​YOU WILL REGRET NOT SAYING “YES” TO ME…


Just shut up!
How dare you use such words?
Wait a minute!
Who do you think you are? Jehovah Jireh?

I have come across many exceptional egocentric persons who think that they are actually the ones giving you a privilege by accepting or requesting to be in a relationship with you and eventually want to marry you. When you eventually give in to them hoping to see someone who has a refined personality, you discover that behind the suit lies a man or woman who needs so much help. Their problem is not that they need help, we all need help, but their problem is that they don’t agree that they need help, they see their weaknesses as no issue and see you as someone they are just helping. Excuse me; it’s not everyone that is moved by that ‘public figure’ or ‘celebrity’ status!

Let me buttress my point.
A relationship is not about a person, a relationship is constructed on purpose and that purpose cannot be achieved when one person feels more relevant than the other. Both parties in a relationship are privileged to meet each other and establish a relationship. People who make you feel like they are just helping you by marrying you are just very terrible people. Behind their suit, celebrity status and all those entourage that follows them, they are struggling with pressing issues and may need someone who tolerates their undisciplined habits. They may need someone who can help work on them.

However, because of their ego, they wouldn’t want to acknowledge that they have a problem. This was the very problem Jesus had with the Pharisees and other elites of Judaism. They knew they had issues but they never wanted to open up, if they had opened up. Doctors don’t come for healthy people, they go for people who have a problem and admit it. Your ego will always reject help.

This is why certain ladies undergo several waves of abuse in the hands of their partner and they still stick to him, not because this is what they want but because they feel that they have gone too far to back off, they think their life is now tied to the hands of the man. Some of us go around creating an impression that we are very perfect people in the flesh, and we don’t want to admit that meeting someone who wants to manage our flaws is a privilege and we go ahead to make very stupid remarks like “you will regret not marrying me”. When I hear people say that, I want to walk up to them from the back, tap them gently and ask them “and who do you think you are?”

Little wonders proud people always fail!
It takes humility to appreciate someone who has chosen to be with us. It doesn’t matter how good, romantic and understanding we think we are, we are not the one doing someone a favour by marrying or being in a relationship with them, we need them as much as they need us. They can help us become even better and we can help them in our way too.

Adam never knew he needed a helpmeet, Adam never complained to God because he never had an early orientation of being in the company of someone before and he never wanted it because he never knew about it. But, when God brought the woman to him, he didn’t go about saying “you can’t do without me…”, he rather admitted that “this is the woman I need!”.

I just hate that arrogance!
When we go about treating people as though they are nothing without us, we have proven that we cannot be trusted. It means we are not looking for a relationship, we are just colonial masters and no one wants to be under a colonial master. This doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate ourselves… Oh, come on! I do that a lot! I tell myself that my wife and kids will be blessed to have me and I look at myself in the mirror and tell myself “George you are good, God made you good” but I don’t come to someone and put it up to her saying “if you do not yield to me… You are gone!” if we act that way, we are not different from those men who rape women for saying “no” to them. It shows we are just being obsessed with our selves that we cannot appreciate another person. If you can’t appreciate someone, there is no point being in a relationship with them, you don’t need it!

You’re damn good!
I don’t mean that we should stop seeing our importance or we stop appreciating ourselves. If we can’t appreciate ourselves and see ourselves as people who are worthy of someone’s love, we may start living in self-pity. When we lose confidence in ourselves, we may not able to give our best. What I am kicking against is when we start magnifying our personality over another person and start seeing ourselves as the only important person in a relationship, it makes us bossy, selfish and very annoying. Our partner’s decisions may not even matter to us anymore because we feel our words are the final say. That is what you get when you are in a relationship where one person thinks you are only privileged to meet him or her. No, we are privileged to meet ourselves.

What many people cover up with such useless ego are their terrible past and present. Some of them have a very terrible lifestyle that you may not know about, they suffer from lots of addiction and they are truly feeling very inferior about themselves just that they try to protect their weaknesses and magnify themselves over you in a bid to measure up and have you respect them. They feel once they open up to you they lose their ‘superior image’. Anyone who acts this way is very difficult to change because they know they have a problem but they are just never going to admit, they will employ all manner of tactics to cover it until you are entirely trapped into their lives. And they are toxic people!

If you fall into this category of persons, you may need to help yourself by admitting that you need help. Many public figures have issues; they hide the devils in them inside their designers wears. Don’t be caught in the web of illusions, it will not always last long and when it ends, it damages all the integrity you have falsely built. Being honest about yourself brings you more respect than you can ever imagine.

Being sincere with who you are do not scare people away, it makes them love you the more and even trust you. If someone can be free enough to share her ugly past or weaknesses to me, then I will always trust that she will be very open and sincere as we work something out. We are there to help, build, cherish and respect ourselves after all.

Defeat that ego!
It’s time to give up on your ego; you may not like yourself when things turn against you and it will turn against you if you keep living that way. No wonder the bible says that pride goes before a fall! Pride will make you keep building on the mountains of lies, lies don’t last forever.

The relationship isn’t just an affair, it is a responsibility. If you are in a relationship, then it is time to be very responsible, it is time to work on yourself and your partner. Let me tell you what a sweet relationship looks like: when you can look into your partner’s eyes and say “I understand… We will fight together and win together” and your partner can do the same to you, it is a sweet relationship.

Kill that pride…
In relationships, we’re babies that grow every day.
Darling, you need me and I need you much more!
God bless you!

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IS IT GOSSIP OR NOT?


Our purpose for anything we want to do determines the result. Two persons may set out for the same mission with different motives and their results will never be the same because intentions are the drive of every action. Very good action with an evil intention still ends up being very evil. Do you think the devil looks like what we see in Nollywood movies? Do you think evil looks ugly? Do you think they look scary? Ah, no… You may be mistaken! Sometimes, evil looks cute and caring but its intention isn’t different from the mission of the devil, it’s intention is to destroy!

“Very good action with an evil intention still ends up being very evil.

Your mission isn’t necessarily defined by what you are set out to do, it is defined by the motives behind your actions. The chief sponsor of actions is motives. One person may spank a child because she wants to save the child from a mistake but another may spank a child on same occasion because she wants to discharge her anger on the child. It may seem to the onlookers that both are either wicked or caring but the motives are what truly defines what they desired to gain from whatever they did.

Scratch that a bit… Let’s digress!

Sometimes, we are serving a purpose we don’t even know when we do certain things. What on earth do you think can be achieved by gossiping people? To gossip, people mean to unnecessarily report people’s private life and give out details that aren’t confirmed to be true especially to paint them bad. Previously, I had written on why it is bad to gossip and I just felt like doing a little exhortation today on the same subject.

“Your mission isn’t necessarily defined by what you are set out to do, it is defined by the motives behind your actions.”

You’re on a devil’s mission when all you do is stage others and gossip someone basically because you don’t like them. What makes gossip evil isn’t that the rumours you are spreading don’t have atoms of truth but because atoms of truth don’t mean truth, as 99.9% truth + 0.01% lie is still 100% lie. Positivity mixed with negativity still ends up being negative… 

There has never been time gossip came in the platter of complete truth, there must be a touch of lie to make it newsworthy and in most cases, it doesn’t have to be a touch of a lie, it had to be all lies! No gossip is aimed at making people better, it is usually a means of painting other people bad, not to save them but to further damage them. Some people gossip, claiming that they did it with good intention but how is it a good intention when you can say something behind someone but never get to stand before them and repeat it? Gossips are usually based on wrong assumptions from real happenings!

“99.9% truth + 0.01% lie is still 100% lie.”

That she slept over in his house might have to be a true incident but that they had sex and she had an abortion for him later would be a lie because you only assumed it based on your inability to control yourself when you find yourself in that same situation. Most times, people who gossip, judge experiences from the perspective of their weakness. They always assume that whatever they would have done in a situation is what another would do. So, anytime they see two persons smile at each other, they assume there is something more to that smile!

Let me make this plain.

It is not wrong to assume but your assumptions are your calculations, the lowest form of knowledge and the most unnecessary thing to share with others. If you have anything against someone, they should be the first person you share it with and if you must share it with other people, they must be aware that you are sharing it. If you have to start or end conversations with “don’t let him know I am the one who told you…” then you are most likely to be gossip!

There has never been time gossip came in the platter of complete truth

It is not gossip when you used another person’s well-known mistakes to help others out of making the same mistake. It is not gossip when people’s weaknesses and strength becomes a point of discussion so that we can approve or disapprove of them being part of our projects. It is not gossip when we are bothered about someone but can’t address them and then we decide to approach someone else who can help us to help them. Talking about others with an intention not to hurt them but to help them or help others isn’t gossip. This is why I pointed out earlier that our motives go a long way to define our actions no matter how bad or good they appear on the surface. When you suspect a woman going through abuse in the hands of her husband and you decide to open up to someone about it with a motive to save her, you aren’t gossiping; you are rather helping.

It becomes gossip when your motive is that of malice, resentment, deceit and other negativity. There are times we talk about people because we want to release hope, guide others and share lessons! When our motive is right, we surely may not have to call names and point pictures when it is going to bring about personal damage to someone else. You will be proud to look people in the eyes and repeat what you said about them when you don’t have the wrong motives.

“It is not wrong to assume but your assumptions are your calculations, the lowest form of knowledge and the most unnecessary thing to share with others.”

LOVE IS LABOUR, NOT PLEASURE


Again and again, I habitually sit back to ponder on certain things, I try to look from varying perspectives to gain better insight and know better. I was reflecting on that word “love” again and a Bible verse stroke a chord in my heart. It made the distinction! I’d like the words of Jesus to re-echo in our hearts; He said

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” – John 13:34-35

When we love, people will know that we are His disciples. You must understand that being a disciple means being a learner and this connotes that when we love, people will know that we are learning of Christ. This means that love is the only way to truly be Christ-like in a practical sense. Love is the only way to show Jesus.

When we discuss love, we aren’t talking about what a boy feels for a girl, we aren’t talking about the gifts a boy buys for a girl because of how he feels. We also aren’t talking about the feeling a girl has for a boy as a compensation for all the gifts she has been receiving. Love exceeds all of those. The Bible says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. This is what love means! Love covers a multitude of offence, love doesn’t fade away because we couldn’t get what we want! Love is that ability to be wronged, offended and even despised but still choose to admire, respect and stand for the offender. It is in this interest that the Bible says “love is the greatest…” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Many times, we want to feel that it is impracticable to love and while I admit that it is not natural to the flesh to live like Christ, we can truly love like Him because the nature of Christ has been made available in our Spirit and we can superimpose Christ’s nature of love on our mind by learning of Him every day and functioning in the reality of what we learn of Him. Jesus wasn’t suggesting that we love, He wasn’t advising us to love, and He wasn’t trying to inspire us or motivate us to love! He rather charged us and gave us a command to love one and another. He didn’t just leave us with a command, He also empowered us to be able to live up to it if we so desire it. However, it isn’t negotiable; it is a way of life that we must follow.

In light of this truth, we see something astounding. Love isn’t a choice, it is not an advice or an appeal; it is a commandment from our Lord, Jesus Christ. This is how He expects us to live, His love was made complete in us (1 John 4:12) so that we can give out to others in full measure. The problem is that a lot of us are too carnal that we are afraid to exercise our Spiritual qualities. The only way to express a better understanding of God is not to preach but to love! Love should be the reason why we teach, preach and reach out to people. We can’t prove we know God if we do not walk in genuine love. The Bible says in 1 John 4:8

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

The knowledge of God in us propels us to bear good fruits. What serves as fruit in us is our character and our attitudes towards others. The fruit of the Spirit isn’t something we wait for the Holy Spirit to gift to us. As believers, we have a regenerated spirit, our spirit is perfect (1 Peter 1:23) and our spirit is bearing good fruits. The Bible says in Galatians 5:22-23

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”

Love is one of the fruits of the Spirit, all other fruits are also made possible by love. The fruit of the Spirit isn’t the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the context of that reference, it is the fruit of our born again Spirit. The bible says that we should walk in the Spirit, it didn’t say we should pray for the ability because as believers we already possess the ability to walk in the Spirit.

If we wouldn’t be able to walk in the Spirit, we wouldn’t have been instructed to do so. To walk in the Spirit means to live out in our flesh the fruits of our Spirit. Jesus said that we are known by our fruits (Matthew 7:16) and He said people will know that we are His disciples if we love. Note this please, He didn’t say people will know we are His disciples if we preach for it is by evidence that people are convinced about our identity. Let’s see that verse briefly,

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” – John 13:34-35

The reason Jesus commanded us to love each other just the same way He has loved us is that this is the only way to prove our identity to the world. Technically, when we don’t love just like Jesus, we are living out a mistaken identity. Jesus didn’t just ask us to love, He asked us to love just as we have been loved by Him. We don’t just love, we love like Jesus. It is not a suggestion but a commandment.

Commandment despises reasons; it entertains no respect for any kind of excuse. When you are in the army, you are obliged to obey the last order! The last order might be to open fire, it might be to slap your brother as a sign of discipline and because you are accountable to the senior officer, you must obey the last order. In the same fashion, Jesus, who is our Lord, saviour and owner have given us an instruction, a command and the greatest of it all at that. He said, “love one and another!” We don’t have a choice but to love, we don’t need any reason to love and we don’t have to feel like it, to love.

Love in this context is simply “love!” We don’t need to start defining any Greek theory! I said earlier that the kind of love Christ necessitates from us is that which respects, admire and care for others even when they are our enemies. It may seem ridiculous and cowardice but this is the kind of love God demands from us. It doesn’t mean that we see gangsters and lay our heads for them. It rather means that even when we have to seek for legal protections from wicked people, we are still concerned about them and groaning for them in prayers. We must never let our flesh proceed to rule our mind perpetually. We can learn to forgive people and let go of the hurt. Love can’t function without a forgiving heart.

Unfortunately, we talk about love so much but end up doing little. Our love for others is manifested first of all in our desire and passion to see them saved but it also continues being expressed in caring for others, in protecting the vulnerable, in assisting the needy and in seeing people just like Jesus would see them. The same way a woman in labour has no other choice than to push, we are compelled to love! Some women keep pushing out the baby and even die in the process but notwithstanding of what happens to them, they had to push, they’ve got no reason not to! Even if pushing would be impossible, they must still undergo surgical operation; this is because they have no option than to deliver that baby! It doesn’t matter the pain, you’ve still got to love.

The weakness of love is stronger than all the powers of hate in this world put together. The power of love is intoxicating to the point that when you show any man, genuine love, God Himself is triggered! I like to think that how to move God is to love, how to call for God’s attention is to love. I may not sound theologically accurate to some people here but it is true; our love for others triggers God’s attention. When you love others and show it, God is likely to say “wow! Someone just loved on me now.” Jesus made this very clear in Matthew 25:40, we saw that how to love God is to love the men God made in His image.

God has made Himself the primary beneficiary of our love to others. Love is a labour, it is not a pleasure. God wants us to labour this way, He regards us as faithful servants when we love others. Jesus didn’t say we should love people who love us, He didn’t say we should appreciate good deeds with love, He didn’t say we should love people we are attracted to. He rather commanded us to love even the least person. The smallest and insignificant person doesn’t suggest the least person in Church, God’s kingdom extends to the earth because the sphere of God’s authority is without defect. Who is the most unimportant person in your life? Who is that enemy that you have sworn to have nothing to do with? Who is that person that has so wronged you that you never want to set your eyes on them again? That is where love should begin!

As much as your child did nothing to obtain your love, this is how others should be loved. There shouldn’t be any such thing as hate at first sight. Whether they look mean, angry and unattractive, always find a means to show love. If your child destroys your certificate and valuable appliances, you may get so angry but in the end, he or she is still your child and you don’t keep being angry with them. This is also how we should treat others. The same way you believe that your child will grow out of being childish, you should also give other people that benefit of the doubt, they can grow out of their hate when they learn how to love from you! When there is a need to discipline people, love should still be the motivation! Channel your desire towards how you can make the other person better!

It is very easy to say that we can handle every offence; it is very easy to say that we can’t get bitter until we are hurt and betrayed by someone we’ve so much trusted. It is easy to say that we can love unconditionally until the person we thought we love turns against us. If love should rule above offence, then we are to labour for it. Judas betrayed Jesus but Jesus didn’t come back talking about it, the same happened with Peter. It was painful but love despises reasons. We will not always get it perfectly right but we can always try, we can always come out of hate when we remember that this isn’t where we are supposed to be. I will summarize with this story.

A man noticed a snake ensnared in something while the fire in a nearby burning bush was expanding towards the place the snake was trapped. Out of compassion the man picked the snake off its trap and started hiking down towards another part of the bush to put it to safety. The snake bit the man who out of pain threw it down immediately but quickly picked it up again and threw it to the other side of the bush. A young girl who was observing him asked: “why did you help that snake even after it bit you?” The man grinned and said “the snake will always be a snake and I will always be me. The snake won’t allow your kindness to change its nature; it is simply exhibiting its nature. In the same manner, I won’t allow the aggressiveness of the snake to change my nature that is why I still had to help even when it treated me badly.”

To love is not to see danger and fix your head in it. To love is to care for another person even when he or she is isolated for your safety. Never forget, love seeks for reconciliation, love is compassionate about getting others saved and love is revealed in care. People may hurt you while loving them but what do you do? Love again! Why? Because we are obeying the last order!

This is our last order, to love!

~ George O.N

10 WAYS TO SAY “I LOVE YOU”


Love isn’t just what we say, it is what we do. Unfortunately, many people say “I love you” but end up showing something different. We have always heard that one action speaks louder than a thousand words. There are other ways you could say “I love you” more profoundly.

Everyone needs that reassurance of love, everyone needs that security that is obtained when love is expressed and everyone wants to feel special and appreciated. However, not everyone seems to express love rightly, sometimes it seems we have limited ways of saying “I love you.” Whether you feel shy to say it or you want to express your love other ways, here are a few basic ideas to tell your loved “I love you.”

1. EXPRESS ADMIRATION

Love is indeed divine, divine love comes without a condition but we are also wired to express a degree of love based on what we admire, we are wired to also feel love and loved. What exactly is attractive in your loved ones? Do you find their figure, intelligence, hair, eyes or fingers fancy? Do you love how they walk or how they sing? Love lives beyond all of these but these features are worthy of appreciation! Express what you admire about your loved ones. You don’t have to wait till you could put it in perfect words, just express it the way you feel it. I just don’t always have to be those features that got you attracted to them at first, it could also be something new you discovered about them that is worthy of admiration and appreciation. You could say:

“I know you are much more than this but I admire and appreciate the way you put things together.”

2. LET YOUR TIME SPEAK

We only give our time to what matters most to us! Even our pets feel loved when we give them our time even when they don’t know what the word “love” means. There is a love language that is general to everything in nature! When we were of little age, we would plant beans in containers and every day we devote time to it and these plants usually blossom in beauty because they feel loved! But when we neglect them, they begin to wear off! When you devote time to someone, you don’t need to say a word for them to know you love them. Your time is very vocal and when you give it to someone, you are saying:

“Of all the things around me, I find you more important.”

3. NEVER MAKE IT ABOUT YOU

When you keep expressing characters that indicate love but ends up making it about yourself, then you are being selfish. Love is truly expressed selflessly because the true expression of love includes preferring the need of the other above yours! For example, you never have to be satisfied before you can do something for someone, you don’t have to feed to the full before you can feed another person and you don’t have to get all the clothes you want before you can extend some to another person. When you love selflessly, you are saying

“Although I have needs, your well-being is a priority.”

4. BE GENEROUS WITH RESPECT

Healthy relationships don’t exist without a strong foundation of a shared respect for one and another. Respect is not gender-based, it is not a gender responsibility neither is it meant for just one party! To respect someone means to believe, understand and admire someone even if they have different opinions from yours. Having respect isn’t enough, showing it is important! This means that even when there seem to be rooms for disagreements you still respect their opinions, their choices and their personality. When you respect others, you are saying:

“I admire, understand and believe in you! We may disagree on some issues but I can cope with your differing views.”

5. OFFER HELP

I usually paid my ex visits (when we were still dating) on weekends to help her do laundries, clean the house and assist her sometimes with the cooking. This was my way of offering help, not because it was very easy for me but because those were areas I could give my love-offerings! It doesn’t have to be convenient before we could do it. Sometimes, while helping her with the laundry, my clothes are waiting for me in my apartment to be washed. To help people isn’t just to do something; it is to do more than your share. It may be financial, intellectual, physical and many other modes of assistance and none is tied to any specific person. By offering to help, you are saying

“I want you to be happy; I want to ease the burden off you!”

6. EXPRESS AFFECTION

Affection is mentally appealing, it also brings emotional healing! You can express affection by touching, hugging and other forms of physical touch. Sometimes, people are tensed or bothered and while we may not have a solution to their problem, they would just need a hug, a touch, holding of hands or a kiss to feel better. There were many times in my life when affection was just what I needed, I needed just a hug or perhaps a touch with a soothing word that says “it is going to be fine!” Science has proven that there are mental and physical benefits to the showing of affection. For some of us who could still count how many hugs and touch we have gotten as adults, we treasure affection more than anything else because it seems hard to come to us. By showing affection, you are saying

“I know I may not be able to right all the wrongs that happen to you but I can let you feel my warmth, listen to my heartbeat and lean on my shoulders.”

7. GIFTS ARE SPECIAL

Gifts are very special but they don’t need any special time or special occasions to be given. The gift of a man makes a way for him, which is what the Bible tells us. You can also understand it to mean that the gift of someone say words that the person can’t say. Gifts are great on birthdays and anniversaries but they are also great on normal days! One of the greatest and fastest ways of communicating love is in giving gifts. Trying surprising your loved one today with an unexpected gift, you don’t have to break a bank but be creative! By giving gifts, you are saying

“I appreciate our friendship”

8. PRAISE THEM PUBLICLY

Sometimes, praising people publicly shows them how special they are, it also indicates that you are very proud of them. You could praise them when others are talking against them, you could defend their interest too. More so, you can also talk about how special they are on your social media handlers. This doesn’t mean bringing privacies into the public; love isn’t a private affair after all. When you are bold enough to appreciate someone publicly, you are saying

“I am proud of you and proud to tell the world that I love you.”

9. OPEN UP!

It is time to stop pretending to be who you are not, it is time to stop being rigid, it is time to bare your heart and let someone see you and love the real you! Many times we let our past experiences control us; we close up ourselves so much because we are afraid of getting hurt again. Love makes us vulnerable and until you open up yourself, you will be limited to the level of love you express by yourself. Lose your defences; stop hiding your weaknesses, let go of your pride and come out of your reserve! Until we trust someone with our vulnerability, we are afraid to love and be loved. When you open up, you are saying

“I know I have been hurt in the past but I want to trust you with my heart.”

10. SAY “I LOVE YOU”

Although not all that say “I love you” really mean it, you can mean it and say it. Do you see these three words? They may be mere archaic words but they are still very refreshing to the soul. It still happens to be the best way to vocalize your love! If you don’t mean it, never say it because it unlocks emotions! When you say “I love you”, you are also saying

“You see all these displays of attention, admiration and affection towards you? It is because I truly love you. Now, I want to be sure that you know it.”

There could be more ways to say “I love you!”

Which part speaks more to you? And which other ways do you think we could say “I love you”? Let’s get your comments!

4 TIPS TO MAINTAINING POSITIVE IMPRESSION DURING CONVERSATIONS


Whether you are discussing with a friend, a neighbour, a colleague, gone on a date or just kicking off a conversation with someone you just met in the mall, aircraft or elsewhere, you would want to create an impression that leaves a positive memory even if you don’t get to meet again. Unfortunately, we often look towards the popular points like being cognizant of your body language, developing a sense of humour and all of that, they are very great and they matter but there are certain things we tend to overlook and I’d be sharing them with you.

These tips aren’t to help you start up a conversation but to help you have a healthy conversation and leave a better impression after a conversation with someone. These tips can help you in most cases but it is written to address some unaddressed mistakes we make when getting to know people. Let’s get rolling!

1. INSTEAD OF CRITICIZING, ASK POLITE QUESTION

During a conversation, people might say something you seem to dislike and how you react at this point determines the kind of impression you leave with the person. For instance, if you are a Christian and you happened to be in conversation with an atheist, you shouldn’t start judging them or criticizing them using the yardsticks of your faith. As much as you believe you are following the most excellent way, you shouldn’t shove it down the throat of someone else. Now instead of saying “Only fools say there is no God.” Why not ask “why do you believe there is no God?” Instead of saying “you don’t know anything about Christianity” why not ask “can you tell me what you know about Christianity?”

When you criticize people unhealthily, you are judging them and you’re indicating that their reasoning is faulty which isn’t supposed. Criticism sometimes is mostly unfair, proud people are usually interested in defending their ego and not truly trying to make another see from a different perspective. You may not subscribe to someone’s line of thoughts but you can ask polite questions that only indicates you want to know why they think that way. It also makes you open for more discussion, it makes the conversation interesting and of course, it creates more room for both of you to see from different perspectives.

When it is about getting people to change their views or lifestyles, criticism is not a way to do it, it has always proven to fail. Many times, asking interesting questions introduces another person into thinking from another perspective. It doesn’t matter if you are conversing with someone who always sounds critical, you don’t have to let people’s weaknesses affect your strength. Just as a kind act towards a snake doesn’t stop it from being venomous, other people’s display of weakness shouldn’t change you!

“Just as a kind act towards a snake doesn’t stop it from being venomous, other people’s display of weakness shouldn’t change you!”

Not all questions are great! You should always consider asking less critical questions. So, if you are always a critical person or you don’t know if you’re critical, you may want to consider these things below:

  • Instead of focusing on what is wrong, focus on how to find the solution. For example, you are discussing with someone and he says “I took a loan that I couldn’t pay” instead of asking “why on earth did you have to take such a loan?” you could consider saying “there will always be a way out. What steps have you taken to manage your debts?”
  • Instead of throwing the worst of people to their faces, why not ignore their personality and focus on how they could do better the next time? For instance, you shouldn’t make statements like “but you weren’t wise enough to have gone for that loan.” Consider saying things like “we all learn from situations like this.”
  • Instead of engaging someone in a way that devalues them, you should always add value. Always think before you talk and ensure your words are exhilarating enough as this helps build some kind of trust and excitement to meet you again! Instead of saying “that was a foolish decision” Why not consider words like “it must have been a tough decision for you but you’ll surely overcome this.”

You have to ensure that you engage people most positively no matter how foolish their opinions, decisions and actions look to you. If you can’t offer advice or solution without criticizing people, then your counsels aren’t relevant to them.

Instead of focusing on what is wrong, focus on how to find the solution.

2. DON’T COMPLAIN, COMPLIMENT

When you engage with someone in a conversation and suddenly discover yourself wanting to complain about something, it could be about their dressing, about their makeups and so on, divert your attention and look for what to compliment. You don’t have to create an impression that you are a fault-finder!

You also shouldn’t consider complaining about yourself, your failures and so on to someone you’re starting a conversation with, you shouldn’t make it a common part of your discussion with people. Dodge it as much as you can. The conversation should be neutral, it shouldn’t be about you anyway! Bemoaning about your failures or complaining about them will probably make them want this conversation to end fast. It also leaves a negative memory.

To complain means to express dissatisfaction about something or someone. If you are not satisfied with yourself, you probably will never be an interesting person in your conversation with someone. Except you went to meet a counsellor, someone who had requested to know what you are going, a relative, friend or people in your circles, you shouldn’t consider complaining about yourself as a way to maintain a conversation and be interesting. Someone once met an Uncle who wanted to give him some money to make certain investments but because he came complaining how things aren’t working for him despite all the money he had invested, his uncle changed his mind because “nothing was working”.

Complaints will either trigger pity at first sight or scare that person away. Both aren’t a good thing! While pity shows someone isn’t happy about what you are going through, they may not likely want to meet you again because they may feel they don’t have enough capacity to get you out of those troubles or they just don’t want an extra burden. You can’t build an interesting personality when you always complain about yourself and others.

“Complaints will either trigger pity at first sight or scare that person away. Both aren’t a good thing!”

Consider the following:

  • During a conversation, find something about who you met to compliment on. You may also do that in a very helpful way. Remarks like “Wow! I like your dress, it looks super amazing. Red would be great too!”
  • Instead of complaining about your ex to who you are just meeting, consider using words like “Although it didn’t work out between us because of  strong differences, she was the best woman I had ever met!” People will always estimate how you discuss them with other people with how you discuss others to them.
  • Instead of complaining about yourself and creating very unhelpful impressions, you can build a strong personality in people’s mind by using words like “although I failed at the competition, I realized I am truly a strong and intelligent person.”

It may be okay to complain to people you have a strong relationship with or those who have expressed willingness to listen to that part of you, it is wrong to create a negative or weak image of yourself. Your words may make people find you very good and sincere, yet very weak to maintain a relationship or handle what they might want to offer you.

“People will always estimate how you discuss them with other people with how you discuss others to them.”

3. DON’T ARGUE, ASK WHY AND HOW?

In every conversation, there is usually that time we disagree with some opinion and views, our response at those times should be very cautious because we may even be wrong and we may also be threading roughly on a potential relationship. This is not to say that there aren’t healthy ways to argue but I don’t think there is any wisdom in engaging someone you are yet to know well in an argument. Hope you know that an argument is a verbal fight? Why create such an impression probably on first and second sight?

Instead of kicking off arguments, you can ask questions that come with “why?” and “how?” This helps you understand his or her perspective. Consider using words like “why do you think there is nothing wrong with abortion?” Remember your tone matters a lot! You must ask as someone who wants to know and you must listen as someone open to learning. In the end, you may never have to agree and you can always say “Well, it is like we can’t agree on this because I think otherwise but I truly appreciate your views and I will make more studies on this so that I can understand better.” This alone can win you a heart, they will want to meet you again and they may privately think about your views over and over again.

Imagine meeting someone just recently and ended up having arguments about your career, skin colour, your sexual orientation, your religious views and so on. You wouldn’t want to meet them again! When it is a public discussion, you shouldn’t be afraid of pointing out things you believe are lies and you shouldn’t be scared of expressing yourself without being judgmental; this is because the discussion involves you, someone else and an audience who you might have an influence on. However, as long as it is a private discussion, you should consider creating a comfortable environment that would make him or her want to meet you again. This way, you have more opportunities to influence him or her.

“Instead of kicking off arguments, you can ask questions that come with “why?” and “how?””

4. INSTEAD OF GOSSIP, TELL STORIES

Although gossip sounds like telling stories, it is simply an unconstrained conversation that aims at reporting about other people involving details that are necessarily confirmed as true or meant for the consumption of a third party. Always consider gossip more dangerous than poisons! Whatever someone will not want you to share with others or whatever you can’t say about someone in his or her presence, why use it in a conversation with someone else? Remember, gossiping about people don’t change them, it doesn’t right their wrongs and of course, it doesn’t make you better! Wise people will always never entertain someone who gossips about others and therefore it would be dangerous if you are using gossips to build up a conversation.

It is better to end a conversation if it will only take gossip to keep flowing! In the Bible, one of the wise sayings is

A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” – Proverbs 16:28

“Gossiping about people don’t change them, it doesn’t right their wrongs and of course, it doesn’t make you better!”

Sometimes gossip isn’t what happen between two noisy people who talk too much, it may also be what happens between professionals and learned people who gossip in a way that even makes it sound like they are concerned about the fellow they are talking about. No matter how concerned you are about someone, don’t gossip about them, especially to someone you are kicking off a conversation with. Sometimes, we find ourselves gossiping about a mutual friend, our siblings, a business colleague and so on. It may even sound gentle in this manner “I truly appreciate John, but he is a womanizer. It is giving me concern. Don’t tell anyone about this… I heard three women have had an abortion for him. I am just concerned.” As caring as this sounds, it is dangerous.

Consider this:

  • Gossip will never earn you a single trust and nobody will want to have anything to do with someone who will likely discuss them with another person in a bad light. When you gossip about Mr A to Mrs B, Mrs B will always believe you’ll likely discuss her with Mr C and therefore Mrs B may never want to meet you next time.
  • Gossiping about someone will always make you appear worse no matter how you try to make yourself appear good. Although the person you are talking to may appear to be paying keen attention to you, they are already considering you a potential threat. It is always obvious that people who talk about other people’s mistakes are simply using it to cover up their own worse behaviours.
  • Instead of talking about someone perhaps in a bid to communicate a lesson or make a point, consider making up your own stories with your characters without leaving any clue whatsoever that will link it to someone. You don’t even have to say “I will tell you about someone you know too well but don’t ask me who she is…”

“Gossiping about someone will always make you appear worse no matter how you try to make yourself appear good.”

Don’t entertain gossips yourself.

You don’t have to be calm about it or pretend you are cool with it. When someone you are starting a conversation with begins to gossip someone else, be sincere enough to tell them how you don’t like talking about other people. You don’t have to sound judgmental but you have to be serious! When you entertain gossips, you’ll eventually talk about others but when you avoid it, you are also setting a good example for whom you are just meeting and they would likely give you credits for that later. 

When you realize a discussion is swiftly taking a turn into gossip, try to change the topic immediately. There are lots of things to discuss that shouldn’t be about gossiping people.

When you are asked a question about someone, consider answering it in the best way it protects that person’s interest! If what they are saying is true, it doesn’t matter, it is still gossip! Defend who they are talking about and when it is not true point out the lies.

“When someone begins to gossip someone else, be sincere enough to tell them how you don’t like talking about other people.”

These few tips are usually overlooked when we want to leave good impressions during conversations. They weren’t what you were expecting right? But I hope you find it worth your time!

Let’s get your own opinion on the comment box.

THE BEAUTY OF BREAKUP


It would seem absurd to say that breakup is beautiful and at its most critical state; a gift when you still loved him or her but watched them go away or when you just couldn’t help it but walk away. Although the instant feeling we get from it is awful, when we think of it in another way, we would be glad to discern that many times, a breakup isn’t a terrible thing, it isn’t even disgusting! It would be the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to us. 

It is okay to cry over breakups, it is okay to mourn what you seem to have lost, the good days you have always banked on and the people you have scared away from your life just because you believed that space is already taken. But can I ask you a quick question? What exactly do you want? What meaning are you reading into their departure? It doesn’t matter the reason why they left, it doesn’t matter if they made you call it off but your thanksgiving should be on the fact that you are done with someone who truly wants to live without you. When people suddenly realize that you don’t fit into their future and decide to walk away from you, it is not bad to cry but never desire them again and never even pray to have them back. Walking away from you is probably the most beautiful favour they have done to you.

Would you have fancied that he or she stayed more years and still eventually break up with you when they had gotten deeper into you? Would you have preferred they left you right after the altar vows? Would you have preferred they left you with a baby or two? I know someone whose reply would be “yes!” but that is because she is still lost in the euphoria of the past, she still feels there are people she can’t live without. In a matter of days, weeks, months or perhaps, years, she will realize we can really do without people who don’t truly want us.

We truly don’t have so much time on earth, why spend it mourning something that isn’t meant to be with us? Why spend it with someone who has a lot of options aside us? Why spend it with someone who believes there isn’t any future for us? They aren’t bad people anyway for wanting to live without us but we deserve better, they don’t deserve those tears and mourning. What they deserve is your acceptance of their departure! Since you were just an option in their lives, you truly need someone who doesn’t see you as an option, someone who has seen something in you that they can’t let go. It is not about something who can’t do without you, it is about someone who has decided not to live without you. When someone wants to walk away from your life, they don’t deserve your tears. What they deserve is that you show them the way out through the exit door.

Why want to stick to a relationship that is on its last leg just because you are afraid of walking alone for some time? There has to be a serious connection, there has to be a strong definition of purpose and there has to be a sense of security. When he or she always makes you question your place in that relationship, they don’t deserve you. See that break up as a blessing, see it as empowerment to move ahead with your life and build a more meaningful relationship that is relevant to your future and your dreams! No matter how bad you had felt, you need to change the way you look at break-up, it is usually a huge blessing!

Sometimes, that breakup is salvation from abusive and toxic relationships that you wouldn’t let go! It would be emotional abuse or physical abuse. This relationship may never have been what you desired, you may have been the one apologizing for all issues, you may have been the one trying to keep the relationship going simply because of how far both of you have gone! You may have been enduring months or years of never being understood, never been cared for or respected but you can’t let go because you believe that somehow it would work out. You believe you may manage all along and he or she has helped you by breaking it off!

There are other times it may be that your partner depends on you for all of his or her emotional fulfilment! You are blamed for every time they don’t feel good, you are blamed for every time they felt sick, you are blamed for not picking calls, visiting and being there all the time! Now that he or she is walking away, why not stand out for them to pass? Don’t you know this a deliverance? You need your own space, you need your own life too. You aren’t Jesus and you don’t need to lose your own life and dreams just to please someone who is all out for himself and not for you!

Anyone who wants to leave you today can still leave you at any point, don’t try stopping them. They can leave early and they can leave late! The longer their departure takes, the severe the hurt becomes. The more you try to hold them from leaving, the more you breed a bigger problem for yourself because you will keep getting much more emotionally attached to them. So, when they leave, they have liberated you from problems and regardless of the reason why they left, see it as good news for yourself, see it as deliverance!

Breakup isn’t as bad as you think, it is not bad at all! It is beautiful and very relieving! You may be willing to stay in an unhealthy relationship just because you have low self-esteem and you think you aren’t good enough for a beautiful and better relationship but breakup delivers you from that mentality! It gives you another opportunity to learn and even avoid certain mistakes you had made. Breakup is another opportunity to get things right, it doesn’t mean that things will automatically become right just after breakups but now you have an opportunity to correct things you couldn’t correct earlier and you also have an opportunity to look at yourself and make adjustments! Breakup is an opportunity to build again right from the foundation.

It is true that a big vacuum has been created, it is true that the once closed door of your heart has been left open once again but it is also true that you have a better opportunity to give that space to the right person. This is the beauty of breakup.

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COURTSHIP AND FRIENDSHIPS: The Good And The Bad


Courtship and Friendship

Dating and courtship are two different things but cannot do without the other. In every courtship, dating is part of its activities. On the contrary, not every dating is based on courtship. According to Wikipedia Encyclopedia

“Dating is a part of the human mating process whereby two people meet socially for companionship, beyond the level of friendship, or with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or marriage. It can be a form of courtship consisting of social activities done by the couple. While the term has several meanings, it usually refers to the act of meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity in public, together, as a couple.’’

So dating is part of courtship for those who have marriage in view and part of friendship for those who are just friends. Dating is that moment when someone engages in a planned activity with his or her partner on a fixed date especially as regards to their relationship.

Many questions have always arisen as to if a Christian should date. I am aware of so many religious effects on our inclinations to be in relationships but that notwithstanding it seems so many are becoming flexible and therefore questioning the long stands of religion on moral issues. I will be answering the question here without writing a very long article or overly religious article. I want us to understand the background of this culture called courtship and dating.

Many may want to start linking the origin of dating and courtship to a particular event or series of mindsets developed in later times but I strongly believe that courtship started with the first man while dating is only part of courtship activities. I am not suggesting that Adam and Eve dated but the instincts and tendency to engage in dating and courtship was there. Dating is a “moment of meeting” while “friendship and courtship is a moment of discovery!” The Bible said in Genesis 2:22-23

“The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.

You see, God did the match-making; He brought them together which means He arranged a date for them! He made the woman for the man and brought her to the man. Meanwhile, the man had met with animals before and there was no suitable companion found and then there was a woman! When Adam had met the woman, he exclaimed out of the discovery he made

“This is the bone of my bone and the flesh of my flesh”.

The marriage didn’t happen immediately God brought Eve to Adam, it happened when Adam accepted that Eve is the suitable partner.

Now, I want to clearly say that courtship is very different from being in a sexual relationship. In whichever way, dating is possible! Many people date but not many people date because of the right reason! While some move from sightseeing to the bed, other few moves from sightseeing to the altar while many others move from sightseeing to solving problems together! Truth is that both went for sightseeing but both ended up doing different things. I want to establish here that dating doesn’t guarantee that one is ready for marriage. Believers can date and engage in courtship or friendship as the case may be but believers are expected to court for the right reasons which are no other than marriage.

Marriage is the only way to be sexually engaged to a partner, it is the only way God ordained and has no other alternative. To see why it is so, check out my series on marriage. Therefore the only kind of Christian courtship that exists is one solely and sincerely based on marriage-in-view. If that is the case, it means courtship is not for everyone, it is not for people who are still not ready to consider getting married! For such people, platonic friendships may be the option.

In courtship, it is not the man that is considered to make options but the woman too! Just like Adam couldn’t find a companion for himself from the animals, a lady may too discover that she is not compatible with a particular man through courtship and a man too can make his own discoveries. These discoveries have to be discussed among the two with a sincere approach! Just like a man cannot marry any kind of woman, it is safe to say that a woman cannot marry any kind of man. All these issues of incompatibility can be discovered and resolved through sincere courtship. It is true that divorce is ravaging most of the marriages in this century but once one is married, the issue of making the discovery of incompatibility is closed! That is why courtship is very important for those considering marriage and platonic friendship for those who are not ready for marriage.

Having said the above; Christians don’t experiment sex in that level of relationship. Like earlier noted, marriage is the only relationship where sex is permitted! In fact, what makes marriage different from every other relationship is the intimacy gotten only from sexual practices.

I will end by reminding the younger ones who are not ready for marriage that courtship is not possible for them until they are ready for marriage. Friendship would be the best option! After all, dating is still possible in friendships. In many cases, friendship is much more important than courtship, sometimes friendships override courtship and graduates straight into marriage. I will explain in brief what I mean by friendship in this context.

Christian friendship is not like that of the world which in many cases becomes only about sex! Worldly friendships tend to be always selfish! Younger Christians should engage in friendships with not just one person but several other persons. Because it is dangerous for one to create an unhealthy bond and emotional attachment with one person which will affect how their relationship with other people will look like. This is because when it is all about one person, we will be easily misdirected by our inclination which in all sincerity is carnal.

I will summarize with this; when someone is in a romantic relationship with another person, they are prone to pretend without knowing it that they are all good and caring but when one is in a platonic friendship with someone; their weaknesses are made known to each other. When they come to the age of reasoning marriage, one would be surprised to discover that his or her friend is the right choice.

Even if weaknesses are evident, one would be able to prepare himself to condone such weaknesses. But romantic relationships often tend to present one as the right person even when in truth the person is not! Due to the sexual emotional driven false care and attention gotten from many romantic relationships, many weaknesses are hidden by default and when they enter into marriage vows, the eyes are open and they begin to see so many things they were not prepared for before entering into marriage! On that case, the chances of divorce become high and nearly inevitable.

Friendships are safer and more sincere than courtship, after all, everyone knows courtships are leading to marriage and at that point, the same risk of lust-driven good characters are likely to surface. I am not saying there is nothing like godly-romance but the general term “romantic relationship” means a relationship built solely on romance. Godly romance has nothing to do with lust.

Platonic friendship is ideal! Courtship only becomes important when one is planning to marry someone he or she hasn’t spent time with before. But generally, platonic friendships build future marriages to last longer. I do not mean to say that there were never romantic-relationships that ended well; however, they are not usually the case! Have you ever witness couples who married after ten or some years of belonging to the same Christian fellowships or after some years of being friends without considering to be married later but later saw themselves being in love? Such marriages are much more promising than those who met their partners in a club, party or elsewhere and dived into courtship!

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