Do you ever get the feeling that you have been lied to?
I think many people especially feel this way when they are convinced of the promise in the pursuit of some goal, only to find out that there is more than meets the eye. Let me tell you a story.
The year I would get into secondary school, my parents had a wild idea to put me in boarding schools with my brothers and sisters. I say it was a wild idea because, at the time, that should have been frightening to a boy my age. I think the only reason my parents even considered the idea was because I was going to the same school as my elder brother and sister.
When they asked my opinion, I was absolutely elated to go, which I can imagine was surprising. You see, my brother had done some background work of convincing me with the age-old scam of “you can do whatever you like”.
I say it is a scam because while it had some truth to it, there was definitely more to that story than he let on. So, when the other parts began to unfold, I felt scammed.
In retrospect, I do not think my brother was trying to be malicious in his description of what being in a boarding school would be like. In fact, he was correct because to date, my ability to adapt to any context I have found myself in is largely credited to my boarding school days. So yeah, I did have the freedom to do whatever I liked but this freedom came with varying degrees of expressions and consequences.
The thing my brother was trying to achieve was to point my eyes to the most important thing or most attractive thing about boarding school.
So, while he may have not been trying to swindle me, I made the mistake of misinterpreting his information from the most important thing to the most important everything.
I find this is common with us as humans. As we travel through the most visually driven age of time, we tend to look at those shining bright ahead of us and we spot what we reckon is the most important thing and falsely tell ourselves that it is all we need to be like them. We assume that if this is the focal point of their success, it must be the entirety of what their life entails.
As you read this, you might plead guilty to this crime or not. Still, I want to provide one more important expression of this interesting subject: Marriage.
All you need is love. Popular? True? Or not?
Writing this as a single person, I have come across too many adults that have taken this popular phrase from the most important thing to the most important everything.
Love is essentially the central focus but to think that you can survive a marriage with just love would be setting yourself up for a great disappointment. You are going to need trust, lots of discipline, forgiveness, resourcefulness and so much more.
Someone might argue that love is supposed to encompass these qualities. To that, I would say most people can forgive and be hospitable to people they wouldn’t want to go home to every day. I should mention quite clearly that I do think love is by far the most important thing but without every other thing, it can falter.
My pastor said this quite succinctly; most couples that go through divorce still love each other but they go their separate ways because they don’t know how to live together.
Now that we have explored these examples, here is my suggestion; Get the full information.
Knowing the most important thing is great but knowing that everything is important is better. You are creating a blind spot when you ignore the process of learning.
It is important to note that I do not think you will get all the information you need before any decision or taking any step. In fact, I think you will always have blind spots, but I believe you can be intentional about avoiding as many blind spots as you can. You will be doing yourself a huge favour.
To conclude this article, I would like to highlight one of the saddest expressions of this flaw. Many people have been sold on the idea that our Christian faith is predicated on God’s love. While this is the most important thing, it is not all there is to it. Here is a bible verse to help us.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
Many know this verse but they make the mistake of taking note of only the most important thing which is indeed love.
If you read the entire verse you will notice that Paul does not discount the place of faith and hope. These are not love but they are also pivotal to having an effective Christian life.
There is even more to the Christian life, but I hope this example helps you understand that every part of our Christianity is important and should be paid attention to.
This way, when you face persecution, (which is also part of our faith) you can be well prepared.
Pastor Mike Todd said, the blows of life that tend to knock you out are the ones you don’t expect. I hope this article helps you to double back and learn to learn all there is to learn. It is a wise way to live.