|Tuesday, November 13, 2018|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
“Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.” Titus 1:15-16
he whole first chapter of the Epistle of Paul to Titus was about how the Mentor - Paul wanted his Mentee, Titus, to live the Christian life. More than that he also wanted him to ordain the elders, but more importantly to teach them how to live the Christian life.
For example in verse six he says:
“An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife, and his children must be believers who don’t have a reputation for being wild or rebellious” The vocabulary ‘blameless’ caught my attention . How do you live a blameless life? What does it mean to be blameless ? I checked out the meaning: To be blameless means “innocent of wrongdoing”
Synonyms include: innocent, guiltless, above reproach, irreproachable, unimpeachable, in the clear, exemplary, perfect, virtuous, pure, impeccable, faultless.
So God expects us always to be conscious of how we live. Are you conscious of how you live? Do you weigh your decision. Does the music you listen to, your idiosyncrasies matter to you? Do you think God does not know vocabulary?
How time flies. It was 1980. Almost 40 years now! I had given my life to Christ in the university. I was conscious of this statement living a blameless life. I had a friend in my secondary school. We were very close. Still close. He lost his dad and we went for his burial. In 1980 I was a Part Four Student reading Chemical Engineering. That evening of burial there was a party as usual. In our custom you see the people in black dresses going for the burial during the day, everyone is sober, quiet , talking low, not boisterous, debating the life of the dead and possibly thinking what will happen when they die! The same people will now come for the evening party you will think they are two distinct personalities dancing wild , loud in conversation, spraying money, eating and making merry obviously in joyous mood.
It was at that party that we the young ones sat surrounding one big table. On the table was wine, soft and alcoholic drinks of all sorts and different type of food. The music was loud as usual, live band and DJ were present. People eat, drink and men engage women pair up and dance ! It is a joyous night celebrating the life of the dead. That is the Yoruba culture. It happens also in many cultures around the world.
On our table were students from many universities handsome young men and beautiful ladies. All in our prime. As the party kicked off , boys engage the young ladies to go and dance. Even before I got born again alcohol and cigarette never had any appeal to me, such a life was further strengthen by my new faith in Christ When I read passages of scripture like this I wonder why people drink alcohol:
“Who has woes? Who has sorrow.Who has strife? Who has complaints?Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?30 Those who linger over wine,who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. 31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,when it sparkles in the cup,when it goes down smoothly, 32 In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.”Prov 23:29.
Then our table was empty everyone had gone to dance , except myself and a lady. The lady spoke to me. “Let us go and dance “. I said “No” She asked “why?”. I said why did you not go and dance too? She replied “nobody engaged me”. She wanted to dance and that is why she wants to go with me. “Don’t you dance “ she asked further? “I dance, who doesn’t dance, I dance very well but I don’t dance to this type of music ?” In fact when I dance in church in those days I was nicknamed - Okooto Jesu (Jesus spinner) “What do you mean, you don’t dance to this type of music . For crying out loud this is Sunny Ade the Juju music masterio, everyone dances to his music?”
I said not everyone. I don’t listen or dance to any music that does not edify me or glorify God. Any music that can create a sense of lusting I don’t listen to them or dance to them. The conversation went on. This lady kept asking me all kinds of questions about why a young man like me will not dance in a society party- “Did they not say you are from University of Ife? This is strange .“ She bemused.
I told her she should go and dance and not “waste” her night by not "enjoying" herself to the fullest like others. It never even occurred to me to preach the gospel to her.
When it was about 10pm I left the table eventually to go and sleep . My friend, our host provided some rooms and beds where the men could pair up and the ladies . As it turned out I just woke up around 3 am and I heard this lady asking my friend “why is it that your friend did not dance ?” He told her - “Dele is one of this SU, born again fanatics“
SU was the appellation for those in Scripture Union in those days. The Lady said, she is also SU but there is no where in the bible where it says SU should not dance to any music. My friend said - “you know what when you wake up tomorrow ask him“
We had barely woken up when this lady came to me again - “I am still curious, why will you not listen to this music or dance in a party“
It was then the key verse of today came to my mind and I read it to her among other references. “Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted” Titus 1:15
The significance of this story is to be mindful of some little details of how you live your life and not about holier than thou attitude.
Friends, how do you live your Christian life? Have pure thoughts, rebuke impure and corrupt thoughts. You live what is in your mind. Let me put it another way we are all “mind driven.” Rom 12:2. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” Pro 23:7.
If you believe you can live a pure life, virtuous,blameless, sinless life you can. If you believe you can live a life free of corruption dishonesty, crime, profanity, addictions, manipulations, cheating, hypocrisy, immorality you can. If you believe you can live a life of holiness, righteousness, a life of integrity you can. To the pure all things are pure. To the unbelieving nothing is pure - even their mind is corrupt. Set a high standard the bible has set for you. Believe it is livable and you will find the Holy Spirit not only teaching you what music to listen to, what food to eat, where to go on a daily basis, who to make your friend, which company to keep, which book to read, which movie to watch, which church to go but the Holy Spirit will also empower you to live the Christian life you so desire to live!
Jesus has this to say :"You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.”Matt 7:13 NLT
Friend, the Holy Spirit made me to know you are the Titus Paul is writing to today, live a blameless life and teach it to the next generation.
In our month of preparing for the coming of the Lord, how you live a Christian life will be more important than the talk!