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Monthly Archives: October 2012

I Forgive, But Should I Forget?

Many Christians are farmiliar with and often daily repeat the words of our the Lord’s prayer: ‘forgive us our trespasses…as we forgive those who trespass against
us’. But when they come face to face with situations that warrant the application of those words, it may not be so easy to say to themselves.

For a fact, some things are hard to forgive.

The hurt of someone you loved and trusted is the hardest. Imagine the pain of a betrayal.

Angela is a close friend. She wedded her husband 6 years ago and since then they have not been able to bear a child. They have
been waiting, hoping and praying while at the same time availing themselves to all the possibilities provided by medical science. However, as with most homes in traditional African society, Angela has borne the brunt of the in-laws anger. In truth, both husband and wife share a dose of the blame. The husband has a low sperm count and the wife has fibroid…

A few months ago, lady ‘x’ arrives Angela’s home and in typical Nollywood movie style declares she is pregnant for the husband While Angela prayed, hoped and waited, the husband was acting. Yet, she should
forgive…and then forget…

Chika’s story has an interesting twist. She made friends with Tony in secondary school because he was new in their class and no one would really make friends with a new boy. Soon though Chika discovered she and Tony shared the same love for reading. They started exchanging books, not just the
M&B series which was popular among young boys and girls in their
early teens back then, but more ‘mature’ reading.

Chika was therefore not surprised when Tony asked her to wait after school because he had some books for her. Little did Chika realize that Tony had arranged with a group of other boys to gang rape her. Yes, she
should forgive…and then forget…

Timmy loved his mother with all his heart. He would do anything for her.He modeled all his actions around her. When she was sad, he was sad. When she was excited, so was Timmy. She was his world…Until, one day,
Timmy awoke and his mother was no longer there for him. She had fallen in love with another guy and left his father. Timmy had to forgive…and then forget…

Why?

Why should Angela, Chika and Timmy forgive?

Greek was the language in which the ‘New Testament’ and by extension ‘The Lords Prayer’ was written. The Greek word for forgive as used by Jesus Christ is a.phi’e.mi. It literally means ‘let go off’.

Imagine carrying a weight and trudging up a mountain. It may be easy at first, but as the mountain gets steeper, the weight gets heavier. At some point, you would realize
that to get to the top of the mountain and achieve your goal, you must let go off the extra baggage. You must let go off the weight, otherwise you would remain at that one point, tethering between progress and
retrogress. When you finally ‘let go’, you become lighter. You can make
progress. You can reach your goal.

But then, forgive and forget?

Does that mean suffering some sort of temporary memory loss so as not to recall what sin has been committed against one?

Again, the Greek word for forget is epilanthano’mai means, ‘to lose out of mind’. Think of two children who get into a fight. Within minutes, they are back together again. They don’t brood, dredge up the past, or make demands before extending forgiveness.

When we do forget, it means we do not
leave that sin in the sinners account. Next time the person sins against us, which they surely will, we do not say, ‘oh, this was the
same thing you did the last time and now you are doing it again’. We wipe the slate clean and start over.

I do not know who has hurt you. I do not know who is weighing you down. I do not know who is stopping you from reaching your goal. But I do know, that you MUST forgive and then forget if you are to reach the top of that mountain. And our journey thru life is a mountain, the farther we travel, the steeper it becomes. You do not need any extra bagagge. Let go of the weight and lose it out of your mind and you will get to the top.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2012 in Relationships

 

When Its Your Time

They say troubles come in two’s and three’s
This is four, nay five and I’m yet to be free
This work palava
Landlord wahala
School fees… whatever
Feeding? Don’t bother

As I woke up this morning
Watched the rain that’s falling
Thinking of my troubles aflowing
Hoping for respite acoming

Listen
I just heard my phone beep
On the line a voice deep
Asking: can you a job keep?
I wondered: is this sleep?
Six figure pay? I don leap!

Listen,
I fell on my knees, I did weep
Praises to God, I did heap
Just like that, in one sweep
Went from walking, to own jeep
Sho’ers of blessing, I did reap

Listen,
When it’s your time
It’s your time
You may pass through grime
Not owning a dime
When it’s time, you’ll climb

Listen,
When it’s your time
It’s your time
When God wants to change your clime
On table of kings you’ll dine
No one can stop your shine

I have seen something else under the sun; the race is not for the swift or the battle for the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favour to the learned but time and chance happen to them all~Eccl 9:11

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2012 in Poetry

 

Hey Ms Fear, Can I have a Word With You?

Recently, I had an encounter in my personal life that made me start thinking of fear. And I mean really thinking about her and personalizing her. You may be surprised that I am speaking about her in the female gender. This is not because I am feminist; rather it is because my study of fear has led me to the belief that Fear is a woman.

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According to Wikipedia, Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat that causes animals to move quickly away from the location of the perceived threat, and sometimes hide. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. I have chosen not to go with the regular definition of fear by most dictionaries because they seem to give the connotation that fear is negative.

Fear is not always negative, just as a woman is not necessarily evil. However, having the wrong type of woman in your life could be destructive.

In a similar vein, just like having one woman in your life is not a bad thing having several women in your life at the same time can slow down your progress.

Yet, when you allow fear to rule your life, it is much like allowing a woman to run things. One study points out that women who lead are unique in certain ways. Two of which are:

  1. Women leaders are more persuasive than their male counterparts.
  2. When feeling the sting of rejection, women leaders learn from adversity and carry on with an “I’ll show you” attitude.

Can you see how easily you can relate this to having fear in your life?

Let’s start with persuasiveness. Fear persuades you to hold back. Fear can have a paralyzing effect. You want to leave this job and move on to the next that you have a passion for. That is what you really want, but you can’t. Why? Fear! All the what-ifs – What if the job does not pay? What if I stop loving this thing I have a passion for? What if I fail? By the time you begin to ponder all the what-ifs, you begin to over-think issues. You become immobilized and often decide to maintain status quo. Fear has successfully persuaded you to do that which it wishes. And why does Fear win? Fear is a woman and is thus more persuasive than men.

Next, we look at attitude towards rejection. When you reject Fear, Fear learns from the rejection and returns with an ‘I’ll show you’ attitude. When you reject fear, you take the plunge, no more holding back. You become free to make major decisions in your life. Fear cannot be happy about this and even though it momentarily accepts defeat it is going to come back to ‘show you’! There you are walking around, heads held high, being uppity and how does fear ‘show you’. Fear throws a cog in your wheel of success.  She invites doubts to help with this and before you know it, you are running back into the arms of Fear and taking solace in the warmth and reassurance she gives. Fear smiles and of course keeps you all tied up.

However, Fear is not always a bad thing. A certain level of Fear keeps you from taking rash decisions. For instance, the fear of being hurt would prevent a young woman from staying out late at night or walking down a dark alley un-chaperoned. The fear of AIDS certainly prevents many young persons from having sex without a condom. The fear of an electric shock would prevent anyone from touching naked wires because they don’t want to be shocked to Thy Kingdom Come. More importantly, the fear of displeasing God moves us to keep his commandments, for others it is the fear of Karma.

Therefore Fear can be like a good woman in a relationship. She helps you keep the balance; often provides needed direction; and is a good friend that you can rely on to help you avoid taking unnecessary risks. In this instance, you would want to keep her for the rest of your days and even marry her.

So isn’t it time you had that chat with Ms. Fear? As in the case with most relationships, when things begin to get out of hand, it is time to pull up a seat and have a heart to heart. And if you don’t know how to contact Ms Fear, why not ask a trusted friend to set up a meeting?

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2012 in General

 

Its Your Choose…

A friend and I were gossiping recently about a woman down the street who sells provisions in a store and everything she sells a lot more expensive than everyone else around her. It is so bad that with the relative improvement in power, everyone has reverted to the old price of selling sachet water for five Naira but she sells at three for twenty naira. I couldn’t help wondering why people buy from her. I mean, why would any right thinking person add an extra Naira or two to make a purchase somewhere when less than a minute away you will get the same article at the right price?

After I left my friend, I got thinking. The trader had a right to sell at whatever price she wanted. It is a free economy anyway, but the customers also have a right not to buy. It is actually a matter of choice. For instance, when the ministry of aviation lifted their suspension on Dana air, I remember telling a friend that flying or not flying Dana was actually a question of choice. There is a carrier available for flights, but it is the people that would decide whether they want to fly them or not.

Moving away from economic transactions, everything we do in life is actually a product of choice. We choose to go to school, to marry, to have children, to live and even to die. As you may already know, some have chosen death even while they live. Was it not Wole Soyinka that said the man dies in every man that bows to the yoke of oppression?

Yes, every action we take is a choice. Granted some of the choices we make can just translate into our losing a couple of naira but some other choices have far reaching consequences. Imagine a man who decides to get into in a business venture. The entire premise is wrong, but he is more interested in the gain. He receives a call out of the blue about a long lost ‘uncle’ who has left him a fortune. Of course he knows he doesn’t have an uncle anywhere, but he chooses to believe that he does. And when he is asked to pay a certain sum which might represent his whole living, he willingly does so. Would you not say being swindled was his choice?

Or would you say of a young woman who chooses to dress indecently. She comes on social media and all she does is post nude or semi nude pictures of herself. She would be the first to contribute to trends like boobsThursday, NopantiesWednesday and the like. She feels that her body is hers and she has a right to do with it whatever she chooses. She is free to show what she wants when she wants. But the facts remain that same way as she has made these choices, every other person also has a right to make his own choice; the man who sees her and chooses to see her as a sex object or chooses to believe that her manner of dressing is an open invitation for him to take her whether she consents or not.

Some choices we make literally have life changing consequences. For instance, Toke decided he has had enough, life had been too tough on him. He feels no one understands him and nothing he tries to do ever works. It’s just time, as far as he is concerned, to put an end to it all. He comes online and makes what he hopes will be his final post. No one ever notices his status updates anyway. But on this day, someone chooses to respond and instead of making fun of his status, this person chooses to spend kind words on him. At the end of their conversation, Toke threw the drugs he wanted to overdose on into the trash. He had found a friend.

Sometimes, we make choices we are forced to live with for life. The man who chooses to drive even though he is drunk and ends up killing someone while driving recklessly; The young girl who gets pregnant and chooses to have an abortion and later discovers that was her only chance at ever having a baby; The spouse who decides to cheat on her partner and in that instance contracts an STD.

We need to exercise caution as we go about making daily choices. Whether they are little decisions that make us lose a few Naira or bigger ones that can have life changing consequences. We must never forget the saying goes “you’ve made your bed and now you must lie in it”. So as you picks your choose, remember that you’ll lives with it.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2012 in General