Category Archives: Nigeria
When men of God turn themselves into gods of men, then it’s time the sons of men realize that they too are sons of God. In essence, that no one has a monopoly on revelation. Jesus has made a way for us by his death to enter the Holy of Holies and approach God by and for ourselves (see Hebrews 10: 16 – 20). We are in the New Testament dispensation of the priesthood of all believers; if you allow anyone hoodwink you or pull the wool over your face; it won’t be God’s fault but yours. You can know God for yourself. And you should!
The challenge with the church has been that the people in the pews had for long lost the culture of the Berean Christians who double-checked and cross-checked the things they were taught in church (Acts 17:11). When you don’t know God’s word for yourself, anyone can spew baloney into your mind and you believe it hook, line and sinker; and still be thanking and celebrating him/her for it! It’s funny that when Muslims enter a mosque to worship, they leave their footwear by the door. Sad to say, methinks the average Nigerian churchgoer (born-again or not, Pentecostal, charismatic orthodox or by whatever label you choose to give them) unlike his Muslim counterpart leaves his brain by the door of the church! Else how do you explain the credulity with which we believe some stuffs spewed forth in the guise of the gospel by some men of the cloth from our numerous pulpits.
I know you will argue, faith does not agree with reasoning. Yes, and no! Faith agrees with reasoning; reasoning of a different kind – the Bible kind. Paul said; if anyone preaches a gospel different from the one we have preached to you, let him be accursed! I mean, that scripture makes me cringe with holy awe as a preacher and teacher of God’s word. Whatever anyone – and I mean whoever, by whatever name or title the person goes – says that does not agree with the whole counsel of God as set forth in the Bible, vomit it! Before anyone teach you and fill your mind and heart with anything short of the full orbed truth of God’s word, tell him or her, “Teacher, don’t teach me nonsense!” Read the Bible for yourself. Think. Meditate. Compare and research scriptures. Double-check and re-check what you heard in church or by a TV preacher. Refuse to be a twenty-first century slave. Use your spirit, and use your mind! If you refuse to think or you cannot think, you are a slave all the same. And I’m sorry to say, I see a new generation of slaves in the Nigerian church; enslaved by their wrong beliefs and to their overlords (pastors, prophets, teachers etc.) who taught them wrongly. You’re responsible for what and who you choose to believe.
Gone are those days when we thought that godliness had no earthly benefit. Those were the days when being born-again meant being the scum of the earth. Popular choruses were “Take the whole world and give me Jesus…” Believers were so heavenly conscious that they were of no earthly relevance. But those days are gone! Now we know better. We are godly and we are successful. And, our songs have changed. “Give me the whole world and give me Jesus…” seems more like what we sing nowadays. We are more easily to be charged with being earthly good but of not much eternal consequence! We have gone from one extreme end to the other.
Before you start thinking otherwise, I’m not advocating that poverty is synonymous with piety. One can be rich and righteous. Yet another can be poor and be sinful. If righteousness were equal to prosperity, then the most righteous men on earth would be the top dogs on the Forbes rich list. And thus the likes of Carlos Slim, William Henry Gates III, Folorunsho Alakija, Oprah Winfrey, Aliko Dangote etc., would be the most holy men and women on earth!
God does bless his people! You can be righteous and prosper! And you can be godly and broke too. Yeah! Remember the story Jesus told in Luke 16:19-31 about the rich man and Lazarus. That is sufficient an illustration.
An error has gone forth in the church: “If you do not have money, you must have missed God somewhere. Conversely, if you’re wealthy, then you must be in sync with God.” I say, no! You cannot worship God and mammon!
This is the whole counsel of God as revealed in 1Timothy 6:5-10:
“They think religion is a way to make a fast buck. A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough. But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.”(Message)
Aren’t we guilty of “using” God to achieve our selfish ends? Are we not fast slipping into this error of equating godliness with gain? A heart search is pertinent here, before we slip so far away from the kingdom of God than when we were infidels. This is not to knock any valid truth of God’s word no matter how much it’s been bastardized but to restore believers back to the straight and narrow. Bottom line: Gain is not godliness. However, godliness is great gain. You will still hear me on this matter. YOU WILL SUCCEED!
My last post was on this same topic. In it I started by saying that life is a school. And every day, class opens and fresh lessons are taught. We’d be wise to pick up those nuggets and internalize them. To read the first five lessons, check here. Here are the remaining five lessons.
Lesson #6: I have found out in life that…
Every half-truth is a lie. Honesty has no degrees. So, “don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.”(Prov. 4:24 Msg.)
Lesson #7: I have found out in life that…
It pays to be a man/woman of few words. (Prov. 10:19 Msg.) Let your words be few. (Eccles. 5:2b) Always remember that the more you say, the less people remember. “Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.”(Prov. 21:23 Msg.) “Don’t shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think…the less you speak, the better.”(Eccles. 5:2 Msg.)
Lesson #8: I have found out in life that…
The best advice on how to live is best gotten from someone who knows he/she is dying. “Your death date tells more than your birth date. You learn more at a funeral than at a feast – after all, that’s where we’ll end up. We might discover something from it.”(Eccles. 7:1b-2 Msg.) We must learn to live with the end in view. “Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning…”(Eccles. 7:3-4)
Lesson #9: I have found out in life that…
There’s no surer way along the road to success than to follow in the footsteps of those who have reached it. Mentoring helps your quest for successful living. It pays to respect results.
Lesson #10: I have found out in life that…
To know the road, ask those coming back. We need the wisdom of fathers to help us go further!
Now, there you have them. have you also learnt some lessons from the school of life. Let’s hear it. To your success!
Yesterday was my birthday. And I had a lovely day. I had a chance to reflect on where I’m coming from and where I am headed. And by the way I had some fun with my wife, kids and some friends. Consider this post my birthday gift to you. Enjoy!
Life is a school. And every day, class opens and fresh lessons are taught. Wise are we when we pick up those nuggets and internalize them. These are some ten simple but profound lessons I have learnt from the school of life.
Lesson number one: I have found out in life that…
Fame is sublime; popularity vaporizes; only character stands the test of time. “A good name is better than precious ointment…” (Ecclesiastes 7:1) Knowing this, I work on me, not on what you think of me!
Lesson number two is this: I have found out in life that Character is not made in crisis. Crisis only reveals a man’s character. It’s just like Solomon said, “If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn’t much to you in the first place.”(Proverbs 24:10 Msg.)
The third lesson I have learnt from the school of life is this: Stumbling blocks are stepping stones. Whatever impedes a man but does not succeed in stopping him, will aid his progress.
Lesson #4 is this: I have found out in life that…you either work hard or you live hard! “Sloth makes you poor, diligence brings wealth.”(Prov. 10:4 Msg.) It is either hard work or a hard life! If you “work your garden-you’ll end up with plenty of food; play and party-you’ll end with an empty plate.” (Prov. 28:19 Msg.) “Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table.”(Prov. 14:23 Msg.) Laziness is a sickness that will finally kill its victim! (See Prov. 21:25 Msg.)
Lesson #5 goes like this: I have found out in life that…
When you stop to progress, you start to regress.
When you stop learning, you start dying.
When you stop growing, you start groaning!
The road to success is always under construction. Success is a journey. When you think you’ve reached your peak, you’ll hit the pit!
I’ll finish this in my next post. YOU WILL SUCCEED!
WHAT STUFF IS A PRESIDENT MADE OF? (Refreshing Leadership Lessons from the Presidency of George W. Bush)
I must admit, this post is rather long compared to what I’m used to if you’re a regular reader of my blog. But suffer it to be so. I think alternatively I should have titled it – What Stuff Is A Leader Made Of? Reason being that the issues raised herein apply to all categories of leaders.
One of the books I read lately is Dead Certain: the Presidency of George W. Bush by Robert Draper. It’s a political narrative of the presidency of the 43rd US president, George W. Bush. To say the least, it was an interesting and engaging read.
I have always believed the fact that to become a leader and succeed as one (in any field) you need to know how other leaders think. You just must find a way of getting inside the brain of successful leaders. And one way is through reading their thoughts – in the form of books!
This is why I have always invested my money and time in the purchase and study of biographies of leaders – spiritual and religious, political and business, leaders of every shade and kind. Success leaves clues. And if you will follow the markings, you won’t miss your way.
Whatever you think of George Walker Bush and his presidency, I cannot but personally confess my admiration of him as a leader of one of the world’s greatest democracies. I can relate to the kind of decisions he had to make against the backdrop of the events that surrounded his leadership tenure. Reading the biographies and memoirs of him and several other presidents and world leaders like Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Obafemi Awolowo, Queen Elizabeth II of England, Mohandas K. Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., I think I quite well understand the burden of political leadership. In view of this I can only pray for my dear country Nigeria: Lord, send us men!
Not boys in the cloak of men, but real men formed in the crucibles of real life: solid men and women, not political jobbers and sheer opportunists who presently bestrode the corridors of power and places of influence masquerading as leaders; men who lead with posterity in view; principled women, men of substance; strong as oaks, sturdy against the storms. Lord, send us men!
I gained some refreshing insights from the book: not new concepts but noteworthy as epitomized in a politician’s life. I highlight the lessons and put the actual words of Bush in quote:
1. REAL LEADERSHIP IS PRINCIPLE-CENTERED, if I may borrow that from the late Steve Covey. Bush said, “I ran for reasons. Principled reasons. Principles which I will stand on. And when I leave this office I’ll stand on them…” Leaders must learn to live and lead by principles. Not by whims and impulses, political grandstanding nor pandering to a crowd. As parents, CEOs, pastors or leaders in any field, we must have an internal compass that guides our thoughts, actions and decisions.
2. LEADERSHIP RUNS ON THE FUEL OF PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL STAMINA. Bush commented that in “the presidency…you get tired. Exercise helps. And I think prayer helps. I really do.” He reportedly started his days with Bible reading and devoted two hours to exercising daily. If a sitting US president thinks fitness and health that necessary, then we’d better sit up. We may not have a job like his but a responsibility no less! As leaders we need to prioritize our health and devotional life.
3. A LEADER MUST BE DISCIPLINED. “I’m sustained by discipline. I don’t think I’ll be sitting here if not for the discipline. I was undisciplined at times. Never over the edge, but undisciplined. I wouldn’t be president if I kept drinking. You get sloppy, can’t make decisions, it clouds your reason, absolutely.” See that! We need discipline to lead, ourselves first before others. Whatever needs fixing in your life right now, had better be fixed before it takes you down.
4. LEADERS ARE READERS. Reading improves the quality of your thoughts and thereby the quality of your decisions and ultimately your leadership. This blew me away when I read it in the book. Bush said, “I read an interesting book…I’m on my eighty-seventh book this year.” And not only him, he went on to mention that his senior adviser Karl “Rove’s on, like, a hundred two…” and he went on to describe what he read in the book! How I long for the day Mr. President or a cabinet minister, senator, governor or any of their numerous aides will tell us the book he/she is reading presently. God help us in Nigeria! But before you lay onto them, what about you?
Will you be that leader? Will you be that person God finds worthy to lead his/her family, company or nation to the Promised Land? I challenge you to stand up and be counted. You will succeed!