Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The "OF" factor...

What does being "of" something truly mean? I can say I am or was a Marine, but was I or am I "of" the Marine Corps? In order to be truly considered to be of something, an individual or individuals must act in accordance to what is known or common within the establishment that the individual(s) claims commonality or membership.

So if one doesn't espouse the traditions and standards of the United States Marine Corps, yet is a Marine, does that mean they are still "of" the Marine Corps?

It is my firm belief that while you may have a title, titles don't necessarily speak for you. Action is the only thing that speaks for a person.

So where am I going with this?

In the Marine Corps example, the title "Marine" is given based off a set standard in which one qualifies for the title. One must simply or not so simply :) complete Marine Corps basic training and then they are a Marine. However, there are many Marines as some of my Corps brethren will attest, that are everything, but what the Marine Corps stand for.

In the Bible, it is reported that Jesus(PBUH), said that in the last days many will claim him, but he will say I knew you not, elsewhere it says that people who say they are Jews, really aren't Jews, but are "of" the synagogue of Satan.

I'm not going to pretend to be some great exegete as it relates to scripture, but I believe the meaning is quite clear:

One can claim something all day, one can even have the title, but if one does not act in accordance to what they claim or are actually apart of, then they are in fact not "of" that community and are actually of something else.

Now I started out with a secular example and those who know me saw the religious overtones coming....

I frequently deal with people of faith whether in life or on msg boards who say they are this or that, but when one would evaluate their actions that is not always the case.

Now I'm not trying to get on some high horse and pretend that I'm some saint or something, but as I look in the mirror at my own life, I realized that many times I often claimed to be something, but my actions were adverse to that which I claimed.

I claimed Christianity, but seldom acted in a way worthy of a follower of Jesus(PBUH), I claimed to be a Marine, but oftentimes, didn't act in a way worthy of the title, and I claim the title of Muslim, but there have been many times I didn't act in a way that is worthy of one who says they truly submit.

Praise be to Allah, I'm currently steadfast in my deen(religion), am living according to my deen, and practicing it in all aspects of my life.

I'm not bragging or boasting, but I'm just letting people know that it is possible. We have to make a conscious decision to make our word our bond as my father recently reminded me, and look in the mirror and really evaluate ourselves, because what we are doing in truth is making a mockery of ourselves and not only are we not in accordance with the will of God, but we are in exact opposition of that will.

Jesus(PBUH) said "you can judge a tree by the fruit it bears". Okay, if we claim the tree of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam many will look at this tree and by this tree expect to eat from the fruits there of. What kind of fruit are you producing?

Look at the fruit. A fruit contains seeds, these seeds are the building blocks by which new trees are formed. If we are not producing proper fruit, how can we expect to have proper trees?

How many times have you witnessed someone saying "Oh I'm a Christian or I'm a Muslim" and they are the first ones ready to curse you out, go to the club, drink, etc.? Its reality check time. We have to get to the point where we not only stop trying to fool others, because we are not, but we truly have to stop fooling ourselves.

There is no reason for one to claim Moses, Jesus, or Muhammad(Peace and Blessings be Upon Them), and not act according to the revelation of God given to them present in the Torah, Injeel/Gospel, or the Quran.

I'm not saying that we are all perfect, but we have to make an effort to work our way into Paradise.

Faith without works is dead.

How can we claim faith but have no works to back it up? When was the last time you prayed, gave charity, fasted, etc.?

Faith comes by hearing.

If others are supposed to attain faith through us, how can we expect them to attain faith when we are not properly expressing it ourselves? Even if people tend to follow us or our example anyway, what kind of example is it that were are setting?

Even beyond religion the same applies in the secular world. Many of us love to say we are for our people, or we desire to help our people, well that's good that you have that zeal and/or faith in your people, but once again where is your work? What have you done?

If we were to die today, what will our record(s) show?

Lets stop being a people of just words and become a people of action. If you are content in your life then ask yourself, do you truly believe? If you think you know it all, ask yourself how can I know it all if God alone is the best knower?

We can't continue to act as if everything is ok, while the entire world is falling around us.

Contentment is death, because it breeds stagnation, and something not moving is dead.

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