The world is full of goodies! Why anybody would tell someone not to eat a bar of cardburry chocolate: the ones with fruits and nuts are too taste to avoid. My friends have a jar of candy in the kitchen just sitting there for someone to eat. And what is wrong with that? Should I not enjoy my addictions? Am I the one who put the desire glands as part of my anatomy and physiology? I meet people at Dunkin Donuts who should not be there but I leave them alone! They just want a taste of goodness!
However, this friend of mine is nuts. He has taken this addiction to extremes. Even when he is sitting with us at a coffee house having very helpful and intellectual “gossip”, he turns his head every time a woman passes by. I mean any woman! I would understand if he looked at a person with a perfect mathematical “architecture”, whatever that is. But he has no distinction. My other buddy has tried to counsel him away from this nonsense, as he calls it. Many years later he is still stuck to this thing! I used a philosophical argument the other day on him. I reasoned that he might not be looking at the women with evil intentions; rather, he might just be looking at the dress so that he can buy the same for his wife! My buddy told me, “hizo dizi zako zimeoza” he could not eat them! Funny guy.
Someone was preaching and told us that the way to control addictions is to join a bible study group and talk about it. What? Is he kidding? I stay away from those gatherings like a flu! Don’t get me wrong, the early Christians are presented as being in fellowship in someone’s house. Lydia seems to have been the best in this. The Nazarene spent many of his relaxing days with his buddy Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha: Great friends I would say. In one case Paul was frustrated with women gossip and argued against women speaking in the church. He told them to ask their husbands at home: Controversy feminists enjoy. They fight against Paul calling him a sexist of the first order.
However, I think Paul argued for fellowship and commended women for being the facilitators of the fellowships. “I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea. Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet Mary, who bestowed much labor on us. . .” 1st Corinthians 16: 1ff
Paul presents gatherings of Christians where GOOD fellowship was manifest. I do not think they were gathering for gossip though. I believe it was for prayer and some good food. Ushirika Tabernacle turned out to be a great fellowship with food from Nigeria, Kenya and other countries. I was right! This fellowship in Chicago is radical! I enjoyed going all the way to Chicago. The Korean group sung a great hymn.
But the bible studies am talking about, the ones I avoid like the flu are not fellowships. We have them in our Ecclesia in Florida. “We need to pray for Peter’s daughter she is sleeping around with every boy she finds. We need to pray for James, that kid is smoking marijuana before he goes to sleep. Oh and we need to pray for Liz and Paul, they had a fight last night and she called me to talk about it” To talk about it? No, to gossip about how bad Paul is! That’s what it is. In family matters, I suggest you have both the boy and the girl present if you are going to discuss their relationship. Have you ever heard a divorce where the man says, “My wife was the best thing ever! Oh how wonderful she treated me, how loving she was?” they talk about the reasons the other was a devil. So if you want to talk to me about them, bring them both to my house. Otherwise pray for them in your bathroom where the kids do not hear!
But that is no fun! You are reading this article because you wanted to know what my addictions are! Right? You, like me, love to hear these stories about other people’s problems. The most read articles are those which show other people caught with their “pants down.” Who wants to read about a child who is never late for school? That’s boring! The social media is abuzz when some pastor is caught in a lie, or is reported by “real” journalists of how he told a lie one time. The interesting thing is that those who write these stories have closets full of smelling shoes and socks. But it is more entertaining to tell about other people’s socks! Speaking of socks, my buddy suggested that the way to kill a mosquito is to hang his socks next to his bed at night! Funny guy. But his wife told me she would kill him if he tried!
This however is not a gossip, but a prayer. My Kid brother Steve was helping one of our sisters in Orlando cut down a tree branch. She was holding the ladder and for some reason he fell from the tree 10 feet on concrete and hit his head. He is Orlando regional hospital in a comma. His wife and boys would appreciate fellowship prayers this time of distress. Or you can email a word of encouragement to my kid sister Sarah. [email protected]
The church of Christ is universal and wherever we are, we are called to fellowship with an intention of blessing one another! That is always good gossip!
By Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD). HTBluff Associates. An EMG Consortium #HTBluff. Diaspora Messenger Columnist