“Friends with Benefits”
By Owuor Kuyoh:
I usually walk into the house on most evenings just in time to dig into the night's culinary cuisine. My timing is so impeccable, on more than one occasion I have strolled in mouthing the word “Amen!” in unison with everyone else. Sadly, no one in my house appreciates an awesome entry so as I stand there basking in dramatic entrance glory, I only get awkward silence (I take it as applause…but it looks like positive criticism…which makes no sense at all, because it's either positive or it's criticism, right?) and a searing glance from Mr. Kuyoh wondering if what I claim to do is really why I leave the house every morning. Joke's on them. Next week I'll have the full setup of laser lights, LEDs, smoke screen, and a marching band jamming Kanye West's Amazing. When I walk in I'll light up their lives, literally. See press and posters for details. Terms and conditions apply.
So anyway, during dinner I like to catch Don Kuyoh Leone aka Mr Father in conversation about manly things…like guns and glory, swords and success, sportlitics – a phrase he coined to merge sports and politics arguing that they all serve one purpose: to win…and rub it in the face of the losers especially that number two guy! (I sense some bile there but I choose not to peek in that box). Moving on… During one of our conversations we got to talking about my work and the sermon series that was currently in progress. There I was, in all manner of decorum and demeanor trying to explain how an individual, of supposed sound mind and stature, can have a relationship just to derive certain pleasures from it. Like a parasite. I managed to obtain exclusive transcripts from said discourse, suitable for family readership.
Le Don: What do you mean you can have a 'special friend'?
Le Me: Ok in simple terms we say we are 'friends with benefits'. Meaning I get special treatment…like sex or things like that.
Le Don: Friends with benefits? What is that? The only benefits I'm interested in are health insurance and club membership! If we are friends why do I need benefits from you? Isn't the friendship a benefit in itself?
Le Me: The point is that we want both sides of the bread to be buttered. Enjoy the best of both worlds, so that I don’t have to struggle with something when someone can help me ease the pain.
Le Don: How do you live like that? I love myself too much to be someone else's benefit. Do you have a friend with benefits?… friend… for benefits?…beneficial friend?
Le Me: *puts on earphones* d(^ ^,)b
Sadly, many of us- knowingly or unknowingly – revel comfortably this mediocre position. Not with earphones in your ears – we treat God like He’s the F1 button. He's your 'go to' guy. You are friends with benefits. We use sacrifice as a bargaining chip arguing “If I do this for you, God will you do this for me?” We try to use these sacrifices to control His behavior and bring Him to our level. Even when something doesn't work out we lash out angrily and say “But I did this for you! Why is this happening? You're supposed to sort me out!” In other words what you're trying to say is we could become better friends if you had better benefits. News flash! That’s not how it works! Your relationship with God requires sacrifice and dependence. Surrender to His will and depending on it/Him. It would be easy to surrender were it not for sin. It brews far too deep in us. We couldn't and wouldn't give up a thing for God because we cannot easily accept absolute, eternal dependence. It is the ultimate insult to our pride.
Yet we all seek to be in God's 'good books' and I'm not talking about the bible. We want to follow what he says so that ultimately we don't fry in hell like the bad guys. So there is an aspect of obedience in us, only up to the point where it gets uncomfortable then we say, “Do what? Aiii, you guy siwes mekit. Unsubscribe.” We hide behind excuses of being too busy, not being inspired enough, inflation, Nyeri women (runs and hides). Name it. Behind these excuses we hide our hostility towards God. We are incapable, in our own strength of giving ourselves up for God's will too. We love the benefits, not the friendship. The crown not the cross. I'll take the glory but please, God please, not the grief. One plate of success but no sacri-fries please, I'm allergic…
Allow me to insult you even more…ok, even if you don't allow me I still will. I'm beginning to accept this pill as a bitter truth to swallow but must be ingested nonetheless. God's will doesn't have to be perfect to you to be perfect for you. So what does this mean for you? Enter Ps 37:23-24 “If the Lord delights in man's way, He makes his steps firm. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” It doesn't matter what situation you're going through. That job you hate doesn't look perfect to you, that relationship you lost didn't make sense to you. The frustrations in your life don't seem like God's perfect will to you. God's will for Paul probably didn't seem perfect to anyone. Few men have ever suffered so much for the gospel. But it was perfect for him. Few men have ever spread the gospel so vastly in their lifetime: his zeal for the Gospel, his passion for reformation and his amazing ability – through Christ – to turn even the direst situations to positions of praise. Just like Paul's timeline of events, God is perfectly developing your character, creating the space you need for the person that He created you to be. His will may not be easy, but it's perfect for you. And along the way, He's putting you in a position to make Him look greater than ever before; to you and others who come into contact with you. Why? Well God is infectious! Like a cold…or chicken pox! Touch someone else and they get it!
His will comes at a price… the price of surrender (Romans 12:1-2). Surrender unlocks the potential of God's will in your life. Jesus puts it so succinctly “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”
Take the step of obedience and surrender. The benefits are endless and indescribable!! All God needs is all you've got.
*increases volume* (((d(^^,)b)))