Swimming Upstream

Today we conclude our mini-series on fighting corruption.

I hope you have been reading each week, but if you missed you can find any article on Mmegi website by searching Ashley Thaba. As our final article, I want to share the “trump card” to fighting corruption. The 100% guarantee solution.

Selfishness comes easy. Watch a toddler steal the toy or cry when she doesn’t get her way. No one has to teach us to do what feels good for us, even if it hurts others.

God gives us hope for a different style of life - the strength within and the wisdom to choose a life of selflessness, a life of sacrificial love, a life of serving. The most amazing thing is He doesn’t just command us to do this; He first modeled it by doing it Himself in the life of Jesus.

By that same Spirit of Christ living in us, we can find the strength and even experience a change of heart where we actually WANT and have the ABILITY to do the right thing. Speaking from experience, after surrendering myself and asking God to take over, I frequently will start to do something or say something that I know in my mind goes against the Word of God, but my flesh wants it so I do it anyway.

Then, I have this strong sense of conviction where God’s Spirit clearly speaks to my inner being and says “Don’t do this. You will hurt someone. Don’t do this. It is wrong. You will regret it. This will get you into trouble...”

It is like an internal moral compass always guiding me to Truth. Whether I follow it is up to me, but I can testify that if you ask Him to take over the reins of your life, He is faithful to guide and direct and be that still small voice saying this is the way - walk here.

His word truly becomes a lamp to your feet illuminating the way - one step at a time, one day at a time... until you look back and realise it has been a week since you did that action or thought that thought which you never thought you could stop! Freedom is available. In Christ, you do not have to continue to do things which later make you ashamed or later hurt yourself and others.

Many people know “Freedom in Christ” to be a sermon they have heard at church, but they haven’t experienced that type of release from bondage of anger, sexual immorality, greed, depression, etc. in their minds. They know these types of thoughts and actions are not healthy.

They can see what they are doing isn’t giving them the internal peace, love and joy they deeply desire but it is like they are a slave. Despite good intentions, they fall back into the same bad habits. Romans 7:15-25 talks about this destructive cycle.

The only hope in becoming victorious is by choosing to surrender control of your life to your Creator and Savior and truly trust Him no matter what. Study His word, His guide book, the Bible. This outlines exactly what to do. Ask His Spirit to whisper to you to stop whenever you are doing something He knows isn’t His will for you.

Don’t be deceived by your feelings! Let Him be in control! Don’t allow yourself to justify why you shouldn’t be obedient. Just trust Him.

Let me give an example. As a parent, I frequently give my children commands such as “do your homework when you get home from school. Don’t eat too many sweets.” As their mom who deeply loves them, I am convinced that these are good rules meant to protect them and will ultimately help them to enjoy their lives MORE!

If they learn how to manage their time and be responsible students, I believe this will set a foundation for them to be productive in the workforce one day. I believe if they eat healthy, it will help them to avoid many preventable diseases which will plague their lives. In theory, they understand why I am saying what I say. I can even ask them to explain it to me and they CAN! I always try and explain to my children why I want them to do what I say.

HOWEVER, in reality, any given day, despite their head knowledge, they would quickly ditch homework and go play with friends and eat so many sweets they would get sick! Why? Our nature leads us to do whatever feels good to us in the moment! My only hope is that they will learn to trust me OVER their own thoughts!

This isn’t because I am on a power trip! It is because I deeply love them and have been around longer than them and want their best! I know their own thoughts can trick them and end up leading them to make decisions that will hurt them and lead them to make choices they will regret in their future.

God has been around longer than us. If we can submit to His leadership and listen to His guiding words DESPITE our desires to do the contrary, we would find tremendous joy, peace and love! In fact, imagine this... if you lived your life the way your Creator intended, you would lead the fullest most abundant life possible because that is how you were CREATED to live!

On those days where it is so tempting to participate in actions you know are wrong, for example, to get ill-gotten financial gain, let me leave you with this verse. “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36

Contact: [email protected] or Facebook page: Mom to Mom: Parenting Consultations.

Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker and life coach. She is the author of the well-known books, Dive In and Conquering the Giants. She also facilitates corporate team building and wellness activities. You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba.

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