Public opinion might be a very powerful force but you should not let it shape who you are or what you become in life. In other words, you should live your life independent of public opinion.
You will experience avoidable levels of frustration if you always rely on public opinion to run your life.
I read of a Chinese proverb which says that a wise man makes his own decisions whereas an ignorant man follows public opinion. You have the right to agree or disagree with that statement but I believe there is a point in those words.
There will always be public opinion. But the choice is yours whether or not to follow it.
People will talk about you no matter what you do. So make sure you do the right things so that you will not have cause to be ashamed of yourself later.
Remember the saying “Vox populi, vox Dei” (The voice of the people is the voice of God). Have you ever given a serious thought to that maxim? Or have you believed it completely simply because it is a popular saying?
Take another look at that philosophy and you will see that it cannot always be correct. The voice of the people most times is not the voice of God. So why let your life be guided by public opinion?
As you probably know, public opinion is not always correct. Much of what constitutes public opinion is born either out of the ignorance of the majority of the public or the deliberate acts of misinformation orchestrated by the people that have the power or the means to do so.
There are people that control or influence public opinion. If you are not one of such people, be sure that public opinion will not always be in your overall best interest.
You will be ruining your life if you completely pattern it after the opinions of the public. That is not to say that there is no time you can learn something from feeling the public pulse. But be sure to know where and when to draw the line.
Public opinion changes frequently. And you can not even change as fast as it does, so why fall for it?
How then should you handle public opinion?
If you know you are in the right just continue being right. Don’t shift ground to the wrong side on the strength of public opinion.
Public opinion may count but doing the right thing should count more for you.
Pursue your purpose in life and firmly resist the temptation to have sleepless nights over what people say about you. Those who live by purpose will not follow public opinion, neither will they be bothered by it. Be one of such people!
Even when public opinion favours you, as it sometimes will, you still have need to ride on its’ tide very carefully, so that you do not get drown by any means.
Those who praise you today will turn against you tomorrow. Thread cautiously. Whatever you do, do not let public opinion control how you live your life.
Some times you meet someone for the first time and all you feel tempted to do is to judge him or her, without realising that you do not even have the complete information about the person. But how correct can your judgement be?
Just like you, the other person is not perfect. So what makes you think you are in a perfect place to judge the other person?
Here are 3 simple reasons you should resist the temptation to be judgemental:
1. You do not know where the person is coming from
A man is a product of many things in his life. One of it is his experiences…
How he behaves now is somewhat a reflection of what he has been through in the past. So if you judge him by only what you see now, you are most likely to misjudge him.
2. You do not understand what the person is going through right now
Apart from what a man might have been through in the past, what he is going through right now also affects his disposition to life.
Granted, you may see that he is going through stuff but you will never understand it in and out. So don’t judge him by what you see because there is so much more happening behind the scene that you do not see.
3. You do not know the person’s future.
What you see about any body is not all there is to him or her. So don’t judge him because he or she does not fit into your mould or expectations.
A man may be down today but do not judge him as out. Being a fellow human being, you are grossly limited by your senses. What the future holds for the person may be far beyond what your natural eyes can perceive.
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged” Matthew 7:1-2, NLT.
Identify a specific group of people you have never met before to whom you feel you have a word for. Through the avenue of an open letter, send them your words of encouragement, hope, rebuke or advice as the case may be.
If you have an issue you feel you have a strong position for, to which you would like to draw public attention to, why don’t you air your view via an open letter? I assure you it will not go unnoticed.
In addition to the referenced suggestions, here are some possible idea topics to write open letters on, to get you started:
1. The Families of victims of terrorist attacks.
The recent Manchester and London City terrorist attacks are still very fresh on our minds. One way or another, the reports about these ugly incidents must have filtered into your ears. You do not have to bemoan the situation only in your room. You can reach out by the means of an open letter to the friends and families of the victims of these unfortunate attacks.
Reach out by speaking up against acts of terrorism. Reach out by sending out your love to the survivors of the attacks…
Just reach out. You may not know the victims personally but send their families and friends your words of sympathy, emphathy, condolences, and assurances that justice would be found for their lost loved ones.
2. The victims of the Boko Haram Insurgence in Nigeria.
Many people in the northern part of Nigeria have been severely affected by the rapacious activities of the Boko Haram insurgents. Thousands of people have been rendered homeless, and many children orphaned.
Do you feel like you have some words of encouragement for this sect of endangered humans? The issues of the internally displaced people… whatever you have to say, an open letter can do it for you.
3. Those who are suffering from mental health issues, insomnia, depression etc
If you are a survivor or a therapist on mental health problems, you may take up this one. Share your experiences and suggestions that will help those who are presently having such issues.
Life is already difficult on its own. To suffer any of the mentioned conditions is another huge burden.
Sometimes sufferers may be languishing in their little corner on the false belief that nobody loves or cares about them. And that’s often far from the truth. Your open letter to them could be the love letter that may assuage their pains.
4. Atheists in (your location).
You believe that God exists. That’s great. But as you already know, not everyone that lives in your state or country share that same belief with you.
You may not know such people personally but you are convinced that if you ever meet them, you will have something to say to them or questions to ask them. You can do that via an open letter.
By so doing, you are not forcing them to believe in God (although it would be nice to have them believe). Rather you are bearing an open testimony to them about the fact that God exists whether they believe in Him and the need for them to get to know Him, personally.
5. Widows (and widowers?)
Widows are often neglected in some societies. Are you a widow or some one close enough to know, who wants to draw attention to the pains or frustrations of being a widow? Are there some possible joys (seriously?) in widowhood that you would like to share with the public?
No body will feel the pain of widowhood as much you do. That is to say, you are in a better position to tell your stories like they are. Write an open letter as you deem fit.
6. The president of your country.
You stay in your corner complaining that your president is not doing some things right. Given the chance, you could pass him some good pieces of advice that may help him, you console yourself.
Sorry to disappoint you: your president’s handlers may never come to you for advice. But you can get their attention through an open letter. Irrespective of your country, you can write “an open letter to my president.”
7. Aspiring bloggers
You have been blogging for a while now, so you know some things new bloggers don’t know. But no aspiring blogger has come to you for guidance.
You do not have to wait for that; you can write an open letter to all aspiring bloggers, giving them insights that can help them in their journey. As I am now, if I could see “An open letter to all bloggers in Africa,” I will read every bit of it.
8. Stay-at-home moms
The idea of being a full time housewife is unthinkable for some people. Yet many women have found it very fulfilling.
What knowledge do you possess that can be of assistance to stay-at-home moms, to help them make the most of their status? To all stay-at-home moms, how about writing an open letter highlighting your experiences – fulfilling or frustrating?
How I wish someone will be bold enough to write an open letter to the husbands of stay-at-home moms! You will agree with me that not many a husband truly appreciate the sacrifices and labour of love of their housewives at home.
9. Those preparing for a professional examination
You are a successful professional. To get to where you are right now, you have had to write your profession’s rigourous exams. Congratulations!
But you know what? Many People have been struggling with the same exams for years. Why don’t you write them an open letter sharing some insights on how to pass the exam.
10. Pregnant teenage girls contemplating abortion
This happens alot: when teenagers get pregnant, the next thing many of them would think of will be how to abort the foetus. If many of them knew better, they might not have taken that option.
You can write an open letter to pregnant teenage girls who are contemplating abortion, giving them helpful reasons why they must not abort their unborn children. Who knows, one of them could read your letter and have a positive change of mind.
The Mirror, UK once reported that “Cristiano Ronaldo’s mother has admitted she considered having an abortion when she was pregnant with him.”
Just look at the hugely successful soccer star Ronaldo had become today! The world would have been robbed of this football prodigy had his mum gone ahead to abort his pregnancy. I hope the picture is getting clearer to you now?
11. Child prostitution
As much as we may want to shy away from it, child prostitution is a problem in many parts of the world. The problem can be reduced with greater awareness and sensitisation.
As a victim or survivor of that evil, you can raise public consciousness by writing about it in an open letter. Make it anonymous if you like, but draw attention to the issues, and recommend possible solutions.
12. LGBT Community in America
I know that a lot of stuff exists in the public space on the issue of LGBT rights. I also know that in your own little corner, depending on the foundation of your value system, you have your own opinion on this LGBT discourse.
What exactly is your own position? Are you for or against it? An open letter is a veritable avenue to let us know where you stand on the issue, without fear or favour.
13. Sit-tight Presidents of some countries
In my own opinion, any nation’s president who has spent more than 10 years (or more than two terms) in office is a sit-tight leader. African leaders are particularly guilty of that behaviour.
For such people, you cannot contribute your vote to send them packing if you are not a citizen of their country. But such a limitation cannot prevent you from writing an open letter to such president.
Irrespective of your country of residence, you can air your view in favour or against the sit-tight tendencies of some of these world leaders.
14. Facebook Founder.
Not too long ago, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was in my country Nigeria, on a working visit. During that visit, some young Nigerians were able to interact with him and got to hear him speak to them face to face. But some of us did not have that rare privilege.
Let’s say you were amongst those that did not get to see Mark Z on one on one basis, but in your heart you feel you have something to say to him for the benefit of the public. Just do “An open letter to the founder of Facebook.” Trust me, it will not take many hours before he or his aids will get wind of the message.
15. Adult Children who do not care about their parents.
Our aged parents need care and support for the rest of their lives. But more often and not, the children of these sages are now grown, living and working in different parts of the world, with little or no time for their parents back at home.
Even if the aged parents are put in convalescent homes, regular phone calls or visit from their children will make them happier human beings.
If you had the chance to talk to such people who have abandoned their parents, what would you tell them? Please don’t keep silent forever. If I were you, I would use the medium of an open letter to write, “Ten things I would say to adult children that do not care for or support their aged parents.”
May be you are the parent who feels abandoned by your children, you can think of writing “5 things I would like to tell my children who have abandoned me.” Even though your children never call home, such an open letter will get to them wherever they might be. With full disclosure of their identities, they can not escape seeing the letter, not with the power of the internet still holding sway.
16. Immigrants in my country
Immigration is a knotty issue in many developed countries of the world. As a citizen, if you feel you have some contributions to make to the discussions on immigration matters in your country, you can write an open letter to the government of the day.
Similarly, you might have some things you would like to share with the immigrants in your community to foster harmonious relationship amongst them and citizens. It would be impracticable to go to them one by one to pass your advise across. But you can write an open letter in a local medium to that effect.
17. Your future Spouse
You have hopes of getting married some day. Right now, you do not know who your future partner would be. But it doesn’t stop you from thinking about him or her every morning as you wake up.
Long before I got married, I can recall writing down “Three things I expect from my wife.” I never got to publish it, but I had the privilege of showing it to my then-would-be wife when we eventually met. If it were now, I would not have missed publishing it on my blog.
Why don’t you articulate your expectations (or your fears) in an open letter? What you are feeling in your heart for your future spouse will make an interesting read for the young people out there.
18. The good friend you’ve lost contact with
Thanks to the power of social media, many of us have reconnected with our friends from the past that we have not been in contact with for multiple of years gone by. There might still be someone from your past that you would like to renew your relationship with, but you have had no way of contacting him.
Try writing an open letter giving the necessary details about the friend. The feedback might surprise you.
19. Those who want to publish a book
It is the dream of many people to publish a book in their names before they leave this world. But many of such people do not yet have a handle on what to do.
As an experienced publisher you can write an open letter to aspiring first time publishers. I am sure your ideas will prove invaluable to them.
20. Be the one to add this one…
What would you like to centre your open letter on, apart from the area’s I covered in the post? Please share your comments…
P.S. If you decide to write an open letter on your blog following this article, kindly link this post to it to enable my readers and I join in the conversations too.
Have you ever written an open letter about anything to anybody or group of people? If your answer is “yes” I would be glad to have you share your experience with us here. But if your answer is “no,” I will suggest you give it a try. The experience may be worthwhile for you.
As I read the first epistle of Peter recently, I came to realise something I considered new to me: Peter wrote the letter to people he had never met before:
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 1Peter 1:1.
Although Peter stated the locations of the target àudience of his letter, the fact that he called them strangers indicates that he had no previous personal acquaintances with them. Yet he had to write to them to pass across the messages he had for them. In a sense, you can say that Peter wrote those people an open letter.
Have you ever felt that you have something to say to somebody, some group of people, an advice to give, a commendation to offer, a correction or rebuke to hand down, but never got to do it till now? Is there a silent issue you want to draw public attention to?
Whatever you know you could tell someone if given the opportunity, but the opportunity never came, (and you want public awareness on that issue?) you can pass the same message across via an open letter. You will be shocked to know that the message will get across faster than you ever imagined.
In the context of this discussion, you do not have to worry if your open letter does not get published in mainstream media. Your WordPress account is a sufficient platform for you to publish it. So publish it on your blog.
I can recall trying out something like that here on this blog. There was a time I began to feel that I had a message for atheists – those who do not believe that God exists. The message was nothing new really except that I put the words together after an innocous realisation that I had never physically met an atheist before.
Our experiences may differ; I grew up in an environment where everyone believes – mentally at least – that God exists. Therefore, for me and many other people then, it had never been a question of whether God exists or not. We all agreed that God exists; we only differed on the approach to Him.
However, as I began to face the larger world, it baffled me to hear some people claim that they do not believe God exists. They deny any and everything that suggest the possibility of the existence of God.
Identify a specific group of people you have never met before to whom you feel you have a word for. Through the avenue of an open letter, send them your words of encouragement, hope, rebuke or advice as the case may be.
If you have an issue you feel you have a strong position for, to which you would like to draw public attention to, why don’t you air your view via an open letter? I assure you it will not go unnoticed.
Let the conversation begin…
Still Ahead: 20 Idea Topics for Open Letters.
P.S. If you decide to write an open letter following this post, kindly link to it to enable me and other readers join in the Conversations on your blog too.
You are a committed Christian, a good disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. You love the Lord with all your heart. To the best of your abilities, you want to please Him in everything and in anything you do.
You are married to a spouse who is equally commited to the Lord as you are. You both trust God for the best in all areas of your marital union.
Most things have been working out pretty fine for both of you. But there is an aspect of your marriage you have not enjoyed maximum fulfilment: the bedroom department; you are convinced there is more pleasure available than you do presently enjoy.
I mean you have had moments of mutual ecstacy during lovemaking with your married partner. But they are too far in between to be completely satisfied with. Your heart aches for more…
You fear God, so you don’t want to cheat on your spouse by exploring other avenues for sexual satisfaction outside your marital union. Hence you are committed to finding workable solutions to the conjugal discontentment you have been having with your spouse.
You have been praying about it. “There is nothing prayer cannot do,” you assure yourself. Thankfully you have some evidence that it is working…
In addition to prayers, you have been exercising your faith too. You are well aquainted with Hebrews 11:6 which tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please God…” So in that essential area of your life you have not ceased trusting in God, expecting things to turn out for the better between you and your spouse.
You are also a practical person who knows that every thing does not depend on prayer and faith alone. You have to do some work too – after all, “faith without work is dead,” says the Bible.
You suspect that if you are armed with the right kind of knowledge and the wisdom to apply it, your fortune in marital bedroom affairs could improve tremendously. Off you go looking for possible solutions from whatever sources you can find.
You have in the past attempted to have frank discussions with your spouse on these matters, which yielded some good results and some negative feedbacks too. Over all, you are making some progress, but you are not ‘there’ yet…
You are hesitant in asking a few of your friends for guidance because you do not want to bring the private events in your bedroom to the public square. Besides, some pieces of advice from some of your friends in the past have not been so helpful.
Some even had the audacity to tell you to “look outside” your marriage for sexual satisfaction, just like they have done. But as a good follower of Christ you are, you refused such an advice and decided to stay faithful to your marital vows. Your sexual satisfaction would be from your spouse and no other, you maintained.
To a large extent, you understand the place of sex in marriage and you are convinced about its significance in all ramifications.
You have read as many Christian literatures on sex in marriage as you could find. But you still have some areas of concern that have been left unaddressed: a detailed practical act of lovemaking in a Christian home, satisfying to both parties.
Seeking For More Help
You are welcome to search for whatever help you can get but be reminded that not all available helps out there are in your overall best interest.
Why did I say so?
Apart from the fact that the sexual act in most secular media is presented in a way you may not find very comfortable with, the context of the practice of it also falls below Biblical standards.
As you already know, most secular materials you will find do not approach sex from the perspective of a committed holy matrimony. The sex practice is presented from the angle of other relationship frameworks – mostly between unmarried partners.
Simply put, not many people will disagree with the observation that secular media seem to portray more of premarital sex, homosexuality and adultery than they do of marital sex. But as a Christian you know better and you deserve better…
You must know that any form of sexual activity promoted outside the context of a marital union should not constitute a good example for you to learn from. Therefore you should be wary.
God created sex to be experienced and enjoyed only within the confines of marriage. Any thing outside that is an aberration. Therefore all forms of pre-marital sex, extramarital sex and all other forms of sexual behaviour outside marriage are not God’s perfect plan for you and His other children.
The people of the word may think otherwise but you have chosen to stand with God and His word.
As most of you probably know, I write this blog from here in Nigeria where I was born, live and also work.
Today is work-free in the country because today is Democracy Day. Except for those on essential duties or are involved in private businesses, most people will have family fun time-out or get-together today to mark the once-a-year holiday.
This Democracy Day commemoration is different from the International Day of Democracy pronounced by the United Nations General Assembly to take place every 15 September around the many countries of the world.
Democracy Day in Nigeria is celebrated every year on 29 May, in honour of the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999 after many years of tortuous military rule.
By October this year, the country will be 57 years as an independent nation. But today, we are recording 18 straight years of democratic governance, without any military intervention like before.
Given the country’s chequered history of multiple military interventions in government, achieving 18 straight years of democratic governance is not a mean fit. And despite our numerous challenges, we give thanks to God for all His mercies over the country and her teeming populace.
Congratulations Nigeria. And happy Democracy Day to all my fellow citizens of Nigeria.
Wherever you are around the world, please join in the celebration. God bless Nigeria. God bless all of us.
Kindly leave a message in the comment box for all my fellow Nigerians.
Kindly share the post with your friends via any of the following media:
The above infograph by Charisma Bible College, Colorado showed up in my Twitter time line this afternoon. I thought I should share it with you because it summarised what I have been thinking about for a while now.
“No matter how far you have travelled down the wrong road, you can always turn around.”
If you continue in the wrong direction, you will end up in the wrong destination.
Continuing on the wrong path will never turn it into a right path.
It is foolhardy to remain on the wrong road once you have realised where you are.
Remember the prodigal son: he retraced his steps once he realised that he was on the wrong path.
A new beginning awaits you if you would make a turn around from following the wrong road to the good.
It is never too late to turn from following the wrong road to the good one. But now is the best time to do so.
Let me begin by appreciating Anne for choosing me to be part of this Special Challenge. I have decided to participate in it because I love quotes and secondly the process of participation is pretty simple when compared with some other challenge invitations I have received in the past.
Incidentally, this will be the very first post challenge on WP that I have accepted to take part in. All thanks to Anne who invited me to participate. Anne herself has been a very faithful follower of my blog, always contributing her views to most (if not all) of my posts.
The words in the quote, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” from the lips of Jesus is perhaps one of the most audacious claims by anyone in the history of mankind. And Jesus either meant every word in that statement or He was an imposter. But you can be sure that Jesus was not and could never be an impostor: He is the One He said He is: the Only Way to God!
For me, that claim is a huge assurance that as a follower of Jesus Christ, I am on the right path to God – the ONLY one at that. As a believer in Him, I have believed the Truth and not a lie and also that I have the abundant life since I have given my life to Him and have accepted Him as my Lord and personal Saviour.
For this special quote challenge, I am nominating two of my top followers below to participate in it:
I believe that books are some of the most wonderful things on earth. And reading them is one of the most productive use of time ever – far better than sitting in front of the television for hours.
As you know, to read a book it has to be written first. Thanks to everyone who has written some thing and made it available for reading.
Writers are awesome people. They impact our worlds and experiences in greater ways than may be imagined. You too can make your own contribution to the writing experience.
When it comes to writing, there is always room for more participants. If you are not already a full fledged writer, you should accept you are a potential one; You have the potential in you. Develop it by putting it to use.
To be a writer you have to write. You might not be the best yet, but you have to start from somewhere – where you are right now.
Great writers became great by writing. And so can you…
Explore your sense of imagination… Write down your thoughts as they filter into your mind. Share your unique (or not so unique) experiences in life by putting pen to paper or hands on your keyboard.
Writing is what writers do. So why are you not writing? Do not worry if you will have readers or not. Do the writing first, readers will come along.
The best time to get started with it is now. The world is waiting for you; you should not be waiting for the world.
That book idea you have in your mind, put flesh to it and make it a physical reality. What’s the use of a book that never got written?
Whatever you write and made available will be read by someone. The only book that may never be read is the one you failed to write.
Just like everyone else, I have encountered many kinds of coaches in my lifetime. And they come in different colours and shades towards a given end.
I am sure you remember your math coach, dance coach, music coach, swimming coach, basketball coach, football coach, chess coach, business coach and any other kind of coach you might have come across in your life.
As far as I know, people who answer to any of the coaches above possess some identifiable, specific, special skills and experiences with which they impart other people who learn from them.
I do understand those ones…But I am a bit curious about those who call themselves a life coach. Those are the people this post seeks to understand better.
A life coach!
So you are a life coach? That sounds too enormous a title to me, and I am making some efforts to wrap my mind around it. That’s why I am asking these questions.
Are you a life coach? Can anyone, including you, fill that shoe properly?
Coaches are experts in something. Are you an expert in life? Have you mastered all about life itself in all areas to qualify as a life coach?
Can you give impeccably useful direction, guidance, instruction, training, support, to anyone and everyone in life that comes to you for help? Do you have the global picture?
Are you really comfortable using that term to refer to who you are and what you do? Can you let me into your world please?
Just how did you come about being refered to as a life coach? Is it a divine calling or a training, or both?
So you are a life coach, or is it just a nomenclature? Are you well rounded in all areas of life? Or shouldn’t you be?
Who certified you as a life coach? Is it God? If it is not Him, then who is the mortal that can take up that responsibility?
Speak to me! What exactly do you mean when you call yourself a life coach? I ask because I do not want to misunderstand you anymore.
You are a life coach? Is that not what they call you? Or am I the one that did not hear well?
Have you known, seen, experienced and understood life in all its ramifications? Have you been to the highest heights or descended to the lowest depths, and covered all the breadths of life?
Please don’t say I am pushing it too hard on you. I am not… I just want to know about you.
Can you help people in all areas of their lives? Can you meet people’s needs at the “spirit, soul and body” levels?
Can you excellently direct people in business, in politics, in religious, in sports, in health, in education, in entertainment, in aviation, in construction, in computing, in communication, in relationships, etc? Doesn’t being a life coach entail all of the above?
I just don’t understand you when you say you are a life coach. Should I say you might be a coach in an aspect of life and not life as a whole?
May be you should come to my aid and explain to me exactly what you mean when you say you are a life coach.
Jesus encountered many kinds of people on the day He was crucified. This post takes a close look at the roles played by these people from His trial to His eventual crucifixion.
1. The elders and the chief priests.
These were the religious power brokers wielding tremendous influence over the people and the government of the day. Over time, this strict sect of people became offended with Jesus, because they felt threatened by His rising popularity and the way He has been tackling them on various contentious issues.
They were losing followers to Jesus. And the more accepted Jesus became amongst the people, the less relevant it appeared that these revered religious group became. Out of sheer envy, they delivered Jesus to governor Pilate to have Him destroyed.
They conspired to have Jesus crucified and they had their way, without knowing they were fulfilling a divine purpose. That is why Apostle Paul while speaking of divine wisdom to the Corinthians quipped, “None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
Yes, the Lord of Glory was crucified over spurious charges leveled against Him by this sect of unloving religious kingpins.
2. Pontius Pilate.
He was the unwilling partner in the greatest crime of all times. But he was equally guilty as the elders and the Chief Priests who masterminded the crucifixion plan.
As the ruling governor of the land, it was in Pilate’s powers to set Jesus free, having found Him to be innocent of all the charges they brought against Him. But he did not discharge and acquit Jesus because he feared the people more than he feared God.
He yielded to the blackmail of the people that he would be adjudged not to be Emperor Ceasar’s friend if he did not have Jesus crucified (John 19:12) as they demanded.
Therefore in order to be seen as not being disloyal to Ceasar, Pilate released Barabbas, a guilty man that deserved to die and killed Jesus, an innocent man that should have been set free. What a miscarriage of justice!
3. Mrs. Pontius Pilate
Amongst the participants in the crucifixion saga, if anyone was to be adjudged not guilty of crucifying an innocent Man, Jesus, it would be this woman. She knew the charges brought against Jesus were spurious.
She reckoned that Jesus being innocent should not be killed as the people demanded. To that effect, she pleaded with her governor husband not to have Jesus crucified. But he refused to be persuaded, leaving the woman completely helpless; her plea fell on deaf ears and Jesus was sent to Golgotha to die.
This was the ultimate beneficiary of the travesty of justice that Jesus suffered. Being a condemned criminal, he was scheduled to die. But he got a second chance at life when the people demanded him to be released to them instead of Jesus.
Congratulations Barabbas! While you, a convicted criminal was discharged and set free, Jesus an innocent Man was made to face the cruelest form of the death penalty at the time – crucifixion.
5. Judas Iscariot
Everyone knows him as the mole amongst Jesus’ disciples. It was him that gave Jesus the kiss of betrayal (John 22:47-48).
Being a greedy man, the love of money took the better part of him. He sold his Master to the blood-thirsty religious leaders for only thirty pieces of silver.
He later showed some remorse for this ignominious act by returning the money he earlier collected, but it already was too late; the deed had been done. Jesus had been captured and His traducers were not ready to renegotiate the deal with Judas as requested.
In the end, Judas died before Jesus. As he could no longer live with the heavy guilt of selling out on his Lord and Master, he took his own life, thereby sealing his destiny as the confirmed son of prediction.
6. The Multitude
These people consented to have Jesus crucified in place of a notable criminal, Barabbas. Without maintaining an independent frame of mind, they became willing accomplices in the dastardly execution of the evil machinations of the enemies of Jesus.
According to Matthew’s account, the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask for Barabbas to be released to them, and destroy Jesus instead. In response, Pilate flogged Jesus and released Him to be put to death by crucifixion.
That was the final nail in the coffin, the final blow that sealed the deal. And they took responsibility for their action: “Then answered all the people, and said, His blood [be] on us, and on our children.”
7. The soldiers
These were the band of military men directly under the command of governor Pilate. Once their leader had released Jesus to them to be crucified, these soldiers began to have free reins dealing disrespectfully with Jesus.
They stripped Jesus of His own robe, put a mocking royal robe on Him, fabricated a crown of thorns on His head and began to bow their knees to Him in false worship.
Before leading Jesus to the Cross, they spat on Jesus, slapped His head and spoke to Him in derision, “hail the king of the Jews.”
These soldiers gave Jesus vinegar mixed with gall, which a source explained is “...usually given, according to a merciful custom, as an anodyne to those who were crucified, to render them insensible to pain. Our Lord, knowing this, refuses to drink it. He would take nothing to cloud his faculties or blunt the pain of dying. He chooses to suffer every element of woe in the bitter cup of agony given him by the Father.”
These soldiers crucified Jesus, “and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.”
8. Simon of Cyrene
The soldiers found Simon of Cyrene along the way and compelled him to bear Jesus’ cross to the desired destination. Depending on your perspective, you can say Simon was at the right place at the right time or at the right place at the wrong time.
At the right place at the right time because he had the opportunity to enter the illustrious pages of history as a burden bearer for Jesus. On the other hand, as a man in the right place at the wrong time, you may say the soldiers victimised him by forcing him to bear a burden he did not bargain for.
Whatever your perspective is, we will all agree that the history of the journey of Jesus to the Cross would be incomplete without a mention of this (un)willing burden bearer from North Africa.
9. The two thieves on either side of Jesus’ cross.
Then there were two thieves crucified with Jesus, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Both have been found guilty of criminal acts and were receiving the reward of their rapacious iniquities by being nailed to the cross.
Their being crucified alongside Jesus was a rare privilege, one that could have changed their eternal destiny once and for all. But instead of being remorseful for his sins, the thief on the left joined in the league of people mocking Jesus, saying “If you are the Christ, save yourself and save us.” He didn’t have faith in Jesus and he was far too short-sighted to see beyond the now.
Enter the second thief…
He was remorseful for his own sins, accepted his punishment and rebuked his other guy for reviling Jesus. Most importantly, he showed faith in Jesus by making the request that made him one of the first beneficiaries of the “salvation by grace through faith,” which the cross epitomises.
“Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom,” he said. “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” Luke 23:39-43. The second thief was saved at the last minute.
10. The passers-by
These ones had no pity on the helpless Jesus on the Cross. Instead of keeping quiet, they joined in the mocking party, reviling Jesus saying, “…Thou that destroyest the temple and buildest [it] in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
They also were too short-sighted to see the eternal purpose in the suffering of Jesus on the Cross. And of course, Jesus ignored them completely without responding to them and they went down in history as mere passers-by without any specific identity given to them.
11. The centurion and the guards
These were also part of the soldiers earlier mentioned. They are featuring here again because they had the opportunity to confess Jesus as the Son of God.
They had stood directly ahead on the crucifixion stage, guarding the dying men on the three crosses. As firsthand observers, they had witnessed something that gave them the correct perspective about whom Jesus is – the indisputable Son of God.
The records in the Gospels showed that as Jesus breathed His last, the earth quaked, the rocks split and the veil in the temple split too.
“Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”
12. The Marys and the other women
These were a group of women who have been followers and supporters of the Ministry of Jesus. “Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children.”
They did not abandon their Lord at the time of need. Although they stood afar off observing the crucifixion of Jesus, I would say they showed courage by sticking around despite the fear and threat to life they were exposed to at the time.
13. Joseph of Arimathea
You can call this man a secret disciple of Jesus. Nothing about his discipleship was ever reported until he showed up to request the body of Jesus from Pilate for a proper burial.
As with the prevailing custom at the time, this Joseph being a rich man, had prepared a tomb for his own burial. But as a mark of respect for Jesus, he donated his final resting place for the interment of Jesus.
According to Matthew, “when Joseph had taken the body (of Jesus), he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
This singular act is what history remembers him for from that era till today.
This article examined the various characters that Jesus encountered during His trial and crucifixion based on the account in Matthew chapter 27. It is my believe that you have gained some lessons in one way or another by taking a closer look at them.
Share your own thoughts in the comment section below.
“It is finished.”
It is more than just a sentence…
It is the final verdict from the lips of Jesus,
Meaning, the work is completely done…
Just as it was planned from the beginning.
The price of justice is fully paid for.
The sacrifice is complete and adequate.
I am forever ransomed, redeemed
My sins are totally forgiven…
A new beginning is now mine.
The veil is rented in two…
The great chasm bridged, blockade removed.
Access to God the Father is granted
By the sacrifice of God the Son.
My relationship with the Godhead fully restored.
The battle is over… won and lost
My Jesus is the victorious One.
The seed of the serpent bruised His heel
But the Seed of the woman crushed the head of the serpent.
Satan is defeated, shamed, disgraced forever…
Nothing has been left undone…
My past, my present and my future
All fully taken care of by His blood.
The work of redemption is complete.
Nothing can undo what He has finished.
P. S: If you like this poem, let me know by clicking on the ‘Like’ button below 👇👇
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day knew very well that Jesus truly resurrected. But they were too ashamed to openly acknowledge it or let their subjects hear it, so they hatched a grand conspiracy to cover up the resurrection story.
I am not setting out with this post to fundamentally prove that Jesus rose from the dead because I believe He did. But I am taking a look at the official falsehood that was concocted to suppress the truth of the resurrection.
If Jesus did not rise from the dead as some people ignorantly claim, there would not have been any need for the religious authorities of the day to invent a theory with the sole aim of trying to refute the resurrection story as we know it.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was a historical event that took place in time over two thousand years ago. As followers of Jesus we ‘know’ this by verified Biblical records as well as the fact that the living Jesus now lives in our hearts by the Holy spirit.
“When I first began examining the evidences (sic) for Christianity, I discovered that [the] belief in the Resurrection does not constitute a blind leap into a dark chasm but rather a step into the light. Indeed, the evidence for Christ’s resurrection is so overwhelming that no one can examine it with an open mind desiring to know the truth without becoming convinced of its truth” —Hank Hanegraaff, in Jesus’ Resurrection: Miracle or Myth?
It is unfortunate that some people in the modern world have chosen to dismiss the Biblical account of the resurrection story as a work of fiction or a product of deluded minds. But you see, anyone who denies that Jesus rose from the death does so at his or her own risk, one that has an eternal consequence.
Doubters may continue to doubt, but it does not change the fact that Jesus died and rose from the dead. He is no longer in the grave.
Before Jesus was born of a virgin, there were prophecies that He would be born that way. The purpose of His birth was also foretold and it was fulfilled to the later.
To fulfill the purpose of the redemption of mankind, Jesus had to die. But He assured His disciples that He would rise again from the dead. Whether or not the disciples understood or believed Him at the time is a different ball game.
In the final analysis, Jesus obediently walked the tortuous way to the cross, endured the excruciating pain on the cross and was laid to rest in a cold grave.
But Jesus came out of the grave, victoriously. As the Psalmist had proclaimed centuries earlier, the power of the grave could not hold Him for long. He came back to life. “For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave,” Psalm 16:10.
Recall too that during his earthly walk, Jesus Himself had proclaimed that He would die but He would resurrect. At one instance, He declared, “…The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.” Luke 9:22.
The Chief Priests Did Not Forget The Prophecy
The records in the Gospels show that the religious authority of the day remembered what Jesus said about rising on the third day. In order to block the perceived loophole, they decided to seal the grave properly and also set capable soldiers to keep watch over it, to ensure that Jesus’ body would not be stolen by His disciples.
Matthew’s account states that “..the next day, … the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead..” Matthew 27:62-66.
Having secured Pilate’s consent, the gravestone was sealed up and soldiers were put on the watch to ensure that Jesus’ body would not be taken away and thereafter report that resurrection had taken place. But that was not the kind of resurrection Jesus had foretold.
For instance, after chasing out traders from the Temple, Jesus proclaimed that if they killed Him He would come back to life in three days:
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. John 2:19.
Not only did Jesus resurrect as He promised, the rising happened in a most spectacular way: There was an earthquake and a heavenly angel appeared in blazing light and glory and the guards passed out at the sight of him.
“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead [men]” Matthew 28:3-4.
An angel rolled the stone away and Jesus walked out from the grave victoriously. Hallelujah!
Why Did An Angel Have To Rollaway The Stone?
Matthew Henry explains that “… Our Lord Jesus could have rolled back the stone Himself by His own power, but He chose to have it done by an angel to signify that having undertaken to make satisfaction for our sin, He did not break prison, but had a fair and legal discharge, obtained from heaven. He did not break prison, but an officer was sent on purpose to roll away the stone and open the prison door, which would never have been done if He had not made a full satisfaction.”
Jesus did not break ‘prison’. He got a heavenly discharge. He Resurrected with power and glory.
What about the soldiers? They witnessed the resurrection but could not withstand the accompanying awesome display of heavenly power, so they fell down and became half dead.
Enter The Conspiracy…
When the soldiers awoke from their near-death slumber, they went into town to the elders and the chief priests relating the events of the resurrection as they had witnessed it. But after collecting huge bribes, they were forced to change the resurrection story to agree with the wishes of their paymasters.
The guards were made to twist their testimony to say that the Disciples of Jesus had taken His body away by night. As shameful and unthinkable as that arrangement was, there goes the grand conspiracy they hatched with which they tried to cover up the fact that Jesus had truly risen from the dead.
And when they were assembled with the elders and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him [away] while we slept. Matthew 28:12-13
That conspiracy between the chief priests, on one hand, and the guards on the other thereafter gave rise to the so-called stolen body hypothesis, which according to Wikipedia, “…posits that the body of Jesus Christ was stolen from his burial place. His tomb was found empty not because he was resurrected, but because the body had been hidden somewhere else by the apostles or unknown persons.”
Unfortunately, many people then believed the lie that His body was stolen by His disciples. But we know better: Jesus truly rose from the dead, with power and Glory.
The grave is empty. His disciples didn’t steal His body away as the religious authorities claimed. Jesus arose from the dead with power and glory, just as He promised He would.
Jesus lives forever. And He is coming back again to judge the world.
Only a living man can speak. Jesus spoke and has been speaking, saying “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and death” Revelations 1:18.
Jesus is alive and we know it. Therefore, the ‘stolen body’ conspiracy could not and will forever remain incapable of suppressing the fact that Jesus resurrected from the dead.
What is your take on the step taken by the authorities of Jesus’ day to cover up the resurrection story?
What is your greatest joy in life? Would you mind giving an honest answer to that question right now?
Before you continue reading this article, pause for a moment. And with your eyes closed, ponder a bit on the above question.
Once you have come up with an answer you are convinced about, hold it up against the brilliant light of the Scripture quoted below. (The purpose of doing that is to ensure that what you hold as your greatest joy on earth properly aligns with what God says should be your greatest joy).
Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
From the above passage of the Scriptures, you can see at least three reasons to glory in life:
Intelligence – The wise man glories in his wisdom;
Strength – The mighty one glories in his might;
Wealth – The rich man glories in his riches.
But God wants the reason for your joy to be beyond the fact that you possess some high level of wisdom, intellectual power, physical strength, wealth or achievements in life.
He wants you to rejoice in the fact that you know Him as “the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth.”
If your greatest joy is based on the things of the world, then your joy will be temporary. But a joy based on your knowing God will have no ending.
I first began to perceive the truths of Jeremiah 9:23-24 at a crucial point in time during my undergraduate days.
One mid-morning like that while reading my Bible, the scripture quoted above literally leapt off the pages of the Bible right into my heart with a force so meaningful that I was left without any iota of doubt on the fundamental reason I should glory in life.
I was doing relatively well in school then, despite the harsh academic environment of that time. My grades were moving up against all odds. I thought that was a good reason to praise God.
“Yes, it was,” you might want to agree with me. But God had to put things in better perspectives for me. He graciously showed me that there was a greater reason I had to rejoice than academic progress.
Now I know better… so I am sharing it with you, with the hope that you will see some light in it too.
As a disciple of Jesus Christ, your greatest joy in life should not be based on the fact that you passed your exams, you got promoted at work, you bought a dream car, moved into your dream home, married your dream spouse, or had some other great goals you have accomplished.
Those are not bad reasons to be joyful. But your joy has to be based on something of eternal significance and not on things of ephemeral value. It has to be based on your relationship with God, not on things of the world.
For emphasis sake, l will have to say it again:
Your greatest joy should be that you know the Lord.
Your greatest joy should be the joy of your salvation.
Your greatest joy should be that your name is written in the Book of Life.
Jesus validated this position during one of the feedback conversations He had with His disciples as recorded in the Gospels.
According to the account in Luke chapter 10, Jesus had sent out seventy-two of His followers to go preach the gospel of the Kingdom around the neighbouring towns and villages. These specially appointed men went out and accomplished the evangelistic mandate given to them by their Master.
More so, they returned with joyful testimonies, declaring that demons were subjected to them in the name of Jesus.
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
You would have thought that the identified reason these rookie evangelists were filled with joy was good enough for them to rejoice as they did. But Jesus raised the bar when He responded to them saying, “…do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
“That your name is written in Heaven should be your greatest joy,” Jesus says.
Therefore, whatever you are able to accomplish on earth – whether in spiritual or secular things – should not be your greatest joy. Neither should your joy be in what this world can offer you. Rather your greatest joy should be that your name is written in the book of life in Heaven.
If you are not sure your name is there already in the book of life, you can get it in by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour now. There is no other way to achieve that.
What is your greatest joy in life? Share your views.
Every 1st April is marked as fools’ day around the world. Many people celebrate this day by playing different so-called harmless pranks, called April fool.
But this post is not going to be a prank, neither am I going to shout “Äpril fool” at you to show that you have fallen victim.
The post is going to touch on an important matter that reveals the identity of a person you are already familiar with, or at least have heard about one way or another – a fool!
In remembering the fools around the world today, let us begin by asking this simple question:
Who is a fool?
And then provide the answer:
A fool is someone who is unwise, lacks sense, and lacks judgement. Fools don’t want to learn the truth. They laugh at the truth and turn their eyes away from the truth. Fools are wise in their own eyes failing to take in wisdom and advice, which will be their downfall. They suppress the truth by their unrighteousness…. Fritz Chery, Biblereasons.com
The above is a familiar definition of who a fool is, and I will agree with you on that. But beyond that obvious meaning, let us look at it from another perspective, a better perspective I should say.
In exploring a better perspective on the topic, it is good we refer to the Scriptures for the perfect answer. Does the Bible tell us who a fool is?
Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!
The Bible passage is quite clear. But in case you missed it, let us say it again: anyone who says there is no God is a fool. So the next time someone tells you there is no God, please do not take offense. Just remember that person has just revealed who he is: a fool, a big one at that.
If you are one of those fools who have said there is no God, and you happen to be reading this post, I owe you no apologies. In the first place, I do not even expect you to be offended that you are called a fool. Why should you?
Since you are comfortable saying boldly that there is no God, in the same vein, you should be comfortable answering your Biblical name: a fool.
Today is your day. Enjoy it. But remember that one day, you shall stand face to face in judgment with the God whom you fail to acknowledge here on earth.
You have read my take on remembering the fools’ day today. What is yours?
Gentle warning: This post is extremely personal. But don’t take it personal.
In the previous post, I stated the fact that some people are single for life and satisfied. But I went on to explore the idea that I could not have been unmarried for life and be completely fulfiled.
My well-thought out humble conclusion then was that:
As for me, I see marriage as a calling I had to embrace because I could never have been totally satisfied with a lifelong celibacy.
To put things in a clearer perspective, I am using this post to advance five reasons I believe that I could not have been completely satisfied if I had remained single for life.
Like I stated in the first part of this post, this is a personal experience I decided to share with you. So do not be offended if your own experience or perspective is radically different from mine.
1) Marriage is my calling
Marriage is part of God’s general plan for humanity. I believe strongly in it, and I always will.
I may have many ‘callings’ in life, but celibacy is not one of them. I made up my mind about that long before I eventually walked the altar to say, “I do.”
Marriage is honourable. Most people will not disagree with that! So embracing marriage means embracing an honourable institution established by God Himself.
God made it possible for me and many other countless people to be married… And except you feel called to a lifelong celibacy, I believe you should be open to marriage too. Don’t you think so?
2) Two are better than one
Marriage gives a veritable opportunity for a beautiful synergy in life between two people who are divinely bound in a holy union – a kind that singlehood does not offer me.
I reckoned that I am stronger with a spouse for life than without one. The total union of two separate people to become one in marriage unleashes the power of synergy, which is in line with God’s plan and purpose.
Why would I choose to go along in life as a ‘lone ranger’ when I could legally have a great person of the opposite sex to go along with me all the way? Like I said in the previous post, I prefer my “married me” to my “single me.”
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves… Ecclesiates 4:9-12.
Marriage is my legitimate opportunity to build my own family as God intended, so why should I flunk the choice?
3) Sexual fulfilment
Apostle Paul once declared in unequivocal terms that, “It is better to get married than to remain unmarried and continually burn with passion.” That’s one of the frankest statements in God’s word as far as managing your sexual affection as a single person is concerned.
Christian values teach us that the only kind of sex approved by God is marital sex. So any act of sex engaged in outside the walls of marriage amounts to living contrary to the will of God.
I am aware that many people will not be comfortable with me saying that. But I have to say it because it is not my idea but God’s. And God knows best!
In the light of that, it means that as a single man who wanted to please God in this area, I would not engage in sex except I was legally married.
However, I definitely would not be able to live without sexual expression for the rest of my life, without disobeying God. You can talk about exercising self-control, but let us leave that lesson for another day.
Let us read what the Bible says here:
But I say to the unmarried and to the widows, [that as a practical matter] it is good if they remain [single and entirely devoted to the Lord] as I am. But if they do not have [sufficient] self-control, they should marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion . 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 AMP
Early enough in life, I learnt that both premarital and extramarital sexual experiences are not part of God’s perfect plan for His children. So I had to choose the committed marriage option to meet my sexual needs.
Any thing outside that would have led me to committing avoidable sexual sin, which has its own inescapable consequences.
Sexual sin is self-destructive. It’s like a fire. A fire in the fireplace can do you a lot of good. A fire in the living room will mess up your whole house! And that’s precisely the case with our sexuality. It is a fire to be kindled only within the fireplace of marriage. Outside of that safe enclosure, it can do all kinds of emotional and physical damage. Single And Satisfied – Tony Evans
4) The need to have children
I do not want only sexual satisfaction by getting married, I want to produce offsprings too.
Remaining unmarried for life would have meant that I would not have been a parent, except of course I became one out of wedlock. Not even in my dreams did I ever consider that an option to take!
Marriage has afforded me the great privilege of having my own legal children. And I am loving it…
I am aware some people get married and decide on their own not to have children. But that is very unusual in my part of the world. (Apologies to the couple who are trying so hard to have their own children but to no avail yet).
I believe also that it is part of God’s will for my life to have children.
Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward. As arrows [are] in the hand of a mighty man; so [are] children of the youth. Happy [is] the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. Psalms 127:3-5.
5) One person to love for life.
For the most part of my single life, I always longed for the time I would get committed to one lady for life – totally and completely. To love and to cherish her for the rest of my life.
Marriage provides me with the best chance to fulfill that longing. In marriage, I have a trusted companion to love and to cherish for the rest of my life.
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church… For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Ephesians 5:28-32.
If you are presently living single for life or in a committed marriage, please let me know what you think about the post.
Jesus Christ was single for life and satisfied with it, so was Paul the Apostle. But I know that not everyone would be single for life and be fully satisfied as well. Definitely not me!
I have also heard some other people say they are single and satisfied. But in most cases, it turns out that many of such people are only temporarily single because somehow, you will get to find out that they are only waiting for the right partner to come along.
I wouldn’t know if that applies to you or not. In any case, just follow me on this short journey…
You are presently single but you have plans to get married when you meet the right person and other conditions are right. I understand that feeling because I was once there.
That one is a temporary singlehood. However, that is not the kind of singlehood I am talking about here.
I am referring to you being single, staying single for life and without any desire for entering into a committed marriage. I would call that a permanent singlehood.
That is the situation I do not understand because I have not been there before. And I do not even want to be there because I firmly believe in the institution of marriage.
This is my sixth year being married. And with all modesty, I can gladly say that I have found more fulfillment in being married than in being single.
It is not to say that I did not have a fulfilling life as a single man. No, far from it! I had an incredibly joyful life during my singlehood.
In fact, I was so happy when I was yet an unmarried man that I once had cause to ask my myself, “Would I still be this happy when I get married?”
Notice that I did not say “…if…” but “…when..” I got married. The reason is that marriage has always been part of my plans in life. That is to say that I never had an agenda of ever living an unmarried life in my sojourn on earth.
Back to the question I asked myself when I was still a bachelor: would I be happy in marriage as I was in singlehood?
It would have been largely presumptuous for me to have that question answered in the affirmative before I got married. But now that I am married, I can categorically state that I have found my life happier and more fulfilling than when I was a single man.
Just as Apostle stated that “it is better to marry than to burn,” I could stretch that to say that it better to be married than to remain single for life.
This is just my experience I am sharing with you. I am by no means trying to generalise the issue because I am very much aware that your experience may be completely different from mine. Is that not so?
On the other hand, this is not a call for everyone to get married. Even the Bible recognises that marriage is a choice; no one should be forced into it.
I was not forced into marriage in any way. It was a journey I deliberately embarked upon by my own freewill. And I am loving it!
It would have been a huge disservice to myself had I chosen to be single for life. That’s not my calling at all, but marriage is. At the appropriate time, God led me into it, by giving me the right partner.
Of course, it is not that remaining single and being an unmarried person for life is a sin, neither is getting and staying married. But just that like every other major decision you have to make in life, there are always pros and cons to consider.
In as much I would like to recommend to you to get married (if you are not married yet) and stay married for life, it is up to you to decide for or against it. For one, I know that God’s will for most of His children is marriage. And I made my decision along that line a long time ago.
Being single has its own benefits and getting married has its own benefits too. But I prefer the later.
Now that I am married and have found fulfillment in marriage, it has become clearer to me that I could never have been single for life and be satisfied with it completely.
But like I said before, I am not suggesting that you could not choose to remain single or celibate for life and be satisfied at the same time. Good luck to you if that’s what you want.
As for me, I see marriage as a calling I had to embrace because I could never have been totally satisfied with a lifelong celibacy.
Part of the requirements for living the Christian life is walking in love. And you cannot successfully walk in love without walking in forgiveness.
There are many great acts of forgiveness in the Bible we can learn from. In this post, we will examine three of the greatest acts of forgiveness ever recorded in the Bible:
1. Joseph forgave his treacherous brothers.
Joseph was a beloved son of his father, Jacob. He usually wore the multi-coloured robe his father gave to him.
Joseph later had a dream from Heaven that pointed to the events of the future. But his brothers seriously hated him for it. And out of sheer jealousy they disrobed him in the wilderness, threw him into a deep pit to die a gradual death.
On a second thought, they changed their plans, retrieved Joseph from the pit and sold him off to slavery. One thing led to another, Joseph found himself as a slave in Portiphar’s house in Egypt.
Subsequently, Joseph served a term in prison over a spurious allegation of sexual assault on his master’s wife. But after interpreting a couple of dreams while in the prison, Joseph was recommended to interpret a disturbing dream of Pharaoh’s. And by divine arrangement, Joseph became the second in command in Pharaoh’s Kingdom.
Years passed. Severe famine ravaged the rest of the world, except Egypt.
Egypt did not experience food shortages at that time because through divine wisdom and counsel of Joseph, an unprecedented stock of food supply was kept in Egypt.
Back home in the land of Canaan, food scarcity had reached an unbearable proportion. This drew Joseph’s wicked brothers to Egypt in search of their necessary food.
Consequently, they found themselves at the mercy of their long ‘forgotten’ brother who had now become a mighty man in the land of Pharaoh and was in charge of the nation’s food supply. This was Joseph’s ample opportunity to take his own pound of flesh.
As the indisputable prime minister of Egypt, he was in a veritable position to take out a revenge on his brothers and severely punish them for their treacherous behaviours in the past. But not a great man like Joseph; He wouldn’t repay his brothers in their own evil coin. Rather he forgave his brothers and showed them much mercy.
Not only that, he rationalised his multiple travails, which was set off by his brothers’ betrayal, as part of God’s grand design to protect their family’s future interest.
4Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years, there will be no plowing and reaping. 7But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. Genesis 45:4-7
2. Jesus forgave those that crucified Him.
Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem and the neighbouring towns doing nothing but good. He healed the lame, the blind, the deaf and dumb, and other people with diverse kinds of sickness.
Jesus fed people in their thousands. He taught them divine wisdom like no other teacher or prophet before Him. He even raised some people from the dead.
Despite His widely circulated good deeds, the authorities of the day conspired against Him. They found Him guilty of trumped up criminal charges and had Him mercilessly nailed to the Cross to die alongside two condemned armed robbers.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:24
You would think that Jesus, with all the heavenly power at His disposal, would severely ‘deal’ with these people who unjustly crucified Him. Instead, He extended uncommon forgiveness to them by pleading with the Father not to hold these peoples’ sin against them.
3. Stephen forgave those that murdered him in cold blood.
Stephen was an unknown disciple of Jesus Christ; He went in and out with the apostles and other disciples unheralded until the need to appoint deacons arose in the early church.
By general consensus, Stephen was deemed a man full of good reports, wisdom and the Holy Ghost. Therefore, he was privileged to be selected alongside six other deacons to serve in the food distribution ministry of the early believers.
But beyond serving on tables, God’s hand became mighty upon Stephen to the extent that through him a great revival broke out in Jerusalem.
“And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.” As a result, many people turned to God through his ministry and there was much joy in the city.
His increasing followership and the resultant citywide testimonies on the mighty acts he accomplished, revealed a man who was operating by nothing other than the authority of Heaven. But while Stephen was riding on this beautiful tide of evangelistic miracles, signs and wonders he performed in the land, the religious authorities of the day became offended by him.
In the end, they had Stephen arrested, taken to the outskirts of the city and brutally stoned to death. But before he yielded the ghost, He lifted his hands and prayed for the forgiveness for his traducers and killers.
Stephen showed such a great disciple he was by following the example of his Master Jesus in forgiveness.
“Father please do not hold this sin against them,” he prayed.
There are many examples of acts of forgiveness in the Bible, but these three examined under this post could never be missed out. These are three of the greatest examples of forgiveness in the Bible you can emulate.
Joseph forgave his brothers who sold him into slavery. Jesus while dying on the cross forgave all those who crucified Him. Stephen though being unjustly stoned to death, extended the gesture of forgiveness to those that murdered him.
In the light of these, can you justify any wrong done against you as too grave to be forgiven?
I have found out through my own experience that part of the joy of blogging is having people following your blog, regularly reading your written thoughts and sending you feedbacks through their comments, likes, emails, reblogs etc.
I take it that you too do not mind sharing in the joy of blogging as it were. But as you already know, it is not always easy getting people to follow your blog. And there could be many reasons for that.
As far as I am concerned, here are 8 Simple Reasons I am not following your blog:
1. I don’t even know that your blog exists in the first place.
Your blog does not show up on the first pages when I do specific key word searches on Google. Neither do you leave a trail on other people posts by liking them or putting in some appropriate comments.
Without having any of the above leads to your site, how am I supposed to know that your lovely blog is tucked away in one hidden corner of WordPress?
2. You are not following my blog
I do not mean to say that if you do not follow my blog I will not follow yours. In fact my blog stats show that as at now, I follow twice as many blogs that follow mine.
Just that like an average blogger (I’m not sure I am up to that yet😀), once I notice that anyone has followed my blog, the next natural thing I do is to head to the person’s blog to see what is on offer.
I cannot guarantee that I will follow you back once I see that you have followed my blog. But I guarantee to always checkout any blog that follows mine to enable me make up my mind on whether or not to follow back.
When you don’t follow me or leave a comment or a like on my blog posts, it becomes a bit harder for me to discover and follow your blog.
3. I got to your blog, but your posts care less about my core values.
Sorry if that is you, I will not follow your blog. For instance, I stumbled on a blog one time. I saw that all the posts I managed to read thereon seem to have centred on promoting ‘unwholesome’ sexual behaviours.
I am not judging that blog, but I could not follow it because I did not want to be receiving posts bothering on promoting sexual perversion.
My point is that it is much easier for me to follow blogs whose values I share than to follow those whose values are completely different from mine. Please raise your hand if you are with me on that!
4. The first three posts I read on your blog did not make much sense to me.
Some blogs make sense but the contents are in conflict with my values. Some others I have come across did not make much sense for me to opt in.
Usually, when I encounter a new blog, I would try to read three posts on the site (usually the last three). I may not follow the blog if I did not derive any value reading them.
To follow you, I will have to like at least one of the first three posts I read on your blog. Is that too much to ask?
5. Your picture is not on your profile.
This point may seem inconsequential to you. But believe it or not, it matters to me and to some other WP users too.
I find it easier to follow blogs that have the profile pictures of their authors than the ones that do not have or have inanimate objects instead of a real person’s face. You know that faceless individuals on the internet are usually troublesome. Engage them if you want, but sometimes one would rather avoid them.
6. You did not join any blogging community.
I have found out that by belonging to a specific community of bloggers (on Facebook for instance), I have discovered and followed new blogs. If you do not belong to any of such community of bloggers and actively participate there on, the odds against discovering your blog have just increased.
7. Your blog language is totally different from mine.
Needless to say, English is my blog default language. If your blog is set to another foreign language, I am sorry I cannot follow you. This is because I do not not understand your language, so it is of no use to follow you.
I know one can reset the default language on your WP blog, but that means I will have to spend extra time and energy doing that.
Usually, it is easier for me to move on to other blogs written in English than to be involved in the task of changing your blog language so I can read it.
8. No one has recommended your blog to me yet.
I have followed some great blogs simply because they were recommended to me by some other bloggers. Just like in advertising, word of mouth (or written) recommendations on WP promotes blogs too. That means, at least in part, that I am yet to follow your blog because no one has recommended it to me yet.
Why are you not following some blogs yet? We will like to hear from you.
Several years ago, I attended a Bible Study service in one familiar church. The study that fateful evening had centered on the baptism of Jesus Christ at the River Jordan.
For the most part, I was tremendously enthralled by the descriptive heavenly experience Jesus had at His baptism as recorded in the Gospels. The heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit openly descended upon Him like a dove.
On the other hand, I could not help but ponder over the fact that this spectacular experience of Jesus’ at the Jordan has remained a very unique experience in the history of Christianity till date. Matthew’s account of that event tells us that:
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him (3:16, NIV).
Luke puts it this way, “…the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased”” (3:22, NIV).
“Does anyone have any question arising from this study today?” the Bible study facilitator had asked at the end of the study.
I flung my innocent hand up in the air. And having been acknowledged, I asked, “Why is it that the heaven does not open unto us and the Spirit of God does not descend bodily upon us during water baptism in this era like it did on Jesus Christ as we saw in the study?”
“Victor, are you comparing yourself with Jesus?” yelled one church elder from the far corner of the hall where he was sitting.
He must have felt that my question was controversial or ill-conceived. But I was convinced I asked the question because I wanted to know more, without any ulterior motives.
“Jesus is Jesus and we are not Jesus… We as mere humans should not expect to have a water baptism experience with the heavens opening and the Holy Spirit descending as on Jesus the Son of God,” he further stated.
In my heart as a young adult then, I felt that was not the best answer I could possibly get for that question. But I could not really push any further, else I could have been accused of challenging an elder inappropriately.
Thankfully, the Bible study facilitator stepped in and tried to salvage the situation by giving what I could call a more acceptable explanation to me. He explained that we can receive the Holy Spirit even before, during or after water Baptism.
“What matters”he opined, “is that we can receive the Holy Spirit, irrespective of whether or not He came upon us in a very spectacular way, as was the case of Jesus.”
I can identify with that summation because from my own water baptism experience, the heavens did not tear open (smiles), neither did the Holy Spirit descend on me in a spectacular way like it did on Jesus. But I still was baptized and I still have received the Holy Spirit.
Actually I had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit before I even had the opportunity of having the baptism by immersion in water.
What was your own experience? I hope you would not mind sharing.
You are as close to God as you want to be, because He has already fully drawn close to you.
How close are you to God? Do you feel as close to Him as you would want to be?
Without an exception, everyone of us has been given the privilege of being capable of drawing close to God as much as we can be.
If you want to be closer to God, you can. If you feel alienated from God, it is not His fault.
Where you stand with God presently is your choice. You can either move closer towards Him or farther away from Him. Again it is up to you!
In the book of James 4:8a, we are given this inviting challenge:
Draw near to God and He near to you…
Put in proper perspective, it is not that God has not drawn close to you. But you will never know how so close God is already drawn to you untill you first draw close to Him. That is why it feels like the closer you draw to God the closer He becomes to you.
You are the one that determines how close to God you want to be.
You know whatever is hindering your drawing nearer to Him. If you would remove your hands from it and clear the doubts in your heart, you would draw closer to God.
The fact is that God is no longer far from you. If you are not ‘feeling’ Him, realise that you are the one that is not close enough to Him. He is already as close to you as He could ever be.
God gave His son Jesus to die for you. This eternal sacrifice dealt a final blow on the chasm that hitherto separated you from God. Even now, sin is no longer enough reason to cause a separation between you and God.
Do not run away from God because of your sins. Rather, you should run to Him despite your sins.
The price of your past, present and future sins has been paid for in Christ Jesus! His blood covers your sins, so that even when you err, the invitation is already there for you to come boldly to His throne of grace and obtain mercy.
Also, God gave you the Holy Spirit to live in you so that you will always have His ever-abiding presence. Wherever you go, the Holy Spirit goes there with you.
You are never alone. You have His assurance that He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is with you always till the end of the world.
I am fully convinced that God is with you. What I am not sure is whether or not you are fully with God. That is between you and Him.
But if you have fully declared yourself for God, know that He has already committed to being close to you to the fullest possible limit. The remaining part of the challenge for both of you to draw close to each other rests with you to fulfill.