who am i?

"I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself." - CS Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms

Friday, May 19, 2017

Father's Business...


I went to the market to buy some sweet potatoes, and the teenage girl manning her mothers’ goods attended to me with zero courtesy! She was so rigid, no smile, and no attempt to cajole me to buy her goods. She gave the price as her mother had probably instructed and just stood with that dirty attitude when I tried to bargain. I would have gladly paid for her goods if only she was nicer; I would do the obligatory bargaining dance (so I don’t feel like I was cheated) but end up paying. But I got no courtesy, so I walked away to the next woman selling sweet potatoes, and bought it at the same price the girl gave me for because this other lady served me better, even when I tried to bargain, she handled me well enough to get me to cheerfully part with my money at her original price.
That little girl messed up her mothers business with her attitude and lack of thereof. She lost a customer with the much-needed money I could have given… she cost her mother so much, but she was too stuck up with herself, she didn’t notice… or care.

This encounter got me wondering: are we messing up our Father’s business with our attitude? How much damage has our inability to show love and compassion caused? Do we show some level of grace when we deal with people? Do we show some level of excellence and diligence in our businesses? I mean God is the Father of ALL grace; we should be able to show at least a little when we handle His business. Look at how excellent creation is, we should be able to show the same sort of excellence in our business/daily life.

Jesus was found in the temple after his earthly parents nearly had a heart attack from discovering him missing and searching for him. When found in the temple, He told them he was going about his Fathers business. He must have acted with decorum, with wisdom and given honor to the scribes for them to have sat down to listen to the little boy speak. He handled his fathers business well, with grace. And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father's business?” Luke 2:49(DHB)

Do the gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of us? Think about it! Sometimes, the only bible people would read is our lifestyle/attitude … that’s all the convincing needed, to either get them to buy your product/service or serve your God.

And he calls himself a Christian! A statement I’ve heard one too many times from people disappointed by some person who parades his Father’s name/business, but in no way represents him in the way he runs it.

What happened to diligent and excellent service? Tongue speaking and anointed does not give a license to misrepresent your father by the bad fruit you allow to fester because you’re a child of God. Good children handle their fathers business well, and Gods business goes beyond the church; a pastor or a worker or called to certain offices in the ministry…. It includes our ‘secular jobs’ as engineers, politicians, musicians, producers, pilots, soldiers, writers, domestic helps, husbands, wives etc… what ever we find ourselves doing, we do it to the glory of God, because it is His business we front for. We represent Him in every sphere as Christians.

In your daily life, what are you living? Do you have integrity? When people hear your name, do they encourage me to come to you or do they warn me off you or your services? When a person is dating you, do people stare with pity and warn the person off or say how blessed that person is? As a pastor/priest do you misrepresent what you preach?
Have you earned a sour reputation on your job?

My family had a printing job and I recommended a friend who was also a spirit filled Christian to handle it… Long story short, a day to my grandmas funeral and we had no program printed, after paying him about eighty percent of what he charged… to cut an even shorter story short, he didn’t deliver the work and disappeared from the scene, an emergency work had to be done by another friend. The whispers spoken loud enough for me to hear was an accusation that I gave the work to someone in my church… what a picture it painted… a church member with such a lousy score on integrity. That’s someone who is anointed, but like that teenage girl selling her mother’s potatoes, hasn’t handled his fathers business right… and I would without guilt walk to the next person offering the same services next time because of the attitude I received from this one. This is a misrepresentation of this God of grace, love, peace and forgiveness we teach. Has he apologized to my family and I for the embarrassment? No! My mum got his dad involved and he had to refund the money… but an apology would go a long way. The teenage girl attitude came to play in this scenario.

When I was ready to publish my book, I went for the best. I didn’t think I had an option to do anything less. I paid a lot for professional editing services… even though in the end I saw one or two errors In the finished work, I know I did my best, it wasn’t out of negligence, I could have gotten my sister or friends to read through, and look out for typos, save myself that money, but I knew if I was publishing a book, then it had to be done well. I could have ‘printed’ the books anywhere in Nigeria with lots of willing printers for less than a quarter of the price I paid for publishing, and saved and made a lot of money… be profit driven… but I was more about excellence than profit. I want people to hold my book in their hands and see something of value, many would only be encouraged to read by how the book is packaged (by the way, my book Kiss & Tell is available on amazon and all the major book stores online)… the book has God’s imprint on it, why should it be presented as anything less than excellent? If it represents God, it doesn’t mean it has to be shabby, that’s when it ought to exceed every known expectation.

That’s the picture we grew up with, Gods business is Gods business, so we don’t need to put in any energy. We just show up and show out… but we take more time in doing it if it doesn’t concern God. Thank God for eyes that are opening to see the importance of excellence. Now we have gospel music been produced with excellence and performances/ministrations with so much work put into it. Churches look better and church workers aren’t as scruffy looking in the name of the Lord as they used to be.
We serve an excellent God, a God of excellence and He’s given us this kingdom business in the dreams He’s placed in our hearts and the things our hands have found to do, do them well… don’t let the gentiles ridicule your God because of you.(Romans 2:24)

Yes God loves you irrespective of what you do… but why not honor Him with what He’s placed in your hands? Why not show forth His excellence? Why not be kind and show love? Why not gain more knowledge in what you do and find ways to be better at it? Why not stop cheating people? Why not give top-notch customer service and show excellence? Why not clean up and have baths and wear clean clothes? Why not brush your teeth and stop being so spiritual that people avoid you because you stink in the name of the Lord. You don’t represent God that way.

Like that awful teenage girl… maybe people aren’t patronizing you because of your attitude or lack of, your neighbor isn’t using witchcraft to excel in his business while you fail… he understands the principle of integrity and excellence in service. Shut up, stop complaining, put your faith to work, as you pray for good success, work towards that good success and improve on your services. Stop binding and casting and start looking within to bring about the necessary change. There’s grace available. I should know, because I’m on this journey of learning to manage my Father’s business as well.

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