Friday, July 11, 2008

Walking in the Light

We have had some down time this week as we prepare for our trip to Ethiopia on the 18th. It has given me some time to reflect on our experiences here in Kenya thus far.

It can be quite difficult to move and work in a culture such as this with skin the color of mine, which is quite pale. It can be very challenging to get to understand the ways of the people here, how they interact with each other, how they resolve conflict, and how they communicate with one another. From what I have learned in the years of traveling here (know that I am not trying to generalize such a diverse people, or to think for a moment that I have Africa figured out, these are just my own observations and experiences), folks here are very indirect. They tend to beat around the bush in speech and thought, and if there is an issue to be resolved, they consult many people around the issue, rather than just going straight for the issue itself. While this can have benefits of some sort, it can also generate rumors, misunderstandings, assumptions and the like that are less than true.

As a ministry, and as men and women of Christ, we desire to work with men and women of integrity, those who fear God and walk in His light. Unfortunately, that is not what we always find. We have come across pastors who misuse funds provided (not necessarily from us, but I am speaking in general), some who are not completely honest about their motives or visions, some who feel threatened when a new ministry moves in, feeling that their territory is being encroached upon, those who seek to slander the names of other brothers for the sake of protecting themselves, some who have outright stolen from the church or from outside NGO’s in order to profit themselves. It is disappointing and heart-breaking, and I can only imagine what it does to the heart of our Father.

But before you shake your head and say “tsk, tsk,” you must know that these same things go on in the states where there does not exist such poverty and desperation as here. It is a matter of walking in the light, of being straightforward and honest, before God and before men. One of the ancient schemes of the enemy is called “divide and conquer.” When we are isolated, pulled apart from the fellowship of the brethren, the lies of the enemy go unchecked, and we begin to hide things, small at first, until we are corrupt to the core of our being, hiding every aspect of our lives so that we won’t be found out.

We, as followers of Christ, are meant to walk in the light, in all things. Now I’m not saying that we need to be telling everyone we see all the business that we have, but sometimes we need to take inventory of the secrets that we are keeping. Christ Himself showed discernment in the amount of information that He shared, but He had nothing to hide.

John 3:19 says, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”

This has challenged me greatly as I think about what it is to completely walk in the Light, with pure heart and pure motives. And not just on a “don’t steal from the church” sort of scale, but on an everyday living sort of scale. Like the purchase I made without consulting my husband first. Or the conversation a girlfriend has with me but doesn’t tell her man. The little habit that no one knows about, or the little splurge that is keeping you in bondage. These are things that I am thinking of as well.

What about you? Are you walking in the Light in all things? Are you being completely honest about the life you are living? Especially those of us who are in Christ. Is the tone that we take with our children the same we would want others to hear? Are there things during your day that you are exposed to that lead you to think, “if others knew about this, what would they think?” Is it time to come clean on something, step into a little sunshine? As we work here to shed light on things that might otherwise be breaking the heart of our Father, would you walk in the Light with us? Allow God to reveal something to you today, that we may all be refined, shining a little brighter for Him.

Blessings you all.

1 comment:

  1. Good post dear friend! I am always glad for such candid conversations. I miss such refreshing times with you!



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