Post Kyoto Negotiations : The Road to Paris.

Introduction

The Kyoto protocol has since its inception taken center stage discussions on its effectiveness as an international mechanism on climate change since its inception. The effectiveness of each of the flexibility provisions must be reviewed after the first commitment period and a report sent to the COP. The report should cover issues and problems identified in relation to the operation of any general market in emission credits that emerges or is mandated under the Kyoto Protocol. Problems identified in the report must then be rectified.

On the other hand, effective monitoring and verification of emissions and of transfers of assigned amounts were key as the basis of the Kyoto Protocol. Without this there was and can be no guarantee that the Protocol was delivering real emissions reductions and environmental benefits, or a real basis on which to assess Parties’ compliance with their commitments. Monitoring and verification are thus central to any internationally credible agreement as well as to its long-term success.

On the contrary, green house gas emissions from developing countries are allegedly rising rapidly. On a per capita basis, they will still remain far below those of the developed countries well into the future. However, total emissions from developing countries are projected to surpass those of the developed countries within a decade or two. This therefore stresses the need to fully engage developing countries in negotiations while at the same time secure their right to develop sustainably.

Any effort to more fully engage developing countries in the international climate regime or to steer investment and technology flows towards climate friendly development, must take account of circumstances and trends that shape present development patterns and condition possibilities for the future. The current phase of climate negotiations should adapt and strengthen strategies that will secure the face of humanity in environmental sustainability.

This will require mitigation commitments stronger than what the Kyoto Protocol provided by all parties in accordance to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities under the Convention. The new agreement should also address the needs of those who, despite such efforts will and continue to bear the consequences of a changing climate.

On 2015 Negotiations,

In assessing the options that are workable and present at the moment there is need to redefine the approach that negotiators then take if targeting a legally binding agreement that will encompass all sovereign states to take responsibility of the problem of climate change aside national interests and assume a global community. Previous efforts at the Unite Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have bore minimal results compared to the expectations from the global community. Its failure to come up with one due to wrangles within parties with regard to their various national interests probably calls for a shift in ideology in tackling environmental issues internationally.

Post Kyoto negotiations have evolved with geopolitics around the world becoming more and more dynamic. Perhaps the most prominent is capitalizing in ensuring that mechanisms in Kyotos successor take a hybrid approach. Bodansky and Diringer agree that The functionality of the hybrid approach is pegged mediating between competing dynamics in the climate change debate. this is by giving states the flexibility in defining and/or modifying their commitments . But, on the other hand, seeking to bind national flexibility through internationally agreed rules, which promote greater ambitions. [1]

The negotiations have in the recent past bore fruit of such outcomes in decisions on national processes like Internally Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). In these decisions,

Decision 1/CP.19 on INDCs, to further advancing the Durban Platform.

http://unfccc.int/documentation/documents/advanced_search/items/6911.php?priref=600007788

Decision 1/CP.20 on how to make the communications. http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/lima_dec_2014/application/pdf/auv_cop20_lima_call_for_climate_action.pdf

 These process must be guided by principles in the convention and guidelines agreed upon by states to the submission of these elements. There is however questions on whether such efforts to ensure hybridity in the forth coming international mechanism to address climate change would help in gaining trust from countries. This however has garnered criticism on the basis that there is a thin line between ensuring hybridity and at the same time working within the limits of principles under the convention of common but differentiated responsibilities.

This at the time of instituting the convention were drawn on the basis of ensuring sustainable development and collective responsibility and in accordance to Art 3, 1 of the Convention That parties should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind, on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. See

http://unfccc.int/files/essential_background/background_publications_htmlpdf/application/pdf/conveng.pdf

The process as noted has been marred by non-committal tendencies by states in the past. Paris is expected to deliver to the expectations of many citizens of the earth whose survival is solely based on the existence and management of the environment and climate for sustainable development. The Negotiating text as it is commonly referred to has all options common to parties as they were negotiated in February 2015 in Geneva. This laid a foundation into future ADP negotiations to follow beginning with the Bonn intercessions in June, 2015 in Bonn, Germany.

Even with this, Bonn is expected to provide an outcome as good as an agreement for adoption in Paris at COP 21 meetings. For Africa, going into the negotiations and following up on national processes especially on the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions requires a lot of strategy and unity as a negotiating block within the negotiations. As Africa and the global South engages, it is important to ensure that the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions related texts in the African position make explicit reference to local and indigenous knowledge in alignment with the Cancun Adaptation Framework and the decisions relative to Nairobi Work Program out of Warsaw.

There is an urgent need in Africa to address safeguards of the rights of forests, people and other natural resource dependent communities in government and private adaptation and mitigation measures. More attention needs to be given to participation, consensus building, rights-based approaches as well as conserving natural ecosystems as the front line of climate defense.

African should emphasize the need to reference past negotiation outcomes in current negotiations and outcomes. Also, reference and emphasis should be made to ensure that all this is done in accordance to the principles under the Convention. Hence Africa should emphasize this for general purposes of all elements in the agreement in the preamble. Also key for the African position in the negotiations is to ensure that our position recognizes the efforts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as other credible scientific platforms as basis to act on climate.

On Mitigation, the position should indicate that all parties shall make individual effort and cooperate on enhancing mitigation ambition to ensure that the aggregate level of mitigation commitments and contribution is increased over time to achieve long-term emission reduction targets in the context of Article 2 of the Convention. Africa should also emphasize sustainable development pathways to mitigation more so as communicated in the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions.

All these should be accompanied by information aimed at enhancing clarity, transparency and understanding of commitments and contribution and actions  that are quantifiable including an appropriate base year, time frames and periods of implementation, scope and coverage, planning processes, assumptions and methodological approaches especially on estimation and accounting. This consideration especially because the Kyoto Protocol had these as it’s loopholes hence mistrust among Parties in implementation.

On adaptation and loss and damage, All Parties in accordance with principles and provisions of the Convention, Article 4 and there common but differentiated responsibilities and previous decisions of the COP to commit to cooperate to adapt to adverse effects of climate change, ensure resilience and protect citizens and ecosystems in the context of long-term temperature limits and achievement of Sustainable development goal.

There is need for the position to be clear on funding, insurance, and technology transfer to meet the needs of developing countries arising from impact of implementation of response measures, in accordance with the principles and provisions of the Convention and taking into recognition poverty reduction, human rights and human insecurity as priorities in developing countries.

Conclusion,

Considering unemployment rates in Africa, the negotiations should consider economic issues including just transition of workforce and creation of decent work and quality decent jobs, in accordance with nationally defined development priorities. Considering the damage and strain of adapting to the effects of climate change, loss and damage should be considered as a separate element from adaptation in the negotiations.

There is need to recognize that inadequate mitigation and insufficient adaptation leads to more loss and damage and that financial and technical support should be made available to vulnerable countries and communities to address loss and damage. With this considerations, reference should be made to the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with impacts of climate change. The negotiations should define the purpose of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage and it’s functionality in light with the agreement either as embedded in the agreement or defined separately

[1] Daniel Bodansky & Diringer, Building Flexibility and Ambition into a 2015 Climate Agreement, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, June 2014.

Why I am in Love With My Country

images

Today is a great day in my country. I am a proud East African from Kenya. Proud that my country is making some baby steps and some giant steps towards success. I am also proud that we are making mistakes as a country, some we learn from and some we refuse to learn from. I am also glad that we have the most patriotic Kenyans among others who find nothing to celebrate in their country, their government and their own people. I am also glad that others are just used to criticize things that are going wrong in their own country while they cannot find solutions for simple things in the smallest units of their families and communities.

I am proud of myself because I have traveled around the world and experienced different countries but still nothing beats my country. Not to say those who haven’t are not or should not be proud of themselves, I probably can just make a comparison from experience. I found that out when I lived in the U.S and the only thing I craved for was Ugali-Matumbo  (Matumbo for those of us not Kenyans is tripe).  I love my country because I think Kenyans were created on the 8th day. If you want to find out why go check out #KOT (Kenyans On Twitter). Let it crack your ribs while you are at it :-).

I love that nothing is too serious in this country…We truly practice the live one day at a time principle. And just the other day, I found out another principle that Kenyans believe in…”That we are good to people who are good to us and it works well” ask #KOT. Definitely there is some truth in that but then we are the perfect example of a non-polar state especially with the current government. We have managed to work with both friends and frenemies (there is no such word in diplomacy and international relations but it works for now).

I love that my country responds to international issues within Africa with a philanthropic heart even when we know deep in our hearts that we do not have enough to even feed our own. True spirit of pan-Africanism. But I also acknowledge that such acts have been platforms for negativity and criticism, which are also used as platforms of politicking. I will call it the ecosystem of politics in Kenya. Let me explain how it works: Find what good thing someone in the opposing team is doing, generate negative vibe around it, attend a public gathering of whatever nature and caliber and express your dissatisfaction with the tagline of ‘we the common citizenry…’

Because the list is endless, I will say another important thing. That I love that Kenyans are my heroes and heroines. From fighting for independence, to fighting different forms of post-colonialism and to fighting for different forms of freedom daily. Kenyans are truly an inspiration and a beckon of hope in a continent in the brink of dwindling hope. We truly survive good and bad things but still believe in ourselves. We create happiness through our experiences no matter the nature and above all, even if we are yet to experience the fruits of our hard work. We still strive to see that light at the end of the tunnel.

So today dear Kenya, and dear Africa. Strive with hope that our sweat will one day bear fruit. Be kind and share the happiness that comes with it. Be considerate of each other knowing that we are soldiers on the same battle in the continent only different contexts. Be nice to foreigners the African way…invite them for nyama choma or a cup of uji once in a while if you can. Be cautious to guard our dignity as Africans and do not let anyone demean us no matter our circumstances. We are brothers and sisters…try going to a foreign country outside the continent then you will understand this better.
#CelebratingKenyanHeroes

 

It’s Conference Season Yet Again!

Image courtesy of [DavidCastilloDominici] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of [DavidCastilloDominici] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It is almost that season of the year: the long awaited season for organizations and institutions whose interests are in the focus areas of climate change and sustainable development. Even though I am new in this field, I know my world too well and more so, the systems that govern the world. In East Africa, which is also part of Sub-Saharan Africa, the rhetoric is no different from the rest of the third world or should we say the most often times politically correct South.

Lobbying is happening big time over who in the office will attend the forthcoming COP in Peru. Friendships are lost and new alliances are formed. Talk of organizational and institutional drama. Now is the time to write a report on the community work you were engaged in to help increase the knowledge of the importance of planting trees in arid and minimally accessible parts of the country. Your boss has to see it but more so the finance and procurement in charge in your office. After all, they hold the fate of how many people will go, so it is a great idea to start showing up.

Then there is the lobbying outside the office. The visit your neighbor to check how they are doing kind of lobbying. Forgetting they have been your neighbors during the year but it did not matter because the stakes were not as high as they are now and the per-diem was not anything as memorable as this one would be. So let us plan a meeting to see what everyone else in the field is planning for the COP. It would be a strategic thing to do seeing as we are most likely going to be asking for sponsorship from the same donor. Voila! , there is tea, snacks, lunch, and four o’clock tea and if we are lucky, we will get to spend 2-3 nights at this fancy hotel. It is important to raise the tree cover in our country to 10 percent after all and it is no joke to do that. There is millions of trees involved here so we need to plan.

Then there is my all-time favorite. “Let’s seek an audience with the government”. They have to listen to us because we are the link between them and the common citizenry. I am not sure how much of these citizens are common in our work but heck it’s the system. It is how it works everywhere in the non-state actor’s world and in the state actors sometimes. We are always caught in the last minute rush almost always. What really is annoying is the fact that the things we schedule as last minutes are those that are very important. I mean, who in this continent does not think climate change is an issue of almost disaster declaration. We are all ok with having these issues as last minute because it is a job for most of us. It is what puts food on our tables and it ends there. It is what has facilitates our middle class crisis kind of life-meet in upscale coffee houses in the evening after office work.

This is what for me defines the double standards that is environmental diplomacy in the world today. It is a soft power diplomacy tool for many states and sometimes non state actors and runs the economies of others. However, it is a principle in the world systems, Lawrence Susskind  well known for trans-boundary environmental negotiations describes this and similar concepts as more likely to be supported by non-state actors because the games are played in the political fields as opposed to apolitical fields. Now that systems have been in place to accommodate such thinking, could there be any idealistic views that can be liberalized to disengage these practices and ideologies? Next, what is the role of non-state actors in international negotiations of climate change?

Writing can heal

Cristian Mihai

writing_healing“Writing eases my suffering . . . writing is my way of reaffirming my own existence.”  – Gao Xingian

Have you ever asked yourself why is it that people write? Why is it that they feel this urge?

Perhaps they do so because they don’t want to forget. Or maybe because they write differently from what they think, and only in writing do they find the freedom they so desperately need.

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A Letter To The Right Boy I Fell in Love With At The Wrong Time

Image courtesy of [Thanunkorn] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of [Thanunkorn] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
When was the last time anyone wrote you a letter? I honestly have no other way to describe my thoughts. First off, I stole this title somewhere else…Thank God for writing as part of my alone time because I have used that time properly. I am happy about the outcome off late. I thought about writing this letter using pen and paper, but unfortunately these thoughts started flowing while I was on a computer . And you know…never disrupt a writer when she is writing, so voila!

At this point I must say you are my sense of perfection in a friend and maybe a man. And even if I don’t know much of you, I feel like I know you and have known you for a lifetime so screw what I do not know. At this point in life I also am sure of something else. I am not investing much in making friends, I can only choose my true friends who are seasoned and who have proven that no matter what I still have value in their lives, so that is where I am at with you.

Then there is this other thing, the falling in love thing. I didn’t think someone like you even existed or that the world would be kind enough for us to cross paths but we did, and that is something I’m eternally grateful for. The late night conversations from as far as **** we shared are still etched in my head and all I ever think about is how I want to waste all my time with you. So I will forever hope to still waste time with you and that either as friends in future or as love-birds since both work for me I hope you still will remain around in my life. So I look forward to wasting more time with you only not skiving church stuff *wink*.

I remember watching you laugh hysterically one afternoon. I just sat by and watched…I was dying inside though. You looked damn handsome in that moment. I watched that laughter turn into a beautiful smile that remains smirked in my mind. Maybe as a reminder of you and the moments we have shared forever on my mind and a reminder that no matter how much we are different and our differences may manifest in unorthodox ways like lately, still nothing beats those beautiful moments. I just want to be there every time you laugh and maybe be the reason for the laughter, but more so I want to witness the transition of the hysterical laughter to a perfect unforgettable smile. That was the day I confirmed for myself that I had fallen in love with you for a long time and that it was not just voices in my head.

Now you should know, I don’t claim to know what love is, heck NO!, looking back on past relationships, I didn’t have a freaking clue or maybe I had only I chose the wrong people to love. I mean I have loved others with all my heart like I always do…love unconditionally but ended up being treated like trash. But then I have known you on a different level of a distinct and respectable gentleman of God and that is what lacked in my previous one sided commitments my heart lied to me as relationships. But I need you to know one thing, that if I’m going to find out what love is, there isn’t anyone else I would rather do it with than you.

But it has never been the right time…either you are with someone else or I with someone else not worth it, or clueless like the gentlemen you are 🙂 Like the Ultimate Gift movie guy kind of clueless…you know what I mean? Or it is me going away for studies and work or it’s just either one of us not being ready for such commitment at the moment. But one thing that gives me hope is the form of respect and understanding that all these transitions have been packaged with whenever you have been needed to address. But the one that has changed me forever is that in all these I have never found a comparison for you and I have never felt fear or had doubts about you. But these things don’t happen twice. I have never met someone this amazing …like you amazing…and I know for a fact, this cannot happen again in the same lifetime.

Of course you bring so much hope for you and in you. I will still look forward to going through this life’s journey with you. It would be such an honor to be part of the reason you get to your dreams and it would be an honor to see you as part of mine. There’s nothing else I want than to be with you and I really do hope with all my heart that you hope for me too.

I’m not the most good-looking chic out there, I’m not the hottest, the cutest, the funniest, the sweetest lady you’ll meet and I’m pretty sure a man like you would have many more eligible candidates in the long line of girls chasing after you. But one thing I can assure you is that with whatever little I have, which really is not much, I will commit to love you, I will commit to treat you right and I will commit to take care of you.

I don’t want you to be a season like the rest have been. I want to watch your hair turn grey with the joys of life and wisdom, have your hands on my shoulders in the cold, catch the smell of the rain after a long dry season and the smell of wild flowers while on vacation in the wilderness or maybe in some sandy beautiful beach somewhere in the world…do not be scared, it is just how I dream.:-)

I fell in love with you at the wrong time and in that short time, and it has left a deep enough mark for me to hope because I just can’t imagine how much more amazing these moments and love would be when the right time comes around, and it will. Whether it is in falling in love with each other or it is in going different ways and remaining loving friends. I still hope for whatever is the best before God’s eyes. I just pray that He gives me peace in my heart and patience to wait for Him to show Himself in this area of my life.

Hope for me because I want for nothing other than hope for you and hope for us.

The Falling out of Love Thing!

Image courtesy of [SalvatoreVuono] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of [SalvatoreVuono] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Recently I met her…an old friend who used to be so vibrant and full of life. She had all of a sudden gone silent on friends she adored. She said she was busy with school, and work did not make it any easier to meet up and catch up with friends. She said she was not even sure who her all time good friends were. So I asked her why she would even say something like that because I knew her to be very popular and like-able even to strangers. I knew her personally so we shared most friends.

It had been too long since I spoke with her and catching up was such a timely idea when she proposed. Since she came back from some place she says she had gone to pursue higher education, she had several fancy ideas of what the catch up date should entail. She was more than excited when I told her that there is a new joint in town that sold the best lemonade. She has never been a fan of lemonade because she has always been the Girlie sweet-tooth…with all of her things chocolatey! So I asked her why the new enthusiasm and she simply said “Life has given me enough lemons I now enjoy taking lemonade”.

We head to the joint and she is impressed, more at the fact that Jazz music is playing in the background she almost forgets we are on a date. I go straight to the point to have her explain to me how many lemons life has had her eat and how that went down. To my amazement, she says One. At this point I do not understand why one would say that life hasn’t been fair to her because she swallowed one lemon.

“Someone I loved and still love broke my heart so badly it rendered me useless”. Oh…oh…the big word LOVE! Oops…I must admit that I am scared of that word myself when it comes to relationships and quite naive at it as well so I just have many friends, which is what I also knew her to be. All of us kept checking on her Facebook page to see her relationship status change. I mean it is all we do girls right? Yeah thanks for agreeing 🙂 I wonder why this Facebook status thing is so relevant in relationships…it is such a hoax…I think the person who invented it should undo it and have something like I have no idea what but maybe I will have ideas once I finish narrating her story.

Ok, so I chose to just listen to her grumble and whine about this hurt she claims to feel. She says she just came back to the country and was very excited about being home. She had for a long time wanted to have someone of the opposite sex, who would treat her well and all the shenanigan things we are told to look for in a man and bang she landed one. She just did not know that that guy 🙂 across the room. No actually he was seated beside her would be the genesis of her trust in human kind blowing off like chaff in the wind.

Well, I could relate to her but that shouldn’t be a big deal. This is Nairobi where we have a lot of men looking for trophy girlfriends, and a lot more others who are very committed to the women they love. That’s normal I mean even Jesus said that there are Wheat and Tare as well, It is the norm I think to have your heart broken from a relationship you thought was headed somewhere more if not being great friends. Only to realize your ‘Trophy’ qualities have been outshone and he got to run for the more silvery or medallic…wait does this word even exist…never mind!

She asked me not to say the blanket thing of its normal because for her it is not business as usual. They say she has a kind heart, she is hardworking, ambitious, caring and loving (I don’t seem to know the difference), God-fearing but above all since she desires men…she is beautiful. I mean beauty is relative but hey who doesn’t want to look like her. The flawless skin, the natural hair afro she adorns and for the men the legs *swallows saliva here:-))* among other things.

Let me get serious however, the *thesis statement for this blog* is that she said…

“I have never in my life felt stupid for not seeing things as they came…” so she lists the things that really broke her heart but she kept going in the relationship (which she is not even sure there was one in the first place). I say this because I think two people make up a relationship…correct me if am wrong because I am not good at these things you know…

  •  This guy was pathetic at keeping promises…the “let us hang out next weekend” has seldom happened.
  • He never wanted to go out in public with her…he said “I am an indoors person”. She was still buying it.
  • Until now she knows very little about the guy and things like “let me say hi to your sister because she is a few meters from here”…would get answers like we don’t want to disrupt her. She is hanging out with her friends. I having lived in the West buy the answer BUT….
  • She was always the first to call or text and it was after the desperate wait for a response from a previous text sent the day before yesterday…she still stuck on.
  • No intimacy from this guy…he said he loves her seldom…and she stuck on…
  • The most stupid one was he would go back to texting after they had sex as if nothing actually happened…and now I had to ask her to stop listing. Who does that?

So I ask her how they ended it and she says dude just stopped communicating. He was not replying texts, not answering phone calls, not replying Facebook messages and the like. Guess what she decided to believe? That he is a busy man he is probably in some bush somewhere collecting content for his next assignment. Then one day, in a bus she texts to ask what is happening to them and he texts back. “I decided to take a break from relationships, if it helps it has nothing to do with you”.

Ok, sober up! I thought that is the epitome of *doormatting* someone…shit don’t happen like that. Now I understood when she said he made her feel so useless it still hurts her to date. So she tried asking for an explanation, but the answer has always been it’s nothing to do with you. Gosh…at least tell me something I did you do not like  about me for my emotional ego’s sake…Some of these things I can relate to so I just asked us…Why do we settle for such people, honestly? My answer was love is blind but she had a different view. Love can never be blind. Love especially for yourself is very alert when such crap is pulled on you. Love can never hurt nor do such things. We ended up in 1Cor 13:4-8 and I love how the New King James Version puts it.

“4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.”

This guy even in the least of things did almost every description of love here where brotherly or not such injustice. He was proud, rude, unkind and selfish. But the question that Her says she is struggling with till now is, “How could I be so involved in a relationship that the other person wasn’t even into?” I guess we are all naive but there is one thing that my friend and I  share, I will never ever consciously do this to another person. But at the end of the day there was a relationship here and it was about lust on one end and love on the other so hop on the bandwagon…

By the time I was reuniting with Her, our spirits were united. We know we were both naïve when we first fell for the men we fell for and they broke our hearts with such impact we cannot say we are over it till now. But that does not mean that the next chance God will give us we will not love unconditionally. We will still love unconditionally. This is the time my sprit truly buys the cliché phenomenon of Karma has its was but I know God has great plans for us and through it all we have met some amazing God fearing men who we continue to pray for and support if not for our future but for the future of that girl who they will be committed to.

My prayer is that we Girls would be keen to know how God truly sees us. That Jeremiah 29:11 is an actual fact and that we are strengthened to look on Habbakuk 2:3. That we should strive to live Matthew 5:16 out loud with no shame and confidently knowing that these battles are not ours to fight. Above all I pray that we allow God to continually remind us of His Presence and to be keen to listen to His still small voice when He is speaking to us. But ultimately God will remind us of what He has kept ahead for us and that He strengthens us for the joys and struggles that are ahead.

 

At the end of the day the lemonade was delicious and we had to order more with strawberry flavor…next time we will try vanilla as we ponder the goodness of God in our lives and the men in our lives. Only that this time we pray it will be the appointed ones of the Most High God perfect for us. Good people still exist. For now we help Her answer and overcome the guilt of feeling used and we soldier on.

Love God, Love People that’s what life is about the rest God will deal with it 🙂

There is Beauty in Perfection

Image courtesy of [StockImages] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of [StockImages] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Many are the times that we as women have looked at photos of top models, beauty queens and used beauty products to enhance our  “beauty” and even asked the men in our lives for their opinions of how we look and how they would want us to look like. Yeah blink twice or even three times at this but it is the reality. Well, we spend a lot of time and money in things that do not even matter. Remember that boyfriend you thought was feeling you because you had that makeover and was feeling beautiful and then they left you? Or remember that other one who treated you like trash despite what you did to look “beautiful”. Well there are several reasons why these things happen to us especially if we are Christian believers.

1. We are defining perfection by standards that are not Godly.God does not tell us anywhere that i should look like somebody else for me to be beautiful. He says that He created each one of us in His own image  and likeness. Gen 1:27. He did so and saw that it was good. We need to believe that what God says about us is the ultimate truth then we will not have to look at all these crazy expectations in the world today.

If I was born with kinky hair, He knew that the best hairstyle i could ever have is an afro. If it’s straight and long, He knew that i would look pretty brushing off hair from my face at one point in time and so forth. Perfection is only found in God and He alone is perfect so we will never be satisfied by trying to fine it elsewhere. Remember God and His Word are one and the same thing. Remember John 1:1, In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. I choose not to get stuck in the supermarket wondering what product to buy to make me look better. Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that we throw all these things out of the window. What i am saying is what is the motivation behind what we do to attain “beauty”.

2. In the first point, I quoted the word beauty and the reason is in this second point I want to make. True beauty is not what we see on the outside. This is because one day i will be old and wrinkled. Does that mean i will have lost all beauty? No…Beauty is what we work for on the inside. Read the book of Esther and see how beauty is. She was out working for the good of her people. Finding means to elevate her people. She was honest, kind and loving. She did not have to be desperate knocking every time at her king’s door asking for favor and recognition. She was wise and intelligent. This is what grabbed my attention. That she spent a lot of time with her master God and devoted her stay in the palace to serving God through the Israelis and through the situations that she confronted. That is Beauty.

Remember Prov 31 and you will find what the requirements of being a good wife for example are. It has nothing to do with competing with men to show off how independent I am but it has everything to do with me yielding to God and doing what is best to compliment my husband (not that I am married lol:)) and to take care of my family. That is beauty and that is what God wants for us women. To serve in church and help the needy in the community. To be good examples to society and to work hard in every opportunity that God presents. That is beauty. That is what Esther did and guess what happened? It did not take her any effort to attract the eyes of the King…Also note that she did not even have to explain her doings to gain favor before him. That is beauty. Today, think of what you look like not before man but in the eyes of God. Then think of what attracts people to you. If ultimately it is not all these things and others in the Bible then we are at a lot because all that will fade away but the fruits of the Holy Spirit will not fade away. It is eternal beauty. I pray that all of us will stand accountable to God and God alone and that we will believe Him when He says that we are wonderfully and Fearfully made…after all God cannot dwell in an ugly residence. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and so we should treat them with the respect accorded to them. I AM SECOND.