THE FIG TREE
I was thinking of a message to share today and an inspiring lady, Rosy just gave me the perfect topic. She was responding to a post by someone and made some valid points that I want to discuss.
I have reproduced some portions of her article here:
A friend of mine put up a post about how christian girls were rushing to read Toke Makinwa’s book about her failed marriage………….
and he concluded his post by saying those same Christian girls would not bother to read their bibles…
As you would expect, I took that post personal. Here’s my response:
“I am one of the Christian girls that rushed to read her book and I am sure my facebook posts already told you that.(infact I feel you were referring to me)
A failed marriage is not only peculiar to non christians sir, it happens even in christianity and I believe there are lessons to be learnt from every woman’s failed relationship, either on what to do or what NOT to do.
The bible is a compilation of the experiences of people that lived two thousand years before I was born. If I have taken the pains to read the experiences of the said people that I do not know, both the good, the bad, and the ugly, I am sure I can also make time to read the exerience of a person I DO know especially a marriage that seemed like a fairy tale but yet didnt last.
You are one of those Christians that believe life starts and ends with reading the bible right? Well… I am happy for you. I on the other hand keep an open mind and believe God can teach me a lesson from any book. That there are still experiences to be learnt outside of the bible.
The sad truth is that churches and pastors do not keep it real. How many times have you heard pastors admitting they have problems in their relationships? Are we trying to say christians do not cheat on their wives? Or do not have children out of wedlock? Or do not get separated or divorced? The unrealistic expectations that we set for ourselves in christianity makes people that go through all of these experiences feel like they are total failures and so many women would rather stay in toxic relationships than be seen as failures. The “it is well” syndrome makes it difficult to really relate to pastors and christians on some real life experiences.
Do you wonder why the death of a church member is very rarely announced in churches? Because we want to give the impression that everything is PERFECT in christianity: no death, no divorces, no cheating, no baby mama drama… I wish it was that way in the real world. That girl kept it ‘realer’ than any pastor ever will and I for one have no regrets reading her book.
Any woman that has ever been in a relationship where the love was one sided or that has ever loved a man that didnt love her back or that has ever had a cheating partner or that has ever done things she’s not proud of just to make her relationship work or that has ever struggled with low self esteem in a relationship can relate to the book. I know I can…
Sometimes God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. That Toke is not a tongue speaking, scarf-tying christian does not necessarily mean there are no lessons to be learnt from her book.
So for the christians that believe that all of life’s questions start and end in the bible, kudos to you! But I’d much rather be in touch with 21st century realities and find answers and learn lessons from all around me so I’ m equipped to deal with whatever life throws at me.
If you haven’t read the book, i suggest you do. It’s worth reading believe me.
WHAT IS MY FOCUS HERE?
I reconcile this message to a verse of scripture:
‘Now LEARN A LESSON from the fig tree.When her branch is tender and the leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is almost here. Just so, when you see all these things begin to happen, you can know that my return is near, even at the doors.
(Matthew 24:32 -Living Bible Translation- Emphasis mine)
The Bible tells us that we can learn lessons even from mundane things. I am not saying you should run around town reading every carnal material you can lay your hands on, including pornographic stuff. Of course you should know where to draw the line.
The problem is that some Christians have become so HEAVENLY BOUND that they are EARTHLY USELESS.
You can LEARN LESSONS from everyday affairs. I draw a lot of parallels between ordinary events and spiritual matters in most of my writings
Two lessons I learnt from Rosy’s article:
- Life can teach you a lot if you open your mind and are willing to learn.
2. Learn to share your personal experiences with others.
Many people are reluctant to do this second lesson. People love to pretend and give the impression that they live perfect lives.
I remember when a lady in my church some years back shared a testimony of how she used to be a flirt and she was avoided like a plague after that. I once asked her to lead a worship session during a meeting we had and I was given a stern warning. ‘Can’t you remember the testimony she shared?’ I was asked.
‘But she has changed.’ I said.
‘Well are not sure about that.’ was the reply.
I felt so upset! Church should be a place where people are allowed to ‘be themselves’ without being judged. Or shouldn’t it?
So a former prostitute, criminal or pervert cannot share a testimony in church.
A mature single lady who ‘finally’ gets married does not want to share her experiences to help others struggling with the pains of prolonged singleness. You wonder why? Million dollar question!
A lady who was raped can’t share her experience. Her friends and family will tell her that no man will marry her if she does.
‘Don’t wash your dirty linen in public.’ People advise.
And those like Toke who DARED to share such experiences are castigated. ‘Why can’t she keep her dirty past to herself?’ They ask.
What an unreal world we live in!
I wonder what legacy the older generation wants to leave for the younger generation when everyone is hiding pain with plastic smiles and beautiful clothes.
I know some secrets should stay within ‘the family’ but share experiences that can help others please!
If you cannot share your experiences for personal reasons, that’s okay. No one is forcing you to do so. But do not condem those who share theirs!
It’s time to break the code of silence.
Let us share our experiences to help others who are going through pain.
Let us learn lessons from the FIG TREE by reading other people’s experiences and refusing to castigate them.
I have taken a decision I have put off for so long.
Expect to hear from me soon.
It is time to live in a real world!