My first Myles Munroe

myles

My first Dr. Myles Munroe cost over a hundred bucks and as a high school pupil, I felt the sting of paying this much for a book. Somehow I knew Waiting and Dating would be worth every penny because it wasn’t just a quick read and a few years down the line, I would still find myself flipping through the pages, highlighting new discoveries. It has taught me a great deal about godly dating and friendship, which he shares is the basis for any relationship.

Preparing to date

He starts off by introducing the concept of dating, which he notes is “not a Scriptural concept but nonetheless has become thoroughly embedded as a social norm”. In Waiting and Dating, Dr. Munroe looks at the purpose of dating and seeks to answer some of these: “What, exactly, is dating? What is its purpose? When is a person ‘ready’ to date? What guidelines are appropriate for a dating relationship?” With three basic principles he unfolds what qualifies dating “readiness”.

  1. You are not ready to date until you are fully aware of both the benefits and the dangers of dating.

Human beings relate to each other on three levels: spirit, mind and body. Healthy relationships should always begin at the spiritual and intellectual levels – the levels of purpose, motivation, interests, dreams, and personality. The physical dimension is the least important of the three, yet that is where we start.

Before you start to date someone you are interested in, ask yourself, “Am I aware of the benefits as well as the dangers of dating this person?”

  1. You need a good understanding of God’s standards for relationships.

Waiting until you are in a dating situation to decide what is right or wrong or what you will or will not do is too late. Unless you settle those matters in your heart and mind beforehand, you will have little protection against and could easily go too far. There are only two choices: either you will follow God’s standards by deliberate choice, or you will follow the world’s standards by default.

  1. Once you have determined from Scripture what God’s standards are, resovle in your spirit that you will not lower or compromise those standards for any reason, even if it means losing dates.

‘nuff said*

  1. You are ready to date when you don’t need to.

If you feel that you “need” a date in order to be complete or fulfilled personally, you are not ready for dating. Need involves demand and implies that there is something lacking in life. The opposite of need is choice, which allows for a decision.

Friendship-building

Here are some of my favourite highlights:

  • Friendship does not come to full bloom overnight; it takes time to grow and mature.

  • A relationship motivated by need destroys friendship because it is essentially self-centred.

  • True friendship is based on love, which comes from God. People who are without God do not truly understand love and therefore cannot truly understand friendship.

  • The nature and purpose of friendship is to build character.

  • Learn to focus on the other person rather than on ourselves.

  • Focusing on the other person is one of the steadfast principles of friendship.

  • One characteristic of intimacy is the capacity to both give and receive correction with grace and appreciation.

  • Praying for our friends is really the most important and significant thing we can do for them.

  • Being a continuing source of encouragement for our friends will help them succeed.

It’s sad that we’ve lost Dr. Munroe but I am encouraged by his work that lives on, not only on my bookshelf, but also in my heart. And I trust you have been to.

Grace and peace

x

Get to the top of your Dune ( in Namibia)

Picture taken by Samantha Beukes

Picture taken by Samantha Beukes

So I went to Namibia last year and had an awesome time. There are so many places to visit, and so many things to see but my personal favourite was visiting Dune 7. I swear, I have never seen this much sand before and I have never had to climb a hill this high. You’re probably thinking, “why on earth would this be your personal favourite?” because no one wants to work hard on a holiday right?!

But there was something I learned while climbing the Dune. Click here to find out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMGfwZ46Qys

Love,

Sam.

Christian values on auction

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Never let the brand name of your shoes be more important than the one who’s guiding your footsteps – Anonymous

If you were to go to an auction where the ideas of values were the items up for purchase, what would you most likely bid for? Looking good? Being physically strong? Completing your education? Finding the right person to love?

Perhaps many would bid for similar items and steer toward the same direction because so often we base our values on the majority vote or bidding. We do what we see others do, what we see our family and friends do, what we see in the media, and we simply go with the flow. We place a lot of value on material items but we place little to almost no value on spiritual things (Christian values).

Oftentimes I have discovered that when I place a lot of value on material things I drift further away from God and begin to step outside of His will. I remember days when I knew the right thing to do but failed to do it. There were people I knew I had to let go of and usher out of my life but chose to keep them around. I thought I could distance myself and still hang around them because I can choose not to be affected, but I soon realised that I was setting myself up for failure. There’s a lot that we as Christians say with our mouths but our actions contradict our words. I thought if I prayed to God every day and spent time with Him every day that would do, but I wasn’t LISTENING to Him, I was too busy doing all the talking. I was too busy chasing after my own desires and I was willing to compromise my Christian values in order to gain material ones.

We can tell a lot about a person by listening to what they talk about the most. For instance, I always talk about assignments because I am currently working towards a degree and therefore value my education. I began listening to myself and what I talked about most and then checked to see whether what I valued aligned with what God wants me to value. There’s more to life than material things, our Christian values are more important. In this post, I will focus on four; value God, righteousness, hope and love.

Value God.

Matthew 6v33 says “But first be concerned about God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and all of these things will be provided for you as well.”

If I put my education above all else, it becomes my main priority and there were days when it has been. I would become so focused on finishing assignments, staying at campus till late, sitting in the library and by the time I got home I’d be tired and drained and hardly had time or energy for anything else.

The fact that Paul uses the word “first” in this verse implies that there is some sort of prioritizing and that God should be number one on that list. The verse gives us the assurance that God knows what we need and if we choose to value Him (put Him first), He will provide all those other things we desire. When we value God we acknowledge that He knows better.

Value Hope.

Romans 8:24 says “We were given this hope when we were saved. If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it.”

There is a promise given to us by God in John 3:16 that if we believe in the Son sent to die on a cross for us, we will receive eternal life. We will never perish, never die. It is this promise that gives us hope. Hope to persevere, to be patient, to run the race with determination because we know that we are yet to receive that which God has promised. That’s why Paul says, “If we already have what we hope for, there’s no need to keep on hoping”. God’s promise is yet to be fulfilled and it is this hope that we should value because as long as we value it, we will run without giving up.

Value Righteousness

Ephesians 4:24 says “Put on your new nature, created to be like God–truly righteous and holy”

When we are saved, we are made in right standing with God, we are “new” people and our sins are forgiven and washed away. Many Christians believe that once we are saved our lives will be perfect and we will face no troubles, but this is not so for if it were, there would be no need for us to pursue righteousness since we would already be perfect. We are not perfect and we still face trials and as a result are tempted to submit to selfish desires, this is why we must value righteousness. We must constantly work towards staying pure and in right standing with God.

Value Love

Jude 21 says “keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”

Above all else we must love; love God, ourselves and others. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 speaks about being able to do good things (possess a faith that can move mountains, able to prophesy) but without love, all these things are in vain. Love is what motivates us, it inspires and is the reason for what we do and why we do. Again, while we “wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring us eternal life” we must love. While you’re waiting, love.

Challenge: Listen to yourself, monitor what you talk about most. Start thinking about Christian values.

Social Media and low-self esteem

remindyourself Have you ever felt bad about yourself after browsing Facebook? I have. I remember feeling disappointed and sorry for myself. I yearned to enjoy what others enjoyed and since I couldn’t, I wondered if I could at least be a part of it. When we are honest and real with ourselves we can admit that logging into Facebook these days can be quite a downer. Someone recently said to me the things displayed on her home page are enough to make her feel insecure and unhappy; she is reminded of what she doesn’t have, what she wishes she had and how long it will take for her to get there.

“People who brag about arriving home from gym, what they had for lunch or the awesome things they’ve done are so insensitive and do not realize that there are people out there who do not have what they have.”

She explained how awful this makes her feel, especially since she does not have. Social media has consumed our lives and has changed the way things are done; we now cyber-covet, cyber-compare, cyber-compete, cyber-criticize and studies show that the more people checked Facebook the worse they felt about their lives. A recent Glamour Magazine (madamenoire.com) report revealed that 54% of women are unhappy about themselves because of social media. To support this notion, a study by The University of Michigan (edition.cnn.com) explained:

“On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. But rather than enhancing well-being, our findings demonstrate that interacting with Facebook may have the opposite result for young adults.”

I am not advocating that posting about achievements, dishes you’ve tried or places you’ve been to are all petty and inconsiderate, I too like to share a few things every now and then. I am saying that the emergence of social media has become a stumbling block to those who are not grounded in the truth. In other words, when we drift away from God’s truth we create a gap and we consciously choose what to fill that gap with (comparison, competition, criticism, coveting). When there is a gap, almost anything can make us feel inadequate, even social media especially considering the amount of time we spend using it. There were days when I constantly had to remind myself that God loves me, He looks at me and sees my brokenness and He accepts me. I believe a lot of us can admit that there are days when we still need reminding. We often put so much pressure on ourselves to be seen as important and successful that we lose sight of we are. If this is you, here are some tips that might help: Remember who you are. Genesis 1:27 says we were “created in the image (likeness) of God”. Psalm 139:14 says “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” KNOW it! Do a self-check. Spending less time on social media does not guarantee that you will begin to feel a whole lot better about yourself, the issue runs deeper. Get to the root of the matter and do introspection. If you think taking a break will assist you in some way by all means, take a break. Just remember this option cannot be considered a cure. Be honest with yourself. Most people believe that if you tell yourself “I am perfect, magnificent, sexy, etc” it would cancel the negativity and improve the way you feel about yourself. Truth is, we’re not perfect and to consider yourself magnificent?! The sooner you come to terms with who you truly are, the sooner you can start doing something about it. Focus on Him who is perfect. Fix your eyes on Jesus and forget about yourself. The reason we often feel the way we do is because we are too concerned about self. When you turn your eyes upon Jesus you forget about yourself, you learn to see things the way He would and you learn how to deal with the desires of the flesh. Be encouraged.