Even in nature we see the leap from dependency to independence and the ultimate cycle is to give back to the whole to make it interdependent.

Before there was any form of social security to fill the gaps of poverty and helping those most vulnerable, family was the ultimate incubator to fulfil all the stages.

Growing in a migrant family I experienced all three stages of life within my small community.

It was my mother who was very deliberate about teaching all three stages of life as a matter of survival and dying with dignity.

Growing up in my household I wanted for nothing. Food, clothing, shelter and work ethic were all part of the family contract. As a dependent, I relied on my parents to give me all the tools to become independent in life.

As a teenager I knew how to work hard, put money aside, look after myself and not rely on anyone else for my food, clothing, shelter.

Growing out of dependence and becoming independent is only part of the cycle and this is where most find themselves frustrated or increasingly selfish. They believe the lie that life is all about them. They see themselves as the centre of the kosnos.

Interdependence is a whole different thing.

This is where the true riches of life flow out of. This is that glorious space of being fruitful, blessed by the heavens.

Ever heard the saying ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ implying that what you see on the outside isn’t always what’s happening on the inside.

Jesus taught the opposite, he said “Judge a tree by the fruit that it produces” implying that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they give back.

Interdependent people know that they can’t live in isolation to reap the fullness of life. Their connection to their own peace and happiness is the connection to the whole tree being healthy, roots, trunk, branches, leaves.

My happiness is connected to your happiness, my sorrow is connected to your sorrow and that’s how we create wholesome community.

The power of being a free soul, giving at every opportunity.

The following words are given regarding forgiveness and how we give it in abundance.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Open doors so others can be free

The moment we grasp how powerful it is to bless others with our words and deeds, we automatically step into the same slip stream of blessing.

It just becomes easier to let go of the predictable and be open to the once unimaginable.

Don’t be the person that has to be acknowledged before you bless others.

Don’t be the person that falsely promises to be liberal with your attitude and substance when everything is perfect, that day doesn’t exist.

The idea of opening a door for another positions us as the servant or a steward first.

God has put an incredible hidden law in the cosmos that is not so hidden to those who are awake. Give the seed that’s in your hand away into the ground and you have a harvest. Hold on to what you have and have nothing.

Today is the day to open a door for a friend or foe. Bless someone that doesn’t deserve your blessing and watch God bless you in return.

God’s law is far more simple to obey and receive blessing than any law man can write up that burdens the soul.

The idea of capturing times and places has never been so prevalent than in a social media age.

Growing up in a time where we only had black & white televisions with three stations and the meaning of a profile was a criminal getting a head shot picture for the police files.

We had a lot more imagination and space for situations to evolve. We didn’t document every bit of human behaviour for the world to see and then call it reality.

I must admit I fell victim to this false sense of reality for a season. Having access to knowledge at the tip of my fingers didn’t guarantee that I had wisdom to discern such vast pieces of knowledge.

I found myself constantly evolving on the inside and capturing all those outward moments didn’t seem to match my inward journey.

People have a habit of seeing others through their limited vision, be it a bias or simple ignorance. I felt myself always being completely misunderstood and the answer was so simple, switch it off. Don’t let others create a profile of you for their imaginary files.

It’s as old as time, there is nothing new under the sun. We are no wiser, we are simply hopeless when it comes to grabbing on to a bit of information that justifies our actions.

What’s the alternative?

1. Stick to your journey and limit the amount of unsolicited advice you take on board.

2. No matter what we want others to see about ourselves is always limited by their blinkers. We all have blinkers, seeing what we want to see.

3. We get to move a lot faster in life the less baggage we carry.

4. Life does present unlimited potential to those who understand where the source of that potential rests.

Jesus said “The kingdom of heaven is not a distant future or a geographical place, it’s in you”

What he implied was so simple yet so profound. Everything you need to fulfil your potential is internal and it’s activated by faith. A seed thought, followed by action takes you to places only others dream about.

Just keep growing and those growing with you will be by your side as others drop away.

New relationships are beautiful because we can be a fresh version of what we want others to see.

In many ways this is how two individuals may fall in love with each other. They show their best parts of themselves first.

This is also true in the beginnings of a new work relationship, our redeeming qualities shine bright as we keep the less attractive side of us under lock and key.

It’s typical of human behaviour to go from relationship to relationship in the hope of redeeming ourselves and winning the respect of those around us.

The only problem with trying to redeem ourselves, we leave a trail of distrust and broken relationships along the way.

I think the question of self redemption isn’t what we should be asking. We are incapable of looking in the mirror objectively, why?

Every human being is born into debt and we spend most of our lives trying to earn the respect of those around us.

Family relationships are the best example of this.

We claim to love one another and we spend our lives trying to fulfil our obligations to one another until someone breaches trust.

Someone always breaches trust and it starts to escalate. From that first breach to our current state of affairs, everyone breaches trust in some shape or form.

We are all guilty, no matter how great our intentions.

What’s the alternative?

Accepting that we haven’t got a hope in redeeming ourselves but we have a hope in God’s redemptive plan of salvation.

What’s the difference between us redeeming ourselves and accepting God’s plan of redemption?

You can only appreciate the difference between the two once you’ve exhausted trying to redeem yourself.

1. Just look at the relationships around you and ask yourself how strong they are?

2. How do you overcome the breaches of trust from happening in the first place and then repeating itself?

3. Do you have to keep moving circles of relationships to find perfect people that don’t exist?

4. Are you tired of not being able to accept the person in the mirror and are you tired of finding someone to blame for your struggles?

God’s plan of redemption covers every area of our need for peace.

God’s forgiveness is instant

We cannot earn it

We cannot prove we are worthy of it

We have no negotiating powers with God, we either take all His forgiveness or nothing at all.

Once we receive God’s forgiveness, ALL OF IT, it changes everything about the way we see ourselves. We become whole, complete, full of God’s love.

It’s from this place we can give our complete selves to others, not to earn their acceptance but to offer them ours with no conditions.

Don’t waste your life trying to redeem yourself. It is exhausting and a dead end road.

Keep going to God to understand that you are already redeemed and God will always reveal how to maximise this new life you have in Him.

I’ve tried both and I’m leaning on Him to keep me till the day I leave this body.

Christ died to save sinners of whom I am chief.

The power of transparency

I read an interesting interpretation of what transparency means,

Transparency in a process involves it being completely visible and open to scrutiny, so that it’s clear that nothing is being hidden. This sense of the word is especially used in the context of politicians, government agencies, and businesses and calls for them to be more transparent or increase their transparency.

While the above is generally accepted as a type of transparency, it’s far more complex.

Being open, honest and free of scrutiny to one person may be seen as arrogance and a form of bullying to another.

Who writes the rules to how visible we should be?

Often the ones that require transparency as the prerequisite to an enduring relationship, don’t play by the same rules.

I remember in my early twenties working as a car salesman for just one day. The rules of transparency applied to the sales team but not to the customer. It felt like I joined a pack of wolves that were committed to self interest in the name of transparency.

At the end of the day, I said I wouldn’t be back and didn’t give them a reason. These days I’d be more transparent about my conflicted spirit when it comes to outright deception in the name of being a great sales person. (Disclaimer, I have no issues with car salesmen). I have been negotiating deals my whole working career, over forty years of it. I can sleep well and rely on return business in these deals, all thanks to transparency.

Transparency isn’t about showing the world your dirty laundry, it’s about playing by the same rules.

Clearly defined rules of engagement in any setting helps everyone participate at their level. One person’s strength shouldn’t leave another person’s feeling condemned.

Recognising each other’s strengths and weaknesses and applying kindness, mercy, love, accountability and wholesome outcomes, strengthens the vulnerable and humbles the strong.

The team dynamic of transparency leaves no one behind and doesn’t elevate one over the other.

This is true of family and community to.

When leaders are truly transparent, they seek the best in people and aren’t surprised when people fail. It’s all a part of growing to another level of transparency.

I believe the greater the transparency, the greater the opportunities will present themselves for enduring success.

Facing ourselves is the greatest hurdle to transparency.

Jesus spoke of transparency and likened it to yeast in bread, just a little spreads right through. If we deceive ourselves in some hidden area of our life, be assured it will rummage right through our life.

So let your yes be yes and your no be no. A brilliant way to protect yourself from an overly self centred life.

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