such incredible disorder in the church?
Why does the culture promote Black people saying they’re “blessed and highly favored” when they’re really “faking it ’til they make it?”
Why is there no vulnerability?
We’ve been sold a pipe dream. It tickles our ears and we return to it like a dog returns to vomit. We are so blinded by our needs that we look for quick fixes and root ourselves in systems that can’t provide what they’ve promised. This only exasperates the condition.
None of these institutions have the desire or know how to see us whole. As long as we are crippled by trauma, they will always have access to pull the wool over our eyes.
It’s time. It’s high time we stop mimicking the cultures of others in order to feel a sense of value. It’s time for us to stop engaging in the media’s conversations about race. It’s time for us to see that learning happens at home first and primarily–not at school. It’s times for us to stop trying to convince people to remedy the past or present. We have all we need right now.
If Black people spent the next five years and put every ounce of their energy toward healing husband and wife relationships, parent-child relationships, honoring ourselves and each other,--the landscape of society would change drastically.
Because we’d no longer be susceptible to manipulation, these groups would seek a different vulnerable population. We’d have restored our sense of value and honor.
This is not to say that Black people have no value. Our value is in tact. We’ve simply lost sight of who we really are because our eyes have wandered everywhere other than where they belong–gazing upon Light.
YAH is light. Religion simply masquerades as it.
The way is plain for us. It’s been placed in plain sight for us to explore and take up. No one could hide it if they tried. It is inevitable, because this is who we are.
This blog isn’t about me saying who was right, but moreso me drawing our attention to how we’ve determined who we think is right.
I’m tired of talking about it. I know you’re probably tired of hearing about it. It’s really not any of my business. Regardless, I’ve been mulling over it ever since it happened and I have finally collected my thoughts to share here.
If you have not heard, long story short: Chris Rock made a joke. Will Smith smacked him. Jada is all up in the mix (to what extent she is is being greatly debated).
Before I draw our attention to something, I want to acknowledge that most of what has been said is mere speculation. I don’t know any of these people personally. So, my opinion will likely be incomplete.
I started writing this blog as a Facebook status and decided to let it live here on Sensible Fool. This blog isn’t about me saying who was right, but moreso me drawing our attention to how we’ve determined who we think is right.
Here goes nothing!
There are key parties in this situation. You have Chris Rock, the comedian. There’s Will Smith, the larger-than-life actor. Then, there’s Jada, the damsel (in distress?). Regardless of who you think is right, I’ve noticed something in the analyzing of this situation.
People have taken a stance based on their individual hurt.
Women say Will was right because they like seeing a man protect a woman in this way.
Some say Will was wrong because they identify with Chris because they observed a bully-victim dynamic –with Chris being the victim.
Men believe Will was wrongfully motivated by Jada.
Men believe Jada didn’t have the foresight to protect Will.
Granted, there are objective truths that can be extracted from this situation (but only those in it and closest to them probably could do so). Sidenote: our society values owning your truth and the speculation we’ve seen is people offering their “truth.” And this is exactly where it’s gotten murky.
Our hurts have had us living vicariously through each of them. When we do this, we’ll advise or supply others the wrong remedy or worsen the condition.
Our perspectives will have us reinforcing Will’s, Jada’s, or Chris’ behavior that may need to be challenged in us and them.
Let’s look a littler deeper at some of the positions people have taken.
Will was right.
These women likely have felt unprotected in their lives. Thus, causing them to require an intense display of aggression cloaked as chivalry. These women likely would have felt uncomfortable if Will had privately mentioned to Chris that he didn’t appreciate the joke. It would not have felt sufficient. They cannot assess beyond this hurt.
Will is a bully.
These people may have been bullied and never received due justice. They identify with Chris and are desiring the highest price for Will’s behavior. They cannot assess beyond their hurt.
Jada is the culprit.
Many men are angry at Jada because of their own distrust for women. So, Jada becomes dehumanized because she represents all women that have hurt them. They will struggle to assess beyond their hurt.
Jada is the culprit Pt. 2
Many men are angry at Jada because she didn’t have the foresight to protect Will. These men have been neglected, manipulated, or controlled by women. Their thought is to completely disconnect from Jada and are unable to see Jada’s hurt.
Do you see yourself in these spaces?
Our hurts or deficiencies will require others to pay heavy prices.
Think of a deficiency like a bucket with holes in it. You get the picture. No matter how much you pour into this bucket, it will not fill.
As humans with deficiencies left by trauma and generational pathology, we are similar to these buckets. Our only hope for healing these deficiencies is to identify them, acknowledge them, and make ourselves vulnerable in those spaces. This is incredibly painful.
Many times, we refuse this process and require people to enable the deficiency. This looks like requiring a person to keep pouring and disempowering them to even point out the hole. “I’m just like anyone else, why can’t you do this for me?” “Don’t look there.” “I don’t want to talk about that.” We don’t want a person to touch on that painful area because it hurts too much. So, we let them pour.
Deficiencies are insatiable when they are enabled. So, they must be healed in order for them to be satisfied.
I have let people pour and pour in my areas of deficiencies until they tapped out. It wasn’t until about four years ago that I begun to even see these deficiencies. Until I was able to see them, I was unable to assess situations properly and honestly, I still do.
So, why is this important?
We need to heal. All of us. It’s easy to talk about other people’s situations and ponder the intricacies. We turn over every aspect of the situation and console our own wounds with our broken perspectives championing broken people. Until we heal, we will require what is unnecessary, be unable to receive what is healthy, and will provide insufficient remedies.
I left because I started to ask, “why do we do what we do?” “What does Scripture say?” Finding the answer to those questions is what led me here.
Christians don’t know what to do with those who leave the church.
I’ve seen a few typical responses. These are either reactions to or explanations for people leaving. These responses indicate something about the foundation and dynamics operating in the Christian Church.
These will be in no particular order.
Indignant. Some are incredibly angry that a person would not agree and align with their idea of the importance of church or traditional Christian ideals.
This indicates there is a foundation of control upon which Christianity is built or the conduit through which it is practiced.
Control. Some are frustrated that this person is no longer able to be controlled.
This points to how powerless people in religion feel and their need to cover or compensate for this powerlessness. This is evidenced in various doctrines and traditions.
Fear. Some are afraid that you’ll be lost or “the devil’s going to get you.”
This shows how many have been shamed and scared into life with YAH.
That’s none of my business. Some don’t feel they are mature enough to relate and converse with someone who may be grappling with their faith and religion. So, they avoid it altogether.
This points to the social system embedded in the Christian church and how people see their roles therein.
Longing. In a phrase, “I wish I could do that. I wish I was strong enough to do that.”
This points to the exhaustion of people in religion. Many are tired as they run on the hamster wheel of religion, but it keeps you codependent upon its system. So, you can’t really leave (you can, but you feel like you can’t).
Devalue. This is the belief that you are of no value or importance if you are not a part of this belief system anymore.
This points to the incomplete system of validation the Church has set up. People look to pastors, church community, no other Christians to validate themselves. Anyone who does not adhere to this value system immediately and innately loses their value.
Your response to this shouldn’t be to cover up or justify how you or your church normally responds. My encouragement to you if you’ve read this through, is ask. Figure out why people are leaving the Church and Christianity as a whole. Don’t make assumptions.
I left because I started to ask, “why do we do what we do?” “What does Scripture say?” Finding the answer to those questions is what led me here.
People are leaving a system they once felt so strongly about. I felt I had to defend this faith. I felt a responsibility and a weight that many feel today.
I’ve been hesitant at times to share more about my beliefs before I left because people use that to explain away why I left. They’ll say, “You just weren’t doing it right. You just weren’t serious. I’ve always been certain about _. I’ve always known that! You were just at the wrong church. Not all churches are the same.”
I’ve reached a place now where I’m okay with the conclusions people will draw. I think one of two could happen if people started being curious when people leave.
One. They will start to look at what the Church has been doing for so long and make radical changes.
Two. Others will start to leave — much like an exodus.
This is what I think some pastors or Christians are fearful of. They’re afraid to look within. They’re afraid to question and challenge. What if I find out something I don’t like? What if everything I’ve built my doctrine on falls apart? Where would I go? What would I do?
It’s okay to not have the answers to those questions. So, if you do find yourself in that place, feel free to reach out to me!
“Letting go” isn’t usually easy — especially for me. It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s much easier for me to let go of things I know I don’t need and don’t care about — but what about when it’s something I really care about?
This one’s for me.
“Letting go” isn’t usually easy — especially for me. It doesn’t matter what it is. I’m incredibly sentimental. My closet in my living room has been opened a total of 5 times since I’ve lived there (3 years)! I have yet to clear out its contents because I have some sort of sentimental attachment to those things (awards, memorabilia, etc.). Also, I’m pretty sure there are spiders in there and I’m not really built for that kind of battle.
It’s much easier for me to let go of things I know I don’t need and don’t care about — but what about when it’s something I really care about? What if I have to let go of something God has said is for me? What if I have to let of something that’s good for me? What if I have to let go of something I never expected to part with?
Well, that’s me right now. I won’t go into great detail; but I wanted to express some ideas that have been swarming through my mind.
My trust cannot be in the good “thing’s” ability or likelihood of coming back. I must trust that if God needs me to have it, it will be God’s ability and responsibility to restore it.
I have to consider that what’s good isn’t necessarily what’s best.
When I give up something good, I have to realize that I’ll always win. If I give it up and cling to God, I’ve automatically won. Although, if I’m honest, I don’t always know what that looks like nor am I amped to cling to God in moments like these. Sometimes, I just want to stomp my feet, pout, and demand that God does things my way. This sort of reaction indicates a certain idolatry in my heart toward the thing(s) I let go of.
Although it may be good for me, it may not be good for me right now.
How secure am I in who God has said I am? Do I need this thing in order to feel secure, confident, worthy, etc? Nah.
God will often draw you to Himself in moments of loss (of any proportion). This is almost always the highest purpose or result when loss occurs.
There are no shortcuts for dealing with the pain. There are many seemingly worthy substitutes that make it easier to cope with the pain. They help soften the blow of the loss. However, if maturity is what you seek, you’ll know that eventually you will have to part with the temporary for the ultimate. You’ll have to embrace and face the pain head on.
God is not cruel nor is He interested in making you suffer without purpose. In most cases, our suffering is not due to God bringing some judgment. It’s often due to our poor decisions, decisions of others around us, or attacks from the enemy (Satan).
While God does not cause much of our pain, He will use it for our good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
All things — suffering, work together for my good.
All things — loss, work together for my good.
All things — obscurity, work together for my good.
All things — rejection, work together for my good.
All things — (fill in the blank), work together for my good.
It is important when you are walking (sometimes crawling) through a season of loss to watch where you put your focus. Social media is a trap I’ve found myself falling into many of times.
Scrolling through highlight reels of the lives of those around me serves as a constant reminder of what I’ve lost or doubt I’ll ever have. Eyes up. Meditating on what was and being worried about what will be — eyes up. Getting stuck in grief, bitterness, self-hatred, frustration with God — eyes up.
God will always be the remedy for what we’ve lost.
He can be trusted. Let this verse permeate your heart in this time:
“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).
I found the reason I was trying to be “relevant” was not because I wanted people to accept God, but I wanted people to accept me.
Disclaimer: This is for the Christians. It is not to be used as ammunition toward any specific Christian, church, or denomination; nor has it been written motivated by the actions of any specific person, church, or denomination.
Instead, I’m writing because of something I’ve periodically observed in myself. I believe it’s something many Christians might observe in themselves if they’d search; this desire to be relevant. This is not specific to Christians, but that’s what we’ll deal with today.
Relevance in and of itself is not evil; but the desire for it must be qualified. Why do we want to be relevant? What does relevance look like in the life of the believer? Does it mean I can’t be fun anymore? How do I serve God without being out of touch with “reality?” To whom do we want to be relevant?
These are all important questions and our answers to them reveal something about the posture of our heart toward God and the things of God. So, let’s dive in.
First, I want to deal with two different perspectives we may observe in the Church (the Body of Christ, followers of Christ) concerning relevance. People often swing to one extreme of the spectrum or the other.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “in the world, but not of it?” Yes? Well, this is an understanding of several verses in the Bible; though it is not a verse itself. Basically, it means even though we exist in this world, we are not of the same nature of the world. There is a culture and citizenship we possess that supersedes that which we experience here.We (children of God) are of a different world which is unseen. Below are some of the verses which compile this theological idea of ‘in the world, but not of it.’
John 15: 19 “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Mark 4:19 “…and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”
The First Extreme
Some interpret these verses to mean we can’t do anything that appears even remotely ‘secular‘– which means ‘worldly.’ For example, some believe we can’t have any sort of relationship with those who aren’t believers–not even any association. Granted, a believer must be wise and discerning when pursuing intimate relationships with unbelievers.
However, there is a difference between being separate and being separate. What? The kind of separation required of believers is one that distinguishes. It is not to isolate or quarantine our faith but to live separate to GOD. Being separate to GOD means we seek to become what GOD desires for us to become.
This was a common issue the Messiah encountered while He walked this Earth. He was constantly brought under scrutiny for spending time with sinners and the ‘unclean’ of society. This didn’t line up with the idea the religious leaders of that time had about being separated or holy.
In one account, the Messiah is eating dinner with tax collectors (oftentimes manipulative con men) and other sinners. One of the ruling religious groups in Israel at the time, the Pharisees, reasoned among themselves and concluded that He was unclean because of this.
You can find some accounts of this encounter here: Matthew 9:10-17, Mark 2:13-17, and Luke 5:27-31.
Believers, we do ourselves and the world a disservice by segregating (isolating) ourselves and the truth we know. Be careful not to build and sustain cozy environments that only welcome those who agree with you (even specifically those of the same faith as you). In response to His being questioned about His interaction with sinners, the Messiah responded, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance (Luke 5:31-31).”
This inclination to isolate in comfortability without challenge hardens the heart of the believer and allows religion to calcify our minds. This causes us to lose sight of the call of EVERY believer–that is reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:11-21). We are called to reconcile people to GOD. This cannot be done if we’re walled up physically or spiritually within four walls of a quaint church that make us feel comfortable, secure, and unchallenged.
There are people who are falling away daily and many more who have not heard the truth and love expressed in the Gospel of the kingdom of GOD. If we’re honest, in our hearts, there is often fostered this culture of ‘staying’ — of finding a safe, comfortable place and resting there; comfortable in our religion. Our call was never to stay, but to ‘go.’ (Matthew 28:18-20) That doesn’t mean everyone is going to live the life of a traveling missionary or what have you. It does mean that we have to come outside of ourselves to reach the lost and those who have fallen away wherever we find ourselves.
The Second Extreme
The other extreme of the spectrum typically involves this need to prove likeness. “I’m just like you.” “We’re the same!” “I like that kind of music too.” Have you ever met a believer who is always trying to convince people to follow Christ or accept them by proving believers aren’t that different from everyone else? Better yet, have you ever been that believer? I know I have.
It didn’t happen overnight though. I’ve always been very vocal about my faith and the importance thereof. However, over the years, I saw a gradual change. I started wanting to compel people to come to Christ by convincing them that things wouldn’t change much or that I was still like the ‘Darveiye’ I was before.
This is problematic because I was compelling people based on a lie. I’m not just like you. We’re not the same. We may seem incredibly similar on the surface, but there is an inner change that differentiates us. It doesn’t mean I’m better, it means I’m renewed. It means I’m saved. It means I’m redeemed. It means my mind has been changed. It means some things will not and cannot stay the same. It means I have a new nature. I may be “in the world, but I’m not of it.”
I found the reason I was trying to be “relevant” was not because I wanted people to accept God, but I wanted people to accept me. I’d spent so much of my life being rejected and bullied for my interests, my looks, my faith that I found I started to work hard to prove I was normal. However, the reality of the life of a child of God is that you will not be accepted by the world and you are not normal. It’s not something that “gets better” or changes with time.
If there comes a point at which I am completely embraced by the world or indistinguishable from it, I’ve ceased being separated. I may find I’ve begun to seek relevance from the world compromising my reverence for God — which is the result of seeking relevance.
For you cannot completely love and embrace God and still look like, think like, and live like the world. You will hate one or love the other. “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other (Matthew 6:24a).”
This dynamic isn’t often easily detected. Sometimes, we’re still doing all of the things we usually do (go to church, read the Bible, talk about God) but will find our hearts are far from God in the process. This is why checking your heart is so important. Always ask, “why am I doing what I’m doing?” “Why am I saying what I’m saying?” “Am I trying to get people to accept me or accept God?” “Am I cutting myself off from the people who need to hear about the God I know?” “Am I discerning or am I just judging people?”
We often treat this walk with Christ as a one size fits all. Granted, there are elements that are one-size-fits-all (salvation, loved by God, call to reconciliation, and many others). However, we have these misguided ideas of exactly what it should look like and get lost in trying to look like that (clothes we wear, how we talk, going to church, reading the Bible, being kind to people, etc) and forget to check if our hearts are truly one with God’s heart.
To sum all of this up, choose reverence over relevance.
Have you ever been in love? Many of us would claim we have. sometimes, this is the case. Sometimes, it’s something else.
Have you ever been in love? Many of us would claim we have been. Sometimes, we’re unsure. We use feelings to justify or confirm that we were in fact in love. “I just feel so happy around him!” “She makes me so giddy!” “He just makes me feel good.”
We think because “we’re so excited to be around them,” “we like the same things,” or “they’re different from anyone we’ve ever dated,” that it means we’re in love. Granted, sometimes, this is the case. However, this is not always true. Sometimes, it’s something else.
You’ve likely already heard this. Lust does a fantastic job at masquerading as love. We often perceive our lust for someone as love for them. Lust can be defined as a very strong desire–often unquenchable. It is not wrong in and of itself to strongly desire something.
However, it’s important to qualify (verify) what we desire. We can do this by asking a couple of simple questions.
Why do I want what I want?
This is one of the easiest ways to distinguish love from lust. If you want what you want for an unhealthy reason (pride, insecurity, superiority), then you know it’s lust. Lust does nothing but consume you. Love doesn’t consume you, it blooms you and those that are in relationship with you.
What will I do once I get it?
Is your desire for selfish reasons, then you know it’s not love; for love is selfless. Are you unable to give selflessly? Do you only desire to receive without any reciprocation? This leads me to my next point.
This is likely the most common dynamic at work in relationships that seem to have love, but don’t. The only reason I have any perception of this, is because I’ve discovered this within myself.
You may have learned about reciprocity in Math class in high school. It is simply a mutual exchange of privileges. “I am this to you because you’ve been that to me.” “I’ll do this for you because you’ve that for me.” “I expect you to give this because I’ve given that.”
Disclaimer: I’m not saying you should not have standards or stay in toxic relationships. No. Instead, I am saying a relationship built on reciprocity cannot live up to its fullest potential and it is not love.
In a reciprocal relationship, I love that you did this for me, but not necessarily you. I find myself attached to what you can do, give, or be to me and not you. That’s not love. Love isn’t looking for what it can get, love has already given. It’s free. Love gives freely. For the moment love requires compensation, it’s not really love.
I thought I knew how to love. I did; and maybe I did know how to love. However, after many heart breaking experiences, I’ve been slow to love those around me in fear of getting hurt. “What if I let myself love them and they hurt me beyond repair?” To a hurting person, that is the most valid question you could ask. While our ‘what if’ scenarios hardly ever come true, you can’t help but believe that if you chose to love, you’d end up broken.
I want to encourage you to love again. I don’t mean seek a romantic relationship–but love again.
Love yourself. Love others. This will only be possible through intimate relationship with the Most High. For many of us, the reason we’re unable to love without fear is because we have a skewed perspective about God. We’ve lost our trust in Him. We’ve lost our faith in Him. We feel like He left us when we needed Him most. So, we no longer go to Him when we feel lost or broken.
Fortunately and unfortunately, He is the only One that can find us when we’re lost and mend us when we’re broken.
The thing is, God is love–the very essence of it. God doesn’t have love, He is it. God doesn’t give love, He is it. If we’d allow Him to infiltrate every area of our dark hearts, they’d beat again. God wants you to be able to love again. You haven’t lost it, it’s just hidden. Remember, love doesn’t wait to be acknowledged or recognized. It’s free.
So, even if you’re not acknowledging God in your life right now, just know that He loves you still. That is the greatest truth we can ever grasp as humans–God loves you. Don’t forget it.
Meditate on 1 Corinthians 13.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.3 If I give all I possess to the poorand give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love
I’ve chosen not to go after things for fear of rejection. I have gone after things I knew I’d succeed in so not to lose or be rejected; all based on a conditioning by broken people.
What you will read below is a note I wrote in my phone to process my thoughts about my fear of rejection. It’s not going to be well organized. It’s my thoughts nonetheless.
I’m putting this up here in an effort to be vulnerable, transparent, and encourage someone who can relate. When I’m in places in which I can’t express myself, I write. I write to understand what I’m feeling and come to a place of resolution. So, here goes.
“I think I have a fear of rejection. I can trace it all the way back to when I was a child.
I remember pulling out of the student council race for president because I thought I’d lose. I don’t invite people places because of fear of rejection. I never wanted to throw parties because of fear of rejection. What if they don’t show up? They’d be rejecting me because they think I’m not worthy of showing up for.
In various seasons of my life, it’s been communicated to me that I’m not good enough to other people. That my voice doesn’t matter. That my interests were lame. That I was almost pretty, but not actually pretty. That I was almost cool, but not quite.
This is sad because I’ve let it rule my life for way too long. I’ve chosen not to go after things for fear of rejection. I have gone after things I knew I’d succeed in so not to lose or be rejected; all based on a conditioning by broken people. How are broken people going to tell me what I’m worth? I’m worth the very GOD of heaven coming down to save me. That’s invaluable. No one can ever provide that for me.
So, I’m not broken. I’m whole in Him. I’m not rejected. I’m accepted by Him. I’m not unworthy. I’m worth it because of Him. I’m not pathetic. I have purpose in Him.
God has already planned amazing things for me to do. Some will seem glorious, others not as much. But it’s what He has planned. And I’ll be glad in it. I don’t have to shrink back and pretend I’m not worthy of what is mine. Instead, I will step up and fully embrace that which God has called me to. I am more than enough.”
Here’s the thing. God loves you. Passionately. Everlastingly. Unconditionally. This matters above all else.
It doesn’t matter what people have said or done to you. You don’t have to believe them. Any thought or idea lower than God’s idea about you is a lie. God knows you the way no human will ever know you.
David, King of Israel, was a man with many issues but a heart set to please God. He understood that despite his shortcomings, his inward sin, his outward sin, rumors about him, betrayal, and his lowest points that God knew him and loved him still. David had done some terrible things in his life; things that many of would hate ourselves for. David knew that what others thought about him and what he thought about himself had to be subject to what God knew about him.
Read below what David was expressing about God’s intimate knowledge of him and you too!
O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. 5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.
May you leave this believing the best about your Father and who He created you to be. Be blessed.