(Not for viewers with a weak heart.)
"Mr. Python, where are you?"
"I'd hate for anyone in this auditorium to leave assuming certain things, especially since it's me preaching, and so just to make sure, I'll just make a few clarifications from onset. First off, going to church cannot save you, just like going to the garage doesn't make you a car neither does going to the Bata make you a shoe. Secondly, doing good things cannot save you because the bible says in Isaiah that our good works are like filthy rags before God. Believing in God's existence, lastly, doesn't make you a Christian because the demons believe it much steadfastly than you ever
I once took pride in something I am now ashamed of.
I have mentioned before that I don't enjoy meeting strangers. I detest making the acquaintance of individuals I've never known especially when the meeting is face to face. In essence, I am anti-social and like to keep a group of close friends with whom I exclusively interact. I dread the idea of any imposter in "my inner circle" although, each addition has ended up being very welcome. Not long ago, I accepted this terrible trait as a part of me. I told myself that I was merely a typical introvert. It's not good to be too friendly, but the opposite extreme is just as bad. I've always told myself that,"...that's just the way I am by nature...anti-social."
I've heard that a thousand times from Christians who decide to settle for what they think,"Is the way they are." Why are you so talkative? "That's just the way I am" many would respond. Why are you rude? "That's just the way I am." Why don't you interact more? "That's just the way I am." Why are you so untidy? "That's just the way I am."
The Apostle Paul said something relevant, for those who are "just the way the are", in his letter to the Romans. He admonished them not to be confirmed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of the mind, i.e, through scripture. In other words, granted, you have certain things in your character that, while they may not necessarily be good traits, are what make you-you. Well, the Apostle Paul, anticipating the fact that many of us will come with weaknesses and flaws that seem to be so much a part of us, reminds us that becoming a Christian is simply the beginning of a long journey of reformation. It is an amendment of attitudes, values, character and world view. An amendment of the how we do things and even why we would do them in the first place. That's what, in fact, for those of you who are, being a Reformed Baptist is all about, its about reforming...everything.
Well, I didn't realise that in a bid to shut strangers out of my life, I had began shutting out those who I loved most. One evening, my Dad paid my brother and I a visit in our room and sorta addressed us at our points of need.
I have faith that even though I am a mess now, I will one day be a spiritual man in pursuit of the very heart of God. If I end up being anything close to that dream, my parents will predominantly be responsible for it. I thank God for them. My Dad had notice this, rather selfish trend whereby I paid very little interest to my family, especially siblings and cousins.
I've heard the term "generational curse" alot since I started listening to Dr. Voddie Baucham and I always wondered whether there was any such curse in our family. As my Dad brought to my attention this selfish trend I was developing and proved that it is typical of over 95% of the males in our extended family, I couldn't help but think that the generational curse had been brought to light. Basically, of all the men in our extended family, under 5% have interest in their extended family. Only 5% take time to visit the rest of the extended family regularly and keep in touch with their cousins and sisters, wish them happy birthday and acquaint themselves with their brother's, sister's and cousin's children. While I know almost all my Aunties, I know very few of my Uncles. They just never made efforts to come and visit me, their nephew. Dad gave example after example, even of a relative who relocated to South Africa and not even his mother knows where he is. "The males of our family have been a let down", Dad said. "As for me, it was grace which saved me."
I am the first Grandchild of my late Grandfather on my Dad's side. I am therefore the oldest among all my first cousins on my Grandad's side. Dad reminded me of my responsibility. How that being the oldest I should have noted all my cousins birthdays so that I could atleast drop them a note on their special days. I should also take time to be with them when I can and find out how they are doing and whats happening in their lives. Even my own siblings.
I have a tendency to put friends before family but that is incorrect. Rushing off to link up with friends on a chat site before catching up with my brothers and sisters is wrong.
It will take a deliberate effort on my part to take time to interact and keep intouch but if I don't care for my family, who on earth will I care for? Dad said that I wouldn't suddenly have interest in my sibling's or cousin's kids when I'm 40 years old, he told me that it's got to start now. And through this care, I will hopefully communicate the love for my saviour to my family by loving and caring for them.
If you have been as selfish as I, join me as I strive, by God's grace, to reform.
Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God. ~Romans 12:2