Better Comes from Owning Not Blaming

Sankofa is the process of understanding where you are by a truthful evaluation of the circumstances that got you to your “here”. That means owning the present outcomes since they are largely based on the values and beliefs you exercised in your decision making. We don’t always get to choose the particular options before us but the power to choose our response to those options is always ours. One of the toughest things for people to do is to own the course of our lives after being set on a particular course from childhood. I know things we experienced as children can be very impactful and as a child, our options as well as our power to choose were very limited, but now we have an opportunity to courageously look back at our childhood and acknowledge that we may have been mistreated or miseducated and begin the work of rebuilding our core beliefs and values based on new things we have learned and experienced. Though we may be limited in changing the physical traits our parents gave us thanks be to GOD that we can renew the most influential thing in our lives …our minds.

14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

17 So I say this, and affirm in the Lord, that you are to no longer walk just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their minds, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves up to indecent behavior for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former way of life, you are to rid yourselves of the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you are to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.  (Ephesians 4:14-24 NASB)

I mentioned earlier that we have to look back courageously. Looking back can mean facing wounds and pains we have chosen to cover up and not deal with, but that can lead to the infection of our mind or mental illness. Mental illness as in wrong thinking and believing. Often the things we cover up are things we have difficulty processing and those things are often things that can’t answer the question we ask of “why me?” I find we internalize things that were not specifically for us though they happen to us. The scripture above spoke about a hardened heart being at the root of a lot of our acting out. That is acting outwardly about things we have internalized as offences against us personally. Pride makes just about everything personal. By pride I am referring to a distorted belief that we know what is best for us in life in and of ourselves, so we take offence to anything we deem that happens to us unjustly. It starts as little babies throwing tantrums all the way into adulthood where the tantrums are the same just more refined and directed. As a baby, a tantrum maybe screaming with flailing of arms and legs, but as an adult these tantrums maybe refined to cold love, not caring anymore, throwing off healthy restraints, or meanness. As we become sophisticated thinking adults, though we tend to lash out at people, internally we blame GOD. He has to be responsible for everything, right? So, foolish pride has exalted us to a place where we think we can judge the one who created all things …apparently so. Why does GOD let terrible things happen to children? Well …do you explain everything to your children? And if you do, do they always agree with you? I think I am safe in assuming that the answer is “no” to both of those questions, and I also believe I am safe at assuming the same would be true in regard to GOD explaining everything to you. Even so, GOD has made His will known to us through His Holy Spirit by way of the holy scriptures and prophets. Will you be responsible and seek to truly know, or will you remain prideful and hold your own opinion in the highest regard. This is the question before all of us.

33 The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the home of the just. 34 Surely He scorns the scornful, But gives grace to the humble. 35 The wise shall inherit glory, But shame shall be the legacy of fools. (Proverbs 3:33-35 NKJV)

Sankofa is an opportunity to look back on our lives and humbly give some truthful consideration to these important questions. It affords us the opportunity to correct any miss alignments we have with our “here” and where we desire to be in the future. Changing our projection often means changing our core values and beliefs, which govern our decision making. If you have not taken the time to clearly identify your beliefs and values, you probably tend to blame others for your “here”, or where you are in life presently. I say that because taking responsibility for yourself begins with owning the decisions you have made and accepting that they are the result of who you are. Your values and beliefs make up your character and your character mirrors who you are in your deepest being. Another one of my core beliefs is that knowing the Truth makes you free. That is from the book of John chapter 8, verse 32. If I deal with the truth about myself, then I am free to change and become a better person towards better outcomes, but if I choose to blame others and not deal with me or choose delusion, then I am like a boat without oars in a fast-moving river. In which case, I am going to blame the river for where I end up. If you see rocks or treacherous waters ahead or just want to change your course, then you need to find your oars and start rowing in a new direction.

Personally, I concluded a long time ago that my moral compass was broken, and I needed something greater and truer to calibrate to other than my own feelings and thoughts. I also concluded there was nothing or no one better suited to meet that need than the one who created all things. That led me to the cross of Christ, and the knowledge and wisdom of the bible. For me, that has made all the difference in the world. Christ, also called the Good Shepherd, promised that if I would follow Him then He would lead me by peaceable ways along still waters, along with many other benefits. That is from the 23rd Psalm. Calibrating my values and beliefs to the knowledge of GOD has empowered me to make the best decisions possible based on what I currently know. As my knowledge of GOD grows, my decision making gets better and better, which means increasingly better outcomes. The ritual of Sankofa keeps me in the light of Truth, so that there is always light on the path before me. Today, and in the new year, and in the years to come, I wish you holy Sankofa with Christ, for He is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:5-7)

One thought on “Better Comes from Owning Not Blaming

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  1. Amen and thanks for this awesome encouragement in the Lord! Praying we all continue in the light of God’s truth.

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