“In case you don’t know, skin colour is one of the simple “flukes” of nature. Skin colour is dependent on geography: the closer you are to the equator the darker your skin and the farther the lighter. Why then will a reasonable and responsible man assume as an achievement that which he had no input whatsoever?”
I was in church last Sunday and these are some lessons I learned from the message titled “Building Effective Godly Relationships”:
Effective Godly Relationships
Every relationship will be shallow without any conscious effort to take it beyond the surface.
Relationships happen anywhere because they can happen anywhere. It is not restricted by location, it is the human attitude that restricts them.
People connect hands and shake hands over a deal, but most times the hearts are not connected. Any official and business deals can be that casual and it will be okay but not relationship among children of God.
In every relationships, it gets better as there are frictions and offences. A genuine relationship will be filled with individuals who are free to relate with one another and when they are really free, there will be occasional and innocent offences.
To develop effective Godly relationships we need:
Mutual Sincerity. We often are not as who we portray ourselves to be. Be plain. Be open. Shun duplicity of character and pretence. Be honest. Be plain.
Mutual Submission. Honourably submit and respect one another.
Mutual Sacrifice. In a real and genuine relationship there will always be time of crises. It is at this point that we must share in the challenge. This is not a choice, it is what the godly relationship demands. The relationship will be effective when the members of the relationship are committed to sacrifice for one another.
Mutual Sharing. Share in one another’s joy and sadness. Share in the pains and in the strengths. Share in the highs and in the lows.
Be careful of the following habits that breaks the effectiveness of our relationships:
Withdrawal syndrome. No one is an island and we are not designed to be island unto ourselves. Avoid secluding yourselves.
Suspicion. Avoid suspicion, it weakens the bonds of trust.
Tale bearing. Kill scandals and gossips, it kills the relationship. Don’t be lazy, work at confirming all rumours and assumption if you must take them serious.
Prejudice. In the family of God, we are one. We are bound by blood thicker than human blood and family ties. Break down the walls, never look down on another because of their colour or tribe. No one chose where and how they were born, but what matters is everyone was born. More important is the fact that now we are all redeemed by the sinless and precious blood of Jesus. We are one.
After the sermon, I began to ponder on the thoughts I was forming during the course of the sermon and the following are what I came up with:
You are white or yellow and you are proud. I am black or brown and I am proud. We are not really different, we have a common problem: our pride.
You claimed superiority over others because of your colour, descent and place of birth, who are you? What did you do to claim these as achievements? I am sorry, you are an empty barrel. If I also take my superiority from these things too, a loud gong is also a fitting surname for me.
It is a weak man who pride himself with things he did nothing about and could have done nothing about. King David was once quoted to have said “I will not offer to God that which cost me nothing”. Whatever you have that costs you nothing is called privilege not achievement. If then it is a privilege who should be proud, the benefactor or the beneficiary?
Everywhere and in every generation, there arise some weak individuals who claim their race or tribe is superior and thus cause terror or violence. These individuals often forget that crayons come in different colours but are actually made up of the same essential things: wax and colour pigments. Cut any human being whatever their descent and blood will flow. It is blood and it is constantly crimson. Bury a dead man and let’s see whether they will not become dust because when alive they were white or yellow.
In case you don’t know, skin colour is one of the simple “flukes” of nature. Skin colour is dependent on geography: the closer you are to the equator the darker your skin and the farther the lighter. Why then will a reasonable and responsible man assume as an achievement that which he had no input whatsoever?
This rhetoric will not be necessary if not for the fact that what exists in the society is also perennial in the church. Assuming the world is lost, should the church also follow the world and be lost too? True believers are actually different from the world in many ways and it is true for all men no matter their religion but Christians are supposed to be people whose eyes are opened. Men of the spirit are actually genderless and colourless. They are poor when they are rich and are rich when poor. Men of the spirit have everything even when they own nothing and holds lightly whatever it is they even achieved.
I was thought a chorus long ago and it stuck with me ever since, I hope its lyrics will have the same positive effect on you too.
“I don’t care what church you belong to
but as far as on Jesus you stand,
if by grace through faith you have been saved
you are my brother so give me your hand”
We safely replaced church with tribe, group and the lists of possible prejudiced dichotomy and of course the brother can also be replaced with sister as appropriate.
I think if we say Jesus Christ was praying for everyone who believes in him to be a group of genderless people and colourless men when he prayed “that they may all be one”, we will be right. For God seeks such whose worship is spiritual and truthful that is, worshippers not hindered by prejudice of gender or colour, of privilege or achievement. I hope you will be found a colourless man.