Of Love & Order part 1: What Happened To Love?

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Courtesy of completewellbeing.com

“When it’s gone, you’ll know what a gift love was. You’ll suffer like this. So go back and fight to keep it.” Ian McEwan Enduring Love

“I used to think that I could never lose anyone if I photographed them enough. In fact, my pictures show me how much I’ve lost.” Nan Goldin

Starting from the beginning
Things in my life are moving in a way that only God can orchestrate. From not knowing my purpose and passion, to having TV/Film skills. From only possessing video production skills to having design traits too.. From enjoying an ordinary relationship with God to an extraordinary one. From being single to being in a relationship!
Of course when I put it like this it sounds like everything is going smoothly, all according to plan. That is far from the case. I have had to learn patience, deep trust in God, and persistence especially through and in prayer in the process. The fact that I am even writing this right now is a testament to His goodness! With gloves off, hands rubbed, we are ready to get into highly likely the most exciting journey yet.

What it is about
What is love? No I am not talking about Haddaway’s song! I am sincerely bringing to mind the reality of the most impactful force ever to hit humankind. There seems to be a widespread knowledge or more accurately information, on the subject with it affecting each of us in a completely different way. If you ask one person what they believe love to be, you will get a completely different answer to what the next person will say. The question that eats me every time is if two people (man and woman) were always meant to be, how is it that there are cases where break up happens after 4 or more years? It truly is baffling to me. As I brushed up on my dating knowledge through so many various means including books, TV (talk) shows/series, movies, internet articles, music, conversations/discussions, seminars/conferences and CD’s,  I began to see a pattern between the thriving relationships and the ones that appear to be doomed for failure before they even start. No I am not claiming to be some expert or anything, there is still much for me to learn in spite of all I have already learned, I am merely putting forward my observations in the hopes that someone will have a good or better understanding of love. The point is to let the reader combine their knowledge, insight, wisdom and understanding with what they glean from here.
In case you are wondering Why “Of Love And Order?” It is simply based on this profound principle: Worthwhile relationships take work. Before diving into what I believe that entails, we will observe what I am of the opinion is the world’s standard for love.

Types of relationships
The info about to be displayed is an excerpt taken from a book by the world-renowned dating coach Nick Savoy, founder and CEO of Love Systems. In his journey to find love (married now), he came to discover 6 different kinds of relationships:

  • Traditional: One boy, one girl, no one dates anyone else.
  • Traditional Plus: Like traditional, but sometimes you involve other people in your sex life (not your emotional life). Usually this is when both you and her enjoy threesomes with other women.
  • Open: Your primary emotional commitment is to each other, but you are both free to date other people. Open relationships vary in intensity: some are much like Traditional Plus relationships while others are far more casual.
  • Multiple: You have a strong commitment to each other, but nothing theoretically limits what you can do with others.
  • Dating/Undefined: The rules of what you’re doing and where you’re going are unclear, but there is no explicit commitment. Often early in your relationship and usually the case before you sleep together.
  • Friends with Benefits: No significant emotional commitment. Relationship is primarily sexual.

You would be surprised to note that there is in fact a TV series called Friends With Benefits! Jaw-dropping I know. One can be rest assured that most people’s view of love would have been influenced by one or more of the above. What this therefore implies is that the relationship gets shaky right from the get go because it is established on an unstable foundation.

Aiming for the target
What this series hopes to zero in on is “popularizing” the notion of fighting for your relationship, first of all by learning more about why such a pure and precious thing has been tarnished not only by the world but by and with Christians as well, and coming back to what matters most, the only One qualified to define and execute exactly what love is. We have found that much of the reason for relationships going bad is because there is not much preparation made before entering into it and there are few, if any, boundaries put in place as well. This served as the introduction to the series, which could  have the subheading What happened to love? if you will. Links to stories that are moving, depressing and eye-opening, as well as stories from my own life will be covered in subsequent posts. The most important thing to realize is that outside God, there is little to none satisfaction and fulfillment in this life. No need to take my word for it, just ask Solomon (Book of Ecclesiastes)! Even he, in the fulness of the wisdom pouring forth from the wisest man who ever lived had this to say:

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.

Be True To Yourself

Proverbs 16:9
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

Trust: Access Issues
The most interesting thing I have observed in my own life is how much I have changed privileges with regards to the level of trust I have with both specific individuals and generally everyone else. It literally is a rollercoaster case. Some times I base my decision to trust someone on my emotions. At the time, because the people around me or the person I am with-and ideally am close to-would have given me good emotions more often than not, I naturally tend to trust them. Other times my decision is logical. If I can see, after weighing the pros and cons, a path worth walking with the individual or people, then they get higher clearance keys and thus deeper access to my trust.

A Strange Feeling 
Ever have those moments where you just know but do not know how you know, and therefore cannot explain how you know, that it is safe to trust someone? You get that sort of gut feeling that assures you beyond shadow of doubt and anything else that all systems are go. You can get an instinctive/intuitive feeling that most of the time you personally trust. This one can be automatic. You cannot decide to get a feeling to trust someone, but you can choose to go with the feeling or not. That choice is a no brainer for emotive people. The cogitative people will have time spent pondering the safety of going along with the feeling, that is if they get it, and if they do, acknowledge it.

Who Is That? 
Trusting someone is one thing, trusting yourself is a whole different matter. Essentially when you decide to trust someone you are trusting yourself with them. I find it interesting, just thinking about it now, how some people appear not to trust themselves in general which may be the root cause as to why they may have trust issues, aside from being betrayed quite a number of times in the past. For me trusting someone comes on its own until I get disappointed. This then heavily affects the next person I trust. It can be a 50/50 thing where you can still trust the next person partially, as a test, so as not to be too prejudiced towards them. That is my personality at least. If they cross the line and set off too many red flags then they immediately get denied when requiring access to my trust.

The Pain Of Expectations
One can ask, “Why do we get hurt by the people closest to us”? The truth of the matter is our vulnerability towards someone increases the closer we get to them. We open more of ourselves to them and become more delicate as a result. It is a very hard choice at the time opening up, because you are wondering whether or not they will display the most sensitive part of your life, which you have chosen to share with them. If they have gained complete access to your trust it will be a piece of cake. It does not mean you are not exposed and prone to social danger of any kind, but you have left yourself in the hands of the one you have chosen to trust, similar to giving them your most prized possession to take good care of and let nothing happen to it at all. That is an extremely huge responsibility which most people are not aware of. Your expectation regarding them are high meaning the last thing you believe they would do is reveal your secret life (both shallow and deep). Like the pain of breaking a very special, fragile, valuable and rare vase or trophy, is the state of a heart that is broken when least expected.

Conclusion
In the end growing and maturing in your character and personality essentially comes with and through the development of self-trust. Being true to yourself is all about complete honesty and trust wholly, first and foremost with yourself. Why do you keep procrastinating? Why do you choose to opt out of doing what you know is important, especially when it involves someone else? Are you avoiding what you know could stretch you because you do no think you have what it takes? If it has been a while since the last time you did something for the first time, you could do worse than starting as soon as possible.

The Heart Of An Optimist

Romans 15:13

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In this hour, I do not believe that any darkness will endure- J. R. R. Tolkein: The Return Of The King

Optimist Border

Welcoming Portion
Host: Thank you, thank you. It’s so good to have you with us, Tarisai, no excuse me, I should say Tsizzles or T.O perhaps?

Me: T.O is good thank you very much.

Host: Ah, perfect. So tell us, T.O, why do you happen to have so many names?

Me: Well in boarding school I was very often called by my surname, at least at the hostel, by my guys-and to some degree-my coaches also. Names ranging from Greenbean, Coconut, Tenessee and Premises, just to name a few, were among the popular ones. These just happen to come by probably because of the way I carried myself.

Host: Really? Please do tell.

Me: I was was not always the forward, teasing or dissing-for-fun kind of person, but still held my ground and hung out with those who did gain plenty of entertainment from taking advantage of the fact that I never dissed back. This became a very admirable characteristic unique only to me.

Host: Admirable indeed. I’m very curious as to where Tsizzles came from.

Me: Yes, first I must mention what I was called in Denmark very often: T and Mr T. It was interesting because I used T.O all the time so most people called me that, but then the Danes used Mr T and the Slovaks used T. This, again, came all on its own. After being there, I briefly became a recording artist and I named myself Tsizzles because of my sizzling fresh lyrics.

Host: Hmm interesting. You never mentioned your friends having called you T.O, how did that come to be?

Me: At this point, because I was so used to being given names and following along with them, my brother one day decided to call me T.O. That then got around the family quickly. This, by the way, was in 2004 and I went to Denmark in 2006. To this day it’s still very tempting to introduce myself to everyone as T.O.

Host: Well with a name like that I can see why. I’ll bet you get this lot but, what does T.O stand for?

Me: Actually knowing that people are immediately going to be asking that, I just answer before they get the chance, with Tarisai the Optimist. A friend of mine confronted me about that with a thought that never occurred to me because I was so used to it. They said, “That doesn’t make sense. How can you be Tarisai “Tarisai the Optimist” Mzwimbi?” I just told them it was simply because I could be. Admittedly though, Optimist is something that just came from the top of my head. Having been to YWAM in 2012 where, once again, I used T.O, I was questioned about it quite often. In Denmark I mentioned that it was just a random name. In Cape Town I realized that was not going to help.

Host: What did you decide to do then?

Me: I saw that using my first name and that awesome title was not going to cut it. I really loved it though. It just made introductions easy. I then chose to define those initials as The Optimist. This means in a literal sense, anyone who calls me out, “Hey T.O!” are really saying, “Hey The Optimist,” which honestly had a nice ring to it the more I thought about it. At least this way I can rightfully be called, Tarisai “The Optimist” Mzwimbi.

The Heart Of The Matter
Host: Very nice, very nice. The Optimist. I love that. Now you obviously carried this name around for a long time, did you ever feel connected to it in some way?

Me: In fact, it’s funny you say that because being an optimist is something I discovered I lived throughout my life. Whenever I have problems that scare me, like thinking about where my life is going, or a movie I would’ve seen, or comparing where I am to where the friends I learnt with at school are, I simply think my way through that. You see, I’m a Contemplator, that I means I think first, then act and feel. I…

Host: Wait , wait, wait, sorry to cut you there. Does that mean when you get hurt, you think the pain away?

Me: Believe it or not, yes! I cannot tell you how many deep secrets or moments of regret, embarrassment or disappointment I have kind of kept in mind and briefly forgotten about then feel less negatively impacted by, after a while. It was great experiencing that. It’s always a nice way to go through anything tough that a real friend is not in a position to lend an ear at that point in time. Sadly, though, because I’m not really the chatty type, thinking about telling someone-as enormously beneficial as it is-will more often than not, be the last thing on my mind.

Host: Understable. We can all be like that sometimes. Not sure about the telling someone part. Anyways, this thinking problems away method is not something everyone can do. Can anyone, realistically speaking, become an optimist?

Me: Most definitely. You see, it’s not about the perky personality that suppresses problems. If you are the shy or very reserved kind of person, you can still be an optimist. Looking at the bright side does not mean you forget or trivialize the problems you have, no, rather it’s centered on these two factors:

1) Things can always be worse. Another person may say, “Things aren’t always what they seem.” These essentially mean things are not as bad you think they are or as they appear to be, because they can always be worse. In other words, you can at least be grateful that you still live. That’s something very easily forgotten. Someone can say, “How can losing a loved one not be the worst thing?” Simply because you could lose more than one in a short period in time or you could be the one being mourned.

2) You think the opposite of negative thoughts. It’s very natural for us to think negatively towards any kind of situation or person, this makes thinking positively very hard. It’s not built in us, therefore, thinking the opposite of every negative thought that enters our mind makes it easier for us to feel better about how we can shape our future, no matter what comes our way.

Host: That is very deep, if I say so myself. A new way of looking at optimism. I imagine this was not a walk in the park.

Me: Not at all. It took years of training. In a way, I kind of understood what it meant to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2). It all comes down to how you perceive the situation.

Host: Well that’s all from me. Thank you for being with us today on Inside Out: the show that gives you an inside look into the lives of the great, making a huge deal out of what would normally be viewed as unimportant.

Once again T.O thank you.

Denying God Through Self-Glorification

Courtesy of wpengine.netdna-cdn.com

For a long time I have wondered what the passage in Proverbs 6 meant. Here it is:

Proverbs 6:17

These six things the Lord hates, yea, seven are an abomination to Him. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Self-glorification first of all is a very serious matter. With me included, many Christians have been sucked and deceived into thinking that the ultimate desire or purpose on earth is to excel above everyone else in any given field. That is what the world conforms to. We are not to do that (Romans 12:2). This world’s ways are fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs. This is the case especially with regards to ethical and moral issues which heavily impact existential and philosophical lessons passed onto younger generations. Their understanding of life, the meaning of life, finding themselves and their purpose will be heavily thwarted.

In essence being better than everyone is the final goal of every human existence as far as the worldly standard is concerned. You are born to be great in a sophisticated and praised field in the world. This is what Christians have been taught to believe as well. It is not about being the best you can be and improving on that to the point where you’re maintaining excellence, but about being the best in general and overall. What is the point of the best? It is so that not only can prominent colleges seek you out, but companies and various highly respected individuals as well which results in putting you on a pedestal. Everyone praises you. Then what happens? Your parents, perhaps teachers and friends brag about you in front of their peers, whether that’s direct or indirect.

Courtesy of groundzeromedia.org

A Possible Second Battle

In the Bible there is only one thing that serves as the number one contender against God: Mammon. It is wealth regarded as an evil influence or false object of worship and devotion. It is the only other thing that Jesus acknowledged as master in this world besides God. Hence why He said:

No one can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24

Now self-glorification is probably another master that the world gets mastered by. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best. One need not aim to excel above everyone else, but only to excel above one’s own capacity to succeed. If in the process that allows you to rise above everyone else, great, as long as it is not the motive. There are a number of problems that come with self-glorification:

  1. You do not seek to glorify God first.
  2. It can possibly create an identity crisis. You do not know who you are in Christ (and maybe not fully, if you do) and therefore seek validation of yourself from others.
  3. It creates narcissism. Self-obsession can be really bad.

 

This all started in the Garden of Eden. After God created everything and pronounced it good, that included Adam and Eve. Now the Perfect World in which they lived was one that ensured that everything they did was good because it was the only thing they knew. When Eve was deceived self-glorification was born because she was led to believe that not only was she deprived of high status (because she was to be like God) but now good was not the only thing she knew anymore. This time being good came at the struggle of not allowing evil to creep in. In another case, listen to what God told the Israelites:

Deut 8:12-14, 17

Lest when you have eaten and are full, and have built goodly houses and live in them,

13 And when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all you have is multiplied,

14 Then your [minds and] hearts be lifted up and you forget the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage,

 17 And beware lest you say in your [mind and] heart, My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.

Hezekiah, who wrote Proverbs 25-30, talked about the importance of having just enough which is the sufficient amount of all necessities. Nothing more and nothing less.

Proverbs 30:7-9

Two things have I asked of You [O Lord]; deny them not to me before I die:

Remove far from me falsehood and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,

Lest I be full and deny You and say, Who is the Lord? Or lest I be poor and steal, and so profane the name of my God.

One of the key things a commentary said about Agur is that he so wisely prayed for a middle state, that he might be kept at a distance from temptations.

Jesus rebuked a man who trusted his security in his riches and predicted a life of luxury (only) for himself:

Luke 12:19-21

And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many good things laid up, [enough] for many years. Take your ease; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself merrily.

20 But God said to him, You fool! This very night they [the messengers of God] will demand your soul of you; and all the things that you have prepared, whose will they be?

21 So it is with the one who continues to lay up and hoard possessions for himself and is not rich [in his relation] to God [this is how he fares].

I put a lot of thought into this. It reminds me of what Solomon said concerning the pointlessness of working so hard to build your empire, only to find that one with less wisdom than you would take over and not properly manage all that you have worked so hard to build (Ecc 2:18-21)

What about Cain?

God wanted Cain to be successful just as much as Abel. He did not ask if Cain was to be more successful than his brother, He only asked that if he did well then he was to be accepted:

Gen 4:6-7

And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected?

7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.

Conclusion
I believe God would love for us to be good husbands/wives and parents to our children. Excelling above someone else is not really, at the end of the day, a goal worthy of pursuing. Rather being the best person you were created to be and can be (and if that in turn allows you to be much better than someone else-well done) so that His glory may manifest in all that you do, along with benefiting and improving other people’s lives.

 

6 Reasons Why The Mind Is Hard To Clean

Disclaimer: This post contains some images that are bit graphic but not the point of vileness. The content contains slightly more explicit material than I would normally put together. It is generally a PG13 kind of post. Now because of the world we live in, I state things just as it is. Some of it maybe offensive but that is to illustrate what the world thinks of and is doing to Christians. I do this in order to drive the point home effectively. Being euphemistic dilutes the impact that the content is supposed to give. How else can you be real in a world like this?

Various suggestions
Now I am not saying that these are the actual reasons, but rather some possibilities as to why it is that out of all things in this world to clean, the mind is the most difficult.

I remember in my film shoot last year (during Nov-Dec 2013) our main character, who was a female lead together with our male lead because she played the wife, often wore short dresses and skirts. It was set in the ’70s through to the early 2000s. The thing that I found interesting about that was the fact that I knew that our actress was not the kind of person who normally wore such clothes. In fact I would go on further to say that if she never could, she never would!

I mentioned my observation to our supporting character who played the daughter in the story. This was on a day when she was not on set. When I said, “I like how she is putting on mostly dresses and skirts because I know she would not normally have them on. She looks great in them,” she replies, “Because their short!”
I knew that she was thinking what she thought I was thinking, but it was far from it. If anything she is the one who put the unnecessary thought in my head. I responded by saying, “The mind is the hardest thing to clean.”

Some observations based on possible conclusions people may come up with

I have not actually done a survey but this what I believe people would think.
1) Some blame it on sinGen 6:5

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually

True that we are generally born into sinful nature and therefore because of our fallen state we would naturally be drawn towards fleshly thoughts and desires. However, even without the forgiveness of sin, moral and ethical living can still be taught to an individual, most of which will be principles from the Bible except those pertaining to self-development and improvement. Through that, one can, as much as possible, control unclean thoughts and develop the habit of right thinking.

2) Some blame it on the corrupt world1 John 2:16

For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]

Now I do agree that most things, if not everything the world offers is instantaneously gratifying and self-fulfilling. Furthermore it is about taking control of one’s own destiny the idea that the most important thing above all is to do whatever you like. It is sad that most wars arise as a result of this unquenchable thirst and desire for more accompanied by a territorial mindset. In other words, “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.”
To remedy this one’s mind must be filled with life lessons on being interdependent and good morals (lessons about good behaviour) and ethics (the good behaviour being practiced).

3) Some blame it on themselvesJeremiah 17:9-10

The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?

I the Lord search the mind, I try the heart, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings

This one is very closely linked to the first one. It is arguable that your background and “mentors” so-to-speak have a huge effect on your worldview and life in general. One may justify your actions by saying that you don’t know any better. However that does not make it excusable, you still have to face the consequences of your choice. Now there is one thing even in situations like that, I believe serve as saving aid for the individual: The Conscience. Deep down inside, because everyone gets taught good principles of earthly living at some point early on in their life, though they may be deceived by some people, feeling bad about certain actions taken at first is a starting point for a turn-around and acceptance for proper living. One needs not blame their status, background, sphere of influence (people around you that impact you and you impact), or anything else for the choices they make.

4) Some blame it on others- Matther 7:3-5 

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye

Yes some would love the comfort of knowing that the choice they made was highly influenced by someone else and therefore the responsibility rests on someone else’s shoulders instead of their own. The teacher, the friends, girl/boyfriends, wives/husbands, boss, coworker, siblings and worst of all the parents. I have noticed especially from a lot of movies (meet the parents, meet the fockers, little fockers, definitely-maybe, cheaper by the dozen among others) and songs and/or music videos (Cleaning out my Closet-Eminem, Words are weapons D-12, If You Seek Amy-Britney Spears) that if not directly then indirectly or subliminally cause youth mostly to eventually rebel against their parents. Perhaps peer-pressure, wanting to fit in, dangerous board games or innocent card games with twisted rules that may have a truth or dare feel to it, heavily influence young minds. The emotive feel of music and movies is not be underestimated. I stress parents because of the greatest commandment relating to humankind:

Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you. Exodus 20:12

5) Some blame it on circumstances- Not just the ones relating to background or the past but even the current ones and the future. How do you think pessimists become that way? Life does not treat everyone fairly and neither does everyone have the privilege of being taught how to overcome tough situations with a clear mind, focusing on the main goal and not the immediate obstacle. Being shaped by negative content and material plays a huge role in an individual’s life, as does being shaped by people.

6) Some blame it on work, politics and schools- those three make up the core aspects of any nation: business, government and education. It’s always the system’s fault! The truth is we cannot do anything about the things that happen to us, but we do have a say and choice on how it affects us. Now that is the key. Working with or for companies that do not have just dealings or being ruled by unfair politicians and national leaders, or being mistreated, cheated, or deceived by either the school or friends or anyone in any a learning environment, is in an unfortunate situation. Are such experiences (meant) to change your worldview? Are they to affect how you see and do life? Do they impact who you are and who you want to be?
These are things worth thinking about.

Let’s look at Mark 7:21-23

For from within, [that is] out of the hearts of men, come base and wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery,

 Coveting (a greedy desire to have more wealth), dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit; unrestrained (indecent) conduct; an evil eye (envy), slander (evil speaking, malicious misrepresentation, abusiveness), pride the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man), foolishness (folly, lack of sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness).

All these evil [purposes and desires] come from within, and they make the man unclean and render him unhallowed.

The solution to it all
Now that we know or at least have any idea where the unclean mind comes from, the most important thing to do would be to:

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

When we do this it becomes easier when we are told:

Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect Romans 12:2

Something interesting to think about
I have observed that self-control is the most important thing that humankind has to deal with. The greatest thing given to all mankind was the freedom of choice. Second to that is the easiest and hardest way to live life: self-control.
I am convinced that if humankind has self-control in these three areas of life then they cannot be tempted at all.

1) Self-control with words. Proverbs 18:21
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]

James 3:2
For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature.

2) Self-control with food.
Proverbs 23:21
For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty, and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags

1 Corinthians 6:13
 Food [is intended] for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will finally end [the functions of] both and bring them to nothing. The body is not intended for sexual immorality, but [is intended] for the Lord, and the Lord [is intended] for the body [to save, sanctify, and raise it again].

3) Self-control with sex. Now because the Bible deals specifically with one aspect of sex, we should look deeper into that and learn more about what it truly entails: Sexual Immorality.

What is sexual immorality?
The definition of immoral is deliberately
violating accepted principles of right and wrong.

The sexually immoral includes:  prostitution,
pornography, having sex outside of marriage,
homosexuality, and adultery.

It seems as though sexual immorality comes in different ways. We will take a look at each of these:

Adultery: voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse.

You shall not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14

If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20:10

Fornication: sexual intercourse between people not married to each other.
Pop culture: freedom to have sexual intercourse with anyone not married regardless of number, gender and age in order to gain and maintain a high social status.

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4

According to the cited biblical verse, those who commit adultery defile through this their future marriage and the marriage bed, that is their sexual relation. No one will be able to rejoice of a defiled sexual relation, but it will transform his/her future wife or husband in an unguilty victim.

Masturbation: stimulate one’s genitals with one’s hand for sexual pleasure.
2) stimulate the genitals of (someone) to give them sexual pleasure.
Mutual masturbation: is a sexual act where two or more people stimulate themselves or one another sexually, usually with the hands.

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11

Prostitution: the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment.

None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute, and none of the sons of Israel shall be a cult prostitute. You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a dog into the house of the Lord your God in payment for any vow, for both of these are an abomination to the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 23:17-18

Pornography: printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement.

There are two kinds of pornography:

Softcore pornography: generally contains nudity or partial nudity in sexually suggestive situations, but not explicit sexual activity, sexual penetration or “extreme” fetishism (sexual arousal a person receives from a physical object, or from a specific situation).

Hardcore pornography: Hardcore pornography contains graphic sexual activity and visible penetration.

I would like to think it counts as well when visible penetration is obvious even when the genitals are not in the frame.

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body 1 Corinthians 6:18

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality. Galatians 5:19

Sexual Perversions

This practice is an aberrant (departing from an accepted standard) sexual practice.

This world becomes more and more evil and it becomes harder to believe that things will get any better. The world makes the things of great disgust seem normal and even calls it, “untraditional sexual orientation,” but God calls it, “an abomination,” and “defiled.”

None of you shall approach any blood relative of his to uncover nakedness; I am the LORD. Leviticus 18:6  

In continuation, the text defines clearly who are considered blood relatives, with which the marriage is banned. These are the parents, the step parents, the sister, the brother, the nephew, the niece, the aunt, the sister of the brother, the aunt from the uncle, the daughter-in-law, etc. All these sexual relations are incest. After that, the list continues with other things that are defined as perversions:

You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. Leveticus 18:22–24

The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine. 1 Timothy 1:10

Immorality of the mind

What does immorality of the mind mean? Lord Jesus defines it in this way:

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  Matthew 5:28

Self-control in these three areas, even in a corrupt world like this one, will help humankind get closer to freedom from mind abuse. I leave you with this:

For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.” William Blake

 

Fall in love with the work, not the results

Courtesy of wallpafer.com

It’s all about the process

They say that what counts is not the destination but the journey. When you have your map and need to get to your location, it’s everything that happens, everything you go through that tells the story. It may not be the arrival but rather how you got there. Of course you need to make sure your target and focus is the destination since that is ultimately what your vision is. However, even for mundane tasks like setting the table, that’s something to enjoy because when the end result comes out, all you would think about (or would’ve though about) is the process.

It’s like watching a scene playing normally up to a certain point and then rewinding back to the beginning of that scene to get an idea of what was supposed to happen. Your mind rewinds to the work you did to achieve the outcome.

Courtesy of verbestquotes.com

Why concentrate on the work?

You may be surprised or not realize this but it’s where everything takes place:

1) Character growth
2) Skill development
3) Ability to work with people
4) Recognition of potential
5) Creativity
6) The unveiling of a hidden gift/talent
7) Disclosure of who you are

The last point is the one I would like to center on, emphasize and elaborate on. They say that your attitude at the beginning of a task (or work) will determine the outcome more than anything else. It is where you realize that you are not as patient as you thought you were. You’re not as talented as your impression led you to believe. You see, what matters though is not your inadequacies or incompetence to get the job done, but rather what you learn as a result of that. Looking back at that list above, when you think about it points 1 and 7 go together.

The work is the reward

Is sometimes or often are hard? Yes. Can it be boring, repetitive and feel unproductive? Of course. In the end that is not what matters, it is the mindset enter into the work with, do with the work with and complete the work with. Even if it is the worst job that anyone can ever have, how you perceive it will have tremendous influence on how you perform it and eventually impact the end product. You, in essence, decide what the outcome will be so why not make it the best anyone has seen and open doors of opportunity for yourself. When someone admires the result, they would really be impressed with the effort that was put into creating it. As you very well know, it shows!

Proverbs 14:23

In all labor there is profit, but idle talk leads only to poverty.

Proverbs 12:24

 The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slothful will be put to forced labor.

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

 For while we were yet with you, we gave you this rule andcharge: If anyone will not work, neither let him eat.

 Indeed, we hear that some among you are disorderly [that they are passing their lives in idleness, neglectful of duty], being busy with other people’s affairs instead of their own and doing no work.

Now we charge and exhort such persons [as ministers in Him exhorting those] in the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) that they work in quietness and earn their own food and other necessities

 

991/2 Just Won’t Do

Courtesy of verybestquotes.com

I love the way God just does what he does. He truly is an amazing God. I love the Lord. As I think back at this year, which has been an ongoing and continual activity, I recognize, realize and begin to perceive the growth that has taken place in my life. I must say that I do have regrets with some of the things I could have accomplished had I put my all into it.

Giving it your all
I read recently that saying something needs to be done and being the person that’s doing something indicates the difference in mindset which, in essence, dictates the difference with perception of every situation, as well as, the difference in attitude and total performance! The outcome at the end of the day shows and proves the success rate of each individual as illustrated with the exemplary statement above. This made me think about a few things.

What would life be like if we dived into any and every situation with a “things will get better” or “it could have been worse” attitude? The reality, sadly, as I have observed, not only in movies but also in real life, that depending on background, social status and working class, people will not always have that kind of mindset. That means putting everything in whatever they do may not always be easy, especially since they would have a preconceived idea of being mediocre. Talk about setting yourself up for failure before you even start! My greatest desire is not only to become an award-winning director but also for people to slowly but surely begin thinking like champions. Like victors as apart of their natural everyday life.

Step it up or be stepped on

I often love to encourage people to step their game up. Take things to the next level. Keep going. Just do what you did much better. Do it differently. If you fail, find out how and take another approach. When a driver goes slowly it’s easy for them to feel condemned or intimidated by any small thing that gets in the way because their focus, attention and their eyes are on what is just before them. When the driver speeds up the road before them will be blurry which means they can only focus on an object that is as far as the eye can see. They can only focus on what is far ahead of them because that is all that matters, and when you think about it, it’s really all they can see too. Our level of concentration on our dream, our goal, even our current task, no matter how big or small should be 100% in.

I remember in film school we were asked to do work duties and I was on weekend duty with two other students. We prepared a simple sandwich for lunch and one of my team members would ask me to pass a cucumber, because I was in charge of slicing up enough for everyone. She would not wait for 2 seconds before telling me to hurry up. I put all my effort into making sure that each slice was the appropriate size for each sandwich, and I was on a roll too, but she was so zoned into what she was doing. On one hand that definitely got the job done in good time despite being on time anyway! In the end the frustration and stress was for nothing. I too made sure no one distracted me until I was done. While I hated the way she treated me I was glad that no one was being careless but took their work seriously and came out with great results.

What if I can multitask?
There are obvious problems with that. For one it increases chances of procrastinating on one of the tasks and it is possible to not only leave a task incomplete but also forget that another one needs to be done! Of course if you do this all the time and you are used to it or you do it to keep yourself busy, that is alright except no matter how good you are it does not change the fact that you will be only putting part of your effort into each task. Tom Basson, a very inspirational blogger put forth some great arguments for doing one thing at a time in his post The Cult of Multi-Tasking. Earlier I mentioned the possibility of procrastinating. I wrote a post on how to handle that if you do procrastinate called 14 ways to overcome procrastination: staying focused. Be honest with yourself. I am still in the middle of following some of the steps but I’m getting better.

In the end 991/2% or less will not do. 100% results come from 100% efforts.
Here are some fun stuff to read:

Love these words by Strong Independent and Sassy
Wrinkles Quotes by Positive Outlooks
Points On How To Improve Your Life by Harishsunkad
Looking For A Purpose by Bloobanana