Peeping the Mindset

When I first got to Philly, I found myself getting irritated and annoyed by some of the actions and attitudes of the residents. Even now, I get irritated by some of the things I see. During my first couple of weeks, I remember sitting at the Gallery with my sis Tiffany and she gave me some advice that has been surfacing a lot lately — When you see these types of behaviors, think about why they do it.

I would say that the residents of Philadelphia feel as though they have nothing to live for. They’re not afraid to die, afraid to kill (obviously, with a 320 murder count)… I can’t begin to count how many times I have swerved to avoid hitting someone defiantly slowly walking across a busy street, looking at oncoming cars as if to say, “I wish you would”… 15 year old looking females with tight and revealing clothes, strutting on self visualized runways, hoping to attract male attention… parents letting their 4 and 5 year old children play outside at night while they’re inside doing whatever. When I see this, Tiff’s words come back to me and I just have to remind myself to peep the mindset. Why do they kill ? Why do they walk in front of speeding cars ? Why do they want male attention ? Why do they let their children do what they want ? Why do they ride bikes in lanes of oncoming traffic at night time wearing all black ?

The answer that I have been meditating on a lot concerning these citizens ? Hope and rebellion. They have lost hope in various things… life and self respect being 2 of those things… and because of this lost hope, they rebel against their Creator, thinking they’re, in a sense, avenging themselves when they are only storing up more and more wrath.

I’ve been praying for Philly, praying that the Lord would win this city to Himself, that He would save them from and to Himself. It’d be so awesome to see it… especially in light of my reading of Romans 1 lately. Just looking at verses 18 – 32 especially… I was talking to some sisters about what the Lord had shown me during my study time.

The Greek word for the ‘gave them up’ is paradidomi, an extremely intense word, and when used in the Bible usually refers to a severe judgment, punishment, or imprisonment. God gives those people up to their sins 3 times. All through the book of Matthew, it’s used such as in 4:12 and 5:25

Because they exchanged God’s incorruptible glory for man’s corruptible image, God gives them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, then to dishonorable passions, then to a a debased mind … I look at these people and think, wow you just don’t know what you’re doing! Stop! C.S. Lewis has this quote where he says:

The lost enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded and are therefore self enslaved.

I get nervous for the residents and reading Romans has given me a)a new perspective on Philadelphia dwellers and b)given me an urgency to get God’s gospel out.

I’ve been peeping the mindset and it’s a dangerous one.

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3 thoughts on “Peeping the Mindset

  1. Hey Jenneration,

    I can mostly agree with you. I grew up here in Bulletmore, Murderland and our crime rate was hitting the 300’s prior to the end of the year for several years until last year and this year. Although I don’t live in the city anymore, I still see the results of its decay affecting all of the neighboring suburbs.

    The reason I say ‘mostly’ agree with you (and truthfully, we probably agree 100% and it’s just a matter of which point you’re trying to stress) is because I’d tack on rebellion to the front end of folks losing hope in things. They start off in rebellion against God – and seek/ask for things amiss:

    What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:1-4)

    The man who walks across the street with the ‘I wish you would’ attitude does so not so much as a result of giving up hope on humanity and simply not caring, other people not doing right, etc… but also a result of a self-centered attitude that says “the world revolves around me and I should be able to do as I please.” This may have come about as a result of (fill in the blank). He asked for (fill in the blank), but not with a pure motive. Some people I’ve encountered who carry this type of attitude would be still selfish and self-centered even after their needs have been met.

    At the root of it is the problem of sin (again, you know this….I’m preaching to the choir). Men typically hate each other as a result of hating God – scripture says that this is the normal course of the world without Christ:

    For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another (Titus 3:3, ESV).

    I pray for your city, mine and others like them.

  2. Rikki says:

    Funny..I was just listening to Macarthur today, and he was talking about this same scripture, same word: paradidomi. He was talking about what happens when a nation is abandoned by God. Anyhoo….yeah…..I agree with your post.

  3. Jason Im Saved says:

    Part of praying for a people is observing the people. Observation of a people can bring either pride or grief. Pride where one look inside oneself and proclaim “I am not like these people so I am ok”. Grief when one sees the issues and proclaim “Lord, Lord lift the veil and let them have real Hope, Hope in you”

    You have observed rightly, that rebellion and a no hope is fueling the problems not only in Philly but all cities. If God’s people perish for the lack of knowledge, the knowledge of Him, then how much more will those perish who is not his people?

    Our God sits in the heavens and do what he pleases, may it please him to regenerate hearts and unveil the eyes of those who rebell.

    Praying for ya sis, praying for Philly..

    Jason

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