#Gafartawa in Hausa means ‘Forgiveness’ – The one that has been ‘forgiven much loveth much; but the one has been forgiven little loveth little’ (Luke 7:47). It is not our ability to love and forgive that proves that we are christians; it is rather the revelation of who Christ is that allows us to love and forgive – Remain blessed in the Lord.
Young people and Young Londoners alike are bombarded with various snapchat and debates and vlogs and discussions especially on social media. To blog about and boast about how one is completely living an unforgiven life is in fact the way forward now. Because i’m a christian; it means that I subscribe to a biblical worldview. There are two type of people in this life. Those that are ‘Forgiven’ and those that are ‘Unforgiven’. I’ll aim to speak about this later – or alternatively you can read my previous post titled: It’s only Forgiven Souls that can Forgive.
I’m sure many within and outside the M25 have heard of #BKChatLDN and I don’t want to speak too much about the platform except that it is a platform where an urban demographic of Londoners discuss and share their views and that’s fine. But after having a chat with one of the members of my youth group that I use to teach at Sunday School (at a Church I use to attend in Grays, Essex four years ago) some months ago and he tells me of his keenness for the show and then my actual sister in France who watches it and says she finds it interesting; I have (after much thought) decided to post some of the random thoughts that comes to my head when watching the show in relation to young people, forgiveness and being forgiven by God.
I watched a few snippets of some episodes and then watched (or at least tried to watch fully) Season 3 Episode 9 and I must say at least; it’s a great to see how a certain demographic of late-twenties (or thereabouts) Londoners view life and see the world. I’m speaking like some kind of anthropologist researching about this groundbreaking new culture. Weird. However; ‘nothing is ‘new’ under the sun’ as the Word emphatically declares (Eccles 1.9) and just because there are new ways of how people portray their unforgiven lives doesn’t mean that people have become worse. It’s not that man has become more sinful over time; it’s moreso that there is more opportunities to sin. Furthermore; it also doesn’t mean that the message of forgiveness that is found in The Gospel doesn’t save. It does. Via God’s Grace and God’s Power of course.
So; I hope this post can help someone out there; this is a blog post to demonstrate what happens in the life of a Forgiven Soul (i.e. a Christian) who encounters some of the everyday occurrences and experiences that some members of the the #BKChatLDN panel have experienced and are open to discuss. For bible believing & Christ dependant Christians; it’s my desire that this post acts as a biblical encouragement to you on how Forgiveness and Repentance plays a key role in responding to problems within our world and sin and keeping our feet firmly on the ground – and staying firmly rooted in Christ. And for those that are not Christians: it’s my desire that this post acts as a biblical worldview to how Forgiven & Repenting souls handle the very same issues that members on #BKChatLDN also face.
So below are a 5 scenarios that came to my mind whilst watching Season 3 Episode 9 and what I feel BKChat teaches in comparison to the Word:
ONE) Is Sensitivity now more important that Truth?
#BKChatLDN & Society: Big up the one that has a singular devotion to self’ and who put themselves first and are willing to compromise all over loyalties in order to accomplish their goals and make self-preservation their highest goal. Even if you’re a christian or a muslim; as long as you are moderately religious and never labelled a fanatical – you ok.
Forgiven Sinner = Christian: I am blessed only when I risk myself (John 12.25) and everything that I have (Luke 12.15) for the promotion of God’s Peace and God’s Word in this world (Matt 5.10, Luke 12.15 & 2 Tim 3:12). I am blessed when by God’s Grace; He allows my life to be so conformed to Christ and the fruits of being attached to the vine are so evident that I am disdained and persecuted by this world and by the moderately religious (John 15.20 & Matt 5.11-12)
ONE: When you fall into the trap of believing that you can manipulate people’s will to gain or do anything or that sensitivity is more important than truth: Afterwards: You will repent. Only the power of God and truth of scripture can rescue. Only the power of God and the truth of scripture can save. “Don’t know what to do? Just listen to your heart! Do what feels right to you!” This advice permeates everything from love songs to children’s movies, adult films and debate platforms of course. But God gives us a completely different directions when it comes to our heart and emotions: “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26a) and “The heart is deceitful above all things(Jeremiah 17:9a). Indeed; there is a way that seems right unto man and the end leads to death (Prov 14:12); the believer who has yet to receive instruction from the creator over a situation will remain prayer and diligently abiding by the feet of Jesus Christ like Mary and not busy Martha in Luke 10.39. One will know and will repent when they are being led by feelings.
Elisabeth Elliot wrote, “The difficulty is to keep a tight reign on our emotions. They may remain, but it is not they who are to rule the action. They have no authority. A life lived in God is not lived on the plane of the feelings, but of the will.”
TWO) How do I deal with people that are very annoying and different from me?
#BKChatLDN & Society: Get angry with and try and debate with them or debate with them and get angry with them. Separate yourself from and look down upon that which you derive from: the sinful human race. Shout, Curse, Disagree and Mock those who have a different sinful worldview to your own.
Forgiven Sinner = Christian: Understand that ‘Blessed are those’ who mourn over their own fallenness and the fallenness of their world (Matt 5.4). You mourn and mourn enough so as to take your eyes of self and put your trust in Christ – the only one that can fill us.
TWO: When you fall into the trap of getting very angry at someone? Afterwards: You will repent. You will repent and ask God for more wisdom in dealing with people you have a problem with. Debates usually encourage us on how to deal with the problems of others – because they are full of problems of course. But for the believer; they will understand that the sins and problems of others are far below the multitude and depth of our sins that nailed Christ to the Cross (Isa 53.5 & Col 2.14-15). Christ in His sheer Holiness was more alien to us than those we can claim are most annoying to us (1 John 2.2 & Rom 4.25); but because his Grace is deeper than the depth of our sin; our sins which are as deep as the grave – His Grace is deeper still. Indeed – whilst we were yet sinners: Christ died and rose again for them that believe (Rom 5.8). To be angry at others isn’t a problem = because we have been fearfully and wonderfully made by God in His Image – and we have inherent worth and value – and of course we to some extent have the right to be offended when others offend and mock us. But to be very very angry at someone illustrates a subtle pride. Because you cannot truly be shocked at the actions of someone that has that which you have: sin. Only the forgiven can confirm that to be very angry at someone else is actually Prideful.
THREE) How do I deal with the fact that there are others who are more problematic than myself?
THREE: When you fall into the trap of seeing yourself as morally superior to others: Afterwards: You will repent. You will repent as this mindset is directly opposite of scripture and the God of scripture who says that not some; but all are humankind at their very best are hell deserving sinners and have fallen short of His Glory (Rom 3.23); but for His Grace; It’s His Wrath and not a partaking in His Glory that we all deserve. Once again; it is prideful to assume and look down upon a humanity that we ourselves derive from.
#BKChatLDN & Society: Because I am morally superior and see others as more problematic than self; others are more deserving of their punishments, their bad experiences and of their societal marginalisation than I am. Their sin is as deep as the grave.
Forgiven Sinner = Christian: All men and all women upon the face of the earth at their very best are hell deserving sinners (Eccles 7.20, Psalm 14.3 & Job 4.17). In fact; I am not morally superior but the worst of sinners. My sin is as deep as the grave; but His Grace is deeper still (2 Cor 12.9). Have mercy upon ME O Lord!
FOUR) Is the blame on me or elsewhere?
FOUR: When you fall into the trap and begin to say ‘why on earth is this evil happening to me?’ Afterwards: You will repent. You will repent because a holistic understanding of Man’s Total Depravity and God’s Total Loving All-Sufficiency in light of our Total Depravity requires a gratefulness and even a lifelong ponder on why anything good happens at all. The language of a repenting soul will say less ‘Why is this happening to me?’ and will say more: ‘In fact I deserve worse but for your Grace O lord; in accordance with your will O Lord; may this situation bring glory to your name’ (John 11.4, Psalm 115.1, John 9.3). Once again; it is pride and a lack of revelation of God’s Sovereignty that makes us question why evil happens within our lives.
#BKChatLDN & Society: It’s either I charge God or someone else with wrong doing (opposite of Job 1.22) in my life. Do you know where I went and what I went through to get to where I am? There’s so much evil in this society – Don’t disrespect me. I believe that blessed are those who are driven; those that put themselves first, make their own plans and go to any length to get what they want.
Forgiven Sinner = Christian: Blessed are the meek who seek the glory of God, His purpose in the world and who submit to His Will (Matt 5.5). Not that the evil of man is sovereign but the Grace of God is sovereign; conform me O Lord not to that which society tells me to gravitate towards but to you and your will. Have mercy upon me O Lord; bring glory to your name within my life (Psalm 115.1)
FIVE) Am I a Victim or a Sinner?
FIVE: When you fall into the trap and begin to adopt a worldly ‘blame game’ mentality seeing yourself more as a victim deserving of heaven than a sinner deserving of hell: Afterwards: You will repent. You will repent because this is exact language of the prayer of the boastful and society-respected Pharisee in Luke 18. Indeed; the prideful and outwardly moral heart boasts and says ‘Thank you Lord that I am not like them; the problems in my world and my circumstance are directly as a result of others and external causes. In other words: Blaming. But look at the prayer of the despised, rejected and marginalised Tax Collector. Indeed; the heart of the broken and redeemed says: ‘Lord; the biggest problem in my world is not what happened to me when growing up; it’s not my parents or society or circumstance or past trials and abuse; the biggest problem in my life is the beast that beats right underneath my nose. It is so chronic and so underneath my nose; but I thank you that YOU O LORD have opened my heart to it! I am not a victim deserving of Heaven but a sinner deserving of Hell; have mercy upon me a sinner! (Luke 18.9-14)’ Wow! Indeed; the biggest beast is that which beats underneath our nose: Our Wicked Human Heart (Jer 17.9, Eccles 8.11 & Gen 6.5).
#BKChatLDN & Society: Because of that which happened to me when I was young, growing up, within my family upbringing, within my neighbourhood, within my neighbourhood, I had a tough upbringing and so on – life is tough – but you have to do you and try and fit in.
Forgiven Sinner = Christian: Hell deserving sinners who see themselves as victims will turn away from God and blame (Job 1.22 & Rom 9.20) but Hell deserving sinners who by God’s Grace see themselves as sinners will repent and run to God (Psalm 51.1 & Acts 3.19). Blessed are those who recognise this is world is not their home and hunger and thirst for God (Matt 5.6).
The Bible makes us aware that whilst the evil of man is a deep as the sea bed; God’s Grace is deeper still (Col 2.15). Let’s be encouraged to be engaged with matters that in the context of eternity are relevant and not irrelevant- youtube debates included. ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart’ (Psalm 37.4). This does not mean if you become a believer – you can pray anything you want and the Lord will grant you it. It means that if your delight is the Lord; then the good news is that the Lord – will give you – The LORD! There is no come to the Lord and. It’s come to the Lord; He alone is a strong tower that the righteous run into and are saved. Amin
OTHER BLOG POSTS:
WHAT’S YOUR VIEWS? COMMENT BELOW | WANNA STAY IN TOUCH? FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER VIA @GAFARTAWA | FURTHER ENQUIRIES? EMAIL ME VIA GAFARTAWABLOG@GMAIL.COM | GAFARTAWA IN HAUSA MEANS ‘FORGIVENESS’ | TO ‘PRODUCE FRUIT IN KEEPING WITH REPENTANCE’ (MATT 3.8); IT IS MY PRAYER THAT GOD WILL GIVE ME AND YOU THE GRACE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS MEANS. AMIN.