Where do you come from?
Is this a question you have heard a lot or are even asking a lot?
Me, I live in a country where I wasn’t born.
And I hear this question every day!
According to my experience, people in the UK are somewhat obsessed with knowing where someone originally came from, especially when this person has an accent.
In my case, my accent seems to be not so easy to locate.
The most common guess is South Africa nowadays, it used to be United States, where I spent a year after high school as a nanny (in Los Angeles to be precise) and where I obviously learnt a lot of my English. In the most recent years, when I had already been living in the United Kingdom, in Scotland and in England, I did my best to iron out my “American twang” and to pronounce the English language more like British people, which made more people believe that I am from South Africa, Canada, or Sweden is also a Common one (maybe also because of my looks).
By the way, most American people believe I come from the UK – and in New Zealand, they again thought I was from America… none of these are correct.
And I must admit, I take some pride in my accent not being easily identifiable; and South Africa is actually a huge compliment for me and so is USA or England, as they are all countries where English is spoken as a first language. This tells me that people believe that I am a native speaker – which I am not.
However, since I had to learn the language from scratch and have been studying it for many years, working on my grammar, trying to tweak out little errors regarding prepositions or syntax, I sometimes notice that I seem to be more firm at spelling or sometimes seem to know more words than many of my peers or colleagues who were born here.
Why is that so?
I believe it’s because they have not put in so much effort into learning the language, they didn’t have to study the rules of how a sentence is constructed, it has been given to them when they were a child, when they were young and when learning came naturally and instinctively to them.
At the same time, they also sometimes may not have the same appreciation for their language as I do.
Have you ever noticed that people who’s first language is English are less prone to learn other languages than people from smaller countries in Europe for instance?
Because they don’t have to!
Everywhere they go in the world, everybody speaks English!
But it also robs them of the possibility to compare, to indulge in exploring the differences and characters, melodies and the specific beauty of each language they know… me, I can very well say that English is my favorite language – and I can say it from a point of speaking/ understanding (on different levels of expertise) 7 languages, one of which is my mother tongue, of course – and funnily enough, that one is probably my least favorite one of all of them.
I believe this is so when it comes to the CHRISTIAN FAITH.
Me, as you know, I got saved out of a horrible and very dark mess.
Without JESUS and HIS salvation, there is absolutely no doubt that I would be dead by now.
So for me, CHRISTIANITY is not a theory.
For me, there was absolutely no force behind studying the WORD or going to church – at no time.
For me, GOD is not a nice, white haired grandpa, who is sitting in the clouds and sometimes sending presents to children who pray for a pony for their birthday.
To me, JESUS is REAL and ALIVE and HE is doing the same miracles HE did when HE was here on earth and when everything HE did and said was recorded and written down.
MY OWN relationship with HIM is the very same as the disciples’ and I talk with HIM every day, I ask HIM questions every day, I follow HIM every day and I need HIS help, guidance, provision, healing and protection every day, every hour, every minute of my life.
In MY world, THE BIBLE is the most awesome, wise and resourceful book – perhaps partly BECAUSE I have studied so many other (fake / false) ones.
When I observe some CHRISTIANS in the church or Christians I come across in a different context, for example at work (where everybody knows that I am a Christian, because I tell everyone, because I wear T-Shirts with scripture, I wear jewellery that has scripture or crosses and because I also talk about JESUS all the time), I notice that there is sometimes not a lot of devotion or zeal for CHRIST in them – at least not from what I can see.
Maybe it is because they were born into the church and never had to put any effort into becoming born again?
Or maybe they never had to contend with any satanic forces and thus do not know that they truly are in the “winning team” – for REAL for real???
This is not to claim that I am “holier than thou”/them – not at all, in fact, I HATE that attitude with a passion!!!
Especially when legalists in churches try to teach people how to do this or that – that’s not my mission and not the point I want to make.
Not at all!
No, on the contrary – I came to encourage you, my friend, if you have not been born into a Christian family, if your father is not a pastor, if you have not read the bible all your life and cannot quote scripture backwards from every book of the bible, if you have not been serving in your church for many years, but if you have – like me!!! – a very filthy (either spiritually or real or both) background and if you believe that you are not a worthy member of the church.
I believe you ARE!
I believe I am.
For instance, when it comes to faith, nobody can argue with me!
Me, I have EXPERIENCED the POWER OF GOD against demons, witches and against the devil himself many times.
I KNOW what GOD can do.
I have SEEN it and I KNOW that JESUS is stronger than any being belonging to the kingdom of darkness, even stronger as their very king!
Some CHRISTIANS do not have this background, do not have this knowledge, at least not first hand and thus, some of them are not as strong or unshakeable in their faith as I consider myself to be, for many people I have spoken to, their faith seems to be more like an idea, not a reality, and GOD seems to be more like a theory – and again, this is not to boast of anything.
Had I been given the choice, I would not have opted for any of the stuff I went through(!!!), BUT GOD is using it, ALL of it.
Look at Paul.
One of the most wicked and fierce persecutors of the Christians became one of the most beloved teachers of GOD’s will and GOD’s WORD and he wrote most of the New Testament!
And there is a reason for it.
He knew where he came from – he was able to tell and to know the difference between truth and false, between heresy and sound doctrine of GOD.
I strongly believe that had he not been so rooted in and devoted to hating JESUS, he had not been able to become such a strong teacher, able to help thousands convert and come to know JESUS, thousands at the time he lived and gazillions unto this day!
Had I not been studying all kinds of nonsense for so many years, I would not know how GOOD the WORD OF GOD truly IS.
Had I not been looking for enlightenment, higher levels of consciousness, wisdom and supernatural power everywhere and for so long, I would not be able to differentiate so clearly between good and evil spirits and would also not be strong enough to withstand the temptations of the world, because I wouldn’t know that it all comes with a terrible price!!!
You see, some of my Christian brothers and sisters don’t KNOW any of these things!
They believe that they can listen to worldly music and go to the club and shake their booty AND worship GOD on sundays and sing hymns in church – they simply do not know that they are not with GOD when they live like that.
In some churches, you can even do yoga!
The doctrines and teachings get so mixed and distorted nowadays…
SO many Christians seem to not know that the enemy HAS them if he has never attacked them – they do not even believe that the devil is real.
They believe that they can be good Christians AND CEO’s at the same time and very rich and have gucci bags and prada shoes… they believe that they can belong to the world and to the kingdom of GOD… and if it were up to me, I would be happy for them if it was true, but that’s not what GOD says!
I am not here to condemn anyone.
I am here to encourage those of us who believe they are not worthy.
Be it because of where they came from.
Or be it because they don’t fit in “properly” into the congregation of their church.
The latter might be a good thing – have you ever thought about it?!???
GOD loves you and HE saved you for a reason.
Because HE has a purpose for you.
HE has given you a new life.
You are a new creation.
And NO CHILD OF GOD is worth less than another!
Regardless of your past, even of the consequences of your past you might still be dealing with, YOU ARE LOVED and YOU are made in the image of GOD.
GOD will use you.
GOD has given you gifts.
Yes, and even the very experiences HE allowed you to have before HE saved you will be something you can utilize to help others and to teach – perhaps even more than someone who has not had these experiences and has not made these mistakes.
Yes, we have made terrible mistakes in the past, when we were far from GOD.
But we are not alone.
SO many great sinners became great teachers, great instruments of the gospel – by GOD’s grace!
And we, which means YOU, my friend, and I, can be one of those who can make a difference in the lives of others – most likely BECAUSE OF, but most certainly also IN SPITE OF where we came from!
Let’s no longer be ashamed of our past.
It is over and GOD has forgiven us and has healed us – and HE has accepted us into HIS family.
Shouldn’t we, too, do the same, my friend???!!?!
Regardless of where we came from??!!!
I hope and pray that this will inspire, encourage, bless and heal you.
And that THE LORD will bless you abundantly in all areas of your life; that HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you and bring you PEACE. IN JESUS’ name I pray ! AMEN.