While reading a great book from a (new, yet) dear friend called ‘simple spirituality’ i stumbled across some interesting quotes by various authors but one stood out a little more than most.
the lesson was by a man named henri j.m. nouwen a dutch born, catholic priest who authored more than 40 books on spirituality. in his writings henri said that there are three lies that one needs to overcome in this life for a full life.
1. i am what i have.
i have done many blogs on possessions and the attempt to collect and hoard wealth because, well that apparently is the new American dream. no longer the pursuit of happiness but pursuit of happiness that we know has a price tag apparently.
samuel kamalaleson, vice president of world vision said that if ‘we are unable to give something away, then we do not possess it, rather it possesses us. this struck me rather hard as i began to think/name off all the inanimate objects that i doubt i could part with. my car, my guitar, being a simple start but still convicting and makes me question ‘who owns who’?
and what about our faith in this equation? in mathew 6:24 its says ‘no one can serve two masters because he will either hate one and love the other, or be loyal to one and despise the other. you cannot serve GOD and riches.’
with so much hurting in the world it absolutely pains me to see that western world christians have bought into the lie that money is happiness, or happiness is created by money. it is the love of money that is the root of all evil, yet in so many cases we guise prosperity from the love of money as ‘a blessing from God.’ we are NOT what we have, and we should begin to give like we believe that.
2. i am what other people say about me.
this is a lie that i believe is even more potent and deadly of the first lie. this one has the power to change is into something unrecognizable, a shell of the person we once were.
in my own life i see a childhood that laden with insults and it took me years and years to shed those unwanted criticisms and actually believe that i could succeed and supersede expectations i had placed on myself in light of words i placed myself under.
‘criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.’ –aristotle
as for the rest of us who may march to a different drummer, try something new, actually attempt to be ourselves and create change in our life or the lives around us then we must come to expect critisim.
to be criticized is only human, but to change or amalgamate into what others have deemed is us is death. be secure in who and what you are, you are NOT what people say about you.
3. i am what i do.
you are not your occupation, your motivation, or your innovation. i have met many many band members that seem so lost after they quit the music business ; this is because the bigger you allow your pedestal to be built up the harder and longer the fall is on the way down.
your career is so that you can afford to spend time with your family, care for them, and meet their physical and emotional needs. your career is not a tag line on a business card that you begin to identify with and become.
i have seen so many ministers that have put the ministry before their family, they have abandoned those they love for ‘God’s calling on their life’. the end result of this is tragic loss; divorce, separation from your children, lost souls, etc. realize that your after God your priority is your family, they are your first and foremost ministry, there is NO GREATER calling.
2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
‘renewing’ your mind set in these three areas in your life will transform your life instantly, the problem is these lies may be so ingrained the process of purification will NOT be an overnight success story.
work at it, began to take note of areas in your life where you: believe that you are what you do, believe what others say about you, and where you think you are what you have. call your thoughts out! realize that these are inhibiting lies that are poison to your potential & passion.