I remember our long walks in the past. Days when being with you seemed unending. Nights when waiting for you seemed like a hopeless choice. But I stuck with you. I believed you will see the light as God graciously reveals them by and by. My patience was tried but I waited. I spoke of the outward reflection of your inner experiences. I advised that your true confessions are not only matters of the heart but a life to be seen. It must show in your dressing, speeches and conducts. We shall know them by their fruits, He says.
You felt your heart was all that matters. You would tell me how many religious laden Christians are under the muggy weight of legalistic righteousness. Their ear-rings have gone but their minds are still darkened. Their expensive clothes have been exchanged by cheap and clumsy sartorial choices, but their lives have not been freed from arrogance and unfriendliness. The more righteous they erroneously claim to have become (by what they now do and don’t do), the more difficult they are to walk with. I listened to you but drew the line of difference. Many might get it wrong but your personal testimony remains yours and no one else’s. Yes, some do trim their facades to fit into our religious biases and still keep rotting in sheer hypocrisy and self-righteousness, but that shouldn’t be an absolute truth.
Somehow, it sunk in.
I could see the burst of life that exuded from your bosom. I could see moderation in all you did as the Holy Spirit helped you. Your cleavages which were once a public attraction became a private treasure to be kept. Your foul languages which were often an expression of your impatient and choleric tendencies somewhat appeared to have given way for a much quieter spirit. But it seemed they were all religion because now you have become impatient with people who have not fitted into your religious definitions. You latch on what people are not doing right as though that is the foundation for righteousness.
While I was quick to point you to a life that must agree with your heart, I did not prioritize what you did ahead of whom you were. Preaching appearances before showing Christ is an invitation to a life of religion. And all that religion shows, before meeting Jesus, is struggles, confusion, heartaches and bondage. Before you tell anyone to stop lying, stealing, and all that the old man gratifies, you must have presented this beyond a moral thought. It must be a reflection of Christ likeness. And while we must not be patient with rooting out sins in people’s lives after meeting Christ, we must be patient with their weaknesses.
Growth is what it is – growth! It takes time. It takes processes. It is hard to sit over a life over the same matter for a while and not give way to weariness and irritation. Jesus expressed the same frustration to his disciples when he retorted, “Are you still so dull?” Emphasis is on ‘still’ not ‘dull’. The longevity in life being formed in a man must be met by a response that suggests hope, faith and an inspired spirit not to give up on such a person. This is what I call you to as I write. Remember how you started. Meet every erring one with that humbled past and a hope of change tempered by love in your belief for their better future.
For in the end, the life you pray more for develops than the one sedated with heavy doses of corrections.