As I was attempting to communicate with one of my good friends recently I was forced to listen to a series of pessimistic pandering. When I reached out to my friend I was expecting to share uplifting topics but instead, I got a constant doomsday negative shower. It was as though the entire world was completely doomed and there was nothing we could do about it, according to my friend. Nearly every facet of our daily lives was under siege. Perhaps it may have been only venting from being cooped up at home suffering cabinet fever during this pandemic? I would assume after about over six months being on lockdown that many of us are experiencing cabinet fever.
Although so many of us have our bruises and blemished that life has worn deeply inside us, for the most part, we fight off our very deepest and darkest fears. The most extreme fear is the thought of the world coming to an end. Somewhere in the middle of the plateau would be actually witnessing a lot of bad things happening on a frequent basis. And on the shallow end would be people witnessing all this current chaos and shirking it off as “normal.” If you think this cosmic negative storm is just ordinary life, then you are tainted… You just don’t know you are tainted. Truth is, all of us are tainted fruit to a certain degree. It all depends upon how we process our life experiences.
The environment of which we were raised conditioned us how to think and operate as we do. We are the product of our environments. Each of us has doubts, fears, or just things that make us feel uncomfortable. In fact, the reason many people abuse mind-altering substances such as drugs and alcohol is to overshadow some of their demons. They shut down their minds to give them temporary relief from grief and misery. I refer to these as our spiritual demons. This is like turning off the light of truth for a while. Fortunately, most of us are able to self-manage our demons well enough to put on a decent front while interacting with others in public.
Currently, I am at a nice ripe age where you can take a good look at yourself. When I was younger I had a difficult time being self-critical of myself. Naturally, I thought too highly of myself than warranted. When you get older you’ve seen things so many times that you get sick and tired of being sick and tired. When you get sick of yourself it is time for a change. No one has to twist your arms in order to motivate you to change. I suppose life itself is what does the twisting unless you are the very stubborn type, as was I.
To discuss this behavior biblically rather than psychologically there is a scripture in Matthew: 7 that says you will know a tree by the fruit it produces. A good tree will produce good fruit while a bad tree produces bad fruit. In this case, we are the fruit on the tree of life. Depending upon how you are getting fed, that is the fruit you are producing; either good, bad or tainted to a certain degree. Ultimately we are all tainted by this tree of life but to various degrees.
When I think about the unimagined different life experiences we face I can see why some people are fractured more than others. The notion of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes reveals that. Would a child of a drug addict be the same as the child of a priest? Would a southern African American citizen have the same experience as a white person born in New England? Looking at the canvass of life you can only imagine the different lifestyles and experiences people bring to the table. Each of us goes through unique experiences that make us into the people we become.
Even though it is possible to undo much of the damage that life imposes upon us earlier, some are stuck with bruises they never get over. Experiencing racism for most of your formative years is one such experience that causes very deep scars and wounds that many never get over. Being raised in a poor chaotic neighborhood brand you a certain way. People who live out in the rural countryside on farms see life completely different from those who live in the urban large cities. Being raised in a Christian household compared to being raised in homes that do not respect things of God brands us differently. All these variations make us uniquely who we are. There are countless variations, and yes such things make us that unique within ourselves. Our Creator knows that about us and has to fix what is broken in us. Some just require more fixing than others.
As I was contemplating writing this essay I thought of what Christ said about only doing what He saw the Father doing. He said: “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father taught me, I speak these things.” John 8:28 In other words He was obedient to the Father who knows all things and who teaches what is right, decent, and godly. We are in a position to learn from Christ how to live our lives. Rather than just doing things from our feelings we need to follow the example of Christ, who being in the form of God humbled himself to become obedient to the Father in every way.
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5–8
The point being, if Christ, who was in the form of God in flesh knew He had to lean upon superior wisdom from above, how much more do you think we need to lean even heavier upon God’s divine care. Though we are tainted by the world we can be fixed by a power that is superior to the world should we learn to lean upon God and the resources He sends our way. Even though I can write this message very plainly, living it requires more than just wishful thinking. You actually have to do as Christ did when He stated. “I do nothing of myself, but as my Father taught me.” That means we must desire to be taught by God if we want to be healed of our imperfections.
So here is the verdict: We are all tainted by the world in which we live but we have the ability to be healed of what the world imposes upon you. You alone do not have the power to heal yourself but if you turn to the One that God sent as an example for us to follow then the work is done from heaven and you are healed by your faith and obedience. So many of you will fight this as did I but when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired God will take your burdens away. Let those that have ears to hear receive this message. Selah!