Is God unfair?

God is unfair! Where was God when I lost that job, yet I never had missed on tithing? Where was He when I missed out on that long overdue promotion and my new colleague got yet I never was late for even midweek prayers services? How comes He allowed my spouse to cheat on me? How comes He has allowed me to be childless?

Are these statements familiar?  You are not alone! Just a quick look at Job, a man described as blameless and shunned evil. In Chapter 29, Jobs final defense, it seems that he had had enough. He longs for the days his righteousness brought blessings in his house and respect from those around him. He details about his good acts to neighbors and his society. His connection with God had made him a wise man; his counsel was widely sought. He felt God was unjust towards him. God had forgotten all his good deeds.

Isn’t self righteousness a common pitfall for many of us?  According to the Cambridge dictionary, Self righteousness is when one believes their actions are morally better than those of other people.  It comes when we feel we have fulfilled all our religious requirements;  have accomplished our part of bargain and now therefore expect God to do his part of rewarding us . We will parade our good works, how we tithe faithfully, how we give alms, how we have paid school fees for many, how we fast often, how we wake up in the middle of the night to pray etc. We make others believe that probably that our acts have played a role in the blessings we receive from God.  Self righteousness is very dangerous because it makes us envious of those we consider  evil or ungodly. We get angry when they their children do not get sick, when they get those promotions, when they build that big house…because they don’t deserve it; they have not earned it!  We get depressed when bad things happen to us because we did deserve better! i mean we are holier than those others!

But what happens when God comes into the scene in Job chapter 38.  He details uncountable things that Job cannot fathom, did not even know. He shows him how his wisdom, justice and righteousness are unattainable by men. In the end, Job cannot help but repent in (42:5-6). Remember Asaph, in Psalm 73? In vs 13 he laments “surely it is in vain I have kept my heart pure….” Keep in mind he was a respected religious leader yet struggled to understand Gods justice and almost backslid! But when he entered Gods sanctuary, his perspective of life changed.  Jeremiah too wasn’t spared  by self righteousness. In Jeremiah 12 he makes a complaint to God about justice. Gods answer seems similar to that he gave to Job

Clearly we often humanly struggle with self righteousness, understanding Gods justice. Many are unable to fathom this and have consequently suffered depression, hated serving God, lost the faith.  But the moment we allow God to come in to the picture, the moment we focus on Him and his sovereignty, things won’t be the same again. The day we will comprehend that our righteous acts are like filthy rags, we will run to him to cloth us with His righteousness. We will stop being bitter when our neighbors are blessed because we will understand what grace and mercy are all about.

Just like Job, Asaph, Jeremiah will you allow God to come in to the picture?

 

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Categories: General Life Issues, self-righteousness, unfair | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

It all boils down to the family

This week, July 1, the former Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore’s death was officially announced and within hours an acting CEO had already been appointed. We know Bob was an apt CEO and had taken the company to very great heights but after his death, the official memo by his company only mentioned that he had been survived by his wife and children.  It didn’t mention the several overtime hours, the several meetings he chaired. No one talked about the many deadlines met or not met, any unanswered emails, no one mentioned his salary!

Many of us in the corporate world sacrifice too much for our companies. In a recent telegraph article (July 1, 2019) Neil Lyndon wrote “We claim to love our families, yet we elect to spend more than our contractually allotted hours at work. It’s time for men to take a stand”I appreciate that indeed we have so many work priorities and we easily get lost in the pursuit of making more money. But do you realize this circle never ends? The moment we make more money, our lifestyle changes- we move to better estates, transfer children to better schools, start attending better hospitals, buy cars or newer ones and soon we need more money and still more money.  Before we realize it, we have become old and have nothing else except our career to show for.

Could this be the reason we are seeing a trend where especially men die too quickly after retirement. Maybe because they were too busy looking for money and building a career that they forgot to form a bond with the family. Once they retire, all the friends and workmates are gone and now must retreat and face the wife(s) or children who are strangers to them. Are our retired parents dying from loneliness which affects their immunity levels and all sorts of sicknesses start coming up?

When was the last time you visited your parents? When did you last call them for no reason other than chitchatting? When last did you take leave just to spend time with your spouse and children? Isn’t it weird how some of us are quick to post on social media great birthday and other anniversary messages to parents who haven’t seen them for ages..

When was the last time you spend quantity time with your family.. Nowadays the excuse we have is that we are giving our family quality time.. This is  a lie from hell! Ask a number of children, they keep complaining that mum and dad are too busy. They do not remember the one Sunday you took them for a swim or fun day. They remember the 6 days your are not home! Why are many marriages breaking? Is it not because spouses feel abandoned, with no one for chitchats?

Talk to your ailing parents, your retired parents. You will be surprised what they want is not just the quick Mpesa we do but you actually talking to them and visiting them. Just sitting down with them, being there with them as they cook, cultivate, or any other of their normal chores.

The balance between making money and participating in family can be hard, but once you achieve it, the bonds with your loved will outlive all this and make you more successful..

Categories: christian, General Life Issues | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

What legacy do you want to leave?

What kind of a legacy do you want to leave behind?Legacy is a gift or a bequest, that is handed down, inherited or received from a predecessor.You can only leave a legacy in what you are passionate about. What is the one thing whose mention ignites a great drive in your heart?

Methuselah was the man known to have lived the longest but surprisingly only 3 sentences are used to describe him (Gen 5:27). I found this quite ironical because on the other hand, someone like Joseph lived only 110 years but chapters and chapters are written about him. Compare also with Jesus who only did His ministry for 3 years and chapters and books are written about him.

Legacy does not come easily. It calls for quest for excellence and sacrifice. Those who leave a great legacy do not take short cuts, they do not go for the easier route! Mother Theresa didn’t know she would one day get the prestigious Nobel prize. She was simply pursuing her passion. She was so devoted to working with the poorest in her Calcutta City that she sacrificed her teaching job to do so.  Nelson Mandela had to endure imprisonment for a cause he believed in, anti-apartheid, only later to become a president in the same country. Martin Luther King directed all his efforts  and energies to fight racial inequality until his assassination in 1968. And even coming home, we all know what Wangari Maathai had endure before obtaining the Nobel prize- the several arrests, injuries while protecting the environment. I will not be surprised Economics experts the likes of Prof X.N. Iraki and Prof Ndemo spend endless times researching and reading before producing the great articles we see.  Telecommunication gurus, the likes of Tom Makau, didn’t just find themselves there! Most probably they spend hours and hours reading  to become better. The doctors who have made great impacts, the likes of  Dr Charlotte Kaliti who was able to perform fistula  surgeries must have sacrificed so much to achieve this. The same can be said of the great teachers, medics, lawyers,entrepreneurs.. the list is endless.

What is the one thing that you can die for? What is the one thing that differentiates you from others? Whom have you touched in the course of your life? What can be written about you today?The legacy we leave begins with the little things we do today! Haba na haba hujaza kibaba as we normally say.. Are you passionate in making  one’s life better, even the least of all? How can you achieve that? Start today!

Being just there, being average, wont take you anywhere! In fact we have some friends who are just there. You have been with them probably for so long but they ain’t close friends, neither are they enemies. You can’t say or write much about them because they are just there. We have another category of people who may have been in our lives for so short a time but books and books can be written about them. What kind of a friend are you?

What legacy are you leaving in your relationships, in your career, in your community? What can you hand over to the next generation?

Categories: christian, General Life Issues, legacy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Complaining and murmuring will make you dumber!

Complaining is expressing dissatisfaction or annoyance about something. Murmuring is the same thing but rather subdued; done privately.

It is very natural for human beings to find a reason for grumbling.  Each day we find ourselves having to deal with unpleasant circumstances, from heavy traffic jam, rising cost of  living, lack of funds,overdue debtors,corrupt leaders among other. Maybe as you read this you are complaining of that bad working environment, or that bad inconsiderate boss or that contractor who did a shoddy job, or that seller who sold you less value for the money you gave or even a delayed justice. It could probably be that you have given your all in a relationship but your partner seems to give back a raw deal and so whining is the only way to vent out your frustrations.

There are also another lot of people who are just serial complainers. They will complain  about everything and anything. They will do it just to stir some debate, they will complain because this one is not doing things perfectly, they will complain when you are too quiet but also complain that you talk too much. They will complain when rains fall and also when it doesn’t rain. I suspect you already have someone in mind, who, the moment they open their mouths to talk or chat in a group setting, the mood changes and all they bring is negative energy!

Did you know murmuring or being complained-to rewires our minds for negativity? Some researchers have even attempted to show that complaining can physically damage the brain by releasing stress hormones that damage neural connections. This causes shrinking of the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in the formation of new memories, learning and emotions. This is basically saying that grumbling or entertaining it will make you dumber! It will make you stupid!

Our creator knew the effects of complaints and no wonder He severely punished grumblers, to the extent of killing a number of them.  It cost  the Israelites 40 years in the desert for grumbling, a journey that would have taken then ~11 days!He sent venomous snakes to bite them (Numbers 21:4-), sent fire to consume them, sent plagues  (Numbers 11) just to mention a few.

Grumbling is ideally an expression of lack of faith. Fear pushes us to see our enemies bigger than our God! We complain of high cost of living because we do not believe God can provide for us even in harsh economies. Surely didnt He provide manna for His own? Don’t you believe he can miraculously also provide for you? We complain and worry lack of tenants and customers because we do not believe these come from God. Who gave you that business, that house in the first place?Don’t you know there are millions who wish they had what you have?  If He did it for you yesterday, He will do it for you today and can do it for you tomorrow!!

Do you know there is even a promise for those who resist this vice? God will causes them to shine among the rest like the stars in the sky! phil2: 14-15

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[a] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky

So then what do we do?

Do an audit of your life. Is there something you have constantly complained about?  What can you do about it? What can you do to fix it? Go ahead and offer a solution instead of complaining.

Avoid serial complainers. It is okay to shut off negative people from your life. Otherwise they will reduce you to a dumb as well. You have the freedom to make right choices concerning your life!Keep off any environments that are toxic

Learning to let things pass works wonders. It is never that serious.. You don’t have to win all battles, just let them pass.  Some things are even beyond your control? Don’t be too uptight with what you have little control to change. Relax..

How about replacing complaints with  a better medicine: gratitude? When you feel like complaining, think of the many good things you can be thankful about.  You will be surprised the list is endless!

Categories: complain, fear, General Life Issues, Trusting God | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Gold or God?

A local daily this week read “New bank notes order will smash graft, fake gold rings.” The objective of this demonetization directive is to help smash black markets and various fake gold syndicates which the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) hopes will strengthen the financial  in the country.

Gold talk is not new in history! Did you know that only gold and silver (commodities) are real money! The rest are only a currency representing the actual money. Even though it is no longer used as a primary form of currency, the yellow metal continues to have a strong impact on the value of every other currencies.  No wonder every rich man wants to be associated with items of gold; from businessmen to politicians and even artists. Don’t we, the hoi polloi ,also love even if gold-coated ‘bling bling’ ? Now you know why most wedding rings are golden even if only a carat?

But let the recent Gold scam involving the Dubai royalties not surprise you!  Since the  olden times, royalties have always sought this valuable commodity. King Solomon is recorded to have had the highest possession of gold in history . Historians suggest that during his reign he acquired so much gold that he even stopped counting silver. The bible also confirms that  all his cups were made of gold (1 kings 10:14- 21). Forget about the few kilos of fake gold scam that have been on the news lately; King Solomon received 666 talents of gold each year! Just to bring this home, a talent weighs roughly 34.3 kilograms, ~75 US pounds. The translation is (34.3*666) 22,843.8 kilos roughly 23tonnes yearly!

Enough digression. Have you noticed it is one thing to chase after gold and money and another to actually enjoy the money?   Ask Solomon, He had all these but he was not happy with his life. Why didn’t the golden cups make him happy? why didn’t the 700 concubines and 300 wives he got with his money bring him joy? Why did the endless wine at his palace make him jovial?  History tells us that he even used to import baboons and apes to entertain him but that seems not to be really what his heart was craving for.  In the end, he actually found out that there is only One who can give us both wealth and possessions as well as the ability to enjoy it! ( Ecclesiastes)

Why then are we inclined to be corrupt in an endeavor to make more money, and still more money?  Why are people losing humanity and going to extents of murdering, cheating, selfishness, hatred on fellowmen all in the pursuit of chasing the paper? Why are we as a country suffering economically when a few are hoarding lots of illegal money? Did the government through CBK have to resort to demonetization all because of our insatiable greed for money and what it can buy?

Maybe we should borrow a leaf from Solomon, who was both the wisest as well the richest human to ever live.  “Happy is the man who finds wisdom . . . For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold” (Proverbs 3:13 – 14). The starting point of this wisdom is the fear of God… which is the duty of all mankind.

 

Categories: General Life Issues | 2 Comments

Too busy to Rest?

For the last couple of years, I was too busy. Those who know me understand what I am talking about. In fact ‘too busy’ had been replaced with ‘far too busy’ until I was completely buried in meaningless life. But one day I had to stop and asked myself  ” Lucy, has your life been reduced to a to do list?  What is this you are busy doing if you have no time for those who matter in your life? What is this you are busy doing until you no longer have time for the things that make you happy, like the writing am doing now? Is your career that important that it alienates you from enjoying the simple things like pausing to just smell a flower?Like Solomon of the bible, i realized all this was vanity, like chasing the wind..

Sadly, many of us are similarly trapped in this always-on, 24/7 lifestyle. We are sick…. the disease of being too busy! We are too busy with family, school and work commitments.We have become slaves to other people’s demands and all these have stolen every drop of our time! Not to mention our social-media jobs of constant tweeting and endless posting on Instagram and Facebook. Nowadays when you greet someone “How are you?” Instead of  telling you the state of their heart, if happy, sad, aching and so on, it has become common for them to give details of the items on their to do list!Some of us are even too busy to notice we are!

Here are some signals that you are indeed far too busy and you need to slow down

  1. You hardly have time for your family and close loved ones. In fact they stopped asking you out because they understand you are very very busy
  2. You have consistently been unable to be present and enjoy the simple tasks and have therefore resorted to multitasking. Even a simple activity like meal time is a time for you to catch up on emails, work, phone calls
  3. You have consistently had morning fatigue. You are simply exhausted because you mind is unable to shut down at night for you to enjoy the benefits of sleep!
  4. You are unhappy and cant just tell why. You feel that you no longer have sense of purpose. Your life has been reduced to a myriad of to do lists.
  5. You do not know the last time you took time off to just relax. You have been postponing your vacation for a time when you get time.

My life took a turn when I understood Gen2:2-3 . Do you notice that God created mankind on the sixth day, meaning after creation, mankind’s first day of life was a day of rest. The world we live in says ‘work first then rest’, but God, in his infinite wisdom, tells man to rest first, then work.

Actually the  principle of resting is a glorious picture of God’s self-sufficiency and unwavering ability to provide. Yes, God tells us is ok to stop! We can put down our tools. We can close our computers. We can temporarily shelve the thoughts about that next meeting or those emails waiting for a reply. We can stop and trust that when Jesus died in our place on the cross, He died to destroy all the anxieties of our lack, to still our ceaseless striving, to hush the winds of our self-justifying labor.  Resting is surrendering to God that it is not about our works but by His grace , He provides for us!

It is mind provoking that after God delivered the Israelites from slavery, the first thing He re-introduced was the Sabbath into their lives by providing them twice as much manna on the sixth day so that they could rest on the seventh (Ex. 16:5, 22-23).  God is willing and able to provide for us our every need if we obey Him and take a rest!

 When we allow ourselves to be physically and emotionally spent and worn, we become an easy target to the enemy’s attack; fatigue sets in and we fall sick, get into despair, depression among others. Ask the Israelites, they paid a high price of exhaustion in Deuteronomy 25:17-18 “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and cut off all who were lagging behind…” Further, when they came into the promised land, for 490 years, they failed to allow their land to rest and they heavily paid for this. For 70 years they were taken to captivity to represent every 7th year the land was to have rested in those years.(2 Chron. 36:21)

Choosing to rest is not a walk in the park. It takes great discipline to do so! To quote Benjamin Franklin, “He who can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.”

But are we are we willing to pay the sacrifice of not resting? Are we willing to relax in His presence?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Busy, General Life Issues | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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