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Wisdom Over Worries.

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Big Hoops and Jumping

Written on 9/5 at 2 am.

It was so magical.

I stepped out of the Uber and breathed in the NYC air. My favorite air. It smelled like flowers and piss. (I quickly learned that the city always smells just as bad as it does good.) I felt like I was on top of the world. I got into my dream school, I was living in my dream place, and I had been blessed with the coolest roommates the world had to offer. The whole process had been a whirlwind, considering I had only been accepted a mere three weeks prior to move-in day. But I was beyond excited to be stepping into a new season, and I knew I was coming closer to what God had for the rest of my life.

That was three weeks ago. The bliss lasted approximately 7 days. In that time, I was completely…

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The Jesus Judas Complex

 

21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me…25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said. – Matthew 26 (KJV)

Judas: the traitor.

The infamous ‘Et tu Brute’ of the faith.

The very essence of deception that caused yet another prophecy to be fulfilled in the Word of God. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been in serious contemplation on relationships and the story of Judas. I can actually pinpoint the conception of this thought process on a cold fall night in Alabama with a few friends, talking about toxic friends.

For some reason, a friendship I previously held, that I would describe as toxic, entered my mind. I always brushed the thought of me getting rid of this friendship as a huge relief— only because of the insane level of exhaustion that took place whenever I would come in contact with this person was bound to do me over. Being friends with this individual felt like I was a host to a parasite who was only there for my resources and never benefitted me. You know, the typical toxic friendship.

Last I heard, this person wasn’t doing so well in their life.

That, right there, caused me to wonder if I was in the right for just dropping the friendship. Was I just acting on my own tolerance level and desires? Could this person be thriving right now if I had remained? Could I have helped them?

Well, thankfully my WWJD braclet wasn’t far from me.

So, what would Jesus do?

One day, I cracked open the book of Matthew to read about Jesus and came across the story.

There was Jesus and there was Judas.

Throughout their story, it seemed as if Judas was only mentioned for things worth rebuking, e.g., the scene of the alabaster box and the final communion. Everybody knows how Judas’ story went. We know that Judas was to betray Jesus alongside Peter and everything else in between. We know who Judas was.

My question to open this conversation is:

If Jesus knew Judas was going to betray him, why did he ever take him on?

One time I was hanging out with a group of friends. Well with this group of friends came people I was sort of bound to be friends with since they were my friends’ friends. One specific individual didn’t really sit well with me. By the way, I’m thankful for discernment! It’s not as if this individual was horrible and would drag me down to hell if I were ever to befriend them but I somehow knew that with them came a lot of trouble— and drama. So I never became that individual’s friend.

I’m happy I made that decision. It was like I avoided a source of stress and mess because I knew that with befriending comes a lot of burden or mess carrying. That person’s mess would now be my concern and mess — in a way— and I was not down for that.

So now I’m looking at the scripture in actual confusion.

Jesus knew that this guy had his ‘stuff’. He knew the role that this guy would play in his life. Was it just to fulfill a prophecy that Jesus took Judas on? Was it because Jesus knew Judas could benefit and thrive in the atmosphere of perfect discipleship if he chose to?

There has to be a reason. Why would Jesus accept Judas?

Well maybe I can answer that.

 

Q: So what is the ‘Jesus Judas Concept’?

A: The Jesus Judas Concept is a conversation. It is the reflection of the way Jesus handled relationships with all people and the way humanity handles theirs. More specifically, the Jesus Judas Complex looks at the friendships that are socially deemed ‘bad’.

I conducted a poll to a number of people on my social media and 99% of people agreed that relationships with people should reflect the way Jesus does ‘relationship’. What’s really interesting is that when I asked the same group of people about toxic friends, numbers dropped from the high 90 percentile of saying no to just having a toxic friend, to 56% taking the lead in answering yes to keeping a toxic friend around— if they were the healthiest resource around them.

So people have a heart.

What I saw was everybody either has or had a Judas in their lives. They’re not fun. They’re not the most… desirable relationships but they’re there. I don’t think anyone would want to go in a Judas relationship if that was presented first hand but true characters and personalities begin to show when comfort settles in. I believe that’s the case for most of the people that have found themselves in such a relationship.

Every disciple of Jesus was chosen with intent and purpose. I believe like Peter, John, Thomas, etc., Judas had a great purpose for his life. He had the best teacher, listener, friend, master, leader! He gazed and dwelled in the direct atmosphere of Heaven, emitting righteousness, peace, and joy in everything. One has no choice but to thrive; however, a person’s will can exceed or execute every variable in their lives.                      So it was with Judas. So it is with my Judas.

We all have dropped a friendship before, I’m presuming. Yet, something about Jesus makes me wonder if I should continue to do so.

You see, when Jesus held the last supper with his disciples, He ate knowing the outcome, the ending, actions and the state of the hearts of each man. He specifically knew the state of the heart of the deceitful man who would beforehand kiss his cheek— an act of love. Yet, he ate with him. Yet, he shared his last moments with him. Yet, he kept him around. Yet, he loved him close.

This was SO not the case for me.

So what? Do we keep toxic people around because Jesus did? Are we supposed to suffer our mental health, our well-being, our SANITY?

I’m a firm believer in protecting your anointing. There are people in this world that can suck every bit of enthusiasm out of you. Their words and actions, if let be, can rob you of righteousness peace and joy—  and that’s the kingdom of God! However, I don’t want to be so far gone away from those people for the sake of my anointing that I miss out on the chance to help them or encourage them or whatever it is good people do.

This just has me thinking that there has to be another way.

What the Church is Saying

Because everybody has friend(s) and can probably think of a few people that they don’t necessarily want in their lives, I asked the people I polled to explain why they feel the way they feel.

Melissa M. wrote:

“…I think free will is a beautiful and terrifying concept. I admire that God gave us choice even though it would often grieve his heart. I think every relationship has the same element of free will. Even in looking at Jesus, Judas made a choice. One he was free to make. He exercised his will and of course the end result was his destruction. The same is said for disciplining people. All the knowledge and wisdom you input doesn’t change their ability to choose. …I used to be really torn about removing people from my life but toxic behavior is dangerous because you don’t always recognize the effects it has on you at the time. When I say remove I more mean the deep depth of the friendship. We should be love and light to those that obviously need it. But we can’t make people change behaviors or take hold of their salvation. Over time the toll it can take on you may actually keep you from effectively ministering…”

Taylor M. wrote:

“…If you feel led to positively influence them, you can do that from arms length. But you can’t pour into them if they’re toxic enough to exhaust you, in which case space is 100% necessary for both you and them.

Meaning: you only need to be close enough for the Lord to speak to them, and He’ll let you know when there’s a release for you to step back for yourself.”

Rebecca J. wrote:

“…You can either bring them up or they can pull you down to their level. You can always try but you’re eventually gonna have to let them go because there comes a point when there is nothing else you can do to help that person.”

Jariel B. wrote:

“Sometimes you plant the seed and sometimes you sow.”

Autumn M. wrote:

“If there was some way I could help them, I would like to think I would stay in their life.”

Kevin S. wrote:

You can be there for people without allowing them to influence your walk with God.”

Lauren J. wrote:

“Jesus would’ve helped that person so I would help that person!”

Luke B. wrote:

“Try to help ’em out.”

Lydia B. wrote:

“Jesus, friend of sinners. Love them but don’t agree with them; it’s a fine line but doable.”

Many other responses either fell on the side of a more part time friendship for one’s own good or a full immersion because Jesus did so. I gotta say, I personally can feel both sides— strongly. It’s just that in my own Judas situation, I’m feeling out this ministering at arms length technique and will probably report to you all how that goes. I am coming from the stance of, ‘I don’t wanna go through all this again’, but my bottom line in this is:

*I won’t give up on this person.

The Breakdown

When we look at Jesus, we’re looking at the perfect individual to handle toxic “friends”. I know that many people believe that it’s too demanding to pour into a person if you have nothing pouring into you. One would have to constantly keep going to God for that fill just for one individual & it’s just too tiring. Take care of yourself!

When I flip it onto Jesus, I see the perfect source Judas could receive from. The 100% God side of Jesus could never run out and 100% man side of Jesus was always replenished and restored through His frequent getting away to pray. He was always fruitful and always flowing! —Something that we are to be as well.

Yet when I look at the turnout of both Judas and my Judas, I see… an unhealthy, broken, crying out mess of a person that I know could benefit from the light I had the chance to cultivate while being away from them.

Dare I say that maybe my chance to grow was for their benefit— A way for me to plug that back into this particular individual (taps chin in deep thought). My Judases were never truly going to be the death of me— at least I don’t think. I just couldn’t seem to fathom how to keep that type of environment and attitude around me and still thrive.

One could probably argue that I must not have loved this friend. To which I would say, probably not but even the ones you love must be kept at a distance because you love them. The “loving someone to death” saying is true to its own self. Could it be that this saying could pertain to someone about themselves?  That someone could love somebody so much it would result in their own death?

Was that what happened with Judas?

Conclusion

My conclusion is, Judas could not survive without Jesus. It’s just by his own choice he chose to lay down his source of life, not realizing until it was too late that he was really laying down his own life. For with Jesus, His death resulted in the salvation of many, and not his downfall.

Honestly, the answer is simply this: ‘Just by his own choice’.

Melissa M. from earlier hit it on the nail. That’s just the balancing yet conflicting beauty and ugliness of free will.

Don’t give up on them. I think that’s what Jesus was really trying to show us—or at least me— here.

I don’t want you to walk away from this post just taking things that come because choice though. Remember, we still serve a mighty God who can soften just as he hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Pray for your Judas. Let your Judas know that too because at least by that, they don’t get the excuse to believe that no one cares for them.

 

 

 

Huge thanks to Melissa, Taylor, Luke, Kevin, Rebecca, and others who submitted their responses to me! Appreciate ya’ll ❤
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The Pursuit of Matrimony in the Bride of Christ

It doesn’t take a seasoned Christian to see that marriage is on the minds of Millennials. I mean it seems like the moment one steps out of elementary to the JV or middle school youth group the very concept of PURITY, MARRIAGE AND GOD’S IDEAL VISION OF INTIMACY is just bombarded into your face.

I do get the necessity of it. I do get why that age range holds such a pertinent demand on purity. Kids are venturing further into the world, experiencing hormones and are growing up. They need to be taught about the “adult stuff” the right way instead of the perverse way the world teaches and, quite frankly, invades upon the kids.

Do I wish innocence carried through everyone’s childhood and was still healthily stewarded when children were finally taught about mature topics at an appropriate age? YES. That would’ve saved me so much trauma in the public school system. so. much. trauma. I obviously know this isn’t the case but we’re already here and know we have to acknowledge the big topic at hand:

Marriage.

“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” – the good ol’ Proverbs 18:22

My question stands to be why are we so marriage oriented? SO focused on it as if this is the grand prize, the goal, the ultimate. I thought it was just some joke that adults in their mid 20’s said (like a lot) but once I found myself launched into the real world or rather the ministry world, which you’ll find can be in a bubble at times, it seemed like my bottom line objective was to find a spouse! The sad part was, that was everyone else’s objective too! So the young adult Christianity world all of a sudden has transformed into some marriage-hungry shark tank filled with violently impatient go-getters. Yay youth!

Coming into the ‘young adult’ age range and atmospheres, I have seen the most disdainful behaviors of active advocates of seeking men AND women! I mean, people crossing borders, morals, standards, and limits for people they merely find easy on the eyes! Forget the fact that some of these people haven’t even spoken a word to the pursued one. You put young adults in one room for a week conference and I swear it’s like a singles meet, which by the way isn’t horrible as long as that’s not your primary goal. I’m basically saying I don’t want some guy to get in the way of my worship and God encounters because I don’t want him to see me look like a total crying mess because of the Lord.

Now I have seen these following behaviors:

  • people try to prophecy (or rather prophe-lie) their crushes and interests onto other people as that person’s true spouse. I guess they think this is humility and sacrifice?
  • guys try to order an interest/girlfriend to pick their future and find a way to make the girls’ lives bend to their own life direction.
    • you may wonder why this is a problem for me: BECAUSE THEY AREN’T MARRIED! THEY AREN’T BOUND TO EACH OTHER! THIS IS A CONVERSATION FOR MARRIED PEOPLE.
  • people fight over their desired children count
    • even though they’re not even: MARRIED— or even engaged… or dating!
true story^
  • guys aggressively pursuing a girl under the guise of marriage even though the girl hasn’t even batted an eye at them.
  • guys try to plan their entire life, & I mean detailed, with a female that doesn’t even care for them.
    • This goes for the opposite sex as well cause girls be crazy like that.
  • families find a way get close to a family they want their child to marry into.
    • It’s super cringe-worthy.
  • Mothers try to pursue their dream daughter in laws’ hearts for their son.
  • People use the “God said you’re my wife/husband” introduction.
    • Keyword: introduction.
  • People try to pursue individuals that are already involved w/ another individual because of their delusion.

Point: I have seen a lot. I walk around church settings in actual dread that one hopeful and seeking man would assume that he has find-eth me as his good thing.

Do I believe that the Lord tells people who their spouse is? Absolutely. As a matter of fact I’m looking forward to when it will be my time but the young church is giving me a pretty good reason to rely on discernment and wisdom like never before. I believe the Lord reveals stuff like that to two people on whom exactly they are to marry. It’s a wonderful thing— to be found. I think it’s sweet and shows what a romantic the Lord is but there are some real church creeps out in these foyers. Keep a close watch, people.

 

I don’t know when this “transition” began for me. B.C shark tank days was blissful—worry had no room in any situation where I found myself around a male. Now, it feels like I can’t go anywhere without my potential ‘the one’ rating machine activating. I don’t think that’s completely wrong but when did this start to be a priority that I had to bring it along in every interaction?  I once had the thought:

What if I functioned like I wasn’t ever going to get married? Would that enhance my walk with the Lord and allow me to not hold myself back under the self-presumed gaze of males?

Paul did allude that it was better to be single than married. Maybe he saw a room full of believers not fully letting themselves go into their potential because of some girl named Jessica. Think about it. You’re called to singleness and in a conference full of young adults and don’t have to think about what Jeffery might be thinking over the snot violently coming out from your nose because your focus is all on GOD! Wouldn’t that just be the most freeing feeling ever?!

I’m just gonna take a wild guess and presume that we’re maybe supposed to let ourselves over to the Lord in that level of completeness knowing full well this Jeffrey is indeed watching and just not caring!

Iconic, the Lord is iconic.

I still don’t know whether the reason I began to think as I did was because of the way Purity classes in my middle school youth group informed me on the Godly vision of what marriage is supposed to be like or because of the avid rom-com movies I actually enjoyed but I started to become aware and began to seriously meditate on the topic of marriage at a young age. It’s cute when you’re seven; it’s worrisome when you’re 14. Thank God that his hand and my parents’ hand kept me from even thinking about being a child bride or anything extreme but a lot of the girls around had already created their future husband lists. I didn’t create mine until I was 17. What did this mean? It meant that I had surpassed some childish daydream and had begun to think seriously on a fairly serious matter. Is this bad? No.

So what makes this whole thing so awful?

I feel like the Body of Christ has found a flesh-like way to pursue this. We all know the running joke on why Christians get married young but I feel like marriage in the church is in danger to become cheapened to that and to just have someone to have & to hold. Have we forgotten that marriage is a spiritual investment that shapes one’s legacy, generation, lifestyle, and walks with God? WHO you marry isn’t some cute Instagram post. I feel like we all know that though. I love that the body of Christ has this desire to receive the person the Lord has ordained for them but I want to do it right. I don’t want to be looking at every person through the lens of ‘pursuit worthy or not’. I don’t want to be looking so romantically hard that I miss a platonic moment. Side note: I can’t wait for the friends and loved ones God is going to place in my life.

 

I think we all know how we get our future spouse. We just got to keep being faithful to God and through the steps He’s ordered for us to walk through, He will bring the right person along at the perfect timing! I think the wait makes this so ‘insufferable’. I get it, not all of us want a Christa Smith testimony but I’d rather wait to see the everlasting goodness of the Lord in the area of marriage than see the temporary goodness of my own efforts, ya know?

I don’t want to screw this up. I only have one chance and I just want to get this right. Will one little blog post change the Body of Christ? Probably not but I’m excited to see what will happen when I act like I’m never going to be married and skip this weird scanning the room game and just seek the Lord. In that, I will find my rewards & I believe one will be in marriage, just not now. You don’t know how happy I am to know that it’s just not right now.

Godspeed to my young adults and happy findings.

-Chriso.

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Introduction

I would like to start off by saying, and let the record show

“I have no idea what I’m doing.”

— Chrisolythe N. July 4, 2018 8:42 P.M

This is a blog— clearly— and I am going to posting things that concern me & has to do with me. I guess I’m just hoping that you would entertain my seemingly selfish blog and maybe read it?

If that’s what people do nowadays.

So with that I say,

Godspeed.

— Chriso.

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