For the first time and in over 3 decades of my existence, yesterday, I was told that in Yoruba culture, when you want to give, you shouldn’t give in 3s. i.e. You can give someone something in 2s or 4s and so on, but not in 3s, 3 being an odd number… and so on for odds, I guess.
Baffling as this was to my hearing, I asked “what’s wrong with 3 and why’s it questionable to give in 3s?” — being that without having a thought to it, I’ve certainly given out to people or served them in any number — 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, etc — out of the kindness of my heart; factoring in, how much or little I had to give; and in many cases, how much I hadn’t to give.
I was told “no one knows”, and that “it’s just a principle, something that’s been passed down through generations and over time”. Then I asked how come I wasn’t ever told and the response was “you’re probably not observant… if you were, you’d have noticed, asked about it and perhaps just carried it on”.
Whilst trying to undigest the subtle undertone of “being slow”, I mentioned the Holy Trinity and how 3 signifies divine completeness, wholeness perfection. I expressed how interesting it was that this principle is actually a huge thing traditionally to some as whoever gives in 3s will be looked at a certain way and wondered about; in some cases, their giving might even be rejected; and yet, no one ever thought to warn or inform me ahead of time.
I also questioned how one can just take on an instruction or principle, no questions asked. I was more perplexed after being told “it’s not everything one is told or stumbles upon that one needs get to the bottom of. It is what it is, period!”
So I’m here, still wondering about it and sharing to find out if anyone has an explanation. I can immediately see how this attitude can and very much has translated into how a lot of people live their lives. Existing by passed on principles and just going with the flow of things. Meeting these principles and continuing on in theme .
I’m unsure why, but my spirit hasn’t accepted it, neither does it seem like it will in the near future. Maybe it’s a “lack of understanding” situation and once some light is shed on it, I’ll get it.
Maybe it’s not. Maybe the light that needs to be shed is a different type that enlightens the eyes of our understanding;
“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.””
John 8:12 NLT
thereby exposing darkness and the enabling consequences that several principles and traditions have had in shaping our thinking over time. Because whether we’d want to accept or not, Our Thoughts inform our Feelings which inform our Decisions which inform our Actions – which inform our Habits – which inform our Character.
I just can’t help but question how behavioural patterns have been subject to traditions for the longest time. Especially upon daily coming into the knowledge that seeking God, daily unconforming to world standards, and daily renewing our mindsets through interacting and meditation on God’s Word, is the blueprint standard for living according to His will.
“But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.”
Matthew 6:33 AMP
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Romans 12:1-2 NLT
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
Joshua 1:8 NLT
I can’t help but question some principles we pass on without having understood an ounce of the “why” of it; to be sure these principles — which potentially could have been a person or group of person’s truths or their misconception about the truth — apply to us individually.
When I look at sacred-Word-template-based practices like The Passover or Holy Communion, yes!, these practices have been passed on from generation to generation. But importantly, they have significances — we know their “whys”. We do them in remembrance of how God passed over the Israelites and brought them out of the land of Egypt by His Mighty arm; and in remembrance of how Jesus gave His body and shed His blood sacrificially for our salvation respectively.
“On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the Lord! But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt. “This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time.
“Celebrate this Festival of Unleavened Bread, for it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This festival will be a permanent law for you; celebrate this day from generation to generation.”
Exodus 12:12-14, 17 NLT
“Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.”
Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins.
Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves.
He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.”
Luke 22:7-8, 15, 17, 19-20 NLT
I enabledly understand that this don’t-give-in-3s-go-with-the-flow-tradition is a minuscule aspect and type of much deeper issues classified as principalities which have to do with the result of certain ways of thinking and are very present in the world, thus keeping it bound. As I type this paragraph — and not that I digress —, certain text in the book of Revelation that I never understood are starting to make sense to me.
Principalities operate covertly to the carnal eye over territories and rear their ugly heads in several forms. They can show up as a “don’t-wed-a-person-from-another-tribe”; or a don’t-mix-with-other-races; or a “don’t-see-another-gender-as-equal”; or a “date-multiple-people-and-break-multiple-hearts-before-finally-settling-down-with-my-husband-or-wife”; or a “it’s-okay-to-obtain-what’s-not-yours-when-no-one’s-looking”; or a “take-credit-even-though-you-know-a-junior-staff-did-it” way of thinking. And we all have our different “ways of thinking” that have informed our successful existences or inability to coexist peacefully as the human race.
Being aware about principalities and their functions help us understand why it’s not actual people we fight when we find ourselves in misunderstanding or quarrels.
“Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage.”
Ephesians 6:12 TPT
I urge you to consider open mindedly. Now that you’ve come of a certain age where you can think and act independent of others. Because, really:
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
Proverbs 22:6 NIV
What has informed and still informs who you “are”?
Who have you been raised to become — whether by your parents, friendships, mere interactions (good or bad), or environs?
Where do your beliefs and principles stem from?
Have you ever questioned why to be sure these principles apply and are God’s standard for you?
What principles have you passed down and enabled?