One of my favorite classes while doing my graduate studies was typologies of culture. One proponent, Hofstede, theorized that collectivistic societies, like those found in Africa, use high-context communication.
A high-context communication is one in which little has to be said or written because most of the information is supposed to be known by the persons involved…
As a Kenyan going through the class, I understood full well what this means. Growing up, I learned early on the power of my mother’s look and knew when to quickly modify my behaviour so as not to get punished. If the misbehavior persisted even after several looks, I would be sure to get a spanking.
If we are honest with ourselves, we carry feelings of endearment and warmth, or fear and apprehension, into our relationship with God our Father based on our relationship with our parental figures or guardians projecting these feelings onto our view of God. For example, if our parents were cold and distant, we imagine God giving us a look of disappointment and dissatisfaction as we scurry around working for Him tirelessly, subconsciously thinking that our work will earn our Father’s approval. Conversely, if our relationship with our parents was filled with love, appreciation and grace, it is not hard to imagine our Father God loving and nurturing us.
To have a healthy relationship with God, we must commit to see Him, not through a kaleidoscope, but through the image of His son Jesus, for as the Son is, so is the Father! As a believer, I must once and for all accept the fact that the payment for my sin was fully meted out on Jesus. This means that I do not have to walk around with a burden of guilt or fear. It is critical for me to believe that Christ wiped my slate clean and I do not have to rehash my unpleasant past. It is not humility to beat myself up for my failings and as such undermine what Christ did on the cross. Even when I make a mistake, I can run to God and allow Him to clean me up. In the well-known parable of the prodigal son, we often concentrate on the son and forget that the story really is about a father who in love, embraces a wayward son, and is excited at his return. The father interrupts his son’s practiced repentance hired-hand speech with a counter offer of sonship.
Today, this is what God your Father is saying about you:
Dear child of God, you have this sure hope in the word of God:
Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant….not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt…For this is the covenant I will make…I will put my laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people…For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
The last portion of this scripture from Hebrews 8:8-12 is the main clause of the new covenant and you can be sure that God will keep His word. So I urge you, allow the Holy Spirit to whisper deep inside your heart that you are not alone, you have a Father and He desires to fellowship with you- that is the Father’s heart!