What if God was One of Us?

Have you ever said something to the effect, “If I were God, they would all be destroyed”, (simply because someone lied or more seriously, committed a crime), or “they should be thankful I am not God”? Yes, if many of us were God or had the power of God what destruction and chaos would we cause! But thank God we do not have that kind of power. Yet there are many in powerful positions who act god-like and do create a world where there is a constant haemorrhaging of peace, joy and hope. This is because many who have power abuse it and oftentimes are so enamoured with this power that when faced with a decision that affected the vulnerable and those of questionable character, they often throw out the baby with the bathwater.

I was reading Daniel chapter 2 and this became obvious to me: if God was like one of us where would we be? Numbers 23 verse 19 gives a clue when it states, God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? God is unlike man because God does not lie, has no faults, whatever He says shall be done and makes all things good. Now, I return to Daniel chapter 2. In this chapter, we are told that Nebuchadnezzar’s had a dream and he not only wanted it interpreted but first, revealed by the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans. The only problem was they could not do so. It is clear that they tried to buy some time, begging the king to be reasonable and tell them the dream so they could interpret it, as was the normal order of things. But, Nebuchadnezzar did not trust them not to make something up on the fly, once they got the dream and he had a point here, because how would he know their interpretation was truthful or made up! So, he gave them an ultimatum, which probably sounded something like this “either tell me my dream and interpret it or I will kill every single one of you in Babylon”, even those who were not present or had not been given a shot at attempting his request. They all would die because he was angry at those present. I felt this was a bit harsh. What do you think?

So with the threat of certain death for all who fell under one of these categories, Daniel steps up and says, “wait, not so fast, give me some time to speak to my God and I know He will reveal all to me, so, I can give the king the answers he needs and he can save the lives of all those who now face certain death.” In the end, God comes through and Daniel is able to give the dream to Nebuchadnezzar and the interpretation as given to him by God. This leads to all being saved and Daniel acquires so much power and authority within Babylonia. However, if Daniel had failed like the others we would be reading a different story, but for God.

Now, I compare the decree made in the kingdom of Babylon, by its ruler Nebuchadnezzar, and that of God’s Kingdom in the parable spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 13. Now according to Matthew 13:24-48, in the Kingdom of God, good seeds planted by the owner of the land, are compromised by weeds planted by his enemy. The servants eventually realise what has been done, weeds growing with wheat! With this new knowledge, they ask, “should we yank out those weeds?” In his wisdom, the owner (God) says no. Why does he say this, after all this is a good solution, right? The wheat may be mistaken for weeds at this stage and vice versa which would be disastrous for the harvest. So his solution, let them both grow till the harvest. Now if we compare Nebuchadnezzar with God’s foresight, we realise how far apart they are in wisdom. Nebuchadnezzar suspected or even knew his Chaldeans, wizards, astrologers etc were charlatans but he could not discern if all supposed wise men in his kingdom were real or fake. His solution was to “cut off all their heads!” However, in the parable in Matthew 13, God was not willing to lose even one good seed planted because of a few undesirables that had found their way into his field. “Let them grow together until it is time for the separation”. So grow together they would, until the day of harvest. On the day of harvest, the weeds would be gathered and burned and the wheat gathered and stored in the barn. A much better solution to a tricky situation!

Unlike Nebuchadnezzar, God does not need to discern because he knows all, God in all His wisdom shows that His thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). He does not act out of frustration but is measured in His judgement. Therefore we should all be thankful God is not like us.

Self Actualization Versus Slef-Denial

Today I have a burning desire to consider two terms: Self-actualization and self-denial. So what does each of them mean?

Self-actualization is the complete realization of one’s potential, and the full development of one’s abilities and appreciation for life. This concept is at the top of Maslow’s’s hierarchy of needs, so not every human being reaches it.

On the other hand, we have self-denial and here we have two days in which self-denial can be defined. From the Christian perspective self-denial is:

Self-denial can never be defined as some profusion – be it ever so great – of individual acts of self-torment or asceticism. It is not suicide, since there, too, a person’s self-will can yet assert itself. Self-denial means knowing only Christ, and no longer oneself. It means seeing only Christ, who goes ahead of us, and no longer the path that is too difficult for us. Again, self-denial is saying only: He goes ahead of us; hold fast to him…

However, from a psychological perspective, it is: when you distort or deny things that are really happeningg or how you really feel about something. You may minimise your (or other people’s) concerns, ignore the problem, or blame others.

Today, I want to focus on comparing self-actualization and the Christian perception of self-denial.So, as we go along I will be interchanging self-denial with denial of self to stay firmly grounded in the definitions that align with my focus.

Self-actualization comes from Maslow’s motivational theory called, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which indicates five (5) needs that human beings have. These include, psychological needs, safety needs, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. In order to reach the stage of self-actualization, which is the “highest level that one can attain or “peak of human flourishing”, one has to successfully attain the first four. The characteristics of self-actualization include, continued freshness of appreciation, acceptance, authenticity, equanimity, purpose, efficient acceptance of reality, humanitarianism, peak experiences, good moral intuition and creative spirit. Now these characteristics seem like things we should be aimming for and even work actively to achieve. However, in the drive for self-actualization I have a question. Where is God in these characteristics? One of the characteristics speaks to moral intuition, which psychology defines as, a spontaneous moral judgement, typically about a particular problem, a particular act, or a particular agent. The use of the word spontaneous, further distances moral intuition from morality based on God’s moral standing. So where are left as christians with this theory of self-actualization? We are left to consider if this is this teory we really should be ascribing to in our daily lives.

In Matthew 16:24, Jesus said to his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me (NIV). The key term here is “deny themselves”. Since then many have asked, myself included, this very vital question, “what does it mean to deny yourself?” There are many articles that address this and the gist of them all is the beleif that sef-denial or denial of self means total submission to the will of God. Total submission means in every situation the flesh is denied the pleasures of life in favour of doing what God would have us do as his children. It further means that all that we do must be based on the desires of God and not our desires. This is difficult for many of us to understand and fully actualise. As a matter of fact, many of us will spend our lives grappling with this command, as the world we live in has many distractions, many messages that invite us to always seek self-improvement and slef-gratification as a means of attaining success. The seld is at the centre of success, according to those messages. But slef-denial or denial of self is NOT easy, and this is why it is important that we choose this route instead of a route that invites us to be totally focused on self. It means saying no to our impulses, no to what we feel is right as opposed to what the command of God is. I can attest to the many Ls I have taken when I have done things souly based on feelings. When my intution does have a foundation grounded in discerning the will of God.

If we explore Matthew 16 further, Jesus did not stop at self-denial or denial of self but he went further in 25-26 to say: For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

You see I believe that those characteristics of self-actualization will be empty without God at the centre of all we do and achieve, if we feel we can go it alone and we get to this “peak”, what will happen to our resolve when and if we do not stay at this “peak”. If we find ourslves back in the trenches and valleys we ascended from then can we make it back to the “peak” without denying self and clinging to God.

To arrive at anything looking like self-actualization, we have to first desire to know God, follow him and place him at the centre of all things. Unlike the American Humanist, Abraham Maslow’s pyramid we have to have God as the fundamental need of all human beings. Not religion but God. While I can conceed that having God would not be in Masloe’s pyramid as an atheist, that does not invalidate the importance of making this distinction. Above all each person has to decide if attaining self-actualization really is important. May be it is and maybe it is not. However, we need to go to God at all stages of our lives, through our myriad of experiences we need constant connection with God. What direction will you take and can you achieve self-actualization while you seek first the Kingdom of God?



Look at your friends
they are your treasure
Assess your health
Its goodness cannot be measured
Look at your gifts
they are yours to uplift
Look at your life
a richness you cannot compromise.
These are yours
these are sure
These are wealth
which much be kept
on a most precious shelf.

Real Life OVER Reel Life

Well, living the reel life has gotten a little out of control for me and so I have to take a step away from reel life to live a real life. Listen, as entertaining as social media can be, it can be just as destructive, some would say even more. In other words, the entertainment that it offers conceals the dangers that are lurking in every view, tweet, mention, hashtag, handle or caption. When I started watching YouTube, it was for educational and research purposes ONLY. I would get on YouTube, get the information I needed, use it and continue with my day. Most of my time was spent living my life, confronting all the challenges and triumphs in MY life. That is right, MY LIFE.

Until I got sucked into this rabbit hole of being a subscriber, receiving notifications and thinking that I had to watch, engage and support these channels that provided information and yes, entertainment. I found myself being aware that I was spending too much time on the platform but seemingly unable to step away and just get on with things in my own life, I stayed glued, ready to watch when a new video came out. Then it became a crutch, when I was sad, I would watch a video or videos to laugh and relieve stress, to learn how to cook something, learn about a place, what to wear, what to eat, when to eat, how to eat, when to be mad, at what and at whom to be mad. It became a lot. It was too much. But I kept watching.

Then I started noticing that I was not enjoying MY life as much (but that made no sense). I became dissatisfied with everything and everyone in my life (again I could not put my finger on why that was). It seemed to make more sense to spend hours watching someone else living THEIR life. Until it felt weird. Sifting through the madness of that person’s life with them or getting another message that somehow contradicted last week’s message. Until you realise that what you see is not all there is and what you think is not how things are. When you come to accept that there is an algorithm ready to keep you addicted, you need to shut it down.

You need to push back your seat or get off the bed and leave. Take a step outside and remind yourself that you can use your time to live your life instead of watching what someone out there is doing, preaching, saying or ranting about. Your day should not consist of moving from one video, “reels” or “shorts” to the next that in the end make you more unsettled than anything else.

When you do step away you realise how much more you can get done, you can do more of the things you like watching others do and you can go to your own places too! A screen is just a screen. whether it is a television, laptop or phone screen. That screen tells you no matter how much you relate and it seems similar, you have entered a world not your own. So the aim should be to live in your real world, grow and thrive there and make memories based on what you can capture of your life and not one geared towards your entertainment. While there is useful information out there, your life should not be bogged down by all that is out there. Step away for a while, get back in tune with you and your life and leave the nose behind.

Dream Seeds

Dream Seeds

What do you see
when you look ahead of you?
Do you see all the problems
or possibilities?
Do you see famine
ot the harvest to come
do you see bread
or the millions
that from your seeds
who will be fed.
DO you see a fallen forest
destroyed by hate and those depraved
or the potential of another forest
bursting out of your heard?
What do you see
within yourself?
DO you see a dead end
or the solution to a problem?
Are you afraid 
that you will not make it?
Or are you building a bridge
on the strength of your dream seeds?

A Place of My Own

What if there was a place that was all your own? A place that no one could invade at will, order for you or dictate what you could do. Finding a place of your own is often associated with your living situation. Moving to your own place shows your independence. However, sometimes, even after doing this we still have this burning desire to have a place of our own in this world. This could stem from feeling trapped in one or all areas of our lives. So we go on a quest to find that place.

Finding a place of our own takes many far and wide and along the way, some may get lost and are never heard from again. Some try to begin by looking back. Here, they may find the past a bitter pill to swallow and end up choking on their bile. So what to do but pretend, pretend as if we have the answers, know what to do, and make a mess on top of the mess we forgot or could not bring ourselves to clean up.

So is it that it is so hard to find that place? For many they spend their lives on that quest and end up going in circles, ending up where they began. But what if (hypothetical of course) we could cut through the noise that is this world and find our place? We would have to sift through too many things that do not matter but that now dominate our minds, heart and soul. We would have to let go of so many things to recapture our souls.

Now, this leads all the way back to each of us and guess what? It was always about us. That place we are trying to find required us to properly know ourselves. Trying to find something that was never lost now that is the joke because you knew all along with that that occupying that place was inside of you. You know the answers but they are too scary to contemplate, you have the plan but you seem frozen in that same place. You know you must come to terms with all of yourself and move outside of the world created for you by others who don’t really know or want to know you.

Finding a place of your own is half the work because first, you have to know who you want to be when you find that place.



We will come like avengers
from the four corners of the earth
where we have been scattered 
and gather.
Here around this fire
we will tell stories
of how we triumphed
blazed through failures like wildfire
and jumped the line
of discord
that tried to derail
and intimidate.
Here we will remember 
that we are someone
mighty and valiant
our Ori go before us
and we are not afraid.
No we cannot be stopped
our energy comes from remembering.

We are forked lightning
that can never be stopped.