“The eye is the light of the body; so, if your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive], your whole body will be full of light [benefitting from God’s precepts].”
– Matthew 6:22 (Amplified Bible)
My friend once said to me, “how you believe God sees people will determine how you see them and how you believe God sees sin will determine how you see sin.” In other words, my friend was saying that sight is critical. Sights determines response and this is absolutely true for many things.
It is expected that when you become Christian, you begin to see differently. Your perception of the world changes. Your perception of other people changes. Your perception of your own self changes. Heaven is your home now. The world is temporal. Everything that doesn’t glorify God is sin. “Worldly” pursuit is vanity. In fact, everything that won’t stand the test of fire on the last day is vanity.
There is this whole shift happening and it is expected. It is what rebirth means. You are born again, your heart of stone has been replaced with a heart of flesh, the old you is dead. You are…new. All glory to God.
Hold that thought.
Another friend once read this – the words of Susanna Wesley – to me as a definition of sin:
“Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, whatever obscures your sense of God, takes up your relish for spiritual things, whatever increases the authority of the body over the mind, however innocent it is, is sin to you.”
This definition has stuck with me ever since. I take it everywhere I go; perhaps to remind myself of my many failures. I think one of my major growth challenges has been my inability to see sin as sin. I have given my life to Christ but my perception has still not changed. I still think how I think. I’m yet to start detesting what God detests. I’m yet to want what God wants, for myself and for the world. I am yet to have “the Christian gaze”.
The Christian gaze demands I see everything through the lens of my faith: What is God’s plan for this? What will God think about this? What does the Bible say about this act or this person’s behaviour? The Christian gaze demands I be a Christian first and everything else second. I find this impossible. So far.
When people talk about the children of this world spreading their satanic agenda, omo, e tire me cos I don’t believe many non-Christians wake up in the morning and be like, “what satanic thing can I do today?” Cos, as much as I don’t like Naira Marley, I don’t think the reason he sings what he sings is to prove a point to God. [P.S: I don’t see “secular” music as conscious rebellion against God. I just think, “hey, there are a billion things to sing about and someone has to sing about one of those billion things.”] I’m not sure Naira even thought about God throughout his studio sessions. So, I’m not seeing Naira the sinner or the one who has refused to glorify God with his talent. I’m seeing Naira the contributor to XYZ culture or PQRS mainstream yada yada.
I don’t see a girl in short skirt as a “loose” woman or someone who has refused to glorify God with her body. I just see intrinsic individualistic expression. I just think: Is she comfortable? Is she doing this for herself or cos nakedness is now synonymous to women liberation? Yes, I may have reservations cos my eye don see things ontop women dressing but nothing in my mind screams, “Sin! Sin! Sin!”
Yes, I listen to “worldly” songs but honestly, I’m not thinking: “time to defy the King of Kings!” I’m just curious. What’s everyone listening to? What new thing have they done to and with afrobeats? What new blend is in town? Has Olamide evolved or shall we wait for another? When my friends see people smoking and clubbing, they see sinners and people who need Jesus to set them free. I just see people who have chosen to have their own version of fun; never mind that I don’t understand how consuming overpriced alcohol and dancing in a crowded, noisy place with constantly changing lights is supposed to be fun.
Now, of course there are things I frown at but I don’t frown at them because they are “sin”. I frown at them because…you know why I frown at them.
At the back of the Open Heavens, Pastor E.A. Adeboye is described as a man who has put his ear to the chest of the Almighty God and has heard his heartbeat. This means he knows what God wants and is committed to enacting those wants. Summarily, there is a world God wants. There is a world God is trying to create and till I want his agenda, till I begin to see like he wants me to see, till I am sensitive to things he wants me sensitive to, this Christian walk will not work. Omo. See rhymes. Lemme go and start spoken words poetry.
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